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I've been challenged

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by chicago jeff, Jun 27, 2015.

  1. chicago jeff

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    Check out the picture I have attached. I have worked in the firehouse to the left for 19 years. The (approx) 350' radio antenna is a couple doors down from work. The guys at the firehouse have challenged me to fly my P3A to within 4' of the top lightbulb and take pics/video.
    I am up to date with firmware and app updates and have had no problems at all with the bird. I do need a little more stick time with the bird before the challenge.
    My question is... am I going to get any interference from the many antennas on the tower. I know I can take it slow and see how it goes or do a few test runs at different heights to see how it goes but I'm wondering if anybody has undertaken such a flight.
    The picture was taken on a foggy/windy day but I'm not going to do the flight unless it's perfect weather.
    In case anybody was wondering that is Engine 7/Truck 58/Ambulance 7's house in Chicago and the tower is the old WXRT radio antenna now used for a zillion other antennas.
     

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    #1 chicago jeff, Jun 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
  2. Hovtech

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    I wouldn't do it in the fog, but otherwise it's a piece of cake. I have flown right up to cell towers with no problem.
     
  3. THEHOFF

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    Location:
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    Any Cables?? Beware!!
     
  4. Canyon Mike

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    Be careful. Some of these transmission towers put out VERY powerful signals. Compare the frequencies in the area with those of your bird. Mine (P2V+V3) uses 2.4 for WiFi and 5.8 for flight control. I live near Mt Wilson in CA. All kinds of antennas there. If you park in the lot there, sometimes the remote car locking won't work for this reason. The power of those antennas could swamp your wifi and flight control signals if they're on the same freq.
     
  5. acherman

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    I work on comm towers. It's easy to film them. Self support is the best as there are no guy wires. Haha ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots1435417717.180019.jpg
     
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  6. chicago jeff

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    That's what I am worried about. I'll have to take it slow and see and pull back if anything starts interfering.
     
  7. chicago jeff

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    No cables.
     
  8. chicago jeff

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    Sweet! My fear level just dropped!
     
  9. Canyon Mike

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    The problem is that once the signal gets interrupted by a stronger one, especially if it's the flight control or GPS radios, there may be no recovery, as it's path from there is out of your control.
     
  10. chicago jeff

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    Hmmmm...maybe I'll go thru a couple batteries just flying around it before doing a nice slow accent with the 4K on.
     
  11. acherman

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    I always make my RTH height about 50' higher than the tower. If something does cause signal loss it will hopefully fly above the tower and come home. I did 3 batteries of flying around that tower in the photo while we were working there. At one point I set the P3 in a nice spot and recorded us removing a 6' microwave dish - it just sat there perfectly for the whole battery without issues. I flew over to a cell tower about 1/2km away and had no issues passing near microwave dishes.
     
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  12. BenDronePilot

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    Problem is interference could cause your Phantom to do something unexpected without warning and crash before you have the ability to take any corrective measures. My advice is domt do this unless you're okay taking a $1k loss.
     
  13. acherman

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    The ascents going straight up look awesome in video. If I ever figure out video editing I'll post some clips from that site. I need to do photos and video of all of our sites. The highest tower we own is 400', but there are taller around here. Nothing like the 2000' ones in the east though.
     
  14. lynsomeon

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    ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots1435418317.391534.jpg ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots1435418384.671606.jpg


    I also work in the cell tower industry and use my drone for pics which often puts the drone in front of the ANT. I've noticed that many of the Antennas are running on 1900Mhz for CDMA, but the latest generations are already running close to 2.5Ghz (Sprint that I know of for sure).

    I've noticed on many it doesn't do anything, but on some it does knock the signal strength down significantly. I try to never be closer than 20ft and I haven't lost it or had interference yet.
     
  15. lynsomeon

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    On the photo on the right I flew all around the platform, so I was at times at the same level as the ANTs
     
  16. TAZ

    TAZ

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    I think you could do it quite safely and have a greater chance of technically meeting the challenge...if you do it wisely. Radio transmitters are designed to broadcast radially, not vertically (same reason why you orient your own RC antennas with the flat edge to face your bird rather than point the tip straight at it, for best signal). With this in mind, set your Failsafe altitude to 400'. Then when you fly your bird, do so as far away from the tower as you can, climb to altitude, until you reach 400'. Then orient yourself at altitude directly over the tip of the tower and descend straight down slowly until you are 4' away. Doing it this way you'll be avoid passing through the strongest RF interference as you ascend/descend.

    After you've met the challenge, ascend back to 400', fly well clear of the tower and descend to home.

    I wouldn't recommend you ascend/descend anywhere near the tower, as any loss of control could cause you to crash into it. Descending onto the tip of the tower will help you to avoid intersecting a fair amount of the emanating interference. Worse case, you'll loose contact, and the bird will climb to 400' and return home...or drift horizontally...but being above the obstruction, you won't it hit.
     
    #16 TAZ, Jun 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
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  17. Sammynels

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    Put it over the top. Set gimbal looking "straight down" and descend. Not a challenge at all.
     
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  18. acherman

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    Flight path and safety is going to depend on what is actually on the tower for transmitters. Do you know what's there?

    From the photo is doesn't look like cell at all. Likely just UHF of VHF for your firehall and emerg services. Probably nothing high power. I'm sure you will be fine. I would do it, but that's me.
     
  19. chicago jeff

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    Nice, ok. It's on!
     
  20. dalebb

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    Don't they turn those off before you go up? In the navy it was do not rotate or radiate men working aloft. and I think that's how the microwave oven was invented, a candy bar melted in a guys pocket.