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Launching from a boat

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by DrewFlies, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. DrewFlies

    DrewFlies Guest

    Planning on taking a trip with some friends to Bahamas. I live in South Florida. We will be leaving Miami at 630am and heading to the bahamas.

    I would like to launch the Phantom a couple times during the travel to Bahamas. I flew over water plenty of times. But, never launched from a boat. Looking for advice and tips.
    Compass calibrations from the boat or no?

    Also what if the boat is small with a roof. Is it possible to launch from hand or any tips you have?

    Should I fly in atti or P?
     
  2. Matteo

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    Hello !
    I fly mine from sailboats often, I found easier to launch and land by hand easier. Better from aft of the boat, on windward side to reduce wind turbulences.
    Beware to set home point as where you are, to prevent P3 leaving for "home landing" miles away from you when battery is low or control loss !
     
  3. ParsnipHysorter

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    Had a lot of experience with this with a P3P this past summer, many launches from a relatively large (105') aluminum boat while moving at 7-8 knots. I had no issues. I did a lot of research before I ever tried it so it is good to do your homework first, like you're doing. My tips:

    1. Do NOT calibrate compass on the boat. Do a good cal on land before you head out to the boat. First time I calibrated on the boat, while at the dock, it flipped out and tried to fly away on me right after launch and it was a fight to get it back. Next I calibrated on land, it flew normally, then I took it on the boat and did not fly it again until we were 150 miles from where it was calibrated... decided to chance that a bad local cal was worse then a good cal done far away, and believe my reasoning was sound because I never had issues with many flights despite the cal being done 150 miles away.

    2. Very critical, in my view the most critical when launching from a boat... Launch in ATTI mode, never launch in GPS mode! My strategy was to launch in ATTI, gun it hard and get it up and away from the boat quickly, then switch it back into GPS mode for the flight. Of course it will try to maintain its position if you launch in GPS mode, but the position it wants to hold quickly moves away from the boat even if the boat is just drifting, which can cause the drone to suddenly accelerate off in an unintended direction as it attempts to keep that position, leading to a potential crash into the vessel superstructure before you can react. This happened to somebody I know, and there are a lot of reports and videos of this as well. So launch in ATTI, fly in GPS mode... landing back on the moving boat I also did in ATTI just to prevent any potential erratic behavior during the landing process.

    3. Homepoint... Reset this now and again to your current position if your moving. Of course by default this is where the drone fired up its motors which could be some distance away from you. When I was doing these flights (mostly July) a lot of the new modes like Follow were not available so I would reset the homepoint once we (boat and drone) had moved about 1,500 feet from the last reset, just to be sure. Maybe not as critical now but keep in mind you should reset the homepoint now and again. I've heard others mention setting the Homepoint to a point on land somewhere (in my case land was 30 miles away at the closest) -- might not be a bad idea, just depending on your situation.

    4. Floats... Add something to help it float in case it ends up in the water. In the case of the person I mentioned having an oopsie under #2, he got the drone back even though it was in salt water thanks to floats... rinsed in fresh water, battery was toast, but the drone dried out and has been totally fine (he says). I would fly with 4 keychain floats zip-tied to the drone legs. Here is a picture... The floats had no discernible effect on performance and could not be seen in the images/video it took

    5. RF interference... I had the captain turn off the ship radar during my flights initially. BUT later he switched the radar on during one of my flights close to the ship and it had no effect, so we left it on after that. So it is not something I would worry about anymore.

    6. Bring it back earlier then you might over land. I would start bringing it back at 50% battery, give myself plenty of time for the sometimes tricky landing.

    7. Launching/Landing... Never tried hand launching. I was launching and landing directly on the back aluminum deck, no issues. On a small boat you could hand launch I suppose, or just launch on a box proped up near the boat gunwale... just get it out and away quickly, as discussed above. Landing by hand-grabbing is not something I did on the boat but have done on land; I could see this being fine on a small boat with limited deck space for landing.

    8. That's about it... I was a bit of a nervous wreck my first few flights from a moving boat but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. Good luck. IMG-20150716-WA0000m.jpg
     
    selky1, bobomet, DenHighFlyer and 6 others like this.
  4. Tony Perry

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    This video should cover everything you need to know about boating.

     
  5. Buckaye

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    what a great... informative reply :)
     
  6. RoyVa

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    Have any of you tried the dynamic home point ? It updates every few seconds to your tablet or phone that way the home pint follows where the boat goes.
     
  7. Tony Perry

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    It was my understanding that dynamic home point is an Inspire 1 feature and does not work on the P3.
     
  8. nonflyingbrick

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    Autopilot (for iOS) has dynamic home point (updating every 1 second), and you don't need Autopilot to fly the drone to use the feature I believe. I haven't tried it on a moving platform. (Fortunately it can be disabled, since I tend to walk around and can position myself in unsafe places for the drone to land.)
     
  9. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Dynamic home point is a P2 function.
    The P3 doesn't have dynamic home point.
    It does have a "reset home point to the current location of the controller' function.
    But this does not continue to update.
     
    Mark The Droner likes this.
  10. Josh McCue

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    Thanks for your info , i tried for the first time yesterday Marlin fishing and could not get it to take off in GPS , it just wanted to tip over and crash into the back of the boat. I new it had to be something like this to fix it.
     
  11. RCFantom

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    I recently did the same in Punta Cana.. Taking off, I did a hand toss, Landing was very challenging, sail cables, people, the mast, and we were traveling fast??? Asked the Cpt to shut down the engines, then a hand catch.... Lesson here is.... Make your flights shorter so you have extra battery life for different Landing plans.... Have a plan A,B, anda C.... I did...☺