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Launching from a boat

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ChadDa3mon, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. ChadDa3mon

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    Greetings,

    My friend just got a new boat and we're planning on using it a lot this summer for fishing. I've been pondering the idea of also launching my P3P from it and getting some great shots out on the water, over shallow wrecks etc. Getting the drone to places it just couldn't get to otherwise.

    The boat wouldn't be technically anchored, but stationary enough. I've flown it enough that I'm confident I could land/hand catch it without relying on any automated RTH.

    I'm just trying to make sure I understand the risks involved and seek opinions from the community as a whole. I don't plan on flying far, so I don't see it losing signal and automatically 'returning to home' (which would drown it). I have a water tight case to transport it in. The worst case I see is either an equipment failure (thus it falls into the lake) or an automated RTH kicking in that I can't abort (thus drowning because it's "home point" will have moved.

    Based on that, I think the risk is negligible, but I'm still nervous. Would anyone else consider doing this, or am I crazy?
     
  2. LamboH

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    Already been done. Water /boat shots arethe best Try to calibrate befor hand since the boat Itself can be interference . Fly in atti. And only use gps when taking off (if possible and when landing or to frame a shot ). Remember to turn off vps and update ur home position if u moving around in the boat





    Being out on the water with no interference - distance for days at lower altitudes
     
    #2 LamboH, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  3. Air Ontario

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    And remember with dji and their RTH, if the RTH initiates within 20m/65ft of the home point(your boat) the bird won't return, it will attempt to autoland straight down from its current position.
     
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  4. GundoLarry

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    Might want to tweak your Low Battery warning up a few clicks to make sure you have power to land. Easy to fly over water. Easy to set a dynamic home point but suggest you don't rely on it.
     
  5. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    I was working with a production crew over the weekend and we had to launch from a boat that was pitching and tossing like crazy. We did a hand launch (my VO held it) and then did a hand catch at the end. We were careful for battery times and kept everything extremely reserved in terms of flight times to battery amount etc.

    Go slow and practice on solid ground before on a boat live. Also when approaching the boat be VERY mindful of poles and antennae from the boat that stick WAY up. Stay clear and safe.
     
  6. soulphantomflyer

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    As long as you are talking about hand catch with 2 person. I don't see any real problem as long as you don't rush it.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  7. ChadDa3mon

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    Great responses, thank you all. Glad to hear I'm not totally crazy for considering this.

    One question though, I've always flown in GPS mode. Why would atti be beneficial for this?
     
  8. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Why would you recommend not using GPS?
    I can't think of any reason that would be advisable.
     
  9. LamboH

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    To each their own but for me I like to gauge wind. Wind speed and direction changes a lot and at lower altitudes (guess being on the coast ) so when the birds really far out hard to judge how to phantoms is reacting to the wind (in gps) when far out . I always fly in atti even over land. Except landing and launching also
     
  10. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Over water, wind direction is going to be pretty steady.
    As for judging how it's reacting, if you were flying in GPS and only making 15 mph flat out, you know you are battling a headwind component of 20 mph.
     
  11. WetDog

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    1) You don't need to calibrate all the time. See Ianwood's tutorial.
    2) Steel boats can be a problem, aluminum and fiberglass, not so much.
    3) Learn how to fly in both ATTI and GPS mode. I typically stay in GPS - you tend to get great coverage over water. I will land in ATTI if I am coordinating the drone's drift with the boats. Other times I will let the P3 drift on to the boat. Drifting isn't a really big issue - large swells, on the other hand (so to speak), can imitate Cusinart mode on the P3.
    4) Unfortunately, DJI got rid of Dynamic Home Point, but you can get the same functionality in Autopilot.
    5) Be conservative on your battery levels and watch out for the 'I'm gonna land if I think I am closer to 20 feet from Home Point' behavior.
    6) ND filter!
    7) If you're having a hard time landing, pull away for a minute or two, rest and compose, try it again. That's why having enough reserve battery is important,
    8) Have fun
     
  12. LamboH

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    Ditto calibrate on land before hand if possible

    Dji actually recommends u take off in atti.

    Yet they also advised to not fly over water !!!!
     
  13. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    But only in the wiki.
    They didn't think it important enough to put in the manual.
    It's hard to see any reason for the recommendation.
     
  14. gringorio

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    I'm curious about potential problems taking off from a steel-hulled boat since I may have the opportunity to do so later this summer. If I calibrate the compass on shore and take off and fly in atti mode what issues might occur?
     
  15. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    If you try to launch from a steel deck, you will have to deal with a compass error message because the compass is in the bottom of the landing gear.
    You can experiment by putting your Phantom on your car roof
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Scott Shields

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    This post indicates Aluminum boat but I to am curious about Steel Hulled boats. The recommendation to launch and land in ATTI makes sense if it favors stick input over GPS and campus input.

    Anyone out there with experience launching from a larger steel hulled boat?

    Launching from a boat
     
  17. gringorio

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    Thanks! Does the compass error message prevent the quad from taking off in atti mode? I'll try the car roof experiment as soon as I solve today's "ESC Error" message ...
     
  18. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Good question and easy to test ... so I did.
    You can't start motors (even in atti mode) with a compass error.
    To launch from a large steel vessel you will have to get the compass away from the steel. maybe hand launching would be enough separation?

    And interestingly when you switch to atti mode you get a message telling you to please switch to GPS mode for safe flight.
    So it doesn't look like DJI are recommending launching in atti despite what is in the wiki.
     
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