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Looking for opinion - fly-away/antenna/gimbal

Discussion in 'Phantom FC40 Discussion' started by BlackOpsTeamster, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. BlackOpsTeamster

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    DISCLAIMER - LONG, RAMBLING POST ;)

    Friday, against my better judgement and own advice I decide to show off the Quad to some folks who were really, really interested and urged me to take it up. The solar storm was still cooking, pegging my K-index at 6, it was overcast and a bit breezy. I should mention that prior to this I had modded the controller with a Alfa 7dBi directional antenna and my first test flight with it was scary because I thought I was having a fly-away but finally did regained control. Back to Friday... I took it up about 40 feet, then left and right and finally took it out about 75 feet at which point I noticed it beginning to gain altitude and was unresponsive to ANY of my controls. As it was heading higher it was also moving further away. I was now in full panic thinking my quad was running away from home and flipped the home lock on but nothing (somewhere along the line I also tried ATTI mode but no joy). As I was yelling "no..NO..NO!!" I turned off the controller hoping the failsafe would kick in but it seemed to keep moving farther away and higher. In a last ditch effort, I turned the controller back on in GPS mode and like a disobedient dog, it slowly started coming back to me for a safe landing. On a positive note my newly installed Walkera gimbal worked flawlessly. ;)

    Fast forward to today. The K-index was at 1 and it was a beautiful, calm day. After what I now refer to as "Black Friday" I was hesitant to take it up but wanted to test the failsafe, home lock and the bird in general as well as my new gimbal. THIS time I was playing it safe flying low and close. Everything seemed to be going okay so still low I took it out about 100 feet and up maybe about 25 feet and the same thing started happening again. This time rather than running the risk of a fly-away I just shut the props off and it fell like a dead duck with my camera popping out of the mount and the gimbal acting like it was having a seizure. I dunno, maybe it was in shock, I know I was. Anyway I suspected my problems were with the directional antenna and shoved another battery in (after completely unhooking the gimbal to put it out of its misery) and took it up, THIS time paying CLOSE attention to where I was pointing and everything went well. I even went for battery #3 testing failsafe and home lock and all went like it's supposed to. When trying failsafe I "thought" it might be in fly-away because it shot up to about 60 feet. On a leap of faith I let it do its thing and it slowly came back and landed its self better than I ever have. I should add that I ALWAYS check my compass in the software to be sure it in limits prior to heading out and still do the compass dance each outing.

    My questions are:
    Do you think the other times I thought it was flying away it may have just been trying failsafe?

    Are directional antennas really so finicky that that could have been my problem?

    Any suggestions on how to fix a Walkera gimbal with a permanent 30 degree roll? V1 and V2 adjustments do no good. Debating replacing the controller board for $35 (can't be certain that's the problem) or just buying a new gimbal for about $100.

    Does anyone know where I can get another controller and how much they might cost?

    On a side note, this thing is MUCH more rugged that I ever thought it would be. I actually backed it into a brick wall at about 15 feet after which it promptly hit asphalt. The only damage was 2 prop guards and they did what they were meant to do, protect the aircraft. Cheap insurance! If you've read this far, God bless you... if nothing else I hope it was entertaining.

    Thanks in advance
    BOT
     
  2. BlackOpsTeamster

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    UPDATE:
    Regarding the Walkera gimbal issue, I tried fiddling around in the PAM (Parameter Adjustment Mode) of the controller to correct the permanent 30 degree roll. I DID get a reaction. On power up, rather than going directly to the 30 degree roll it now starts up in a level position but slowly rolls to the opposite side and then quickly flips back to the 30 degree position and stays there. So even though I got a reaction I still am unable to determine if the problem is in the controller, gyro or something else so I'm just going to buy a new one and have this one for testing purposes. That being said, BEFORE I spend the money on a new gimbal I've decided to put the stock camera and mount back on and just concentrate on learning to fly this thing proficiently FIRST. I would like to buy a new stock transmitter though. Am a little confused on that. Don't know where to buy a stock transmitter/controller.

    Would this work? Is it all I would need for it work with the FC40 receiver already in the Quad that I have now? What does it mean, "requires pre-flight binding" and is that difficult to do?
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...MXdzF9NEi5c2boaAhG08P8HAQ&Q=&is=REG&A=details

    Thx in advance
    BOT
     
  3. darwin-t

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    As for your "fly away" problem, the the quad goes into failsafe, if it is at less that 60 feet altitude, it goes up to that altitude and returns home.

    It is is above 60 feet altitude when failsafe kicks in, it stays at that altitude and comes home.

    Why do you have a directional antenna on your transmitter? Do you need to fly further than 800 yards away? How far CAN you fly it with that antenna? I got mine out to 550 yards today and it was nothing more than a dot.

    As for the gimbal problem, there is a little circuit board under the camera. This is what supplies the gimbal with the camera's position. Make sure it is attached securely and is flat against the frame. Moving it a bit to the left or right may help.

    My gimbal has a tiny button on the circuit board. Pressing that with something releases the camera, allowing you to reposition it where you want. This might help.
     
  4. wattage

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    Indeed. Why the antenna mod? I've gone to 1.01 miles with the stock antenna and it was my FPV setup which gave out first. Maybe your mod was done badly and there's some intermittent connection problem with the antennae causing unpredictable behaviour.