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Loss of control and crashed....

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by peyperj, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. peyperj

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    Somethingvery strange happened on 29-01-2015. I did a couple of flights int he morning and charged my batteries for another flight in the afternoon (have2 x batteries).
    Ihave a GoPro hero 4 Black edition attached to the Zenmuse H3-3D Gimbal. I do what I always do, pre-flight checks, compass calibration, wait for my satellite fix. all was good. I took off to about 50m high and hovered. I did a few small movements left and right, busy testing the hero 4 photo and video capabilities (still new camera).
    I slowly flew away from where I was standing, about 50 -60m away and maintaining the 50m altitude.
    All of a sudden the Phantom 2 just flew away from me, the swooped to one side and dropped out of the sky and went full speed towards the ground, I immediately activated "Fail Safe Mode". Nothing happened, it just went down........ it crashed on the roof of a house a block away from where I live.
    Found the battery on the roof (the battery led's still indicate 90 - 100% power), the Phantom in the garden, the Zenmuse Gimbal broken and bent on the drive way, the GoPro wrecked. The Phantom blades are broken, the motors are stuck due to bent "arms" . It took a serious hit.
    So now the GoPro does not work at all, I inserted the SD card it into my PC to seethe video of the incident. The video shows: me taking off, up to about 50m altitude, hovered, then my little movements, all still good. Then I flew in a Southerly direction for roughly 50 - 60m, all still good on video. Then Video just STOP! Like the Gopro has been switched off..........all still at 50m altitude.......
    The Gopro and Phantom battery was charged to 100% before the flight, this all happened within 1 minute from take-off.
    I fly this Phantom. I am very familiar with the procedures of calibration,satellite fix and pre-flight checks. Oh and the Phantom is in Phantom Mode NOT Naza.
    I am a ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) Pilot Offshore in Oil and Gas. I am very familiar with flying and robotics.
    The Firmware on the Phantom and Zenmuse was up to date.


    Any ideas as to what could have happened?


    I'm taking this up with DJI Support!
     
  2. peyperj

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    http://youtu.be/NgR39dMFrhI
    This is the video I got from the SD card, the GoPro is dead. Video stopped exactly when I lost control........
     
  3. peyperj

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    Found it 117m from my house
     
  4. lake_flyer

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    That sucks man, sorry for the loss. I can feel the pain.
    I have a little spare time right now so I'll try to answer with a bit of sense :)

    1. Gopro Wifi:
    Did you by any chance have the Gopro Wifi on? (blue light blinking)
    If that's the case then that surely would have been the cause of control loss. Never use anything with Wifi ON around your P2, RULE #1 I would say.

    2. Domestic Wifi routers:
    Another possibility is a strong Wifi signal from a router in your house or a neighbours? I have experienced odd behaviour flying near a mobile hotspot. And the funny thing is, it's not constant. So you might fly a couple of times without a problem and suddenly it hits you. I fly at a lake on the beach about 300ft from my house and still have a strong Wifi signal from my router as well as all my neighbours. I can connect to more than 6 routers with my cellphone. I sometimes see some strange quirks when hovering before landing on my balcony. The router from my neighbour, a navy hydrographer who owns a professional weather station, is extremely strong.

    Thus:
    Flying near houses can be hazardous because of the many Wifi signals around them (and it's only getting worse in the future). Though you might experience a total loss of control, the phantom 'thinks' it's getting the same 2.4GHz signal while in fact it is on a random joyride, highjacked by somebodies router. Where I live (Netherlands) houses are all made of dual layer bricks and concrete and even then I get interference sometimes. I stay away from houses and only fly over roofs with at least 100ft in height to spare.

    3. Hardware issues:
    Maybe your Phantom had a flaw in the battery connection or a bad soldering somewhere. A momentary loss of power (even a fraction of a second) may trigger a lot of strange things, and exactly those you mentioned. I had almost the same behaviour with my first Phantom, the battery connector didn't keep a connection, it flew away. Switching to Atti gave me enough control to get it away from the water and 'land' it in the soft bushes around the lakeside. Now this was a FC40 with standard Lipo batteries. The P2 batteries are known to be reliable when it comes to connecting (I'm not talking about early auto landings and such....)

    4. Software issues:
    Did you re-flash the firmware anytime lately or is it still on the firmware it came with? The reason I ask is because sometimes the factory firmware install is not 100%. I always advise people to reinstall the latest firmware and an advanced calibration (Tx also), AND put it on Naza Mode so you can activate IOC and RTH switch, and a compass dance before the first flight. The compass dance is not needed every flight, in fact, better to do that only when you move to a completely different location, miles away, or different geological characteristics, or simply when you see the quad needs it. Compass dance doesn't prevent these kind of problems at all, it isn't related, although many people will claim it is. It is only to determine the nose position relatively to the GPS position so the Phantom doesn't have to physically move to determine it's attitude. It's the same as with car navigation, when the car is stationary, you still want the correct heading on the map, not just the position.
    Sorry if I sound too lecturing, but I always try to make my answers work for everybody including people without experience.

    Phantom Mode?:
    Did you switch off the Tx to invoke RTH? Since you say it was still in Phantom mode? It might also have helped in this situation to switch to Atti to regain control but if you lost all signal it probably wouldn't.

    You can see my 'fly away' and one and only controlled crash (in 100's of flights), after a battery connection problem here: [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyL9CTMJwMs[/youtube]

    Maybe you see something that helps to determine the cause.
     
  5. peyperj

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  6. peyperj

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  7. lake_flyer

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    The more I think about it the more I think It could be a short glitch in the battery connection, after reading all the posts in your thread on DJI Forum. As I mentioned, it happened to my FC40 once, on the second flight. The XT60 connector didn't make firm enough contact. Vibration was enough to cause intermitted disconnection. On my video you see almost the same thing happening as yours. My FC40 was also brand new, 2 days old and this was only the second flight. Luckily it survived.
    I changed the connectors and added a second battery for redundancy (something you can't with a P2 unfortunately), since I mostly fly over water.
     
  8. peyperj

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    I just wish I knew what it was
     
  9. freeskier989

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    The bigger questions is, why were you filming in 4:3?

    Its weird that the video stopped when the problems happened. The video should have continued until impact at least. Perhaps something with the camera/gimbal shorted back up to the A2 controller....
     
  10. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Did you do the compass calibration in the driveway?

    Which firmware version?
     
  11. landmannnn

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    On the subject of domestic interference..flying over reasonably affluent suburbs is asking for trouble....

    most homes have wifi, larger ones have boosters and run both 5.8 and 2.4
    Room to room video senders blast out messy 2.4 (these are really powerful)
    microwave ovens mess up the 2.4, older integrated ones especially
    The latest cordless phones have a great range and most run on 2.4
    Car alarms use 2.4 and are high power
    Cheap rc toys can be messy on 2.4
     
  12. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    2.4GHz interference is a non-issue for 3 reasons:

    • Should the ISM band become completely saturated, the P2 will not fly away. It will enter failsafe.
    • Futaba FASST protocol uses the entire ISM band making it very resilient to other 2.4GHz devices.
    • I've flown several times in middle of the city where there are hundreds of 2.4GHz devices.
     
  13. antares

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    Hi Peyperj,
    sorry for that experience you made...
    After reading your post, the most mysterious fact is the shut-off of the camera occuring at the same time you lost control over the Phantom.
    I assume that you were using the standard GoPro connection with mini USB connector fed from the gimbal controller. As the Gopro employs it's own battery, a battery failure of the main Phantom battery would not have led to an immediate camera outage. That leads me to the thought if the camera was the reason for the problem. A short circuit in the camera would have caused an overload in the gimbal controller effecting back to the Phantom's main controller. Also, the mini USB connector is known to be a weak part and a short circuit there is not totally out of imagination.
    After reviewing all possible scenarois, this is in my opinion the most likely to have happened.
    You might think of taking apart the Gopro and investigate the interior, especially for signs of burned parts or pcb connections.
    Just my thoughts...
    Have a great day,
     
  14. peyperj

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    Calibration was done in driveway on edge of street. Done many times in the week without any problems.

    Firmware was latest on date of incident
     
  15. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Don't calibrate in the driveway. Probably have something ferrous near there. That's your most likely cause at the moment. Use a large open grassy area. No metal within 10ft.

    If you are on 3.10 firmware, you need to downgrade to 3.08 before flying again.
     
  16. peyperj

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    DJI and their South African dealer (Action Gear South Africa) is just the worst support EVER! They still ignore me, after how many emails and phone calls.......