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Low Battery Go Home?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by henrycruz, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. henrycruz

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    so does the phantom 2 actually go back to its home point when it reaches it low level battery warning? Cause all the answers I'm getting is that, it just auto lands itself at its current location.

    Thank you!
     
  2. CarlJ

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    I can't say about the P2, but the FC40 just runs out of gas and lands.
     
  3. BigBadFun

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    Previous and current firmware (v3.04) it justs lands. New firmware about to be released (v3.05) it returns to home point and auto lands.
     
  4. TeamYankee

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    RTH on a low battery... could be useful. Then again... may just fall out of the sky half way home with a flat battery.
     
  5. QYV

    QYV

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    I don't know if this guy is joking or what but for a Phantom 2 this is not accurate. FYI - the terms "failsafe" and "return to home" (RTH) mean the same thing in the Phantom world.

    When you power up the Phantom2 it tries to establish a GPS home-point. This also establishes "ground level" - 0m altitude.

    When the lights flash rapid green as described in all the documentation, the Phantom has established that home-point... you can fly before that but any smart pilot will wait for that home-lock before flying. If failsafe is triggered... either by losing contact with the RC or manually via the toggle switch... then one of 2 things will happen:
    -if the Phantom is BELOW 20m altitude (from the ground-level @ home point) it will ascend to 20m, fly back over it's home-point, and then descend.
    -if the Phantom is ABOVE 20m altitude it will simply fly over it's home point and descend.

    I would recommend testing this system so you can see for yourself. There 2 ways you can trigger failsafe:
    1) turn the RC off. I do not prefer this method because #2 is so simple.
    2) configure the right toggle on your RC to trigger failsafe. details below:

    if you have not changed the flight computer out of the default mode (Phantom mode) you may have noticed that the 2 toggle switches at the top of the RC don't really do anything. It is possible via the Phantom Assistant software to set the right toggle to trigger failsafe (or back to NormalFly). In Phantom Assistant, go to the Basic / RC tab. at the bottom is a setting "control mode switch". Notice the only thing you can change is on the right there's a dropdown box where the options are NormalFly and Failsafe. Since the default setting is NormalFly, that's why switching that toggle doesn't do anything. If you change that option to Failsafe, now when you flip the right toggle all the way down, Failsafe / Return to Home will be triggered... but unlike option #1 above (turning the RC off) you're still in live contact with the Phantom and can recover control at any time by flipping the toggle back up to NormalFly.
    Sure with option #1 you can just turn the RC back on, but I'd prefer to maintain contact the entire time.

    You can test this before you even take off. With the Phanton on the ground with the props off... wait for the indicator lights to turn green.... now flip the S1 toggle all the way down. The green lights should start blinking yellow indicating Failsafe mode. Flip it back up and the lights will go green indicating NormalFly.

    Now you can easily and comfortably test failsafe feature at short range... fly off a bit at below 20m and flip the switch. the lights will go yellow, and you should notice the phantom ascend then fly over it's home point and descend. you don't even need to wait for it to fully land, just flip the toggle back to NormalFly and resume control. Fly a little farther away and make sure you're above 20m high and then trigger failsafe again. You should notice it fly overhead then begin descending.

    After testing this whole process several times and further and further distances I became comfortable with the fact that failsafe worked properly, and I even started using it as a "come home autopilot" from several hundred meters away or if I was high up in the air (150-250m) letting the failsafe feature descend the craft for me so that I didn't have to just sit there holding the throttle down.

    I believe there is a point at which the battery is so low that the craft will just try to land, period. perhaps this is where the confusion comes from? My advice is to fly conservatively... just get additional battery or 2 and rather than risk running 1 battery all the way down, when it gets low (25-30%) just come home and swap batteries. much safer
     
  6. henrycruz

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    I appreciate the info!

    but how come I was told it would return home once it reaches its low battery level. I guess I was lied to. How would one know when the battery is low when your flying out and about w/o an iOSD? I think RTH at low level indicator would be such a great feature. I mean its just a firmware change right and setting the appropriate low level percentage on the assistant software.
     
  7. QYV

    QYV

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    sound like you need to read your manual a bit more my friend :) those indicator lights on the bottom of the Phantom are very important and perform exactly the function you describe. The flight indicator lights on your Phantom are green during normal flight operation, right? They tell you a lot about the Phantom for example if those lights blink slow yellow, the Phantom has no communication with the RC. a fast yellow blink indicates the Phantom is in Failsafe / Return to Home mode.

    If you look in the Phantom Assistant software on the Advanced/Battery tab you will see an area "Battery Warning Level" which has 2 settings: Low and Critical. When you hover over this area the left-side "help bar" will explain:
    When the battery hits Low level (default 30%) those green indicator lights will switch to blinking red slowly. It is suggested to head home to land at this time.
    When the battery hits the Critical level (default 15%) "the rear LED flight indicators will blink red quickly and continuously and the aircraft will descend automatically".

    As you can see, the software states it will only "descend automatically" at critical level it does NOT mention triggering return-to-home feature based purely on low battery.

    I'm not 100% certain of this but I THINK you still maintain lateral control during the Critical auto-descend. I feel like once back when I first got my Phantom I got into the Critical level and was still able to steer home even though I had no control over it descending, but it was once a long time ago and my memory is hazy... I could have only been in Low level I'm just not sure.

    For the record when the craft is in actual Return-To-Home (failsafe) mode the indicator lights blink rapid yellow (not red) and I can confirm you have NO control over throttle or lateral... I trigger Failsafe manually all the time to let the craft fly home / descend automatically, and resume control whenever I want.

    Basically if you wisely pay attention to your battery levels and flight indicator lights, heed the warning and come home when the green lights first go red you should be fine.
    Do you have a FPV system so you fly far away, or do you mainly stick to nearer distances where you can clearly see the the indicator lights?

    My opinion until you get FPV with iOSD and can watch the battery level that way, it would be smart not to fly your Phantom so far away you can't see those indicator lights.
     
  8. henrycruz

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    ahaha thanks!

    at the moment i do not have an FPV but am on the process of building one with immersionrc with the black pearl lcd w/o iOSD. i guess ill just time my flights at the mean time. do you know the avg flight time with this setup using the h3-3d w/ the gopro?
     
  9. gr8pics

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    Little OT, but manual says when changing to Naza M mode, leds changes and displays diferently, mine still displays as if in Phantom mode, how come?
     
  10. CarlJ

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    I use an egg timer.
     
  11. ussvertigo

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    The light patterns are different for naza, and an old guy like me are easier to see, I guess the blink patterns are sharper? But if your lights haven't changed you should run thru computer again. I actually found the naza mode would be more of a benefit to a beginner than the Phantom mode. I lost (and found) mine due to not having home lock avail, and as last resort I cut off transmitter and she still didn't come home. Naza has both and without shutting off remote.
    When you see the first red lights, I would strongly suggest bringing it in to a location that if it fails or lands you can get to it. I've been reading about battery problems and now just starting having exact issues, mainly drastically short flying time and auto landing within a minute or two of the first red light warning.
     
  12. ElGuano

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    In flight they are kind of reverse. The phantom mode is made so you always see the orientation lights. The back lights are on by default and blink off momentarily. Naza mode is made to show more information. The back LEDs are off by default and flash on to show information. They also have more blink codes than the phantom mode, which is mostly green is ok, red is low bat or gps.
     
  13. simon3000gt

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    Buy the Iosd mini it gives you the voltage and % all the time you can plan for the return home, Home point, distance and height, and how to get home (direction)

    Simon
     
  14. gr8pics

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    Its not much to run, its just connect, or revert back to Phantom mode...
    But maybe the Naza leds arent that much different from the Phantom mode, confusing stuff
     
  15. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    RTH on low battery is a beta feature that has not yet been released publicly. It is not clear when or if it will be released publicly.
     
  16. henrycruz

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    Awesome tip! So simple! :)

    This should of been part of the phantom the 1st day it came out. I think this feature would be very beneficial.
     
  17. Petr_K

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    I would also advocate for this feature. Why should there be a return signal loss and not when low battery? It is almost more important because the vast majority of people flying in sight, so the signal loss can occur only in isolated cases, but the lack of energy are solved on each flight, so due to safety by an automatic return to the site.
     
  18. OI Photography

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    It seems like it would be an easy addition to the Phantom since the feature has been in DJI's Wookong flight controller for a while now. It's a first level protection option, so it would kick in at the same time the 1st LED warning usually starts to blink, rather than when auto-land usually does.

    Here's a shot of the hover-over text for that feature in the Wookong Assistant:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. QYV

    QYV

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    you guys know I'm one of the biggest advocates of the manual RTH feature, but I gotta say I wouldn't want my Phantom doing it automatically/forcably just because the battery got low, especially at the first warning level.

    RTH isn't perfect, it isn't necessarily going to land on the exact spot or even in the same square meter where it took off from, in my experience it's generally extremely close by within 1-3 meters but definitely not perfect. What if there are trees nearby, or you took off from a rooftop (like I frequently do), or a beach/shore with water nearby?

    If the Phantom triggered a return-to-home mode that I cannot switch out of (can switch out of it when triggered manually remember) that would suck if it auto-lands in water or off the side of a building or into a tree or whatever.

    I much prefer the way it is now that at the CRITICAL (2nd) battery warning level it will force-descend, but I still maintain lateral control so I can get the device exactly where I want it. It's basically a non-issue for me because I never push my battery that far and come home myself at the first warning level but still... I'd rather maintain a little bit of control if I accidentally get into that battery level