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My first near fly-away experience!

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by XL-Studios, May 9, 2014.

  1. XL-Studios

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    I have been on travel for a week and missed my bird so much that I had to take it for a evening flight when I came home.
    It was cloudy and it had been raining but now the wind was calm.

    I waited for Home Lock, and waited and waited. Could only get 5-6 satellites. (Usually get 7-11 from same spot)
    Tried another more open location. Waited a long time and finally got stadey green lights and 7 sats.

    Took of and let it hover as I always do for a while to see if all was normal. After some minute I decided to fly some 30m away and 15m up. Then I noticed that the back wings stopped blinking green and instead red like on low battery. At this point my bird started to live its own life! Drifting a lot in random directions. I COULD NOT CONTROL IT! Not decent or anything! I was ready to do a "emergency" rotor-shut-down but realized that every now and then it got satellite signal (7 satellites) for 3-5 sec. The back wing lights turned to green blinking again and meanwhile I could get back some control. But only for some 3-5 sec at the time! Eventually with a lot of effort I got it down for a hand-catch.

    I realized that if there is a satellite issue the control is completely lost! The altitude was also showing very different values all the time. +- some 50m!
    I think many fly-aways can be related to satellite lock! I think that if you go under 7sats after takeoff it will set a new Home Lock position in a rather random place. Then it will try to fly there and on the way it might lose satellite lock again and then get a new position even more far away!

    Just checked this site: http://www.multirotoruk.co.uk/solar-weather
    I realize now I was a fool to try fly with dodgy satellite connections!
    EDIT: If it was not a night flight and it was very close so I could see exactly what direction it was I don´t think I would have made it back! I am 90% sure that RTH would have not done anything at all to help since the satellite connection went in and out at random.
     
  2. jalpert

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    Were you in NAZA mode? Did you try and switch from GPS to ATTI?

     
  3. DrJoe

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    Gents, after 6 weeks of being a Phantom owner (first FC40, then P2V+) and reading all I could on this and other boards, this is my opinion:

    Flyaways are due to one of these things:
    Operator error (failure to know what you are doing - includes poor compass calibrations & imu calibrations).
    Phantom internal connections loosening (open your bird and seal each connection with some silicone).
    GPS failures (many reasons for bad sat data, including sunspots, etc... ENABLE and LEARN to fly manual mode over some grass).
    Prop failure (Phantom 2 props have weak tips, so earlier crashes, dings, etc can cause in flight failure and the NAZA flight controller becomes overwhelmed trying to compensate-Replace dinged props immediately).
    Severe radio interference (land immediately- cell towers and trains haven't effected my bird- but I'm not saying they couldn't).

    Get a gps locator. Read your manuals. Ensure Hong Kong's 16 year old factory worker made good connections, pre-flight your bird, become a GOOD enough pilot for manual mode, and be smart about where you fly. Now relax, and enjoy.

    Honestly, I still worry my favorite $1369 toy is going to disappear every time I fly, but I also KNOW I've done all I can to prevent it.
     
  4. EMCSQUAR

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    Location:
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    Dr Joe - you summed it up nicely - one to add to your list - make sure GoPro wifi is off and your GoPro wifi remote is off and not nearby.
     
  5. Skipholiday

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    Why would they have a GoPro on a vision+? Not trying to be smart,just curious..

    Thanks
     
  6. Controll21

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    Hi,

    One item many folks don't know is that from time to time the GPS signal in certain areas is degraded on purpose to test things....can't say what things but use your imagination. This can lead to a lack of GPS signal and a loss of control of the Phantom. You can check your local NOTAMS (flight) for times when this might occur in your area. Just a heads up.
     
  7. XL-Studios

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    I think you are sport on. From my last night experience GPS issues put the whole thing out of control. I had mine set on NAZA-M and was considering moving to ATTI but opted for trying to fly it down in GPS the 3-5sec "slots" I got.
    If I would not have had a very good view of the bird it would have been really difficult to fly it back in ATTI and like I said when the GPS was <6 satellites it did not respond at all. (I assume ATTI would have worked but not sure)
     
  8. BlackTracer

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    Odd. Isn't it supposed to switch to atti automatically when it can no longer do GPS atti? The control/no control switching is just plain odd. I have never had that. Of course I am proudly running 1.08 in NAZA mode as I have bragged about over and over. Wish I had some idea of what was happening to yours but I don't. If only I had access to their source code.
     
  9. XL-Studios

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    DARN!
    Today it happened again! THIS IS REALLY SCARY!
    I took off with 8-9 satellites. During flight I noticed that it at times went as low as 7 satellites. I decided to end my flight with a RTH but during this i saw that she started to go the wrong direction. Kind of just drifting like in ATTI. I switched back to GPS but had no control. Looked at the app and it showed 5-6 satellites! Panic started to flow through my body as it was driving out of sight and the low battery warning started to sound!
    Switched to ATTI and with help of the FPV that is still had managed to get it back in sight. As a safety measure I had gained extra altitude for better FPV and stay clear of threes in between. When I had the bird near me finally it was 57m up and battery on 18% Then I got 8 satellites and switched to RTH for fastest possible descent. I got her back but this was a REALLY CLOSE CALL!
    If I had not had FPV and coolness to switch to ATTI and maneuver her home she would have been lost 4 sure!
    I am really afraid now! Is there some severe solar flares or what is going on?? I don´t see how a bird with free sight 50m up can loos satellite orientation. This is my second flight in a row with this situation!
     
  10. mchrol

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    What about regain control by switching to manual immiediately after notice of weard behaving of our bird. Wouldn't that help?
     
  11. XL-Studios

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    Yes, according to my experience switching to manual or ATT regains control of your bird! But if it´s far away or out of sight it is tricky to know how to fly back! If you have FPV it´s easy!
     
  12. mchrol

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    Yes of course, forget to add that this could work at close distance.
    In my opinion phantoms can fly aways but directly to our homes. No need to carry anything.;)