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n00b distance questions

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Not A Speck Of Cereal, May 18, 2016.

  1. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    I've searched and found some threads on long distance flying, but it didn't answer all of my basic questions, so let me ask them here:

    Premises:
    1. I'm trying to bring up the confidence to fly as far as possible on one, unmoded battery using these passive range boosters.

      I'm not trying to beat anybody's distance records, I don't care about that. I just want to be able to fly as far as I can in some conditions without the annoying out of range / signal loss errors when I'm filming.

    2. I flew the first flight yesterday without the range boosters. I flew straight out from a beach over water @ about 100m up, all the way out for about 10 minutes until the power dropped to the "H" (for turn around and go Home) on the DJI Go app's power bar. Then I turned around and came home to find that when I landed, I still had a ~50% charged battery. So lesson learned: headwind on the way out, tailwind on the way home.

    3. The second trip out, I figured with my lesson in the above Premise #2, I would fly past the "H" (for turn around and go Home) on the DJI Go app's power bar. But I got a message from the Go app saying it was going to RTH in 8 seconds or so because it detected I was past the point of Return Home according to its calculations. I chickened out, not having asked the below questions yet, and came back.
    Questions:
    1. Do you guys turn the RTF @ half-way point off (if that's possible) in the app pre-flight, or just cancel it when it happens and keep going?

    2. Either way, how do you figure out the return point? If I measure the speed on the way out and also the speed on the way back with one battery first, is there a formula to detect what would be a good, SAFE return point?

      I suppose I should point out that in the Premise flights, it was headwinds out, tailwinds on return, but it could be the other way around, so it would be nice to have a formula for that too, if one doesn't work for both.
    I'm happy to experiment to figure some things out, but for this purpose, mistakes mean that the bird could drop into sea water before it makes it back to land.

    Thanks, Chris
     
  2. 1. I rarely have enough range to do this. I have a phantom 4 and i usually use litchi, and try to calculate the time i have and distance i can go with the wind and battery. When I dont do that, I can go out around 1-1.5 miles and then I come back not because the battery is low, but because I am starting to get out of range. I would suggest cancelling RTH if you are worried about getting back, and fly back as fast as you can without RTH. RTH goes slower than you can make it go, so usually you should only use that when you dont know where you are or where it is, or if you lose signal.

    2. You can go out a bit and start RTH, and see the speed that it comes back. you can then calculate how much time it will take to get back with the distance it is away. for example, if it is 1 mile away and it comes back at 20 MPH, it will take 3 minutes to get back. Then give it an extra 1-3 minutes depending on your RTH height.
     
  3. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    Thanks PF123.

    I never needed RTH as I have a green line on the map to follow back and still have video feed so can fly back FPV. So I did cancel the RTH when I returned.

    I just need to get a better feel for how far I can go out before having to return, based on the winds.

    Chris
     
  4. Oso

    Oso

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    Chris, experiment with the "Smart Go Home" option in the app. When enabled, it will auto initiate RTH when it detects you've reached the point where you need to turn around in order to make it back home before the battery dies. I use an older version of the app. In mine, the option is in advanced settings. I'm not sure if the new app even has the option anymore, but if it does it is probably still in advanced settings.

    I always have mine enabled, but disabling it may give you what you were asking about. Be careful either way sir. Cheers!
     
    #4 Oso, May 19, 2016
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
    FrequentFlyer likes this.
  5. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    Thanks OSO.

    No offense intended, but if I do find it, I'll be sure to turn it off since it doesn't consider wind speed as a factor.

    Chris
     
  6. shockwave199

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    It's still in there. Please report back if you find disabling it stops the feature from kicking in automatically. Thanks.
     
  7. Oso

    Oso

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    @Not A Speck Of Cereal - Chris, did you have any luck?
     
  8. Digdat0

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    I cancel that Rth reminder as most times it's not correct, due to wind as you said. I get it a lot at 70-80% when flying under load. But it is also a nice reminder that at some point ya gotta return, so I do leave it on.

    Suppsibly atti mode also sucks battery more than gps mode.

    I think most people just go slowly, or learn the hard way. I tried to get to 25k out on stock battery and back .. Forgot about wind and only made it back halfway had to emergency land. I now know the max distance incan fly in those conditions is 44k feet, max, or 15 mins so I watch flight time compared to that now. So I'll play a little more with getting 20k out, then 21k and slowly creep up. And when I do, probably not gonna do over water again.
     
  9. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    I haven't been back yet to test the distance in the same place, which is at a beach with a very large body of water in front of me where I can first spend a battery or two testing the wind conditions, then try my hand with the signal extenders to see if I can break the previous records I've made (just over 7,000m).

    I'll let you know how that goes, when I find the time and a non-rainy day.

    I have, however, put the signal extenders to good use in a more practical situation. Just 2 days ago, I was flying along the city waterfront and after going ~2km, I was losing video feed really bad. The next flight, I added the signal extenders to the antenna and flew again to find that I could complete the shoot without the annoying video drops and flickers.

    So they work very well! It's true what they say about orientation though: keep those puppies pointed the right direction because turning to the sides means that the craft can lose the signals altogether.

    Chris
     
  10. Digdat0

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    i bought the same ones .. I'm super pleased. From my house, i could get 2-3k feet away, with these i can easily hit 7-10k.
     
  11. FrequentFlyer

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    Yes. Turn that SMART RTH off so you can control when to bring her back home.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  12. ROD PAINTER

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    Just bought the same windsurfer. Flew 12000ft with no loss of signal. Best $20 I spent


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  13. flyNfrank

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    If you have signal loss or the RTH box appears, and based on the remaining battery supply, do not take those signs as being time to turn around. You can continue on if you increase the A/C's altitude. The higher you climb, the further the A/C will travel.

    Personally I like using RTH for the trip back to home point. While in RTH you are able to Yaw the A/C in any direction allowing you to record video or take pic's while on cruise control so to speak.
     
  14. Oso

    Oso

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    Be careful with terms. Though they sound similar, RTH is not the same as SMART GO HOME.
    I did not suggest he disable RTH. I don't think you can disable RTH in advance with an app setting.

    SMART GO HOME (Smart Return-to-Home in newer app versions) allows your Phantom to detect it has reached a point where it needs to start returning home so that it can make it back home before reaching a critical battery level. It initiates a RTH and the GO app will give you 10 seconds to cancel the RTH before it begins.

    SMART GO HOME
    does not account for wind, so the calculations are not always accurate when calculating a safe return to home. It is not unusual for pilots trying for distance runs to disable SMART GO HOME in the app so that they can go as far as possible and/or decide for themselves when they want the Phantom to return.

    The pilot needs to decide to enable or disable this option for each circumstance. We saw an example recently where a pilot had SMART GO HOME enabled, moved to a location different than home point (>65' away), and when the battery reached a point that it needed to RTH, the Phantom initiated a RTH right into a tree. A good example of why its so important to understand the different expected behaviors of the Phantom and know how to avoid them or react to them if they happen.

    By disabling SMART GO HOME, the Phantom would not concern itself with calculating and accounting for a return flight and it should simply initiate a landing at its current location if it reaches a critical battery level during your flight.
     
    #14 Oso, May 29, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
  15. flyNfrank

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    Seems like the Hardcore distance pilots like to switch to A-mode and fly full throttle on the return flight.
     
  16. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    Interesting. Is there an advantage? Because just this morning I read (forget where) someone claiming that A-mode takes power power than P-mode (which is counterintuitive).
     
  17. flyNfrank

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    I don't know their reasoning for it. I have seen several vid's showing the use of stock smart batteries being flown down to a few percent remaining power..
     
  18. flyNfrank

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    Full throttle in A-mode will use more power. However, headwinds eat the most power resources. But if you are flying into gusty headwinds and not sustained, then being able to get through the heavier winds sooner produces less fight and struggle altogether.
     
    #18 flyNfrank, May 30, 2016
    Last edited: May 30, 2016