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New P3A - lot of frustration, Finally relief

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by band318, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. band318

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    Got my first ever drone - a Phantom3 Advanced 2days ago..

    Came with FW1.3.2. Upgraded the aircraft to v.1.4.1, RC still v.1.3.2. For the moment did not go with the later versions of FW as they hold hostage with little possibility to downstep.. Will upgrade to higher versions as time passes, and I understand the compromises and fixes better..

    Yesterday it was raining all day. So just tried to get everything setup indoors.. but was psyched out when the drone could not get a lock on more than 3 satellites.. and, ofcourse, long warmup times were adding to the anxiety.. Read through past posts in the forum and did the cold IMU calibration and gimbal calibration which solved the warmup times.. Thank heavens and everyone present here for this forum..

    The GPS issues persisted.. took it out into the balcony with a good view to the sky, but still not able to get a lock on more than 5-6 satellites.. the possibility of a faulty GPS module and thinking about the process of replacement as I waited for the never ending drizzle to stop was very frustrating..

    I had taken off from work the whole of next week to fly the P3A.. all the excitement of waiting & planning for the Phantom seemed to be totally rained upon..

    today weather cleared and even a bit of sunshine.. Took the P3A into an open patch for my first flight in Beginner mode - normal IMU warmup and immediately locked on to 18 satellites. Huge relief.. Flew it around a bit until battery ran down till 50%.. It was awesome.. The colors in the video look good..

    Blooper Test1 - Did not remove the protective film on the lens (still colors in video look good)
    Issues Test1 - Weak RC Signal issue at start-up with only 3 bars. Did a run of "Link RC to Aircraft" which took 60seconds, but solved the problem. A quick restart of RC also solves the problem quicker than running the 60second "Link RC to Aircraft".

    Checked the forum for fixes to "Weak RC signal" issues as I charged the battery to take the P3A for a second test flight.. Noted a fix from a P3 pilot that starting the RC after starting the aircraft solved the problem to try in the second test flight.

    5mins into the second test flight got bored of the beginner mode. So removed it and went farther in altitude as well as distance.. Went over some trees & poles with sufficient clearance. Got over the shaking hands and beginners jitters. Tested the RTH - drone just dashes to the homepoint and brakes suddenly. I think in future, should plan to minimize the unnecessary use of RTH. The sudden braking on reaching homepoint can stress the bird a lot than normal flight..

    Issues Test2: Starting the P3A before the RC did not prevent the "Weak RC Signal" issue at start-up. Took off with Weak RC Signal and as the aircraft hovered the issue disappeared on its own showing full signal strength with all bars.
    Bloopers Test2: Did not calibrate compass before flight. But, No issues during test. Location was 2Km away from previous location where compass was calibrated earlier.. Got away with it.. Noted to never repeat this in future..

    Drone was hand caught while landing at the end of both test flights...

    Was an awesome experience overall..

    Edit:
    iPhone 5 was used for both flights.. a very very minor lag in video feed was observed, but it was almost imperceptible (I was literally looking for it because the phone was not recommended).. The response to all changes from the phone was without any lag or issues.. I just tried it only because I was in a totally open field, and was not planning to fly anything beyond very simple turns.. I know, almost everyone will disapprove the use of this phone because it is not recommended - I just could not decide quickly enough on a ipad Mini4 or ipad Air2.
    I am leaning towards ipad Mini4 but the wife prefers ipad Air2 - as usual, the wife should win in a day or two !!
     
    #1 band318, Mar 26, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
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  2. Buzz Lightyear

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    Nice report, I've only flew my P3A once in the back garden for 10 minutes cant wait to give her a proper test flight out in the open...The ipad mini 4 works great on mine i think the air is a bit big....
     
  3. MrMcfly

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    Your P3 can handling the braking from RTH. It won't damage the UAV. That being said, you can adjust the braking in the Go App to be less abrupt.
    I think mine is at 40%, so it slowly comes to a stop.

    The GPS very well may not work indoors, as the satellite needs to be in line of sight (unobstructed) in order for the P3 to lock on to it.
    Inside the house flying isn't recommended... unless you duct tape down all the little bits first, and use prop guards.

    My Start up:
    Turn on Android (plugged into R/C) Switch to Airplane Mode
    Turn on Remote Controller
    Android prompts to turn on Go... Tap "Use once" to turn on Go App
    Turn on Phantom 3.... WAIT... even with a COld IMU it may take time to get the "SAFE TO FLY".

    This procedure works 98% of the time... I do rarely get a No Signal... Then I turn it all off,
    restart my Android and all is well.

    Glad you got up and flying!!! Enjoy!!
     
  4. band318

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    Unless weather or some issues are preventing you, just take it out to different locations and fly it.. even if it is in beginners mode.. Just flying it in alien environments helps to release the beginners anxiety and helps get over the jitters..
     
  5. band318

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    Thanks.. Will look up the settings and change them..

    I don't plan to fly indoors, so not problem there..

    Lot of Youtube videos show P3 users getting 7 to 10 satellites locked on even indoors - so i think i had wrong expectations..
     
  6. 4wd

    4wd

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    There's no need to keep doing the compass, at least not for 2km.
    Once you have a good calibration it may not need doing again for weeks unless you move at least 50km.
    The app will tell you if here is an issue, but it's a good plan to check the sensor values manually while it is warming up - though no need to do it religiously because if things are not right it will tell you.
     
  7. 4wd

    4wd

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    You probably have that metallic coated insulation in your roof? - that blocks the satellites very effectively.
     
  8. eaglegoaltender

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    The proper procedure is to turn on the Phantom last.....after RC and Device........then turn off the Phantom first after your flight.

    I have calibrated my compass twice only..........and have flown anywhere from a couple of miles to 10 miles away from where I last calibrated without issue.

    Weak Signal...I also experienced in the beginning and found it to be specific to how the antennas were pointed.....I have mine now on about a 45' angle pointing outwards in the direction and towards of the Phantom....with the device up and out of the way of the antennas. If you fly overhead...you will also experience a "weak signal".

    Great fun - even the "jitters" with flying are great for getting the adrenalin pumping.......lol.

    Continued safe flying.............p.s. I have both the iPad Air and Mini and prefer the mini since it is less cumbersome to handle the RC with it mounted Vs the iPad Air tablet.
     
  9. band318

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    I believe my start procedure was identical, still had the issue at startup... But will try again today to see how it goes..

    The WeakSingal was only at startup really.. once i got it airborne no matter where it was, I got very good signal (went only 150m away, though).. today is the day for high altitude and longrange tests..
     
  10. band318

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    Yes.. that makes sense..
     
  11. Erroll

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    Please do some searches regarding the correct positioning of the antennae.
    The optimal position is the antennae perpendicular to the ground with the flat sides of the antennae facing the quad.

    antenna.jpg
     
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  12. eaglegoaltender

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    Well Erroll, first off thanks for posting that - I have seen that diagram before - however I have found for me the best position is as I described it and merely pointed out same - right or wrong it does work fine for me with no "weak signal" notifications.

    I will give this a try myself later today to see if I notice anything different, perhaps I should get into the habit of doing as the OEM's suggests regardless.

    As said, thank you for posting anyway. Safe flying!
     
  13. Erroll

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    Fair enough.

    However, you did also say " If you fly overhead...you will also experience a "weak signal"." Noticed in the diagram how that is dealt with? The flat part of the antennae facing the quad.

    ;)
     
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  14. Multicoptertec

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    In the Go App, there is a setting for how the copter responds to RTH. Seems like yours is set to hover, not land.
     
  15. Multicoptertec

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    As far as the antennas, they are omnidirectional, with the strongest radiation perpendicular to the antennas. Weakest signal is off the ends. The antennas in your bird are verticals also. Tilting the antennas on the RC in a V configuration reduces signal on both the receive and transmit antennas. Keep the antennas parallel for best signal. If the bird is overhead, antennas parallel to the ground is correct.
     
  16. band318

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    The Weak RC signal issues that I had are only at start-up and it seems it has nothing to do with the antenna orientation; Switching on aircraft before RC did not solve the issue for me.. A simple reset of RC solves it immediately..

    After trying that once, I made up my mind and took off even when screen was indicating Weak RC Signal.. the issue disappeared on it's own after the aircraft was airborne..
     
  17. Multicoptertec

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    When I do indoor stuff, I have 0 sats. My roof has foil backed radiant barrier insulation. A complete metal foil hat over my entire house!
     
  18. band318

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    Have no idea what the landlord did to the house roofing (I am in Germany), but I get 0 to 3 in the house.. 3 to 6 if i place it in the balcony with a good LOS to the sky..

    I don't plan to fly indoors anyway..
     
  19. eaglegoaltender

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    Yes, you are correct and I must admit I never really gave that a lot of thought or notice for that matter (yikes)........I will without doubt, work on flying with that in mind.......thanks again Erroll
     
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  20. eaglegoaltender

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    Hi Erroll - just got back in from using up a couple of batteries flying - I have to be honest here.......I noticed a huge difference with the antennae as you noted and as per the sketches.

    With the antennas flat and perpindicular to the ground I noticed I was not "over correcting" as much as to handling and bringing the Phantom back into where I wanted it going as I was in the past.

    Even overhead (which I very seldom if ever do anyway) with the antennas parallel to the ground was a noticeable difference with landings being steadier.

    I never did get any "lost signal" notifications in the past (occasional flash of that) and this time not even an occasional glitter of same.

    Thank you once again for the insight and proper location of antennas.........I guess I would say I had a mind set of the tips of the antennas as to being the most effective when pointed at the Phantom.
     
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