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New pilot needs current checklist

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by metroplexchl, May 30, 2014.

  1. metroplexchl

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    Amigos,

    I just got my Vision + in the mail about 10 minutes ago. Very excited to open it up and get started. I noticed in a history search that someone alluded to a pre-flight checklist for an older model.

    Does anyone have a link or can respond with their pre-flight checklilst? Obviously I can make one from the manual, but I'd like to be able to tap in to your expertise whenever possible.

    Thanks, and I'll make sure to post after my first flight!

    chris
     
  2. Geoelectro

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    Since it's new it likely has recent firmware. Still, I would get it connected to your computer and run the IMU calibration. You will have to download the Assistant software and driver if Windows machine. The software will indicate new firmware if available. I, I would consider waiting on updating if it shows updates until you get more familiar with the various versions and how folks are getting along with them. (OK I'm on a P2V (not plus)

    I would download the app for your phone or monitoring device. I would power it all up indoors without props to test your video feed and listen to the motors after starting to see if it all sounds good.

    Then, I would go outside to an open area and do the compass calibration. (dance) Then, wait until you get 6 or more satellites which is displayed on your phone or device. Make sure the Phantom is pointing away from you and possible downwind if possible. That way, on takeoff if it drifts it would drift away from you. Also, left will be left and right will be right etc.

    I would take off quickly and then hover it at around 10 feet watching to see that it is stable and holding position well. You might try some quick, short banking moves to make sure it responds well. After that, you should have your homelock so just fly it around and get used to how it feels. Practice takeoffs and landings. There's much more but this is a start.

    Geo
     
  3. QYV

    QYV

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    there's no official or universally acknowledged checklist, it's more of what individuals do to feel comfortable, over and above the minimum requirements... for example some people do a compass calibration every time, others like me only do them when I am in a drastically different location (travel from NY to Boston for example), others never do it at all.

    Make sure you understand the Phantom's LED blink sequences (cheat card should have come attached to your RC in the box). When you first turn it on, the rear LEDs will be blinking yellow. A slow yellow means it isn't GPS-locked, a fast yellow indicates Failsafe (which is a return-to-home mode, if the Phantom loses contact with the RC or you can configure one of the toggle switches to do it manually).

    so, minimum standard requirements, aside from the obvious like full batteries and turning the RC on:
    when powered on the Phantom will start searching for GPS and home lock, a rapid green blinking sequence indicates it has a home point locked. This is the GPS position it will return to if Failsafe happens.

    Really at that point you're ready to take off and fly. I don't have a Vision so I'm sure there are other steps you need to take to link your smartphone for live FPV but I can't speak to those.

    protips:
    -don't take off gentle. Once you turn on the props and are ready to take off, give it full throttle until the Phantom is a few feet in the air at least. if you try to take off "gentle" it will tip over and you'll likely break a prop this is a very common question around here with newbies.
    -do NOT use the same "both sticks in and down" procedure to STOP the propellers, it'll tip over. hold the throttle (left stick by default) down for 4-5 seconds and the propellers will stop. this does not work in flight, only when it senses it has stopped descending.
    -catching is actually easier than landing. unless you land with NO lateral movement you again risk a tipover. imo there is a perfect catch at the beginning of this video. come in slightly above head height with normal orientation (Phantom facing away from you), use the lateral stick to bring it back towards you, reach out and up and grab a leg as you then hold throttle down as described above. a lanyard for the controller makes this easier.
    -in the default mode of the flight computer (Phantom mode) the 2 toggle switches at the top of the remote don't really do anything. The right switch can be set via the Phantom Assistant software to manually toggle Failsafe mode as mentioned above, but out of the box those switches don't really do anything in flight. Look up the compass calibration procedure which utilizes one of those switches, this is done on the ground though.
    -the OTHER mode of the flight computer is called Naza mode, this is a bit more complicated and advanced, but THAT mode is when ATTI (right toggle) and the CL / HL functions (left toggle) come into play. advice around here varies but my personal opinion is that for most people (casual pilots) Phantom mode with manual failsafe is totally adequate. Leave both toggles in the full up position.
    -don't descend straight down at a high rate. The air below the phantom is very "disturbed" by the propellers, yes? if you descent too quickly into that air the Phantom can lose lift and plummet from the sky. This is called a Vortex Ring State or VRS, and heavily discussed around here. If it happens, the throttle stick will (seemingly) not respond, your best bet for recovering is to slam movement on the lateral stick to move fwd/bkwd/L/R and get into "good" air. more on this below re: firmware updates but as long as you maintain lateral movement of some kind while you're descending, this shouldn't be a problem.
    -buy more props. You're going to break em. in 2 months I've gone through probably 10, but I'm a bit reckless and fly too close to trees and stuff.

    Fly smart! It's a wonderful and fun toy but it is an adult toy... consider what could happen at any moment if there is any type of failure that results in a crash (mechanical, bird strike, act of god) and what is below... simply put, highly advise not to fly directly over people/crowds. People do it all the time, many of us including me think that's irresponsible. Makes for cool videos, sure but do you want to be the first person in your country to kill someone with a Phantom? me either.

    consider the ramifications of firmware updates before you do them. for example the newer firmwares put in severe descent rate limits to help avoid VRS, curently the limit with v3 firmware is 2m/s. If you're 200m up in the air, that's over a minute and a half of just descending. Point here is, don't run your battery all the way down if you're way up in the air. I recommend the firmware updates, just be clear on what they do.
    Also, there is separate RC Assistant software for firmware update and calibration of the RC itself, make sure the RC is up to date before upgrading any Phantom firmware. Get familiar with both softwares, most importantly the Phantom Assistant. There's a lot of cool user configurable settings such as battery warning and auto-failsafe levels which imo can be decreased 5% from default... also you can configure height and distance (from home point) limits and the Phantom won't go any higher/further.

    If you haven't already, you'll probably want additional batteries, most people have 3. There's a 2 pack on Amazon.com that will save you a few bucks but for the most part there's no price breaks on batteries like you won't find them cheaper at any certain retailer.

    I'm sure there's more I haven't thought of, this is a great community populated by very knowledgeable and helpful people (and a few jerks, sure) so I'm sure you'll get more recommendations
     
  4. D_Tshudy

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    Bah. Screw the checklist. Slap in a battery and let 'er rip!

    I'M KIDDING of course!
     
  5. pylon

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    If you have major paranoia like me, tether it to one of those dog stakes that screw into the ground, with a 50 foot length of poly rope (the kind you use camping) and just hover it at 20 or 30 feet for a few minutes to make sure it doesn't try and fly back to China. I only do this with a brand new craft, and let it run the battery down to 10% about 5 feet off the ground to make sure the level indicator is accurate.
     
  6. BlackTracer

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    Don't be scared of it. It really isn't that difficult to fly. Be sure to do compass cal before flying cause the last place it was calibrated may have been in China. Wait for GPS lock before taking off. I recommend following the steps in the pilot learning manual that comes in the box. Good for familiarization training. Read the manual cover to cover. At least twice. Bring it down for a gentle landing and def use the left stick back to shut off motors not CSC. And learn to fly in an open field. Master the controls until you can fly it instinctively. Don't go out too far or too high at first. I would stay under 100ft height and distance at first. Then when u r comfortable and have mastered the controls, ring her on out!!! Fun and learning await you on every flight. Happy flying!!
     
  7. Mori55

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    You not serious are you ??
     
  8. metroplexchl

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    What is the effective range on this thing? A mile? 2 miles? more or less? Also, how high are the suggested and actual limit?

    chris
     
  9. Great Pumpkin

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    Your effective range should be Line of Sight and no more, especially if you have just begun to fly the Phantom. And you should not try flying more than 400 feet above ground level.