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Newbie Fear

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by edonovanl, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. edonovanl

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    I've been flying a P2V+V3 for about 3 weeks now, almost every day, and have 40+ battery flights. I have this fear of letting my bird get too far away or too high. I stay within a 100 ft radius and just practice maneuvers and control. I fly in Naza mode and practice with CL, HL, RTH, and almost always in ATTI.

    However, Every time the P2 gets a little far away it makes me very nervous and I immediately bring it back. I have a phone/reward sticker and a Drone-Mods tracker, yet I'm still hesitant to get too far away. So yesterday I started practicing control using the radar in hopes it will boost my confidence.

    I read about may of you flyers who routinely go 1000 to 2000 feet away and seemingly have no fear. So, I know it's ridiculous, and I blame it on all the flyaway hype and posts and how much I really like my drone and fear losing it, but I can't be the only one who has gone through this...so now I'm thinking about a stage 1 antenna upgrade....
     
  2. QYV

    QYV

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    I was a little nervous like you describe back when I was new, but I used the Assistant software to enable "go home" manually via the S1 toggle so I could manually test the GoHome feature. Once I became confident that GoHome worked properly, I lost all my fear of long range flying. As long as you fly smart like, don't let obstacles get between Phantom and Home Point .. knowing your Phantom has a good flight line home then you can be a lot less nervous about flying farther away even if you lose touch with the craft you know it'll just come back to you. test it first short range, then longer.. sometimes if I know I'm going to make a really long distance flight I'll test GoHome at short range quickly right when I take off to confirm it's got a good home point then zoom! off I go.

    don't forget you can toggle S1 (the right RC switch) while it's in GoHome and get control back.. assuming the RC and craft are communicating.
     
  3. edonovanl

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    Great advice QYV - I make sure the HL and CL work every time I start a flight, but honestly, RTH makes me nervous too. I tried it yesterday and it seems like it just sat at 200 feet forever, or maybe if descended so slowly I got impatient and switched back to ATTI. Is it supposed to take so long, or is it just my perspective. Think I'll switch RTH height to about 60 feet since that's adequate for where I practice.
     
  4. sdtrojan

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    It takes a few seconds to recognize that it needs to execute RTH, that's by design.

    When I first got my P2, I was a little like you because it is an expensive investment. But if your compass is calibrated and you have GPS lock and home position was locked prior to takeoff, you should be fine. Fly it 200 meters away at about 150' AGL and go into "fail safe" mode. Be patient and let the software do the rest. You will be surprised at the ability this thing has to not only RTH but to land itself. That should boost your confidence.

    I flew a couple weeks ago in a fog in Georgia, over a lake, and once I lost it I just went into failsafe mode. A minute later I could hear it coming back and once I saw it I took control back.

    These things are cool!
     
  5. edonovanl

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    I experienced RTH on my second day of flights when I didn't pay attention to the battery charge level....I'm having a ball and all of a sudden it just takes off up to 200 feet and seems to sit there for ever! I was totally freaked out! Finally I noticed it was descending, and finally right into my loving arms!!! That was some experience - now I'm ready for it.

    Also, I'm seriously considering a Stage 2 antenna setup to give me more confidence - plus it looks like it will be fun to do!
     
  6. SilverStone641

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    I'm with you OP. Still a noob here myself and my first experience flying it was (foolishly) in my back yard. I'm pretty sure i was trying a half-full battery because it went into what I later learned was RTH. At the time, that feeling of loss as I see my shiny new toy soar away into the skies was enough to nearly ruin my interest in Phantoms completely. I just put it away for a while, read everything I could get my hands on (manual included, multiple times) added a tracker, FPV, iOSD and now I'm much more confident. Worst case, if my main Phantom hardware fails, my tracking tech and FPV will help me find it.

    All in all, i'm learning from the veterans here that it just comes down to confidence and experience. As long as you perform the proper pre-flights you're in good shape!
     
  7. QYV

    QYV

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    I've still never bothered with CL and HL. in my opinion they're only useful for getting certain types of camera shots, like locking an axis and still moving.
    I am in Naza mode (so that ATTI is enabled) but I haven't enabled IOC (HL / CL).

    Do you use ATTI for some particular reason? the only difference between GPS and ATTI is that in ATTI the Phantom doesn't try to hold it's GPS position, so it'll drift with the wind or if you're moving laterally and release the sticks, it'll keep it's momentum instead of snapping to a stop. ATTI also enables 10 degrees more lateral tilt so you can get some extra speed.
    I generally stay in GPS mode unless I want to move faster for some reason.

    anyway GoHome is GoHome it doesn't really have anything to do with GPS or ATTI flight modes per se. I'm assuming you wait for home-lock (rapid green flashes) before taking off... when you take off, the Phantom registers those coordinates as "home" so that wherever it is, if it goes into GoHome by say you going so far away that the RC loses signal, or you toggle S1 into the GoHome position (remember this is not enabled by default, you must enable it in assistant software) it will then come back to that point.
    I use GoHome all the time as a lazy man's "come back to me" autopilot but I never let gohome actually land... I flip back to manual control. actually I never "land" anyway I always catch but that's another story.

    The range of your RC stock should be quite a good distance, almost 1km or more. I think the first time I ever tested manual GoHome I was about 50m away and sure enough it came right back overhead. then I tried 100m, then 200m and around then I decided "yep this thing works fine" and decided I trust it. I say go ahead and try yourself at short enough range that if for some crazy reason it heads in the wrong direction (it won't) you can just flip the switch back to normal control.
    GoHome actually saved me once when I got disoriented via FPV 1000m from myself and flew off in the wrong direction, lost FPV signal and was like fuckit , clicked into GoHome and a minute later ZOOM right back overhead.... thank goodness it was higher than the building I'd flown behind!

    It does tend to sit at it's altitude for a few seconds before it really decides "yep I'm at home point and ready to descend" before it sloooowly starts descending. they really decreased the auto-land speed because way back in the day (firmware 1-2) they were coming down fast and bouncing, tipping over whatever so they long ago made the descent speed really low to avoid that.
    but like I said, just resume manual control and land/catch it yourself.
     
  8. ccase39

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    Anything that goes up is going to eventually come down. You can stay within 100 feet and limit the fun you have with it or you can let it loose and enjoy it the way its meant to be enjoyed. I was the same way until I realized that I bought it wanting to get the most out of it and I might as well do so. If it crashes well at least I was getting the most out of it.

    If you are scared of distance I suggest you try Ground Station to get your feet wet. It is really the safest way to fly, especially longer distances. Once you set your waypoints and send the bird in motion it will continue along the flight path no matter what. You can even lose video and it will continue and come right home. Its pretty fail safe as long as you know your area and are high enough to clear obsticals. I have sent mine out 4200 feet and it came right back. My video feed was out for a solid 4 minutes and it was out of sight for longer than that before it came back online. It had gone to every waypoint just like it was supposed to. Im not suggesting you do this, but staying within the 1500 ft limits of the DJI Vision app Ground Station is totally safe and FUN.

    In spite of what some people think Naza mode is a lot safer than Phantom Mode. Enable Naza and set your Home Lock to position 3 on your S2 switch. Before every flight send your bird out a couple of hundred feet out and test Home Lock to ensure it is working properly. This way if you ever do lose orientation or sight of your bird you can switch to home lock and pull back on the stick and it will come straight to you, no matter which way it is facing. As long as you dont set one of the positions to manual mode it is pretty much idiot proof. My S1 is set to GPS, Atti, Atti, and S2 is set to off, course lock, home lock.

    Go out and have fun. Thats what it is made for. If you are going to lose it you are almost just as likely to lose it at 100 feet than you are 1000, especially if its a fly away.
     
  9. edonovanl

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    CYV, I fly most of the time in ATTI so I am in complete control if I lose GPS - plus, I think it is more fun to try to maintain hover. When I film I'll switch to GPS, but when I ever lose GPS, I'll know how to maneuver. Actually, I've a second used P2v+v2 that I use to practice in manual - man is it hard!

    ccase39, your words make a lot of sense, I have to admit. I'm not the afraid type, but maybe just a tad too cautious so I'm taking my time and learning to control in a variety of conditions. For instance, I'll send the Phantom out across the field and stop it, do a random yaw and practice going in any direction given that orientation. Maybe overkill, but I also enjoy that kind of practice, especially in some good wind.

    I never thought about the ground station approach but I like it! I'll give that a try. Your comments about enjoying the Phantom for what it was meant to do, I like that. But what will set me free is the fact that a flyaway, like you say, can happen at 100 feet or 1000 feet!
     
  10. Ross

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    Understandable concerns that are shared by most of us early on. My tip is to use the reassurance that ground station provides. A check of the map just before you take off ensures the quad agrees with what you want HOME to be, and while you fly if you're unsure as to how to fly it back it gives good support on orientation and progress direction.
    Mske sure you set an adequately high rth altitude. 50m will clesr most trees and houses.

    Most of all enjoy it. No point having it if you don't fly it!
     
  11. ccase39

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    Since you mentioned practice, I think it is a great idea and good investment to buy a less expensive "toy" quad to learn how to fly manual. I suggest the Sigma or Hubsan x4. I have had both and I was very happy and surprised with the Hubsan. For around 50 bucks it cannot be beat. It is small, but heavy enough to fly outdoors in moderate wind. In fact I think it handles wind better than the Sigma. It is powerful and agile as hell. It is also the toughest sonofabitch I have ever flown. I dropped it from 60 feet onto pavement twice, hit a car full speed, a dumpster full speed several times, and even submerged it in a ditch. It was underwater completely for 60 seconds or so. I pulled it out shook it off and it flew just like the day I pulled it out of the box.
     
  12. SteveMann

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    Except that the GPS has nothing to do with altitude. And if you are in the GPS mode and lose satellites, then you are in ATTI mode automatically.
     
  13. gingerbloke

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    HL is great just for checking that you actually have your homepoint set correctly.

    OP - as another poster has said, get a little quad for practice at home - I have a little Q4 in my office and fly it several times a day before I bought my Phantom, it really will help and should easily pay for itself.

    A
     
  14. QYV

    QYV

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    indeed. or just use the S1 / GoHome toggle to more accurately simulate what will happen if the Phantom loses touch with the RC due to range or some other reason ;)

    whatever works best for each individual pilot really
     
  15. edonovanl

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    I practiced with a Syma X5 for a few weeks before I took my P2V+V3 out. The Syma is also very tough - I've bounced it around, climbed trees to rescue it, but my standard recovery technique is when it gets out of control or near something I just cut power, go get it and keep flying. ccase39, I never tried the moving car, dumpster, or ditch approach so you've got me there! That's pretty funny though, and I can totally relate!

    I always fly in ATTI when I practice so I have to constantly compensate for wind and elevation - I just think it's good practice. HL every time before I take off. I also practice with the radar so I can fly back in the right direction when orientation is difficult to determine.

    Now I have a used P2V+V2 without a camera/gimbal to practice flying in manual with...I've got 9450's on it and without that extra weight, this thing is like a race car! Fast, responsive, and terribly fun to fly! I'm also looking forward to doing some mods on it: GPS shielding, FPLVR stage 2 antenna upgrade, and whatever else I can come up with...**** but this is the coolest hobby I've ever had!