Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

P3P controller range limits

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by SDODD, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. SDODD

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    13
    I have a P3P. I have been doing pretty well with DJI Pro and Autopilot 3 (which is awsum). But I have been flying waypoint loops of as much as a couple of miles around. As I am in the center with the controller I have full telemetry and control.

    My question here is simple but I bet the answer isn't. If I choose a route that takes the craft beyond telemetry and RC limits, will the craft continue to execute the flight plan until it reaches some further point. For instance I imagine following a famous salmon river with hundreds of small boats on it for as far as 7 miles. In Autopilot one engages the program after liftoff at say twenty feet and it executes the plan. Would the craft also continue that plan. If it went beyond range then settle down and land at the end waypoint. This so I could launch and drive there to wait for it.
     
  2. ScatSpeak

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    MO, USA
    I know that with Litchi flight app, you can run a predefined GS waypoint mission and it will fly it even if RC comm is lost (which is awesome!)

    I don't think that Autopilot downloads their waypoint mission to the P3 so if you lose RC comm, it may trigger RTH.
     
  3. alokbhargava

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    5,151
    Likes Received:
    1,665
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I suggest let P3 remain as an item for fun only within limits. Instances like Flying too far and executing missions and dropping payloads in areas even beyond signal range is alerting FAA and other agencies to impose immediate restrictions before situation goes beyond control.

    We all understand the risks involved if the technology goes into hands of bad elements. Who will be the sufferers? We, no one else.

    Let's limit the limits. Let's enjoy what we have today and make it safer to fly.
     
  4. SDODD

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    13
    Come on man that is not the question. The question is about the technology. I'm an engineer. Did I say I was dropping a payload? I'm taking pictures. Isn't that a mission.

    I live and travel in remote areas from Oregon to Alaska including other countries and go to sea all the time. Loss of RC or telemetry is possible anywhere.

    Does the craft continue on an Autopilot mission or plan, if the word, frightens you beyond controller range. Is it uploaded complete or in portions.

    Nor am I a bad element. Maybe you just don't know what you are talking about. Let someone who know the answer tell us what it is.
     
    Apilot101 likes this.
  5. SDODD

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    13
    Maybe we could move over to a Ham radio system and get away from this cheap RC stuff.
     
    Yeager74 likes this.
  6. stuartbp

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2015
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    16
    I know that the litche app will execute a mission without RC contact. I have never tried the Autopilot.
     
  7. Dirty Bird

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Glen Burnie, MD - USA
    Litchi will continue the mission. Autopilot will not. I believe I saw a setting in Litchi to disengage the mission & initiate an immediate RTH should battery reach failsafe level.

     
  8. SDODD

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    13
    Well, that is helpful. So at least we know there is some open architecture memory for storage of flight plans on board which is used for some of these after market systems. I soon realized that the units DJI have been shipping to the states have deliberately attenuated software.

    When I investigate commercial licensing it became quickly obvious the FAA is simultaneously trying to coral off the toy market from their real customers in aircraft use. The commercial situation isn't much different that their rules for all sorts of other craft. If one provides a rational understanding of what thy are doing and how their craft is to be used in time, manner and place you will get a permit.

    I quickly came to Autopilot as a solution offshore here over the Pacific off Oregon. It seems to have been flawless to me so far. The most recent version 3 last week has a very elaborate waypoint system. I have some routes of a mile or more with 24 waypoints and their Patrol mode allows auto reiteration of that route back and forth.

    Somehow it seems clear this is only the beginning of capacity.
     
  9. Air Ontario

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2016
    Messages:
    1,271
    Likes Received:
    493
    Location:
    U.S./ Canada
    So Autopilot stores the waypoints in the program and then transmits them rather than store them in the bird where the GPS resides?
     
  10. Dirty Bird

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Glen Burnie, MD - USA
    I don't know if Autopilot sends the program to the P3 or simply sends the RC commands on your behalf? There is an explanation on their site about why they opted for RTH if the connection between the aircraft & controller is lost. Autopilot is Apple-only & I use Android so I only know what I have read.

     
  11. SDODD

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    13
    I use Autopilot and I don't know. The terminology seems hopeful. One lifts off to about 5 meters and "engages" the control. The craft follows the plan and if you"disengage" or throw the switch stops and hovers.

    But I am not sure if the plan is uploaded and no longer requires the controller source.

    Obviously the photography chip has some storage. But I don't think it uses that so I assume it is using hardware storage for operations. Likewise I imagine it uses hardware memory for compass calibration and home point locations as well.
     
  12. SDODD

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    13
    You know I'm going to back up a bit and display a bit of my thinking on this subject of drone use. My best method is by example. I have a lot of fun. However, nothing I do is just for fun.

    I am a director on a rural fire board. We have huge fires possible. We also manage search and rescue on a range of sand dunes with a boarder of 46 miles.

    But let's take the first example. We see a fire starting up a slope. We don't know if it has penetrated the other side due to wind. We cannot send people there in anything less than eight hours. They would be in serious danger as well. We cannot send manned fixed wing or rotary wing craft in. The fire updrafts are tremendous.

    So with hope in our hearts we launch a drone, fully understanding it may be a suicide mission, to send views of the hidden area.

    This would certainly be granted by the FAA under their commercial rules. What I want to know is can the craft do the mission?
     
  13. impilot51

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2015
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    147
    Autopilot sends commands from the RC as they have written their own control program. It does not download the mission to the aircraft. If you lose connection, an RTH will be executed. This is outlined on their website I the waypoint section of their flight school.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  14. SDODD

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    13
    Thanks for reading the manual. It is difficult one is never sure on an iPhone what it is saying.
     
  15. Yeager74

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2016
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Hong Kong, China (for now)
    I am about to send Auto Logic an email with regards to the failsafe (lost RC Signal) function and expectation, while using the Autopilot iOS app. with the Phantom 3 Pro. The Autopilot Flight School (in the absence of a manual) states, (in my plain language) that in the event of an RC signal failure, the plane will discontinue the programmed waypoint mission and execute the RTH function as programmed via the DJI GO application (altitude etc.).
    NOW here is the bad news for you. I've been pushing the P3P range flying in populated (noisy) Hong Kong, with the Autopilot app., and consequently experience some RC signal failures, leading to an extended time period before I regained RC signal contact with the plane. So, today, I carried out a range of test flights (switching off the RC power) and to cut it short - The plane did NOT execute the RTH function, as described by Auto Logic (the developer of the Autopilot app.), with lost RC Signal. What happened was, that the plane entered a stationary hover over the position where the RC signal was lost and remained there, NOT executing the RTH! This is really, really bad. I carried out the test 3 times, with same result. Only when I switched the RC power back on, and regained a RC Signal, was I able to manually send a RTH command, which was then successfully executed.

    I will be conducting further test flights very soon. Consequently, right now I've lost all trust in the Autopilot application - big time - and will not be using the Autopilot application until this serious fault has been corrected by Auto Logic.

    Best regards,
    C.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
    #15 Yeager74, Jan 23, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  16. autoflightlogic

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    135
    That is correct, as discussed here.

    The RTH settings in GO are saved on the aircraft itself. If the RC completely loses connection it will RTH as dictated by the firmware. By definition, Autopilot has no control over this as there isn't even a connection to the aircraft. In the case you mention, it is possible that the RC had not completely lost connection, but rather the telemetry was just delayed. If this happened, Autopilot automatically brings the aircraft to a hover and displays an appropriate warning message on the flight dashboard.
     
  17. rulppa

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Kepler 186f
    Blaablaa blaa faafaafaa FAA. Getting sick, every thread goes to that route sooner or later. Maybe set up own FAA section and keep it there.
     
  18. Yeager74

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2016
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Hong Kong, China (for now)
    Hi autoflightlogic,

    Thanks for your reply.

    As stated in my original post, I manually switched off the RC power, and left it off for a minimum of 20+ seconds, so it's safe to say, that the RC signal was completely lost (as well as telemetry connection). No RTH was executed.
    While initially testing the lost RC signal in the DJI GO app, the plane executed the failsafe command and RTH path after the 3 second delay, as per DJI manual. So, the failsafe function of the plane is operational, just not while running the Autopilot application. While afterwards studying the flight logs in HealthyDrones.com, I've noticed that the "home point" seems to be updated (to the location where the RC signal was lost) automatically on some of the flights. I don't know if this could be a contributing factor to the plane not returning to the home location.
     
  19. Yeager74

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2016
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Hong Kong, China (for now)
    That is what the waypoint section says, yes, and theoretically that may be correct, however in practice I'm discovering that this may not be the case. I'd proceed with caution relying on this, or at least do a test flight in a secure environment to be assured of the RTH function in Autopilot.
     
  20. autoflightlogic

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    135
    Sorry missed that bit. We have done this exact thing and the RTH did execute, but we will test it again tomorrow.