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Phantom 2.15km range test

Discussion in 'Photos and Video' started by martcerv, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. martcerv

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    Here is my latest range test using my new Futaba 8FGS radio and DJI AVL58 video link.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdmxtTJh374[/youtube]

    The flight was all in atti mode as I am still learning the radio and not tempted to push manual mode to these limits yet. I hit the max distance at 1:30 then just do some hole flyover practice again. :mrgreen:

    I planned to do 1.5km but turned a fraction early making it only 1.45km radio was fine all the way my earlier tests I ran out a little earlier due to poor antenna placement on the tx and rx. Video link was clear but got a little noisy as I turned back and the phantom + gopro shields the vtx cloverleaf antenna.

    As you can see its not the best location for max range as there are high tension powerlines near by and as I go further over the gold course I end up with an entire estate in my LOS. However on all my range test flights I have flown over the course not the estate but it ends up in the LOS as I need to avoid the powerlines down the other side.

    Here is a pic of the flight and my furthest point on this flight, the course itself is only 1.3km away from me at the furthest point but trying to get there from my location is not possible due to big trees and houses getting in my LOS where I have lost the video and radio link pretty quickly at between 1 and 1.3km on other test flights.

    [​IMG]

    You can see the line showing where I was and how close that is to the house and some big trees near my launch site if I head much more to the right from here the signal is lost. So I walked out a little to the left to avoid that on this flight.

    Here is a pic of my setup.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. martcerv

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    Re: Phantom 1.8km range test

    The winds finally died down a little so I did another quick range test this time to 1800m.

    [​IMG]

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPk41yX-Zx8[/youtube]

    A bit windy and there is a bit of a LOS black hole as I turn towards the farside of the course and you can see a couple radio glitches after I turned back towards this part. I think with direct LOS this setup should quite easily get beyond 2km but I still dont have the confidence to push too far in manual mode. It has just been so darn windy in Melbourne lately that I havent had much chance to fly.
     
  3. GearLoose

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    Re: Phantom 1.8km range test

    Martcerv goes where angels fear to tread! :)

    I'm curious: does your quad carry a GPS locator?
     
  4. marcus_canada

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    Re: Phantom 1.8km range test

    Why are you in Manual mode at these ranges?
     
  5. martcerv

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    Re: Phantom 1.8km range test

    No GPS locator will be adding DJI OSD this week to make it a bit safer regarding battery and locating home on the screen. I do have my name and phone number inside the battery door just in case but I only fly as far as I get a good video link in places I know if going longer range.

    I got a call from the golf club one day when someone found a GoPro camera assuming it may have been one of mine as someone handed it in. It wasnt but its good to know they will call me first if they ever find anything out there. ;)

    I prefer to fly in manual mode for the better control it gives but first need to find my setups limits first or at least not fly in a way that there is no chance of recovery if I get a video or control glitch. Each mode has it uses but I prefer to fly manual as I don't need to fight the naza to do anything it is the smoothest and most natural mode of flying but the lack of altitude hold makes it quite a bit riskier at low levels if the radio glitches and you dont have time to recover. Thats why I like to push and find the limits so then I know what is a safe level to fly at and also what to do if for some reason radio or video link is lost.

    Much better to practice the worst case scenario when your expecting it then letting it catch you by surprise.

    I have modified my FPV antenna in a way that hopefully deals with the reduced signal when flying back towards me especially at these sorts of limits.
     
  6. PJA

    PJA

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  7. martcerv

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    Re: Phantom 1.8km range test

    Batteries I use are storm 2700mah 30c or turnigy nano tech 2200 35-70c. The batteries are in the normal battery compartment but its a bit of an art form to get them and the cables in. The 2700's are pretty mich the largest possible battery you can fit and shut the regular door. I also have a velcro strap over the battery door just to make sure it doesnt pop open but it closes as normal and locks with the latch. The 2700s I use for longer range flights to be safe.

    Those props look to be the same as mine, I do like them and they are good heavy lifters. One other guy tried them and found them worse then his 9 inch carbons but others have had similar results to me. Well worth a try as they are pretty cheap so not much lost even if youbdont like them but on my setup they are easily my favourites still.
     
  8. PJA

    PJA

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  9. martcerv

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    Re: Phantom 1.8km range test

    Thats the batteries, I changed the plugs over to xt60 as I didnt want to use a coverter. They are pretty solid but are a very tight fit and its possible if the cables are coming out a little different you may not be able to close the door. I have 2 and one is a much tighter fit then the other but they are also a bit lighter then whats written in specs mine both being just under 200g.
     
  10. martcerv

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    Re: Phantom 1.8km range test

    I just realized I made a pretty stupid mistake when I made this flight :oops: Earlier I broke one of my 9050 GWS props in an even stupider mistake. I had 3 CCW and 1 CW prop which meant it just took off and flipped breaking the one prop, I then followed this up with an almost as stupid mistake by using an 8040 GWS triblade to replace the broken prop. I must have had over 200 flights and never once put a prop on the incorrect rotation then followed up with 2 very silly errors. I was testing out a few different props to compare flight times in a hover before making that error so made quite a few prop changes in consecutive flights.

    I thought it was flying a little odd in GPS mode when I switched to it for landing and then went back to ATTI mode as it was drifting too much on me. Also my battery ran out a bit quicker then I expected and I just noticed this as I went to check the props balance for some flights tomorrow.

    The funny thing is that with the one odd prop it was flying towards the smaller prop in GPS mode but I flew in ATTI mode and it was a little windy so I would have assumed it was just the wind I was fighting. It was quite a bit slower then normal going out too but again I put that down to winds being stronger then they were on the ground.

    I guess I was lucky I didnt need to rely on RTH or the GPS to bring back the phantom as with one different prop it may not have been able to fly it back properly. I really need to be more careful with props now as I have so many and doing prop changes between flights its quite possible to make such a screw up as I did twice in a row. :oops:
     
  11. martcerv

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    Re: Phantom 1.8km range test

    My last range test at this location as I am out if safe flying area already. 2.15km video link was great but radio link had some glitches on the way back. My rx antennas are on the same rear leg the stock antenna was and this has the same issue my vtx antenna was having at the back. Turning back for home and pitching forward the signal would have to go through the camera and most of the body so at longer range beyond 1.3km it seems this can reduce range enough to get some control glitches.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahu_QauUu0c[/youtube]

    I have pretty much avoided this with video by putting the vtx antenna as low as possible and forward so it is below the camera and far enough forward that pitching forward the camera doesnt block the signal at all.

    The current tx antenna isnt too bad as its pretty safe inside 1.5km but somehow getting this infront woukd be a better option. But its also good to keep maximum seperation between the vtx and rx antennas so I may just keep it as is.