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Phantom 2 flew away today

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dmiles, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. dmiles

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    Have a Phantom 2 that I bought new on eBay about a month ago. It had the older version motors and esc's. Had a zenmuse 3D, and my trusty GoPro Hero3 that I have had many times to depths of 100 feet or more in the ocean. I had added a video transmitter when I got it, and had a receiver and monitor attached to my DJI transmitter.

    Got home early from work so I took it out in my yard and went for a quick flight before dinner. I calibrated the compass as I always do, and had 12 GPS satellites. It had the older style compass, and all firmware updates. I have a iOSD mini giving me the video overlay, which is how I know how many satellites I had locked. All systems go.

    I took off, got to about 60 meters, and had flown east about 50 meters, as I had done several times before, and never had an issue. I was bringing it back, when all of a sudden I had no control over the phantom. Immediately I tired to bring it back, and also tried to bring it down, but it would not respond. At this time it was heading pretty much due south, at what I would call a high rate of speed. I had not yet switched to naza mode, I still consider myself a new pilot having only about 20 flights or so under my belt. So I knew my only options were pretty much failsafe, or shut off the transmitter. (I recall setting the right hand switch to failsafe in the software when it was switched all the way down). I continued to try to bring it back, running down the street, until it was obvious I had no control, so I shut the transmitter off, running down the street, until I lost sight of it.

    I had not yet put my name on it as I have barely flown it out of my yard. I live in a rural area with no power lines, cell towers, etc. Not interested in bashing DJI or anyone else, just posting this for informational purposes I guess. If I did something wrong, I would really like to know what it might have been, in 20 flights I never had a hiccup. I am just sick about it, probably the worst thing of all was watching my 7 year old special needs son cry his eyes out. I don't really want to sell out everything I have left, but don't want to risk this ever happening again either.

    Pretty much all there is to say, it all happened in the span of a few minutes, so I didn't really have a chance to check the readings on the video overlay like I wish I would have. I knew pretty quickly that I had lost control, but I really don't think there was much else I could have done. And also, no real wind to speak of, just a beautiful day. If anyone has any questions, or feels they can help in any way feel free to reply. I think I'm going to have to have a pretty good idea of what I did wrong, that might be correctable, before I consider re-investing. Thanks.
     
  2. folepi

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    I've heard so many stories about fly-aways right after a compass calibration. I stopped doing it unless I have a bad crash. If you calibrate every time you stand a chance of getting a bad calibration. The magnetic variation on earth actually doesn't vary that much in a local area. It might change if you travel many miles away. There is a lot of controversy on this issue, but I'm staying with the "not unless you have to" crowd. A bad calibration will almost surely end up with a flyaway and you won't know it until it happens.
     
    IflyinWY likes this.
  3. IflyinWY

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    Sorry to hear this dmiles.
    Git ur butt out there and walk the grounds looking for it before a tractor or cow smashes it.

    You say it's a P2. Can you be more specific? They have different quirks.
     
  4. jason

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    It's a P2 NV v2 as it was purchased a month ago. o_O You sleeping at the keyboard again?? :rolleyes:
     
  5. IflyinWY

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    Aww crap, I guess so.
    G'nite
     
  6. Iain_P3

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    Just a thought, but where was the last time you flew it before it ran away. Maybe it did not in a home position before it took off, and then decided it was outside the "geofence" and once it fixed its position, decided to head back toward where it last thought "home" was. Might be worth searching around the previous "home" if it was close enough to make it.

    Might be completely wrong with this though, given I have only been flying for a few months with a P2V+3
     
  7. FedeVision

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    #7 FedeVision, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  8. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    I've heard stories of people getting into car accidents right after filling up with gas. Does that mean we should avoid putting gas in our cars? Without a link between cause and effect, it's all just wild guessing.

    If you follow these three simple rules, you will never have any issues with your compass: 1. Follow the recommendations for when to calibrate your compass. 2. Follow the recommendations for how to calibrate your compass. 3. Don't expose your compass to localized magnetic fields.

    The OP's flyaway could be the result of several things. We would need a lot more data before we can determine likely causes.

    This is a red herring. The video on Youtube that tries to explain this theory couldn't be more wrong. Old home locations are wiped out as soon as the power is removed. On startup, the home lat, lon, alt are all empty. You can take off without the home location set and when the requisite number of satellites is reached the home location will be set in the air.
     
    #8 ianwood, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  9. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    A bad calibration might make your Phantom have difficulty flying a straight course - but it won't make it zap off at high speed unexpectedly part way through a flight.
    Not sure what is the cause of this incident but compass calibration isn't on the list of suspects.
     
  10. maxwell smart

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    I use to do compass cal every time I fly. But not any more.
    However when I first take off i will bring the phantom up to about 6 feet hi, right in front of me. If there is no wind and it hovers pity stay-bull then it it good to go. But if I have a hover where it is wandering around and acks like it is looking for something , then I will land it and do a compass dance. Now I never do the compass dance just once, I all ways do 2 times or 3. I have experimented on this a lot. What I have done is do the dance once , pop the bird up in the air about 5 or 6 feet and you will see it is a little bit more stay-bull, then it was. But do the dance one more time and it will be solid. This is all done at the same place at the same time and no wind.
    JMTC.
     
  11. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Sounds like this is unrelated to the compass or your calibration.
    GPS and compass get blamed for a lot of things they have nothing to do with.
     
  12. djphantom2015

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    You really don't have much choice if not trying to find it now. How much battery did you have? How does your landscape look like? Try to search the last home point you had, like suggested in a previous post by someone else. Move along the straight line you saw it going (google earth could be of good help). It probably kept the height and maybe crashed into a hill or tree.
    I hope you will find it.
    Next time you take off you should always check if your home point is really working. Just send the drone 60 feet away, turn it somewhat and put it in home lock and have it return. When it's near the home lock it will change directions, the you now it's recorded. Happened also to me, but when I did this check the drone was flying in another direction which was not even the previous homelock point.
     
  13. 750r

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    I guess your saying verse 2 not 2.0 ? Older esc's and motors , compass .
    i thought you have to be in naza mode to set RTH ?
    If that's the case he hit the switch and really was in ATTI .
     
  14. landmannnn

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    There used to be a trick carried out by gypsies in this country. They would sell you a dog which they trained to find its way home. So as soon as you let this dog out it ran away back to where it came from.
    Maybe the previous owner had programmed it to come home?

    Seriously, what you perhaps should have done..
    Buy a tracker
    Enable Naza and set the S1 bottom position to manual
    Check HL every flight
    Shut down CSC as a last resort.
     
  15. johan

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    Out of curiosity, during your experimenting did you ever try doing the dance once, hover to 6 feet and see that its a little unstable, land and just let the unit sit for the same amount of time it would have taken you to do the dance again?

    I would be willing to bet that the reason your second flight it more stable has more to do with the unit being powered up longer than it does with doing the dance a second time. When your display shows that you have a lock on 10 satellites it means just that. It means that the GPS has identified and locked on to the signals coming from 10 separate satellites. Being able to then derive a position fix from the signals is a different process and often takes time to dial in.

    If you want to see this in action, take a hand held GPS out into a field and power it up. If it has the ability, bring up a screen that shows both the satellite lock status and your coordinates. You'll see that once you get a lock on 4 or 5 satellites, the GPS will know your position coordinates. But if you watch the coordinate numbers, they will change over time. And often what you'll find the is the numbers you get after the unit has been sitting for 10 minutes are different than the numbers you got when the unit first locked on a position. They typically won't be far off, say 20' or so, but they'll be off.

    I suspect this is exactly what's happening with your double compass dance trick . It has nothing to do with the fact that you're doing the dance twice. Instead it has everything to do with the GPS having a more accurate lock 6 or 7 minutes after it acquires 10 satellites than it does 2 minutes after acquiring satellites.

    FWIW, I've noticed that when I fly in my back yard, I will power up (no compass dance) let it acquire and then take off into a hover and it will drift around quite a bit. I then fly it around the yard for 10 minutes or so and fly back to my takeoff spot and hover and its like its parked in the sky now, no wandering at all. Having a lock on 10 satellites does not automatically and instantly get you a tight position fix. A tight position fix takes time.
     
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  16. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    This is correct. GPS accuracy improves over time even if the number of satellites stays the same. This is especially true for hovering.
     
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  17. Milly

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    I thought the dance was so the quad would know were it took off from?
     
  18. maxwell smart

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    It my be the time it toke to do the dance twice. But I allways wait for the GPS lock. I may be over doing it but if it works for me then I am not going to change .
     
  19. Marlin009

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    Negative.
     
  20. dmiles

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    Just got home from work, and want to thank everyone for all the responses. I think I need to explain a little more about this particular P2. As I said, I bought it brand new on eBay. The guy claimed he got it as a Christmas gift, but never got around to starting it up, and finally decided to put it on eBay a month ago. Now, of course, I'm looking for red flags here, but his feedback looked solid, and he answered all my emails, and sounded legit. So I put a bid in that I didn't think would win, but it did.

    So, I get it home and see it is the V2, no wheel on the transmitter, and the TX takes AAA batteries, etc. I connect to the software, and sure enough, battery is at 0 discharge cycles, and most of the firmware needed updates, which I did. I'm just explaining this so everyone has a good idea of the vintage of this P2. It came with the zenmuse still in the box. I put it all together, and added a new video transmitter, and a brand new iOSD, and of course my GoPro. All these things were added and tested before my first flight about a month ago. Since then, probably about 20 flights, never a sign of a problem.

    Now we FF to yesterday. One thing I don't think I mentioned was the first flight I had, I lost video after a short time. Had video overlay, but no video. So I landed, and sure enough, the GoPro had shut off. Now, this GoPro is a few years old, and I've had the usual struggles with the battery. Also, I did do the modification where you can get rid of the usb plug, and use the connector on the back of the GoPro. After I did that, the phantom no longer charged the GoPro battery. I turned the GoPro back on. I still had 2 bars, so I set it to record, and took off again. Just in case anyone is wondering, wifi has always been shut off in the menus in this GoPro.

    I should add that I have only flown out of my yard, so this P2 has only ever had one home point. Also, even though I have put the P2 in Naza mode with the software, I have always changed it back. And I'm certain that you can set the right hand switch to failsafe in phantom mode, and that is how I had it set. So I take off again, check that I have video, and make the short fight down pretty much the same path as the first flight, and that is when the thing took off. The last point that I'm sure I still had control I was hovering, made a turn with the yaw, and started heading south. Even though I'm inexperienced with the phantom, I have built and flown other RC aircraft over the years. I could tell right away when I had lost it. First thing I tried to do was bring it down, and hope to regain control, but no joy. I'm certain that once I lost it, it was gone for good.

    We have a thing called next door or something like that here with several neighborhoods on it. I posted a message on there last night, and we are going out now to take another look. Thanks again everyone.