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Phantom 2 Vision+ Flyaway

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by tbenst, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. tbenst

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    ****EDIT****
    As this thread is getting some attention, I thought I'd compile the best tips here at the top for avoiding a flyaway & what to do when it happens.

    Before flying:
    - Write contact information on your Phantom
    - Buy a GPS tracker & attach it. $100 today could save you $1300 tomorrow!
    - Calibrate your compass whenever you fly in a new area, after an update, or after a few flights
    - Make sure you have GPS lock before taking off (only green lights should be blinking)
    - Make sure the transmitter antenna is perpendicular to the ground and the wifi extender is appropriately angled
    - Be aware that urban environments have more RF interference, and increase the likelihood of a flyaway
    - Avoid firmware 3.0 and 3.2 for now if possible
    - Put your controller in Naza mode.
    - Calibrating your IMU every once and a while might help
    This will give you a better chance of recovering from a flyaway

    On takeoff:
    - Did you see a rapidly flashing green light? This indicates that your home position was successfully marked
    - Hover for 15-30 seconds after taking off. Is your phantom flying in circles? This may indicate that your compass needs to be calibrated or nearby electromagnetic interference
    - If your phantom ever seems to behave oddly, feel less responsive, or start moving without input, LAND IMMEDIATELY.

    If your phantom starts flying away ignoring your input, try these steps, only progressing if no success:
    1. Immediately switch from GPS to Attitude (manual mode is even better) mode by putting S1 in the middle position (Naza mode)
    2. Initiate the Failsafe by putting S1 in the down position (Naza mode)
    3. Send the CSC to kill the motors. Trust me, you'd rather have a crash landing than a lost phantom.

    You should try Attitude mode before failsafe, as several people including myself have had no luck with failsafe even with a good satellite connection. If the failsafe does not work, kill the motors before your Tx goes out of range. It is unlikely you will be able to search several square miles and find your phantom when it goes in a changing direction at full throttle.



    Also, check out this post for additional tips. Finally, here's what DJI advises about avoiding flyaways.


    Thanks to jwuman, Flighttime, tizzl10 and DrJoe for contributing advice.

    ***********

    I've had my Phantom 2 Vision+ for a couple days now and this is not my first quadcopter. On my third flight today, I experienced a flyaway in GPS Attid. mode with IOC set to off. About 10 min into the flight, the phantom veered off towards the takeoff location while retaining a video connection. I was able to regain control by switching to Attid. mode and then toggling back to GPS Attid. A few minutes later, the phantom started veering back to the takeoff location again. Initially I was able to stabilize it by throttling in the opposite direction, but I was soon overpowered and it started accelerating away. I tried switching to home lock & holding back to no avail. I then moved S2 to failsafe. It did NOT return to home. Finally, I turned off the controller and watched helplessly as it kept flying until I lost vision. The picture below is a screenshot of the final view.

    I had 11 satellites and wind was 5-10mph (Interestingly, the phantom accelerated away TOWARDS the wind.) When I looked at Find my Phantom, the app had the home position as its current location. Obviously, it wasn't there.

    So why did this happen?? I have no idea. Here are a couple thoughts:
    - I updated the firmware last night, and maybe this played a role (although I had no problems until the 3rd flight of the day)
    - Maybe the GPS location reading suddenly "teleported" and the quadcopter tried to "fix" its positioning
    - There are 2.4GHz wifi networks around, although I flew here earlier with no issues & I believe the transmitter operates on 5.8GHz

    I'm really at a loss for what to do. I filed a police report so hopefully someone will turn it in so I can post footage showing what happened.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Didjelirium

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    Oh man that sucks and scares the **** outta me... >_<
    Imdid update mine when i received it before even flying, thinking it's best to be up-to-date. Then i read lots complaining about the new firmware, but mainly for no fly zone reason. Yet, a few invoke the stability issue of the system.

    I still use the basic phantom settings but was planning to switch to nazam. Seems better. Yet, there are also issues happening then...

    This bird is real fun to play but it gets so stressful with all the 'possible' dramatic events.

    I'm even scared to fly to the point where connection breaks and hope for it to come back. Since i'm in Shanghai at the moment, if it does fly away, there's a 99% chance it will not come back, will hit someone and kill my new addicition formthis hobby...

    Be strong !
     
  3. plasmo

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    I was also going to try to load up the Software Assistant to change/update my P2V+, but now i'm gonna hold off... gonna stick with the basic settings for a while after reading these stories!
     
  4. RedRyderMedia

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    I have no idea what any of those manual attempts to rescue your quad do or how or why. But, these kinds of reports scare me about flying. I guess as long as we keep buying, these things will keep happening.....:-(
     
  5. tbenst

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    To have these available, you need to be in NAZA mode. This article explains what that means and why you should do it: http://www.pattayadays.com/2014/03/naza ... -2-vision/.

    There is a minor typo in my first post: it should say I moved S1 to failsafe--when writing this I forgot that S1 is on the right, not S2 :p. In any case, both S1 and S2 were in the bottom position when I finally lost control :-(
     
  6. EMCSQUAR

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    From your description it sounds like RF interference and although yours is 5.8 they are just as succeptable to RF interference. 2.4 is the more popular frequency (or has been) but more consumer electronics especially routers are going to 5.8. Most of the high end routers these days are "dual radio" and you guessed it 5.8 is one of the dual bands.

    I hope you find it and get back to flying and enjoying it.
     
  7. jwuman

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    Sorry for your loss,,,,i have seen other similar posts for the plus......not good,,,,,i updated to version 3,,, took it out for a flight,,,,the quad started to yaw all by it self,,,,,,landed and re-calibrated,,took off,,,hovered ,,,same issue,,,,,i landed , went home and loaded the previous firmware version, problem went away,,,,not going to upgrade to 3.0 until all the bugs are worked out or when a newer version is released, i will try it....I hope you had your contact info on it..,...i have had two recoverable fly away's with the PH2V.....both ended in a crash ,,,one very hard with major damage,,,but on both, i ditched the aircraft intentionally to avoid property damage in one case,,,,but,,,,once i knew i had no control and it started to fly away.,...i cut power to the ESC's and let her drop.....I took my chances, but at least it didn't get away...there are so many variables for the potential cause in your incident, but nothing is off the table, it may be impossible to determine,,,,my fly away's (i believe) were my own flawed pre-flight calibration procedures.....at least i think.....good luck, i hope you recover soon,,,,,
     
  8. Hawkeye 1

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    I feel your pain! Last Monday my new FC-40 did the same thing.....I had all my contact info on it with decals but I never heard anything. I hope someone returns your.
     
  9. Flighttime

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    Sorry to hear about the flyaway...hope you'll recover it soon.

    I have a few observations (mostly unrelated to the flyaway) on the snapshot you posted.
    1) the gimbal looks like it wasnt working as the image looked un-stabilised. Were you on FPV mode? Not that it'll explain the flyaway but a crooked image looks odd for a P2V+
    2) the distance and altitude on your telemetry were still relatively close range to lose FPV/wifi connection. This makes me think it was RF interference if line of sight was unobstructed
    3) the repeater isn't showing the battery status in the app...it shows the battery status on mine

    I'm also at a loss at what could have caused the flyaway.
    Were your Tx antenna and wifi repeater pointing/oriented the right way and line of sight maintained?
    Did you get all green (GPS lock) before take off?
    Ive read another post where someone's GPS failed and recorded the coordinates as 0,0 (just off the coast of Africa) . Luckily he wasn't flying at that time. But seeing as find my phantom was showing the correct coordinates before the flyaway means that the GPS was working well, at least within the first few minutes of flight.
     
  10. tizzl10

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    did you re-calibrate the compass after the doing the software update?
     
  11. jwuman

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    Good luck on a speedy recovery....
     
  12. tbenst

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    Thanks for the thoughts.
    (1) FPV mode was off. You're right, the camera angle is odd and I recall watching it veer up and leftwards when it started to fly off. Might this indicate a problem with the gyroscope?
    (2) Agreed, RF seems the likely culprit
    (3) Is that the icon below sd card/gps? I remember noticing that icon was red and displayed 20% a couple minutes before the flyaway--tbh I didn't know what that meant. I fully charged the wifi extender last night and it was only on for the three flights. I also used the wifi extender for a couple hours while walking around looking for the phantom with no problem.

    Had all green before takeoff & 10 or 11 satellites the whole time. Here's a picture of my transmitter. Note that I hold the transmitter level with the ground, so the antenna was perpendicular to the ground as the manual instructs. Maybe the cellphone caused interference?

    [​IMG]

    Yes. I calibrated the compass before my first & second flights, but not immediately before flight 3.

    Also: when walking around looking for the phantom I had the idea of turning on the wifi extender and looking for the Phantom_XXXX network. I got excited when I saw it & connected, but camera was greyed out, and hitting albums just showed a spinning wait indicator. When I got home, I noticed that just turning on the wifi extender will create the Phantom_XXXX network for a few moments after about 30 secs--although I have never been able to connect my phone to the wifi extender without the Phantom on. Do you think that this indicates the phantom is within ~400m of where I was able to connect to the network? Or is this just a false alarm because I just connected to the extender not the phantom. Because if it's not a false alarm, it's possible that return to home landed on a building near the take-off point and the gps was off by ~50 feet.

    Find my Phantom, with added red dots for my location, and blue triangle for phantom location.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. gunslinger

    gunslinger Moderator
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    You're just down the street from me a few miles. This is on the Brown campus?

    -slinger
     
  14. tbenst

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    Yes it is. If you have a quad with a camera, would you be able to help me look on the roofs of a few buildings on main green? My best hope for recovering it is if the failsafe landed on a flat roof. Of course, it also may have continued to fly off but I lost vision so unfortunately not sure.
     
  15. DrJoe

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    I am absolutely tickled with my P2V+, but...
    This flyaway business has me freaked. I've probably spent 40 hours or more reading and watching everything I can to learn how to mitigate the risks of a flyaway.

    While there is no doubt some owners can blame themselves, there is very little doubt remaining that the Phantom is flawed in some way.

    I've come to some basic "flyaway" prevention solutions:
    1. It might happen anyway.
    2. Forget firmware version 3.0 & 3.2 for now. Fly 1.08.
    3. Open your Phantom and check all electrical connections. Chinese quality control/worker having a bad day is possible.
    4. Repeat #3 when ever you get a "hard" landing or bump.
    5. Can't hurt to do an Advanced Calibration every once in a while.
    6. Calibrate compass every time location is changed.
    7. RF interference is a *****. You never know what else could be jamming your signal (see #1).
    8. Check home point status, Satellite #'s, and switches BEFORE lift off.
    9. At the first sign of trouble, land immediately (half these stories start out with "I noticed something odd, but...").
    10. If it starts flying away, switch to ATTI mode. Also, enable the S1 switch to fly manual in case all else fails (if you have the chops)
    11. Blow the coin and buy a GPS tracker as insurance... so mad at myself for not pulling the trigger on this already!

    I'm going to be pissed if my bird flies away, but not flying it isn't an option either. There are so many people that have flown so many hours in so many different places without a flyaway. Hopefully, I'll remain one of the lucky ones.

    ****EDIT: Just pulled the trigger on the GPS unit thanks to SRandall25:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0089C ... UTF8&psc=1
     
  16. MikesTooLz

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    So what firmware exactly were you using when this happened?

    If it was RF interference, firmware 3.0 should have stopped the phantom after 10 seconds and told it to go home.


    not sure what this could be, you say it was going one direction but you were able to slow it down by throttling back in opposite direction?


    very strange.
     
  17. tbenst

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    I connected the phantom to the Mac application for the first time the night before, and was prompted to update & restart the phantom. I don't recall the version number but presume it was the latest and I think the vision+ shipped with 3.0. My first several flights were on stock firmware with no problems, including one flight at the same location & time of day as the flyoff with no problem.

    Yes, I was initially able to compensate for the phantom veering to its back-right by pushing forward-left on the right stick. At some point, even though I was pushing to the max, the phantom started accelerating back-right & I realized that my input was no longer registering.

    Oddly, Find my Phantom shows the takeoff location as where the phantom was last connected. Also, I was able to connect to the Phantom_XXXX wifi network when I stood where the phantom allegedly was located. Might this suggest that the phantom is near this location, or was I just connecting to the wifi extender?
     
  18. Jayson Hanes

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    The phantom's camera wifi SSID is NOT broadcasted --- only the wifi extender is broadcasted. So you cannot "find" the phantom that way..

    was your default failsafe set to "land" and not "return and land"?
     
  19. Gizmo3000

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    It saddens me to say "welcome to the club" :(
    i feel your pain and frustration, as I experienced a similar event last month when my f450 flew off with a mind of it's own, never to be seen again, even with my contact info on it. (but your Phantom landed somewhere, so hopefully someone will contact you).

    It's difficult to cope with, always second guessing what you could have done to prevented such occurrence.
    But seems that the real answer is, in the event of a true flyaway, where RC connectivity is lost, there really is nothing one can do.
    - and just try to take some comfort in knowing that you're not the only one this has happened to and it's not your fault.

    Although since my Flyaway, I've practiced switching to manual mode,(even set it up on a spring loaded switch on it's own)
    and purchased gps tracker (tagg.com), which has greatly (exponentially!) relieved my insecurities of losing another quad.
     
  20. tbenst

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    I was flying in NAZA mode after following these instructions: http://www.pattayadays.com/2014/03/naza ... -2-vision/. My understanding after consulting with the NAZA documentation is that the failsafe operates the same as in Phantom mode: it returns to home gps and lands. Please correct me if I'm mistaken.

    Gizmo3000: thanks for the condolences. I do wonder if I could have saved it by switching into Attid. But when it starts accelerating away at full throttle, you only have seconds to execute a plan of action before losing wifi & line of sight, at least in an urban environment. I chose to try home lock & then fail-safe. For others that find themselves in this situation, I would advise trying Attid instead.