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Phantom out of control

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by clarker11, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. clarker11

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    Hey guys,

    Had a scary incident with my phantom yesterday while flying.
    I've been flying my phantom problem free for about a month now and all of a sudden yesterday my drone starts going awol.

    Flying in atti with no problems at all then after about 8 min, I fly it towards myself and the controls stop working and it flies full speed over me while loosing altitude quick. I frantically try to re-gain control only to have it fly full speed the opposite direction away from me where it then thankfully crashes full speed into a tree. If I were flying any higher and that tree wasn't there, my drone would have just taken off and who knows what/who it could have hit.

    Any ideas as to why this would have happened? I went through all the calibrations before flying and had only yellow flashing lights (atti mode)

    After powering the phantom back up after the crash I got the solid yellow, red flashes.

    Plugged it into the computer and re-calibrated everything and it seems okay now but I am scared that this could happen again...

    Any ideas? I'm thinking it had some interference?
     
  2. mediaguru

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    Location:
    Utah
    Where were you flying? Anything around which could have caused interference? Power lines? Cell towers? Homes?
     
  3. clarker11

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    I was flying it in a neighborhood. No visible power lines nearby or cell towers, although there are cell towers everywhere these days so I am sure there was one not too far away. I just find it odd that it flew fine for 8 min, then went out of control.
     
  4. The Editor

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    Any video of it (did you have a camera onboard at the time?)

    What version of Phantom is it? - does it have the upgraded TX/RX with diversity?
    What firmware version?
    Stock or aftermarket TX?
     
  5. clarker11

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    Unfortunately no video of the flight.

    It is an original phantom running the latest firmware.
    Stock transceiver
    Upgraded circuit board for h3-2d gimbal.
     
  6. havasuphoto

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    Location:
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    Why didn't you switch immediately to GPS and center both sticks? Did you think of hitting your fail-safe switch?
    Any chance you flipped the course or home lock switch?
    IF you have firmware 4.02, and the dual antenna set-up, interference/fly-away's are pretty rare-I've not heard of one since.

    How may flights/hours do you have flying the Phantom??

    I'm still new, but have about 80 flights(none lasting 8 minutes-my Phantom is a pig with FPV, iOSD, and Zenmouse/GP3-so my flights last 5 minutes, or less).
     
  7. clarker11

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    To be honest it happened so fast that I didn't even think to throw it in GPS. I thought ATTI was much more reliable as far as control. Perhaps gps mode may have righted the craft but it was traveling so fast that within two seconds it was in the tree.
    Course and home lock have not been enabled so no chance of that.
    What is the dual antenna setup and fail safe switch?

    I have about 10 hrs flight time on it. I was flying it naked without gimbal or fpv.
     
  8. havasuphoto

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    Location:
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    Fail safe is enabled in the Naza-M software. You have GPS/ATTI/Fail Safe...or ATTI or Manual. There should be one switch that when flipped enables fail safe.
    I have my Phantom going full speed-14+m/sec, flipped to GPS, let go, and it stabilized and stopped within a few seconds.
    Attitude flying should be "reserved" for when you gain more experience, or have experience with other R/C aircraft.

    I would also enable IOC(course lock/home lock). Perhaps you got disoriented, and thought you were bringing the aircraft back, when in fact you were pushing it in the opposite direction-quickly.

    Also-flying low(below 10 meters), is not a good idea for awhile. The ground is hard!!! And there are tree's.
    I can't say what caused you to have your "issue". But, with firmware 4.02, that has prevented a lot of the problems people were having in the past. Sounds to me like you lost orientation, maybe only briefly-and the aircraft hit the tree.

    The Phantom, in Atti mode is very fast/agile. But, it's also very easy to get over-confident, lose orientation, or even just get hit by a gust of wind, and if you're below 10 meters, there's little time to regain orientation and control before you hit the ground.
    GPS mode is your "fall back" mode. Once the right stick is released-the aircraft comes to a hover......practice again, but this time, once you're flying straight and level at speed in Atti mode, switch to GPS, and center the sticks, and see what happens.

    Avoid the temptation to fly too low or too high. Also, avoid trying to go too fast in Atti mode. Stuff happens quick....so you need a "plan".
    Try to analyze exactly what you were doing, and what direction the nose was pointed before the crash. Then, go back and fly, in GPS mode....and practice more.
    Dual Antenna's are only on version 1.1.1, or, like mine, I have the Futaba T8J Remote and Transmitter-which has dual antenna's.
    Read about Fail Safe in your owner's manual. You should have it enabled, and it should be checked to "return home, and land".
    There are actually 2 fail safe's-1 is when the 1st level battery low level is reached(fly home, and land), and the 2nd is triggered either by turning off the remote, or flipping the GPS/ATTI mode switch into "fail safe", if you have that option enabled.

    In Fail Safe-the aircraft will maintain the altitude it's at, if above 60 feet, and if not, climb to 60 feet, fly back to the Home Point(assuming you got the rapidly flashing green light that recorded your home point), then descend to 15 feet, and wait for you to either take control and land, or land itself.
     
  9. EMCSQUAR

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    Location:
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    To havasuphoto - he's got an original Phantom w/ single antenna (PPM style) From the sounds of his initial post, it sounds like RF interference. I've had similar when testing things in backyard - realize every house within 50 yards has WiFi

    We get the same type of reactions from wireless microphones (I'm an audio engineer)
     
  10. havasuphoto

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    Could be. I've flown mine in my Office, with my computer and Wi-Fi running, in GPS mode(got 6 satellites!!), never had that problem.
    It's possible. But, IF the Phantom doesn't receive a signal for 10 seconds, it enters Fail Safe. That's with the new firmware. There's also a 3 second limit for movement of controls, or something like that...it's in the Firmware notes.