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Powerline advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ericdes, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. ericdes

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    Hi,

    Waiting for my Phantom. One of the initial procedures will be to align the compass before first flight. The question is quite simple. How far away is it safe to do this from a powerline or a stell house roof?

    I have about 100 feet in front of my house to the line. Is it safe to calibrate from that distance?

    Second question is while in flight how close can I safely fly near that line? It will during flight be between the bird and myself, any concerns?

    Last, I have a steel roof on the house. Any issues?

    As always, thanks for the great help!!
     
  2. Ozzyguy

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    You shouldn't have any problems. As I mentioned in another post I frequently fly under the lines at the front of my house. With about three metres clearance. Don't ask me what that is in feet(I use that strange and bizarre system called metric that the rest of the entire planet uses:)
     
  3. ericdes

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    Thanks, but I use metric too!

    Good to know advice. I also have a cell tower about 1.5 km away (1 mile). Wonder if that will cause issues.

    It's strange that after all this time no one has got to the bottom of what is causing flyaways.
    Most recent info is that it may be because of the NAZA freezing and rebooting, explaining why some get control back in time and some don't.

    Anyways, that cell tower got me thinking.

    Eric
     
  4. amrflyingdude

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    That cell tower is far for it to create any hazard. I fly about 2000ft from one and never had a problem, I fly away from it and never towards the twee that is.
     
  5. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    Can't locate it now but there is a video of a guy flying right up to and in front of assorted antenna's & microwave dishes with no ill effect. Not sure how it was done... I would of figured the interference would of cause issues. He was flying right up to it. If I locate the vid I'll post the link.
     
  6. Channel One

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    That should not give you a problem

    I wuould recommend staying at least 10-20 feet from powerlines, not so much because of an electrical hazard but because of wind gusts and the fact that in a meet between your Phantom and a power line the power line will win.

    Yes no GPS inside. ;-)

    Wayne
     
  7. Channel One

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    It all depends on what is up there.

    Where was the video posted?

    Wayne
     
  8. flyshasta

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  9. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    Thats it! Just found it in my history. What do you all think? Maybe they are not in use at the time of filming? I wouldn't want to get caught doing that filming... especially since they have been investigation power line/station damage/vandalism in the western states.
     
  10. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    The only problem with that video is those cellular antennas are antiques and most likely decommissioned. If you fly next to a 2.5GHz Sprint LTE tower, you''ll probably run into some control issues. 2.4GHz repeaters can be legally set up to pump out up to 60 watts of power. That said, plenty of drones are used (or were in the US) to inspect power lines and cellular towers.
     
  11. Channel One

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    Thanks for posting that, this is something (interference and Phantoms) I am quite interested in learning as much as i can about.

    Wayne
     
  12. Channel One

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    A lot of panel antennas look like that and are still in service, none the less it could very well be decommissioned.

    The maximum "legal" power for 2.4 gHz is 4 watts EIRP, but Clearwire/Sprint use licensed frequencies in the 2.5 gHz band and are not restricted as such.

    As deployed the ERP of the Clearwire/Sprint is more like 2.5 GHz at 100+ watts in urban areas and considerably higher in rual areas, that stated I have flown right up to this antenna running 250 Watts ERP without loss of control with a stock Phantom. Now I was being buffeted by some strong crosswinds due to an approching storm but suffered no loss of control.

    FWIW In the video the 2.5 gHz antennas are the round white parabolics.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfXyabxkEBQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DgqXXopbZg

    Converesly this pilot got nailed by the same type of Clearwire/Sprint system but in a rual area and did lose control until he dropped out of the main lobe of the signal.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ludLt7GYcE

    Now as for 2.4 gHz to 2.4 Ghz interference the antenna in this test was running a EIRP of 12.3 watts on 2.4 gHz dual polarity and yet I could almost kiss the antenna with the Phantom with no loss of control as such I have to give the Phantom two thumbs up when it comes to handling RF interference.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mauE1z3CR8Y

    Wayne














    That said, plenty of drones are used (or were in the US) to inspect power lines and cellular towers.[/quote]
     
  13. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    http://revision3.com/hak5/how-to-build-a-wifi-link

    Ubiquiti Rocket. I have one and the same!


    Anyway, good tests. Glad to see that there were no issues. However, a couple of tests doesn't mean it isn't possible. As I am sure you know more than I do about about how stronger RF signals can stomp on adjacent weaker ones. So in theory, there is still an elevated risk too close to other sources of RF.

    EDIT: in the video of quad that lost control by the cell site in the rural area, it looks like his RF got overpowered mostly because the rural cell sites are high power output compared to their urban cousins. Easy way for people to tell is they are higher up and typically nowhere near any built-up area.
     
  14. Channel One

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    That should have read 14 watts and that would be omni. Oops.

    Thats why I pointed that out in my post, in an urban area the ERP is commonly lowered to allow for frequency reuse, whereas out in a rual area the power is many time cranked up sometimes way up and when he took a boreshot of that link, his receiver was totally blinded until he dropped out of it.

    And that is a good way to ruin a day.

    Wayne
     
  15. Jermz

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    How about the big power line towers? Not talking about the regular power line poles, but the big metal towers you can be near and hear buzz. I've got dome near our property. What is the safe distance? I'd hate to not be able to fly at home, but I don't want it causing me issues either. I'm talking both for compass calibration and flight.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. Jermz

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    Yeah, they didn't give me an issue at all, actually we flew under them with no problem.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. gfinney49@gmail.com

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    Wow what a laugh...guys and their drones pushing them to any limit the imagination can create.
    https://vimeo.com/85120973 Looks like a dog chasing a car!
     
  18. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    High-voltage power lines will output an EMI field at certain angles. This won't likely influence your radio link but can throw the compass off. Not all equipment is the same so your mileage will vary, i.e. there could be none at one site and a lot at another. Faulty or out of alignment equipment is specifically known to produce larger amounts of EMI depending on mode of failure / issue.

    The EMI field will attenuate quickly which means proximity is everything. At 100ft, it is typical to see a -20dBi or bigger drop at in the field at the center frequency which puts it far below the range of potential influence magnetically or otherwise. Bottom line: just don't go in for a close up of it like some here and you'll be fine!