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Pylons - How close is too close?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by chessman, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. chessman

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    Hypothetical question and I apologise if it has been covered before, but regarding electricity pylons (the full size type not the small residential ones), how close is too close? Before anyone starts jumping to conclusions that I plan to play slalom with the city grid supply please hear me out.
    The danger I refer to is to my bird from electromagnetic interference, I'm not planning to fly under or between pylons, but maybe within 100m to the side...
    I definitely don't want to get close enough to be a danger but don't know of any issues which could arise from interference. One flight path I want to take brings me within 100m I reckon.

    Ideas?
     
  2. STeely78

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    I used the follow function on litchi and I drove alongside some pylons. My altitude was around 70 metres and im. guessing the pylons were around 25 - 30 metres high and I had no problems with interference. That being said, the bird go hung up a couple of times losing connection to the to, so this may have been due to interference
     
  3. Oso

    Oso

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    I don't know if there is a rule of thumb for all, but for me I just don't calibrate near them and watch for any unusual behavior so I can switch to ATTI mode. I've gotten much closer than 100m. I'd guess I've flown maybe 10-15 meters away without any issues. As always, your mileage may vary.
     
    #3 Oso, Mar 4, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  4. chessman

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    Reassuring, many thanks
     
  5. Wolfiesden

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    Rofl, I had never heard power poles called pylons. I thought this post was going to be about pylon racing!
     
  6. chessman

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    I thought everyone knew them as pylons? Lol
     

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  7. Wolfiesden

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    From your post, that is what I recognized you meant. Not the subject though.

    Instinctively when you talked about flying around pylons, this was my mental image..
    [​IMG]

    The large white and red cones....not the power lines in the background.

    When I saw the title that mental image popped in and I was picturing drone racing around pylons. Never seen a drone race but I presumed these are what they might use, obviously scaled down.
     
    dmagnus likes this.
  8. sonof40

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    Maybe try hand carrying your drone while reading the sensors on the app.
     
  9. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    When you hit them. That's when you are too close. Everything else is fine.
     
  10. Wolfiesden

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    Racing pylons, yes very true. That, unfortunately, may not be the case in the circumstance of high tension lines the OP was referring to. They radiate a tremendous field of EM around them for quite a distance. Thats why the towers are so tall so that the EM doesn't affect people and things on or near the ground.

    I suspect, but am not willing to risk a P3 to test, that if you get too close to the high tension lines that there WILL be critical failures in the drone caused by induced voltages on wires and circuit board traces as well as circuit damaging static electricity buildup on many surfaces in the drone. Once those static charges build up the ESD could easily toast critical components on all the boards.

    My suggestion is look at the height of the towers. Stay away horizontally and vertically by at least that amount. Any closer and you are risking a system failure that likely will bring your bird to earth in a most ungraceful fashion.
     
  11. AirSpace2016

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    I would be interested in this also. I have flown some flights near and over them by mistake as sometimes they creep up on you. I have not noticed any effect whatsoever tbh. I was probably a good 30m away. some people live underneath them which are lower distances so there is much talk about their effect. If you look at research about how much EM they do give off its not as much as people quote... scientific studies have shown unless your 10m within the cable range its hardly anything. Different studies all seem to say different things

    Overhead power lines | EMFs.info
     
  12. Wolfiesden

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    Well, their effect is fact. My uncle had a farm out in Texas. His property bordered a high tension line on one side. He build a barn there on the property line and put a copper coil up in the roof trusses. He got enough free power from it to run a well pump to water his fields for over a decade until the power company came and put in taller towers which reduced the power in his coil to only a few amps. Enough to run a few light bulbs but not much else. This was back in the 70's.

    What I would be worried about are inductive voltage generation in the wiring, traces on boards and possibly windings in motors. Agan, not willing to risk my P3 to confirm or deny. You game to test it with your bird?
     
  13. Noodle

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    Haha, I never call those as pylons or even power poles.
    They are more like high-voltage towers that I personally would stay at least 10 meters away.
     
  14. ChristopherGlenn

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    Stay as far away as the wire are off the ground. There is magnetic interference from the wires due to the current they carry. The last thing you want to do is mess up the compass mid flight. At the 2-3 meter range you will likely have a dead bird.
     
  15. Neary Aerial

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    My house is about 100 meters from some high voltage power lines. I fly here all the time. I normally fly from my house toward the opposite direction, but I have been as close as ~50 meters. No interference. Just keep your distance. Definitely don't fly over, under, between, or too close and you should be fine. As far as how close is too close, I don't know. But, 50 meters did not cause any problems for me.
     
  16. Rasit

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    I would stay at least 15m away. Power companies are already using drones to inspect high tension lines and towers without problems. They get a lot closer than that but know exactly what they are doing.
     
  17. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    You mean like these?

    [​IMG]

    When you fly between two rows of 350,000V lines, the drone might get a little playful as result of EM radiation. Anything smaller is not an issue.
     
  18. chessman

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    Yeah that's the kiddies.
    I don't plan to get any closer than 50m.
    I have experience of the effects they can cause from my background of metal detecting. Naturally the routes these power lines take is normally open fields, the open fields which are the home of the metal detectorist.
    If you inadvertently strayed close to one, even a small one, they would play havoc with the sensors basically sounding like you was swinging a geiger counter instead lol.
     
  19. alokbhargava

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    It may be a coincidence I flew close to a power lines in city during cloudy day when humidity was high, I noticed some kind of electric discharge on power lines ( corona type), my P3 drifted away all of a sudden but I was able to bring it back.

    Lesson learned: never fly close to power lines during humid days.