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Range Anxiety - What's your comfort range?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by jimerb, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. jimerb

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    I'm wondering what an experienced flyer considers a "safe" range to fly with the phantom 3 in a suburb area? (Single and two level houses)

    I've had my Phantom pro for 3 days now and I have about 15 flights under my belt.

    Admittedly I'm still a wimp with it because I don't want to lose it our crash it and I'm not 100% comfortable with its abilities.

    It would help me to understand what is in your mind when your flying when it comes to range.

    Do you ever have situations where your signal goes from 4 bars to nothing and you can't get it back?

    Just not sure what to expect.

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Wacker2611

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    Furthest I've gone is 2km, can't think why anyone would want/ need to go further. Unless they're range flying junkies that is.
     
  3. bbfpv

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    Yes, when flying in my neighborhood this happens sometimes (behind trees, etc). However, I don't worry too much because I know that my RTH height is set correctly for the area. Biggest problem is people not realizing how tall stuff really is and once that RTH kicks in and clearly not LOS, perhaps you didn't realize there was a 90ft oak tree in that guy's back yard. Just think before you fly and it'll be easier on the nerves. And trust in the bird... these P3's are so far ahead of the P2's I rarely worry about it not coming home if I go out too far. have fun!
     
  4. alokbhargava

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    First of all, I don't recommend to fly in populated areas. Any thing can happen and you should think of the safety of others first. Go to an open area and fly as far as you can see your bird.
     
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  5. jdoe

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    So, this is something I've been playing around with in my mind for quite some time. I've come to realize I'm horrible at estimating heights when using the Phantom. It's kind of crazy, I've got a flight license, and use to fly a lot - and whenever I was less than about 2,500 ft I was nervous as hell because I felt like I was so low to the ground. Now with the Phantom, when it's at 390ft, I feel like it soooo high up.

    Anywhoo, my question is, is there any disadvantage in setting the RTH height to something like 350ft, and just leaving it there (with very few exceptions, that's going to be higher than any obstacle within tens or even hundreds miles of here). My thinking is that the only disadvantage of this would be that it would mean I hit the critical battery warning sooner (as it would take more battery power to fly back at that height). Yet, it would prevent me from maybe forgetting to adjust it on some flight. Is there anything that I'm missing?
     
  6. B- Scene Films

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    Disadvantage to 350 is the it has to both climb to that altitude as well as descend and that eats battery/time. I have mine set to 350 generally :)
     
  7. dstephan

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    Suburb area? Fly OUT of the suburbs. 20 feet or 2000 feet.... No matter.... Just set up the RTH properly.


    ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots - DJI Phantom Forum1449003707.495547.jpg
     
  8. Chris P Duck

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  9. bighi

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    After about 180 flights on the phantom 3 advanced, not once did it fail to come home. The key is making sure it knows where home is. I don't have a comfort point. It all varies on condition when it comes to range. There are always signs that fpv is about to go when it's at the limit. And even if I lose fpv at 2 point something kilometers, maybe more, maybe less, I hit the go home button and wait for fpv again. If not, I'll come out of phantom screen, go to home screen, then back to phantom screen and it's there. At least that's how it always goes with my Nexus 7 2013. Over the sea I might even get 3 kilometers at times. I never dick around under 100 meters. More interference below and at 100 meters I haven't hit a tree, power line or any of the things the broken gimbal boys love to hit. In fact, fly it at over 80 meters and under 120 and I can just about guarantee you that you will never have a crash.
     
  10. Chris P Duck

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    Just beware of hills (or more specifically tall "stuff" on the top of hills!)

    I agree my RTH is always set at 100m (330ft) and there's very little at that height to worry about. However there's a certain area I fly where once I'm past 1km in a certain direction I'm probably more like 40m (130ft) above ground as its a slow steady uphill that way.
     
  11. Tommymonkey

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    I always fly with 397ft height when doing long range test flights less chance of crashing into anything.
    Plus I always check with uvaforecast before any flights the longest distance I done is 11,000ft out and 11,000ft back. (12mph winds)
    Plus my RTH is set at 121 metres
     
  12. Tommymonkey

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    Crazy I done 939 ft once not good so many planes here been flying very low attitude.
     
  13. shockwave199

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    Continue being cautious. I won't call you a whimp. It's the caution that will keep you making better decisions. In time, if you want to go further than choose an appropriate area to do so. Remember that you can set fencing limits in the app too, stopping you from going a certain distance and then gradually increasing that as your confidence and skills grow. But do so in areas where you have clearance to do it safely for everyone under the bird. I'm really not comfortable with anything much past 1,500 feet out no matter how good the signal is, and it's usually great at that distance. I'm usually up around 200 or so feet. Around 250 up is usually as high as I care to fly most of the time. But at those distances, the bird is just about impossible to see unless it's cloudy and once you take your eye off of it you won't find it again and you'll be relying on that video feed in the app. Weigh the risks and be realistic about your skills. If you don't feel completely comfortable, err on the side of caution. You'll be glad you did and it's the more responsible thing to do too. And it certainly doesn't make you a whimp.
     
  14. Mario_SB

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    You mentioned you were a former pilot so it intrigues me as to why you would be lazy about setting your RTH settings accordingly. Aren't you used to checklists and flights plans prior to every flight? Same should apply when flying the Phantom don't you think?
     
  15. jdoe

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    Yep, and I've continued to use a checklist /w complete preflight checks even flying the Phantom. It wasn't so much I was worried about me being lazy (that was just a small bit at the end I thought many people could relate to), but more about me sucking at estimating the heights of trees and such (what the first paragraph is largely talking about).
     
  16. Mario_SB

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    I get it. Sorry I wasn't trying to be rude or anything.
     
  17. jdoe

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    No worries, I didn't take it as such.
     
  18. olof Ekbergh

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    To me as long as I can see the P3P and keep orientation that is my limit. And I never fly above 400' AGL. I will change my AGL max if I plan to fly from a low spot to a higher one. But none the less visibility is the key.

    With my eyes on a clear day I can fly about 1400' away from where I am standing this is combined altitude and distance. As visibility and contrast (overcast haze etc) decrease so does my flight envelope. Some days it may be 200' and I feel it is not safe others the full 1400'.

    So 500m is a crazy altitude to fly something as small as a P3P, and I would say it is a very good limit DJI is putting on the Phantoms, very responsible, because beyond 1500' you really can't see the P3P with bare eyes. And if you look down and then look back up it is almost impossible to relocate the tiny MR.

    Most of my filming is done within 300' and even less most of the time. It is really the only way to control a MR exactly.

    If I am filming by myself I like the auto waypoint and POI programs (I have 3 of them) because you can program the flight and even the camera moves, then fly the mission but never look down at the iPad, just keep your eyes on the MR, ready to abort at any time if some thing is not right or something changes, then I just cancel and fly back.

    After a successful solo video flight land and review the footage, if it is not good reprogram the flight. This is the only way to fly video mission solo safely IMHO.

    However most of the time I have at least 1 other person always keeping visual contact with the MR so I can look down and check framing. But most of the time I have 2 or more assistants one watching a video feed on another monitor, and one just keeping an eye on the MR. Then I can spend more time on manually framing my shots.

    I have a couple more big MRs but these days I love flying the P3P it can produce wonderful videos and is easy for one person to run. My bigger MRs have 2 TXs one for the camera and one for the MR, and usually 2 operators, though I often fly even them just by myself with the second TX on a stand next to me, but always with an assistant for visual contact with the MR and the surroundings.
     
  19. AlexSP

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    I'm only 100% cool when it's tucked in the backpack, without the battery and sleeping safe :p

    Now serious, even after yrs of RC/hobby and lots of hours in many kinds of ACs and 130+ on the P3 alone I still get a cool in the stomach every time I take off. I take it as a good thing because it means I'm still having a buzz, and keeps me tight on my toes, being cautious even when daring a bit here and there. I've done 3km+ a couple of times but in areas I'm very comfortable. I do pre-and-post flight check on every item and never take anything for granted, and I prefer to err on the safe side instead of being macho when in doubt.
     
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  20. olof Ekbergh

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    There are old pilots and there are bold pilots. But there are no old bold pilots.
     
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