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return to home program

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Masterchief, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Masterchief

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    Good day folks.

    Although i am already set to buy the phantom 2 vision. I would just like to ask if there is a reliable return to home program out there that is available for the civilian market that won't cost an organ?

    There are a lot of folks talking about lost phantoms and bashing them but is there a reliable program?

    For example the quads costing $4,000 and up. Do they have a guaranteed RTH program?

    Thank you.
     
  2. macheung

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    No sure what you mean exactly...
    The phantom 2 does have a fail safe that can allow the craft to return to home in event of singal lost. It saved my craft once already. However, it is not 100% and needs a bunch of conditions to work. Good gps singal, home location properly set, sufficent battery, not too high wind, no obstacle between home and craft...
     
  3. OI Photography

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    You would have to replace the whole NAZA flight controller to do that, but it's possible. I don't know if DJI's other options (Wookong, A2) have more reliable RTH programming or not, I've had 0 problems from my NAZA or Wookong when testing RTH, but those are both costly and bulky to try to put in a Phantom. There are other options such as Arducopter controllers (like MultiWii) and KK2 that have an RTH function, but they work on the same basic principle...use GPS to record a home point, and fly back to that when triggered.

    Keep in mind that a percentage of the RTH-bashing you'll find is really due to errors and other factors (pilot or system) outside the actual RTH function itself.
     
  4. macheung

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    You dont have to add any parts, the phantom vision already have a RTH program inside as it is based on the naza fc.
     
  5. tanasit

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    As a back up, some RC flyers with expensive equipment on board add the GPS tracker just in case of the crash or lost out of sight, they can still "find" it.
     
  6. Roadkilt

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    I just had a complete flyaway due to some very large nearby (500 meters away) radio antennas that overwhelmed my transmitter. Over the ocean and out of sight too! I recorded the whole thing and put it on YouTube.

    http://youtu.be/WaV60Mrp8e0

    Anyway, spoiler alert. All I could do was shut my tx off and cross fingers and trust Return to Home. for the first time in a year of flying! I was in the back half of my battery life it eventually shows up as a dot in the sky, still over the ocean. I was afraid to turn the tx on again for fear it would get overwhelmed again by the big towers so I trusted it as it started to descend with almost no battery time left. It then went into straight fast descent with low battery lights flashing and. I hand caught it, still with tx turned off! What a save, missed the ocean by about two meters GoPro running the whole time.

    So point of story is, Return to Home works great if you initialize location first, have GPS working, and enough battery to get home. Any of those not there and a fancy RTH program off the shelf won't save your butt. Save your money and stick with the original stuff.
     
  7. tanasit

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    Lucky you.
    And as you said initialize the location is very important, so for those who fly afar may want to make a habit of setting the home point, either watching the rapid GREEN after the start up or manually set it either on the ground or while hovering nearby and make sure you see the confirmed rapid GREEN led.
    Thanks for sharing the story.
     
  8. texami

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    Choose a good "Home"

    Today I took the P2V to a local pond. I didn't want all the dead grass on the lens so I launched right behind my car on the street. I flew until the battery level dropped and the warning siren was going off in the DJI app.

    At this point, I was about 200yds from where I took off. I looked back to where I launched and noticed a black truck had parked right behind mine.(not another car in sight and this truck has to park right on my home spot!!!!!)

    I raced back to the car just as the quad was beginning to descend. The P2V would have landed on the hood of this truck, had I not flicked S1 switch until I regained control and landed it safely.

    i circled the cars in red
     

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  9. mikeydaddio

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    IMO no one is going to "guarantee" RTH even in spirit. There are too many factors involved and no matter how much it costs, you are still going to have some small percentage have a flyaway or lose one. All equipment has some failure rate so if a compass decides to go (or vibrates loose), your battery cable solder connections wiggle loose, a storm cloud blocks GPS, etc. you're still going to find people who lose them. Trouble is: would you rather spend $4000 on a craft that returns to home 99.8% of the time over a $400 craft that returns home 99.2% of the time? Kinda money wasted I think.

    For me, there are several things that are paramount to ensure reliable flight and a good home position and therefore very high chance of RTH:

    (1) Double and triple check all calibrations including compass, IMU, Tx calibration, and firmware parameter file.
    (2) I charge my Tx NiMh batteries after approx. every 4 or 5 flights: overkill but I know they are fresh!
    (3) I turn my GoPro off while the Phantom is warming up: reduces RF interference and faster GPS/home lock.
    (4) NEVER take off until you see those rapidly flashing greens!
    (5) After I turn the GoPro on, I typically get a blink or two of red: I wait until those go all green again after GoPro is recording!
    (6) Raise about 12 feet off the ground and stay off controls for 30 seconds: make sure I still have only blinking green.
    (7) Know your battery life and be back within ~100m by the time you are down to 50%: able to land 60 seconds from red.
    (8) Set bottom Atti to "failsafe" so you can RTH without turning off the Tx and regain control immediately with center Atti!
    (9) Periodically spot the Phantom LED during flight to make sure no red blinks: if even 1 red blink, bring it home.

    Mike