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Rookie pilot needs advice.

Discussion in 'Phantom FC40 Discussion' started by PortPilot, May 25, 2014.

  1. PortPilot

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    Greetings all. Glad I found this forum.
    After much reading, watching YouTube videos and such, I decided on a Phantom FC40. I just received it recently, and have some questions for the experienced pilots.

    First, I am VERY glad I listened to my own instincts and decided not to try to fly this for the first time in my neighborhood. I took it to a turf farm near my house, where there are acres and acres of open space. I read the manuals, I watched videos, so I felt confident I could have a successful test flight.
    When I first tried to take-off, it simply tilted sideways and flipped over on the ground. I righted the unit and this time gave it more "gas" and it lifted off the ground this time.
    I tried letting it stabilize and for the most part, it did, so I went higher and then tried the different controls to see how it responds. It would do as commanded, but then it started to "drift" pretty fast away from me. I tried to get it to come back and it would not. I'm thinking "UH OH!" and was afraid I'd be one of those people I read in reviews on Amazon that has the thing fly away from them on the first try. I pulled the throttle back down quickly and even though it was drifting away VERY fast (horizontally, not vertically) it came down and crashed into the turf, scattering the camera and the rubber mounts. I ran to fetch it and after awhile I found two of the three camera mounts but gave up on the third. So I just left the camera off the unit.

    Nervous, I tried again to launch the copter and was able to control it albeit with minor drifting away again. I never let it get out of hand and kind of jogged along with it as it drifted away from me again. This time I managed to bring it down to the ground somewhat gently. Launched a third time and was practicing having it go short distances at low attitude and was doing pretty good, and then sure enough it got a mind of it's own again and took off horizontally away from me pretty fast. I tried to spin it so it would drift towards me and it just kept going the other way, so pulled the throttle back down again and it crashed hard and tumbled several times and really messed up the props, damaging two of them badly. My test flight was over with so I gathered it up and went home.

    I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong or if there's just something wrong with my FC40? I just downloaded the NAZA assistant and updated the firmware, I just am gun-shy now to try it again. I think I was lucky that I didn't fly it very high or else it would have flown out of sight.

    I am a little confused about the light sequences explainations and was hoping I could get some clarification. I have read where you WANT the flashing green to verify enough GPS sats, but then the manual talks about a RED blink??? When I first power up, I get flashing yellow, then as I wait a bit it goes to flashing green, never any red.
    Is that how it's supposed to be? Sorry if it's a stupid question!

    Thanks in advance for any assistance...
     
  2. mb_guy

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    Two things that may help
    When you updated the firmware, did you apply the default settings file
    Before your first flight did you calibrate the compass?
     
  3. Mandrake

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    Have you calibrated your control sticks ?
    Are both switches in the upper position ..GPS and OFF...
    Wait for 2 sets of rapid blinking green then take off..
    Mandrake

    Sent from the thing that does everything.
     
  4. PortPilot

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    I guess I thought my unit was "precalibrated" because the instructions say it has been pre-configured and "Ready to fly" out of the box.

    I did not do any sort of calibration, so perhaps that is what ails me.
     
  5. PortPilot

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    I did make sure both switches were UP, but as I said I did no calibration because I thought this was done at the factory....
     
  6. Mandrake

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    Could be ... Do the calibration and make sure . Its very easy just plug in and wiggle the sticks until all green ..
    Just make sure you fly with GPS on and that you get bothe sets of green blinking leds - Home Position and GPS lock ..
    Mandrake
     
  7. mb_guy

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    You will always need to calibrate the compass when you first receive your phantom, as true north will change from the shipping point to your home location.
    Now that you have updated firmware, the instructions also tell you to apply the default config file as settings may have changed or been lost when doing the update.
    I would apply the default config file, then when you're out ready to fly (away from electrical and metal interference) do compass calibration. then wait for full gps lock (green flash only). Take it off to 10 feet or so and let it hover. Should be stable, try front back, side to side, then be sure it's stable in hover.
     
  8. PortPilot

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    Thanks for the fast responses! I will do as instructed and see how it goes.
     
  9. PortPilot

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    Hey guys... Sorry for all the questions... I have read the manual several times over with regard to calibrating the compass. I flip the right side switch back and forth several times until I get a solid yellow, and they rotate the unit horizontal and get a solid green. Then I point the nose downward and try the vertical and it goes to red and yellow from green, from what I understand this is an error? I try again and it always goes to green when I do the horizontal rotation but no green doing vertical.
     
  10. steveeds

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    When it did this to me i turned off the controller, it leveled and came back home..this is a PV2, I don't know if your's is different.
     
  11. mb_guy

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    There is a video from Colin Guinn to do with advanced compass calibration and correcting using a magnet. Search Utube.
     
  12. mb_guy

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  13. PortPilot

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  14. RedRyderMedia

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    Before you do any advanced stuff, make sure you're doing the basic compass calibration correctly. It sounds like you're successful with the first half, but not the second half. I know others have been confused about how to do the calibration. Try this.

    Power on your controller.

    Power on your Phantom.

    Flip the S1 switch top to bottom to top five times. You should see solid yellow lights.

    Hold the Phantom at arms length and level like it was flying with all four propellers facing up.

    Do the Hoky Poky and turn yourself around until the lights go green.

    Hold the Phantom at arms length vertically with the battery up and the nose down and all four propellers fading you. On my P2V+, the 'nose' has the word Phantom on it.

    Do the Hoky Poky and turn yourself around until the green lights change.

    If you still get red and yellow lights contact DJI Technical support. Something is wrong with your Phantom.
     
  15. mb_guy

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    This is very good advice. I did find the diagrams in the manual a bit hard to follow initially. There are several videos that show the calibration process better, this one just goes further.
    I wouldn't be doing the crazy magnet stuff at this point.
    The video does give a good overview of what to do, where to do it, and what indicators you should be seeing. If after doing basic calibration and you still have the red and yellow lights, I would check the naza compass readings per the video and if they are out of wack call DJI first.
    Good luck
     
  16. PortPilot

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    Ok, I got it now! :) Just FYI, not sure if this was my issue, but I realized that when entering into compass calibration mode, I had the switch in the middle at first when the solid yellow came on. (in the process of doing the up-down-up-down) I re-tried the calibration the second time, making sure the switch was all the way UP before I did the Hoky Poky. It worked perfectly. So I assume that after you do the flipping up and down to get it into cal mode, you need to make sure the last flip is to UP.

    Looks like rain here, but I might go try another test flight, gonna peek at the weather radar in a moment. Wish me luck!!
     
  17. PortPilot

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    SUCCESS!!!
    This time my experience was totally different. It flew beautifully, I felt in full control and could let it hover in one place with NO drifting. What's more is there's a little wind out there today that didn;t seem to affect things one bit. I was able to send it pretty high up, and bring it back down for a smooth landing twice, no tipping over, just a nice, easy touchdown. AWESOME!!!

    I'm so glad I found this forum, you guys are friggin' great!!! :mrgreen:
     
  18. EliasD

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    Hmm, its been many years since I did the hokey pokey.

    But I thought you spun it on the horizontal axis first <-->
    then on the vertical ˅˄ with the nose up & battery down?

    That may expalin why I had issues yesterday, havent updated the controller yet, nor done the compass dance as I've just done a couple short flights in the field next door until yesterday. I went to our local vets cem to get some pics, first flight was fine but for the 2nd one I decided to move closer to the stuff I was gonna video & guess I didnt get full gps lock as it kept trying to go back to where I was & was spinning in a large circle around me. I was maybe 30 ft from where I first flew it. :?
     
  19. RedRyderMedia

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    Congrats! Happy Flying!
     
  20. mb_guy

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    Good news!