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RTH activates, plenty of battery, app glitch shows, readings strange, lands in lake..

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Joe Dodaro, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. Joe Dodaro

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    So here is my story/warning.. using latest app update.

    disclaimer/context :

    i am a risk taker with distance and I don't really care too much about loosing the bird, but it stings a bit.. i never fly near populated areas.. always rural..no planes..usually over open water

    Had a P3 4k .. loved it ..120 flights.. sold it for 1/2 the price.. got a phantom 3 pro for the extra range. Usually I fly 100% manual..sometimes I use RTH as an auto pilot and concentrate on filming

    Commonly I go out over water 3-4km average (2-2.5miles) Its the area I live in..lots of water... Max distance I have gotten (everything stock) is about 6 distance km, max flight time 22min, max total distance 10.952km ( I landed where I had walked to during the flight so it didn't have to go all the way home but landed with a good 20% battery left)

    This last time I was about 5.9km out ..woud have been my max total distance ever @ 11.8km (very far I know.. but over water ..no one around..no planes..very little / no wind..ideal conditions) As you can read about below I still followed some safety precautions that should have got me back home ..but instead ended up landing in the water due to a glitch in the iOS app(imho).. i should have had 1-2min battery left after returning home based on my previous flight experience.. and what the app was telling me before RTH triggered...

    battery is only as old as the bird.. i think it was at 21 flights.

    I push it I KNOW! (this is why i got this bird, its what I like to do and the price is OK) but it's always responded nice and I've never had much of an issue other than when I ignored the battery warning and came down with under a minute left..but made it home np, it had me sweating so I vowed to never fly beyond the warning/ RTH notification.

    37 flights with my p3 pro (I usually use 2 full batteries everytime I fly so you could see that as about 18-20 different flights days on this exact quad but many more on another) I also sometimes use autopilot software for panos and waypoints so theres probably a bunch more flights to count. Id say I have over 180 flights in total if I count my learning days on a friends P2. (Semi-experienced in many different locations/conditions)

    Now the real story:

    Monday eve at a provincial park, I fly out over the lake to get to an island about 5km away. Im use the auto heading feature in the dji app and set it towards the island.. I film all the way out doing a couple of 360 turns to get the scenery ...As I get to the island the first indication of RTH comes on, i don't hesitate and I come home... Usually I film all the way home.. end up with a full video and a full video back home (Im usually filming in 2k it usually uses a touch less battery and gives me a little more breathing room than 4k, but only like 30sec -1min more flying time... this time is 2k because I'm out far.)

    This time, in the app something different than usual happens. I allow it to go home, I stop the filming, then restart to film a separate file on the way home... About 10 sec later after RTH triggers, the yellow dot on the line jumps out well beyond the battery life green dot. This means that now all of a sudden I don't have enough battery to make it home. In about 1 second things changed, I can even see this happen on the in-app flight record.

    My experience has actually had the opposite happen and usually when I start to return home, it starts to realize that I have more time to get back and I usually land with a good 30% left, 10% minimum as I sometimes i do little more flying once it's close...

    Maybe its just a glitch in the app and it has lots of power to get back I'm thinking??..also I am flying with the light breeze 5km/h so theres a push from behind (I only ever fly out into the wind so I don't have to fight it back home)

    The yellow line stays where I would have expected the yellow dot to be, in the position in front of the green battery life dot, but the actual yellow dot is getting further and further away, hard to know which is correct!! Im beginning to realize its either not going to make it back or I have lots of time!! Very Frustrating to not have the proper info all the way back.

    I decide to try and land on the beach just over from me since it's a little closer..ALMOST THERE, bringing it lower as I approach.. beeping like crazy... I can hear it flying over there in that direction... then.. . silence and black screen. Lands in the water about 10 feet off shore in 5 foot depth. Fresh water lake..very clear water.. I either lost the signal through the trees and it auto landed into the water, or dropped in from a few meters.. not sure but it was floating quite close to the surface, no damage.. battery light still on.

    Was in the water for about 10min. I had to run over from the other side of the park.

    So yes it was my fault. I was out too far. The flight time was fine, it was 18min flight... if I wasn't over water it wouldn't have even been an issue I would have just landed a little bit away from me..

    But by all indication as per the app readings before the RTH triggered I should have had more time, and by experience with this exact battery I should have had even more time left than expected once I was back home.

    But the app was telling me unexpected things and the safety feature I usually rely on that gives me lots of breathing room normally (the rth feature)..it failed this time and jumped/glitched weirdly after I started coming home. I was waiting on bird to tell me to come home, which usually gives more than enough time to get back.. this time it was wrong and didn't make it back.. no wind to interfere with it's time estimates as I was flying WITH the tiny amount of wind there was.


    So bird is currently drying out for next few days at least.. followed all common dry out techniques..

    Battery seems fried.. won't charge. SD card fried ..doesn't read..(surprised as I wasn't filming at the time of the swim)

    Will send flight records to dji if i can get them off the thing after trying to get it back on.



    This is just a warning type of post.. sometime the app glitches and the batteries can do unexpected things even to a somewhat experienced pilot.

    I am a bit sad and will probably hold out on a new quad if this one no longer flies. Id like some form of water resistance or nicely placed floaters internally that prevent the vents from dropping too low below the surface.. and for too long .. Its just the way I fly and its what I'm interested in. The huge flying area is what excites me about these things.. Flying over water is the best way to get lots of distance and to see huge areas.

    End Transmission.
     
  2. flyNfrank

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    Sorry about your situation. So you think it may have only been a few meters up when it dropped?
     
  3. Apparition

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    Well, you are taking it well. I applaud that.
     
    Jonathan Huff likes this.
  4. RJ_Make

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    Bummer, I will assume with such a long flight your battery was at 100% on startup?
     
  5. Joe Dodaro

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    Yes last recorded height was 16m but it was auto landing, it could have even landed gently in the water .. not sure but I guess it would actually be better for survival if it was completely dead and off..
     
  6. Joe Dodaro

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    Yes fully charged. I mean it still flew 18:11minute... it's just that the info I was getting was glitchy whe rth kicked in .. I'll post some screen shots from the app when I get home tonight.

    I've flown longer flight times than that before but I received the proper info and never had a prob like this before
     
  7. Joe Dodaro

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    I knew I was flying far (beyond recommendation) .. none the less the glitchy info makes me feel it wasn't just my over confidence that screwed me over (this I would be 100% ok to me) and makes me feel the app sort of had something to do with it my wet landing (leaves a bad taste in my mouth)
     
  8. flyNfrank

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    So was there a recent update made that may have provoked this odd activity? If so, what firmware versions are you now using?
     
    #8 flyNfrank, Sep 22, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
  9. Mocho

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    Joe what was the Ambient temperature at the time?
    I am concerned about a number of comments make on this forum about changes to firmware and low battery temp. issues.
     
  10. Joe Dodaro

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    There was a recent app update but not a firmware update but I was definitely on whatever firmware is current.. I'll get more specific info later tonight
     
  11. Joe Dodaro

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    Ambient temp? It was 21celsius so very nice. -a little humid.. maybe "feels like 25"
    I'll double check ..

    I have flown in the winter in Canada.. I should have been good.. my girlfriend and dog were swimming in the water while I flew but it wasn't VERY HOT

    Is there a way check the battery temp from the app flight record?

    Last recorded battery was 9%
     
  12. flyNfrank

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    Not from the Flight Record you look at in the GO app. It can be read from the TXT & DAT Flight Log's. (Currently the TXT flight log would need to be from firmware version 1.8.3 and below. The DAT firmware doesn't matter.)
     
  13. Joe Dodaro

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    Here is a quick screen shot for more context.

    Check out the Flight times ... the battery time expectancy.. and the Home yellow dot...

    8:53(13:46 left on battery)
    11:16 (7:06 left on battery)
    2 min 13 sec of flying but 6min 4sec drop in battery life expectancy in same amount of time.

    During the drastic drop i stop filming but was filming the entire time before that so if anything I should have gained some extra time by stopping the camera.

    You can see I almost made it back..but with those lost 2-3min I would have had lots of breathing room.

    I was already obeying the the RTH warning but it seems you must give yourself even more time incase of glitches.

    IMG_6377.PNG IMG_6378.PNG
     
  14. Mocho

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    Thanks Joe, sounds like the so called smart battery still doesn't work properly even if the ambient temp is still warm :(
    Apparently there have been issues like yours in the past when the ambient temps are low. It was an issue before I joined the P3P club and firmware changes where supposedly made to address the issue.

    Living in Canada this is a BIG concern for me as its already freezing at night.

    P.S. I think Frank means vr. 2.8.3 of the DJI Go app for Android, not the birds firmware vr.
     
    #14 Mocho, Sep 22, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
  15. flyNfrank

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    Yeah thanks.... I'm referring to the GO App version 2.8.3 and below. I believe at this point we can hope he will be able to upload the DAT File for that flight.
     
  16. Joe Dodaro

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    I'm using iOS app version 2.9.2
     
  17. go fast

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    Looking at the flight maybe if you flew straight out and straight back it might have made it , that 3rd leg ate up some time...
     
  18. Joe Dodaro

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    Ya I knew it was risky flying, but I chose to do exactly what the craft told me to do, RTH came too late..and the stats were displayed wrong in app, battery life jumping down for no real reason and mis-displaying the actual timeline. It was definitely glitching out a bit. Risky flying along with a slight glitch it what really did it. But I wasn't mad or sad I just wanted to be flying again.

    After lengthy discussions with tech support they decided since I flew out to 5200m it was over their recommended distance limit so any warranty was void...Basically they said they saw what I was a seeing in the records ..but the warranty was void.

    They gave me a coupon for 25% off a phantom 3 adv or pro with no controller / charger. I guess it was kinda a customer appreciation discount or whtatever.. It's fine cause I wasnt expecting full replacement.

    So I took the offer just because I wanted a replacement and I have the other craft still ... In the end I hope my replacement will only cost me $200cdn max after selling the 4K pro Camera and some extra batteries. Camera still operates perfectly with gimbal through app.

    Just waiting on my shipment currently.. Hoping all the fall colour is not gone before I get it.

     
  19. Meta4

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    That looks like a different flight.
    You made it home safely on this one.
     
  20. Joe Dodaro

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