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RTH panic!

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Chris Vedeler, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. Chris Vedeler

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    I was flying my P3 tonight and took it out about 30 meters high and about 500 meters out (out of sight). I was hovering over my house (I started flying at a nearby park) and the signal kept reporting it was weak. I had seen this before without any issues so I didn't think much of it. Then suddenly the screen went grey and it asked it I wanted it to return home. I clicked "yes" and waited.... and waited... and waited. I was only about 500 meters away so why was it taking so long? There was no sign of it after about 3 minutes. I totally panicked and hit the RTH button on the controller even though the P3 was no longer synced with my controller (the screen was still grey and said disconnected). I then ran to my car to drive back to my house to see if I could reestablish connection before it ran out of battery and crashed into my neighbors yard. Just as I was about to go, I saw it coming home. I had never been so glad to see those flashing green lights before! I thought for sure I had lost my P3 after only having it a week. RTH saved the day!
     
  2. BlackHawk388

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    Not sure why you would choose a night time route to make this initial flight to your house. Sounds to me like you should have initially made this flight during the day at a much shorter distance.

    What, exactly, did you use, software wise, to come up with the proper flight route altitude for a RTH condition?
     
  3. caffeinated

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    It's becoming increasingly apparent that one of the largest misunderstandings with the P3 is that whilst the app can control aspects of the quad and displays the FPV there is APP connection and TX connection.
    If your pilot APP is disconnected then issues could be Bird, TX, TX->Device or the app itself.
    In those cases RTH from the app is unlikely to be of any use. The LED's on the TX however will tell you if Bird->TX is OK.
    Basically RTH on the controller (which the OP eventually used) is a much safer option in these circumstances. Also important to note that a disconnect in the Pilot app often means you've lost your sight, not necessarily control.
     
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  4. BlackHawk388

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    I had to read that three times to understand what you meant. However, I fully agree with you.
     
  5. Nannerz

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    if RTH is set to 30m in the app....and you're cruising along flying at 100m, and then all of a sudden lose the app and hit RTH on the controller. Will the P3 descend to 30m and then travel back home? Or just return home at its current height?
     
  6. Chris Vedeler

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    It wasn't dark even though the sun had set. I had flown over my house from that park many times. My RTH is set to 45 meters just in case. I is possible the P3 had to gain 20 meters in altitude before flying home.
     
  7. Chris Vedeler

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    When testing the RTH under more controlled conditions, that is exactly what it seems to do. It stops, hovers briefly and then goes straight to the altitude set before it moves horizontally directly above the home location at the set altitude. It hovers briefly and then starts a slow descent.
     
  8. tom3holer

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    I thought it remained at the altitude it lost control if it was higher than the set altitude.
     
  9. mick

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    How long did it take to start to return home, I pressed mine last night and it did nothing so brought it home manually
     
  10. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Come on pilots!
    This is important and basic Phantom Flying 101. It's pretty clear in the manual.
    RTH is one of the most important things to understand and a few practice runs are very worthwhile so you can plan to fly safely because you understand how RTH works.
    Practice RTH under controlled conditions so you understand it rather than waiting till you wish you had.
    [​IMG]

    If the Phantom is under the set RTH height - it will ascend and RTH
    If the Phantom is at or above the set RTH height - it will RTH at the level it is at.
     
  11. Ezookiel

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    I've never confirmed it, but I was told when I purchased my P2, that RTH uses a lower power, and so - for example - if you're in borderline winds, RTH could actually be a bad choice as it tries to return against the wind while using less power.
    Is this the case with the P3?

    Secondly, I've never used RTH in anger. I've practiced with it on several occasions, however, whenever I've truly lost track of the bird, I've always flicked into Home Lock (mine's a P2), and then just pulled backwards on the stick. That way I still have full power. However, I believe there are changes to the Home Lock and Course Lock options on the P3's. Not sure if that's an option still.
     
  12. Ezookiel

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    I think he said: There's a difference between the app losing connection, and the controller losing connection. If it is the APP that has lost contact, then using the app to set off RTH may not actually work.
    In that instance it's likely the controller still does have a connection, and so using the controller button is probably still going to work (and if the controller has lost contact, then RTH will likely have kicked in anyway)
     
  13. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Yes .. same for the P3. DJI think it's a good idea for RTH to be slower than normal flight.
    I can't understand why but if you are aware of this "feature" it's easy enough to let RTH turn your Phantom and head for home, then take over and fly it faster to make sure you make headway against the wind (who flies downwind?) or to ensure you get home before the battery dies.
     
  14. Ezookiel

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    Yep. And just as easy to use Home Lock and fly back at full speed too.
    Both work. Both will work well. The advantage yours has over using Home Lock, is you'll know how the bird is orientated.

    The really important thing is that new pilots - or older pilots with new machines - try out both options MULTIPLE TIMES!!! At least until they're really sure they understand them both very well.

    RTH as an emergency return, OR using HL as an emergency return, is definitely NOT something you want to try for the first time when you suddenly lose track of your bird. It's scary enough waiting for it to return, but if you're also not 100000% certain how it works, that nervousness is going to be ten fold.
     
  15. AsiaFlyer

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    P3 does not have Home Lock
     
  16. Dadcat

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    Not so much. P3's RTH speed is much faster than my P2V+. As I recall from checking it a couple weeks ago the P3 RTH was 22-25 mph vs about 10 mph for the P2.
     
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  17. Ezookiel

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    Yes, I'd heard those options had been changed.
    Wonder why?
    Home Lock was my main "go to" for whenever I've lost video and needed to come back blind.
    RTH is vastly safer. We played with HL while doing our licences, and found that HL will sail right on over your head and keep going, now AWAY from you. So you'd need to see and hear it returning to know when to ease up on the stick, or you'd end up flying away in the opposite direction.
     
  18. Hughie

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    Yeah me too. Home Lock has got me out of quite a few scrapes.
     
  19. Wtrskinut1

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    I would not trust home lock on a P3 even when or if it does arrive, if the app has crashed. The IOC setting has numerous possibilities, and you would only be hoping that it is still set on home lock. Nothing like pulling back on the stick and waiting for it as it flies away in another direction.
     
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  20. Ezookiel

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    In 200 flights, I've only genuinely used it twice. Once - the first time - if I'd known what I know now, I'd have been able to simply climb and probably got signal back. The second time I was out about 500m away, and had gone slightly below the line of a cliff, but not enough to lose signal on video or bird, and the battery on the receiver died and I suddenly had a black screen.