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RTH saves me $680

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ptjackson, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. ptjackson

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    I had an unintentional test of RTH yesterday. I was practicing in ATTI mode and it was a little windy. All was well until I was about to hit a small tree and I've taught myself that up is my "panic" move. So that worked fine I missed the tree but the wind caught it and blew toward other trees. So I went up again. By this time the wind was carrying away my Phantom and it was pretty far away and I was getting worried. Best I remember then I switched to IOC homelock (not remembering to switch to GPS) and pulled back on the stick. To my shock it appears the phantom is moving AWAY from me close to out of sight. I put in Course lock mode and pull the stick toward me but for some reason it still doesn't appear that it's coming back. At this point it's almost completely out of sight. Finally I just turn off the transmitter and hope for the best, nothing...

    I go in the house to get the keys to the car thinking I'll go look for it but knowing I live in a rural area it's probably gone forever. It takes me a couple of min to find my keys and walk outside when I hear bzzzzzzzzzzz I look up and to my amazement there is the phantom doing what it should do. It hovered high above my head and then landed itself within 2 feet of it's take off point. Perfect.

    Lessons I learned.

    1. glad I had made sure that home lock worked before aggressive flying. I took 2 min to test all that before beginning flying.

    2. Glad my "panic" move is to go higher as if the phantom would have been lower there's no way it would have RTM as there are too many trees and power lines at low altitudes.

    3. Don't practice atti mode on windy days as the quad can get away from you pretty quick

    4. Probably best in a panic situation to take 3 seconds and stop and look at your controller, if I had, I would have realized I had never switched back to GPS mode and this home lock wasn't going to work

    5. Glad I have a RTM feature for newbies like me.
     
  2. Sac D

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    I would have loved to see the look on your face when you got back outside and hear it ZZZZZZzzzing above you!
     
  3. ptjackson

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    Sac,

    If you've ever seen a kid on Christmas morning you've seen my face :)
     
  4. pwright

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    Great lessons learned there. Glad your Phantom came back to you.
     
  5. dbrack

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    So... here's a question arising from this story...

    Does RTH work via a course recorder? Or does it just rise straight up to a certain altitude and make a bee-line for home, then come straight down?

    This would make a huge difference depending on the obstacles it has no way of knowing are in it's way.

    Thoughts?
     
  6. pwright

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    That is what it did when I tested RTH.
     
  7. ptjackson

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    honestly I'm not completely sure what it did since I was in the house (looking for my car keys) but I assume it went to a particular altitude and then came back home. The battery was blinking red so It almost didn't make it. It was fairly high up when it came back home so I think taller than most trees, powerlines etc. but it was also high up when I sent it into the next county too, so I'm unsure.
     
  8. Gizmo3000

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    the Phantom records the initial take-off GPS "home" position and altitude when it first takes off (and has acquired more than 6 satellites). if you're flying at low altitudes and it's initiated, it will rise up to 20m (above the initial home position), fly home and land. if flying above 20m it will fly to the home position at that altitude, and land. So basically be careful flying in areas with really tall trees.

    I had a very similar experience with trying to use Home Lock , I pulled back and it seemed to be flying AWAY. I might have inadvertently not been in GPS mode (as when I was watching the video it clearly pulled away).
    it was windy and it seemed like my Phantom (with GoPro) was flying away, so i killed the Tx, and thank goodness the Phantom flew back home. whew!
     
  9. ptjackson

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    yup Gizmo that's what happend to me (I didn't have camera attached at the time). It's easy to sit here and say what you would do if this or that happend the problem is it all happens really fast and like you said I just overlooked I wasn't in GPS mode.

    As it's flying away you're just trying to do anything to bring it back.
     
  10. yappy

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    Hello all.

    I'm new to the forum and new to quads really.

    I've been flying my phantom and loving it so far, I can still easily loose orientation. Still learning how to fly with the rear of it not facing me etc..


    Question:
    If I turn off the transmitter purposely during flight in GPS mode, the phantom should fly back home right. While it is flying back home, what happens if I turn back on the transmitter?

    I am very curious to test out RTH feature, but turning off the transmitter feels scary. hehe :lol:
     
  11. ptjackson

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    yappy,


    You're right it "SHOULD" return to home if you turn off the transmitter, but there are always stories of bad things happening, which is why it's scary. To answer your question, to regain control you have to turn the transmitter back on and flip between Atti mode and GPS mode (can't remember how many times) and then you can retake control.

    the main thing I've learned is just to test the Home Lock (you have to enable in software) I test homelock before really beginning my flight, in theory if HL works then so should RTH since they both use the home postion. In this way you don't have to turn off your transmitter.

    Some other birds have the ability to assign RTH to a button but as far as I know there's no way to do that on the Phantom.
     
  12. Sac D

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    That's one of the main reasons people switch from the standard Phantom TX to others... you can define a switch for RTH and never shut off the TX. You have to crack open the Phantom and replace the receiver with a compatible one to bind to the new transmitter, and might as well pop in a telemetry module while you are in there. (More weight on board of course, but it's worth the tradeoff.) I'll do that once I figure out what TX fits my needs. There are several youtube videos to show DIY steps involved.
     
  13. yappy

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    Ok thanks guys.
     
  14. yappy

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    Ok,

    I went balls to the wall :lol: and tried it. I switched off the transmitter and wow. I was impressed , pretty **** amazing..

    I definitely feel safe flying the phantom.

    Here is a video of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfq-I1Ex738
     
  15. leadsled

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    Throwing 7 bills to the wind like that would make me pretty nervous. With a GoPro attached you're talking a grand. I'm trying to learn as much about the Phantom as possible. I'm usually not an early adopter on new items, but this thing intrigues me.

    I wonder how many UFO calls that thing will generate.
     
  16. dbrack

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    So, it's important that take off/home position has a completely clear vertical path, away from branches or other obstructions, and an open ground area of at least several meters (to allow for the slight error I'm seeing on most RTH videos). It may seem obvious, but this should be part of a pre-flight check!


    ==========

    the Phantom records the initial take-off GPS "home" position and altitude when it first takes off (and has acquired more than 6 satellites). if you're flying at low altitudes and it's initiated, it will rise up to 20m (above the initial home position), fly home and land. if flying above 20m it will fly to the home position at that altitude, and land. So basically be careful flying in areas with really tall trees.

    I had a very similar experience with trying to use Home Lock , I pulled back and it seemed to be flying AWAY. I might have inadvertently not been in GPS mode (as when I was watching the video it clearly pulled away).
    it was windy and it seemed like my Phantom (with GoPro) was flying away, so i killed the Tx, and thank goodness the Phantom flew back home. whew![/quote]
     
  17. bumper

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    I had a fully charged battery, so decided to do a quick flight before heading off to the airport to fly my glider (later, smoke came in from the CA fires and it was too smokey for flying aircraft anyway).

    Allowed the Phantom to get home fix on back porch and then took off to the NW up the eastern flank of the Sierra (Carson Range). Hard to judge height buy I'd say close to, um, 400' ;) Forgetting I'd switched from GPS to ATTI, I released sticks to hover there and walked between the house and RV garage, loosing sight of the Phantom briefly. Once in the clear, took a few moments to regain visual and noted the Phantom was drifting rapidly east. Winds aloft were fairly strong out of the west and pushing the stick to the side to counter drift that made the Phantom accelerate rapidly behind a large tree - - I was still in ATTI. I moved one way around the tree to try and regain visual but that didn't work . . . going the other way didn't work either. Gone. Couldn't hear it anymore either.

    I switched the mode switch to RTH (I'd programmed the switch the GPS, ATTI, RTH) and waited. After a couple of minutes still nothng. %&^%*! In desperation, turned transmitter off and waited maybe another minute or two, still nothing. Then I heard the faint approaching prop noise. Wooohooo! Still couldn't see the Phantom and never did until it arrived at 60' over take off point.

    Yippeee!

    bumper
     
  18. GeneL

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    Bumper, do you fly out of Minden?

    About the post, I did exactly what has been described- letting it get away from me in ATTI in a wind and thinking it was in GPS when it was still in ATTI. When it gets really out there and you can't tell which way it's going, it's guaranteed that everything you do will appear to make it go further away! I was able to calculate the maximum separation at 1300' using the Garmin GTU-10 track before I managed to get moving back toward me. Never did use RTH, since I really don't trust it and have always considered it to be a last ditch resort. Couldn't wait to get home and change my shorts after I landed it, though.
     
  19. runnerman

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    Hey guys. I live in the country... And I was out flying one day in my yard(to make matters worse we have a pond and multiple creeks) towards the end of my flight I got hit by some strong wind. I started drifting towards the creek. It was very far from where I was standing. So I got very confused with the orientation. I managed to bring it close to my pond and landed it. I was to nervous to do fail safe because I new I had to be low on battery. Sure enough when I brought it in red flashing lights. That was a nerve racking few minutes. Glad my phantom is ok;)
     
  20. PJA

    PJA

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    I have used RTH four times already in emergency situations that had me in a panic...

    Twice I started to climb higher at a fast rate of speed (in GPS mode) and lost my Phantom in the sun. Each time I gave myself a chance to look for it in the sky until I panicked and turned the transmitter off. The wait was excruciating and unbearably painful to think I lost $1000.00 worth of equipment to carelessness. Not to mention losing track of battery time too, thinking the worse if my Phantom was on it's way back and ran out of power... I have my phone number on it just in case. Would I ever see my Phantom again??? (I'm fairly a newby of 2 months, so far... still learning).

    However, to hear and see it all of a sudden hovering above you as it slowly comes down and doing what RTH is supposed to do is quite a relief. I always swear I'm never going to get in that situation again, but every few flights I get ballzy, I guess, and take it to a limit I'm not ready for...

    Needless to say, each and every time, my GoPro footage was awesome from the height I achieved...