Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

some newbie questions about gps etc

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by smokiespliff, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. smokiespliff

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ireland
    Hi everyone, my first post!

    I've been perusing the forums here to try find the answer to my question without having to clutter with a new post but I couldn't find a thread with my exact question. Apologies if an answer already exists, I couldn't find it.
    I've had my Phantom for a week now and it's great! No major problems so far. A couple of lessons learned - don't try land it in a relatively narrow spot when it's facing you (left is right and right is left). On the plus side I found out it's great for trimming hedges! I had one major disconnection from the controller when it was about 160m away from me but it returned to home nicely! Very impressive. So far I've only flown it in phantom mode but have read up on the benefits of NAZA and may try it out.

    So, to my question: yesterday evening I took it to a hillside field with quite a few trees around the perimeter. In the bottom corner of the field I got 6 satellites and a home point and off I went. A minute or so into the flight I noticed it was drifting in the wind. Then I saw that it had only 3 satellites and was no longer in gps mode. I flew it around a bit and it found 7 satellites, but then a few secs later only 5 and started drifting again. This was not far from my start point in the bottom corner. I read on this forum that trees could affect the satellites, and I'm sure the sort-of-hollow I was in didn't help. Another lesson learned! However: what theoretically would have happened if I lost controller contact with spotty gps reception? Even tho it has a home point, what if it loses gps as it tries to return? Will it just hang in the air?

    I'm terrified of losing this thing :(

    2 more questions if I may:

    - I haven't calibrated the compass yet, it flies fine. I read that if it needs calibration the app will tell me. How true is this? Should I be calibrating it regularly anyway?

    - I also haven't upgraded the firmware. I'm unsure what version I have (I'm at work) but I think I saw it descend at faster than 2m/s so it's not the new(ish) one I read about here. After reading horror-stories of flyaways after firmware upgrade I'm reluctant to upgrade if I'm happy as it is now. How vital is it to upgrade?

    Thanks in advance guys, I hope to be a regular around here if you'll have me!
     
  2. Dirty Bird

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Glen Burnie, MD - USA
    If it has no satellite lock and you lose control, it will auto-land where it is, drifting with the wind on the way down.

    You should calibrate your compass.

    If the firmware you have is working to your satisfaction and your bird is flying well, I'd leave it alone. That is, of course, up to you.
     
  3. Double-D

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    The Land Down Under
    Hi smokie and welcome to the forum. I'm rather new here myself.

    As to your first question I'd like to know the answer as well. Personally I've only flown once with less than 6 satellites and that was due to trees and to get a shot up over a waterfall. I kept it very close and line site only about 30m from me so not to lose signal. I probably won't take that risk again and i never take off without 6 satellites and a home point locked in.
    You should calibrate your compass any time you fly from a different location e.g. from home then a park down the street and I tend to calibrate every 4 or 5 flights, it can't hurt and only takes a few seconds.
    I've been flying mine on the latest firmware since day one and not had a problem 40+ flights.
    It's worth reading up and getting an understanding on Naza mode before changing over. I've been using it for just over a week now and wouldn't go back. ioc is great and it's a must if flying out of line of sight. With both S1 and S2 switches in the up position it's exactly the same as phantom mode.

    Keep it high, away from trees, nothing to hit up there and safe flying :)
     
  4. Double-D

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    The Land Down Under
    I remember now you said it Dirty Bird. Thanks :)
     
  5. pyrophantom

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Messages:
    778
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    As you will read on here there are lots of potential things which can affect signal, and you mentioned some there, trees. If only briefly going behind trees its not too bad but done be obscured too long. Line of sight is always a useful thing to remember, as is proximity to built up areas with signal competition, and metal objects or pylons etc which may affect the compass.

    Nice to hear a "my plus works fine" thread for a change lol

    Naza is a very useful mode to be in but learning in phantom mode will do you no harm at all until you get more confident and have better skills to be able to react in a calm and controlled manner when your aircraft wont talk to you.

    Enjoy your flying !

    ;)
     
  6. smokiespliff

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ireland
    Thanks for the answers, I'll be back with more questions I'm sure!
     
  7. Mori55

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,993
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    NJ-USA
    So if you loose sat lock it goes into atti , it not like it'out of control , it'll drift with wind. It'll hold altitude , I fly in atti quite abit.