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Some urban flying and general questions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by flightdoc1, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. flightdoc1

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    Got my Phantom 2V+ last month. Really enjoying it. I've had a dozen or so successful flights (meaning the bird took off and landed safely, as intended, each time). I've done a ton of reading on the internet as well as the manual. I'm in Naza-m mode, I think I have everything configured how I like.

    A few things I'm still uncertain about...

    1. I'd love to be able to fly in my neighborhood, but I don't quite get enough satellites on the ground... 6 at MOST, and that typically drops back to 5. Anything you recommend I do to help with this? I have a feeling it's because there's tall buildings around blocking signal. If I got more comfortable in ATTI mode, would it be completely unreasonable to fly with OUT a good GPS lock, and simply use the Dynamic Home Lock function on my phone? If the bird had any issues, wouldn't it simply return to wherever my phone indicates, assuming it found a few more satellites once it gained some altitude? The phone gets a gps lock no problem, and I'm fairly certain that 20 feet higher and it would have a dozen satellites to talk to.

    2. Speaking of Dynamic Home Lock... how does that work if the bird sets a new home position mid flight? For example, I take off, fly 500 feet, then flip S2 a few times fast to set a new position. Is the Dynamic function overwritten?

    3. I watched a video recently about preventing fly-aways. The guy hypothesizes that a gps glitch causes the phantom to set its Home Position WAY too far away, and so then it takes off trying to find home because it's out of the max radius set in the Assistant software. Based on his recommendation, I changed the max radius for my phantom to be 200+ miles from 'home', so that in theory, the drone would have to think it was at least 200 miles off course (unlikely) in order to fly away. Is this something people are doing? Again, I have to think the Dynamic Home function obviates this.

    I've been sticking mostly to open park areas and such to get my skills honed. I feel very comfortable in GPS mode, so my next goal is to fly exclusively in ATTI mode and get comfortable with that. I've gained a lot from reading the insights on this board.
     
  2. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Reset the home location when you are in the air with enough satellites and in the center of an open area to give you some wiggle room.

    The video of the so-called GPS glitch is completely flawed. The guy who made it does not understand how GPS works and should take it down.
     
  3. WPSPETE

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    Just keep practising! I started in a field, then I started flying outside of my house. Now I have no problem flying in an area with lots of trees. I was in an area with tall mountains and trees. I kept waiting but still on 5 sats. I decided to take off in atti. Soon after takeoff it jumped to 8 or more. Not sure if that is recommended but I have done it twice with no problems. Over 50 trouble free flights too.
     
  4. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    You need to work out why your Phantom is not getting good satellite reception.
    Is it because the horizon is blocked by trees and buildings?
    If your phone receives >6 easily on the ground, probably not.
    Is it because it's more than 2 or 3 months old and needs the foil mod?
    If so you really need the foil mod. It will solve your problem and make flying a lot safer.

    Dynamic home point or regular old fashioned home point won't help you if your Phantom does not have GPS reception.
    If your bird has <6 sats, it has no idea where it is or how to get home.
    Probably a good idea to disable dynamic home point unless you are moving around a lot, like flying from a moving boat.
     
  5. Ciprian

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    Yes, it's a good idea to practice first in a open field. After you get enough confidence, then you may try flying even in you neighborhood.
    On top of the foil mod, you can try first to move the GPS cable under the insulation.
    Be prepared to switch to ATTI if the Phantom stops answering to your input due to bad GPS reception.
     
  6. flightdoc1

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    Thanks for the input folks! Regarding this... I was out in the park practicing on ATTI today. Winds ~7mph, about 100 feet up. Found it pretty easy actually. So maybe that's reasonable?
     
  7. flightdoc1

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    One more question for you all... How do you perceive yourself in the public eye when flying around urban areas? In other words, do you worry about what people will think or say? My first few flights were at my parent's suburban home. A lot of room to practice, no one around to say anything. In the city, I'm constantly aware of who's around, looking at me, judging, etc. A small part of me worries that someone will call the police ("he's flying a spy machine!"), and another part of me even worries about someone coming up to me to try and steal the bird. Probably unrealistic.

    I had my first flight at my condo tonight. Off my back deck, clear view of the 3am sky, Got 6 satellites and went for it. Went straight up about 60 feet, sat there for a minute, watched it pick up a few more satellites, then nervously brought it back to earth. Nothing much to see at night anyway, but it did make me wonder - will I ever feel comfortable enough to do this in broad daylight, where neighbors will most definitely see me?
     
  8. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    No need to switch anything. If your Phantom loses sat lock, it automatically defaults to atti mode. It will not stop responding to your input.
     
  9. Utopia Texas

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    I live out in the country and have lots of room to fly without bothering neighbors but in the city it might be a different situation. My neighbor down the road flys also and is constantly shooting off his mouth about flying over back yards in the outskirts of the local city and taking videos of folks around their swimming pools. I have repeatedly told him that it's that kind of attitude that will ruin the hobby for others who respect the privacy of people not in the hobby. He says it's a free country and he can fly where ever he wants. Eventually someone like him will post a video on you tube of someone naked in their back yard and I fear the backlash for the rest of us will be huge. In the mean time I fly open fields and only bother the cows....
     
  10. lake_flyer

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    This guy really knows nothing about Phantoms, that's obvious.

    The max distance set in Assistant is of no meaning whatsoever to the RTH functionality. That is only the limit you want you Phantom to be able to go. If you set it to 100m it will simply go not further than that. It will not go in RTH. It will just seem like it hits a wall when you push it. Try it out, it is fun, set it to 30m for starters and see what it does.
    Even if you set it to 40.000km it won't make any difference. The control signal cuts out at a certain distance anyway.

    Only when the Phantom is out of range of the CONTROL signal it goes into RTH/Fail safe. If it hasn't a sat lock at that time it will rise to find enough sats. If it has a homepoint in memory it will fly in that direction if/once it has enough sats. If the homepoint is not in memory (because you didn't wait long enough before takeoff, or a GPS malfunction which seldom occurs) it will go into a uncontrolled mode, not knowing where to go and probably trying to pick a control signal, which is some cases is successful. In that case you should switch to Atti and take control back. In the other case it's goodbye worst case.
     
  11. SteveMann

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    I think I've seen the same video. I disagree with the description of the hypothesis; GPS glitch has nothing to do with the theory that if your home point stored in the Phantom Memory gets corrupted, the Phantom will think it is outside of its' limit radius and try to fly to the corrupted home point. In this scenario the Phantom will ignore ATTI mode because returning to the fence has priority.
     
  12. flightdoc1

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    That makes far more sense, thanks for clarifying. Did not realize that if it loses sats it will ascend to pick up more, that's pretty cool!
     
  13. lake_flyer

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    This goes only for GPS mode btw. I'm not sure if it will continue to rise to pick up sats. But it will rise to the preset RTH height (at least 20 meters above last recorded homepoint), if it's lower at that moment. It will hover until it has enough sats. If it picks up enough sats it will start the RTH to the last recorded homepoint. Better is to get back into the control range (if possible) and switch to Atti and bring the bird back.
     
  14. lake_flyer

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    There are some examples on youtube where a Phantom lost sats just before the RTH was invoked. In those cases the Phantom switched to Atti hence the controls suddenly felt different. While in panic, RTH is invoked, or worse, the controller is switched off. The Phantom first rises and then starts to head in the wrong direction. After a while GPS data is reloaded and the Phantom turns and finally comes home. In some cases the remaining juice in the battery is too low and the bird is lost. Another reason to have a good understanding of energy safety margins and when to turn home.

    never switch to RTH when the bird is low on sats.
     
  15. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Might be cool if it was true .. Maybe someone got confused seeing a Phantom climb to RTH but without sats your Phantom just sits there and drifts on the breeze. It doesn't rise and look for satellites.