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Switching flight modes for better orientation

Discussion in 'Standard/4k Discussion' started by DividedSky, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. DividedSky

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    Hi guys,

    Wondering if I could get some advice on longer flights. Obviously for newer pilots the idea is to practice controls and orientation before sending their bird out a long distance. However, I wondered if any of you switch to course or home lock once you’re that far out? Or do you find it easier to keep it in standard flying mode where you need to be very aware of the direction the drone is facing?
     
  2. WilliamM

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    Definitely a newbie question, we were all there once. Here's my take on it. Course lock is good for either setting up a photo shot that requires it, or letting a friend or family member fly your drone and wanting to keep it simple. Home lock can be, and is used to get the drone back to the home point very easily. It could be because you've lost your orientation, or just to get it done with little effort. But normally most fly in P-mode the whole time, even far out. You will learn to use and trust the icon on the Go app to get your orientation. It took me a few flights before I even used the map/radar much at all, and only used LOS to get my orientation. It's a combination of both LOS and the device display you learn it's not as hard as it seems.
     
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  3. DividedSky

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    Thanks wmcvey. I find I'm definitely using the icon in the app more, when I lose sight of the drone (open field thankfully), I'm able to understand my orientation and just yaw it to where I want it. At times I'm in full screen GPS map when I lose visual just to make sure I'm oriented properly. I'll need some more practice (and batteries) but getting the hang of it.
     
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  4. Mark The Droner

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    A valid question. I used to wonder this same thing early on. It took me several months to figure it out.

    You fly it straight out. The AC should be pointing exactly away from you as it goes out. You eventually lose the control signal. It will stop, hover 3 secs, then begin its return flight as it does a 180, flying straight to its home point. It's in RTH.

    Generally you want to take control early because RTH is so slow. So you toggle ATTI and GPS while keeping the right stick full up. Now, assuming you're in range, you are in control and flying straight home.

    Now it's coming home but it's not in RTH! But will it stay on course? The answer is yes. It'll pretty much come almost straight home even with a cross wind due to the magic of the GPS flight, the compass, and the gyros in the aircraft. Just keep it right stick full up. You'll make some fine adjustments with the right stick the last mile or so as you begin your descent and final approach.

    You definitely want to avoid the IOC controls on a distance run because they are PAINFULLY slow. The craft will move much slower than RTH and RTH will move much slower than your normal GPS flying. Save the home lock for the return flight if you get confused and know it's close but can't find the AC in the sky. This happens sometimes when you're coming in too fast and too high and you have trees around you.

    Hope this helps.

    Welcome to the site!
     
  5. WilliamM

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    Would like to add a comment about something you said in your third paragraph, about putting it in ATTI mode when not in VLOS yet as RTH is so slow. Leaving it in P mode (just canceling RTH) would accomplish the same thing while still keeping GPS to assist in no drifting in the wind. Putting the Drone in A mode while out of visual sight to a new pilot especially is not a safe thing. Now if you were trying to say toggle the S1 switch to cancel RTH, but leaving it in P (GPS) mode, when you either have VLOS or a good telemetry map display so you can tell your heading. That's different.

    Sent from my HTC 10 using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
    #5 WilliamM, Aug 18, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  6. Mark The Droner

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    I said "toggle".

    I confess I don't have a P3. There is no "cancel RTH" switch or button or whatever on the P2 series. On the P2 series, we have to move it to ATTI at least briefly to take control. Then we can move it right back to GPS. This can be done in less than a second although I'm in the habit of leaving it in ATTI for 3 secs before moving back to GPS. Since I'm on the edge or range, I want to give the AC its best chance of reading the ATTI signal. I've never noticed any measurable drift during those 3 secs, although sometimes there's a slight change in the heading - by a degree or two.

    So yes, if you can just push a button on the P3 and take it out of RTH, that might be better.

    Thanks
     
  7. WilliamM

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    That's what I thought you were trying to say, just wanted to make sure the OP understood that as well. And it sounds about the same as the P3S, the S1 switch goes from P, A, F modes in that order. So a quick P to A mode, then back to P mode. Cancels RTH, and puts it right back to GPS. Just didn't want the OP to get the impression that you left it in A mode for an extended time.

    Sent from my HTC 10 using PhantomPilots mobile app