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Taking off from 14th floor balcony

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by moralneeeick, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. moralneeeick

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    Hi there - this is my first post, and yes I've tried searching the forum for answers and didn't find what I was looking for.

    So - the question I have is this. I live on the 14th floor of a building in Canary Wharf, London. I am within a restricted GPS zone due to proximity to City Airport, but I would like to know the following:

    1 - If I turn on/calibrate the phantom on my balcony, and take off from there, will it consider the 14th floor to be the 'ground'
    2 - If no, once I fly out (over the river) will it detect that it is in fact 14 floors up (I'm concerned about crashing it into the river)
    3 - Is there anything else I should be aware of with starting a flight from high up like this?

    I've flown it from ground level many times now, and confident with controls etc.

    Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks.

    Nick
     
  2. who

    who

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    I believe once you get a home lock at the 14th floor, it will think that's ground level. So you could take off without a problem. If you fly below the 14th floor it will say your attitudes is negative
     
  3. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    1. The only height the Phantom knows is how high it is above its home point.
    2. The Phantom has no idea what is below it - and it makes no difference.
    It's up to the pilot to keep the phantom up in the air - not the Phantom.
    3. You might have to watch out for a compass error message if there's reinforcing steel in your balcony. If so, it's probably best if you don't calibrate your compass there. You don't need to calibrate every flight any way. The idea is to calibrate the compass to the magnetic environment where it has to fly - not a distorted magnetic environment you might launch from.
     
  4. Mori55

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    Do you really think it's safe doing this ?
     
  5. Badger55

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    I saw a video recenlty about this, they tested setting the home point at an elevated position and the phantom still went to actual ground. I don't believe setting an elevated home point is possible.
     
  6. SteveMann

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    Welcome to the forum, Nick.
    As Meta4 said, the Phantom only knows the height above the home point.
    But, looking at your location on the VFR charts, I wouldn't recommend flying from your balcony, or the roof. The tall buildings are certain to hide GPS satellites from view and contribute to possible loss of control link, and if the Phantom doesn't have six or more GPS satellites in view, where it will try to RTH is anyone's guess. Further, due to your congested location, any crash there would be headline news, and I don't think you would want the accompanying attention.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    The Phantom still went to actual ground??? Do you mean it wouldn't land in the sky?
    Whatever you think you saw on youtube, it is possible to set home point either up in the air or on some elevated point.
    Like it says in the manual, flipping the S2 switch 5 times rapidly will move the Phantom's home point to it's current location - wherever that happens to be.
     
  8. bbfpv

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    RTH will go back to the homepoint and land by slowly descending until it touches down. It's not like it gets back to the homepoint and cuts power to the engines....
     
  9. N017RW

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    Assuming your balcony is covered it will not be possible to RTH. It will either hit your building or land near it on the ground below.
     
  10. moralneeeick

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    Thanks for all the responses, thats really helpful info - great to be in a forum where everyone is helpful :)

    Where I am is actually very open (post code E14 8JX on google maps). The balcony is actually on the side facing the river and has a corner aspect so I've managed to get 6 sats from there.

    Images of building:
    http://www.skyscrapernews.com/gallery.php?id=1449&idi=Seacon+Tower&images=all

    I was concerned about the RTH function, as if it descends slowly around the home point and happens to be 5 meters to the West, it will land in the Thames (not ideal).

    Also interesting to hear about magnetic interference - as my balcony is essentially made of metal (pic attached). I've taken some incredible photos manually from here and I would really like to get some snaps with the phantom. I would be flying over the river, directly in front of me and in line of sight at all times (on a day when its not windy).

    I'll certainly have more of a think before taking this on, but just wanted to see if anyone has attempted anything similar.

    Obviously if I do attempt this I will report back with images. :)
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Mori55

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    With all that metal your just asking for compass problems. There's been been issues because of rebar in driveways.
     
  12. moralneeeick

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    Forgive my ignorance here, but if you're using FPV to fly, and not using waypoints, how would compass interference affect my ability to navigate (assuming I keep the Phantom in line of sight)?

    Sorry that may be a really stupid question!
     
  13. Badger55

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    "The Phantom still went to actual ground??? Do you mean it wouldn't land in the sky?
    Whatever you think you saw on youtube, it is possible to set home point either up in the air or on some elevated point.
    Like it says in the manual, flipping the S2 switch 5 times rapidly will move the Phantom's home point to it's current location - wherever that happens to be."

    Have you tested this to confirm it? I still believe that if you set the phantom on a 6 foot ladder, set the home point it will still return and land on the ground. Not hover at 6 feet.
     
  14. BlackTracer

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    The home point altitude is not used for a landing height for RTH. It is used for the relative RTH altitude, geofence relative altitude, and restricted areas height restrictions. It is not used in any way when landing during RTH. When landing in RTH, it will descend until it reaches an altitude where it cannot descend any further and stop its descent there and turn off the motors. Sometimes it will skip across the ground because it's stupid that way.
     
  15. SteveMann

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    Not a stupid question, but your assumption is correct. The compass is only used to turn to a heading computed between two waypoints. In RTH you have two waypoints, the current position and the home point.

    I simply would not rely on GPS that close to tall buildings.
     
  16. moralneeeick

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    I see - so is there a way to fly without the use of GPS, so I can reply solely on FPV, line of sight, and good old fashion RC controls?
     
  17. bbfpv

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    Yes, fly in ATTI mode, GPS is not used. You might try reading the manual first.
     
  18. landmannnn

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    Just bear in mind the CAA regs state you should not fly in congested areas, ie towns and cities.
     
  19. moralneeeick

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    Yup valid point - I got as far as the quick start guide, but I will take a look at ATTI mode now thanks!

    On the point of CAA Regs, I read the condensed/simplified Engadget version here:

    http://www.engadget.com/2015/01/27/drone-guide-uk/

    I'm intending to only fly this over the Thames, and certainly not in a reckless fashion, nor near any people. Its highly likely I won't even attempt this at all now, but I figured I should at least ask advice (and I'm glad I did).

    I think a safer option would be to take the drone down to the riverside when the tide is out, and take off from there, far away from both people, and my building.

    Thanks again people!
     
  20. bbfpv

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    I think an even safer option is to take it to a field and learn how to fly and recover if something were to go wrong. There are guys on here who have been flying for years and still refuse to fly over water. If you crash into a tree, you've got something left to work with.. over water, not so much.