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The Longest Two Minutes of My Life!

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Sprague, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. Sprague

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    Yesterday I flew my P3P out to around a mile, no big deal. But as I'm on a river it might have been near a marina where boats have strong VHF radios and radars… in any event I lost the signal very quickly. Before I knew what was happening "Signal Loss" in red was all I could see. I've read enough on these boards to know that this didn't mean the end of the world for I had plenty of battery power and wasn't in danger of hurting anybody if it fell from the sky. Yeah, I read all that, but when it happens to you for the first time... If I remembered correctly from what I read all I had to do was reboot everything, check the cables. I did just that but to no avail. There was simply no connection, my P3P was "out there" not under any control. My "pucker factor" was slowly going off the scale! I went through every emotion in the book and started working on my excuses as to why I was going to come home empty-handed. It had been over 90 seconds now with no indication or communication from it. If my pucker factor got any worse I was going to need the Jaws Of Life. At about the two minute mark my controller was soaking wet from the sweat pouring down from my face, I looked like the village idiot pathetically staring down and mumbling and incoherent babble at a dead, blank screen. And then it happened; a flicker of life. A few seconds later there was another flicker of life… Something on the screen somewhere flashed yellow, off in the distance I heard an alarm starting to beep… I then saw the most beautiful three letters I've ever seen in my life "R… T… H" Having had its fun and knowing that it tortured me close to death my P3P decided to come home on it's own! I broke into giddy laughter. I shamelessly looked over each shoulder to see if anyone had witnessed my near meltdown. My pucker factor was almost relaxing and I could actually move from below the waist. I had control again and I could now hear it! My P3P was coming home! Bless you DJI, bless you PhantomPilots... My P3P did as advertised and had decided to come home on it's own! The glories of modern technology! The beauty of our hobby! I was a very happy and relieved man whose only problem now was whether he was going to need a new O-Ring or not.
     
    toddsworld, Garrie, Airgoz and 12 others like this.
  2. bbfpv

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    ha. glad it worked out for you.
     
  3. robsquad

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  4. Jesse_M

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    Help me out guys. So the OP had the 'lost connection' issue which seems quite common. This is a lost connection with the device you use for FPV correct (tablet or phone)?

    Unlike my P1, there is no switch on the controller for a HL?

    You have to wait for the P3 to initiate a RTH on its own?
     
  5. Duke

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    Great Story, I'm wearing some of my coffee I just sipped and spit up during an out break of laughter I just had. I Gotta say that was quite theatrical. ;) I am glad this story had a happy ending and you didn't have to go in for Sphincter Surgery! :eek:
     
  6. Duke

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    Yes, Basically that's what happened.
     
  7. unclejas

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    Bwahaha! I've had a few moments of 'ah ****' before too with my P3P. I know the feeling well. I've invested in some signal boosters. I'm not interested in long distances so much as I am in just signal robustness/penetration.
     
  8. JohnK

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    Oh man I had a similar thing happen. I lost contact and just stood there staring at my screen for about two minutes ... until I heard the buzz overhead and the RTH beeping. Although I am (obviously) happy that it worked, I never really need to go through that experience again. I've never flown a mile away, and have no plans to do so!! :)
     
  9. Sprague

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    Glad I'm not the only one to have "enjoyed" these quality moments with my P3P!
     
    JohnK likes this.
  10. Buckaye

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    Well first... Loss of signal and disconnected are two different things.

    When your screen tells you loss of signal - it's talking about the FPV (which is scary enough)
    When your screen tells you disconnected - it's saying it no longer believes you have a tablet attached.

    In both of these cases you should still have connection via the controller itself - and hitting the "home" button should return the aircraft to you.

    The time you need to worry is when your controller status LED goes solid red or blinking red, which tells you you've disconnected from the aircraft or the controller malfunctioned respectively.

    EVEN in that case - the phantom should realize it lost connection with the controller and return to home.

    Doesn't reduce the pucker factor - but one should try not to panic in these situations. The real KEY to all of this is to set your return to home height higher than any object in the area you're flying (and people routinely forget to do that).
     
    Australis5 and Jeff48920 like this.
  11. rockydog

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    There are 2 different scenarios for RTH.......1) it can be initiated by a button on the controller if you've lost sight of the Phantom, or lost orientation etc., or 2) if radio control signal between the Phantom and the controller is lost, it will automatically go into RTH.
     
  12. Sprague

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    Thanks guys! I'm going to have to read over your points again and again as I'm a little bit fuzzy on them and as you know, when it happens, it's hard to remember your own name let alone the scenario as to what's happening!
     
    JohnK likes this.
  13. Sprague

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    Hahahaha!!! I'm not kidding here; I just read the description of the controller light blinking red and my heart started to race! Man, I'm a P3P wimp!!!
     
  14. JohnK

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    lol. I'll drink to that.
     
  15. Sprague

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    Hi JohnK... I don't know what would be worse; losing the thing or having some 12-year-old find it and hold it for ransom!
     
  16. rrmccabe

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    One thing to consider @Sprague is setting your RTH height so its good for your surroundings. As an example if you are flying along and decide to drop down and look at a boat in the marina. First of all the lower elevation at distance is going to increase your chances of losing connectivity but secondly its going to return to home at whatever altitude you are currently flying OR your RTH height setting in app IF it is higher.

    I normally keep mine around 200'. This allows it to get up over trees and also gets it back up in the air so you can regain connectivity quicker.
     
    RobBarron likes this.
  17. JohnK

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    That would happen in my case ... I have my phone # and "REWARD" written on the bottom, just in case. Thinking of buying one of those Marco Polo locator things. I think the cell-based ones are not going to be useful for the kinds of places I plan to go to fly. "Middle of nowhere" is generally not a good coverage zone for cell and wifi.
     
  18. JohnK

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    Not sure I am on board with that (ready to learn something new). Would't a descent from the home point be considered "negative altitude", causing the copter to rise to an altitude of 200 feet (in my case) above the home point altitude? I understood it like this: I set my homepoint and then descend 100ft and trigger an RTH for 200 feet. The copter goes up 300 feet from its lower altitude in order to be 200 feet above the home point altitude. Am I mistaken? This is actually a big deal for me for the fall when I will flying down into some canyons out west.
     
  19. rrmccabe

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    Your assumption about 200' - 100' equals a 300' rise is correct.

    The point is to have a RTH height set for your surroundings. High enough to clear whatever you need. So if you have a mountain in your way or trees or a tall building then consider a height to go over them.

    I fly distance all the time. Miles actually.. I have been known to get there and drop down to take a look. I know there is a good chance I will lose connectivity and trigger RTH when I drop. So I want to make sure that RTH height will clear everything that is in the "as the crow flies" path home.
     
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  20. Jeff48920

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    EXACTLY RIGHT !!!!
    +1
     
    Buckaye likes this.