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Thorough test this morning

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by Pull_Up, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. Pull_Up

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    Finally some flyable weather this morning so I took advantage of it to give the Vision as thorough a test as I could on one battery's worth of flight. I was specifically looking for flight time and range (both wifi and control) given the issues some people have reported. I've tried to give as much info as possible, hope this is of use/interest to some.

    Hardware
    Stock aircraft/Tx as delivered. I haven't even connected the Vision or the Tx to a computer. Android Vision app, latest version, running on a Nexus 4 phone. Camera set to 1080p/30, wide. Preview quality set to 640x480/15. Fully charged Wifi extender. Vision battery reporting 95% charged. AA batteries in the Tx had approx 40mins use before this flight. Compass calibrated before take-off. 11 satellites found.

    Conditions
    Surface winds calm. Air temp 10 degrees C. Take-off point approx 130ft above sea level. Open farmland, but there was a large metal-clad barn 30ft from where I took off and was controlling. There were some lower voltage transmission cables nearby (440v). Line of sight at all times.

    Flight Report
    I flew until I got the first battery low warning, at rotors off I was reading 27% charge. At rotors on I was reporting 95%. I was recording video from rotors on to rotors off, there was no intermediate landing. My video shows 19 minutes and 19 seconds flight time. Ratio of hover/slow moving to faster flight probably over 2 to 1.

    When flying at 180ft height, I was able to have full control out to over 1000ft - so far I couldn't see the aircraft. Video was occasionally glitchy at this distance but I didn't lose picture completely or get the "connection lost" report

    I decided to see if I could get a loss of control by flying high, the weak point of the antennas. I lost control at 200ft distance, more than 800ft height and it started to return to home. I couldn't cancel the RTH until the aircraft came down to below 400ft height, at which point a flick of S1 and I could bring her in. By this time the aircraft was directly overhead, descending slowly as per RTH procedure.

    At all times I had the wifi extender pointing broadly towards the aircraft, and the whip antenna at it's full 90 degrees compared to the Tx orientation. This meant that rather than pointing perpendicular to the ground when I was holding the Tx it was actually pointed slightly backwards, towards me.

    Conclusions
    Wow. This was the first time I've been able to really push the Vision out in the open. I had full control and wifi downlink at over 1000ft horizontal range without issue. The issue of control disconnect seems to be exacerbated by going up high, up close. I didn't test specifically but I suspect if you move the Vision 2 or 300ft away from you before ascending you would be get the max height you're going to get.

    That battery really is phenomenal. Bearing in mind I started at 95%, to get just under 20 minutes and still have 27% on the clock given the amount of hovering I was doing was superb. The GPS lock was rock solid (I did have sight of 11 satellites, mind you) and I did have a go at a bit of low and fast flying above a field - the downlink picture is more than adequate for hooning around about 6 feet off the deck and 30+mph... but I still had to glance up now and again to make sure I wasn't closer to the ground than the image gives the impression.

    I think that's about it. If I've forgotten anything you want to know just ask.
     
  2. Sidewinder

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    Did you leave it in the CE compliant mode? (One beep at controller startup)
     
  3. Pull_Up

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    For the purposes of testing only, I may have taken a screwdriver to the pot on the back and got 2 beeps on start-up *cough* . Being a good Eurocitizen I have of course put it straight back to CE mode when I got home... ;)
     
  4. justflie

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    Nice writeup, thanks. What do you make of the camera and camera mount?
     
  5. Pull_Up

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    I'm not into photography or videography, so this is a bit of fun - and for that it's very, very good. Today's video included some flight over a field of pigs. With the camera pointed down I got some great overhead views of some tasty looking bacon! Great fun to spot things like birds flying through shot below you, spotting local landmarks on the horizon and so on.

    If I look at the output as someone with no technical expertise in photography but with a critical eye I'd say the still photos are very good: sharp, with really nice colours (to my eyes) and nice contrast - and that's just as they come off the card as jpegs, without any post-production. Video is ok. I haven't played around with any of the different resolution and fps settings as yet, but the standard 1080p/30, max FOV setting looks ok on a large TV without any stabilization, just reading it straight off the SD card. You can see some minor jello at the far edges in some shots (but see above about my blades), and generally I've been moving the aircraft around and flying it, not thinking about the video with it. When I remember to just hold it still and do some slow pans it's actually pretty good in light winds. The wide FOV works really well for "big vista" shots from up high. There are some good videos coming up on YouTube now from people with more time and talent than I have for editing, etc, showing the results you can get. Do a search for "phantom 2 vision". I did try and fly slowly around my car for a bit - even with height hold it's quite difficult to fly the aircraft smoothly (making sure you're not going to crash!) and look at the picture on the smartphone to keep it nicely framed. Like anything else it will take practice.

    I suppose the real benefit is being able to have it up there for more than 20 minutes at a time - if you are into editing your footage you're going to get loads of usable bits out of that much footage, even in rougher conditions. Same with photos - just set it to take a snap every couple of seconds and you're bound to get the perfect shot after a minute or so.
     
  6. Sidewinder

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    LOL .... Demonstration purposes only. Thanks for the write up of your findings.
     
  7. Studiowise

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    thank you for posting such a thorough report- kinda wanna see those piggies though!
    today, i went off to find concorde, i found her (i live 3 miles from her) but didn't have the bottle to fly directly over the disused airfield she resides on. i bottled out height wise once 2V was almost a dot. i may get braver having read of your experiences!
     
  8. Pull_Up

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    I'm just uploading the whole 19 minute video to YouTube. I'll publish the footage straight from the SD card, I'll also publish a version that YouTube has "auto-fixed" including YouTube stabilization just for comparison.

    Once they are up I'll put the links here and you can bore yourselves with 19 minutes of unedited bumbling around!

    Edit: and here are the links...

    Raw footage: http://youtu.be/TtCmsRy4r70 (for those interested in pork, aerial pigs from 10:25, plus bonus Red Kite encounter...)

    Stabilized and "fixed" by YouTube: http://youtu.be/8zy7Z1MgPj0 (Full video failed to convert, just did first 5 mins...)
     
  9. gunslinger

    gunslinger Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Excellent report and awesome video.

    It seems to me that it might be handy to have the option of recording flight metrics on the videos and stills. I think I see where you were at 800 feet but it's not obviously so. I've had the same issues with my own videos and stills.

    I watched the entire 20 minute video. Incredible...

    Thanks...
    -slinger
     
  10. Pull_Up

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    Thanks. I can't take any credit for it being incredible - I was just enjoying flying around! The post-processed video is still churning through YouTube's servers (unsurprisingly, it was a 1.6G mp4) - I'll be very interested to see how it looks stabilized and colour/contrast "fixed", etc. If you watch the last few minutes of the video you'll see at 16:20 the moment where the aircraft suddenly yaws left about 100 degrees and moves slowly forward - that was where the RTH kicked in at 800+. I'm no mathematician, but I reckon if you factor in the horizontal distance with the vertical then DJI's quoted max ranges are reasonably achievable. I suspect that in a totally open terrain without any structures to mess with signal you could probably exceed them. Considering it's on 5.8, that's impressive. More impressive was the fact that I still had video and data downlink the whole time. When you hit the "radar" button and see it's definitely coming back it's quite reassuring!

    EDIT: I've just realised that from 12:00 for over a minute there's a superb overhead steady shot that shows just how good the position hold is. My daughter had finished her snack and wanted to get out of the car. I didn't touch the controller until 13:05 - just look how well the aircraft held station...
     
  11. vbluguitar

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    Must be nice - we have been having 20 mph winds the last two days, and I had a shoot today. All that said, the Vision worked well and the photos came ou well. Video is good to once warp stabilized.
     
  12. MaxxFly

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    Pull_Up,
    Having the TX antenna pointing at 3 or 9 O'clock and the Phantom's antenna sticking out back or looking forward will roll your tx and rec signals horizontally which has less noise and interference compared to a vertical antenna. When the antennas are sticking straight up, this will allow interference with 5.8ghz cordless phones and wireless video surveillance systems.