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Transitioning to longer flights beyond visual range

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Chagall, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. Chagall

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    I'm curious if some of you guys that are taking those long scenic vista flight that are hundreds of feet up and seemingly thousands of feet away could describe in words what you are seeing and thinking as you do that.
    I'm still getting used to the P3 and even with the P2 have just done relatively short, purposeful video flights where I am trying to capture a specific shot and I can easily see the bird. Even with FPV, often the sun almost obliterates the screen, even with a shade on it. If you could describe in words, something to the effect of: Okay, I'm taking it up now, about 300 feet or so. Now, heading off at a good clip toward _______. It's been about xx number of seconds and I can no longer see it visually, now I'm ....
    That's what I'm wondering. After x number of seconds when you can no longer see the bird visually, what are you thinking, doing, looking at? Are your app displays good enough that you can see where you are/going? Between all the reported app drops/stopping (I've had a couple now) and a fpv that's all but a ghost image in strong sunlight, wondering how you approach this and what you rely on to fly. If it is no longer visible, how do you know if you have clear line of site etc.
     
  2. danjordrone

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    I have wondered the very same
    im tempted to give it a go when the sun is much later in the day when i can see my screen far clearer.I tried my galaxy s6 today and found out setting it to auto brightness in bright light it pushes upto a further 60% above what manual slider gives and its very handy and visible more in bright light
     
  3. phiggs54

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    Great question Chagall. I have had my P3 2 weeks and have not had the nerve to fly out of sight. I am looking forward to responses frim experienced pilots
     
  4. Sammynels

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    You can't see it based on your eyesight but I would say around 1200 feet away. I just use fpv and keep it in front of me, within a 60 Degree window. I make sure I set my RTH And allow the bird to sit for a min before I take off. I also set max altitude @ 390 feet and make sure boosters are plugged in and operating. I then takeoff and keep an eye on altitude, battery, and signal... You get to a point you "let go" and let your artistic and creative side take over to create something meaningful. If you think about losing your bird all the time you can't take time to create. It's all about attention to detail during setup then after that it's experience and "calming down" once your up there.
     
  5. Sammynels

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    And compass calibration every time!!!
     
  6. 4wd

    4wd

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    A lot of people doing this confidently will already have had months or years experience with Phantom one and two, and are used to relying largely on the screen.
    If you know the area you can be reasonably confident as to how much altitude is needed to be above anything you might hit.
    Compared to Vision Plus the on-screen location information and transmission reliabilty is excellent and gives great confidence
     
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  7. twhphantom

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    Great question.

    We live on the side of a small mountain and our property runs 4000' down a valley from our house.
    My first experience was with my P2V+ using a pre-programmed path that took it out over our valley and out about 1500' from my home. When it got to the point that I lost signal and I could see it continue on its mission I began to literally shake and my hands got sweaty. I had a spotter with binoculars that could see it but for me it was completely gone. The spotter reported that he thought it had stopped and was turning back but I was about to lose it by then. A few tense minutes past and I got a signal lock the display showed she was coming home with a tailwind at about 50 miles an hour. I took control landed her and could not get the SD card out fast enough for review. It was amazing to see parts of our property so far away from the air.

    Then the P3 showed up....WOW
    On a trip yesterday I took it out 2900 ft at 400' high and had a solid signal lock and FPV feed I was shocked.

    Two things you can do.... first practice like crazy and secondly resign yourself to the fact that if you do go out that far you might never see your aircraft again. It happens.
     
    phxbird57, S5S5G6, huntjock and 2 others like this.
  8. danjordrone

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    How well does distance work in built up areas if got line of sight and good hieght.My thinking is lots of interference of wifi and structures limit the distance a lot.
    Has anyone achieved good distance in towns cities
    Any tips to achieve this
     
  9. Sammynels

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    I got a kit from REXUAV.com. Sam's Firemans Kit. (2) 3W boosters with (2) Omnidirectional Antennas. I get 3000ft in the city.
     
  10. Coldfire

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    I flew mine 4000' away the first day. I trust the system. That's how I enjoy my flying. If it fails. I'll buy anyother.
     
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  11. danjordrone

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    How hard to install setup?
     
  12. Sammynels

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    Not at all. Took me an hour. Would only take me 20 mins to do it again
     
  13. NickCopter

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    This kind of attitude is where I am currently.

    Flew several P2's before the P3 and by the end I had crashed several times and had no faith in the machine (and my flying skills). Got with the P3 and was seeing people flying super long range (3 miles+ no LoS) and in huge wind gusts, and decided to just trust the equipment.

    As for not being able to see the screen, when it's sunny I use the FPV goggles that you can see in my picture. Feel free to PM or ask if you want to know what they are and where you can purchase a pair.
     
    Fplvert likes this.
  14. danjordrone

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    Great thanks i will take a look on site
     
  15. danjordrone

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    Thought of goggles yep so what are yours and who supplis them
    im in the uk
     
  16. Bahamasboy

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    I completely feel your nerves! I've had a P2V+ and could never get beyond 2900'. My P3P arrived Friday and after doing several close flights (1000') I decided to increase distances by about 500' each flight going slowly the extra distance. Yesterday, I hit the 4000' mark! With the P2V+ I would generally get video glitches at about 2500 feet while turning in place so I would always fly backwards about 500' before turning around. With the P3P, I've hit my desired distance and turned slowly watching the vid feed strength. My thumb was shaking on the turn around as I tried to keep it slow. My flight back was full throttle ( I feel safer getting it back faster - just in case). I have yet to have a glitch as the new antenna set up (in all for legs of the landing gear) has greatly improved signal. After my 4000' flight yesterday I RACED home to view the video. HOLY CRAP.. I was amazed at what I could see and identify. I didn't think I was really that far out! I'm in Houston and was flying along a bayou with houses and businesses on both sides for most of the way. I was truly impressed. I did realize that for ME in LR flights having the TX antennas straight up helped the signal strength. Calibrate compass each time, double check HP is locked before heading out and be prepared to hit the RTH button. Keep wet wipes and a change of underwear in your car just in case!
     
  17. Fplvert

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    Totally agree with the goggles, I sit in a camp chair, and just watch what the bird sees. It's much more enjoyable when you're not trying to watch the bird and your screen at the same time. I'm using Cinemizers with no sun shade and can look above them when coming in for landing.
     
  18. Julius717

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    Trust your phantom and trust the vitals. The P3 is 10x better than the p2v+ with lightbridge you should have no problems flying far away. In the city or in fields.

    I'm usually out of site within minutes of launching. I hardly look up unless I'm back close and decending.

    Wanna see your screen during the day. Buy an IPad air 2.
     
  19. Greyfox51

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    I bought my P2V last July and the 2nd or 3rd flight that I made should have been my last. I lost orientation at extreme line of sight and when trying to bring the bird back home, all I managed to do was push it further away from me. In desperation, I threw caution to the wind, and threw myself at the feet of the RTH god and switched off the transmitter. After four or five of the longest minutes I have ever experienced, I heard the bird coming back home. The flood of relief was indescribable.

    The next occasion I experienced such a high was when waypoint flying a couple months ago, again, with the P2V. I tested the setup, then went for it, sending the bird off to fly completely autonomously on a 14 waypoint mission to film a section of river. The flight was 9800 ft in total and took 9 minutes to complete, 9 long minutes that felt more like 19. The app, predictably and expectedly, froze at 1400 ft and from then on I was dependent entirely upon the technology as no further input was possible.

    When I heard the bird returning, the sense of elation was profound. I was relieved and amazed, both at the same time. The verbal blessings I showered upon DJI and the app provider would have been embarrassing, had anyone been there to hear them.

    Emotionally, flying a Phantom is a sine wave of highs and lows; the highs being when things go predictably to plan, and the lows when they don't. One can only hope that the lows don't involve a really bad crash or a total loss of the bird. But that, I believe, is all but inevitable; it goes with the pitch with this hobby.
     
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  20. Julius717

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    I agree with the statement. Fly each flight as if it's your last. **** happens. If you are beyond LOS the return to home function is there for a reason if something happens.

    Someone mentioned above if it crashes or Flys away I'll just buy a new one. That's exactly how I fly.
     
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