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WARNING! Don´t rely too much on GPS!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by XL-Studios, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. XL-Studios

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    Reading about many flyways and having some personal very close calls on the topic I have come to the conclusion that many pilots rely far to much on the Phantoms GPS features and don´t understand that satellites come and go. >6 satellites is NOT at all granted 24/7! One moment you can have 10, the next 4 and you are in severe trouble! PLEASE ALWAYS CHECK SITES LIKE: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SWN/index.html and http://satpredictor.navcomtech.com before take off. There are good apps also like GPS Plan.
    When you get <6 satellites a lot of things will not work like you are used to, RTH, Home Lock and Course Lock for example. If the Phantom goes in and out of satellite coverage strange things can and will happen! New Home Point set, Auto landing etc etc,
    Taking off with <7 satellites is a calculated risk taking! If you do this in a satellite shadowed area and expect >7 satellites higher up LET HER SETTLE ON THE HIGHER ALTITUDE TO SET HOME POINT! Just in case better flip S2 5 times up and down and watch green blinking indicating you have a Home point! Don´t think getting >6 satellite "on the fly" will do you any good!
    If you experience any kind of satellite glitch during flight. TAKE HER HOME IN ATTI MODE RIGHT AWAY! This is almost impossible without FPV if she is far away. Even in LOS it can be very difficult to see what direktion she is in in order to steer her.
    If you use sites/apps that predict satellite coverage and learn to fly in ATTI mode with FPV you will be much safer!
     
  2. reginarh

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    Thank you for the links.. good to know.

    Regina
     
  3. Miika

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    This is one of the reasons why I never turn my Phantoms heading if I cant see heading of it. The problem is that when your Phantom is far enough, you cant really tell when its moving away or closer to you. Loosing videofeed mid flight and turningn RTH on is also another way to loose your Phantom if GPS reception has gone bad.
     
  4. XL-Studios

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    Very true!
    My point is that almost everyone seem to take good GPS reception for granted when in fact you should check satellite availability before take off. Just because you take off with >7 satellites does not mean you will have this number or better 5 min later. The good news is that the satellite coverage is predictable. GPS Plan is a great app for this purpose!
     
  5. lvzx14

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    I like to live life on the edge so I fly manual.
     
  6. XL-Studios

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    I want to master this skill at some point!