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Watch out when you Orbit, Ouch!

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Kevin Shi, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. Kevin Shi

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    This is yet another crash report if you are already bored with this.

    The crash happened during my 5th flight, when I was practicing Orbit. Ironically I read this thread just one day before the accident. I was very cautious about LOS and keeping the bird away from trees during the whole flight, until...

    I started with flying square with nose away, then nose pointing to the direction. I felt comfortable with them after one battery, and challenged myself with Orbit. It was actually not that hard, and I managed to keep it smooth after several tries. I was too exited seeing the footage in FPV that I forgot LOS! And from FPV you won't see anything about the trees until you hit them. It was like :"Hey! I did it, it is so awesome! Ooooh, crap! trees!"


    From the map, you can see the problem is that the diameter was increasing and I didn't notice that. The bird hit the tree right on the spot, any further or closer would have saved it.
    [​IMG]


    It fell down from about 30 feet high. Battery popped out, one propeller damaged, one shell arm bended and cracked, vibration absorbing plate was broken as well as all dampers, whole gimbal fell off from body, and gimbal arm was slightly bent.

    I thought I was done with my new drone at that moment (really sad). Fortunately, when I went back home and hooked everything up together, it seems still worked, and the camera lens was free of scratch. So after one week wait for replacement parts, I fixed my drone and I'm a happy pilot again:)

    If you are still reading at this point, here is how I fixed it, and some useful information I found from Youtube.

    • Body
    1. Open body shell. Followed this video.
    2. Use hair dryer to soften the shell, and bend it back
    3. Use Bondic to weld the cracked areas. Followed this video.
    4. Use gorilla tape to reinforce
    [​IMG]
    • Gimbal
    1. Open gimbal body. Followed this video.
    2. Carefully disconnect flat cable
    3. Disassemble gimbal arm from bearing
    4. Use two pliers to bend gimbal arm back.
    5. I also installed gimbal saver this time as I may not be that lucky next time
    [​IMG]
    • Vibration absorbing plate
    1. Just replace with new plate and dampers
    2. Notice that damper protectors are for one-time use, so if you want to re-adjust anything after putting gimbal back, you will need to use another set of new protectors
    [​IMG]

    That's it, happy flying everybody!
     
    #1 Kevin Shi, Jul 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
    Raph and dirkclod like this.
  2. REBELimgs

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    Glad to see you got it all back together and flying again. Sucks that it seems the Phantoms are so fragile. Makes me afraid to fly mine. Mistakes happen and they are costly. The video looked great before the crash.
     
  3. snerd

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    Some good, useful info, thanks!
     
  4. GadgetGuy

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    Wow! One week! You could give DJI repair some real competion! ;)
    Orbits are best practiced at high altitude safely above the object with the camera pointed down and relatively tight on the radius. Use of Orientation Lock while flying in a straight line alongside and past the object, while keeping the camera aimed at the object by rotating the aircraft nose is another safer way to get the shot, if orbiting isn't working for you. To orbit, you basically move both sticks horizontally in opposite directions. No additional forward motion is needed unless you want a tighter circle. Set the radius with the right stick, and keep the object centered with the left stick rotation to match. Once you have the circle dialed in with the sticks, just hold them in place, and you'll have perfect circles on top of each other on the flight log after. Takes practice, but it's fun and useful!
     
    #4 GadgetGuy, Jul 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
    Raph and AlmostTan like this.
  5. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    Welcome to the forum Kevin and great to see another DIYer :)
     
  6. taroh

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    Sorry for terrible crash.
    For "follow me" circling, I always fly only with VLOS, w/o FPV (I hate to shoot myself, however :) ).
    For "POI" type circling, I'll do the same mistake in future... take care.
     
  7. Kevin Shi

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    Thank you guys!
    I struggled on sending it back or not, but I really hate to wait for two months. So I decided to have a try.
    Best solution is to replace the shell, as the bent arm can't be straighten perfectly. But just couldn't do it as shell is not available yet.
    Had 3 flights after repair, so far so good!

    I did do orbit by moving both sticks in opposite direction without any horizontal movement, but still find it hard to keep perfect circle. Because two sticks kind need to be in perfect match, or it will fly further or pointing away.
    Just today, I tries orbit with just LOS, but it's hard to know if the subject is in the center of the screen. Anyway, I should get higher when practice, and I wish official support for POI can arrive sooner.
     
  8. GadgetGuy

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    Parts are in short supply everywhere, which is part of the reason for delays for repairs at DJI.
    Nothing like good old DIY ingenuity to get the job done yourself!

    I use the FPV to keep the subject centered, and use the center point grid overlay under the grid camera settings as my target alignment aid. For orbiting in a circle, you really are better off using FPV, while keeping a lookout visually for potential nearby hazards, and looking at the map to see the roundness of your circle. It takes practice. Here's what mine looked like on my first attempt.
    image.jpg
    This is what it looks like when you practice a little.
    image.jpg
    Have fun with it!:cool:
     
    #8 GadgetGuy, Jul 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
  9. happydays

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    We've all done that, haven't we? It's important to practice POI flying, especially to keep the object the same distance away. A small imbalance in the sticks and the circle will increase or decrease. I fine that flying around church spires is a great help. Try to keep the top of the spire locked onto a point on the top of the screen - right in the middle. Don't forget that you can add in a bit of forward stick as well as the sideways to keep the distance the same.

    It also helps to add the grid lines on the screen in the app to keep things in perspective. You can always substitute a church spire with a big tree in the middle of a field. And if you're flying the craft behind you, make sure that the height of the circle is above any potential crash points!
     
  10. GadgetGuy

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    Great minds think alike! The second image is actually a church spire. Getting ready to do a Mormon Temple with multiple spires! I'll need to be on the opposite side of a freeway to maintain a good LOS. Perfect practice makes perfect! :rolleyes:

    I find that flying behind yourself is best avoided altogether. It often can end badly. Not only is the transmitter antenna incorrectly oriented, but that's where all the trees and poles always seem to jump out from! Turn around! :cool:
     
    #10 GadgetGuy, Jul 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
  11. MattRCGeeks

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    That's an impressive repair job. I particularly liked the bit with the hairdryer :D

    Seriously though, the gimbal was fine?
     
  12. Kevin Shi

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    Yes, gimbal is perfectly straight now, and does stable video and still smoothly.
    But horizontal line is not perfect (it wasn't when i first got it), so i still need to adjust it every time after power on.
     
  13. BlackHawk388

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    Man, you've made an awesome introduction! Very well done!

    I would suggest that in the future, while getting the orbit task completed, you orbit yourself and keep the Phantom within 50' of you to start. Things happen very quickly at such a close range, however, you also learn to be more intent on thinking three to five seconds ahead rather than in the moment.That wide open area you're flying in is perfect for such close distance orbiting.

    I've learned this from years of flying heli's and planes. Once you get that "muscle memory" thing going, you'll be looking ahead at what is coming up rather than being so intent on the exact position and the FPV right in front of you. Personally, I keep LOS contact at all times. I only use FPV when I'm getting in close to an object at a very slow rate of speed/closure.
     
  14. Kevin Shi

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    Thanks for the advice BlackHawk. That reminds me how I learned driving, from staring at the front of the car, to watching 100 meters away.