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What happens when Phantom v1 loses Sats while flying?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bunger, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. Bunger

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    I have a phantom v1.1.1 and was just curious ( I haven't had it that long ):

    What happens if the Phantom loses satellites while it is flying in GPS mode? My assumption is that it will switch to atti on its own without the pilot knowing, which would result in sudden, unexpected drift in whichever direction it was going when it lost them.

    I would also assume the proper response would be to stay calm and attempt to reverse direction?

    Is that about right?
     
  2. OI Photography

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    That's excellent advice that can be used in many situations in life, including this one ;)

    It's not uncommon for the Phantom to lose lock on a sat or two (or three) while flying, and while the stability of flight in GPS can will degrade noticeably after you get down to 5 or less, I've never seen it switch to Atti mode on its own. If you lose that many while flying you'll basically be in Atti mode anyway with the lack of 3D positioning ability.

    If you do notice the red light indicating less satellites (and not low batt), the best thing you can do is just maintain control as best you can while you try to get it back to a spot where it can see more of them.

    Line-of-sight to the sky helps, but isn't mandatory...my Phantom can lock 7 sats while sitting on my workbench inside.
     
  3. Bunger

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    What are the visual differences in the red LEs between lost Sats and low batt when flying? I actually didn't know it would flash due to lost Sats...
     
  4. Peter Patricelli

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    You really should practice in ATTI mode as part of your learning curve so you don't have to be concerned about losing satellites. It isn't really all that much different. If you are hovering (in GPS) and switch to ATTI, nothing will happen at first, then the bird will start to wander or drift with the wind currents. If you are flying fast in GPS and let loose of the sticks, the bird will decelerate into a hover and stop over 20 feet or so. In ATTI it will just keep going and coast, drifting with the wind and slowing down slowly. You have to stop it yourself with reverse stick and then keep correcting as needed. In ATTI mode the speed governor is OFF....you bird can fly at neartly 3 times the speed allowed in GPS....so things can happen fast and you have to be anticipating moves "ahead" of your craft. Interestingly, in ATTI mode your height, whether hovering or running tends to be maintained almost as well as in GPS mode. I rarely need to re-adjust the height. Maybe because air currents tend to be ground-parallel?

    ATTI mode is interesting, instructive, and useful in that all the small position re-adjustments that occur in GPS mode are gone. It is more stable for video even with a good gimble and I can tell the difference watching the recording. Don't be afraid of it. And, since one can switch instantaneously back and forth, it is easy to experiment and play with it step by step as your flying skills improve. And ATTI will be both more challenging and more instructive. Once you re used to it you can stop "worrying" about losing satellites. GPS mode is really training wheels and a safety leash.
     
  5. iResq

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    [quote="Bunger"
    What are the visual differences in the red LEs between lost Sats and low batt when flying? I actually didn't know it would flash due to lost Sats...[/quote]

    You will get red flashes indicated # of sats, followed by a green, repeating.