Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Wi-Fi on Hero making Phantoms disappear?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MX45OR, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. MX45OR

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    It kindof scares me a little that the remote I use can send my Phantom on a rogue course, never to return. Has anyone noticed glitches, or even lost signal, with the Wi-fi turned on?

    Directly from DSLRs email to me.

    "Do not Fly your Phantom with the GoPro Hero 3 WiFi turned on - You may loose your Phantom!!

    We have already had four customers loose their Phantoms because they were flying with WiFi enabled on the GoPro Hero 3. Please make sure you have this disabled before flight."
     
  2. pwright

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    Got that email as well and I gotta admit that I question whether or not that is what really happened. It is also possible that the Phantoms were flown close to some other 2.4GHz source and that cause the issue.

    I've flown mine with the WiFi on 6 times (I have 3 batteries and went out with full batteries twice) and never saw any indication that it was interfering with flight controls. Having said that, some WiFi signals are on 2.4GHz and so could potentially interfere. Don't know what channel the GoPro WiFi defaults to or what mode (802.11 A, B, G or N).

    Is the transmitter for the Phantom using Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) which would make it less likely to be affected by a WiFi transmission in just one portion of the 2.4GHz bands.

    In any case, as a remote video feed I find it to be nearly useless because the range is so short. The best feature is being able to start/stop the camera and change modes. Would love to keep that functionality but not at the risk of watching my Phantom go flying off over the horizon.
     
  3. forevercrash

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    mahheim, pa
    Has anyone figured out what is going on with the loss of control? Can,t you turn off the WiFi remotely from your phone( with a helper) if you loose control? Doesn,t the home feature work when control is lost or does the Hero Wifi knock everything out period!
     
  4. PAULMGIBSON

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow, thanks for posting this. This is the exact set up I was hoping to achieve in the nest few weeks, so I will keep a keen eye on this thread. It obviously doesn't happen all the time as there is plenty on footage online with people using this set up.
    Paul
     
  5. Gizmo3000

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,859
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    I'll admit that I too,. have forgotten to turn Wifi off, have flown a number of times with it on, .. tho haven't experienced any issues. (tho I've never really flown more than 100 yards away)
    I've flown a lot in my backyard and front yard, have a wireless 2.8ghz phone, and my home wifi, as well as neighbors wifi as well.

    But guess the motto is "better safe than sorry" from now on, if it's really true that some people have had theirs flown away. (be sure to put your phone # on your Phantom!!)

    No, you can't remotely turn on-off the Wifi on the GoPro (which of course is why you can't remotely turn it on either). :(

    as mentioned, the Live Preview with it's 4-5 second delay makes it almost useless to use while flying. (plus the range isn't too great)
    But it's certainly a great tool for setting up the GoPro prior to flying,. the GoPros screen is just too tiny.
     
  6. ptnick

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    After about 40 wonderful flights my Phantom disappeared on me two days ago. I've been searching in vain since then.
    Wifi was not enabled, though it could have been accidentally. I was flying fpv, using a 5.8 600mw Immersion tx and fat shark goggles. This was fpv flight 20 or so, without incident.

    At about 400' abv ground the Phantom's video signal froze. I turned homelock on and. Brought back the right stick, after ripping off my glasses and trying to spot the Phantom. I couldn't see it, could barely hear it, and it faded into oblivion.

    I am still shocked tosee the flying thousand dollar bill head over the hills.

    I've since googled "lost Phantom" and have learned I'm not alone....

    Does anyone have insight as to the likely behavior after signal loss. Switch to Atti mode and drift downwind? I had about 3 minutes battery remaining when it glitched. Could be quite a ways away in a 10mph wind.

    Nick
     
  7. kesnim

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    S.Holland.Lincs.UK
    Received my AEE SD19 today, no time to fly with it. But reading the spec. The Wifi is on 2.8ghz, so hopefully this may be safe to use in flight. Though considering the claimed range (15M) will only be of use for starting video while in close range.
     
  8. forevercrash

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    mahheim, pa
    FYI--- On the DJI Home page under FAQ it clearly says NO! to the question Can I use wifi on The Phantom? It may interfere with the operation of the unit. Straight from DJI.
     
  9. MX45OR

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm really sorry for your loss. I'm going to be extra careful, but my Hero 3 glitches more than I'd like for a new camera.
    I have flown with the wifi off and it came back with it on, I have also had a video stop and start for a 5 second recording only to have it stop again. Coincidently my home wifi was just 20 feet away beneath the roof where I was checking my gutters.
    she came back with the wifi off, so I'm confused as to how it happened. Either way my Hero3 is just a tad glitchy.
    NEX 5 anyone?!?
     
  10. jdawson

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2013
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    1
    NOTE: I don't yet own a phantom... So my knowledge of the unit is limited. However I have done a lot of work with radio frequencies and GPS technology for 20+ years.

    GPS signals are very weak... So it is possible that FPV or Wifi transmitters being close to the GPS receiver can easily over power the unit and cause the Phantom's GPS signal to be lost. The other issue is that flying around trees, buildings, power lines can also knock out or degrade the GPS signal to a point where interference from the Wifi or other sources knocks it out. Because the Phantom transmitter is a one way communication system from you to the Phantom it has no way to show you if at any moment the GPS lock has been lost. So you may have taken off with a GPS lock and lost that lock shortly after take off.

    I wonder if anyone who lost a Phantom due to this GoPro Wifi issue can confirm they still had a green blinking light on the Phantom when it flew away and got lost? (Or is it safe to assume the unit was to far away to see the green light?)

    Also from what I have read you wait 10 seconds with a green blinking light before spinning the blades to ensure you have set a GPS home location before taking off. I really think it should give you an audio signal or something because it would be very easy to assume you have waited long enough and have not locked in a home location. I then wonder if you didn't lock in a home location and flew off and if something went wrong. Would it try to fly back to it's last known home locations (from like yesterday or something even if that was miles away now?)

    Finally as everyone else said.... I can only imagine how sick I would feel to see $1000 fly away... Very said... I feel your pain!
     
  11. ptnick

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can share a few more details in hopes of preventing someone else' s loss.

    I had installed an Immersion 5.8 600mw video transmitter to my Phantom. Similar to others in web-land who have posted such mods. I had a power/video out connection between my gopro3 black and the immersion. I used Fat Shark Attitude goggles. It all worked well for quite a while. I had stopped using the wifi connection to the gopro quite a while back because of the absurd latency. Tha said, it wouldn't have been hard to accidently push the wifi button before launch and not notice. I had previously had one or two freezes of the video image while flying, of no operational consequence because the Phantom was close.

    The last time it wasn't close. I've looked for four days in the open eastern Oregon ranch country where I live, to no avail.

    Now I'm gathering parts to build a bigger multicopter. . . Hooked.
     
  12. jdawson

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2013
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    1
    My understanding is the 5.8 600mw video transmitter has a heck of a range. Much more then the recommended 900 foot range of the Phantom radio. As you get the WiFi or FPV system farther away form you it may increase power to try and maintain signal and that may cause GPS issues.

    I assume at the time video signal was lost the Phantom was not in a location where you could get line of sight and see it fly away?

    Also do you have any idea/guess how far away from you it was when you lost signal?
     
  13. ptnick

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jdawson,
    I'd guess the Phantom was 800' away, very high angle overhead, with LOS.
     
  14. pwright

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    The FPV system is a one-way communication. It has no idea of how far away it is from the receiver and I seriously doubt it has the ability to vary it's transmitter power on the fly. It does put out a lot more power than the WiFi of a GoPro.

    The WiFi is, of course, two-way but has no ability to vary transmitter power. It is what it is and that is pretty dang low as well. A home router is typically around 40mw and I betting the GoPro is less than that.

    The GPS signals are on 1.5ish and 1.2ish GHz and are certainly easily jammed. That the reports I have seen always have the Phantoms at a fair distance away from the controller it seems likely that they get flown to near the max range of the controller and at which point some kind of interference kept it from receiving the control input. I suspect that your supposition that folks are failing to get a good home lock is also a factor. Some kind of feedback from the Phantom sure would be nice.
     
  15. Vkirbys

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    On my Phantom I put a small label with my name and Phone number, in case I ever lose it !
    (Hopefully some nice person will contact me so I can get it back)
     
  16. pwright

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    A very good idea.
     
  17. Sac D

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Northern California
    Have you looked closer rather than farther away for it? The reason I ask is that very often when searching a general area for something (in my case a golf ball in the trees off the fairway) there is a tendency to feel it is much farther away than it ended up. I'm just suggesting that it may not be as far away as you think, so don't discount searching nearby as well.

    I hope you find it!
     
  18. Gizmo3000

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,859
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    totally,
    should be part of the installation instructions. (unless you plan to use your phantom for covert operations :roll: )
    I've read a few stories about guys getting their lost Phantoms back.

    I finally got a new shell and put things back together last night.
    I printed out my contact info on paper, and then used extra wide clear packaging tape to affix it to the top of the shell, so it's practically waterproof. (also wrote the info down again with a sharpie on the lower half of the shell.)

    no way in hell I'm gunna send $1k+ in gear up into the air otherwise.
     
  19. MX45OR

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    My info is on the bottom of the shell , name and number. I was also toying with the idea of putting "REWARD IF FOUND", on it too.
     
  20. jdawson

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2013
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    1
    You know you can buy GPS tracking devices that will tell you where it is... You could also get a cheep android phone and have it reports its location....