Advanced Pilot Quiz: Things I am unsure of - are you?

Jul 31, 2014
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I know this is a lot of stuff but list the number with any response please. /

I've flown nearly 100 flights with my two phantom 2's, had a crash lately and ordered a third, now I'm looking to really enhance my safety education. I had a radio interference related crash, or so I believe, so I think knowledge about such things is the best prevention. I've developed a list of concerns that I am not totally sure of, so give them a try, or you may have the same question! Thanks!!

1. If I am to calibrate in a construction site and there may be metal structures, vehicles, or other objects around the target. How far should you be during calibration? I know metal objections, particularly the possibility of you standing on reinforced concrete, and other such things, are not be close during calibration.

2. If I temporarily lose connection to 6+ satellites and GPS mode during flight, what happens? ATTI kicks in?

3. If I am to experiment with switching to ATTI / MAN during a GPS flight, what am I expected to experience? Altitude hold and position hold (with no wind) in ATTI mode, yet less position and altitude holds in MAN mode? I have flown ATTI inside but just briefly and not for long enough to be comfortable.

4. What if many quads with 5.8Ghz fpv and 2.4Ghz signals all stay connected between the proper video receivers and monitors, and UAVs to the proper RC transmitters? I understand receiver antenna redundancy and spread spectrum technology in an RC transmitter, but I still find there could be issues? No? What about at these UAV and RC events where there many be 10+ UAVs flying at once in a single area?

5. IOC mode seems awesome and I totally see the benefits in certain situations. Maybe nearly all situations? I am note sure. I'm pretty comfortable flying regular flight mode in GPS, but consider how IOC may be a great alternative. What are the expert thoughts on this. Stick to normal or master IOC too?

6. I need to get a radio frequency anayzer. Does someone have a suggestion on a product or experience with such devices?

7. I am particularly concerned with marine environments. I am beginning to research boat radio bands and at which radio harmonics this could be a concern. I hear about many flyaways and radio issues over shipyards and marinas.

8. Lots of people have been talking about magnetic storms and the Kp index lately. I have the app which alerta you at 4 or higher. I have flown in 4s. Is there a real Kp index measurement where a concern is present? Have people heard about true issues with UAV flyaways and GPS struggling during a magnetic storm and paired high Kp?

9 I understand that power lines give off an electromagnetic field. People advise to steer clear of these, however I have seen lots of videos of people flying very very close. Thoughts? I cannot imagine all these power lines are inactive.

This is a good start. Cheers! Thank you so much for contributing!
#3. In ATTI mode your Phantom will hold it's height but will continue to drift in a direction you were moving until you stop it or it's momentum stops. Wind will move it around. But it will basically hold a level attitude without much input from you. In manual mode you need to level it out and it will drift... manual is much harder - and I wouldn't suggest you try it until you are super confident in ATTI mode - and even then I would practice with a cheaper quad. There was a debate a few months back about whether there was any reason to go into manual mode. Aside from the challenge - I don't really think so. I came from the CP heli world where you basically flew in manual mode and it requires a lot of adjustment on the sticks and it is easy to panic.
2) When you are in GPS mode (S1 in the top position) and you are connected to 5 satellites or less, your Phantom will switch to "non-GPS" mode (which is essentially ATTI mode). The main difference between non-GPS and ATTI is that you'll be flying with GPS assistance again as soon as you're connected to 6 satellites. While flying in ATTI, GPS never tries to assist to stabilize the Phantom. It will still be used to RTH if needed though.
5) IOC (Intelligent Orientation Control) is not technically a mode. It's a group of settings that are available when flying in Naza-M mode (which is configured in the Phantom Assistant application). When flying with both S1 and S2 in the top position, you are essentially flying in Phantom mode. That said, I think everything should enable Naza-M mode -- and, fly with both S1 and S2 up if they want to fly in Phantom mode. This will allow for the additional Naza-M mode features (ATTI & RTH) to be accessed if trouble arises.
1 .. Why do you want to calibrate at a construction site?
If it's within 100 miles of your usual flying area it's unnecessary anyway.
It's not possible to give a safe clearance distance anyway - the magnetic effect will be dependent on the size of the steel item.

2 .. Lose GPS - Phantom defaults to atti and drifts with the breeze if you don't control it. Unless you are flying in canyons, forests etc where obstacles block your sky, you should always have enough satellites anyway (as long as your Phantom has proper shielding for the GPS).

3. In atti you will have altitude hold but no position hold. Phantom drifts when you take your hands of the sticks and doesn't stop immediately like it does in GPS.
Switch to Manual and you'll probably experience the remorse of crashing your Phantom?
It will have no position or altitude holding at all and will require a lot of control

7 .. Sounds dodgy. If it happens, radio interference isn't likely to make a Phantom fly away. It's more likely to drown out the Tx signal and trigger RTH.

8 .. The whole fear of K index thing is exaggerated. I've not heard of any issues with GPS or Phantoms in these conditions. If there was an issue it's going to be quite small and probably not an issue at all.

9 .. The magnetic field generated depends on the current carried in the cables. Lots of cables don't carry enough current to be an issue.
DJI's DESST is compatible with Futaba's FASST protocol and in fact Futaba's 2.4GHZ FASST Tx's can be bound to the 2.4GHz Phantom's stock receivers.

FASST is one of, if not the most reliable protocols out there so I think you should look elsewhere for your problems or their likely to return again.

Save your money on an RF analyzer. It will not tell you what you want it to.
1. Calibrate in an adjacent open field.
2. ATTI kicks in.
3. GPS = Driving a car with the e brake on. ATTI = driving a car with no brakes.
4. Spread spectrum solves the problem. Not an issue.
5. Learn IOC. Use both.
6. Why do you need a spectrum analyzer?
7. RF interference will not down the bird or cause a fly away.
8. Concern over K index is overblown. 7 or higher, be cautious/ready to fly ATTI if needed.
9. Power lines, don't hit them and you'll be fine. Not an RF concern.
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