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Standard All Drone lights went out on night flight

Discussion in 'Phantom 3 Help' started by Jthomp, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. Jthomp

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    P3S Drone was at about 150 - 200 feet altitude nearly straight up from launch point on a night photo flight over my town tonight. It had been in the air about 5-7 minutes on a fully-charged battery, flying in "P" mode, and holding position in a slight wind via GPS.

    Suddenly ALL the lights on the drone went out and the drone was no longer visible. A message flashed for just a few seconds on the controller device (DJIGo) indicating a presence of high electromagnetic interference, then it went away. I initiated a RTH but never saw nor heard the drone again.

    A bystander observed the drone heading toward the flat roof of a lighted building across the street from where I was flying. My Samsung tablet display device track confirms that was the route the drone flew, and subsequently stopped. I should be able to retrieve it tomorrow with the help of the building maintenance department.

    Interestingly enough, the bystander did note that, when he saw the drone, it had two steady red lights on (he didn't recall seeing any other color). It would appear that some form of electromagnetic interference caused the drone to (1) turn off all the lights - (perhaps for only a few seconds - then they came back on?), and (2) lose GPS capability. The first made it so I could not see the drone in the night sky, and the second allowed the wind to blow the drone away from where I last saw it's lights.

    I have flown in this exact same area before and have never had any indication of electromagnetic interference - until tonight. I'm wondering if perhaps a radio transmitter (police, fire, ambulance, etc.) could have been keyed and caused the momentary interference (and the flashing of the warning on my Samsung device), then when the transmitter was un-keyed, it disappeared.

    Will try to post flight logs as soon as I can retrieve the copter.

    Cheers
     
  2. Richard R

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    Strong interference may have messed with the compass which would cause the bird to switch to atti mode which would have the bird drifting with the wind. And no compass, no RTH. Don't know if the bird can switch itself back to P mode when the interference goes away? Sri, no clue about the lights.
     
  3. MapMaker53

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    Assuming you were standing relatively close to the launch point, that might be the cause of your signal drop as you will get the weakest connection flying directly overhead. With a weakened signal, any other interference will probably easily knock out the connection all together.
     
    #3 MapMaker53, Jul 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  4. Jthomp

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    Good point about being nearly vertical from the launch point! Hadn't thought about that.

    I retrieved the drone this morning - 1 broken prop and some damage to the gimble (repairable) - but everything else looks okay.
     
  5. Neon Euc

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    Did you find out what caused it? Eager to find out
     
  6. Pharm

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    My guess would be that the lights never went out at all. I'm speculating of course but I think you got the interference message, you looked at the screen, it switched to Atti mode and drifted out of sight. When you looked back up, you didn't see it because it had moved from where you expected to see it.

    Now, in all fairness, I obviously wasn't there so they may have gone out but I am leaning more toward the scenario above. It didn't return when you pressed RTH because it has to be in GPS mode for RTH to work.

    Also, as long as you didn't notice me hiding in the bushes with my drone jammer, then I wasn't there and had nothing to do with it. ;)
     
  7. Jthomp

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    I am thinking the way you are thinking - I know I was glancing down at the monitor screen quite often to insure the photo subject was getting framed the way I wanted it, and then looking up at the drone to insure it was staying put in the sky where I wanted it. So it may have gotten blown to where I couldn't see it because there was a small tree which blocked my view of the drone in that direction... and, in actuality, it blocked my view of the remainder of the flight of the drone.

    It was just by sheer Providence that I met up with a young man and his wife who had been walking in the next block over and who had seen the red lights on the drone as it appeared above the roof of the building just prior to it's landing up there.

    And, yes, they did mention that there was a person lurking in the bushes over where they came from and he had some sort of electronic gizmo with a long antennae on it.......
     
    Pharm likes this.
  8. Pharm

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    Coincidence! Mistaken identity! Happenstance! Liars! ;)
     
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