So Where the Heck Am I?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by pdmike, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. pdmike

    pdmike Extremely Popular Member

    We ventured a little farther afield today, i.e., I lost sight of the sucker. (Shhhhhh ...) I knew I was going to - that was the idea. I figured when I wanted to bring her home, all I would have to do would be to execute a 180, using the camera and known landmarks, and move out on a straight line, back to the starting point.

    Well, it didn't work that way. I got her out of sight, all right, but I did a bit more than a 180, and the quad went off in a "strange direction." After a bit, I was completely lost and couldn't see the quad at all. So I went from map display to ground display or whatever it's called - you know, where you are looking at houses and streets, etc.

    I saw three things on the display, superimposed over the ground display. A red arrow, a blue dot and a yellow icon with H in it. I was pretty good at the yellow dot, but hat a lot of trouble figuring out how to point the quad toward the yellow dot. I assumed you do that with the red arrow but, somehow, it didn't seem to work. And what's the blue dot supposed to indicate?

    So I ended up mashing the RTH button and pretty soon, here she came.

    How about some thoughts on what to do next time I'm in a fix like that? Using RTH is for sissies. I want to bring her back into sight and onto the landing pad manually.
  2. GlassKnees

    GlassKnees Well-Known Member

    RTH is for sissies? Are you kidding us??? You got your aircraft back, didn't you? What's better - being a "man" and losing your aircraft, or worse - having it crash into someone/something? Sounds like you have no compass display/OSD?? Even so, simply doing a 180 isn't going to help you unless it is totally windless, otherwise, you're gonna drift with the breeze.

    If you're gonna fly out of sight, then you are relying solely on your video feed - what happens if you lose that? You're screwed. Why tempt fate?
    pdmike likes this.
  3. mozquito1

    mozquito1 Well-Known Member

    I still panic even after a few years of LOS.
    You should know by stick movements where the quad is facing. But if you press hard & it yaws quick, I'm knackered.
    A quick deep breath & a nudge left then back to see where we are.
    pdmike likes this.
  4. LoneRCRanger

    LoneRCRanger Well-Known Member

    Not using RTH? Like, why do they put that on the drone in the first place? Not using RTH is like driving home in a snow storm with your eyes closed. Is not drinking anti-freeze being a sissy too? Funny how the drone knows to way home with RTH, when the pilot is absolutely blind!
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  5. Dugdog47

    Dugdog47 Well-Known Member

    I always fly out of los and have to rely on my video feed.
    Nope not screwed. I don't have RTH feature on any of my drones because it's for sissies:Dbut a yaw, climb yaw climb combo can usually let you know what direction your quad is facing. :)
    pdmike likes this.
  6. Dugdog47

    Dugdog47 Well-Known Member

    This guy explains it fairly well, of course this is assuming you're able to get back into los after losing los:

    If you're unable to get back into los AND you lose your video feed then I suggest landing blindly and going for a walk to find your quad, something I've had to do at least once.
    pdmike likes this.
  7. KentA

    KentA Well-Known Member

    That is an excellent video link, but your advice about "landing blindly and going for a walk to find your quad" would fail in my neck of the woods:
    I often find RTH very helpful.
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  8. DrAbsurd

    DrAbsurd Well-Known Member

    Most quads of this nature have a headsfree mode as well. this can fix all these problems in theory but who knows how it will act at long distance. No net here either. Im all fpv Acro (fly like a bird not see like a bird) so if I go down all I have is the last streaking things I saw going down and having some idea of where I was and heading. I also have the advantage of not flying out further than 600-700 meters max without it being in a very straight line and have non obscured LOS of the quad. I also know I cant put 2 many large objects or trees in between me an my drone. Of course im still way more likely to have to rescue my drone from a tree.
    pdmike likes this.
  9. pdmike

    pdmike Extremely Popular Member

    Wow - GREAT advice from all youse guys. Thanks a lot. I'm hearing that flying out of sight may not be the best thing to do and that RTH isn't for sissies at all. I feel so much better.
    Spork likes this.
  10. GlassKnees

    GlassKnees Well-Known Member

    Sorry if I came on a little strong... I thought you were serious about your initial remark regarding RTL, and in retrospect, I think you were just being lighthearted..
    In my own experiences RTL has saved my bacon (as well as aircraft) several times, and I always make sure that it is one of the flight modes available to me when I fly (I only get to choose three out of around 17 possible modes)

    Regarding flying outside of LOS, that's a tough one... I know that it's not "legal" according to the FAA, but I admit that on some missions I have flown out of sight, usually due to tall trees nearby, but on those occasions, the autopilot is flying a waypoint mission and I've tried to monitor its progress either via video streaming or telemetry, but neither are very reliable. In a couple of days I will be getting a Parrot Disco (flying wing), and there are tons of videos, where people have flown theirs over incredible distances, and I admit that I will be tempted to go on flights that are beyond los. It's all a matter of risk management and taking appropriate measures to mitigate risk. Happy flying and hope that you take my comments with a bit of skepticism....
    pdmike, KentA and Spork like this.
  11. mozquito1

    mozquito1 Well-Known Member

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  12. Gyro Doctor

    Gyro Doctor Electronics Tech for over 45 years

    :rolleyes: .... RTH is something camera platforms typically have, but if you're an FPV racer that's not an option.
    In situations where I've been flying LOS and have no LOS (or FPV and just basically lost or blind) this what I'll generally do:
    First,SLOW DOWN (a lot) .... Using the tips shown on the video are good advise, but they presume the quad is still
    in any sense of visual range ... RSSI is your friend ! ... As shown in the vid, the same thing can be accomplished without
    visual observation based upon signal strength. Make a turn (any turn) then watch your signal, if it gets weaker do a 180.
    If it stays the same then turn again. If it gets stronger you know you're heading closer, so stay the course until you've either
    regained your video feed or have LOS, after that it's pretty simple getting it back to you ;)
    pdmike, Spork, Dugdog47 and 1 other person like this.
  13. pdmike

    pdmike Extremely Popular Member

    Can't you also watch the distance indicator to see if it is increasing or decreasing?
  14. Spork

    Spork There is no spoon

    I'm thinking if you have a distance indicator, then you have GPS and probably good RTH functionality.
    In the case Doc is talking about, the assumption is that you don't have GPS on an FPV racer, therefore no distance indication.
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  15. pdmike

    pdmike Extremely Popular Member

    I knew that. ;)
    Spork likes this.
  16. pdmike

    pdmike Extremely Popular Member

    So what I am hearing here is: (1) Don't fly the quad out of sight in the first place and (2) if you do, and you get disoriented, just use RTH rather than trying to bring it back manually. Works for me.

    BTW, I knew it was illegal to fly it out of sight but ...... well, you know.
  17. mozquito1

    mozquito1 Well-Known Member

    Life is for living on the edge :cool:
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  18. GlassKnees

    GlassKnees Well-Known Member

    For those who believe that life is flat and not spherical ;)
    pdmike likes this.
  19. mozquito1

    mozquito1 Well-Known Member

    Now life on the edge of a flat earth is a different matter. :confused:
    Spork likes this.
  20. mozquito1

    mozquito1 Well-Known Member

    Imagine the disbelief on moses's face if you showed him what you can get on a 64gb sd card. Things have moved on folks our brains have evolved.
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