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DJI Phantom fly aways how to prevent them ( english )

Help my Copter 's getting away !

or the so-called fly away , instructions to avoid this.

This manual is applicable to all DJI Naza products !

 

What is a DJI Phantom (Quad ) " Fly Away " - Why is this happening, especially with beginners ? The Myth about this phenomenon explained.

These problems are mainly traced back to two causes:

A: Radio interference

B : The loss of GPS lock , also called " Blow Away " where the copter in atti mode is carried away by the wind .

The receiver in for example the DJI Phantom receives only a very weak signal , as the power of the transmitter ( only 100 mW eirp ) is emitted in a circular pattern and the signal acts as it was shredded . the reciever may receive less than 0.1 mW .

Ideally, the long side of the receiver antenna should be directed towards the transmitter antenna , the tip of the antenna cant receive or send anything,  your transmitter is not a gun , never let the antenna point in the direction of the copter ,but always make sure they stand in a crossed pattern to each other.

 

2.4 Ghz receivers and interference

The new V1.1.1 Phantom now has two receiver antennas , most of Futaba 2.4GHz receivers , Multiplex , Graupner , Spektrum and have two antennas on the receiver or are equipped with satellites ( single antenna recievers or the so called indoor receivers with one antenna are due to their lesser diversity and ability to switch between the two antennas not or very limited useable for a copter , even if you do not fly very far away , the electronic interference and noise of all the electronics in the copter can cause these kinds of recievers to fail !! ) .

Mounting Dual Antenna recievers
in the most ideal shape the second antenna of the receiver should stand . at 90 degrees relative to the other ,and as far as possible away from the speedcontrollers (ESC) and the Lipo battery .

Causes of interference
So the cause A can be caused by competing signals from mobile phones, Wifi networks , the GoPro camera itself ( always turn off wifi ) and just about anything works at 2.4GHz , not to mention cheap from china imported 2.4Ghz FPV video transmitters and other FPV stuff then even more poorly placed on the copter.

 

The transmitter :
The original supplied white transmitter works fine in most cases , however, it is found that near Wifi Jammers they can crash and lockup , these Wifi Jammers are used by larger companies to protect against intrusions of their wireless network so keep away from large buildings and structures .

Always (download at www.dji.com ) check that the failsafe position is active using the PC Naza assistant and also works , how to check this is in the Basic RC menu at the bottom in the wizard.

If the transmitter locks up, or is jammed no Failsafe signal will be sent !! to the copter and the coming home function wil not work (this can be even worsened by lack of GPS satellites , or a damaged GPS antenna ) .
Please Note that the Phantom Vision is operating on 5,8 Ghz for the radio signals and the video signal is 2,4 Ghz, the standard range of the Vision is Maximum 300 Mtr or 330 Yards !!!, dont try to fly its to its limits, we found that not a lot of interference is needed to get a Fly Away !!

 

Improved Radio's and transmitters
The only way for you to protect against this lockups ,is to replace the transmitter and receiver for a better transmitter and receiver , for example Futaba ,Multiplex , Hitec or Graupner , we found that the Spektrum transmitters lately have much issues with range and lunging receivers, therefore, we do not recommended them anymore for the use in copters.

Still pay attention to the interference sources mentioned above , and choose the place where you are flying with care. ( in the Netherlands , you must comply to the "regeling Modelvliegen" in most countries you must comply to the usual rules of flying a model aircraft)

Another find possible cause of a "fly away" is not calibrating the throttle stick in the NAZA assistant , and checking it regularly. This can lead to an irregular or jerky behavior of the throttle , and even in exceptional cases, complete shut down of the speed controllers. ( always look in manual mode if the motors are responding smoothly and proportionate to the throttle input , do this regularly )

 

B : Loss or problems of GPS and magnetic compass .

The most common cause of "fly aways " is losing the navigation points .

This is what happens when the copter is unable to connect with the Military GPS satellites , or the magnetic compass for some reason loses its effect.  GPS satellites are owned by the U.S. Army and moving at high speed through space in order to prevent them getting shot in the event of war. So continuously the positions of satellites changes and the GPS receiver sees and continuously loses several satellites .

Once the NAZA controller of your copter looses too many satellites it will no longer stay in GPS mode and switches automatically to Attitude mode and no longer hold a position , but drifts away according to the direction of the wind . Both the GPS and the compass are crucial for navigation , any failure of which will terminate the navigation and the copter will drift away with the wind .

 

All this can be exacerbated by several factors, including :

1 After a crash, the internal GPS antenna is damaged or broken .

2 High trees can give a sort of shadow relative to the GPS satellites , and block the view of the satellites .

3 You are next to a tall building which blocks the satellites in the same way .

4 You stand next to a railway line , High voltage Pylons, and even a car that causes an electric and magnetic field causes problems .

5 The plug of the magnetic compass is loose or there is a battery mounted near the GPS dish.

6 You have took off and shot into the skies without waiting for the second wave of green signal pulses that indicates the position Home position is stored.

   So what it comes down to is that the Home position is not recorded , so wait for confirmation from the controller that the home position is locked and only then go flying ,

   it may even prevent the controller is holding an old position of a previous flight in his memory , and the copter in case of a Failsafe tries to fly to that position.

7 know in what mode the copter is ! (read the manual and learn the color codes of the LED , keep this in mind while flying ) each series of red flashes

   of the LED is a serious problem , and you have to land immediatly !!

8 And then the ultimate series of errors , you do not know what mode you are in, because the Copter was never connected to control the modes and the failsafe on the PC

   The Copter was once crashed and the GPS antenna is damaged or defective internally, the reception of satellites is shielded by trees or tall buildings ,

   Home lock position has never been logged, or the blinking of the LEDs is mistaken for another message, the wifi from the gopro is on, the antenna of the transmitter is      wrongly positioned and the copter flew too far , the flight time wast not monitored , the copter is full of chinese ebay bling stuff of which was said on the forum thats " very cool " , all this together is an instant " FLY AWAY" .

9 You will be disoriented at larger distances and you make the mistake of pulling the sticks towards you thinking that the copter is coming towards you, while in reality the
Copter flies ever further from You, with this combined with the wind blowing makes the Copter very quickly disappearing from sight .

   ( Learn to orient the front and back and learn to fly Nose in, practice also flying sideways , do not rely entirely on the IOC )

 

 

SUMMARY :
In compliance with the above issues , do not rely entirely on the help of the GPS , especially as a beginner , the GPS Navigation is just a tool ,

A pilot must first become proficient in manually flying in manual mode with a Copter . this is for the case when you lose satellites and other support 's modes . In automatic mode the copter flies itself , you just adjust the direction , in Manual mode you steer the copter , and so it is also advisable to get thoroughly trained in manual mode before relying on the automatic modes.

Updating Firmware and Software Important !

Always follow the latest instructions that can be found on the website of DJI , there is also the latest version of the Naza assistant to be found and thus you can update your DJI Controller to the latest soft and firmware , while writing this article , there has been already some extra changes in the software that can prevent a fly -away , for example, the receiver failsafe has been improved and there is a function written in the Programme which an externally -influenced lockup recognizes and then goes to fail safe ,and or return home .

So link your copter at least 1 time per month to the computer and update the software if necessary , the engineers at DJI are working continuously to improve their products .

Have Fun flying your Multicopter !

For 2 Brothers R/C

Peter van Leeuwen