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Working off a boat. Advice needed.
425 19 2017-4-20 19:01:18
MrSilicon
Student Pilot
Flight distance : 664003
Australia
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So I just locked away a dream job shooting a 12 day cruise aboard a luxuary charter boat touring Western Australia's Kimberly region. I could not me more excited!

I have launched off small boats in the past without too much issue, but if you have any advice in regards to working off any size boat I would love to hear it.

A few issues that come to mind are:

1. Would you calibrate the compass onboard or on land?
2. Should I instruct the Skipper to turn off the yacht's navigational systems while flying to limit interference?
3. What's the correct RTH to have in place?
4. I'll also be using Auto Flight Logic's Autopilot app. Is there any pointers I should know when using this onboard?

All advice welcomed!

Cheers.


2017-4-20 19:01:18
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Mike-the-cat
Second Officer
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Singapore
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1. You do not have to calibrate the compass unless you are hundreds of miles away from your usual flying position and even then, often you don't have to.
2. I've flown off a boat without interference. Of course one doesn't fly so far away (1km max) so I don't think this is an issue
3. You should use dynamic home point. Update the home point periodically. Better still, get that USD 29 GPS module and use the 'Follow Me' feature.
4. No experience with this. Follow me works with Go4.

*** Important. You can take off on an aluminium or wood deck but not ferrous metal **
2017-4-21 01:31:00
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Mark Guille
Second Officer
Flight distance : 614994
Jersey
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Hi Mr.S,

Do not calibrate the compass.
I would avoid flying close to the radar and antennae although they have never given me any issues.
Use dynamic HP.
Personally, I would net rely too heavily on autonomous flight, it can bring about complacency, on a boat you need to be on the ball.
Practice hand catching, things can change quickly on the sea and this skill may be called upon with little warning. On a moving vessel, a hand catch can be quicker, easier and safer.
Some will tell you to switch of VPS when flying over water, whether it is on or off, pay extra caution when low over open water, your bird may be holding its position to within a millimetre but a swell can rise up on the unwary within seconds especially when the aircraft is below you. Try to position yourself so the bird appears above the horizon.
And don't forget to post the results!

Mark G.
2017-4-21 07:30:02
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Henry M.Y.
Intern Pilot
Flight distance : 1854951
Hong Kong
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Hi MrSilicon,

Mike & Mark hit the nail on its head.

In addition, if I were you, I would install a pair of hand-catching handles on the booms, as introduced in Dr Jon's post.

Hand Catch for I2

Again, don't forget to share your results!

Henry

2017-4-21 08:10:53
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MrSilicon
Student Pilot
Flight distance : 664003
Australia
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Cheers guys, good tips!

I have taught spotters in the past to hand catch via the battery while the arms are up. This worked pretty well, but I will check out that hand catch rig. The yacht has a heli pad, so hopefully I'll be launching off that most of the time.

I'm slightly embarrassed to say that I've never tried the dynamic HP. Does it continuously update the HP or do you have to manually update it periodically? I'll test it out when I'm out next.

I've tried turning off VPS and leaving it on while over water and never noticed much of a difference.

I would like to try a few manoeuvres with automated flight, but I'm always at the ready to override it if need be. Autopilot has quite good features when it comes to a moving subject that I think would yield some epic results for video.

I'll be sure to post the results!

Keep the tips coming.


2017-4-21 19:31:55
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RichJ53
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MrSilicon Posted at 2017-4-21 19:31
Cheers guys, good tips!

I have taught spotters in the past to hand catch via the battery while the arms are up. This worked pretty well, but I will check out that hand catch rig. The yacht has a heli pad, so hopefully I'll be launching off that most of the time.

Si

Sounds like you got great information and don't feel bad most of us do not use the DHP much. You will need to keep setting it as the boat moves locations. If you are anchored then, you can set it and just beware of any changes.

Sounds like you will have a great experience and cant wait to see some of your footage!

All the best
Rich
2017-4-21 21:02:03
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Mark Guille
Second Officer
Flight distance : 614994
Jersey
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Couple other things.
If you got somebody to hand catch for you , keep the landing gear UP!
Land "tail in" not "heads in" and don't let a woman fly it!

Not for Girls!


Mark G.
2017-4-22 05:17:32
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aarondanielfrit
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Indonesia
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Just a little point about DHP - not reliable (for me atleast). I have the extra 'GPS for remote' unit which is supposed to give more accurate DHP coordinates.  Before trying over the water I figured it best to try over land in the nearby park.  DHP worked 3 times in a row, then the next 3 times I tried, it didn't work, rather, after updating the home point and pressing the RTH button, the craft literally defended and landed in the currant location.  Some (perhaps) may query if I made an error by updating the home point by using the crafts position rather than the remote - I was sure I didn't do that but just to be positive I tried 2 more times making sure I was tapping on the remotes as the new home point position and not the craft position.  
2017-4-22 23:17:01
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aarondanielfrit
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Indonesia
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Just a little point about DHP - not reliable (for me atleast). I have the extra 'GPS for remote' unit which is supposed to give more accurate DHP coordinates.  Before trying over the water I figured it best to try over land in the nearby park.  DHP worked 3 times in a row, then the next 3 times I tried, it didn't work, rather, after updating the home point and pressing the RTH button, the craft literally descended and landed in the currant location.
Interested to hear if others have had success.  
You may want to check yourself on land before out at sea!


2017-4-22 23:16:07
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Mark Guille
Second Officer
Flight distance : 614994
Jersey
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aarondanielfrit Posted at 2017-4-22 23:16
Just a little point about DHP - not reliable (for me atleast). I have the extra 'GPS for remote' unit which is supposed to give more accurate DHP coordinates.  Before trying over the water I figured it best to try over land in the nearby park.  DHP worked 3 times in a row, then the next 3 times I tried, it didn't work, rather, after updating the home point and pressing the RTH button, the craft literally descended and landed in the currant location.
Interested to hear if others have had success.  
You may want to check yourself on land before out at sea!

If the aircraft is 20m or less, away from the HP, it will land where it is.

Mark G.
2017-4-23 06:12:13
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nzfritz
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Indonesia
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Thanks Mark!!! Will test again knowing that.
2017-4-23 13:59:52
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MrSilicon
Student Pilot
Flight distance : 664003
Australia
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I'm off to the park now to give it a dry run.
2017-4-23 15:58:41
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nzfritz
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Indonesia
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Oh nice. Do lots of attempts to be sure ya!
2017-4-23 19:10:26
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MrSilicon
Student Pilot
Flight distance : 664003
Australia
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Ok, so tell me if I'm doing this right.

1. I arm the motors and the home point is set automatically. You get the verbal prompt and see it on the map.
2. I then change my position as the operator on the ground (will be on a boat later).
3. I go into the aircraft settings and tap on the operator as home point to update the new home position.
4. I repeat (3.) as I move to different locations.
5. I initiated RTH to check that it was indeed coming to the new home point. It was.

This works, but is there really no better way? If you're concentrating on flying and getting the shot it just seems so slow and clunky to stop, go into the settings and manually update your home point. Plus what happens if you're on a moving boat and you didn't update your position for a minute or 2 and you lose connection? There's no way the last home point will be accurate. I would hardly call this a DYNAMIC home point solution. Hopefully I'm missing something here.

By contrast I tried the same scenario while in the Autopilot app. I set the operator as MOVING and as I changed position the app would constantly update my home point without any input from me. I hit RTH several times and every time the inspire would come to my new position.  That's how I imagined it should work in the DJI GO app as well.
2017-4-24 16:31:49
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nzfritz
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Indonesia
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MrSilicon Posted at 2017-4-24 16:31
Ok, so tell me if I'm doing this right.

1. I arm the motors and the home point is set automatically. You get the verbal prompt and see it on the map.

Mr silicon
I know right! Thats also what I was thinking.  Maybe that new fancy radio transmitter they are selling can have a button assigned to update the home point with a single press.

I bought the extra GPS unit thinking that it would automatically update if attached - also wanting to shoot from boats.

I know how you're feeling - job coming up with this in mind - I turned down jobs before with my S900 because I didn't have the balls to try it! Maybe a second operator with a second remote can periodically do that?  But still, if the ship is moving by the time it gets back to the new home point it has already changed!!  

Erm, is there enough in the job to buy an extra craft and camera system as a backup just in case?  Thats all I can think of...
2017-4-25 16:18:18
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MrSilicon
Student Pilot
Flight distance : 664003
Australia
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MrSilicon Posted at 2017-4-24 16:31
Ok, so tell me if I'm doing this right.

1. I arm the motors and the home point is set automatically. You get the verbal prompt and see it on the map.

So is this the only way to use dynamic HP in the GO app?

Mark, you would know!
2017-5-2 21:46:25
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fivetonine
Student Pilot
Flight distance : 211922
Austria
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Only important issue for me on boats is landing and taking off, especially if the area is narrow and/or on sailing yachts, where you have masts and lines everywhere. I have lost one and a half drones already due to boat takeoff and landing. Rocky seas and wind are a bad combination even for experienced pilots. Make sure you have a good catcher and lots of space!
2017-5-3 00:37:23
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nzfritz
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Indonesia
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MrSilicon Posted at 2017-5-2 21:46
So is this the only way to use dynamic HP in the GO app?

Mark, you would know!

Did you figure this out?  I think that is the only way... I had thought that buying the xtra GPS would mean it would update automatically in real time.  Darn it! haha..
2017-5-3 03:10:19
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Mark Guille
Second Officer
Flight distance : 614994
Jersey
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MrSilicon Posted at 2017-5-2 21:46
So is this the only way to use dynamic HP in the GO app?

Mark, you would know!

I'm not 100% sure, I don't think I have tried it since the early beta tests for the I1, but I seem to recall the dynamic HP updating itself every second or so. One way to find out would be to set the HP to Dynamic (or whatever they are calling it now) with the bird hovering, then take a walk away from the take off point. If you have a good GPS signal to your mobile device, you should see your HP moving onscreen.
I will try this out later in the week when the weather improves.

Mark G.
2017-5-3 13:34:32
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MrSilicon
Student Pilot
Flight distance : 664003
Australia
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nzfritz Posted at 2017-5-3 03:10
Did you figure this out?  I think that is the only way... I had thought that buying the xtra GPS would mean it would update automatically in real time.  Darn it! haha..

I haven't figured out another way to do it, but I have seen people mention in older threads that it updates every 2 seconds... It hasn't been the case for me.
2017-5-5 16:16:50
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