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The Chronicles of Dirty Bird
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Dirty Bird
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Phantom 4 flights at Fort Howard...






2017-12-20
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Having fun on a morning flight with the P3 Advanced @ Port Covington.  Stretching her wings, nice flyover of Fort McHenry, the Carnival Pride berthed, & some poor kid learning to drive!


2017-12-23
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The Phantom 4 "Nemesis" visits the Wallenius Wilhelm Line's "Tulane"...


2017-12-23
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The P4 "Nemesis" meets the Hoegh Autoliner "Beijing".

Will the Harbor Pilot make it up the ladder?  Or will he perish in the frigid waters of the Patapsco river??





2017-12-23
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The P4 "Nemesis" embarks on "The Journey"...


2017-12-23
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I still think Morning Passage and follow the leader are the two I like watching again and again.  If only for the credits at the end hahahaha.

Love your video's.
2017-12-23
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blackcrusader Posted at 2017-12-23 17:46
I still think Morning Passage and follow the leader are the two I like watching again and again.  If only for the credits at the end hahahaha.

Love your video's.

I haven't been doing any of my signature long flights as my P4 is down at the moment & my P3 batteries are long in the tooth.  I don't trust them for extended missions.  $1032 to replace all eight of them!  Crikes!  
2017-12-24
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P4 "Nemesis" exploring the Chesapeake Bay Bridge & enjoying the sites around Sandy Point State Park...




2017-12-24
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The Phantom 3 Advanced "Poop Chute" experiences the pure thrill of flying @ Sandy Point State Park...

At the beginning of the video I stumbled upon a new Phantom 4 owner, likely enjoying one of his first flight experiences.  This is when the P4 first came out.  Don't know who the guy was but he probably was thinking "WTF!?" when I turned & flew off out-of-sight over the abyss!


2017-12-24
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2017-12-24 05:50
I haven't been doing any of my signature long flights as my P4 is down at the moment & my P3 batteries are long in the tooth.  I don't trust them for extended missions.  $1032 to replace all eight of them!  Crikes!

What is up with your P4?
Curious, how many hours have you got on your P3 batts?
2017-12-24
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I really enjoy watching your videos! Start out saying I aint watching the whole thing but inevitably i do.   P3A @ Sandy Point reminds me of a book titled,,, 3000 ft to Home Point, Written by Willie Makeit  Illustrated by Betty Due   
2017-12-24
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-12-24 08:24
What is up with your P4?
Curious, how many hours have you got on your P3 batts?

My P4 went down on a mission.  I recovered the bird on her top in the grass with the only visible damage being one prop missing a blade.  The hub with other prop blade was still attached.  Not sure if the prop failed in flight or it broke when she landed & I was just unable to find it in the grass.  The last moment of video the bird was about 250' up just above where I found her.  The battery was still fully inserted &, due to the very minimal damage, I do not believe she just dropped 250'.  Even on grass that would have inflicted some serious damage & definitely ejected the battery.  She powers up, but it just beeps & you never get any lights except for the gimball light.  Oddly it still connects to the RC & you get video, telemetry, & gimbal control, etc.  When you attach to the Assistant to retrieve the log the bird connects but when you attempt to pull the log it displays "No logs found."  This is strange as she has many flights under her belt (my black P4).  I noticed when clicking "About" in the Go app the flight controller SN is blank so I'm not sure if the FC failed, or perhaps a cable has come dislodged?  I have a repair ticket open I just haven't had a chance to send her in.  I almost would rather just open it up myself but the P4 is such a beast to work on with the wires all soldered & passing through the shell.  If you have to completely disassemble that 24 desolder/solder operations ( 3 per motor & 3 per LED).

As most of my flights are Litchi I don't know how many hours are on my P3 batteries, but they are over 2 years old & have 100+ flights each.  Some of them still fine but others will go red if you lay a sustained heavy load on them....like a 15 minute, 30 mph Litchi mission would do.  If I am flying manually I can back off & let them settle down.  If I'm flying a Litchi mission & out of RC contact the bird may land on the spot.  Hence my apprehension about doing my normal flights & my lack of new stuff.  

Perhaps a Go Fund Me for new batteries?  "Help save my drone flights!"  Ha!  
2017-12-24
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Jonimo Posted at 2017-12-24 08:59
I really enjoy watching your videos! Start out saying I aint watching the whole thing but inevitably i do.   P3A @ Sandy Point reminds me of a book titled,,, 3000 ft to Home Point, Written by Willie Makeit  Illustrated by Betty Due

LOL thanks!  These videos are older when I was just flying for fun.  In the P3A  video did you catch me stumbling across the P4 pilot?
2017-12-24
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2017-12-24 09:07
My P4 went down on a mission.  I recovered the bird on her top in the grass with the only visible damage being one prop missing a blade.  The hub with other prop blade was still attached.  Not sure if the prop failed in flight or it broke when she landed & I was just unable to find it in the grass.  The last moment of video the bird was about 250' up just above where I found her.  The battery was still fully inserted &, due to the very minimal damage, I do not believe she just dropped 250'.  Even on grass that would have inflicted some serious damage & definitely ejected the battery.  She powers up, but it just beeps & you never get any lights except for the gimball light.  Oddly it still connects to the RC & you get video, telemetry, & gimbal control, etc.  When you attach to the Assistant to retrieve the log the bird connects but when you attempt to pull the log it displays "No logs found."  This is strange as she has many flights under her belt (my black P4).  I noticed when clicking "About" in the Go app the flight controller SN is blank so I'm not sure if the FC failed, or perhaps a cable has come dislodged?  I have a repair ticket open I just haven't had a chance to send her in.  I almost would rather just open it up myself but the P4 is such a beast to work on with the wires all soldered & passing through the shell.  If you have to completely disassemble that 24 desolder/solder operations ( 3 per motor & 3 per LED).

As most of my flights are Litchi I don't know how many hours are on my P3 batteries, but they are over 2 years old & have 100+ flights each.  Some of them still fine but others will go red if you lay a sustained heavy load on them....like a 15 minute, 30 mph Litchi mission would do.  If I am flying manually I can back off & let them settle down.  If I'm flying a Litchi mission & out of RC contact the bird may land on the spot.  Hence my apprehension about doing my normal flights & my lack of new stuff.  

Uh, I don't know enough about trouble shooting but what you said makes sense.  I doubt it fell 250' and only broke a prop.  Sounds like a system failure like you stated, maybe it just finally wore out.
My brother is getting a P4 for Christmas so that is why I was interested, wanted to know if there was anything to look out for.
Interesting about your battery life, 100 plus is a good round number.  when did they start showing their wear and tear?  Do you think the P4 batts will behave similar as far as life cycle goes?
New question, so Litchi will permit the drone to fly without connection to the controller.  I thought if that occurs the bird would RTH or land, or maybe I misunderstood what you were saying.
2017-12-24
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-12-24 09:25
Uh, I don't know enough about trouble shooting but what you said makes sense.  I doubt it fell 250' and only broke a prop.  Sounds like a system failure like you stated, maybe it just finally wore out.
My brother is getting a P4 for Christmas so that is why I was interested, wanted to know if there was anything to look out for.
Interesting about your battery life, 100 plus is a good round number.  when did they start showing their wear and tear?  Do you think the P4 batts will behave similar as far as life cycle goes?

I've been noticing a couple of the P3 batteries were returning from missions with less battery remaining than I expected.  This was becoming increasingly evident with batteries #3 & #6.  This is normal as batteries age so I decided to do some controlled manual flights.  That's when I first noticed some of my P3 packs would go red under heavy sustained loading like full-throttle climbing while flying out.  If I back off on the throttle they will go back to green, but obviously I can't do that if the bird is out of RC doing a Litchi mission.

When I sold my original P4 (to buy the Mavic) the batteries only had about 30 cycles or less each so I never experienced any issues.  My new P4 (the one that is down) has four batteries but they are only in the 25-30 flight range so no issues there either.  I would expect them to perform similarly to the P3 packs.  I think the auto-discharge feature, coupled with recharging them fully at least monthly, really helps prolong the battery life.  I have mine set to discharge after 3 days.

Litchi is awesome.  When flying in Waypoint mode missions do NOT abort when you lose RC contact.  They WILL abort if you have Smart-RTH enabled & the bird reaches what it considers "time to head home."  I always disable this as it is very conservative & will frequently abort my missions even when they will easily complete.  It doesn't factor in things like "The mission is already on the home stretch & heading back to base."  

If you disable Smart-RTH the bird will NOT abort, even on low battery, but it WILL auto-land @ 10%.  What I did to determine battery range was set up a controlled loop flight of 60,000' that I could let the birds fly while still within RC range.  This allowed me to observe & take control as necessary.  All my birds (P3, P4, Mavic) can do 45,000-50,000' with a good battery in calm air.  40,000' is generally totally doable even in 12 mph winds.  The P4 with the newer high-capacity battery can do as much as 60,000' in calm air.  The P4/A/P with high-capacity battery is the perfect combination for long Litchi missions like my "Flight to the Forts" or "The Wingman" runs (55,000'+).
2017-12-24
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On a beautiful Spring day, armed only with a Windsurfer, the Phantom 3 Advanced "Poop Chute" successfully completes the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Run, traveling from Sandy  Point State Park, across the Chesapeake Bay, to Cross Island Trail Forest on the Eastern Shore.  This was a manual flight & the maximum distance was 20,646.9' (3.91 miles) with a total flight distance  of 41,827.5' (7.92 miles).   Altitude for the flight was 200' & she returned with  20% battery remaining.   Video & control were perfect throughout the entire flight.   The P3A is stock with a Windsurfer on the RC for this flight.


2017-12-24
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Perhaps one of my most exhilarating manual flights occured while sitting at Sandy Point with one charged battery remaining.  I spotted a cruise liner heading out to sea & the Phantom 3 Advanced "Poop Chute" was quickly in hot pursuit of her quarry which was more than a mile off-shore & traveling in excess of 20 knots.   Soon we caught up with the sleek & impressive "Grandeur of the Seas", shadowing & circling her all the way under & well beyond the Chesapeake Bay Bridge for some extremely exciting aerial action & video.   When I peeled off from the encounter the Phantom was 14,416.8' distant!   It was totally amazing doing this from nearly 3 miles away with perfect control & video.

     

2017-12-24
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2017-12-24 09:58
I've been noticing a couple of the P3 batteries were returning from missions with less battery remaining than I expected.  This was becoming increasingly evident with batteries #3 & #6.  This is normal as batteries age so I decided to do some controlled manual flights.  That's when I first noticed some of my P3 packs would go red under heavy sustained loading like full-throttle climbing while flying out.  If I back off on the throttle they will go back to green, but obviously I can't do that if the bird is out of RC doing a Litchi mission.

When I sold my original P4 (to buy the Mavic) the batteries only had about 30 cycles or less each so I never experienced any issues.  My new P4 (the one that is down) has four batteries but they are only in the 25-30 flight range so no issues there either.  I would expect them to perform similarly to the P3 packs.  I think the auto-discharge feature, coupled with recharging them fully at least monthly, really helps prolong the battery life.  I have mine set to discharge after 3 days.

Good info
Thanks!
2017-12-24
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2017-12-24 10:35
On a beautiful Spring day, armed only with a Windsurfer, the Phantom 3 Advanced "Poop Chute"  successfully completes the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Run, traveling from Sandy  Point State Park, across the Chesapeake Bay, to Cross Island Trail Forest on the Eastern Shore.  This was a manual flight & the maximum distance was 20,646.9' (3.91 miles) with a total flight distance  of 41,827.5' (7.92 miles).   Altitude for the flight was 200' & she returned with  20% battery remaining.   Video & control were perfect throughout the entire flight.   The P3A is stock with a Windsurfer on the RC for this flight.

https://youtu.be/JVdZiORJiEU

Were you in P or Sport mode for this run?
What was the duration of flight?  Any winds?
2017-12-24
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-12-24 12:50
Were you in P or Sport mode for this run?
What was the duration of flight?  Any winds?

It's a P3 so she was in P-mode (no Sport mode on P3).  As I recall it was a light breeze heading up the Bay so I was flying into the wind as I ran with the ship & had it at my back on the way home.  The flight lasted 17:30 & I just got that by looking at the video length.
2017-12-24
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2017-12-24 14:56
It's a P3 so she was in P-mode (no Sport mode on P3).  As I recall it was a light breeze heading up the Bay so I was flying into the wind as I ran with the ship & had it at my back on the way home.  The flight lasted 17:30 & I just got that by looking at the video length.

Very nice thanks!
Do you think you could have made that run without the windsurfers?  How much more of an edge do you think they give you for your P3 in range?
2017-12-24
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-12-24 19:16
Very nice thanks!
Do you think you could have made that run without the windsurfers?  How much more of an edge do you think they give you for your P3 in range?

Honestly I don't know since I did not try it without them.  I have a set on hand so I instinctively slip them on when I know I'll be flying far.  I had perfect video & control the entire flight.
2017-12-24
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2017-12-24 20:23
Honestly I don't know since I did not try it without them.  I have a set on hand so I instinctively slip them on when I know I'll be flying far.  I had perfect video & control the entire flight.

OK thanks, I was curious as I have a set too but have yet to really test them out...
2017-12-24
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Free Flight on the Severn River...




2017-12-26
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One of the best parts of owning a DJI quad is you don't have to spend a lot of time planning to enjoy flying.  You can deploy anywhere at a moment's notice.  Just set the bird outside your door, climb back inside the climate-controlled comfort of your vehicle, & explore your surroundings with complete discretion.  Here the P3 Advanced "Poop Chute" explores the sights around one of my favorite watering holes "Hellas."  You never know what you might find, maybe even young love in bloom!


2017-12-29
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A beautiful breezy day was a great excuse for a mid-day break & some free flight in Canton on Baltimore's East Side...


2017-12-29
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First night flights over Baltimore with the P3 Advanced.  Though random & disorganized I'll never forget how incredible the city looked illuminated in the Dark.

A seed was planted.  It began to grow...  




2017-12-29
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After a dozen or so test flights around the neighborhood & over water at Fort Armistead, along with LOTS of mission prep,  it was time to put Litchi to a real-world test.  Here are my first Litchi missions around Baltimore flown by the P3 Standard "Miss Ruby."    I tweaked the second run after watching the first.  I also learned in flight #2 the necessity of disabling Smart-RTH for long missions.




2017-12-31
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Then came the original incarnation of "The Baltimore Run"...

I confess to a bit of trepidation the first time I launched this mission.  





The "Top Down" view.  An earlier test flight before the main event.


2017-12-31
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"The Baltimore Run" went through many iterations & literally HUNDREDS of test flights before obtaining its final form.  This is the first test of the planned Trade Center spiral addition plotted off the Map View within Litchi on my Nexus 7.  I was sitting atop Federal Hill right across the harbor when I flew this initial test flight, which turned out to be a little too close.  A commentor on the video mentioned "reading emails as it passed the third floor!"   


2017-12-31
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Phase 2 - First multi-bird test flight.  This proved to be quite a handful with me alone piloting 4 birds.  Two P3 Standards & a P4 flew Litchi missions while the P3A was piloted manually in an attempt to catch the trio along their route.  










2018-1-8
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The Phantom 4 "Nemesis" recorded above Baltimore at sunset...


2018-1-8
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Testing of multi-bird Litchi missions continues....


2018-1-15
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In testing there are always a few bumps along the way.

Lessions learned:

1 - Keep yaws consistent for all birds.  Yawing slows down forward progress.
2 - DOUBLE CHECK ALL WAYPOINT SETTINGS!
3 - Keep your eye on the FPV!

Mid-air collision:



Near Miss:




2018-1-15
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Work on "The Baltimore Run" continues...


2018-1-15
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One of the last of over 100  test flights before moving on to Phase 3...






2018-1-17
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July 13, 2016 - After weeks of preparation & 100+ test flights it was time for the real deal & Phase 3.  Aided by a friend spotting at Baltimore's World Trade Center & security bud Greg, the Phantom 3 Standards "Miss Ruby" & "Darth Videous" took to the sky for an aerial version of "Follow the Leader".  Presented raw & real time the video includes an epic score from the YouTube Music Library.


2018-1-17
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Once again, a) the densest collection of aviation laws broken all at once in aviation history and b) the most epic drone videos ever taken, that I've ever seen. . Views like these are why mankind invented flying machines, which of course makes it all worth it .
So are those both P4P's? And what firmware version are you running in them?
I just upgraded my P4P to the 1.03.0509 FW last night for purposes of flying tablet and login free - going to test it in a few hours.

Great stuff as usual and keep it coming...
2018-1-17
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luciens Posted at 2018-1-17 06:54
Once again, a) the densest collection of aviation laws broken all at once in aviation history and b) the most epic drone videos ever taken, that I've ever seen. . Views like these are why mankind invented flying machines, which of course makes it all worth it .
So are those both P4P's? And what firmware version are you running in them?
I just upgraded my P4P to the 1.03.0509 FW last night for purposes of flying tablet and login free - going to test it in a few hours.

Ha thanks!  Those are lowly P3 Standards purchased specifically for the joint missions.  They are perfect for Litchi flights.
2018-1-17
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Awesome, just awesome.
2018-1-17
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