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Phantom Controllers Shutting Down Automatically
1503 29 2018-4-2
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Charlie Phantoms
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The controllers on my Phantom 4 and Phantom 4 Pro are shutting down automatically. Are they supposed to do this? I have seen no documentation to this effect. This caused a dangerous situation when the Phantom was on RTH. I am deaf enough that I don't hear the aircraft if it's over 20 feet away. I was flying over a lake from a scenic view point. The aircraft was descending in an area where there were no people on takeoff. Now lots of people. I tried to take control of aircraft only to realize the controller had shut off. Damn near landed on a bunch of little kids. Lawsuit surely would hit those with the deepest pockets. DJI
2018-4-2
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ALABAMA
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Don't know of a reason it would just shut off other than battery completely ran down, or accidently turning it off.  In any case, they are programmed to RTH if this happens.
2018-4-2
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msinger
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The remote controller should not auto turn off unless the remote controller battery is completely depleted.

Were you able to turn the remote controller back on?
2018-4-2
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Charlie Phantoms
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msinger Posted at 2018-4-2 09:56
The remote controller should not auto turn off unless the remote controller battery is completely depleted.

Were you able to turn the remote controller back on?


Yes I could turn it back on. I found what the problem was when chatting with DJI Tech Support. We went through all kinds of tests. He said he had never heard of this problem before. He told me I needed to send the remote in for repair. I then asked if he was running DJI GO 4 while testing. Yes.  I tested my 3 remotes will no app running and then with Litchi running and not touching the sticks. They all shutdown before 12 minutes. I ran one with DJI GO 4 for 20 minutes and it did not shut down.
2018-4-2
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msinger
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So, running Litchi caused the remote controller to power down? That's an odd one.
2018-4-2
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Genghis9
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To clarify further...
You ran three with no app running AND three with Litchi and each time in all six occurrences they shut down in less than 12 minutes?
Then you ran one with Go 4 running and remained on for over 20 minutes?

That all noted, what did DJI tech support have to say about these results?
I could possibly see why it would shutdown with Litchi running but it makes no sense that it would shut down with no app at all running, that is not supposed to happen.  It sounds as if DJI is making their equipment dependent on the app and therefore a requirement.  If that is the case, I don't like where that is going, just more control for them and less for us.
2018-4-2
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RicardoGray
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I am not clear either with what the OP is saying. I thought all remotes will shut off if no stick movement is detected for around 10 minutes. My P3A will do this every time, and give off loud beeps, and the power button will flash. All I have to do is hit the power button once and it resets, or left alone it will power down.
I'm thinking it will beep for a minute or so before actually shutting off.
That is, if the remote and phantom are just sitting idle. I don't think I have ever had this happen running a waypoint mission though with Litchi, even 17-18 minutes of no stick input from myself. I must be missing something????
I don't see what the app would have to do with it.
2018-4-2
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Charlie Phantoms
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RicardoGray, you are the first one to verify this happens. I had 3 remote shutdowns on Litchi waypoint missions this past weekend. I didn't have any before the last firmware update
2018-4-2
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DJI Susan
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Hey Charlie, Failsafe RTH will be triggered if the RC is shutting down automatically. You can check the page 15 of the user manual: https://dl.djicdn.com/downloads/ ... _User_Manual_EN.pdf

As for the RC shutting down issue, does it appear frequently? What's the current aircraft and APP version? Could you upload a short video for better assistance?
2018-4-2
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Cetacean
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Charlie  Phantoms Posted at 2018-4-2 10:18
Yes I could turn it back on. I found what the problem was when chatting with DJI Tech Support. We went through all kinds of tests. He said he had never heard of this problem before. He told me I needed to send the remote in for repair. I then asked if he was running DJI GO 4 while testing. Yes.  I tested my 3 remotes will no app running and then with Litchi running and not touching the sticks. They all shutdown before 12 minutes. I ran one with DJI GO 4 for 20 minutes and it did not shut down.

Aloha Charlie,

     This is interesting.  I just recently read that, like Ricardo's P3A, all remote controllers will shut down if there are no stick inputs for ten minutes.  At the same time, if there are no stick inputs, the remote controller will beep after 4-5 minutes.  I experience this beeping regularly.  This is all part of the DJI design.  

     Now, your report puts this in a different perspective.  If you are running an autonomous mission and make no stick inputs for ten minutes, does the remote controller shut down?  Interesting question.  I have never read on this Forum that it happens and Dirty Bird does fly some looong missions.

     So, in your case, if you leave the remote controller on a table with no input and no running program for ten minutes or more, it should shut down.  If you load DJI GO 4 and leave the Phantom and the remote controller alone for ten minutes, it should shut down again.  If you load a DJI GO 4 or a Litchi Waypoints mission that will last longer than ten minutes, it should not shut down; at least I have not heard of a remote controller shutting down after ten minutes in a Waypoints Mission.

     Now, if you start a DJI GO 4 or a Litchi Waypoints Mission that should last longer than ten minutes and then put the remote controller on the picnic table and do not touch it, the DJI GO 4 mission should go into RTH if the remote controller goes off after ten minutes.  But the Litchi mission may continue.  However, I would defer to Dirty Bird and others on this.

     The weird thing about all this is that when we hold our remote controllers, even in long waypoint missions, we usually do touch the sticks buttons and screen.  The display is another issue.  Does touching the screen reset the ten minutes?  Any sensed input from the sticks, buttons or display should reset the ten minutes.

     GPS waypoint missions will fly autonomously and video does get lost during the mission but it returns when transmissions are received again.  This is why the FAA does not like small UAVs flying autonomous missions, even with spotters, because there is no way to get control of the UAV back without transmitted communication.

     Please test again and see what happens when you leave the remote controller on a table.  Test with programs operational and without programs operational.  I am willing to venture that if the remote controller beeps after four minutes, the remote controller will go off after ten minutes.  If the remote controller does not beep after four minutes, the remote controller will not go off after ten minutes.

     I sure am going to see what happens with my own birds!  Mahalo for heads-up.  Interesting question.

Aloha and Drone On!
2018-4-2
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RicardoGray
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Cetacean Posted at 2018-4-2 21:56
Aloha Charlie,

     This is interesting.  I just recently read that, like Ricardo's P3A, all remote controllers will shut down if there are no stick inputs for ten minutes.  At the same time, if there are no stick inputs, the remote controller will beep after 4-5 minutes.  I experience this beeping regularly.  This is all part of the DJI design.  

I agree with everything you have commented on Cetacean. Also that Dirty Bird is probably the master with the Litchi missions, and I don't think I've heard anything from him about the controller shutting off. I use Litchi almost 90% myself, and to your point, I supposed I am touching the screen at some point during my missions, but not the sticks. I let the mission run, and I never have had the RC shut off, or even start beeping while running a waypoint mission. I would be curious to have a little more detail about what is really going on.
2018-4-3
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Dirty Bird
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All of my remotes will start beeping after 10-12 minutes of inactivity.  They do NOT turn off.  I just nudge one of the sticks to reset the timer which is usually enough for the duration of most missions.  Even my old Vision+ remote beeps after 10 minutes or so of inactivity.
2018-4-3
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Dirty Bird
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I should add all of my remotes are running older firmware.  It is possible the time out behavior has been changed in later versions.
2018-4-3
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Cetacean
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Charlie  Phantoms Posted at 2018-4-2 18:25
RicardoGray, you are the first one to verify this happens. I had 3 remote shutdowns on Litchi waypoint missions this past weekend. I didn't have any before the last firmware update

Aloha Charlie,

     So far my P3P and P4 remote controllers will shut down if left on without any other operation after about 7 minutes (I thought I read it was supposed to be ten minutes in a DJI statement somewhere).  The beeping came on between four and five minutes.  These remote controllers are supposed to have the latest firmware.

     My P4 Pro was set up with a CrystalSky and the bird.  All three went through a flying session, except it never left my floor in my living room.  There were no indications of beeping even though the sticks did not move, nor did the CrystalSky get touched.  Everything just sat there as a test.  Nothing shut down or indicated a RTH.  I think this agrees with your experience.

     Dirty Bird has weighed in on this issue.  His posts #12 and #13 indicate beeping but not turning off.  This is definitely an interesting issue and we will continue to check if your reported in-flight shut-offs occur with any of us.  Mahalo for bringing it to our attention!

     Be sure to check your RTH settings so your Phantoms do indeed "Return to Home".  There are three settings; return, hover and land where you loose communication.  Be sure to set it to "Return" and then set an altitude that will not let it crash into any high obstacles on the way home.

     Hope this helps!  Mahalo again for bringing up this interesting issue.

Aloha and Drone On!
2018-4-4
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Cetacean
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RicardoGray Posted at 2018-4-3 06:30
I agree with everything you have commented on Cetacean. Also that Dirty Bird is probably the master with the Litchi missions, and I don't think I've heard anything from him about the controller shutting off. I use Litchi almost 90% myself, and to your point, I supposed I am touching the screen at some point during my missions, but not the sticks. I let the mission run, and I never have had the RC shut off, or even start beeping while running a waypoint mission. I would be curious to have a little more detail about what is really going on.

Aloha Ricardo,

     This is an interesting issue.  I have Litchi but have not flown it lately.  I will definitely check out your and DB's comments on beeping and for a shut-off.  For me, testing these issues is all part of the fun.

     My next test will be using Litchi with my P4 and nVidia Shield K1 device.  The CrystalSky will not accept Litchi unless it is a new copy, bummer (I am too cheap!).  Another bummer is the weather has crapped out again.  High winds and unpredictable rain.  Looks like for another week!

     Keep us informed on any new developments you come up with on this issue.

Aloha and Drone On!
2018-4-4
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Cetacean
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2018-4-3 23:00
All of my remotes will start beeping after 10-12 minutes of inactivity.  They do NOT turn off.  I just nudge one of the sticks to reset the timer which is usually enough for the duration of most missions.  Even my old Vision+ remote beeps after 10 minutes or so of inactivity.

Aloha DB,

     Mahalo for the input!  Much appreciated.

Aloha and Drone On!
2018-4-4
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Cetacean
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2018-4-3 23:02
I should add all of my remotes are running older firmware.  It is possible the time out behavior has been changed in later versions.

Aloha DB,

     Actually, the Vision + was the first Phantom I noticed the beeping coming from.  When I read the manuals and Forum comments, I noticed that it was designed in.  This is the first time I have seen it shut down with the new firmware though.  Had to test that for myself!

     Mahalo again for the help!

Aloha and Drone On!
2018-4-4
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Charlie Phantoms
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When my remote shutdown the first time I was on a long litchi mission. I lost control about 2 minutes into a canyon. The remote was sitting on the viewpoint platform. I did not touch it. When the P4P returned I didn't know it I'm almost deaf. A visitor said there it is. I tried to land the bird and realized the remote had shut off. That was the first time. The 2nd time was at the same place with the remote siitting at the same place.  A lady that was watching told me it turned off. I just now tested it sitting here on my living room floor. I had a Lichi mission loaded then I shut off the bird. Litchi said signal lost. The remote shut down after a few minutes. I turned the remote back on again Litchi app says signal lost. The remote just shut off again. All three of my P4 remotes do the same thing. I have the latest FW.
2018-4-4
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Charlie Phantoms
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Cetacean Posted at 2018-4-2 21:56
Aloha Charlie,

     This is interesting.  I just recently read that, like Ricardo's P3A, all remote controllers will shut down if there are no stick inputs for ten minutes.  At the same time, if there are no stick inputs, the remote controller will beep after 4-5 minutes.  I experience this beeping regularly.  This is all part of the DJI design.  

Test your remotes by loading a Litchi Mission with the aircraft on. Now shut the aircraft off to simulated Lost Signal. Now if you do not touch the remote it should shut down  after 10 minutes or so if you have the latest FW.  My remotes shut down on long missions with Lost Signal and not touching the remote.
  
2018-4-7
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Cetacean
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Charlie  Phantoms Posted at 2018-4-7 23:46
Test your remotes by loading a Litchi Mission with the aircraft on. Now shut the aircraft off to simulated Lost Signal. Now if you do not touch the remote it should shut down  after 10 minutes or so if you have the latest FW.  My remotes shut down on long missions with Lost Signal and not touching the remote.

Aloha Charlie,

     From what you are saying, your Phantom remote controllers are acting properly.  Your situation with the Litchi app is within the design specifications of the DJI remote controllers.  The Litchi app is an SDK that uses DJI products as a medium for its app.  DJI did not design its Phantoms or remote controllers for the Litchi app.  Litchi designed its app to use DJI products.  Does Litchi have a warning to move your sticks to avoid a shut-down?  Your situation is really a Litchi issue, not a DJI issue.

     The answer to your question is, yes this is all proper.  The solution is to move the sticks on your long Litchi flights to avoid a shut-down.  At least now you can understand what is happening.

     Hope this helps!

Aloha and Drone On!
2018-4-8
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embayweather
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I think that it raises another point here. The OP indicates that he is very deaf, only detecting the sound of the aircraft within a 20 ft radius. I would guess he is not alone in not hearing his aircraft but also, probably, his RC as well. A suggestion for DJI is could they include a small vibrating device in the remote which could would be triggered by beginning the close down sequence.  It could even be used to alert those of us who are VLOS pilots, to other warnings on the screen.
2018-4-8
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Charlie Phantoms
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Cetacean Posted at 2018-4-8 00:39
Aloha Charlie,

     From what you are saying, your Phantom remote controllers are acting properly.  Your situation with the Litchi app is within the design specifications of the DJI remote controllers.  The Litchi app is an SDK that uses DJI products as a medium for its app.  DJI did not design its Phantoms or remote controllers for the Litchi app.  Litchi designed its app to use DJI products.  Does Litchi have a warning to move your sticks to avoid a shut-down?  Your situation is really a Litchi issue, not a DJI issue.

Actually the remote acts the same whether using DJI GO 4 or Litchi. Load a Litchi Mission and leave the aircraft on. The remote will not shut down if a signal is received from the aircraft. I have a test running now for 35 minutes with a Litchi Mission loaded. The aircraft is not flying but is communicating with the remote, battery %, etc.   Load DJI GO 4 or Litchi and shut the aircraft off (signal lost) and the remote will shut down after the stated time. Hence, if you are on a long mission, such as I fly most of the time, and lose signal the remote needs some kind of input such as moving the sticks to keep from shutting down. The DJI tech that I talked to was not aware of this and only warned against using 3rd party apps. DJI most likely designed this into the last FW update to prevent total battery drain if you forget to turn off your remote.
2018-4-8
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Cetacean
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Charlie  Phantoms Posted at 2018-4-8 11:06
Actually the remote acts the same whether using DJI GO 4 or Litchi. Load a Litchi Mission and leave the aircraft on. The remote will not shut down if a signal is received from the aircraft. I have a test running now for 35 minutes with a Litchi Mission loaded. The aircraft is not flying but is communicating with the remote, battery %, etc.   Load DJI GO 4 or Litchi and shut the aircraft off (signal lost) and the remote will shut down after the stated time. Hence, if you are on a long mission, such as I fly most of the time, and lose signal the remote needs some kind of input such as moving the sticks to keep from shutting down. The DJI tech that I talked to was not aware of this and only warned against using 3rd party apps. DJI most likely designed this into the last FW update to prevent total battery drain if you forget to turn off your remote.

Aloha Charlie,

     It just occurred to me that there are two forms of Home Point, remote controller and the take-off point.  Have you tried both of these in your tests?

     Mahalo for the update.  I think your assessment is spot-on.

Aloha and Drone On!
2018-4-8
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Charlie Phantoms
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Cetacean Posted at 2018-4-8 14:32
Aloha Charlie,

     It just occurred to me that there are two forms of Home Point, remote controller and the take-off point.  Have you tried both of these in your tests?

If you notice in my tests I do not fly the aircraft so there is no take-off point. After all my tests I now know what to do on my long, out of range Litchi missions. Nudge the sticks. Also I know to not have Smart RTH set to ON. Three missions were aborted early account unnecessary RTH.  
2018-4-8
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Cetacean
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Charlie  Phantoms Posted at 2018-4-8 14:42
If you notice in my tests I do not fly the aircraft so there is no take-off point.

Aloha Charlie,

     When Beautiful Betty says, "Your Home Point has been recorded." prior to take off, your take-off point (default) has been recorded.  This home point is either the take-off point or the RC location depending on your settings.

Aloha and Drone On!
2018-4-8
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Geebax
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Charlie  Phantoms Posted at 2018-4-8 14:42
If you notice in my tests I do not fly the aircraft so there is no take-off point.

If you notice in my tests I do not fly the aircraft so there is no take-off point.

It does not matter whether you fly or not, if you start the motors, then the hom,e point will be recorded as the position of the aircraft, provided there are enough satellites to obtain a positional fix.
2018-4-8
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Charlie Phantoms
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Geebax Posted at 2018-4-8 15:06
If you notice in my tests I do not fly the aircraft so there is no take-off point.

It does not matter whether you fly or not, if you start the motors, then the hom,e point will be recorded as the position of the aircraft, provided there are enough satellites to obtain a positional fix.

I know about home points. Every time I start the motors is shows up in my flight logs. The motors were never started in the tests so no home point. I wasn't going to let the motors run for a long test.
2018-4-8
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Charlie Phantoms
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I was flying  a 7.6 mile Litchi mission. I took what I now believe to be bad advice and had Smart RTH set to ON.  The P4P was out of RC about 4 1/2 minutes into the flight. Smart RTH was triggered at some point, I think due to a 24.6 mph head wind for a short period. The RTH altitude was set to 1000 feet to be sure and clear the mountains around the canyon.  According to AirData, which does not record all the data when signal is lost, the 33.6 mph mission stopped to turn and climb from 100 to 1000 feet and then started home at 22 mph. That was a lot of wasted time and battery.  Long story after I realized the remote shut down, getting signal back, slow speed, running low on high capacity battery... sport mode. Scary!!
Earlier I did a test run of the same route at 33.6 mph but only 4.6 miles. It completed in 11:05 minutes. That's an average speed of 25 mph. At an average speed of 25 mph I should have been able to complete the 7.6 mile mission in 18 minutes.  No more Smart RTH ever.
2018-4-8
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Charlie Phantoms
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embayweather Posted at 2018-4-8 04:29
I think that it raises another point here. The OP indicates that he is very deaf, only detecting the sound of the aircraft within a 20 ft radius. I would guess he is not alone in not hearing his aircraft but also, probably, his RC as well. A suggestion for DJI is could they include a small vibrating device in the remote which could would be triggered by beginning the close down sequence.  It could even be used to alert those of us who are VLOS pilots, to other warnings on the screen.

No small vibrating devices for me. Chuckles.gif
2018-4-8
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embayweather
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Charlie  Phantoms Posted at 2018-4-8 16:11
No small vibrating devices for me.

I struggled finding suitable words to express myself knowing someone might find another avenue. So glad you did and enjoyed it too!
2018-4-9
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