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Ran out of battery and got a 10 second warning!
821 15 2019-7-28
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kim32865
lvl.1

United States
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My flight this morning was rather scary. I was flying through the hills where if my drone got lost I'd be out a drone. All was well until I brought it in closer to see if I could get the Follow Me mode to work today (still, no luck). But, lo and behold, as it sat about 40 feet up and maybe 20 yards away from me, I got a low battery warning with the message it was landing right where it was! No, coming home to land, just right there where it hovered. It came straight down to the ground, not "home" at all. Had I still been flying out yonder in the hills where I'd been just minutes before, my drone would be gone and unrecoverable. Has this happened to anyone else?
2019-7-28
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Gimpy
Second Officer
United States
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That sounds like the behavior associated with a critically low battery warning, but the best way to know for sure is if you retrieve the flight log, upload it to PhantomHelp using these instructions, and post a link to the uploaded log in this thread. After that someone will be able to give you more definitive information about what took place.
2019-7-28
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ALABAMA
Captain
Flight distance : 10442687 ft
United States
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Did you see a low battery warning?  At what percent did you have it set?
2019-7-28
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NM_Quad
Second Officer
United States
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I agree.  The Phantom was trying to protect itself by landing upon critically low battery before the motors quit and it falls like a rock.  You can set the alarm points in the Go app.  Many set their LOW BATTERY WARNING to 25-30% (I use 30%) and the CRITICALLY LOW BATTERY WARNING at 10-15% (I use 15%).  When flying, the Go app will alarm when these points are reached so you can take appropriate action.  However, realize these are only alarm points.  The Phantom decides when to initiate the LAND NOW command by calculating battery level, distance from home and other factors.  You have no control over that.  It will generally occur around the 10-15% point on your battery.  So depleting your battery to 10% should be avoided.  That happened to me once.  While it was descending, the right stick still allowed me to maneuver it towards me to find a clear spot.   In short, train yourself to always keep an eye on your battery indicator for useful battery left in flight.  If you're some distance away and having fun, it's easy to let your battery deplete past the point of no return, especially if you have some wind.  Most important, glad it landed safely and your camera and gimbal is still attached (hopefully).  As Gimpy says, check your flight log in case their is an underlying problem like a motor fault, bad battery cell, or something.  Did I mention, always keep an eye on your battery level?  When it hits 30%, it's usually time to wrap things up and bring it home unless very, very close.  Happy flying.
2019-7-28
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Sean-newbie
First Officer
Flight distance : 6053 ft
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United Kingdom
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If within 20m of the home point I believe the drone will simple land where it is if any of the RTH's are triggered, that has caught me out before too.  
There is a "smart return home " function which does calculate how much battery the drone needs to get home from its current position but that has to be switched on, it can be switched off so you need to check if it is on.  
That said I had an unexpected critically low battery warning last flight yet the battery was showing 30%+ at the time, unless the battery went bad during that flight it has otherwise been a good battery.
Whilst looking into something else I noticed that the rearmost standoff for the battery connector mounting screws inside the drone shell was cracked (right the way through as it turns out) and I am wondering if this allowed the connector to move enough, in flight, to break the connection of the 4 sensor pins with their corresponding terminals on the battery. To that end I have dismantled the drone and am trying to glue the cracked piece back in place and will then reinforce the standoff and use a longer screw.
2019-7-28
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kim32865
lvl.1

United States
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Sean-newbie Posted at 7-28 13:19
If within 20m of the home point I believe the drone will simple land where it is if any of the RTH's are triggered, that has caught me out before too.  
There is a "smart return home " function which does calculate how much battery the drone needs to get home from its current position but that has to be switched on, it can be switched off so you need to check if it is on.  
That said I had an unexpected critically low battery warning last flight yet the battery was showing 30%+ at the time, unless the battery went bad during that flight it has otherwise been a good battery.

I had no idea I had to activate the "Smart Return Home" feature. I thought it automatically did this. Thank you SO MUCH!
2019-7-28
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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kim32865 Posted at 7-28 13:46
I had no idea I had to activate the "Smart Return Home" feature. I thought it automatically did this. Thank you SO MUCH!

It will not matter whether you have Smart Return Home activated or not, if the aircraft is at 20 Metres distance or closer, it does not matter what triggered the RTH it will land where it is and not return to the take-off position. All Phantoms have done this since day one, it is not a fault and you cannot change this action.
2019-7-28
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Aardvark
Captain
Flight distance : 384432 ft
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United Kingdom
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kim32865 Posted at 7-28 13:46
I had no idea I had to activate the "Smart Return Home" feature. I thought it automatically did this. Thank you SO MUCH!

RTH will only initiate itself if there is a loss of control signal, Best thing might be to grab a coffee and sit down with the manual for a couple of hours, and scribble down notes. There's so much technology in these devices it's an eye opener :-)

The manual for the P3 Standard can be downloaded from Here (look for 'Phantom 3 Standard User Manual (EN) v1.4').

That page is worth scrolling up and down as well, lots of good information from downloads to FAQ's and instructional videos.
2019-7-29
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Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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My P3P would RTH with the control signal intact and the Smart Return Home function on, although I could cancel it easily enough.  It was kind of a nuisance.  I finally disabled the Smart Return Home and it lets me fly further without interruption.  Maybe the P3S is different?  
2019-7-29
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solentlife
Captain
Flight distance : 1087530 ft
Czechia
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Both my P3S and P3P have exact same action on RTH ... Smart or user Activated ....

And as others say - if its at 20m or closer - it will only land where it is.

One aspect of the P3S which is different to others ... when it has low battery and automatically goes into landing - you cannot arrest or alter the landing point as much as with a P3A or P3P ... all you can do - and this is not g'teed as I found out to my cost - is 'deflect' the downward descent slightly to land a metre or so from vertical !
2019-7-29
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Sean-newbie
First Officer
Flight distance : 6053 ft
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United Kingdom
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kim32865 Posted at 7-28 13:46
I had no idea I had to activate the "Smart Return Home" feature. I thought it automatically did this. Thank you SO MUCH!

I apologise, I didn't realise this was a P3S, mine is a P3Adv, whether what I wrote is applicable I do not know,  sorry .
2019-7-29
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rwynant V1
Captain
Flight distance : 4842277 ft
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United States
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Did you by chance start flying with a partially charged battery?

The systems have a hard time sorting out capacity from voltage when starting a flight with a Partially Charged Battery.......
2019-7-30
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solentlife
Captain
Flight distance : 1087530 ft
Czechia
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Sean-newbie Posted at 7-29 03:53
I apologise, I didn't realise this was a P3S, mine is a P3Adv, whether what I wrote is applicable I do not know,  sorry .

All P3 have same GO and same RTH  ...
2019-7-31
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kim32865
lvl.1

United States
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ALABAMA Posted at 7-28 12:46
Did you see a low battery warning?  At what percent did you have it set?

Honestly, I didn't even look. I am now much more aware of the battery I have left and start wrapping it up early.
2019-8-11
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RedHotPoker
Captain
Flight distance : 165105 ft
Canada
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Time to RTFM And watch a bunch of instructional videos... ;-)


RedHotPoker
2019-8-11
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TestPilotMovies
lvl.1

United States
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This is literally my biggest fear, for now I like to keep my baby close. I can't afford to loose her
2019-8-23
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