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Winter flying. Suggested ways to solve cold issues.
326 13 2019-11-13
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solentlife
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United Kingdom
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For those in the North - winter is tapping on the door and many people start to think about shelving their Phantom / Mavic etc. but why ?

Yes its cold ... yes the old tootsies and fingers can feel a bit crisp at times - but some of the best flights are in winter with stunning 'picture post card' shots waiting for you.

OK - this is not so much a 'video' thread - but more a suggestion on ways to make winter flights more possible. I am a Brit that moved to Baltics / Russia in the 90's, and I don't have to tell you - it can get pretty cold here. My house is in Ventspils on the west coast of Latvia and during winter we have dropped to below -25C at times, but average through winter is about -10C.... so these are my ways to survive in such temps  :

First is YOU .... how to survive the cold ? FEET need to be in good insulated footwear. Nothing worse than cold, wet feet ! The 'locals' have an old fashioned solution - Horsehair boots !  Seriously ... boots made out of tightly compressed / woven horsehair. But lets be more modern and suggest good hiking boots with nice thick Rubber soles. I have a pair that have a fur lining inside as well. I can be out there all dayu and feet are warm as 'toast'.
Second are your ears ... the hat with flaps is ideal ... the Russian Schaptka is the bees knees but the real ones are expensive.  A woollie hat is needed that at least pulls down over the ears but you can still hear.
Third of course are the hands and fingers. Some people like the shooting gloves with half fingers ... fine. But I think better is to think in terms of main warmth of hands is your pockets and secondary for flying are thin touch screen gloves. The idea being that hands are warm from pocket / car and you only need maximum 30mins with gloves.

I haven't mentioned coats etc. - I think that goes without saying !!

Ok - so we've dealt with YOU and you are warm as can be ... the real deal is to make sure your model is sorted for such weather. There are four main items to consider.

1. IMU warm up initialisation tme
2. Battery temperature
3. Take - off and landing
4. Touch screen vs controller buttons

>1. The IMU has a reference temperature set when you calibrate it. So if you calibrate that IMU in +20C weather - then the IMU will want to warm up before it alloows you to fly. I'm sure many of you have had "Warming up" in top line of your screen ... Well using that fact - gives you the solution. calibrate the IMU when out in the cold ! I did mine at -5C and then when I was flying in colder - I finally calibrated at -10C. Now I have literally instant initialisation of IMU in winter. No wasted time ..

>2. Battery temperature. There are many ways to get round this. Inside pocket of jacket ... under the arm ... in picnic Bag with pocket warmer ... or you can do as I have - Hobby King has a dedicated LiPo warmer bag that runs of any 12V source

https://hobbyking.com/en_us/turnigy-programmable-lipo-battery-warmer-bag-12v-dc.html?wrh_pdp=3



User settable temperature etc. You can have that out of the car with you running of NiMh / old LiPo ... anything with 12V.

>3. Take off and landing ... there's no need to start hand catching or playing silly b's ... all you need is a heavy piece of carpet ... I have one that is cut to fit in my Phantom bag ... heavy enough to not blow away with prop blast ... All I do is lay it on the snow / grass etc. - and that's it. Yes you should practice landing on it as its a bit smaller area than most people use to land ... but its good to learn anyway !

>4. Touch screens do not like the cold. They are designed for short intermittet use in the cold ... not to sit out for 10 - 20mins or so .. so they get hit or miss in operation. that's when the controller buttons / wheels are best.

That pretty well covers it for what you can do - I am well aware that others have other ways and I only suggest the above as what I found works for me.

All I can say now - is don't put that model away - go out and shoot some brilliant winter scenes ...

Just to show that its not only drones that can have fun ... here's a winter get together of the club I am part of ...



........ back to my Scotch and Ginger !!
2019-11-13
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Montfrooij
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Flight distance : 1809849 ft
Netherlands
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Thanks for the info!
2019-11-13
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solentlife
Captain
Flight distance : 1087530 ft
United Kingdom
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If my info can help others to enjoy winter as much as I do ... then I am happy.

I hate UK winters - wet and dismal ... but real winter with snow and ice can be beautiful. We all look at those post cards with depictions of winter ... we have the opportunity with our Phantoms / Mavics to capture those ourselves. Just takes a little thought to prepare ...

I hope my suggestions can help others.
2019-11-13
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DJI Tony
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Thanks for sharing this informative thread to our valued DJI Forum members. We're sure that this thread would be helpful to our members. Thank you for your support!
2019-11-13
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Mark The Droner
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Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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Scotch and ginger!  Interesting.  I know of the Dark & Stormy - a very nice summer drink for sailors - I didn't like my first one much but it kind of grows on you.  A ginger beer and some rum and some ice cubes.  It's actually very nice after you get past the first couple!  Most really good drinks (and foods too) have an acclimation period I think.  

Scotch and ginger?  Is this a winter drink?  I may have to look into this...

I actually have a ginger beer in the downstairs 'fridge.  I've been saving it.  
2019-11-13
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Bashy
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Flight distance : 549140 ft
United States
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I have a sample of JD's and Ginger ale in my fridge as we speakses

Thanks for the info, ive not had any issues with regards to my Tab S2 9.7" as yet, but then i think  my max cold was -5ºC

I would swap carpet for old rubber car mat, tis what i use when needed, they work a treat and no wet issues, just dont forget them like i do...... ask on FB market place for some

Ive not seen the IMU temp issue before but i have seen the battery one all too often, since then i started using a picnic warmer, something like this
I stick the batteries in prior to setting off and they end up warmer than house temp, not surprised there seen as i only have it at 18.5ºC lol i fly about 20 mins from home
2019-11-13
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solentlife
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Mark The Droner Posted at 11-13 17:36
Scotch and ginger!  Interesting.  I know of the Dark & Stormy - a very nice summer drink for sailors - I didn't like my first one much but it kind of grows on you.  A ginger beer and some rum and some ice cubes.  It's actually very nice after you get past the first couple!  Most really good drinks (and foods too) have an acclimation period I think.  

Scotch and ginger?  Is this a winter drink?  I may have to look into this...

Equal measures of Ginger Ale and Scotch ...

Of course the best is Green Ginger Wine and Scotch ... but GGW is hard to find outside UK.
2019-11-13
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*DM*
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Flight distance : 496867 ft
United Kingdom
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The best, most effective and easiest accessory for staying warm are ... active hand/feet/body warmers.

Hot Hands Hand Warmer Value Pack, Pack of 2(5 pairs each) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00N3X3JLI/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_cCqZDbX1P94P1

Feel like you sit at home in front of a fire place.

Good for batteries too.



2019-11-13
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solentlife
Captain
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United Kingdom
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Bashy Posted at 11-13 19:24
I have a sample of JD's and Ginger ale in my fridge as we speakses

Thanks for the info, ive not had any issues with regards to my Tab S2 9.7" as yet, but then i think  my max cold was -5ºC

The IMU issue is only there if you have calibrated in the warm and then are outside with a 'cold' model. If the model is brought out from the warm and powered up before it cools - then its unlikely you will have warming up status.

But it is well worth calibrating in the cold. It certainly made a difference to my start-ups and I know its true for others who have done it.
2019-11-13
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Mark The Droner
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Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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*DM* Posted at 11-13 23:52
The best, most effective and easiest accessory for staying warm are ... active hand/feet/body warmers.

Hot Hands Hand Warmer Value Pack, Pack of 2(5 pairs each) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00N3X3JLI/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_cCqZDbX1P94P1

What I do is overdress.  Long underwear, shirts, sweater, hoody, coat.  Neck warmer.  Add a ball cap and put the hood up over it.  Since you're overheated, the warmth of your body heatsinks out of your face and hands and fingers which keeps them toasty.  Works as long as it's not windy.  
2019-11-14
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Nebuchadnezzar
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Flight distance : 1961293 ft
Spain
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Good tips Dro !!
2019-11-14
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Mark The Droner
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Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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Dro!!  I like it!  

"Yo Dro, what up?"

"Just hangin' loose, brah.  Got one on the heater, hopin' the wind will chill in the next hour."
2019-11-14
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Bashy
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solentlife Posted at 11-13 23:55
The IMU issue is only there if you have calibrated in the warm and then are outside with a 'cold' model. If the model is brought out from the warm and powered up before it cools - then its unlikely you will have warming up status.

But it is well worth calibrating in the cold. It certainly made a difference to my start-ups and I know its true for others who have done it.

ah, thanks, i think i glazed over when i read that part in your 1st post lol
2019-11-14
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solentlife
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Flight distance : 1087530 ft
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Bashy Posted at 11-14 18:38
ah, thanks, i think i glazed over when i read that part in your 1st post lol

I know - I did make it a bit of a  long novel ...

Latvia is now dipping in temp .. its -4C outside my house and my yacht is getting frozen in for winter. Bit annoyed really as the starter motor burnt out a while back and its a 1950's old style diesel engine. Not so easy to get another starter - and any you do find are stupid price. Its stopped me running engine to get Anti-Freeze into engine ... its raw water cooled.
Starter is in shop being re-wired and I have heater inside boat hoping to prevent engine from freezing before I can get starter back in place.

Anyway ... its really grey out there and not really nice for flights / videos ... its that autumn change to winter thats really dull. Give it a couple of weeks and it should brighten and be much better for vids.
2019-11-26
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