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julius.santos
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I have only had my Phantom 3 for two weeks. I flew it yesterday and the NO SIGNAL light came on ... I pressed the HOME button and it never came back ... The flight data recorder indicates that it crashed in the middle of the river (somewhere) ... it was flying at 98.1 meters high and 570.3 meters away from the home point.  Been in contact with tech support and have synced the flight data recorder.  They say that they have to analyze the data and they may give a discount of 30% on a new one which I don't think is right considering there seems to be a 'BUG" in the system.  I hope that this is not an indication of something wrong with baches of what has been shipped since it's a great toy to have when it's working right.
2015-6-12
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dlew21
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Why did you fly it if no signal light came on?  Just wondering not judging
2015-6-12
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Helios
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dlew21@mac.com Posted at 2015-6-13 06:39
Why did you fly it if no signal light came on?  Just wondering not judging

I think he means that it came on while he was flying, not before.
2015-6-12
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Albert Jr.
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I agree with the following member about flying with no ready signal.
I would have shut down the machine, the controller and the app and started her up again.

No signal still?  Something's wrong and don't fly it until you find the problem.

Albert
2015-6-12
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droneflyers.com
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If you fly over water you will lose your Phantom to the water - very large chance of that!

Could you see the Phantom the entire time? I get dropped signals and disconnects quite often and the Remote still works. I only fly where I can steer and see the Phantom.
Once you let it go out of your sight, you are using it in a manner it was not designed for.

If you get another one and do the same thing you will very likely lose it also.

It's not a magic machine. It relies on you flying conservatively.
Oh, this is not a flyaway. This sounds like you didn't see if and therefore have no idea what happened to it.

RTH can sometimes save the machine - but if there were problems with Radio Interference or a bad GPS lock or data, it will not. Also, you didn't mention what your battery level was.
2015-6-12
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Albert Jr.
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Albert Jr. Posted at 2015-6-13 07:00
I agree with the following member about flying with no ready signal.
I would have shut down the mach ...

I re-read your post. Sorry... I mis-understood....  now I assume you started in ready mode...after the light changed to "no signal" you hit home and it didn't return home.

I did the same thing about my 5th flight in.... lost fpv signal about 200m from me and 150m up... it just let the wind take it away. ( I had RC control... but didn't know it at the time until I watched the video recorded for the whole flight later)
I hit home but it didn't work... it just kept flying.
I jumped in my jeep and headed after it... controller in hand and followed the map to where it ran out of battery and landed in an alfalfa field. (about 1 1/2 miles away)

It was my operator error that lost it.... hitting the home button and not holding it until I heard the "beep beep beep"

Albert


2015-6-12
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dlew21
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Albert Jr. Posted at 2015-6-13 07:14
I re-read your post. Sorry... I mis-understood....  now I assume you started in ready mode...after ...

Good on you man, most ppl wouldn't fess up to that.  
2015-6-12
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Mark97564
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They sure wouldn't..  I've lost video b4 too and the app still worked fine for me.. I couldn't see but I was still able to battery info and was able to tap the home button on my tablets screen still and slide the thing to confirm it...  People gotta learn how to use the home button on the controller, I think a few "fly always" wouldn't be on this forum if they did know how to use the button..  99% of the time the video goes out roc still works and 2nd with the p3 using glonaas satalites and gps Satalites it's pretty impossible to lose a lock..  That's 2 different positioning systems and 20 Satalites total it would have to not be locked too...  It only needs 2 in order to get back within 150 meters of the actual home spot...  

You gotta hold the button people, if it don't beep and the button light up white it's not coming home. And even if it goes into low battery return to home the sticks will always temporarily over ride it so u gotta keep your fingers off the sticks too and I swear people push the sticks hoping to win the lottery and see it again..  

If you lose video hold the home button til it beeps and lights up white and don't touch anything for 20 minutes cuz it only tilts 20% on return to home which is 8 meters per second speed and if there is 7 meter per second wind speed its fighting it's going to take a pretty long time to fly itself 900 meters
2015-6-12
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FantomDK
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Did you record the HomePoint correctly before you took off?

I'm very sorry about your loss. I can only advice that you take your time and really research how to properly use a Phantom 3 before venturing out. Take baby steps, read the manual, watch a lot of YouTube videos instructing how to fly and how to handle it. You need to do the proper calibrations etc. before flying the first time. Also, don't take chances, don't fly out of line of sight, remember the remote control needs to be able to "see" the P3 to communicate with it.

Flying 570 meters away is very far, if it is one of your first times flying. I think that is risky behavior, even though the P3 is capable. I flew at least 50 times before trying to go that far, and I would only do it in a rural area.

If it is indeed a production/system bug, I agree they should replace it. But lets face it - it is also very likely it is some sort of user error/not following the advice and procedures. The P3 is a complex system, one can't just buy it and fly 500 meters away one of the first flights and expect not to run into trouble. Common sense would dictate that doing a lot of low and close test-flights would also raise confidence that your P3 is working as it should. And then slowly increase your 'adventure'.

Good luck. Hope you find a good solution.
2015-6-12
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jack1144
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Always feel bad if someone loses their bird. I see a number of these and wonder if the Phantom 3 were to go into failsafe mode and begin a return to home itself and the pilot then hits the RTH button, is it possible that stops the RTH. Some good points made about checking the RTH light first.
2015-6-12
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RedHotPoker
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Agreed, about being sorry, hearing of your great loss. These birds are nearly  as expensive as a live bird.
If and when you get another Phantom to replace it, I hope that you will be more careful with it.
Wishing you only success of flying, in the near future.

RedHotPoker
2015-6-12
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m.vos2
lvl.2

Netherlands
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prety sure most fly aways are just caused by not waiting long enouch for gps lock or not recallibrating the compas
2015-6-13
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kalin2011
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-6-13 07:00
If you fly over water you will lose your Phantom to the water - very large chance of that!

Could yo ...

All I've done with my Phantom is fly over water!  You sound like it's automatic...you WILL loose it if you fly over water.  And as for flying the machine out of sight...why have a 2k range if you always are restricted to  a  300 meter radius?  Why have FPV?  I agree there is the probability of many pilot error losses, however, as many or more are system glitches that have not been corrected because DJI will not flesh out for fear of loosing sales.  Sorry for your loss and hope DJI do better than 30%.
  
2015-6-13
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droneflyers.com
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kalin2011 Posted at 2015-6-13 20:35
All I've done with my Phantom is fly over water!  You sound like it's automatic...you WILL loose i ...

Just the odds - not automatic.
It may be in the first 10 flights - it may be after 50 flights. You may make it even further.

But any failure of any system means the craft is going to land.

I've had numerous people comment on my statement that the chances of losing it are greater.  Yet every single day I read of multiple losses in water. MANY more than over land.

DJI states not to fly over water - that does not mean "never" , but rather more "if you want to keep your Phantom long term".

What are the odds? It depends on the pilot and the craft. But let's put it this way - DJI own head of aerial imaging (a long term employee) has stated that every one of his friends who flew multicopters over water has lost at least one. This is the boss saying that.

As long as you accept the risk - that's OK. But if a bunch of new pilots start taking their machines out over water, they are going to lose them at a high rate.
2015-6-13
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S.Nyky
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-6-14 01:42
Just the odds - not automatic.
It may be in the first 10 flights - it may be after 50 flights. You ...

Well I guess I will fly over an active volcano like in the DJI promo videos then. Obviously that is way safer than flying over water.
2015-6-13
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lightpanther
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S.Nyky Posted at 2015-6-14 02:55
Well I guess I will fly over an active volcano like in the DJI promo videos then. Obviously that i ...

Again "don't fly over water" as a supposed advisory from  the drone company is no excuse to cover up for reliability problems in the drone. Stop spreading misinformation.
2015-6-13
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lightpanther
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lightpanther Posted at 2015-6-14 04:25
Again "don't fly over water" as a supposed advisory from  the drone company is no excuse to cover  ...

I went 3000ft out on my second flight, with no problems at all when airborne. I really figured I've got to find out that this thing has the basic performance capabilities advertised for it.

I was in a fairly busy overall surround but with clear air an no physical obstructions.
2015-6-13
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Swiss Tony
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Albert Jr. Posted at 2015-6-13 07:14
I re-read your post. Sorry... I mis-understood....  now I assume you started in ready mode...after ...

Albert, were you in ATTI mode? If the RTH isn't activated it should've just stayed put. Must've been a beastly feeling, every flight I make I worry about this happening. I'm OCD about calibration and getting it all settled before I take off, but I guess it's a risk we all have to accept as they can just bug out, or get interfered with by conflicting radio, magnetic, electrical stuff etc. I know of a guy who had his fall out of the sky because a Navy Frigate came around the headland and must've pinged something, it came down like a stone! There are even companies making anti drone equipment now too, hopefully it'll be priced to only suit authorities and not miserable idiots.

I've had disconnects (black screen, no data, flight recorder shows the flight ending at that point)  3 times recently, before the last update. The 1st one was at quite a distance, I got panicky and to get it home I hit I hit RTH, it came home and it landed fine. I checked every setting and it happened again a couple of times right in front of me at 10 metres, but still had full flight control and it was happily still using the satellites. Have had FPV glitches too, it's scary. I tested out the Failsafe this week, turned off my Tx and it just landed where it was. Not what I was expecting but it was this 15 metre rule I think. Will check it out again tomorrow somewhere safe.

Julius, I'm sorry for what happened to you. If you had done all the calibrating required, then it is a genuine injustice. I fly over water frequently, it's not inherently more risky in terms of causing malfunctions but if something does go wrong you're boned. 570 metres is well within it's limits so don't pay any attention to anyone telling you that you had no business being that far away, they don't know your experience level so are making baseless assumptions. That said, if this is your 1st quad, then you were taking risks with it but we shouldn't fly them as if they WILL malfunction, otherwise we'd be very limited in our sorties and it would be rubbish.
2015-6-13
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droneflyers.com
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S.Nyky Posted at 2015-6-14 02:55
Well I guess I will fly over an active volcano like in the DJI promo videos then. Obviously that i ...

Hey, if DJI gives us all a bunch of birds and pays all our expenses - and a salary in addition - they I'll fly anything anywhere!

I'd say we can drink Red Bull without jumping out of planes and ice tea without falling into a refreshing swimming pool......(like: don't try this at home, it's marketing).

IMHO, the P3 is the most reliable machine of it's type on the market. But it's still basically a toy and any one small failure means it is landing.....if on land. If on the water, it will splash as opposed to land.
2015-6-13
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S.Nyky
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-6-14 06:36
Hey, if DJI gives us all a bunch of birds and pays all our expenses - and a salary in addition - t ...

I agree with you droneflyers, I was only being sarcastic in my last post! I am not the type of pilot that is taking risks with my bird, especially since I have been having some issues with it. If people continue to fly over large bodies of water and rely on FPV instead of LOS the odds are there will be a few casualties.
2015-6-13
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jeffmcrae52
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Swiss Tony Posted at 2015-6-14 05:53
Albert, were you in ATTI mode? If the RTH isn't activated it should've just stayed put. Must've be ...

Hi Swiss Tony, mate just check your fail-safe directions in the app you may not have them set to fly home then land, also make sure you have enough height to clear all obstacles.
Cheers Jeff
2015-6-13
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droneflyers.com
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lightpanther Posted at 2015-6-14 04:46
I went 3000ft out on my second flight, with no problems at all when airborne. I really figured I'v ...

If you can see it at that range (as per FAA) then you have some great eyes!

My car speedometer goes to 140, but I never tested it in the 5 years I've had it because I want to keep it and myself and others in one piece.

"Why have a 2K range and FPV?"
Simple......FPV is for framing shots, even if the drone is 20 feet away from you.
A decent range helps greatly when there is interference from trees, fog, other wireless signals, small buildings or structures, etc.

In the USA  - and most countries in the world - we are limited to line of sight flying with the pilot in control (no FPV as the guidance) - and also to 400-500 feet maximum height (guidelines).

DJI subscribes to this. Ask them. The small UAV coalition they belong to subscribes to this.

I spend a lot of time each day reading about all the quadcopters people are crashing and losing (it's part of my job). Most of them are either in water....or out of sight (or a tiny dot, surely not LOS flying).

So, pay your money and take your chances. I don't drag race cars nor see what my P3 can do.
2015-6-13
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vu.q.le
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Tip: the author has been banned or deleted automatically shield
2015-6-13
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lightpanther
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-6-14 11:05
If you can see it at that range (as per FAA) then you have some great eyes!

My car speedometer goe ...

"See it"? No. **Line of Sight**  -- yes. The two concepts are often confused.

3000ft is well within DJI's spec for what the Phantom is capable of. And I'm glad to say it performed admirably.
2015-6-13
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a.sharam
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Just some info, I am a qualified radio amateur and a word of warning, the higher the radio frequency especially up in the Ghz band the signal can be deflected /reflected over a large body of water, it is not a good idea to fly over the sea or large rivers because of this, certain weather conditions can cause unseen moisture to build (due to evaporation) , a bit like low lying fog,
If your quad goes below this layer and where your standing is above this layer or to the side of it the moisture  meeting the non moisture air will set up a refractive index high enough to bounce your transmitters radio signal right away from your quad,
It's a gamble, these conditions are not there all of the time but are highly likely..l Because of this I would stay away from large bodies of water in the future..
Regards. Adam
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2015-6-13
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Oliver
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-6-14 11:05
If you can see it at that range (as per FAA) then you have some great eyes!

My car speedometer goe ...

+1 for the reason it has such a large quoted range. It allows you to fly confidently in the presence of interference and minor obstacles. Most people are breaking the law if they fly BVLOS, unless you happen to live in a country that doesn't mind it. I'm happy with flying within 400m, I can just about work out its orientation at that distance.
That said, I can see the appeal of going on long-distance adventures with your Phantom. Must be quite a thrill.

As for putting your P3 in situations where it could be its last ever flight (such as over water) for the sake of getting fantastic footage...well, provided you're not endangering anybody or anything apart from your Phantom, then I feel this applies:
2015-6-13
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leoamartinez
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Sorry for your loss friend!
2015-6-14
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droneflyers.com
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a.sharam@btinte Posted at 2015-6-14 14:05
Just some info, I am a qualified radio amateur and a word of warning, the higher the radio frequency ...

I'm a HAM also - thanks for trying to explain this to others!

Many here just disagree with physics. They claim the Phantom doesn't know whether it is flying over land or water. This despite so many losing their machines to neptune.

Even GPS signals are reflected and confused by water. The VPS system is also suspected of causing problems (one guy lost his 3K Inspire when flying close to the water).
For those who want to delve further, look up "multipath" and GPS - what happens is that the GPS signals are reflected by water (and other stuff - like buildings, cliffs, etc.) and that produces an error.

I have no problem with educated users taking the chances.
However, pilots should be educated and informed and take the risks intentionally and with the full expectation that they are tempting the odds.

The Phantom cost about 1K.
$300+ is in the Remote
$300+ is in the camera and gimbal.
$150 is in the battery.
That leaves $250 for the quadcopter complete with GPS and motors and props, etc.

So you are flying a $250 toy - don't expect it to behave like military-spec equipment (similar military quads are 15K to 60K).

2015-6-14
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Swiss Tony
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jeffmcrae52@out Posted at 2015-6-14 10:26
Hi Swiss Tony, mate just check your fail-safe directions in the app you may not have them set to f ...

Cheers Jeff.
I swapped out my cable between Tx and iPhone and no more disconnects. The failsafe landing is apparently what happens when within 15m of the machine when it happens, it's a very odd rule that DJI have come up with. I don't understand it. My failsafe is always set according to the environment I'm in, but always up, across, down. Has anyone else turned of their Tx when close to the P3? Does it just land or do the proper RTH sequence?
2015-6-14
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Swiss Tony
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-6-15 00:15
I'm a HAM also - thanks for trying to explain this to others!

Many here just disagree with physic ...

This is interesting and I'd like to pick your brains please.

The manual shows that the position of the arms on the Tx is important, depending on where the Rx is relative to you. If I'm over water between 20-60m, I have the arms at 90 degrees to the TX body and keep the handset flat.. If I'm flying higher over water I'll keep the handset down and the arms extended, as per the signal direction diagrams. If water reflects the signal, would it duplicate and cause a delayed double signal? I've never experienced this over water.
I have inside a building with glass everywhere on a toy RC heli, the signal blatantly bounced all over the area and it just couldn't handle it, spazzed out and hit the deck.
Could you go into more detail about what we should be doing with the Tx arms and position, is it as important as the manual states and also what symptoms would result from a reflected signal?
Thanks
2015-6-14
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Paniza
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Crackers! So sorry to hear about your issue.

I can relate to the frustration as I also like to fly over water sometimes.

Often get some sort of issue... app crashed, lost signal out of the blue... you know, the usual stuff.

First thing for me is, if the battery is below 40%, I fly close.

Second, when in trouble, I try to remain calm and think before acting. Easier said than done but it helps as general rule.

The scariest for me was the first time when the Android app crashed while not over water but 300ft up over trees. I restarted the darn app... it took about two minutes, the tablet was so slow, then it worked. The P3 was hovering the entire time. Then. back to home.
2015-6-14
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droneflyers.com
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Swiss Tony Posted at 2015-6-15 07:46
This is interesting and I'd like to pick your brains please.

The manual shows that the position  ...

You will do better with the other HAM dude because most of my experience was with longer wavelengths - as even our HF stuff was "2 meter" (144.000 MHz to 146.000 MHz) when I was active.

I suspect much of this stuff depends on a LOT of factors - such as what the humidity is/was or if a marine layer or other vapor is present, etc.

I suspect, from anecdotal evidence, that the signals of the P3 (ghz range) are prone to interference relatively easily. I had more errors on my cul-de-sac (maybe 10 wifi signals from houses) than I did at the fields or at the beach.

When you really look at what you are getting in these packages....the radio part itself is very inexpensive and weak, and therefore hard to make reliable other than at a hobby level.

I don't think you will improve range or reliability over water by orientation of the antennas differently than the suggested (approx. perpendicular to the machine level) way.  Most water related problems, IMHO, are for the following reasons  - in numerical order.

Pilot Error, of course, is probably responsible for the bulk of all crashes and losses. This can be anything from loss of orientation to not understanding ATTI and other modes - as well as not checking things (home point, batteries, etc etc.)

1. Run of the Mill Failures of many types - but because landing is not possible, they splash into the water. Not seating the battery, dirty contacts, bad batteries, etc....a whole host of normal problems, these are more serious over water since the craft cannot be retrieved.

2. RF Problems of various sorts - since water provides an unobstructed path for RF, this means other signals are present going in all directions. Many large radio transmitters purposely use rivers for corridors to transmit signals (close to big cities, etc.).

Remember - just as GM saved $1 on an ignition switch (that ended up killing a lot of people), products today are built with components that cost pennies each. Your quadcopter is relying on such pennies to stay in the air. Although they seem reliable when working, they are hobby toys.  We tend to all get a false sense of security when they work correctly.....and then start taking more risks.

2015-6-14
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Antti
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kalin2011 Posted at 2015-6-13 20:35
All I've done with my Phantom is fly over water!  You sound like it's automatic...you WILL loose i ...

Why I don't drive my car 260km/h when I could? You can fly 2km away from you, but you need a spotter.
2015-6-14
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Albert Jr.
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Antti Posted at 2015-6-15 12:32
Why I don't drive my car 260km/h when I could? You can fly 2km away from you, but you need a spott ...

No Tony... gps mode.
It just lost fpv signal for the tablet.

ALbert
2015-6-14
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aburkefl
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Swiss Tony Posted at 2015-6-15 07:46
This is interesting and I'd like to pick your brains please.

The manual shows that the position  ...

The two antennas on the remote controller are either (1) vertical antennas or (2) dipole antennas. One of the antennas is for frequencies that control the Phantom and the other antenna is for the Lightbridge system that feeds video back to your mobile device.

These antennas work best when they're broadside to your Phantom. For example, if your Phantom is directly overhead, the antennas should be straight out from you, parallel to the ground. If your Phantom is a good distance away from you - 200, 400, 600 feet and up, say 150 feet, your antennas need to be more "straight up."

The key to the antenna orientation is THEY DO NOT RADIATE OUT THE END OF THE ANTENNA!!

Also, with the exception of situations where the signals can be reflected from some surface (generally not what you want to maintain control), the signals are line-of-sight. Trees, particularly if there are lots of leaves, will block signals. Get behind a building (relative to your controller) and the signals will be lost also. These signals are very much like the UHF portion of the TV broadcast spectrum. The lower-level signals (what used to be Channels 2 thru 13) are VHF (very high frequency) signals. Signals in that area of the spectrum can be bent a little - i.e., reflect off the ionosphere. But, in UHF (ultrra high frequency), which is where TV channels 14 thru 88 used to be (some, of course, still are) and higher up in frequency are pure line of sight. They generally do not bounce off the ionosphere - there are some exceptions, but they occur at distances nowhere near those being used for our Phantoms.

Again, the name of the game with your antennas is to keep them broadside to your Phantom as much as possible. A much better antenna would be a helical (spirally wound or those funny-shaped clover-leaf looking things that have been used a lot with FPV equipment) antenna, but I guess the designers felt that was either overkill or over-expensed for the Phantom.

Art - also a ham "expert" - N4PJ (hard at it since 1978 - still doing Morse code!)
2015-6-15
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Swiss Tony
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aburkefl@gmail. Posted at 2015-6-16 10:04
The two antennas on the remote controller are either (1) vertical antennas or (2) dipole antennas. ...

Thanks guys, that's interesting. I'm a little surprised that the radios are cheap, esp as they use them with the Inspire too. I'd be happy to pay more for a Futaba or Spektrum equivalent if it meant that I had better signal output.

You confirmed what I thought about the way the antennas transmit, 2 plug in clover leaves would've been preferable and prob not that hard to do, but I guess they had their reasons.

I've done some real distance stuff over water with my Spektrum and a fixed wing, not FPV so not as far as you may be thinking but enough to be susceptible to signal gremlins. I will definitely bare it in mind though and adjust my flying accordingly when I have the option. Tbh, I don't see many situations where one needs to, or can justify flying more than 500 metres away for any other reason than laziness. These are designed for photography, not FPV adventuring. I think if I was looking to fly a long way on FPV I'd use something more appropriate and practical. And cheaper! The gliders are good for this.

Anyway, I'm rambling on. I will just add though, to Paniza: just because your app crashes it doesn't affect your flight controls. You should be line of sight and if you're at a range that you can't see it then you should have a spotter, so you can simply fly it home as normal or hit RTH if you get panicked. If you're flying so far away that you can't see it and/ or don't have a spotter then it's asking for trouble dude. If you're in the middle of nowhere then it's just your quad you're risking, just don't do it near the public as it's those headlines that will make things difficult for all of us. Happy flying. :-)
2015-6-16
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julius.santos
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RedHotPoker Posted at 2015-6-13 14:19
Agreed, about being sorry, hearing of your great loss. These birds are nearly  as expensive as a liv ...

Thank you ... DJI's engineers couldn't figure out what went wrong after I sent them the flight log ... they were kind enough to send me a replacement unit for free ...
2015-7-12
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020667
lvl.4
Flight distance : 14495 ft
Denmark
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julius.santos@f Posted at 2015-7-12 22:33
Thank you ... DJI's engineers couldn't figure out what went wrong after I sent them the flight log ...

Good to hear that you will get a new one.....
2015-7-13
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ancientman
lvl.2
Flight distance : 524081 ft
United States
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I have experienced 'no signal' problem too. It was flying middle of near shore and I was panicked. Fortunately, I was able to bring it up close to me since transmitter(controller) was working. I found this happened when I connect my iphone 6+ to controller, I must click yes when it asked 'Trust this computer?' option. If you do not see that question when you connect your iphone, DO NOT FLY DRONE. it will lost entire signal soon except control stick. Remember, you always have to see 'Trust this computer?' sign when you connect your ios devices. I am not a developper/programmer but there must be ios authorization process or timeout something with ios app.
2015-7-13
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carminepettinic
lvl.1

United States
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firmware downgrade
2015-10-17
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