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Phantom 4 follow another drone
481 1 2016-11-3
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Flight distance : 54022 ft
United States

Has anyone tried to use a phantom 4 to film/follow another drone?
Use props
Flight distance : 2453350 ft
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United States

Aloha fans,

     Yes, A P4 cannot follow (Active Track) a P3 unless possibly the P3 has propguards on it.  The P3 body is too small for the P4 vision system to fix on to it.  I have tried it but the P3P I was trying to follow only had white propguards on the back.  My P4 would get half way into "Active Track".  It would lock on but not move to follow.  We have not had a chance to get together again and try with four white propguards.  DJI has done tests to see if it could be done and determined that the Phantom body was too small.  They did not test a follow of a Phantom with propguards.

     As for video of another Phantom, there is a lot of that on the Forum and YouTube.  If you do try it, you really should give each other a ten foot clearance at a minimum.  The way to do this is to go up about 10 meters or so and face each other.  The operators should be standing or sitting about ten feet or more away from each other but close enough to talk to each other.  

     One operator, usually the one with the most experience, lines up with the same altitude as the other stationary Phantom.  The operators have to look at the live feed video to see what the silhouette of the other Phantom looks like.  It is very helpful if one drone has propguards on it.  Then the operators look at the altimeter and tell each other the altitude to see how far off they are from each other in their altimeter readings.  Barometric altimeters are not real accurate as you will see.

     Then the two operators move up and down to stabilize themselves with a minimum ten foot altitude differences.  The operators look in the live feed to see what the profile of the other Phantom looks like at ten foot altitude difference both above them and below them.  And you back away from each other, maybe go to a higher altitude and do this dance where you see what another drone looks like at a ten foot altitude difference both above and below.  Eventually, you can tell at a glance whether the other drone is higher or lower.  If there is a question, you ask the other operator what their altitude is, then do the quick math to see if an altitude adjustment is in order.  The propguards really help amplify the perspective of the altitude difference - another use for propguards!

     As a rule, if you are going to fly together at the same time in the same relative space, you have to agree on altitude relationships.  I am high before, you are high this time, whatever you agree on and it has to be ten feet or more difference.  The higher drone has more of a responsibility to avoid the lower Phantom because of the superior visibility and it is good to have a rule about who gives way at close proximity (the higher drone).  The higher drone goes higher to give way.

     There is more to it that you learn from experience.  Hope this helps!

Aloha and Drone On!
Use props
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