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James Patterson
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Hi guys,

Unfortunately I lost my drone yesterday. The phone died, so I had no visualsl and I thought I could bring it back myself but when I couldn't hear it coming any closer I decided to activate return to home. However this flashed red? Does anyone know what this means? Also would the last location be recorded on my remote or phone? If the last location recorded was from my phone then chances are it's moved!

Thanks for your help,
James
2017-2-25
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s0
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Too late now, but I understand that if you had powered down the remote then the loss of signal would have initiated return to home. (assuming you had it configured to RTH on loss of signal)

If you check your last location from the logs on the phone, that will give you the last recorded point. Then estimate for how long and how fast you were flying blind and that will give you the radius of your search zone. Good luck!



2017-2-26
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Phantom Help
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If you upload your TXT flight log here and post a link back here, we can check it out and help you track down your Phantom.
2017-2-26
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James Patterson
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Phantom Help Posted at 2017-2-26 02:36
If you upload your TXT flight log here and post a link back here, we can check it out and help you track down your Phantom.

Sorry for the late reply! I was travelling back to england, unfortunately no where near the drone now (Its in Slovakia) but know people who can look so if you could help me that would be great!

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/MPDVIIMHH07LH8672XUZ/ the link

Thanks,
James
2017-3-2
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Spirytus
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AlecW Posted at 2017-3-2 09:47
I think there's a really good chance it auto landed right here at the last know point you were hovering at.

I agree, it hovered above that location from 70% life to 29% before you lost link.

Here's another view of it from google earth:

P3landing.jpg
2017-3-2
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Cessna172
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Did you ever consider a $20  GPS tracker for your $1000.00 drone ?
2017-3-2
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James Patterson
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AlecW Posted at 2017-3-2 09:47
I think there's a really good chance it auto landed right here at the last know point you were hovering at.

Thanks for the help and your logic was the same as mine, i went to this spot while looking in the morning. See Here For my recorded search route.

Remember i tried to bring it back flying blind and also initiated return to home so the last reordered point would have been out of date! If i could rewind time i would have just done nothing and let it hover till it ran out of battery. Atleast then i could have found it at the recorded point!
2017-3-2
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James Patterson
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Spirytus Posted at 2017-3-2 10:09
I agree, it hovered above that location from 70% life to 29% before you lost link.

Here's another view of it from google earth:

Thanks for your help but i checked there and it was nowhere to be seen! i was doing a time lapse there which is why it was hovering for so long. Phone battery died at 29% (Drone battery level) which is why it recorded this point but since then i had tried to manually return home and initiated return to home which flashed red!? was it meant to flash red?

Thanks,
James
2017-3-2
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James Patterson
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Cessna172 Posted at 2017-3-2 10:53
Did you ever consider a $20  GPS tracker for your $1000.00 drone ?

now i have
2017-3-2
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method007
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Cessna172 Posted at 2017-3-2 10:53
Did you ever consider a $20  GPS tracker for your $1000.00 drone ?

What $20 GPS tracker are you using?  I'm not aware their prices have tumbled so drastically.  Can you provide a link?
2017-3-2
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Simon Child
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James Patterson Posted at 2017-3-2 09:37
Sorry for the late reply! I was travelling back to england, unfortunately no where near the drone now (Its in Slovakia) but know people who can look so if you could help me that would be great!

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/MPDVIIMHH07LH8672XUZ/ the link

I was getting worried about you! In fact I went to look you up on Facebook to see if there was any news about you!!

It seems you are/were based near me. Your video of the derelict Camelot was very nostalgic as I took my sons there a few times many years ago!

You've made some great videos so I hope you get a new drone soon. I nearly bought a P4 on ebay this week, just to have it available as a spare or for spares - it went for GBP 370. And a twice flown P4P with two batteries also went cheap at GBP800 - I was very tempted but resisted as my P4 has plenty of life in it yet!!
2017-3-2
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DJI-Jamie
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I'm sorry for your loss. If you haven't done so already, I would recommend getting contact with the Europe Support team to see if the logs can be evaluated for potential warranty claim.
2017-3-2
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WilliamM
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Next time you know to just use the RTH button on your RC, or just powering it off. Flying blind is very risky if out of LOS.
2017-3-2
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Labroides
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"The phone died, so I had no visualsl and I thought I could bring it back myself but when I couldn't hear it coming any closer I decided to activate return to home. However this flashed red?"

Normally the Phantom would have remained in it's hover until you gave it other control input.
When it calculated that the battery level was only enough for the RTH, it would have initiated a low-battery RTH itself.
There's nothing in the flight data that  gives any clue as to what happened after recording stopped.
The usual suspects can be discounted as there is no evidence of strong winds aloft or obstacles on the return path from that height.
This leaves us with an unsatisfying mystery with no obvious solution.

Losing the phone doesn't affect your ability to control the Phantom and it should have been possible to initiate RTH.
Have you practiced using RTH to know how to activate it?
It's easy with practice but if this was your first time, it could be that you didn't activate it or maybe even cancelled it.
When all else fails, switching the controller off should initiate RTH (unless you have changed the default action for loss of signal).

"would the last location be recorded on my remote or phone?

You guessed right, it's only the last recorded location and not the final resting place.
2017-3-2
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RedHotPoker
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Sorry to rad about another lost drone. No fun...



RedHotPoker
2017-3-2
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Labroides
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AlecW Posted at 2017-3-2 15:20
The way I read the OP (I had to read it a couple of times) was he did try to fly it back with just the RC after the phone died at 29% battery and from what I can see it was using 1% every 11 seconds hovering at the time.

The way I read the manual the Low battery RTH pops a warning on the device and it states if no "action" is taken for 10 seconds it will RTH.  Obviously there was no device available at that time but do stick actions stop the RTH or does one have to cancel the RTH via the screen or the RTH button .  I've only seen that message once myself and let it come home.

"The way I read the manual the Low battery RTH pops a warning on the device and it states if no "action" is taken for 10 seconds it will RTH.  Obviously there was no device available at that time but do stick actions stop the RTH or does one have to cancel the RTH via the screen or the RTH button . "

This is one possibility.  Stick actions shouldn't cancel RTH but using the RTH button definitely can if RTH has already been initiated.
Here's the relevant section from the manual:
Users are advised to return home or land the aircraft immediately when prompted. The DJI GO app will display a notice when a low battery warning is triggered. The aircraft will automatically return to the Home Point if no action is taken after a ten-second countdown. The user can cancel the RTH procedure by pressing the RTH button on the remote controller.

We've got a last recorded location but can't be sure what input may have been given to the Phantom to move it somewhere after recording stopped.
At the battery level/distance and altitude, a low battery RTH must have been activated around that time and pushing the RTH button after that happened would have created a further problem.
When unsure of the RTH status , switching off is the best course.
2017-3-2
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KM5RG-Robert
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Hind sight is 20/20 of course. I probably would have hopped in the car and driven a lot closer hoping to re-establish comms even after it landed. There would have been a window where it would still be powered up on the ground and sending out a signal until the battery was completely exhausted. Also assuming there was a car charger for the phone, hook that up and get it powered on again. If comms were established, there would then be a GPS fix to go find it.
2017-3-2
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KM5RG-Robert
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AlecW Posted at 2017-3-2 16:42
So many questions with these drones that we all don't really know the answers to including me.  Don't they turn off after an auto land?  Supposedly the whole point of auto landing is to prevent the battery getting to zero.

I am pretty sure the battery would not turn off by itself until it was completely discharged. The drone does not have the ability to turn off the battery as far as I know.
2017-3-2
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Cessna172
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method007 Posted at 2017-3-2 12:55
What $20 GPS tracker are you using?  I'm not aware their prices have tumbled so drastically.  Can you provide a link?

$20 GPS tracker

Prices "Tumbled" ?

Been using one for YEARS now.   Of course, a watched kettle never boils and a GPS tracker equipped Phantom NEVER flies away.

But I've tested this device out to 200miles away (placed in vehicles traveling) and even at that distance and during the entire route the accuracy was within 3 meters or LESS.  and that was through the glass, steel roof etc....unlike the openess of being mounted on the Phantom.  MUCH better signal.
2017-3-2
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WilliamM
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AlecW Posted at 2017-3-2 16:42
So many questions with these drones that we all don't really know the answers to including me.  Don't they turn off after an auto land?  Supposedly the whole point of auto landing is to prevent the battery getting to zero.

It stays power on. I know this first hand from a landing mine did when it landed in a farmer field during a critical low battery landing. By the time I got in my car, drove as close as I could then walked the rest of the way through the fields, it was still powered on.
2017-3-2
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WilliamM
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AlecW Posted at 2017-3-2 16:14
I know stick actions other than up/down don't work during RTH (I've tried) and only a cancel will stop it but my confusion is that 10 seconds before the low battery RTH is initiated and what constitutes action.  He said he flew blind (unknown how long) and then hit RTH so he may well have inadvertently stopped that low battery RTH either way.   If that all took a couple of minutes or so it probably would have just landed at proably less than 20% by that point.

I bet his bird is not all that far from the last known position, hopefully his friends can find it for him.

My stick actions move my drone during a RTH. At least the yaw does,  it bends the return trip home. Meaning it's no longer going in a straight line back home. Never tried pitch or roll.
2017-3-2
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Cessna172 Posted at 2017-3-2 19:35
$20 GPS tracker

Prices "Tumbled" ?

I am fairly sure that the tracker you linked to is a 2G device, and the 2G networks are being phased out in many places, including the US. I had to buy a newer version of mine to get 3G coverage.
2017-3-2
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Quamera
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James Patterson Posted at 2017-3-2 12:02
Thanks for your help but i checked there and it was nowhere to be seen! i was doing a time lapse there which is why it was hovering for so long. Phone battery died at 29% (Drone battery level) which is why it recorded this point but since then i had tried to manually return home and initiated return to home which flashed red!? was it meant to flash red?

Thanks,

James how is your Phantom recovery operation progressing, I hope your friends are treating it seriously, there has certainly been some useful info produced by members on here to help the search.

Did you ever find out what the RTH flashing red meant, my P4 controller (GL 300C the weakest of all DJI controllers in terms of RF output) only goes white, single or double flashing or solid depending on the RTH status. I have never seen flashing red and my P4 manual V1.0 says nothing about it.
2017-3-2
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endotherm
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AlecW Posted at 2017-3-2 16:14
I know stick actions other than up/down don't work during RTH (I've tried) and only a cancel will stop it but my confusion is that 10 seconds before the low battery RTH is initiated and what constitutes action.  He said he flew blind (unknown how long) and then hit RTH so he may well have inadvertently stopped that low battery RTH either way.   If that all took a couple of minutes or so it probably would have just landed at proably less than 20% by that point.

I bet his bird is not all that far from the last known position, hopefully his friends can find it for him.

During a RTH stick movements will have an effect, depending on when they occur.  If you move laterally in the first 20m of the ascent, nothing will happen.  After this any movement will allow the aircraft to move off vertical, but it also cancels the rest of the rise to RTH-altitude.  The repercussion here is that it may not climb high enough to clear obstacles on the way home.

Is it possible the OP's blind stick movements did not allow the aircraft to climb to a safe altitude and it hit something like a tree on the way back?  Perhaps drawing a straight line from the last position to home might provide a path worth exploring, especially if it intersects with tall terrain.

(EDIT: just looked at the 3D terrain, it looks like a downhill ski slope so my theory doesn't fit too well here.)
2017-3-2
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Quamera
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WilliamM Posted at 2017-3-2 21:38
My stick actions move my drone during a RTH. At least the yaw does,  it bends the return trip home. Meaning it's no longer going in a straight line back home. Never tried pitch or roll.

Thats interesting William, when RTH is activated the Phantom will firstly rotate (Yaw) until it is facing the home point then fly directly along that line. If you yaw the AC I assume it still flies the way it is pointing which won't be directly towards home. Then when the stick is released I assume it must realign itself with home and continue along a new straight line to the home point.

I wonder what would happen if you kept the Yaw on full until the Phantom had done a 90 Deg turn and was actually flying further away from home. Would it reduce forward speed to hover so it wasn't increasing the distance to the home point or keep the original speed.  I will have to try that next time I take it out.
2017-3-2
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TheDennisWagner
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After 10 seconds it would have started the RTH, and you must cancel it on the screen or by RC once it begins the RTH process. If he tried to fly, by moving the sticks erratically it could cancel the climb in altitude to avoid obstacles during RTH, but the RTH still makes a straight line for the home point. I would not be surprised if it is in the patch of trees between the spot it was hovering and the home point. He also said he was flying blind so he could have went in any direction. I would check the trees in between hover point and home point. It seems likely. Those trees are tall.

Anyone see what his return to home altitude was set at?

The battery stays powered on until manually turned off or it totally discharges. Thank goodness! It led me directly to my Drone that I had to land on the opposite side of the lake due to wind eating my battery.

2017-3-2
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Quamera
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Labroides Posted at 2017-3-2 15:56
"The way I read the manual the Low battery RTH pops a warning on the device and it states if no "action" is taken for 10 seconds it will RTH.  Obviously there was no device available at that time but do stick actions stop the RTH or does one have to cancel the RTH via the screen or the RTH button . "

This is one possibility.  Stick actions shouldn't cancel RTH but using the RTH button definitely can if RTH has already been initiated.

If the low battery RTH was triggered which it surely would have been not long after the phone died and then the OP inadvertently cancelled the RTH, is it cancelled permanently or after a period of time will the LB RTH reactivate because obviously the same conditions that activated it in the first place will still be there.

I am confused by the OP reporting the RTH button flashing red, if it was then when the LB RTH was activated the chime would have sounded but the solid white around the RTH button would have been drowned out by the flashing red. And we have no idea what flashing red means (maybe Phantom self destruct because it hasn't been found). Sorry James, tasteless joke.
2017-3-3
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KM5RG-Robert
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Quamera Posted at 2017-3-2 23:28
Thats interesting William, when RTH is activated the Phantom will firstly rotate (Yaw) until it is facing the home point then fly directly along that line. If you yaw the AC I assume it still flies the way it is pointing which won't be directly towards home. Then when the stick is released I assume it must realign itself with home and continue along a new straight line to the home point.

I wonder what would happen if you kept the Yaw on full until the Phantom had done a 90 Deg turn and was actually flying further away from home. Would it reduce forward speed to hover so it wasn't increasing the distance to the home point or keep the original speed.  I will have to try that next time I take it out.

I believe in RTH, you can yaw the craft but it will still fly in the same path toward home (course lock). Now you can also use right stick to affect the flight path and speed AFAIK.
I have done this in RTH, yawed it so it is flying sideways.  Also stick inputs are still followed in landing (autoland) although it will still try to lower unless you push the left stick up.
(Assuming Mode 2 of course).
2017-3-3
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WilliamM
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Quamera Posted at 2017-3-3 00:01
If the low battery RTH was triggered which it surely would have been not long after the phone died and then the OP inadvertently cancelled the RTH, is it cancelled permanently or after a period of time will the LB RTH reactivate because obviously the same conditions that activated it in the first place will still be there.

I am confused by the OP reporting the RTH button flashing red, if it was then when the LB RTH was activated the chime would have sounded but the solid white around the RTH button would have been drowned out by the flashing red. And we have no idea what flashing red means (maybe Phantom self destruct because it hasn't been found). Sorry James, tasteless joke.

No once canceled, it stays canceled. I cancel my "Smart RTH" often as it's overly conservative, and have never had it restart again.
2017-3-3
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method007
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Cessna172 Posted at 2017-3-2 19:35
$20 GPS tracker

Prices "Tumbled" ?

You still have to pay a month service fee with this one don't you?  If so, I wouldn't say it costs $20 to use.
2017-3-3
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WilliamM
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KM5RG-Robert Posted at 2017-3-3 06:40
I believe in RTH, you can yaw the craft but it will still fly in the same path toward home (course lock). Now you can also use right stick to affect the flight path and speed AFAIK.
I have done this in RTH, yawed it so it is flying sideways.  Also stick inputs are still followed in landing (autoland) although it will still try to lower unless you push the left stick up.
(Assuming Mode 2 of course).

That's not 100% true, look at this link of a flight of mine.  RTH is started at 8m 4s into the flight just past a quarry, and on the return home I yaw the drone so to get a video image of it going past. The RTH is activated and running the whole way back home up to the auto landing. You can see it's does not flying in a straight line back to home point. And it only goes back on it's true course when I yaw it back to face home. http://healthydrones.com/main?share=JQIbpe
2017-3-3
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WilliamM
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Quamera Posted at 2017-3-2 23:28
Thats interesting William, when RTH is activated the Phantom will firstly rotate (Yaw) until it is facing the home point then fly directly along that line. If you yaw the AC I assume it still flies the way it is pointing which won't be directly towards home. Then when the stick is released I assume it must realign itself with home and continue along a new straight line to the home point.

I wonder what would happen if you kept the Yaw on full until the Phantom had done a 90 Deg turn and was actually flying further away from home. Would it reduce forward speed to hover so it wasn't increasing the distance to the home point or keep the original speed.  I will have to try that next time I take it out.

Check out this flight of mine in RTH mode the whole way back. You will see it's not a straight line. I was yawing the drone to get a image of a quarry as it past by.
http://healthydrones.com/main?share=JQIbpe
2017-3-3
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KM5RG-Robert
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WilliamM Posted at 2017-3-3 08:38
That's not 100% true, look at this link of a flight of mine.  RTH is started at 8m 4s into the flight just past a quarry, and on the return home I yaw the drone so to get a video image of it going past. The RTH is activated and running the whole way back home up to the auto landing. You can see it's does not flying in a straight line back to home point. And it only goes back on it's true course when I yaw it back to face home.http://healthydrones.com/main?share=CQPRqF

Well I cannot tell what you were doing from that, but if you are saying that yaw inputs have a slight effect on the track taken while using RTH, then OK.


Maybe I'll test that someday.
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WilliamM
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KM5RG-Robert Posted at 2017-3-3 08:50
Well I cannot tell what you were doing from that, but if you are saying that yaw inputs have a slight effect on the track taken while using RTH, then OK.

While Healthy drones site doesn't show stick movements, like the Go app or Phantom help does. You can at least see it's not a straight line home, and can see that a RTH had started and was not canceled the whole way back. So something caused the path home to bend to the left. It was me yawing the drone trying to get a video of the quarry passing by. I was thinking myself if would act like it does in Course lock or Home lock, but it didn't.
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Quamera
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WilliamM Posted at 2017-3-3 08:24
No once canceled, it stays canceled. I cancel my "Smart RTH" often as it's overly conservative, and have never had it restart again.

Thanks for that William, yes it certainly is conservative especially if you fly upwind after lift off but because I always turn back towards home after cancelling I wasn't sure if the calculation was still running in the background ready to activate again if the Phantom thought it didn't have enough power to make it home.

I will have to try a large yaw during RTH sometime to see how far it will deviate just to satisfy my curiosity.

Anyone including DJI got any ideas on a red flashing RTH button, maybe in James' panic he was actually looking at the Status LED flashing because his battery had dropped below 10% and his Phantom was auto landing about where Alec, Spiry and others have indicated.

If that was the case and he was able to recall whether the white ring was illuminated or not around the RTH button then he could work out whether to look a little closer to the home point or not from the indicated probable landing point.
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Geebax Posted at 2017-3-2 22:10
I am fairly sure that the tracker you linked to is a 2G device, and the 2G networks are being phased out in many places, including the US. I had to buy a newer version of mine to get 3G coverage.

I believe Australia and USA may be phasing out 2G, but Europe seems to be keeping it running for a few more years yet so one of these trackers could be a good deal for Europeans
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Simon Child
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method007 Posted at 2017-3-3 08:31
You still have to pay a month service fee with this one don't you?  If so, I wouldn't say it costs $20 to use.

I think it would work with a 'pay as you go' SIM. e.g. In UK O2 offer a pay as you so SIM where you pay £10 and it will last a couple of years so long as you make one call every 5-6 months to keep it alive.


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WilliamM
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Simon Child Posted at 2017-3-3 16:07
I believe Australia and USA may be phasing out 2G, but Europe seems to be keeping it running for a few more years yet so one of these trackers could be a good deal for Europeans

ATT has dropped it as of Jan. 1st 2017 coast to coast in the US. T-Mobile still has it but I've read that they leased the majority of their 2G tower service with ATT, so it's coverage is also impacted.
Here's the full story in the US with 2G.

AT&T began sending out letters to customers with old 2G-only devices still active on their plans, reminding them that as of January 1st 2017 those devices will become completely obsolete and unusable.
  • Verizon: Verizon has a rough target of 2021 for a final shutdown of its 2G and 3G networks, after which point Verizon's network will be 100% LTE. But Verizon has already begun the transition, in many areas having drastically cut back 3G capacity to devote more resources towards LTE. If you are still using a Verizon 3G device, it will only get slower over time. Verizon's 2G CDMA network will likely outlive its 3G network in many areas, because CDMA is needed for voice calls on all phones that are not VoLTE compatible.
  • T-Mobile: T-Mobile's 2G technology supports a lot of hard-to-upgrade systems, such as home security alarms, car trackers, and even vending machines. To keep supporting these types of customers, T-Mobile has announced that it has no plans to shut down its 2G EDGE network anytime soon - no earlier than 2020. T-Mobile has however transitioned a lot of its 2G capacity and much of its original "4G" HSPA+ network to LTE, and will continue to do so.
  • Sprint: Sprint shut down its 4G WiMax network last November, but has indicated that it plans to keep its older 2G and 3G networks around "for the long haul", with no sunset date as yet even hinted at.







2017-3-3
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endotherm
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WilliamM Posted at 2017-3-3 08:38
That's not 100% true, look at this link of a flight of mine.  RTH is started at 8m 4s into the flight just past a quarry, and on the return home I yaw the drone so to get a video image of it going past. The RTH is activated and running the whole way back home up to the auto landing. You can see it's does not flying in a straight line back to home point. And it only goes back on it's true course when I yaw it back to face home. http://healthydrones.com/main?share=JQIbpe

A yaw maneuver shouldn't upset the otherwise relatively straight track back to home.  Once you are in phase 2 of the RTH (risen to RTH height and now tracking to home) you can use the sticks and it won't cancel the operation.  You are free to yaw the aircraft and it will not have any effect on the direction of travel, the aircraft can just as easily fly sideways and backwards.  It is the GPS position which is important, the "nose" or front is irrelevant.  As stated above, it is flying in course lock mode.  It is possible the small kinks in your otherwise perfectly straight course were caused by additional sideways input at the same time you were rotating to view the quarry.

Healthy Drones can show the stick movements, just like the others.  When you are sharing the flight record, you need to select some additional options (kml and csv) which are not enabled by default like Phantom help. This will provide the necessary information to see whether there were any additional stick movements.
2017-3-3
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endotherm
Captain
Flight distance : 503241 ft

Australia
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RE: Lost drone :(

TheDennisWagner Posted at 2017-3-2 23:49
After 10 seconds it would have started the RTH, and you must cancel it on the screen or by RC once it begins the RTH process. If he tried to fly, by moving the sticks erratically it could cancel the climb in altitude to avoid obstacles during RTH, but the RTH still makes a straight line for the home point. I would not be surprised if it is in the patch of trees between the spot it was hovering and the home point. He also said he was flying blind so he could have went in any direction. I would check the trees in between hover point and home point. It seems likely. Those trees are tall.

Anyone see what his return to home altitude was set at?

I would not be surprised if it is in the patch of trees between the spot it was hovering and the home point. I would check the trees in between hover point and home point.Those trees are tall.

That's exactly what I was thinking, except he was starting from 363m altitude.  The closest he would have come to any of the treelines would be about 200m, they would have to be some mighty tall trees!  The rest of the track is a flat, clear and featureless slope back to the home point.
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2017-3-3
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