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Happy noob - Background & a few Q's.
1390 14 2015-3-6
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i_anderson
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United States
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Hi to all,
Firstly, if the mods feel this should be in the "Newbie" thread, please go ahead & move it; I've studied that one long & hard and while there's some good info, there's also quite a bit of "conflicting" advice & seeminlgy a lot of b****ing & moaning - Particulalry if you read many of the other threads. But, I'm certainly not going to criticize the organization of the forum at this early stage.....


Background; I was a long time RC car jockey a few years back (hence don't have the fwd/back/L/R problem ;)). Anyway, I was given a *tiny* little quad for xmas (amazing little thing for under $30!) - Once I got my head around the "steering" (yaw here of course) being on the right stick I got "competent" with it and was hooked.

Surfing around the (many!) forums suggested my next step should be a Syma X5C to play with pix & video prior to getting really serious. Quite a few flights and I'm now able to make it do what I want, at least most of the time..... Again, an amazing thing for under $80!


So, I continued my research and decided the P2V+ was the way to go. Picked it up a few days ago from my local dealer. Followed the advice here and read, digested and re-read the user manual. Downloaded the Assistant app to the Mac and upgraded to 3.12 F/W (Fortunately, I missed the 3.10 debacle but reading the feedback here decided that the "latest & greatest" is generally the way to go, despite the confusion about the new RTH (failsafe?) stuff.)

Hooked up the TX and was able to calibrate the sticks etc using the wi-fi link - So far so good. I have just realized I need the "RC Assistant" S/W to upgrade the TX though - Details of my current setup attached below.

Having become totally terrified by all the "negative" reports here - I guess most folk only post problems and am hoping many, many others are happy. Downloaded the Vision App to my iPhone 5S. Charged all the batteries, removed the props, and fired it all up - Everything came up exactly as expected! Moved it around by hand and the gimbal does its thing. Awesome so far!

However, based largely on comments here I have a few Q's prior to mounting the props and having at it;

Questions;

- Using the P2VA app as mentioned above doesn't show anything for "S1" - I toggle it but nothing echos on the display like it does for the sticks & camera control etc. I assume this is normal?
- I've read (somewhere here?) that Airplane mode should be enabled at some point in the "pre-flight sequence" - Why? This makes no sense to me - At least assuming the camera feed is coming in as advertised?
- I guess Bluetooth can be on or off?
- I'll turn off cell data and disable LTE so receiving text messages doesn't mess with me, but what about an incoming phone call? I can't see how to disable the phone itself (ie, turn it into an iPod) while flying. Is there a way to do this? (I'd hate to lose it if a call comes in while flying! :eek
- I also downloaded the app to my ("not recommended", but no reasons given as to why?) iPad 4. Haven't tried this one yet but was wondering if it's possible to feed the data to both simultaneously?

Thanks for reading this far! Thanks in advance for any answers, further comments or tips etc; I'm excited to get going but am also more than a little nervous about throwing over a thousand bucks in the air - Particularly given some of the horror stories here!

Oh, reminds me - I bought a set of LED prop guards, but there's zero instructions - I think I can figure them out but where do they plug in? Anyone know of any instructions anywhere - I believe I can switch modes (blinking etc?) but again have no idea how?

Cheers,
Ian




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2015-3-6
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crash1sttime
First Officer
Flight distance : 1047503 ft
United Kingdom
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Using the P2VA app as mentioned above doesn't show anything for "S1" - I toggle it but nothing echos on the display like it does for the sticks & camera control etc. I assume this is normal?

S1 isnt active until Naza mode is activated in the phantom software assistant,  and you setup IOC (intelligent orientation control) i wont bore you with how to do it just go on youtube and search "switch to naza mode"


- I've read (somewhere here?) that Airplane mode should be enabled at some point in the "pre-flight sequence" - Why? This makes no sense to me - At least assuming the camera feed is coming in as advertised?


Lets assume (unlike me who has a phone that no one rings) that you are flying and your phone rings, then your phone will go to phone mode and there goes your FPV.



- I guess Bluetooth can be on or off?

Unless your using a non vision which uses BT for ground station then off is best as it drains batteries


- I'll turn off cell data and disable LTE so receiving text messages doesn't mess with me, but what about an incoming phone call? I can't see how to disable the phone itself (ie, turn it into an iPod) while flying. Is there a way to do this? (I'd hate to lose it if a call comes in while flying! :eek

see my answer on airplane mode.


- I also downloaded the app to my ("not recommended", but no reasons given as to why?) iPad 4. Haven't tried this one yet but was wondering if it's possible to feed the data to both simultaneously?

No its not, you can use a screen mirroring app such as Mobizen

Oh, reminds me - I bought a set of LED prop guards, but there's zero instructions - I think I can figure them out but where do they plug in? Anyone know of any instructions anywhere - I believe I can switch modes (blinking etc?) but again have no idea how?

Wont fit them, they draw power from the battery and lower flying time (some use a separate battery.
2015-3-6
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i_anderson
lvl.3

United States
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Hi Crash [Helluva user name BTW!.... Hope that's not really true....]
Many thanks for the answers - Appreciated. However, they almost raise more Q's....
S1 isnt active until Naza mode is activated in the phantom software assistant,  and you setup IOC (intelligent orientation control) i wont bore you with how to do it just go on youtube and search "switch to naza mode"
Gotcha! I did a little research into that and figure that, for now at least, I'll stay with "standard mode".
Lets assume (unlike me who has a phone that no one rings) that you are flying and your phone rings, then your phone will go to phone mode and there goes your FPV.
Trouble is, on my 5S at least, enabling airplane mode turns off wi-fi! And that will surely kill everything, no? Confused!....

Unless your using a non vision which uses BT for ground station then off is best as it drains batteries
I presume you mean (eg) some kind of FPV goggles that use BT to communicate with the phone? Not going there, at least for now, but yeah, seems BT may as well be off - Although I think my flight batteries will expire long before the phone...... Hmmm..... thinking more I guess the Vision App with maps loaded is using power similar to that when running a GPS app in the car, and that certainly eats battery. Good news there is I have a little pocket charger that should keep it all alive.

No its not, you can use a screen mirroring app such as Mobizen
Gotcha.... These eyes are getting a little tired these days! Maybe the iPad mounted on a tripod with the screen echoed is worth investigating in the future.

Wont fit them, they draw power from the battery and lower flying time (some use a separate battery.
Substantially? I thought these tiny LED's would be insignificant? These ones have a 4pin connector (no idea why!?) but I presume there's a place to plug the suckers in there somewhere? [This is a good example of why a bought from a local dealer - They had one in the store for demo and I'm sure can get 'er done....] Just seems like a pretty cool idea for night flight! [Another thing I'm not touching for a while yet of course. ;)] For now I think I'm just going to install the prop guards.....

Once again, many thanks for the quick & thorough response - This seems like a pretty helpful community.

Cheers,
Ian




2015-3-6
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i_anderson
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Oops! My bad! I said;

Trouble is, on my 5S at least, enabling airplane mode turns off wi-fi! And that will surely kill everything, no? Confused!....

I've just learnt that I can re-enable wi-fi after turning on airplane mode! [Learn something every day!] Perfect!

Cheers,
Ian
2015-3-6
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gnixon2015
First Officer

United States
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anderson, you mentioned using an ipad on a 'tripod', why not just get an ipad mount for your dji controller and use it in place of where your phone goes.  thats what many folks here have done.  sorry if i misunderstood what you were saying but if you just need to see it larger, then do ipad only.  unless, of course, you need both at once but i thought you were simply saying both at once because maybe you didnt realize that you can just use the ipad instead of the iphone.

2015-3-6
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i_anderson
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gnixon2015 Posted at 2015-3-7 05:59
anderson, you mentioned using an ipad on a 'tripod', why not just get an ipad mount for your dji con ...

Short answer;  A lack of confidence!

Everything I've read in the DJI docs about it says that the Vision App is designed for "iPhone5S & 6S (among others) and not recommended for iPad's" - Although nobody seems to be able to explain exactly *why* that is the case.

I just figured I should stick with their "recommended" setup, at least for now. It is working a treat, and I do indeed have it installed on the iPad, but haven't tried using it as yet - Seems OK, and I recall many here are using it too, but wanted to stay "conservative" for now!

Cheers,
Ian
2015-3-6
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i_anderson
lvl.3

United States
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So, I messed around with the whole mess again this evening - Still haven't attached the props, but I did power it all up and carried it around the yard - Distance, radar, alt and gimbal all working as advertised.

This is an improvement from last night when the knob and/or the "slider" to control the camera tilt in the app wasn't doing anything - I think I somehow had it in "iPhone accelerometer tilt" mode - Now I can adjust it with either the knob or the app. Mini woot!

I'm also starting to develop my own "pre-flight checklist" to try and make sure I don't screw up. Here's draft #1, please feel free to add, criticize as you see fit - I'm very much still in learning mode here!
Before leaving:
- All batteries fully charged:
       - Flight
       - TX
       - RE
       - iPhone & backup pack
       - Relevant maps/images downloaded

Pre-Flight:
- Disable Auto-lock screen on iPhone
- Enable airplane mode
- Power up TX (S1 & 2 up)
- Power up RE

Phantom:
- Prop guards secure
- SD card OK
- Remove lens cover
- Remove gimbal lock
- Power up & wait for GPS lock

Vision app:
- Re-enable wi-fi mode
- Join Phantom SSID
- Calibrate compass (from the app)
- Check sats
- Check gimbal control in app & using TX knob

Go fly!.....

Post flight;
- Shutdown Phantom, TX & RE
- Turn the phone back on!

What have I forgotten? ;)

Cheers,
Ian

2015-3-6
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Northofthe49th
Captain

Canada
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Under Pre-Flight you do not need to disable the auto lock on your iPhone if you are using one (not sure about the other's ie. Androids) as after 40+ flights in duration of up to 18-20 min. mine has never ever once locked and it is set by default at 1 min.!
Under Phantom: Ensure Props and Prop guards are secure...
Ensure battery levels as indicated on battery LED's are showing charged.
You need to move a few items from Vision app to "Phone settings or something" Re-enable wifi and select Phantom as the wifi as these are not done in the Vision app.
Under Vision app...I would definitely want to calibrate the compass on the Phantom (using S2 procedure as defined in the manual with the Compass dance) to ensure all light sequences were correct and away from any kind of possible electromagnetic interference etc.....and put this under Phantom after the GPS lock. I did not know their was a compass calibration in the Vision app but even so, I would not want to rely on my phone to calibrate my Phantom....
Also put a double check here to see that your range extender and battery levels appear o.k. on your phone screen as I am sure a few have grabbed the not so charged battery by accident and put it in thinking it was full and safe to fly!

Also ensure conditions are safe to fly as where you are leaving from may not be the place you are flying from.

I may have missed something but that is my .02 and there are a couple of other pre flight check lists on the forum, you may want to search and save yourself re inventing the wheel if there is already a good and solid round one out there!
2015-3-6
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i_anderson
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Northofthe49th Posted at 2015-3-7 11:59
Under Pre-Flight you do not need to disable the auto lock on your iPhone if you are using one (not s ...

Thanks again for the response.

Having done a little more testing last night, I do believe you're correct in that the phone doesn't lock, but the screen does go "dark" - I've now disabled "auto brightness", so hopefully that overcomes that little niggle.

All good suggestions, but also worth noting that the phone doesn't really have anything to do with the compass calibration other than initiating it in the same way as the S2 toggle - It just gives the instructions on the screen as per the manual to do the dance and watch the lights.

I'd love to find an existing checklist - In fact, I'm pretty sure I've seen at least one while surfing around here, but "search" on this forum sucks!..... I've also seen many other things that I thought I'd get back to when appropriate, but unfortunately failed to make any notes. And this place is so "busy" (which is good of course!) that stuff tends to drop off pretty quickly.

Once I settle in a little more I'll definitely be adding some suggestions to the "how to make the forums better" thread.  ;)

Cheers,
Ian



2015-3-7
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nrgwise
First Officer

United States
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Ian - the app has a checklist in it.  Touch the button on the screen for it.  Upper right hand corner, looks like a stack of paper with a checkmark in front of it.  Not as inclusive as yours is shaping out to be.  But still useful.  

I made a checklist and 'cheat sheet' for Naza and IOC operation, printed it on a file card, laminated it and it is in the box I keep the Phantom in.
2015-3-7
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crash1sttime
First Officer
Flight distance : 1047503 ft
United Kingdom
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If you really really really want a long and complete list of all do's and donts then read this

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mv8d1h ... ry%20Guide.pdf?dl=0

Its actually quite precise
2015-3-7
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i_anderson
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nrgwise@gmail.c Posted at 2015-3-8 05:07
Ian - the app has a checklist in it.  Touch the button on the screen for it.  Upper right hand corne ...

Yep, Found that, thanks! As you say, not as "extensive" as the one I'm putting together - I'm kind of "anal" about this stuff, at least in the short term. I've been around many pilots, and the good ones are also somewhat anal about pre-flight checks.... It would actually be nice if that was editable so we can all do our own version. [DJI folk? ;]

Anyway, I just "maidened" thru my first battery!

Given that this is (understandably I guess) primarily a forum where frustrated pilots B&M it may be nice to share a success story, along with some lessons learned & yet more questions. Hopefully, at least a few folk are still reading......

Was super conservative, but boy, is this thing a *joy* to fly!..... "hands off" hover is truly a thing of beauty! The only time my heart rate increased was when it stopped responding to me - I tried throttling back, and it continued to climb! WTH!? Decided to kill the TX and hope for the best...... It flew itself to within a foot of my starting point and then descended very nicely and landed - Whew!
However, I never heard any alarms from the phone (yes, sound was on & volume full ;)) and am pretty sure the flight LEDS were still flashing green - I may well be mistaken (concentrating pretty hard!), but need to do more running - I thought I'd see a minute or so (?) of flashing red (slow then fast when critical?) prior to entering RTH?

I was also in *bright* sun and the iPhone display was almost impossible to see - I'm Mcgyvering a sun shade for it now but can also feel a pair of prescription sunglasses coming on as I can't really read the screen without readers anyway! I did gain the confidence to leave it hovering and switch glasses a couple of times, but that's not going to work long term!

I guess I'll also investigate the suggested iPad mounts (I've seen something here, but of course can't find them now) - If anyone has any recommendations I'm all ears on a mount & a shade for the iPad?

FWIW, the TX took but a few minutes to fully recharge while the RE is still charging after about 1/2 hour. The iPhone used <10% of charge.

So, a *little* more confident and excited to get going again on the second battery.

Cheers,
Ian
2015-3-7
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i_anderson
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crash1sttime Posted at 2015-3-8 06:08
If you really really really want a long and complete list of all do's and donts then read this

htt ...

Wow! Thanks for that!

And I thought I was anal! ;)

Cheers,
Ian
2015-3-7
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crash1sttime
First Officer
Flight distance : 1047503 ft
United Kingdom
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As for a sunshade, i made one out of cardboard, ok you cant fold it down, but it works ok.
2015-3-7
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nrgwise
First Officer

United States
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If you really really really want a long and complete list of all do's and donts then read this

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mv8d1h ... ry%20Guide.pdf?dl=0

Its actually quite precise


Nice document!  Appreciate the efforts.
2015-3-7
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