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High voltage power lines
8329 27 2016-11-8
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Mir
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1333839 ft
United States
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I've asked this before and was told it was a non-issue. However with the issues of magnetic interference coming up this is worth asking again. My "test" field has some high voltage power lines, they're approximately 500ft away and look like the picture attached.

The manual does state to not fly near powerlines, but I was told a month ago by a DJI tech support that it was OK. Has anyone flown near this type of powerline without issues with the Mavic?

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2016-11-8
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andersonn
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United States
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Looking forward to hearing what others have to say about this as I have a set of these bad boys running about 500ft behind my house.  I've had a Blade Chroma and a few other blade quads, multiple ground RC vehicles and have had 0 issue with any of them getting any type of interference from them, would be a shame if a DJI product can't be around them.
2016-11-8
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Vighetto
Second Officer
Flight distance : 55338 ft
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Italy
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Why risk if you can avoid the problem? It's always recommended stay away from these!!
Good flights!
2016-11-8
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Petroboy
Second Officer
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Canada
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Vighetto Posted at 2016-11-8 11:25
Why risk if you can avoid the problem? It's always recommended stay away from these!!
Good flights! ...

I started this thread a little while ago, but no real solid answers given.

http://forum.dji.com/thread-70747-1-1.html

My reason for wanting to get near them is because the right-of-way behind my place is a gathering spot for the local wildlife (animal kind).  I would love to fly up and down that right-of-way and see what comes out of the surrounding forest.
2016-11-8
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Mir
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Vighetto Posted at 2016-11-8 10:25
Why risk if you can avoid the problem? It's always recommended stay away from these!!
Good flights! ...

Well, thats a good question. The area in question is really convenient for me. The next closest flying location is a good drive away and is somewhat surrounded by homes. The spot with power lines is completely empty and walking distance from my house.
2016-11-8
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Gary Mac
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Vighetto Posted at 2016-11-8 13:25
Why risk if you can avoid the problem? It's always recommended stay away from these!!
Good flights! ...

What do you consider to be "away"?  500 feet is pretty far away from power lines.  Try getting 500 feet away from ALL power lines in an area that is not rural and tell me how you do.  Heck, you can't even get 500 feet ABOVE power lines, so why would you not consider 500 feet to be "away"?

If the Mavic can't handle flying "within eyesight" of power lines, there is a problem.  I'm certainly not advocating that you go fly under them or between them, but 50 feet, 100 feet away is VERY reasonable, depending on the other surroundings.  

The book says not to fly near power lines because it is a liability issue to keep you from suing when you fly INTO a power line and destroy your Mavic.  

OP, I'm not sure what the answer to your question is, but I believe the Mavic SHOULD be able to fly i the area you are looking at without any issues.  I also feel it SHOULD be able to fly up to and between those same lines without issue, but I would never recommend it or try it myself.  There are so many questions right now about the "failures" that have been reported that I'm not ready to lay money on "magnetic interference" or "Power line noise" or anything else at this moment.

I say fly and fly in "baby steps" with the utmost caution.  If this seems too much of a risk at the moment, then keep your bird on the ground for now and wait.
2016-11-8
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Shill Slayer
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Power lines & cell towers like these have no effect on the P2/P3/P4, unless you crash into them, & I can't imagine they should have any effect on a Mavic
2016-11-8
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Macstrax
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This guy used his phantom and F.L.I.R to diagnose a problem with an operating commercial radio station antenna.
2016-11-8
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spalding1968
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United Kingdom
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Ive takes my P4 right up to a pylon to check the "safe RTH height" with no problems at all. I havent flown past the pylons with powerlines between me and my drone to check for any loss in signal though. I know the P4 and Mavic have different signal tech but I cant see it makes much difference. I think the interference will be no worse than sun spots messing with magnetic fields but im no expert. Would love to hear a definitive safe distance though.
2016-11-9
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OzTechGeek
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Australia
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I was flying the Mavic around 100m from this type of hi voltage lines today no issues and no interface or signal warnings.
2016-11-9
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Mir
Second Officer
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OzTechGeek Posted at 2016-11-9 03:24
I was flying the Mavic around 100m from this type of hi voltage lines today no issues and no interfa ...

Great to hear, thanks!
2016-11-9
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EdM
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I have flow up to, through and over power lines with no problems. (The through was total accident)   What I have noticed is sometimes just on the other side of the lines there will be a drop in signal strength for both control and video.    As I fly further the strength improves.  
2016-11-9
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SkynetWest
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Why Chance flying around powerlines if you dont even know whether or not you can or cant?! What if the frequency from the lines affects the Compass and you take down a grid? Was it worth it? Hell no it isn't. This is the BS DJI is telling people to make more sells.   Keep the consumer drones out of a professional grade market.  
2018-2-1
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salmonshark
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I have a video of me flying close to power lines while under them...  I'll work on getting it uploaded... Everything was ok until I started rising in elevation under them and started to get close, probably got within 10-6 feet of them overhead...  That is when I got the warning for magnetic interference.  I immediately dropped elevation and started to fly back...  Was a little nerve racking because I was also over water at the same time.


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2018-2-1
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salmonshark
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Here's the powerline video I have...
2018-2-1
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Dirty Bird
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I fly near, around, & over these all the time, sometimes rather closely.  Have noticed absolutely no effect on signal or control.  As long as you don't physically hit the wires you are good.
2018-2-1
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AlansDronePics
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Spain
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I tried to take off near a typical wooden telegraph pole with mains voltage in the wires. When I say near, I mean they were some 10 metres away and I had planned on flying away from them at 3 metres high, out to sea.
There was so much interference, before I was ready to start the rotors, I abandoned it and went elsewhere.
Compass error was the initial warning, but the interference on the analyser under settings, was well into the end of scale.
Just my personal experience.
2018-2-1
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bdge
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United Kingdom
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There is a potentially vast amount of current flowing in each of the lines strung between the pylons. Unless someone changed the laws of physics, there is no way there isn't some crazy-ass magnetic field stuff going on around them. You will inevitably get some magnetic interference, and it will almost certainly have an influence on the drone's compass(es), quite likely rendering them completely useless.

That's my guess. I'm not about to put my drone up next to one to see if I'm right.


2018-2-10
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Tealk
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DJI recommended to stay away from these ...and thats all ... never said no fly around...i fly around and no problems..
2018-2-10
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achim1989
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Germany
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Well, theoretically the magnetic field around the powerlines might interfere with the elwctronics in your Air, e.g. by inducing current into the circuits.

And on the other hands, slightly faulty (or old) powerlines might also emit signals in the RF spectrum that can interfere with your drones wifi connection which might make you loose control of the drone in thw worst case.

And last but not least: one nasty gust of wind and your drone gets deep fried...
2018-2-10
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seeker_ktf_
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The picture you showed are transmission lines (as opposed to power lines, which are the ones on wooden poles that have the transformers on them used to supply houses and other buildings).  Transmission lines can carry upwards of 500kV.  There is a lot of complication, but even as close 20m, you're only going to experience ~30 mG (milli-Gauss) of magnetic field.  The Earth's magnetic field on the surface is variable, but never goes lower than around 250 mG (all the way to 650 mG or so) and in the US a general number is 450 or so depending on how far north you live.  So compared with Earth's 450 mG field, the 30 mG you get from a power line is pretty much in the "noise" of the compass measurement.

For a power line, you get up around 30mG if you are landing on top of it.  I have power lines behind my house.  I regularly fly within 2 or 3 meters with no problem.  It might sometimes be less.  Keep in mind that everyone has power lines close to you, assuming you are near any electricity.  If you have buried utilities they are absolutely closer to you than overhead power lines and the earth does not stop magnetic fields.  Literally anyone who takes off in a neighborhood is close to power.

Magnetic fields drop off with an inverse-square effect so if you fly very close (within 5 meters) to a transmission line, you're starting to get into more complied territory. That would actually never be something you should try.

Finley, there will always be more than one transmission line.  They run parallel to the the ground.  This means the magnetic field parallel to the lies is weaker than the field directly under them.  You should avoid flying below them for sure.  Aside from the magnetic field the EMF can interfere with your GPS reception.

TL;DR

For big transmissions lines stay as far away from them as the towers are tall.  Power lines are more dangerous as obstacles than they are magnetic generators.  
2018-2-10
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Mark The Droner
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I agree with post 7 and post 16.  It's easy to list a dozen technical reasons why we shouldn't fly near power lines just as it's easy to want to be wary of a high Kp index reading, but experience has shown that nothing ever happens in either case.  
2018-2-10
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achim1989
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seeker_ktf_ Posted at 2018-2-10 05:53
The picture you showed are transmission lines (as opposed to power lines, which are the ones on wooden poles that have the transformers on them used to supply houses and other buildings).  Transmission lines can carry upwards of 500kV.  There is a lot of complication, but even as close 20m, you're only going to experience ~30 mG (milli-Gauss) of magnetic field.  The Earth's magnetic field on the surface is variable, but never goes lower than around 250 mG (all the way to 650 mG or so) and in the US a general number is 450 or so depending on how far north you live.  So compared with Earth's 450 mG field, the 30 mG you get from a power line is pretty much in the "noise" of the compass measurement.

For a power line, you get up around 30mG if you are landing on top of it.  I have power lines behind my house.  I regularly fly within 2 or 3 meters with no problem.  It might sometimes be less.  Keep in mind that everyone has power lines close to you, assuming you are near any electricity.  If you have buried utilities they are absolutely closer to you than overhead power lines and the earth does not stop magnetic fields.  Literally anyone who takes off in a neighborhood is close to power.

Thx for the clarification
2018-2-10
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Orix
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Latvia
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I don't think it is good idea to fly close to power lines. Especially near high voltage ones. The EMI can result in loss or wrong compass/GPS readings and you can lose control over your machine. Friend of mine is lucky he lives near 330Kv power line...I can't spy on him
2018-9-20
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Charissa
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I flew next to it a couple of times, quite close, with no problems.
2018-9-20
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slof
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No problem just disable RTH and obstacle-avoidance:

2018-9-21
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SWscanning
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seeker_ktf_ Posted at 2018-2-10 05:53
The picture you showed are transmission lines (as opposed to power lines, which are the ones on wooden poles that have the transformers on them used to supply houses and other buildings).  Transmission lines can carry upwards of 500kV.  There is a lot of complication, but even as close 20m, you're only going to experience ~30 mG (milli-Gauss) of magnetic field.  The Earth's magnetic field on the surface is variable, but never goes lower than around 250 mG (all the way to 650 mG or so) and in the US a general number is 450 or so depending on how far north you live.  So compared with Earth's 450 mG field, the 30 mG you get from a power line is pretty much in the "noise" of the compass measurement.

For a power line, you get up around 30mG if you are landing on top of it.  I have power lines behind my house.  I regularly fly within 2 or 3 meters with no problem.  It might sometimes be less.  Keep in mind that everyone has power lines close to you, assuming you are near any electricity.  If you have buried utilities they are absolutely closer to you than overhead power lines and the earth does not stop magnetic fields.  Literally anyone who takes off in a neighborhood is close to power.

I have an opportunity to do some mapping of an electrical substation. You seem to know some of the technical issues involved with high voltage. What do you think about flying around a substation? The highest towers are around 50'.
2018-10-9
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seeker_ktf_
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SWscanning Posted at 2018-10-9 09:47
I have an opportunity to do some mapping of an electrical substation. You seem to know some of the technical issues involved with high voltage. What do you think about flying around a substation? The highest towers are around 50'.

I don't know what's involved in "mapping" exactly, but if you can do it all from higher than 80' (30' or more above the towers) I don't see a problem.  Even if there's magnetic interference your drone shouldn't change altitude (lower) so at some point you should get control back.  But  honestly, in my experience, it's not going to be a problem for an experienced pilot.  

Start from far enough away that you can make sure you aren't getting any sensor (GPS, compass) errors, get your altitude and move on.  It's really useful to hover for a 30 or 40 seconds and see if anything is going on that causes concern.  If it's really a big deal, tie a string/fishing line to it while it's hovering.  You can unhitch after you're sure.  Yes, I'm totally serious.

Even with permission of the station owners, there are special rules regarding flying near power stations.  Make sure you know what you're doing.
2018-10-10
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