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Need advise - Fly P4 indoor
812 28 2017-2-15
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fans8c0365c7
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Hello guys

I have a project for a friend. I have to shoot video in a large storage exhibition. All shots will be INDOOR.  Propably no GPS signal. Is it better to go from the start in ATTI (A-mode) iin order to have control and not worry about compass error, lost signal etc or to leave at P-mode ?  Becouse it will be an indoor space I m afraid of heavy compass error issues since there will be metalic constructions all around.

How you suggest me to shot the video of this exhibition with priority to safety ?  (I dont want the P4 to fall in someones head )

thanks
2017-2-15
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Punchbuggy
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Hi. Many here will say that you shouldn't fly indoors, but I don't subscribe to those views - you can fly anywhere that the props take you up and you can manoeuver (although that's the trick). Just warning.

I've flown both my P4 and P4P around my house quite OK (which admittedly is an open-plan home). Obstacle avoidance has occasionally kicked in and stopped movement in some directions, but otherwise all good. I did note that the P4 was sometimes 'jerky' when trying to make it change directtion, like it was struggling to work out where it was (perhaps this was due to the occasional glimpse of a GPS signal) so you'll need to be ready, and be delicate with the stick in any direction if it's being coy.

Regardless, I'd suggest a trial run, where you either turn obstacle avoidance off (and take a risk) or rely on ATTI mode (although you lose the benefit of other sensors). Sadly, you can't kick in Beginners Mode, as it requires GPS signal to take off.

Of course, with the P4P you could put it into Tripod Mode and turn 'narrow sensing' on.
2017-2-15
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Focus4
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Yes, you will have to fly in ATTI Mode. I would recommend practicing with this outdoors for a bit, because the aircraft does tend to drift around and it requires a lot of gentle input on the sticks.
2017-2-15
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Aardvark
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The way you describe it I imagine you will be shooting in a big open exhibition building ?

You're obviously aware that there will be additional hazards to take into consideration when doing your risk assessment.

As for flying I would recommend leaving it in 'P' mode (Positional), assuming that there is sufficient light then it will switch automatically from GPS positioning to 'Opti' mode which is where the VPS (Visual Positioning System) comes in. Provided there is sufficient light then the downward facing cameras will enable it to hold horizontal position, also the ultrasonic transducer will hold it's height from ground. Here is the link to the DJI demo video, have a look at the video under the 'Precision Hovering' tab. As mentioned by Punchbuggy, try a trial run.
2017-2-15
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Aardvark
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Focus4 Posted at 2017-2-15 13:31
Yes, you will have to fly in ATTI Mode. I would recommend practicing with this outdoors for a bit, because the aircraft does tend to drift around and it requires a lot of gentle input on the sticks.

"Yes, you will have to fly in ATTI Mode."

What makes you say you have to fly in ATTI mode ? What's wrong with using the VPS ? If there is insufficient light for VPS then it switches from Opti to ATTI, and that's when the pilot needs to be aware if need be.
2017-2-15
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Nigel_
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Agree with Aardvark, you want the vision positioning working so that it doesn't drift into walls etc due to wind from the props, it will be much easier to control if you leave it in P mode.

If you have plenty of space then leave obstacle avoidance on, it may save a crash, although it will restrict how close you can fly to things.

Make sure RTH is set not to fly back home through the roof, best to disable it.

Be careful of prop wash - you can easily blow expensive things off shelves that would normally be fine.

Keep a watch out for compass warnings and avoid any areas where you get them.  If you are going to fly near people then do a trial run beforehand so that you know where any areas with magnetic interference are.

"I dont want the P4 to fall in someones head" - then don't fly over people, it is not worth the risk, if you want people in the video then film them from a distance, not from above.  Video of the top of peoples heads is not going to be good anyway.
2017-2-15
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fans8c0365c7
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Guys, thank you for your help.

PLEASE I have a critical question. If I let the P4 in P mode is there any compass problem ?  I m PRETTY SURE that due to metallic construction of the exhibition storage I will get compass error and then maybe I have not the time to take control. Is it possible ? I was thinking to fly in ATTI mode with IOC Course Lock ON in order to have better control of my Phantom and not worry about compass inteference. I m afraid that if I m in P-mode and lost satellites or get stong compass error and P4 start drifting or not obey there will be no time to take control. What do you think ?
2017-2-15
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Aardvark
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fans8c0365c7 Posted at 2017-2-15 15:01
Guys, thank you for your help.

PLEASE I have a critical question. If I let the P4 in P mode is there any compass problem ?  I m PRETTY SURE that due to metallic construction of the exhibition storage I will get compass error and then maybe I have not the time to take control. Is it possible ? I was thinking to fly in ATTI mode with IOC Course Lock ON in order to have better control of my Phantom and not worry about compass inteference. I m afraid that if I m in P-mode and lost satellites or get stong compass error and P4 start drifting or not obey there will be no time to take control. What do you think ?

"IOC Course Lock ON"

That is one of the intelligent flight modes only available in 'P mode' when sufficient GPS available.
2017-2-15
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fans8c0365c7
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Oh yeap. You are absolute right. I forgot that there is no F mode (button) in P4 .

So that is over. My only consideration in flying at P mode is the compass error which I m pretty sure I will get. As I said I m afraid that due to the metallic construction of the place and the internal light (cables on the roof) I will get compass error sooner or later and may loose the control. As I have fly in open spaces and never had compass problems I have no lot of experience in what will happened if you get interferences in compass.
2017-2-15
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Punchbuggy
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fans8c0365c7 Posted at 2017-2-15 15:29
Oh yeap. You are absolute right. I forgot that there is no F mode (button) in P4  .

So that is over. My only consideration in flying at P mode is the compass error which I m pretty sure I will get. As I said I m afraid that due to the metallic construction of the place and the internal light (cables on the roof) I will get compass error sooner or later and may loose the control. As I have fly in open spaces and never had compass problems I have no lot of experience in what will happened if you get interferences in compass.

Hey, interesting discussion. Of course, the cost for this invaluable and sage input, is that you share your experience and final settings back here.  hehe. I'd be very interested to hear what worked for you.
2017-2-15
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Nigel_
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fans8c0365c7 Posted at 2017-2-15 15:29
Oh yeap. You are absolute right. I forgot that there is no F mode (button) in P4  .

So that is over. My only consideration in flying at P mode is the compass error which I m pretty sure I will get. As I said I m afraid that due to the metallic construction of the place and the internal light (cables on the roof) I will get compass error sooner or later and may loose the control. As I have fly in open spaces and never had compass problems I have no lot of experience in what will happened if you get interferences in compass.


If you have compass problems then I don't think it makes any difference which mode you are in.  The compass is used in all modes to keep the aircraft straight and level.

Whatever you do, do not calibrate the compass inside the building, that should only be done in an open field well away from anything magnetic or concrete.

Flying within a meter of steel shelving or pipes or reinforced concrete is unwise, not only because of the compass but also because of turbulent propeller wash, but generally there is no problem flying inside a building with plenty of space, just be careful, take it easy and watch out for warnings until you have proved it is OK.
2017-2-15
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Aardvark
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fans8c0365c7 Posted at 2017-2-15 15:29
Oh yeap. You are absolute right. I forgot that there is no F mode (button) in P4  .

So that is over. My only consideration in flying at P mode is the compass error which I m pretty sure I will get. As I said I m afraid that due to the metallic construction of the place and the internal light (cables on the roof) I will get compass error sooner or later and may loose the control. As I have fly in open spaces and never had compass problems I have no lot of experience in what will happened if you get interferences in compass.

I just did a test flight in 'the back room' , a modest sized room, in 'P mode' not 6 feet from a steel cased tumble drier. No problems noticed at all other than when low down it had a tendency to lose height over a 20-30 second period. Horizontal control (with OPTI active) was good, no more than about a foot drift in any direction over a prolonged period. During this time I checked the compass readings (no errors reported at all), and both readings were in the 50-70 range, so no issues there.

Edit:- I had forgotten to add that Obstacle Avoidance was turned off for this test.
2017-2-15
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fans8c0365c7
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Guys I will share my experience tommorow night.  However, there is a video tutorial   which says that IS NOT recommended to use VPS indoor except if you are sure of what you are doing.  



2017-2-15
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Aardvark
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fans8c0365c7 Posted at 2017-2-15 17:10
Guys I will share my experience tommorow night.  However, there is a video tutorial   which says that IS NOT recommended to use VPS indoor except if you are sure of what you are doing.  

I look forward to hearing your experiences, I'm sure you will be pleased with the P4 performance in 'P mode'.

Hmmmmm, he's hardly 'indoors' there in a glass house, I would almost expect to have a half decent GPS signal in that location. Even supposing the VPS couldn't get an accurate lock onto a ground object it is unlikely it would shoot off into the distance, more likely it would be a gentle drift that could easily be adjusted.

So there is my example in a 'typical' home environment, DJI's advice under a concrete bridge or Toms tech time in a greenhouse (probably with good GPS reception). I also remember he had a 'fix' for the drop in altitude (alternative facts (I love that phrase)) long before DJI fixed it properly with a firmware update. Also 'loss of signal' if set to RTH, it should just hover if no GPS, it doesn't know where it is, and it doesn't know where home is. As a failsafe 'precaution' I would set it to hover.
2017-2-15
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Gubes17
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On my P4 with smart modes tab off, and VPS sensor on, my P4 automatically switches to ATTI indoors. Is this normal?
2017-2-16
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Aardvark
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Gubes17 Posted at 2017-2-16 05:54
On my P4 with smart modes tab off, and VPS sensor on, my P4 automatically switches to ATTI indoors. Is this normal?

If there is not enough light for VPS to get an image it can work with, then it will switch from 'Ready to Go (Vision)' (with 'OPTI' to the right) to ATTI mode.

Check that 'Enable Vision Positioning' is on in 'Visual Navigation Settings'/'Advanced Settings'.
2017-2-16
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Focus4
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Aardvark Posted at 2017-2-15 13:56
"Yes, you will have to fly in ATTI Mode."

What makes you say you have to fly in ATTI mode ? What's wrong with using the VPS ? If there is insufficient light for VPS then it switches from Opti to ATTI, and that's when the pilot needs to be aware if need be.

True enough. But I have found that in most indoor locations VPS has trouble, not only because of light levels, but also because it often has difficulty with following the patterns (and often lack of patterns) of the floors. This can lead to the craft making sudden and unexpected corrections - including altitude. I would rather set the craft to ATTI mode where I know it will do an accurate job of maintaining its altitude, leaving me to focus on steering the craft.
2017-2-16
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Nigel_
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"Also 'loss of signal' if set to RTH, it should just hover if no GPS, it doesn't know where it is, and it doesn't know where home is. As a failsafe 'precaution' I would set it to hover."
It is not unusual to get a GPS signal if near windows, also in some buildings the roof is not metal and the GPS signal can come through, for example a sports hall near me plenty big enough to fly drones in has a plastic roof.  Always set RTH to hover indoors to make sure.
2017-2-16
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Aardvark
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-2-16 14:30
"Also 'loss of signal' if set to RTH, it should just hover if no GPS, it doesn't know where it is, and it doesn't know where home is. As a failsafe 'precaution' I would set it to hover."
It is not unusual to get a GPS signal if near windows, also in some buildings the roof is not metal and the GPS signal can come through, for example a sports hall near me plenty big enough to fly drones in has a plastic roof.  Always set RTH to hover indoors to make sure.

"It is not unusual to get a GPS signal if near windows, also in some buildings the roof is not metal and the GPS signal can come through, for example a sports hall near me plenty big enough to fly drones in has a plastic roof.  Always set RTH to hover indoors to make sure."

I would agree with that in general, I did check and it needs to lock onto more than 8 satellites before it will switch back from OPTI to GPS.
2017-2-16
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fans8c0365c7
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Hello everybody

As i promised I will share my experience. Everything good.  I used the P4 inside a metallic storage building (exhibition) with lot of lights and metal constructions. First I set the p4 to "hover" at RTH mode. I didn't use ATTI mode but P-mode.  But since there were no sattelites, P4 turned to opti. I flew the phantom through metallic constructions with no problem. I was very carefull. VPS was on (since there were enought light). However I noticed that P4 although it was staying stable in the air, it didn't had the accuracy of outdoor flights. Some small vibrations in altitude and position also detected. However it was easier than I thought. My overall experience was good. I was watching always the aircraft and I was using gently the controls at very low speeds. The only problem is that I was a bit anxius and after first 2 min. flight I realized that I had forgot to press the record button
2017-2-16
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Nigel_
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I wish there was an "Auto start recording on take off" option!   I sometimes forget to restart recording if I land and power off the aircraft for a minute.

"Some small vibrations in altitude and position also detected. "
Be a bit more careful on windy days, in wind there can be a big pressure difference across a building and if someone opens a door on the windy side of the building it can increase the pressure inside and cause the aircraft to rise temporarily.  For the position it does need to be able to see things beneath it, a plain concrete floor can be a problem, also reflective floors.  Just keep a bit more distance than you would outside.

Thanks for the update
2017-2-17
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Aardvark
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fans8c0365c7 Posted at 2017-2-16 18:40
Hello everybody

As i promised I will share my experience. Everything good.  I used the P4 inside a metallic storage building (exhibition) with lot of lights and metal constructions. First I set the p4 to "hover" at RTH mode. I didn't use ATTI mode but P-mode.  But since there were no sattelites, P4 turned to opti. I flew the phantom through metallic constructions with no problem. I was very carefull. VPS was on (since there were enought light). However I noticed that P4 although it was staying stable in the air, it didn't had the accuracy of outdoor flights. Some small vibrations in altitude and position also detected. However it was easier than I thought. My overall experience was good. I was watching always the aircraft and I was using gently the controls at very low speeds. The only problem is that I was a bit anxius and after first 2 min. flight I realized that I had forgot to press the record button

Thanks for the update, I hope you managed to get all the video you needed to get done. The record button is something that I'd been caught out with in the past, by default now I switch it on as one of my very quick pre-flight checks

Out of curiosity was it a large enclosed arena, or a smaller building ? You mention that it was stable in OPTI mode; given that, what sort of contrast would there have been in the VPS 'view' was it plain carpet or tiles, patterned with a high contrast ?
2017-2-17
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fans8c0365c7
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Hello

I give a picture of the place. It was a large exhibition closed place with metal construction aroun in 5-5.5m from the ground. The P4 was flying at a height of around 4 meters from the ground. I attached a picture to get an idea of the place.  P4 was stable enough, but not as stable as outodoor. I also have to point out that since it was an indoor place there were no air-streams (don't know if these are the corrects words) to "push" the P4. But at bottom line it was easier than I though.

2017-2-17
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george_007
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fans8c0365c7 Posted at 2017-2-17 20:50
Hello

I give a picture of the place. It was a large exhibition closed place with metal construction aroun in 5-5.5m from the ground. The P4 was flying at a height of around 4 meters from the ground. I attached a picture to get an idea of the place.  P4 was stable enough, but not as stable as outodoor. I also have to point out that since it was an indoor place there were no air-streams (don't know if these are the corrects words) to "push" the P4. But at bottom line it was easier than I though.

Did you use ATTI mode?
2017-2-18
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Nigel_
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"I also have to point out that since it was an indoor place there were no air-streams..."

I'm sure that if you put it in atti mode you would soon find some air-streams!  Maybe convection currents, maybe from the propellers, if you get too close to a wall the propellers will certainly create air movements that will drag the aircraft into the wall.
2017-2-18
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KevDrones
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fans8c0365c7 Posted at 2017-2-15 17:10
Guys I will share my experience tommorow night.  However, there is a video tutorial   which says that IS NOT recommended to use VPS indoor except if you are sure of what you are doing.  

I watched that video, and you should definitely turn of VPS indoors, also, try to avoid obsiticals.
2017-2-18
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Aardvark
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KevDrones Posted at 2017-2-18 17:22
I watched that video, and you should definitely turn of VPS indoors, also, try to avoid obsiticals.

"I watched that video, and you should definitely turn of VPS indoors"

Why would you do that ?
2017-2-18
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KevDrones
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The carpet adsorbs it and title has very things, but turn in it of on carpet is needed, tile might work.
2017-2-18
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fans8c0365c7
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Georhe_007 no, i didn't use atti mode finally

Things are not so clear. Some guys are saying to turn off vps, some other not. However from my experience in this case vps worked fine. Although there were different types of materials on the floor I never got any problem.  Perhaps this have also to do with the height. I was flying at 4m from the ground with good light. I don't know how the p4 would behave at  height of 8 or 10 meters. it seems that DJI have to publish a tutorial of how to fly indoor since alla their tutorial is for outdoor flights.
2017-2-18
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