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How to get used to flying Farther...

Macinfo

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Well, the title of this thread may or may not be optimal, but here is the question buried in background thoughts..

Been flying my Spark for a few weeks, now, and while the pilot is supposed to keep sight of ones drone, I see so many videos where its relatively obvious that they are flying past line of sight, and I assume they are relying on the video feed or GPS map to keep track of their drone in flight. And I assuming (perhaps incorrectly) some of these pilots are merely recreational, stretching the boundaries of their drone.

So the question is other then perhaps just going for it, perhaps in an area where you still have a good chance at maintaining line of site for more distance, are there any hints or tips in how to perhaps practice getting used to trusting the video feed or GPS map location for a flight where you might be out of LOS for a small portion of the flight?

Thanks for any thoughts..
 
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41Flyer

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LSO is based on the idea that the drone will fail so they want you to keep an eye on it. Trust in the tech but there are a number of people posting drones flying away on their own (knock wood) or batteries falling out or 3rd party rotors flying off and drones falling from the sky.
Plus the camera can't see behind or look up. I only fly thru trees LOS and have not braved my 1st attempt to go under a bridge somewhere.
One flight I had around trees and while the camera was just seeing some nice green, LOS I spotted a momma bird try to drive me away. I landed the drone quick when I saw that but never saw them from the camera view.
Some people add spotters with binoculars (as long as they are close enough for you to hear them).
In texas, I have lots of wide open space to fly some nice distance while keeping LOS. Practice runs of flying out 1 direction as far as I can see, then turn around and go the other way past the start point and as far as we can see that direction put in some nice flight time.

No one expects to lose their drone when flying and nobody expects the spanish inquisition.
 

ndaru

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LSO is based on the idea that the drone will fail so they want you to keep an eye on it. Trust in the tech but there are a number of people posting drones flying away on their own (knock wood) or batteries falling out or 3rd party rotors flying off and drones falling from the sky.
Plus the camera can't see behind or look up. I only fly thru trees LOS and have not braved my 1st attempt to go under a bridge somewhere.
One flight I had around trees and while the camera was just seeing some nice green, LOS I spotted a momma bird try to drive me away. I landed the drone quick when I saw that but never saw them from the camera view.
Some people add spotters with binoculars (as long as they are close enough for you to hear them).
In texas, I have lots of wide open space to fly some nice distance while keeping LOS. Practice runs of flying out 1 direction as far as I can see, then turn around and go the other way past the start point and as far as we can see that direction put in some nice flight time.

No one expects to lose their drone when flying and nobody expects the spanish inquisition.
Our chief weapons are signal booster, GPS mode, and fast micro SD card :)

Yeah, really. For me there is no bigger fear than losing my GPS mode and switching to ATTI mode when the drone is out of my LOS. And I found out that using crappy cheap micro SD card resulted in a switch to ATTI mode in EVERY flight, which is no longer the case since I switched to a fast micro SD card. I suspect the bottle neck in writing speed as the cause.
 

Roger S

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Our chief weapons are signal booster, GPS mode, and fast micro SD card :)

Yeah, really. For me there is no bigger fear than losing my GPS mode and switching to ATTI mode when the drone is out of my LOS. And I found out that using crappy cheap micro SD card resulted in a switch to ATTI mode in EVERY flight, which is no longer the case since I switched to a fast micro SD card. I suspect the bottle neck in writing speed as the cause.
SD card and GPS navigation? I thought the SD card on the AC was only for recording video and was optional. Please explain.
 

Macinfo

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Thanks for all the comments, I guess the simple answer maybe to trust the tech, however when your Spark is out there on the edge of your LOS or high and at the Edge, so you rely on the video feed, assuming you still have a good connection, or do you switch to the map to view its location and to perhaps start your navigation back without having to rely on RTH?
 

DavidBlezard

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My two cents about flying on the edge of LOS: this is only done when you are in a open area and can see that nothing is flying in the same area. You should always have a plan on how you would RTH in ATTI mode. I would welcome an option on the Spark to turn off GPS and build my ATTI mode skills. Obviously I would do this in very controlled situations.
 
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Huntman2014

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the more u fly by looking @ ur phone screen the easier it will bcum, range extenders are great 2 and come with the kit if thats how u bought ur Spark! 👌
 
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ndaru

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SD card and GPS navigation? I thought the SD card on the AC was only for recording video and was optional. Please explain.
When I was flying and recording videos using the slower micro SD card, my Spark always loses its GPS mode in EVERY flight. Then one day I forgot to bring the SD card and decided to just fly the Spark around without doing any recording. That's when I notice that the Spark didn't lost the GPS mode, even when I tried to fly it more than 1 km away, in Sport mode.

I'm guessing this has something to do with bottleneck during the video recording due to the slow SD card, maybe?

Now that I have switched to fast SD card, I never lost the GPS mode while flying anymore.

But that's just my experience with Spark anyway. But if you keep forced to switch to ATTI mode during a flight, you might want to use faster SD card and see if it will fix the problem.
 
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Macinfo

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Well, like they say, practice makes perfect. more or less, were flying here, things go wrong. Ultimately it seems to boil down to being in a clear area, where you can fly more or less freely, and make sure you set your home point, and head down range and get the feel for it.. Then I guess once the comfort level builds, you can perhaps be a little more daring and fly in spaces that are interesting, but have perhaps more obstacles to consider.

One thing I mentioned was whether when your on the edge of LOS, do you still stick with the video feed, assuming a reasonable signal, or do you switch to the maps?

thanks
 

zenfly

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Do you all know about "Track App" on the map.. If you lose sight it tells you when you're pointed right at the drone. Pilots with the parabolic things mentioned above that have a beam pattern for extended range should see this.. Then again you might already use this app.
 

Highflyer

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Our chief weapons are signal booster, GPS mode, and fast micro SD card :)

Yeah, really. For me there is no bigger fear than losing my GPS mode and switching to ATTI mode when the drone is out of my LOS. And I found out that using crappy cheap micro SD card resulted in a switch to ATTI mode in EVERY flight, which is no longer the case since I switched to a fast micro SD card. I suspect the bottle neck in writing speed as the cause.
What SD card are you using?
 

Macinfo

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Do you all know about "Track App" on the map.. If you lose sight it tells you when you're pointed right at the drone. Pilots with the parabolic things mentioned above that have a beam pattern for extended range should see this.. Then again you might already use this app.
Thats a pretty handy tip. It also gives you a clear idea which direction the drone is flying relative to you, if I understand it correctly, so you not only are aiming your remote more at the Spark, if its out at the edge of LOS, you know what direction its going relative to you and you can make adjustments to head out farther if you have power and good signal or head back..
 

ndaru

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What SD card are you using?
Sandisk Extreme Pro. A bit overkill for recording 1080p with Spark, perhaps. But I just want an ease of mind.

And if any problem still happens to the GPS mode, that means I can remove the SD card from the checklist of potential culprits.
 

Thomas Poland

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;)
I agree with my colleagues above. practice makes perfect. I learned in a simple way for myself. I flew above the trees, at a height where I was sure that at a distance of up to one kilometer, in a straight line and around me I had no obstacles. then I lowered my head and looked only at the screen of the smartphone. then lowered flights around trees and similar objects. now I fly above two kilometers without fear, just looking at the screen. an additional plus is the experience in computer games and on game consoles. Then the method of flight, looking at the screen becomes easier. What is important in my opinion? Namely believe in your drone, and respond to all messages you receive on DJI GO 4 during the flight. Practice, practice and practice again.
Good luck!
 

zenfly

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;)
I agree with my colleagues above. practice makes perfect. I learned in a simple way for myself. I flew above the trees, at a height where I was sure that at a distance of up to one kilometer, in a straight line and around me I had no obstacles. then I lowered my head and looked only at the screen of the smartphone. then lowered flights around trees and similar objects. now I fly above two kilometers without fear, just looking at the screen. an additional plus is the experience in computer games and on game consoles. Then the method of flight, looking at the screen becomes easier. What is important in my opinion? Namely believe in your drone, and respond to all messages you receive on DJI GO 4 during the flight. Practice, practice and practice again.
Good luck!
Wow two kilometers is 6561 feet... really?
 

Thomas Poland

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Naprawdę. spójrz na mój album zdjęcia. Moja odległość, 2500 m.
gdyby nie fakt, że maksymalnie 15 minut może naprawdę latać na jednym akumulatorze, z koniecznością utrzymania się. Czekam na lepsze warunki pogodowe, aby móc latać jeszcze dalej. na 2500m mam zasięg i sygnał się nie łamie.
 

Medley

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Practice, Practice, Practice.
Have faith in the hardware.
Agreed. Practice and trust your drone. The trust comes with....wait for it.....practice. If you have a place where you can fly over open water like a lake, it provides the perfect opportunity for both without having to worry about running into something inadvertently. It also provides you a constant, clear line of sight.
 

ajkm

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I would welcome an option on the Spark to turn off GPS and build my ATTI mode skills. Obviously I would do this in very controlled situations.
Do a search for this. It's perfectly possible and very easy. (Last time I mentioned it my comment was deleted...)
 

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