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power lines

Capt742000

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May 23, 2019
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My flight plan, in the USA, calls for me to fly my Spark under or over high power transmission lines. How high or low can I fly without electrical interference?
 

SoccerRef12

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Jul 5, 2019
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I would say neither because once past the power lines you'll lose WiFi signal. Under the power lines you'll lose GPS. Maybe you could fly close to the power lines, land, go beyond the power lines and take off again?
 

Spark 317

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Jul 10, 2017
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I have done flights around high tension power lines within 20 feet and a power substation less than 100 feet away and experienced no warnings during the flight.

The compass, map, and Spark seemed to work fine.

There was a video posted here a couple of years ago when the Spark flew between the wires by accident when the pilot lost sight of it. Yikes!

I know power stations are usually considered a NFZ (critical infrastructure).


if possible, steer clear of the power lines so you won't have a day like this....*

20180707_124024.jpg

* staged photo. No Sparks or power grids were harmed. :)
 

Capt742000

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May 23, 2019
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I have done flights around high tension power lines within 20 feet and a power substation less than 100 feet away and experienced no warnings during the flight.

The compass, map, and Spark seemed to work fine.

There was a video posted here a couple of years ago when the Spark flew between the wires by accident when the pilot lost sight of it. Yikes!

I know power stations are usually considered a NFZ (critical infrastructure).


if possible, steer clear of the power lines so you won't have a day like this....*

View attachment 12535

* staged photo. No Sparks or power grids were harmed. :)
Thanks. I appreciate the answer. I will try going along the ground and within line of sight.
 

Capt742000

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You must also realize that different power lines transmit power at different voltages and can have a range of different effects. In the U.S., long distance transmission lines can have up to 765,000 volts while local transmission lines are typically at 13,800 volts.
Good to know. I was able to fly my spark near to the ground yesterday under transmission lines without experiencing any difficulties. Thanks.
 

graywoulf

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Mar 30, 2018
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I have the residential grade high tension power lines close to my house as well a a cellular tower and a power sub station across the road from me and I have not ever had any loss of signal or loss of GPS while flying around them. And I have flown under and over and close to the high tension wires. I hope that helps. ;)
 

Flying Flynn

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Nov 9, 2019
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I like to fly along a creek on a greenway path. There are several sections and lengths of this greenway, some running parallel with high tension wires. The only time I experienced electromagnetic interference was at the same altitude as the wires and about 40 feet from them. I was not far away but had temporarily lost visual contact and was closer than I intended to be. I temporarily went into atti mode. I gained altitude, regained visual contact flew away from the wires and regained GPS. I have flown in other locations where the wires run. I don't get within 100 feet of them and never have a problem. I have flown over them and under them while keeping my distance.
 

Spark 317

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as well a a cellular tower
I haven't had any signal problems either around a cell tower, but there may be other transmitters on the mast that may cause an issue.

I wanted to photograph a water tower once and there was a short communication tower nearby that had something on it that the Spark didn't like.

I suspect a microwave repeater. 🤔

No matter how many times I tried to get the Spark up to the water tower, I would have a signal loss and the RTH would kick in.

I experimented with the flight(s) and found the fine line of the signal or no signal. I would hover at a spot with no problems and rise about 2 feet for a single loss.

So use caution when flying around an unfamiliar tower.
 

graywoulf

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The cell tower across the road from me has MANY different antennas on it so I know for sure that it supports all kinds of communications. I know for sure that it has a 2 meter ham radio repeater on it as I am a ham radio operator. It has some small dishes on it as well. I have never flown within a hundred feet or more of it. No need to take chances like that.
 

Medley

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May 13, 2019
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My flight plan, in the USA, calls for me to fly my Spark under or over high power transmission lines. How high or low can I fly without electrical interference?
I fly around high tension power lines regularly without any interference. And this is what I would expect because, regardless of the voltage these lines are carrying, they are alternating the current at only 60 cycles per second (60Hz). So while the amplitude (strength) of the radio waves generated are strong, the frequency is many millions of times slower than the frequencies at which our remotes and drones communicate (2.8 or 5.6GHz). If there is any potential for interference it would be from the steel structures themselves, and that doesn’t seem to be a problem in the real world.

All that said, ironically, I had my first crash ever last weekend when my Air clipped a power line on an ascent setting up an overhead shot. I misestimated how much clearance I’d need and didn’t move far enough out from under them to clear them on the way up. Fortunately my bird did a semi-powered descent and didn’t crash hard. Unfortunately it landed in an ice-melt puddle and was about 70% submerged for about 3 minutes before we retrieved it. Fortunately it survived the soaking somehow and I took it out this afternoon for about 30 minutes of spectacular video over Lake Ontario. I have some interesting video from the event, and may do a post-mortem post to share the story.
 
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graywoulf

Endeavor to Persevere
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Not done intentionally but it proved to me that it was not causing any interference. Note the sub station and cell tower. No loss of signal of any kind. Maybe I was just lucky but this is where I fly most of the time. Just not in the middle of the power lines.

A bad place 1.jpg
 

RotorWash

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Jul 18, 2019
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Prince Edward Island, Canada
I have some interesting video from the event, and may do a post-mortem post to share the story.
Please do Medley, would make for a great post for sure!

It's very easy to misjudge power lines and you make a good point about their frequency. Their biggest threat seems to be their spider-like webbing waiting to catch our flying machines. Glad to hear your Air is back flying. 👍
 

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