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Discussion in 'ALTA' started by Rory Hinds, Sep 28, 2015.
Has anyone emailed support about this?
Actually you can reengage position hold when you get up to your desired altitude and it works as designed. I have done it a handful of times up to 800ft.
i didn't try this yet...
i flew in height mode to 399ft and ALTA stopped. I didn't try to switch to manual mode but it would be good to know wich one of the two stories is true
I have Clint Eastwood's voice (as "Dirty Harry") in my head right now:
...you've gotta ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?
doesn't work on my ALTA. When in Position Mode you fly to the restricted altitude and the ATLA will not claim any more, it simply stops. Switching to Manual mode is the only way to keep climbing and you have not GPS assistants. It only engages Position Hold again once you are lower and in the restricted height.
That's a terrible limitation.
Mikrokopter FC used to have similar limitation. Their normal Navi Ctrl license is limited to 250 meters radius. Within this range, you can do waypoints. In previous firmwares (years ago), Come Home function was not working if the copter was out of 250 meter of radius.
If the copter is out of the restricted range functions like CH and PH function has to work. Otherwise, it introduces more danger.
Think that, you are doing a car chase while you are on the truck. So with PH engaged, you will not be able to do car chase after 500 meters? We travel at least 5 km when we need to do car chase. Mostly we don't use GPS assist but there are times that we might wanna use GPS assist; especially on Alta users might wanna use GPS assist since they will be able to use speed limitation function.
are FreeFly reading this thread?
this is a huge limitation, agreed there should be a warning that you have to accept responsibility to aleviate any liability to FF.
Hopefully this will be changed in a future firmware.
Interesting topic here. I was recently interviewed for NBC"s today show about proposed rules and regulations on drones and I suggested that all UAV aircraft should be flown under the hobby category until you get certification that would allow you to unlock altitude/distance limits. It's my opinion that all UAV should be setup as in "hobby" mode and should be restricted/limited to 150 feet AGL but have the ability to be unlocked if deemed the user has the credentials required. In my opinion only UAV that can incorporate these type of lockout features should be allowed to be sold in the United States whether its a $50 toy or $8500 Alta. I also feel that once you acquire the training and credentials like a pilots license and a FAA 333 you should be able to download a key to unlock those type of restrictions.
This way the professionals can get work with the FAA for special clearances if necessary and have the tools to do their job and it would lock out all the idiots who have no regard for rules, regulations, or safety. The majority of all near misses or drone sightings over limit have been broken by hobbyists and not professionals. IF you think about it, why would a hobbyist need to fly any higher than 150 feet anyway.
One thing I was not very fond of is finding out about these limits after the purchase and delivery of my Alta. I emailed support about the ability to use the Alta for long goal course shooting (par 5 holes can exceed 500 meters - especially if you need to take off behind the tee box and fly beyond the green. I have other rigs I can use for these scenarios, but was hoping to move the Alta into the #1 machine for everything. Support suggested that I fly from the middle of the hole out of view of the camera so I was never going to be 500 meters from the take off point. While that might work in this scenario, it is not going to be the perfect fix for every instance that you need to be more than 500 meters away and want the ability to use GPS assist. All my other rigs either do not have limits or have limits far beyond the Alta. While it will not prevent me from doing the shots I described, I will have to use a back up machine instead of my primary one. It also prevents having my back up machine be a second Alta. I was told that there may be some future functionality on both height and distance limitations (apparently based on user feedback) but there is not a time table for those adjustments to happen - at least not one being told to the users.
If the copter was going to have this limitation imposed on it, I think it should be disclosed in the description of the Alta so people are not surprised after they spend $10,000 to get one.
On a positive note, even if you are flying in manual beyond 500 meters, altitude hold will still work. At least once the GPS assist for altitude hold is given back to us, you could make the long flight and at least know your height was going to be consistent the whole distance.
@Michael - the suggestion from Freefly's support is a bit funny... Imagine the scenario - you're on a shoot where the client has paid you a lot of money, everyone is ready, golf player is about to hit the ball and you come out asking everyone to wait because you have to carry your ALTA 250m into the middle of the field, take off and come back to your position. It's a damn multicopter and it should be able to fly there... that's what they are for! It's not like these things can stay for 60 minutes in the air.
@Dave - good idea, but it will take some time until the legislation is there. Until such laws are functional in every country, professionals shouldn't be held back. ALTA is not a toy that people buy for Christmas for their kids. People using such expensive machines are usually more responsible than the average Joe.
By the way - DJI has recently announced that it will be rolling out live updates for no-fly zones on their machines (not sure if this will apply to their current offering, though). You'll be able to turn off the restrictions but only if you have a DJI account with your real name (verified by attaching credit card) attached to it. This way if someone causes an accident near the airport the authorities will be able to check with DJI who it was and fine the person. I think that it's a good move - at least people will be more aware that they're not anonymous while flying their Phantoms, even if they decide to turn off the restrictions.
I have flown and filmed many golf courses and I used that half way technique many times and this does not work in many instances. If you go out half way and fly back you have to make sure you and your cam op are hidden so you are not in the shot. However to hide, you can't fly line of site and need to rely on FPV which I absolutely hate. Not only is it against the FAA guidelines in the 333 but your FPV signal gets really weak when you lose line of site and it has to go through trees. It's better on the 1.2 signal than the 5.8 signal but as you all know you have to use the 5.8 signal with the alta.
Some courses don't have many trees and are wide open and you have no place to hide, so if you were to fly out half way there's no way to avoid being in the shot. I had a client complain about this when I did this at one course. So the argument of just fly it out there half way is not a solution to this problem. Freefly needs to allow qualified users to unlock it.
I also agree with Michael, if you are going to impose this kind of limitation on a copter it needs to be disclosed so that responsible buyers know in advance. This is not a pleasant surprise to get after spending $10,000.
Also the people that use a car and speed limits as an analogy are way off. First off we are not using a car we are flying. You don't see pilots having their plane lock them out once they get to a certain altitude. The FAA trusts that the pilot knows the rules and applies the safety practices to their flights. This is why it takes as long as it does and requires a tremendous amount of effort to get a pilots license. If you get work hard enough to get the qualifications you should be the one to determine what you can do.
Mateusz: Lots of people have more money than they know what to do with. Over the years I've seen many hobbyists fly Cinestars like toys for fun and end up crashing and burning. The Alta will end up in the hands of people that have no business having one just because they have the money to spend.
As far as your golf comments, fly overs are always done around golfers on empty holes. The situation you bring up will never occur but I do agree that professionals should be allowed to make their own decisions on how to use the copter if they have the proven credentials.
Dave, this is not true. I'm using 1.3 for both my ALTA and my MōVI. No problems.
Rock solid video signals to well beyond my ALTA's operational range.
So you are using a 1.3 transmitter with your Alta? Quadrocopter said to only run the 5.8 system. Hmm.
FWIW, I've tested with both. Currently on 5.8 just for the image quality. Never noticed any technical issues either way. Also using connex with the Movi & 5.8 for the Alta nose cam w/o issues. I was worried about that.
This whole discussion shows one thing: Even in 2015, Americans tend to believe that their laws are universal... But there are countries outside the USA that have other rules - for example Switzerland - we have no altitude or distance restriction for model aircraft - as long as the pilot can see his copter, he can fly it. ( and multirotors are considered model aircraft here wether they are used for fun or for work) i have been up to 250m above ground (820 ft in medieval measurments) with my cinestar 8 many times. yes it gets small but it stays under control. as long as the alta has that kind of restrictions, i will stay with my cinestar .....
How come a UAV doesn't allow user to engage GPS assist when it's outside of the restricted distance? It creates more danger! So, the only thing a pilot could do is to turn off the transmitter to initialize RTH in case of orientation loss when it's out of restricted distance? Even, can anyone confirm that the RTH works if the craft is outside of the 500m radius?
500m distance are not enough. Who says that there is allways a heavy rig below the copter? There are coutries in the world wich have less strong restrictions. 1000m woud be ok.
2. Please dont`t follow the DJI software with the limitations. Where i live, there is a old unused deactivated airfeld, where the local rc-model-club is operating, and i`m not able to fly a Inspire on PH Mode....what a laughter
3. Ceiling shoud be higher too, 200- 300m.
4. (Alta is such a cool piece of technolegie, congrats.!!!)
Yes agreed, that feels more like a punishment than an enforcement. If you insist on restricting flight parameters simply don't let it go beyond certain distances or altitudes.