Waypoint flying and tips

Discussion in 'Cinestar Misc' started by Dave King, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    I watched both Quadrocopter video's on waypoint flying. Does anyone do this? I plan on filming golf courses and plan to use waypoint flying a lot. It looks like you need carefree mode for POI function. Also by my observation it seems that when you activate come home it starts the first waypoint. Any other tips from experienced users? I plan on experimenting and practing in a large 400 square meter field.
     
  2. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Rather than trying to load lots of waypoints why not just fly it with FPV? Thinking about an 18 hole golf course, getting all of the map information, plotting all of the waypoints, loading them up (probably one set for each hole), shoot by the time you did all of that you could have flown it and been done. Plus had more flexibility in how you shoot depending on lighting, time of day and other variables. Just sayin'
     
  3. Adam Paugh

    Adam Paugh Distributor

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    Hello David,

    A word of caution when executing waypoint/autonomous flight control with a limited background. If this is something that you intend on using for your operation it may be wise to become familiar with the features with a smaller, less expensive system. Once you become comfortable with the program and find the footage suitable then move to your video rig.
    Just my cents.

    Greetings,
    Adam
     
  4. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    HI Gary

    I was wanting to fly autonomously so that I can control the camera as needed. I guess I could just use the camera feed and fly manually. I guess it would be good to try it both ways and see what comes out the best?
     
  5. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    HI Adam

    Thanks for replying and I am looking for as much feedback as possible. Yes I have a limited background with MK electronics and software but I"m trying to get as much knowledge as possilble to do so. What type of system would you recommend getting to learn it? Something like this http://www.quadrocopter.com/MK-Basicset-QuadroKopter-XL_p_283.html and then add nav? Are way points that complicated? From the quadrocopter videos it seems pretty straight forward but maybe its not?
     
  6. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Waypoints are not that complicated, Dave. The issue is that the GPS is not that accurate and/or reliable -- if there's a solar storm and the Kp Index is greater than 4, I wouldn't want to rely on the MK GPS board. As Gary says, this is a consumer-grade GPS.

    Ask around -- I don't think there are any professionals using WPs for their copters. (The same holds true for Carefree too, I suspect.)

    Andy.
     
  7. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    So in your opinion, is waypoint flying ok if you are above all obstructions? Say for example your point of interest is a golf course and your waypoints are meant to fly at least 10 meters higher than any trees or power lines that your copter can hit would it be a good application? What if Plus or minus 3 meters is no big deal?

    Andy have you had any issues flying with waypoints?
     
  8. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    For golf courses just hop in a golf cart and take a ride behind the copter as you fly it down the fairways... It's pretty fun and you look like a clown car!

    Josh
     
  9. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    MK does have a "follow me" feature, but I've not used it. It might be in the same league as Waypoint flying too....

    Andy.
     
  10. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    The real issue is the reliability of the GPS, Dave.
    If you have your waypoints set, and if the GPS is working right, then it should work. But I'm not sure I'd trust it enough to put several thousand dollars worth of flight hardware and camera gear at risk. When things go wrong with copter flying, they go wrong in a heartbeat or less. I don't even like looking down at my transmitter when I'm flying, I want to keep visual contact with the bird. If I look down and then look back up, I think I'm probably out of contact for three seconds just while my eyes refocus and I reacquire visual contact.

    With a big grin, I paraphrase Dirty Harry: "Do you feel lucky, Dave?" :)

    Andy.
     
  11. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    Have you had any crashes at the result of the GPS failing? (minus operator error)
     
  12. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Not actual crashes, just a couple of moments where, to use pilot speak, I discovered that adrenaline was brown. :)
    For actual crashes, I have to be in control....

    I've had two occasions where I took off and didn't have a GPS lock, so no GPX file. Don't know what would have happened if I tried Come Home -- my guess is nothing. It simply wouldn't have come home.

    And a couple of cases where there was some significant toilet bowling because of compass interference.

    I did have one flight where I had a GPS lock, executed Come Home and the copter more or less came home....well, less, actually. It was off by about 50 meters.....I went on line and checked the Kp index and it was either 5 or 6 -- solar storm, so the GPS was definitely out to lunch.

    Andy.
     

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