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Got cold feet & hit RTH….

OP states in first sentence that the drone is new....so probably uncertain what would happen, especially when quick math shows that he had used over 40% of the battery power to complete only 25% of the trip.....using that information, bringing it back rather than complete the trip makes sense to me....even though if it had proceeded on planned route...it would have landed on the beach...we live and learn.....Possibly, the wind was working against him?
@MARK (LI) Don’t make assumptions. Yes the drone is new, but it’s pilot, not so much.
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In that case low battery RTH would have saved your drone. One of the most common ways to lose a drone is performing this kind of flights with the wind on your back (then RTH won't save you).

My personal record with the M3 are 9Km, could go 1Km more or so, 2 maybe pushing the battery to 0%, but there's no point in those ranges with a quad. Stay under 4-5Km radius, and you'll always be able to come back. Optimal radius for quads these days is around 3Km, from there on you burn too much battery travelling and in case you are not aware of the wind conditions, you'll lose your drone.

PS: Also, don't do this tests over water, If you are doing a long range test and realize that you can't come back, land your drone on any rooftop, pick your car, move next to the drone, takeoff again and retrieve it. Or if it's too late, you can find a safe landing spot on the ground and go there to retrieve it. Over water you can't do any of that.
 
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@MARK (LI) Don’t make assumptions. Yes the drone is new, but it’s pilot, not so much.
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Congratulations on 500 Flights!!


@mobilehomer Define marginal? I certainly wasn’t going to wait and see if it would trigger a “Low Battery RTH” when I was 3klm out over the ocean!
Does this comment mean that you believe the drone would only trigger returning to home when its’ battery was low (<20%) even if it was 3km away from the home point? Because that isn’t quite how “Low Battery” RTH works, at least on the Air 3, which I also own.
It is not only based on battery percentage. It is a very smart algorithm that takes into account a conglomeration of the distance from home point, direction, current speed, potential obstacles, RTH height setting, IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) Data and many other factors to determine exactly when to initiate “Low Battery RTH” so it can make it back to home point regardless of where it currently is.

For example, you can have a Low Battery RTH trigger when you still have >50% battery, because that is how much battery the drone thinks it needs to safely make it back to its’ home point and land.

Having said all that, it is not foolproof and I would not completely rely on it 100% of the time.
 
“Low Battery” RTH...It is not only based on battery percentage. It is a very smart algorithm that takes into account a conglomeration of the distance from home point, direction, current speed, potential obstacles, RTH height setting, IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) Data and many other factors to determine exactly when to initiate “Low Battery RTH” so it can make it back to home point regardless of where it currently is.
This made me curious, sounds way more sophisticated than what we have found when investigating the data gathered in the flightlogs. Can you share the source for this?

The allowed speed of the drone in RTH mode together with the distance to the HP & battery consumption data have always been easy to identify as crucial parameters for the low battery RTH percentage calculation... but all other thing's like direction, current speed, potential obstacles, IMU data (which data in that case?), & many other factors?

So far, we know that the low battery RTH percentage is notoriously unreliable in certain situations, if for instance flying out & away with a tailwind, nothing will feed in predictions about how it will be on the return flight with a head wind & based on that set a higher threshold percentage for the RTH... and it's the same with current speed & potential obstacles, all should be totally unknown before actually facing the return flight.
 
range tests
I've seen a few of these videos and every so often, there's one that doesn't get back. It's a pretty rubbish range test if the person pushing the drone out isn't able to get it back because the battery has gone flat. There's no point in the radio allowing the drone to go 8 miles (or whatever) if it's not capable of going that far and getting home.

I suppose it makes for good clickbait though.
 
I've seen a few of these videos and every so often, there's one that doesn't get back. It's a pretty rubbish range test if the person pushing the drone out isn't able to get it back because the battery has gone flat. There's no point in the radio allowing the drone to go 8 miles (or whatever) if it's not capable of going that far and getting home.

I suppose it makes for good clickbait though.

Are you saying that was what I was doing? Generating clickbait? That's insulting.

I've never produced or posted a range test video.
 
Are you saying that was what I was doing? Generating clickbait? That's insulting.

I've never produced or posted a range test video.
lol, no. I wasn't saying that at all, please don't put words into my mouth.

I was referring to some of the videos I've seen, at no point did I suggest that was what you were doing. I deliberately worded my post so that it didn't point the finger.
 
Congratulations on 500 Flights!!



Does this comment mean that you believe the drone would only trigger returning to home when its’ battery was low (<20%) even if it was 3km away from the home point? Because that isn’t quite how “Low Battery” RTH works, at least on the Air 3, which I also own.
It is not only based on battery percentage. It is a very smart algorithm that takes into account a conglomeration of the distance from home point, direction, current speed, potential obstacles, RTH height setting, IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) Data and many other factors to determine exactly when to initiate “Low Battery RTH” so it can make it back to home point regardless of where it currently is.

For example, you can have a Low Battery RTH trigger when you still have >50% battery, because that is how much battery the drone thinks it needs to safely make it back to its’ home point and land.

Having said all that, it is not foolproof and I would not completely rely on it 100% of the time.
@davidarmenb So what % would you rely on it? Would you have hit RTH being in doubt where I did…,Or bravely??? rely on a DJI algorithm hopefully initiating, and then hopefully being exactly correct to get back over land risking over 2k of Air 3 hmmm?
 
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There seems to be an inbuilt urge in some people to go the limit, stretch it, take a risk. It is always complicated, as mentioned in a previous post. There are many factors, measurements, considerations, some that vary and can change in a whim. Ask yourself if it is worth the risk to prove something to yourself or if you want to keep flying that drone much longer. Want to do it often anyway, go ahead. It's your money. You'll need to depend on your own experience when you do save it to do it again if things go wrong, such as find a good quick landing place and walk to get it before someone else finds it.
 
There seems to be an inbuilt urge in some people to go the limit, stretch it, take a risk. It is always complicated, as mentioned in a previous post. There are many factors, measurements, considerations, some that vary and can change in a whim. Ask yourself if it is worth the risk to prove something to yourself or if you want to keep flying that drone much longer. Want to do it often anyway, go ahead. It's your money. You'll need to depend on your own experience when you do save it to do it again if things go wrong, such as find a good quick landing place and walk to get it before someone else finds it.

Unfortunately, when flying a drone at extreme distances and near zero battery charge, the risk occurs for other people, too, not just the drone owner.
 
A couple of things:

First up, even if you did panic, it's still a good time to hit RTH. You don't want to be airborne making safety decisions with thousand dollar equipment while you're in an unfit mental state.
The minute you start feeling sketchy, come home. Live to fly another day.

As for the "low battery RTH" feature. It will calculate how long it thinks it needs based on range and remaining charge, with a margin for error. The further away you are, the sooner you'll be prompted to RTH.
Now, it's not perfect, and so not ideal, but it's something you should probably experience a few times so that you become familiar with it.
Go zooming around a football field or park where you know you can go get the drone if it lands anywhere other than home.
 
Unfortunately, when flying a drone at extreme distances and near zero battery charge, the risk occurs for other people, too, not just the drone owner.
@MS Coast In my case it’s usually over the ocean / coastline so rarely, if ever putting others at risk which I am very careful and aware about.
 
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A couple of things:

First up, even if you did panic, it's still a good time to hit RTH. You don't want to be airborne making safety decisions with thousand dollar equipment while you're in an unfit mental state.
The minute you start feeling sketchy, come home. Live to fly another day.
And
As for the "low battery RTH" feature. It will calculate how long it thinks it needs based on range and remaining charge, with a margin for error. The further away you are, the sooner you'll be prompted to RTH.
Now, it's not perfect, and so not ideal, but it's something you should probably experience a few times so that you become familiar with it.
Go zooming around a football field or park where you know you can go get the drone if it lands anywhere other than home.
 
@Outback Artisan Thanks for your constructive criticism and advice. I never panicked, but when I hit RTH myself I guess I was anxious to say the least.

You’re correct that my experiences with “Low Battery RTH” have been limited even after two years or so of flying. I’m usually close to home at the end of each battery’s flight time, so rarely experienced a Low Battery RTH. I will take your advice about testing it in an open environment to gain more first hand experience of it’s process. Thanks 🙏 👍🏻
 
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@Outback Artisan Thanks for your constructive criticism and advice. I never panicked, but when I hit RTH myself I guess I was anxious to say the least.

You’re correct that my experiences with “Low Battery RTH” have been limited even after two years or so of flying. I’m usually close to home at the end of each battery’s flight time, so rarely experienced a Low Battery RTH. I will take your advice about testing it in an open environment to gain more first hand experience of its process. Thanks 🙏 👍🏻

@Outback Artisan Thanks for your constructive criticism and advice. I never panicked, but when I hit RTH myself I guess I was anxious to say the least.

You’re correct that my experiences with “Low Battery RTH” have been limited even after two years or so of flying. I’m usually close to home at the end of each battery’s flight time, so rarely experienced a Low Battery RTH. I will take your advice about testing it in an open environment to gain more first hand experience of it’s process. Thanks 🙏 👍🏻
@Outback Artisan So I went to my local park and toyed around with a full battery until the RTH minutes ran down and the “Low Battery” employed. It worked as expected and came straight home across the park about 50 metres away.

I see now that it would have done the same when I was 3kms over the ocean and still going further in my original post. Similar process, larger numbers! Am I sorry I initiated the RTH myself. Nope. Lesson learnt, and I still have an Air 3 to fly.
 
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...I see now that it would have done the same when I was 3kms over the ocean...
...As for the "low battery RTH" feature. It will calculate how long it thinks it needs based on range and remaining charge, with a margin for error... Now, it's not perfect

@Squidinc ... the keyword is "not perfect" & in fact something you only should see as a last reminder where you maybe can make it back if the circumstances & margins are on your side. The Low battery RTH isn't something that guarantee a safe return & you shouldn't fly this low on fuel relying on it, especially in flights with greater distances & over water.

If exaggerating a bit to make it clearer... if you fly out with a strong tailwind until the Low battery RTH kicks in... you will lose your drone. This due to that the battery consumption is very low in the tailwind, this will let your drone fly too far out until the RTH turns it around, there with a headwind the consumption will be much larger & the battery will be empty before you reach the HP. The Low battery RTH function know nothing about the conditions your drone will face on the way back.
 
This reminds me how badly max flight time specs are constantly misunderstood, and we get the occasional but regular angry newb culminating that he's "not getting 44 minutes" pick-your-drone

No one flies their drone down to the last 7 electrons in the battery, like the test conditions. That's probably a bigger factor in the shorter than spec time than the perfectly calm, straight-line 12mph test, or whatever the conditions are.
 
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why did you panic & what did you save your Air 3 from by landing it with 58% remaining?
@DeanMassye I never panicked, anxious maybe, yes. In my opinion at the point I hit RTH I wasn’t confident that I would make the entire round trip of circa 10.5klms. I certainly didn’t even consider the “Low Battery RTH” as part of my thought process at the time. Would “Low Battery RTH” got me safely back in very slight wind? We’ll never know, but I’m glad I didn’t test finding that out.
 

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