Hello colleagues.A 23-kilometer mission is out of this world. Am I correct in assuming that most of that mission was flown beyond the RC signal range? If so would this mean that you disabled smart RTH in the drone's settings before takeoff?
I took the scenic route which meandered a bit just in case gravity reared its ugly head at any point and downed the drone mid flight. In traversing the skies above that sprawling palm tree plantation for example, I flew the drone directly over the service roads that run north south along my flight path. That way if I had to go look for the drone it would more likely be on the ground than up a tree I'd have been granted no permission to fell.What are the reasons for choosing such a winding route? On what basis were waypoints placed?
Cool. What is your maximum signal range, without using the LSMC feature of Litchi waypoints, where you can still fully control the camera throughout the flight?View attachment 170439
As twilight set in here next to the Equator, I decided to better my previous Litchi waypoint record distance traveled in a single flight by increasing the cruise speed from 27 mph to 29 mph, and was thus able to squeeze another couple of miles out of the Ali Express jumbo battery that made these epic drone flights possible.
My new Litchi waypoint distance record now stands at a lucky 13 miles round trip, with the Mavic 1 Pro landing at 15% battery on a day with mild evening winds. Now that I know the absolute maximum distance this drone can cover when fitted with the extra capacity battery, my future flights will likely cover no more than 12.5 miles, to leave a more comforting margin of error in case the winds pick up in the wrong direction en-route.
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Leaving obstacle avoidance sensors on would have limited the Mavic 1 Pro's speed to 21 mph, so I made sure I de-selected them all, while also switching off smart (low battery) return to home since that would have kicked in too early for this distance record attempt to succeed. In essence there was no safety net for this nail-biting distance record attempt, and now that I definitively know the maximum range of this battery, all my subsequent flights will cover no more than 12.5 miles round trip.
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So what was the maximum distance away that you were still able to control the gimbal from the elevated height of the 60 foot water tower? Just curious what the stock max signal range is in an ideal environment with clear LOS.Due to the flat terrain here with lots of trees all around, I typically see the RC signal stutter and fail about a mile out, beyond which I have no video feed, and no control over the camera gimbal pitch, which I typically pre-set at minus 20 degrees downward tilt. Residing out in the Third World sticks far beyond the jurisdiction of the FAA and CAA. flying beyond visual range is perfectly legal, hence my liberty to probe the ragged edge of flight battery longevity during autonomous Litchi waypoint missions.
Because I wanted the entire flight path to be traced in my Air Data flight logs for this distance record attempt, I retained RC connectivity for most of the flight by clambering up a 60-foot water tower adjacent to my house and was thus able to monitor the video feed and even adjust the gimbal's downwa4d pitch during the sortie. Despite having the luxury of real-time video feedback during this flight, I did mutter a prayer or two to appease the drone gods on the home stretch when the battery level dipped below 25%.
With a disclaimer that I am in no way affiliated with the seller of the extra-capacity Ali Express battery that made this feat possible, I must mention the fact that the drone and the battery were both merely warm to the touch and not hot at all, on arrival after zipping along at 29 mph for a half hour. Zero overheating concerns are testimony to DJI engineering and also to the design of the after-market super battery that amazingly sells for a price that is BELOW the far less capable stock battery for my Mavic 1 Pro.
Nothing beats flying from an elevated location over lower ground for optimal signal range! Get on top of your roof, the top of the nearest water tower or antenna structure, or the top floor of the tallest building or top floor of a parking garage, or fly from a mountain top! When flying from the ground over flat, level ground, even the curvature of the earth will eventually degrade your signal!For my first of two distance flight trials during which I stood atop the 60-foot water tower, I maintained buttery smooth gimbal tilt control as the Mavic 1 Pro looped a triple orbit around a point of interest located 5 miles away, on the banks of a swamp whose lower elevation likely offered better RC signal reach.
On this second of two distance record attempts whose route traversed a landscape with height above sea level similar to the home launch point, the video signal began to stutter at just 2 miles out, after which that unsettling Litchi intonation of the words "Warning! Disconnected" would occur intermittently as the red-bannered screen froze, only for video feedback to be restored a few hundred yards further on. The treeline and other line-of-sight obstacles likely have a greater signal attenuating effect when the launch point enjoys little or no "height advantage" over the course of the flight path.
I hear ya about all those bulky hardware mods that serious drone hobbyists devised to maximize range in earlier times. But for tightening drone restrictions in the industrialized West, the gear required for very long-range drone flights would shrink in size and weight while offering range enhancements that dwarf earlier iterations of the science. One would hope that with time, rules governing flights in rural areas will be relaxed so that responsible, safety-conscious drone fliers worldwide can utilize the full awesome capability of the modern consumer/hobbyist drone.
I purchased one of these batteries and have made a couple of short (30 minute) flights. I plan to do a flight testing the endurance.View attachment 170220
Well fellow armchair aviators I finally went for broke today in seeking to establish a personal distance record flying my trusty Mavic 1 Pro fitted with this phenomenal game-changing jumbo battery still on sale with Ali Express. The test flight was successful beyond my wildest aspirations, with the drone completing the epic voyage and soaring into view for landing with just 15% remaining on the battery after covering a round trip distance of 61,280 feet or 11.64 miles while cruising at a set 28mph, under full autonomous control of Litchi's wondrous waypoint planning facility, whose praises I simply cannot sing loudly enough.
Winds were calm so the assigned cruise speed was maintained for 95% of the round trip. Normally, when my drones are off on long trips beyond the horizon, I typically power down the controller and relax indoors until my alarm alerts me that the drone is inbound with 5 minutes left to arrival, at which point I step outside and land the bird manually.
This time, however, I as determined to ensure that Air Data recorded and plotted the entire flight path, which meant that I had to scale a 60-foot water tower beside my home to ensure that connectivity between the drone and controller was not interrupted for the entirety of the flight, so that I could post the full flight path here as proof that this feat of distance flight actually did take place.
If anyone is on the fence about buying one of these extra-capacity batteries, I sayeth verily unto thee that you MUST buy one NOW before they are no longer available, since such oversized batteries are only ever going to be of interest to a very small niche audience of hard core drone operators who also happen to reside far beyond the jurisdiction of the FAA and CAA. In other words, from a marketing perspective, these batteries may not prove profitable enough to continue producing due to the small sales volume they will rack up. Get yourself a jumbo M1P battery on Ali Express TODAY and you won't be sorry.
My concluding observation therefore is as follows " "Yeeeeeeeeehaaaaaw ! God bless Armenia!
I also noticed that the locking mechanism for these after-market batteries doesn't click audibly when the battery is pushed into place, so your idea of adding a zip tie as an additional safeguard is brilliant.I purchased one of these batteries and have made a couple of short (30 minute) flights. I plan to do a flight testing the endurance.
One thing I noticed is that the locking mechanism isn't very good. I plan to use a couple of zip ties to feel confident that the battery isn't going to separate.
I feel like kamikaze drones have broken new ground in tactics in this war.It is surreal to sit here in a nation at peace reading the forum messages of a fellow drone enthusiast whose hobby is at this very moment helping to shape the destiny of his nation. Just as Slawaw provides an eye in the sky, FPV pilots flying racing drones are now in the thick of the action flying one-way missions. Drones command respect where it matters most, and the stakes are highest.