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My first Litchi mission, Yzerfontein, West Coast, South Africa - lost connection with MA for 10 mins. Scared me to death!

Andy England

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This was my first Litchi mission.

I'm still trying to gain confidence in the technology, but had an agonizing 10 mins when the connection was lost. I jumped in the car and drove off to a higher viewpoint hoping to regain a connection.

Only to find that the MA was already on its way home.

Must try to trust the app, and the MA, but how do you guys feel when the drone dissappears from sight and connection is lost? I'm going to end up a nervous wreck!

 
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Mossiback

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The complete Litchi mission is uploaded to the Mavic so the mission can continue if connection is lost. Unfortunately, if a strong enough head wind is encountered it may lose ground until a low battery forces it to land. Good luck finding it then.
 
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53-63-6f-74-74

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That's ambitious for a first mission. It took me a while to work up to something like that, even with my P3S. I always use Virtual Litchi Mission to check the flight multiple times on the PC, making note of where the aircraft will be at certain times during the flight and estimating points at which I may lose connection due to terrain. Even then, I don't like the connection loss for more than a couple of minutes. There's risk involved in losing the connection and line-of-sight, you have to weigh it accordingly to stay safe.
 
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FL AV8R

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Thanks for the post, Andy. Good work! Am curious about one thing, though: did you plan for the drone to get THAT close to the tower at one point (as observed in video), or was that attributable to GPS error in your opinion? Not knocking you if it was intentional whatsoever, but am just curious if you planned it that close or were surprised. Thanks.
 

Treeofliberty

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My biggest problems with loss of signal have been around the TV antennas on the mountain behind our house (South Mountain park in Phoenix, Arizona). Could that tower have been the problem? I'm speaking from ignorance as a newbie with my M2P.
 

Andy England

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Thanks for the post, Andy. Good work! Am curious about one thing, though: did you plan for the drone to get THAT close to the tower at one point (as observed in video), or was that attributable to GPS error in your opinion? Not knocking you if it was intentional whatsoever, but am just curious if you planned it that close or were surprised. Thanks.
It came as a bit of a shock to me as well, and just goes to show that even in Google Earth the 3D image can be misleading, especially in areas where perhaps the satellite scans are less accurate for smaller structures.

In future I will fly the MA to the POI and create way points manually and then set up the rest of the mission on the PC. I didn't intend for the fly by to be so close!

Another valuable lesson learnt.
 
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Andy England

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My biggest problems with loss of signal have been around the TV antennas on the mountain behind our house (South Mountain park in Phoenix, Arizona). Could that tower have been the problem? I'm speaking from ignorance as a newbie with my M2P.
I don't think the loss of signal was due to the tower, but losing line of sight from the RC. I was worried about the effect of the cell tower signals, but flew manually a few times around the tower with no interference or loss of signal.
 

Andy England

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That's ambitious for a first mission. It took me a while to work up to something like that, even with my P3S. I always use Virtual Litchi Mission to check the flight multiple times on the PC, making note of where the aircraft will be at certain times during the flight and estimating points at which I may lose connection due to terrain. Even then, I don't like the connection loss for more than a couple of minutes. There's risk involved in losing the connection and line-of-sight, you have to weigh it accordingly to stay safe.
Yes, I will not be repeating this again unless I launch from a higher elevation to remain in contact and LOS.
 
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Andy England

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The complete Litchi mission is uploaded to the Mavic so the mission can continue if connection is lost. Unfortunately, if a strong enough head wind is encountered it may lose ground until a low battery forces it to land. Good luck finding it then.
Agreed, I avoid flying when the wind conditions are too strong (10m/s) and take into account wind direction.
 
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Andy England

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It’s normal


Many of pilots have made that mistake


10 minutes sound like 3 miles out

Be careful and I’ll leave it at that
Yes its difficult to know how to balance the risks against having a successful flight. I limit my Litchi missions to 10 mins to give a safety margin for total flight time (+/-20 mins). Won't make that mistake again in losing LOS, so that I can maintain connection and see telemetry and flight conditions.

Still a lot to learn.....
 
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cdonovin

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If someone could tell me where I need to go to get more info on the litchi google map update. I was trying to set way points and the sat image is REALLY old. Thanks in advance
CD
 

Rodcast

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“Must try to trust the app, and the MA, but how do you guys feel when the drone dissappears from sight and connection is lost? I'm going to end up a nervous wreck!”

I used to love to fly Litchi missions and was also a nervous wreck waiting for my mavic to come home. I flew over 75 missions and got used to it until the day my mavic didn’t make it home. I now have a mavic 2 pro and am slowly working up the confidence to start using Litchi again. By the way, I don’t think Litchi was the cause of the problem but still hesitant due to the larger investment in the mavic 2 pro.
 
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cdonovin

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How far out did u put your way points out I generally will not go more than 4000 feet out ...as they say "out of sight" "out of my mind"........... with worry
 

Andy England

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“Must try to trust the app, and the MA, but how do you guys feel when the drone dissappears from sight and connection is lost? I'm going to end up a nervous wreck!”

I used to love to fly Litchi missions and was also a nervous wreck waiting for my mavic to come home. I flew over 75 missions and got used to it until the day my mavic didn’t make it home. I now have a mavic 2 pro and am slowly working up the confidence to start using Litchi again. By the way, I don’t think Litchi was the cause of the problem but still hesitant due to the larger investment in the mavic 2 pro.
Yes its difficult to balance trying to get the most out of the technology and the rewards of getting fabulous video/photos and the risk of losing your investment and the stress you have to experience every time you do a mission.
 
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Andy England

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How far out did u put your way points out I generally will not go more than 4000 feet out ...as they say "out of sight" "out of my mind"........... with worry
The round trip was 3.1km with the outward bound leg about 1470m (4800ft) so yes it was a bit ambitious. My biggest mistake was to launch from my home and as soon as the MA disappeared over the rise, connection was lost. Will in future launch from a higher vantage point to maintain connection (hopefully)
 

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