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RTH: Which Function Is Best to Use

Ray&Paula

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Hi, I would like to know in your opinion, which one of the three RTH functions is most commonly used and why? Smart RTH, Low Battery RTH, or Failsafe RTH. Thanks, Ray :)
 

tcope

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Only one is a manual thing (Smart RTH) so only one is "used". The others are an automatic response. If you are not sure what they are, you may want to read the online manual for more information (page 12)

Smart RTH is when you push the RTH button on the controller to make it RTH.
Low battery RTH is an automatic response when the drone reaches a battery charge that would only allow it to get back to he homepoint. It can be manually cancelled.Failsafe RTH is when the controller is disconnected from the Mavic for 3 seconds.
 
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Logger

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I use Failsafe quite often owing to an recent issue where my S9+ phone loses USB connection for no obvious reason. Only way to fix it is to power cycle the RC which triggers the RTH. No connection for 20 seconds while I reboot to recover USB. As soon as the RC comes back to life I cancel it though.

I use Low battery RTH occasionally but most often I cancel the alert, prevent it triggering and keep flying. I find it to be too conservative. Where I fly I can readily outland if my judgement fails .
I use Smart RTH extremely rarely. Mostly to demonstrate how it works.
That's my order of usage and why ;)
 

Jameslavis

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RTH is only used for me if I lose connection. Only happened once. RTH is a solid cause of crashes.

I use RTH to hover over water so it doesn’t land in the drink if disconnected. Home point RTH if over land.
 

Ray&Paula

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Only one is a manual thing (Smart RTH) so only one is "used". The others are an automatic response. If you are not sure what they are, you may want to read the online manual for more information (page 12)

Smart RTH is when you push the RTH button on the controller to make it RTH.
Low battery RTH is an automatic response when the drone reaches a battery charge that would only allow it to get back to he homepoint. It can be manually cancelled.Failsafe RTH is when the controller is disconnected from the Mavic for 3 seconds.
Thank you for the great info. I downloaded the pdf manual and looked at the RTH section as you mentioned. Lots of great information there. Lots of options in which I figured would depend on different situations. The best this for me as a newbie is to get out there in a wide open area and play with these different modes. Thanks again for the help. Ray Thumbswayup
 

Ray&Paula

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I use Failsafe quite often owing to an recent issue where my S9+ phone loses USB connection for no obvious reason. Only way to fix it is to power cycle the RC which triggers the RTH. No connection for 20 seconds while I reboot to recover USB. As soon as the RC comes back to life I cancel it though.

I use Low battery RTH occasionally but most often I cancel the alert, prevent it triggering and keep flying. I find it to be too conservative. Where I fly I can readily outland if my judgement fails .
I use Smart RTH extremely rarely. Mostly to demonstrate how it works.
That's my order of usage and why ;)
Wow.... Glad to hear you had the right function turned on. 20 seconds would seem like a long time. When you cancel any of the the alerts you mentioned, does that cancel the RTH for that flight in which you have to fly back to yourself manually? Thanks again for the info. Ray :)
 

Ray&Paula

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RTH is only used for me if I lose connection. Only happened once. RTH is a solid cause of crashes.

I use RTH to hover over water so it doesn’t land in the drink if disconnected. Home point RTH if over land.

Sounds like good settings..... In regards to losing connection, I've read a few different times that the remote will flash intermittently during flights showing loss of connection. I'm sure that's due to GPS signal going in and/or out. In the manual it states that Failsafe mode will automatically RTH the drone if signal loss is 3 seconds. Does that 3 seconds become a nuisance due to the intermittent signal loss? Very smart to have it hover over water as you mentioned with the RTH over land. These were great tips! Thanks, Ray Thumbswayup
 

Logger

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Wow.... Glad to hear you had the right function turned on. 20 seconds would seem like a long time. When you cancel any of the the alerts you mentioned, does that cancel the RTH for that flight in which you have to fly back to yourself manually?
Yes - Cancelling the Low Battery RTH alert means it will allow you to keep it flying around until 10% when it will autoland wherever it happens to be. So you need to be comfortable that you can get home. But you could still press the button at any point to trigger a Smart RTH if need be. No guarantee it will have the battery left to get home though.

Failsafe RTH can be used again in the same flight even if it has already been used then cancelled. So if will trigger again if you power off the RC a second time or or fly behind an obstacle that cuts the uplink for >3 seconds.
 

Ray&Paula

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Yes - Cancelling the Low Battery RTH alert means it will allow you to keep it flying around until 10% when it will autoland wherever it happens to be. So you need to be comfortable that you can get home. But you could still press the button at any point to trigger a Smart RTH if need be. No guarantee it will have the battery left to get home though.

Failsafe RTH can be used again in the same flight even if it has already been used then cancelled. So if will trigger again if you power off the RC a second time or or fly behind an obstacle that cuts the uplink for >3 seconds.

That's great to know! I'm thinking that setting the RTH Low Battery alert around 15 - 20% would be good especially when you have VLOS in which is the law but, I plan on doing that anyway. Thanks for explaining what I can do for the different situations. Ray Thumbswayup
 

InvisibleName

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That's great to know! I'm thinking that setting the RTH Low Battery alert around 15 - 20% would be good especially when you have VLOS in which is the law but, I plan on doing that anyway. Thanks for explaining what I can do for the different situations. Ray Thumbswayup

As a beginner, I'd recommend setting to no lower than 25% - you never know, even with LOS, when you might have more problems getting home than you expected - e.g. high winds, distractions etc

I'd also recommend that you actually stay away from RTH and work hard at honing your flying skills so that flying it back to you becomes 2nd nature. If you become too dependent on RTH and things go wrong, you don't want to trying to fly while in 'panic mode'!
 
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neggy

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I have the RTH functions set up, but I have only had to hit the panic button once in 11 months, at my house in Florida when the drone failed to respond to inputs from the controller.

These forums are full of WTF's that happened when someone counted on the RTH and it either failed or was not set up properly.

example: hit the RTH, I was under trees, the drone shot up to the 90 meters the machine was set for and drove itself into a tree.

example: flew out expecting the low battery RTH would bring it home, but it could not overcome the winds in the area and it died a valiant death trying to get back to me.

example: flew out past VLOS, signal loss, set to hover not return to launch point, drone now AWOL

By all means program the RTH functions..... low battery, loss of signal return to controller location, return to take off location, etc, but don't use them for normal flight, consider them your parachutes and hope you never have to use them.
 

Ray&Paula

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As a beginner, I'd recommend setting to no lower than 25% - you never know, even with LOS, when you might have more problems getting home than you expected - e.g. high winds, distractions etc

I'd also recommend that you actually stay away from RTH and work hard at honing your flying skills so that flying it back to you becomes 2nd nature. If you become too dependent on RTH and things go wrong, you don't want to trying to fly while in 'panic mode'!
You are so right!! Learning taking off/landing I.M.O. is more important than relying on RTH. I'm sure I'll be using RTH but, I need to actually learn to do it on my own. I'm a manual kind of guy. LOL..... Thanks again, Ray :)
 

Ray&Paula

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I have the RTH functions set up, but I have only had to hit the panic button once in 11 months, at my house in Florida when the drone failed to respond to inputs from the controller.

These forums are full of WTF's that happened when someone counted on the RTH and it either failed or was not set up properly.

example: hit the RTH, I was under trees, the drone shot up to the 90 meters the machine was set for and drove itself into a tree.

example: flew out expecting the low battery RTH would bring it home, but it could not overcome the winds in the area and it died a valiant death trying to get back to me.

example: flew out past VLOS, signal loss, set to hover not return to launch point, drone now AWOL

By all means program the RTH functions..... low battery, loss of signal return to controller location, return to take off location, etc, but don't use them for normal flight, consider them your parachutes and hope you never have to use them.
I ABSOLUTELY agree! I would freak if I saw my Mavic Air shoot up into the tree as in your example. I definitely can see all those situations happening....... Bad day. Thank you for some enlightenment. Ray :)
 

Logger

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That's great to know! I'm thinking that setting the RTH Low Battery alert around 15 - 20%...

Understandably a bit of confusion here because the terminology is poor.

There is a Low Battery Level Warning and there is Low battery RTH / Aircraft Battery Smart Return Home (which also has a warning!!).

The latter one related to RTH is dynamic and you cannot set it apart from turning it off. It warns you when the drone is reaching a still air Point of No Return with regard to battery and says "the A/C will return home in 10 seconds" or words to that effect. If you do nothing RTH triggers, or you can cancel it.

The Low Battery Level Warning which you can adjust (15%-50% ) is simply a battery warning reminder and is not directly related to RTH. It can be very annoying as you cannot turn it off and it bleets at you. Confusing part is the manual suggest you may want to Tap "Go Home" or Cancel to resume normal flying when u get it. But you have to initiate the Go Home - it is not automatic.

Just think of the one that you can adjust as the annoying beep.
 

Ray&Paula

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Understandably a bit of confusion here because the terminology is poor.

There is a Low Battery Level Warning and there is Low battery RTH / Aircraft Battery Smart Return Home (which also has a warning!!).

The latter one related to RTH is dynamic and you cannot set it apart from turning it off. It warns you when the drone is reaching a still air Point of No Return with regard to battery and says "the A/C will return home in 10 seconds" or words to that effect. If you do nothing RTH triggers, or you can cancel it.

The Low Battery Level Warning which you can adjust (15%-50% ) is simply a battery warning reminder and is not directly related to RTH. It can be very annoying as you cannot turn it off and it bleets at you. Confusing part is the manual suggest you may want to Tap "Go Home" or Cancel to resume normal flying when u get it. But you have to initiate the Go Home - it is not automatic.

Just think of the one that you can adjust as the annoying beep.

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I do understand that if you get a RTH low battery warning it's telling you that it only has enough power to RTH therefore, it starts to return to land. Hopefully that won't happen simply due to headwind, obstacles, etc.. I believe it doesn't account for that. As for the Low Battery Level Warning setting, I'll probably set it at 15% and go from there. The last thing I want is constant beeping, especially during the early stage of learning. Thanks again, Ray :)
 

dwallersv

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RTH is only used for me if I lose connection. Only happened once. RTH is a solid cause of crashes.
I'm sorry this has been you're experience. It certainly doesn't match that of the vast majority of DJI drone owners. Rather, RTH works effectively and reliably.

Perhaps you have a defective unit?

For the record, I'm not defending DJI. In fact, I basically despise the company.
 

dwallersv

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As a beginner, I'd recommend setting to no lower than 25% - you never know, even with LOS, when you might have more problems getting home than you expected - e.g. high winds, distractions etc
Some confusion here... Smart RTH has nothing to do with the low battery warning setting in GO4, which defaults to 20%. All this does is set the point at which GO4 will annoy you that your battery is running out.

Smart RTH (there is no "low battery RTH") can kick in with more than 50% battery. It's triggered when the drone calculates that, based on distance, altitude, and battery level, it can just make it back with a power reserve around 15%. There is no setting to affect when Smart RTH kicks in.
I'd also recommend that you actually stay away from RTH and work hard at honing your flying skills so that flying it back to you becomes 2nd nature. If you become too dependent on RTH and things go wrong, you don't want to trying to fly while in 'panic mode'!
This tends to be a controversial, sometimes heated topic. Suffice it to say that opinions, with merit, vary widely.

I take the exact opposite take: One should use RTH regularly and keep their familiarity with it's operation, and control behaviors while in process. IMO, it's far worse to be confronted with an unfamiliar situation, and then unfamiliar behavior and operation. When your bird goes RTH on you is not the right time to try and remember how it's going to behave, respond to control inputs, etc.

Also, as a long-time RC pilot (it was electric Helis before drones) I'm rather bored with flying back. I've done it enough, especially given that RTH is relatively new technology in this scope. To me, it's no different that cruise control in a car, and has no negative impact on my skills to use it (just like cruise control). I use it all the time to come home when I'm far away, and simply monitor the flight, sometimes pushing pitch forward to get it home faster, while letting the bird to the navigation.

IMO, it's a mistake to come down on either side of this argument. One should practice flying back manually, and flying back with RTH regularly, so that skills are kept fresh, as well as functional and behavioral knowledge of automated behavior.

THAT will minimize the chance of error, and/or disaster.
 
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Logger

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Some confusion here...

Smart RTH (there is no "low battery RTH") .....

Well actually there is Low battery RTH. But I am not going to get bogged down in semantics. So long as we all understand how the system works, you can call it whatever you want ;)

DJI MAVIC Air user manual page 13.

upload_2018-6-3_14-54-55.png
 
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JoelP

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I am still trying to understand the finer points of the MA. While I can understand why I should turn off the downward sensors while flying over water, I cannot understand the reason for turning off the RTH in favor of Hover when flying out over water. I presume your home point is over dry land, so why not leave well enough alone? If it loses contact won’t it just hover over the water until it runs out of battery then drop into the drink? Or, does it always RTH when losing contact regardless of setting it to hover in place?

In the other hand if I were flying in APAS through the woods it would seem hover in place may make more sense than RTH where it might try to go to an unsafe elevation from within the woods.
 
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