Random landing's with MacGyver Mod - The solution

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tonyh0905
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Re: Random landing's with MacGyver Mod

Post by tonyh0905 » 17 Mar 2012, 22:22

JG-rn wrote:Happened again today. Now my drone is gone...
??? Gone as in flyaway? or gone as in bits! :(

Mine took a heavy hit today. Stopped responding as if in landing mode but not coming down, just drifting toward some woods, so I had to hit emergency at about 200ft.

Ill post the video later but it ain't pretty. It snapped a shaft and bent the motor pinion, but she'll fly another day :)
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JG-rn
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Re: Random landing's with MacGyver Mod

Post by JG-rn » 17 Mar 2012, 22:48

Fly away. Fail safe took over for some reason and the drone just drifted in the wind into the woods. I was pretty high up.

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Re: Random landing's with MacGyver Mod

Post by tonyh0905 » 18 Mar 2012, 01:04

JG-rn wrote:Fly away. Fail safe took over for some reason and the drone just drifted in the wind into the woods. I was pretty high up.
Sorry to hear that mate. No chance of finding it? Never mind lights, and camera's, gps trackers should be the first mod's we fit to these drones!

It sounds to me like we had very similar experiences. I was flying fairly high too, when I lost control. The drone just started drifting with the wind, which was quite fast at that height, and headed for some woods. After 10-15 seconds of trying to get control back I hit the "LAND" switch, which in the past has brought the drone down quite quickly. Today though this didn't seem to make any difference and the drone kept drifting so I hit "EMERGENCY", and it fell from the sky like it had been shot down!

http://youtu.be/nL57Q-7dces" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

We could fly these drones as Parrot intended staying close to the ground, and within a 50m radius, and doing so they can be a lot of fun. But the MacGyver mod has the potential to transform this expensive toy onto so much more. The only reason I bought the ArDrone was to convert it to RC and try to get some cool aerial video of some interesting places.
Now I find that the mod is unreliable, and I can't fly at the height or range I would like, because I could lose control at any time. The latest crash is going to cost me £50 to repair the damage, and it cost JG-rn a lot more.
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DarkStar
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Re: Random landing's with MacGyver Mod

Post by DarkStar » 19 Mar 2012, 02:52

I would suggest modifying your fail-safe to put the drone in land mode.

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Re: Random landing's with MacGyver Mod

Post by knoxploration » 19 Mar 2012, 04:11

That's exactly what the Macgyver mod failsafe is supposed to do:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AR-Drone-RC-2-4 ... 0733351406" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"Update: all new kits will come with a Failsafe:
This Failsafe will prevent any AR Drone "fly a ways". If the radio goes out of range or the radio is turned off the drone will now automatically be put in "landing" mode. "

If it didn't do that, it's rather alarming. Have you let them know, JG-rn?

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DarkStar
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Re: Random landing's with MacGyver Mod

Post by DarkStar » 19 Mar 2012, 16:39

knoxploration wrote:That's exactly what the Macgyver mod failsafe is supposed to do:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AR-Drone-RC-2-4 ... 0733351406" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"Update: all new kits will come with a Failsafe:
This Failsafe will prevent any AR Drone "fly a ways". If the radio goes out of range or the radio is turned off the drone will now automatically be put in "landing" mode. "

If it didn't do that, it's rather alarming. Have you let them know, JG-rn?
Yes, however you still have to program the fail-safe when you bind the controller to the receiver (you did read that manual too, right?). ;) If you set up your transmitter after you bind it to the receiver without doing a re-bind afterward with your fail-safe settings, you haven't actually set your fail-safe.

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Re: Random landing's with MacGyver Mod

Post by yellowboy63 » 19 Mar 2012, 18:30

A simple fail-safe test would be to hover drone and shut your transmitter off drone should land.

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Re: Random landing's with MacGyver Mod

Post by knoxploration » 19 Mar 2012, 19:11

DarkStar wrote:
knoxploration wrote:That's exactly what the Macgyver mod failsafe is supposed to do:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AR-Drone-RC-2-4 ... 0733351406" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"Update: all new kits will come with a Failsafe:
This Failsafe will prevent any AR Drone "fly a ways". If the radio goes out of range or the radio is turned off the drone will now automatically be put in "landing" mode. "

If it didn't do that, it's rather alarming. Have you let them know, JG-rn?
Yes, however you still have to program the fail-safe when you bind the controller to the receiver (you did read that manual too, right?). ;) If you set up your transmitter after you bind it to the receiver without doing a re-bind afterward with your fail-safe settings, you haven't actually set your fail-safe.
I downloaded the standard manual from the website when I got my Mac mod setup. There's no mention of the failsafe in there at all. However, I have the standard kit which includes the transmitter, so presumably the binding is already done for me.

Let me know if that's not the case, though!

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Re: Random landing's with MacGyver Mod

Post by tonyh0905 » 19 Mar 2012, 22:33

yellowboy63 wrote:A simple fail-safe test would be to hover drone and shut your transmitter off drone should land.
Just to confirm, with the drone in a steady hover I switched off the TX and the drone landed as advertised!

When I had my last crash, I had lost all control and the drone was drifting with the wind , not landing, so I hit the emergency switch. I will admit it never crossed my mind to just switch off the TX and try and force a "fail safe" landing. Worth remembering the next time I'm forced into panic mode. :)
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Re: Random landing's with MacGyver Mod

Post by yellowboy63 » 19 Mar 2012, 23:40

Killing the transmitter in flight would not help (you would get the same end result) drone drifting off slowly as it descends. I think the problem is in the sketch, as the drone lands or fail safe kicks in we lose complete control off the drone this is not the case in the apps. If you could have control when landing or in fail safe mode that would help a lot.

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DarkStar
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Re: Random landing's with MacGyver Mod

Post by DarkStar » 20 Mar 2012, 19:27

I just had a quick thought, if the fail-safe is already configured to put the drone in land mode: If the receiver briefly looses communication, the drone could be put into land mode, but once the connection is re-established the drone wants to continue to land, thus is uncontrollable.

The solution would be to bind the transmitter to the receiver with the transmitter in fly mode, but with the throttle below half-way just a bit so that if a true fail-safe situation occurs the drone will slowly descend.

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Re: Random landing's with MacGyver Mod

Post by Schlauncha » 20 Mar 2012, 21:11

Having a Macgyver Mod system from last summer (so it is on an old outdated sketch since I don't know how to update them - and it flies fine so why bother?) I have never had problems with range. In fact, I put the receiver from the Macgyver Mod into my FPV airplane and according to the GPS I was able to fly it more than 1000 feet away without any control issues, and this was at an altitude of around 300 feet. I also have not had any issues with transmitter batteries, nothing like the people I've read claiming that brand new batteries have been ran down to the low battery light during a single flight. There must be a reason you guys are having these losses of radio control, and based on the ranges I've had no trouble with, it leads me to wonder just what else might be involved. I could see where if you took off and flew around a neighborhood down low and started getting houses in between you and the AR Drone, then reception would obviously be cut short. But without a good way to transmit video back anywhere near as far as the controls, you would be flying blind beyond line of sight anyways.

Just saying... for all the negativity towards this mod... it sure hasn't had a single problem for me.

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Re: Random landing's with MacGyver Mod

Post by rollus » 20 Mar 2012, 21:55

No problem for me at all.

Miru is looking for feedback on rcgroups, with details like radio gear, sketch version, etc..

If those having problems wish I can centralise this here..

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Re: Random landing's with MacGyver Mod

Post by tonyh0905 » 20 Mar 2012, 23:31

Schlauncha wrote:Having a Macgyver Mod system from last summer (so it is on an old outdated sketch since I don't know how to update them - and it flies fine so why bother?) I have never had problems with range. In fact, I put the receiver from the Macgyver Mod into my FPV airplane and according to the GPS I was able to fly it more than 1000 feet away without any control issues, and this was at an altitude of around 300 feet. I also have not had any issues with transmitter batteries, nothing like the people I've read claiming that brand new batteries have been ran down to the low battery light during a single flight. There must be a reason you guys are having these losses of radio control, and based on the ranges I've had no trouble with, it leads me to wonder just what else might be involved. I could see where if you took off and flew around a neighborhood down low and started getting houses in between you and the AR Drone, then reception would obviously be cut short. But without a good way to transmit video back anywhere near as far as the controls, you would be flying blind beyond line of sight anyways.

Just saying... for all the negativity towards this mod... it sure hasn't had a single problem for me.
The last thing I want is to be negative toward this RC mod. The fact that the RC mod exists is the ONLY reason I bought the AR Drone. Sure they're fun to fly with your iphone, but this soon gets boring. The fact you can strap a mini high def camera to one of these things and fly it to a altitude of a few hundred feet is awesome. Add to that you can fit it in a backpack and take it anywhere is the icing on the cake. This is what I am missing, and it is very frustrating.

What I love about forum's like this one and rcgroups, is that when you come across a problem, people will listen , and if they can they will help. As rollus mentioned Miru is gathering information and trying to get his head around the cause of this problem. I feel confident that with the designer of the mod looking at it and with everyone else chipping in ideas and suggestions, we will get a solution.

Then the few of us that are having this problem will be able to enjoy the mod/drone in the same way the vast majority of you do.

Ok.....I'm getting off my soap box now, back to the business of figuring this out :)
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tonyh0905
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Re: Random landing's with MacGyver Mod

Post by tonyh0905 » 21 Mar 2012, 00:46

yellowboy63 wrote:Killing the transmitter in flight would not help (you would get the same end result) drone drifting off slowly as it descends. I think the problem is in the sketch, as the drone lands or fail safe kicks in we lose complete control off the drone this is not the case in the apps. If you could have control when landing or in fail safe mode that would help a lot.
Yellowboy you were right. I just tried a risky experiment and took the drone for a night flight.

When I've had this problem in the past the drone is usually too high, or far away for me to see the motor led's. So I went to the centre of a local playing field and started flying at around 20ft. After 4 to 5 minutes the four led's started to flash green, and the drone descended. It seemed to hesitate as it passed through the ultrasound range threshold, but then settled down and landed. I just flicked the "land" switch back into the "land" position, and then back to "take off" and the drone took off again with no problem.

I then tried taking the drone to about 50ft, and after just a couple of minutes the led's started flashing green again and motor noise dropped as the drone started to descend. Almost immediately the motor pitch increased and the drone climbed again. Because the park was so quiet I could clearly hear the motor pitch raising and falling on this weird 3.5 second cycle, an see the drone bobbing up and down at around 50ft, drifting in the breeze.

I tried flicking the "land" switch to "land", and I tried switching the TX power off, in an attempt to force a "fail safe" landing. Neither of these had any effect but all the time the led's were still flashing green. By this time I was drifting toward some houses so I was forced to hit the emergency switch, which worked and cut the motors. I was very lucky again, the drone fell flat, and auto rotated to a hard landing with no damage.
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