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I had an amazing flight with my Slow Stick and 400mw 1.2 system on Sat. It was a warm clear day, so I handlaunched my plane and began to climb at about 1\3 throttle, all the while watching screen. I became so confident in flying while watching the screen that I never looked up to see how high I was, and soon I could see all of Silver lake, all of Fenton, and even Fenton lake, which is at least two miles north of my house! It was the best view, totally enthralling, and I suddenly realized that I better look and see where exactly in the sky my plane was. It was completely out of sight! I freaked out, yelled for my wife to come and search the sky while I watched the screen. I pointed my plane at these three huge apartment buildings that are right behind my house and went into a shallow dive and waited for my wife to spot the plane. It took at least three minutes before it finally came into sight! I cannot believe how high I was! I must have caught a thermal or something! Anyway, I landed safely in my backyard, but had quite the adrenaline shakes for the next ten minutes. Just thought I would share with ya all. Any ideas or guesses how high I was? I really have no idea, couldn't even begin to guess.

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Yep, its very exciting when that happens. I did much the same but lost the video link for about ten seconds, it seemed like hours to me.My spotter could only just make out the plane and was no help in guiding me back, I just had to wait for the video to come back.

Terry

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You lost the video for TEN SECONDS?? That really would seem like hours! Man, things like this make me dream about a GPS overlay! Do you know how to boost the range of my controller? I worry that I'll fly out of range because I suspect that my video range is greater than my controller range. Its very easy to fly much farther away than I realize, until I look up and the plane is just a speck in the distance!

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Your right, my video range is greater than my controller range these days but this was when I only used 10mW and a basic patch for receiving. I would lost video at any point from 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile but it would pop back in at some point. The safest way is to use a GPS automatic return system like the PDC10.

Terry

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Gday,

I was just reading this (and loving it).

I am looking at getting back into RC after a 15 yr layoff and am really taken by the UAV

scene.

Just as a poor mans answer I recall that when leaving the RC arena last time manufacturers brought in a safe mode foryour controls incase you lost Tx to the Rx.

In other words you could set your rudder slightly left, elevator slightly up and throttle to idle position should the aircraft loose incoming radio signals.

At least this could provide you with some sort of last ditch recovery. eg. your way high and loose video. You may not know if you have control or not so turn the TX off. May give you enough time for some sort of recovery position.

Regards,

Peterr

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Hi Peter, nice to hear from you. Yes we all I think use fail safe recievers but most of us use them to switch in better systems like an auto pilot. On their own they help but are limited in what they can do, by linking my one to a PDC10 it will steer back to the take off point using GPS. The minimum I would recomend is to use a co-pilot or hal2001 system to level the plane (this is what I was using when I lost video from my plane ) bu it is still scary !

Terry

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thanks for that info Terry. do you have a link to the PDC10 ?

Its all a big learning curve for me.

Here is another question. maybe I should ask it at the top of the forum. However, do you think it is mandatory to have a strong understanding of electronics to be successful in UAV's

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How hard is it to integrate the PDC10 and the Co-Pilot? I am very interested in this safety measure, and also dream of someday having the GPS overlay on my screen so I can see how high I am, where I've been, and where I'm going. Everything looks vastly different from the air, and I've only been able to tell where my plane is by video by using huge ground refrences, such as the highway, the apartment complex behind my house, and a massive self storage complex. I could never hope to find my house amid all the other houses just by video, so I fly in my general direction while looking up at the sky until I catch sight of it to fly it back and land after my flights.

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Electronics is not mandatory but its a big help. You can buy most bits as plug and play items so you just need to link them and set them up. The co pilot is almost essential if you are using a PDC10, the basic idea is to connect the co pilot to the ailerons to keep the plane level while the PDC10 steers it to the destination with the rudder. I think I got the PDC10 from UNAV, Im not sure if they still sell it but there are alternatives if you look around.

Terry

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You bet. Just for the record Yb2normal is Bill Strong who owns Black Widow AV. Thats the smallest hobby UAV I've seen. He can program waypoints into the naked geko GPS and have it fly itself to an extent, or just put his home location into the GPS and tell it to "goto". If he loses sight or gets lost or gets hit or whatever, the PCM radio will enable the PDC-10 to perform the goto and come home. The plane will loiter overhead to an extent. The reason I say to an extent is because I don't believe he's using an altitude hold unit. The Co-pilot will level in pitch but the plane is still subject to altitude changes in thermal's, sink, lift changes in wind etc. But for short distances and fair conditions it works excellent. Sweet little unit.

Dan

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Thanks Kd7ost! That is exactly what I've been wanting to build, except I would really look into a altitude hold. I love my slow stick, but was wondering if there were small enough components to build a UAV of this size. Now I want to contact Y2Bnormal for more details. It seems like a very nice complete package without costing thousands of dollars. I especially like the tilt on the camera.

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Are you using the GP patch that I sold you for the video? I was wondering how well it was working for you.

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Yeah, I'm using the GP patch. Its working beautifully. I have at least as much video range as controller range, and maybe more. I actually think my range is somewhere around three miles, but don't have a powerful enough controller or a GPS return to home device to test this safely.

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I'm glad it's working so well for ya. I've got one on my 2.4 Ghz setup and it works equally as good.

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