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I lost my tri-copter need advice on GPS return to home

#1
Hi
I built a tri-copter the same as David's (rcexplorer.se) and managed to get 3 good flights out of it. The 4th flight was the last time I saw it. Basically I lost orientation and and it just got further away and it dropped into a farmers field and despite searching several times its gone. Bummer!!
Afterward i though that's it I'll never have nothing to do with copters again. Didn't last very long and I want to try again. I've been looking around and my local model shop sells the DGI phantom with its return to home option. The DGI looks very good but its a bit expensive around £350 in the UK. Is there a way to do this with David's tri and the KK2 board with some extra electronics.

Thanks for any advice

Keith
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#2
Just get a different controller board with GPS capability, like the Ardu pilotMega, APM for short, or what I did was use the multiwii pro board and loaded Megapirates FW. Now I can use the flight planner just like APM...
 

Cyberdactyl

Misfit Multirotor Monkey
#3
Man. . .sorry! I know the feeling SO well.

The only thing I can offer, is before the farmer plows or whatever, you can possibly have a chance by getting another multi-rotor with the camera pointed down about 45 degrees and do a search from around 150 feet.

I've tried that, but mine went down in heavy woods. I'm going to try again when the leaves fall, in around a month. I would love to get it back. I realize most will be ruined, but the bell and stators might still be serviceable, the bearings will almost certainly be rusted beyond hope. Maybe even an ESC or two since they are wrapped well with shrink.
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#4
I suffered the same fate with the loss of my tri-copter. I am sure it went down in a farmer's pasture. I was not able to find the darned thing! Argh!!!
 

adao2001

Junior Member
#5
Today I lost my tricopter too.

Hi
I built a tri-copter the same as David's (rcexplorer.se) and managed to get 3 good flights out of it. The 4th flight was the last time I saw it. Basically I lost orientation and and it just got further away and it dropped into a farmers field and despite searching several times its gone. Bummer!!
Afterward i though that's it I'll never have nothing to do with copters again. Didn't last very long and I want to try again. I've been looking around and my local model shop sells the DGI phantom with its return to home option. The DGI looks very good but its a bit expensive around £350 in the UK. Is there a way to do this with David's tri and the KK2 board with some extra electronics.

Thanks for any advice

Keith
I'm sorry to hear about your lost copter. Today I lost my tricopter too. It fell in a neighborhood across the river. I'm glad no one got hurt. Even though I had a return to home option, I could not bring it home since the radio signal was lost. So lesson learnt, is that not to go to far, or to program a failsafe to RTH when RSSI is weak. It is dark now. Tomorrow morning I will start looking for it. No, you can't use the KK2 board to return home. You would need for ex. an APM from diydrones. A DJI NAZA will not support tricopter.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#8
Need to get yourself a cheap fishing rod and some decent size weights. Some heavier test line can help, too. It might take a few casts but I have so far been able to get them at least out of the tree and mostly with minimal damage.
 

Cyberdactyl

Misfit Multirotor Monkey
#11
Yes, make a 'bolo'. A thin cord with a concentrated mass. A few large nuts wrapped with a piece of thick cloth. Tie like a teardrop. Wrapping with cloth is better than merely stringing the nuts. Stringing the nuts get snagged much more easily. Then swing underhanded. Much like what tree removal crews do and use to loop branches to tie heavier rope to.

I know. . .I've had to do it twice!
 

FJ1200

Junior Member
#12
I am in the same boat. My Quad just flew away this morning. I am new the quad thing so I am kind of sure that an experienced pilot could have saved it. It went up and I had no control. It circled a couple of times but would not take any or at least very little in put from me. It went out of site in to a large stand of 100 foot tall pins. I look put did not find. I am not sure put it might be still heading west.
 
#13
high sorry to hear that but you should get the hobbyking multiwii pro 3329 mtk gps i have a fue off these bords they are a bit more expensive but they have position hold & return to home so you should never lose one again hope this helps .multirotor mad ...
 
#14
I've decided to go for a quadcopter using the arducopter flight controller. A guy called Peter King in the UK builds them and test everything for a reasonable price £270 for a F450 has some great video's on youtube. So I'm going for this and if I get on well then I build a tricopter again with the same setup.
Thanks for all you replies, seems loosing a quad/tri happens to quite a few of us.
Keith
 
#16
Tracker units!

There are several trackers available to you for future builds. At the cost of multi rotors I'd surely install a backup transmitter to find the unit if it went down.

One would be the APRS trackers used by Ham Radio Operators. The other is the WIFI/Blue tooth trackers on the market. Then there is the old way of putting a down aircraft alarm in the copter with beeper and flashing LED. That could be tied into a 2.4GHz transmitter to turn the transmitter on when the aircraft looses your transmitter signal. Then use a directional wifi antenna and a cell phone with wifi or other device to direction find the wifi signal from the aircraft.

If I was doing it I'd install a small UHF transmitter tied into the down airplane alarm and use a Baofeng UV5R radio and directional antenna to find it. But what ever system you decide to use practice with it ahead of time!

73:)
Jimmy, ARRL TS, WX9DX

Link below:


http://www.ebay.com/sch/items/?_nkw...12&_fpos=&_fspt=1&_sadis=&LH_CAds=&rmvSB=true
 
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makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#17
It may be overkill, but I have APM installed on a fixed wing plane (FT Blunt Nose Versa) with RTL capability, but if that still fails me, I also have a OpenLRS (433MHz RC control system) where the "receiver" is actually a transciever and can not only send telemetry (RSSI primarily) back to the "transmitter" but also has a failsafe mode where after 1 minute of no RC input, it will turn on a "beacon" feature where it transmits a tone -- the "Close Encounters of a Third Kind" tones on the FRS band.

With that, you only need a cheap FRS radio (I use a motorola one from the early 1990's) modified with a directional antenna -- or if you're really good with fox hunting using only an omni, you don't need to modify it!
 
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jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#18
I use the openLRS with openLRSng and the beacon as well...and still almost lost my quad twice despite it.

The first time was one of my first times flying FPV and I didn't realized how far away I had got, battery started to get low and winds were too high to get back - tried but battery suddenly dipped and I fell from the sky. Unfortunately pack drained too low to keep the RX going so no beacon despite me having it setup and having my 4 element 440mhz Yagi I built and used for satellite comms a few years back. Can't hear it when the battery goes too low to keep it going :(

Second time my PPM wire broke and failsafe didn't kick in on the RX. I had telemetry on and never got a beep about lost signal because the RF signal didn't drop. Beacon never activated.

The brotronics openLRS board (only available from MRSS as far as I know) handles this by having a secondary backup battery to keep it going even if your main battery goes out.


I've used APRS quite a bit but never found it very reliable. Too many poorly configured trackers and digi's creating a mess on the standard frequencies so packets get lost left and right. You can run it on your own frequency...but with no digi you're not going to get very good coverage without carrying a fairly heavy radio/battery.

I know a number of people use bluetooth trackers but the range is pretty horrible so it's only good if you're able to zero in on a fairly small area to search. I did back one such setup on kickstarter recently since it was only $20 and they claim to have a good RF section and antenna that gives their above average range...but I'm not expecting miracles and will be amazed if it lives up to their claimed 500ft range...and even then 500ft isn't going to help a whole lot with a missing multi. Both times mine flew off it landed much further than that.

Best insurance - put your name, phone and address on it in a way that can't wash off and is easy for people to see and read. Then hope someone finds it and does the right thing. That was what brought mine back the second time. (First time it just took an hour and a half of searching on foot in the desert - but I had a good idea where it went down since I had video up until 10ft off the ground as it was falling.)
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#19
I second jhitsma's comment that the best insurance is your name and contact details printed on the aircraft. I lost one of my versa wings on a first FPV flight attempt, forgot there were trees between me and a pond I was flying over, let the altitude get too low, and you know what happened. This was actually what motivated me to install an APM in my next build. I thought I would have to go back to the pond to rent a rowboat when the boathouse opened to retrieve my plane, but it washed ashore and someone called me up saying they found my plane before the boathouse even opened up!

My versa now has APM, openLRSng w/ beacon enabled, and a label with my contact details printed and taped to the top.
 

William A

Billy did it....
#20
I picked up a 'Marco Polo'.

Probably never get to use it as intended.

Ain't that the case, as soon as you get a spare anything, you'll never need it ?