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Major FREAK issue

CD_156

Junior Member
#1
Hi, I've been flying the VDQ250 from voodoo quads for about 5 months. This unit has around 50+ flights.
I was flying Friday afternoon on my third battery, came in and landed, set down my radio, started tightening the battery strap, set it back down and it took off full speed. Out of nowhere. Grabbed my radio, but the thing was up high and over residential by now. I was in my park at the time which is where I fly. I dumped it as soon as I could. Can’t find it anywhere. Talked to all the neighbors which are pretty cool, checked their back yards where it went down, nothing. Checked roof tops etc. When I grabbed my radio I had no throttle control.

Have you ever heard of a short circuit like this? Or the quad becoming rogue? I had LED’s on it that might have shorted, that’s one thought, would that start the motors? I have never had interference of any kind up at this park, but who knows. I crashed it a few times, mainly on grass and one tree, hit concrete mildly once but only 3 feet off ground, so maybe loose circuitry? I had FPV gear on it, but was not using it at this time, could that have caused it to freak out in some way? I’ve been flying R/C for 25 years, so I’m trying not to think it was pilot error, but I keep going back in my head….the throttle was at zero and it took off full speed. Parts List below.

Has this happened to anyone else you know of or heard of? I would hate to think I’m the only one right now, but can’t find anything on-line. Super LAME.

Thanks for any support & guidance.

12amp VooDoo HP Series Speed Controller Simonk

2.4G Receiver DSM2 AR6110E 6-channel

Flight Controller Mount

GEMFAM Black 5X3 propeller 4 pc set.

Naze 32 Flight Controller WITH Pressure Sensor and Mag

VDQ250/280 Quadcopter
(Bottom Deck Size: 250mm - Swing 5" prop max)

VooDoo HP series motors 2300kv

Zippy Compact 1300mah 40c-70c
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#2
Quads going 'rogue' and flying away by themselves is quite common.

Sounds like a failsafe fail to me.

Was the transmitter turned on when you started 'tightening the battery strap'?

Had you tested failsafe on the Naze AND on the receiver?
 

jipp

Senior Member
#4
nope, but i fear that day. knocks on wood fail safe please do not fail me.

did your RX have a fail safe too? maybe one ignored the other.. but if you had no throttle why would it go.. shrugs.



chris.
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#5
Test failsafe twice and put your name on the copter. Flyoffs happen and this is how you prevent them or get your copter back when all else fails.

You aren't done building until you have tested failsafe.



With the props OFF!, spin the motors and then turn off the transmitter. The motors should stop (or do whatever failsafe tells them to do).

Turn the transmitter back on and the motors should respond as per usual.

Now with the motors spinning, disconnect the receiver from the flight controller. The motors should stop (or do whatever failsafe tells them to do).

There are two tests here to test for two different circumstances. You are testing loss of signal from the transmitter to the receiver and testing loss of signal from the receiver to the flight controller (think crash or broken receiver signal wire).

It is common for receivers to default to 'continue last instruction' when you lose signal between the transmitter and the receiver. It is common for flight controllers to go to WOT or to 'continue last instruction' when signal is lost between the receiver and the flight controller.
 

jipp

Senior Member
#6
i have to admit. im still a little confused about fail safe.. i will test thins next time to see what happens..


as the only fail safe i saw was in the software and it dis arms after 5 seconds.. but i think this is different from the other fail safes.. as i did not see any other fail safe options in the GCS.

chris.

p.s
just thought of your FC test, i accidentally tested this when i was trying to configure my quad up. as the RX cable to the FC was lose.. and at a certain RPM it would vibrate the RX cable lose.. the result was motor did not spin.

so i guess that must be the default for my situation,. i have no tested the lost signal by turning off the TX tho. i did buy a paint pen. oil based, to date my battery's i guess ill go ahead and put my name and # while this is on my mind.

chris.
 
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CD_156

Junior Member
#7
Wow, you guys are great. I've never used a post forum. Yah, behind times a bit.
I read all replies, I did not test fail safe that well so SHAME ON ME IN A BIG WAY. It's been awhile so I'm not even sure how I set that up. I left all settings the way I was told to set the quad up, it flew great, so I left it alone. Never again. Sorry to all you sportsmen...seriously, I feel embarrassed and now $600 down the drain. I'm new to quadcopters, but not to R/C flying (planes, heli's). Heli's have the fail safe and other safety mechanisms, not sure why I did not think more about that with the quads. Thanks again for all the feedback so quickly.

cranialrectosis = I will follow what you said to a T next time.
 

Cyberdactyl

Misfit Multirotor Monkey
#8
I realize it's too late now, but did you have a arming/disarming beep? If so, one option is to walk around and disarm. . .and listen. Walk another 100 feet and do it again. I've recovered mine a couple of times now by doing that in deep woods. I also have my fail safe to simply shutdown the motors. It IS a risk if you fly over houses, cars and pavement, but I rarely do that. As I said in another thread, I try my best to imagine it dying at any second.
 

jipp

Senior Member
#9
here is a tip if you buy a paint pen.. test it the same day. mine is dead.. and i have no idea where the receipt is.. blah.. there goes 5.00


welcome to the forum by the way.
chris.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#10
Another tip to help find lost/downed craft is to enable beacon mode on your ESC's if you're running SimonK or BLheli. Then after a timeout with no signal the ESC's will start chirping. It's not as loud as an actual beeper...but every bit helps when you're searching for a missing craft! In BlHeli it's an option like all the others - one for timeout and one for volume. In SimonK I know you can enable it if you use RapidFlash to do the flashing. I haven't used simonk in long enough to not know how to do it manually for other flashing methods.

I'd also suggest an engraver. I've had my name on all of mine in ink/paint but it keeps chipping off and I worry about it's ability to last through a crash/recovery. So I finally dug out my engraver. At least on CF frames it worked quite well - (Though better on some than others.)

Something like a Tile https://www.thetileapp.com/ may also be helpful, but it's range is limited so you'd have to get close before it really helps.

Having suffered a flyaway I'm pretty religious about putting my name on things since that's what brought mine home. I'm also a lot better about making sure to test my failsafe after ANY configuration change. Both by cutting power on my TX and by pulling the RX wire loose from the FC.

But...I'm still not sure what could cause this particular situation. The board would have had to arm itself and throttle up to do this and I just can't imagine how that could happen without it getting a signal from a bound TX.
 

Cyberdactyl

Misfit Multirotor Monkey
#11
There is one caveat to putting your name on your MRs. And admittedly, it is an unscrupulous calculation. That is the risk your craft does serious property damage as it impacts. But the odds your quad comes down and ricochets off the hood of a 2015 Mercedes S-Class is unlikely. So putting your name on your MR is much more likely to be a positive outcome if it gets found.

I've strongly considered the bluetooth devices, but the odds it gets buried in brush or is laying flat close to the ground (when you need it the most) is fairly likely, making the marketing range of 100ft optimistic at best. My gamble is the battery stays connected and the FC is not damaged. I can hear the disarming beep 150ft easily. Of course with surrounding noise such as traffic or strong wind blowing through the woods or trees that can drop by 50%. The loss of signal beep is nice too.
 
#12
I've had one 'Gone Rogue Multirotor' (let's call it GRiM, because that how the situation could end up).

I got SO lucky that mine caught ground, flipped upside-down, and was basically turned into crappy lawnmower mode. I was able to grab it...but man I could barely hold onto my wee lil 250mm w/ 6045 props going at full bore. Lemme tell ya..you really get put in your place and learn a lesson the first time you lose complete control of your quad at WOT. My issue? Loose RX > naze board. Now I doublecheck my failsafes and wiring.

Another thing I did not realize initially...RESET YOUR FAILSAFE IF YOU CHANGE PROP SIZES! . When I tune, I play with lots of different prop sizes. 10 inch props push way more air than 8 or 9 inchers (generally speaking). If you set your failsafe to slowly descend with 8inch props, and then switch to 10's and leave the same failsaife throttle number...you can easily be creating a situation where when your failsafe kicks in it actually makes your copter ascend...instead of descending. Bad bad bad. Same goes for switching between 3S and 4S etc..(edit: and even when switching between teeny 1300mAh and 3000-4000mAh batteries...AUW changers)

I set my failsafe to a semi-agressive descent when tuning, and I usually find large fields. But when I'm in closer quarters, I set the throttle # to produce a rapid & agressive descent in auto-level to prevent it from getting too far away.
 
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jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#13
There is one caveat to putting your name on your MRs. And admittedly, it is an unscrupulous calculation. That is the risk your craft does serious property damage as it impacts. But the odds your quad comes down and ricochets off the hood of a 2015 Mercedes S-Class is unlikely. So putting your name on your MR is much more likely to be a positive outcome if it gets found.
IMHO if you're worried about crashing somewhere that having your name on it is a liability you shouldn't be flying there in the first place.

I've found since I started putting my name on them I'm a lot more responsible about where I fly ;)

Plus with LRS you legally have to have your identifying information (callsign and name) - though since my LRS RX died that's less of an issue for me :)


nextmoneypit said:
I set my failsafe to a semi-agressive descent when tuning, and I usually find large fields. But when I'm in closer quarters, I set the throttle # to produce a rapid & agressive descent in auto-level to prevent it from getting too far away.
I decided it's not worth the to me to try and do a dumb controlled descent. Too many things that can go too wrong. Even with my failsafe set to 1 second detection and 1 second of lower speed props before disarming (so 2 seconds before dropping like a rock) it scares me how far my mini's can go before falling out of the sky when I've needed failsafe to save me.

On a bigger setup...I may do something else...but I'd want sonar or at least baro to give some feedback on descent and do it intelligently - and none of the open source controllers do that out of the box right now.
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#14
I put my name on my copters, and carry AMA insurance in an effort to be responsible. That is the point. Having someone return a lost copter because my name is on it is a secondary consideration.

Like jhitesma, I use the 'fall out of the sky' failsafe. I feel it is the most reliable. I don't want props spinning on the ground. When things go wrong, I want the props to stop and the board to disarm.

I also learned my lessons like nextmoneypit. I botched a flip on my hex and cratered it upside down into the sand where the receiver promptly broke free from the Naze32. The copter went to WOT and tried to tunnel its way to China. By the time I could grab it and disconnect the lipo, 4 motors were seized due to sand and the lipo was burning hot.

I had set failsafe on the receiver but not on the Naze and it cost me 4 motors and a few cuts on my hands. Still, it could have been worse.

Now, I test failsafe every time I have the props off.
 

Cyberdactyl

Misfit Multirotor Monkey
#15
Yea, the' drop out of the sky like a rock' is probably the safest mode. It won't be spinning on the ground for a little kid to come up to and try and pick up, it won't slowly drift down into traffic. And lastly, there's a chance of at least getting back the remains because it won't fly to God knows where. But as I said, if you assume you can loose control at any second is the best assumption to make.
 

CD_156

Junior Member
#16
Thanks again to ALL!!!!
Just to add to anyone who reads this. It was armed, radio ON, quad powered up. I simply was flying for 2 minutes, then landed to adjust and tighten the battery strap (it was sideways a bit), so it makes sense I lost signal some how adjusting the battery. It did not power up or down on the adjustment either because I would have heard the famous beeping Naze 32 sound. On my next build, I'm doing everything you guys mention before flight.

The not so funny part to all this guys/gals, is that I did a ton of research and even had really good over the phone guidance on the programming and set up, except FAIL safe rules. Somehow, we all need to spread that word or maybe I did not read the fine print in all the documentation. Or maybe it was just not made important....seems like this is the most important part (aside from removing props before testing which was engraved in my head when reading up on the sport). So after reading all the comments I immediately called my brother who has the same set up as I "had" (tears)...and told him about this. He did the minor fail safe set up which I'm sure I did, but NEVER TESTED IT. So he went right away and started looking into it to get that fixed before his next flight.

Thanks people!
 

jipp

Senior Member
#17
i probably should not admit this.. when i feel like im losing control of my rotor, i just kill the throttle and let it drop. probably better ways to go about it.. but so far this has worked and the mini 250 size seem to hold up to such punishment.. so yeah i have a lot more work to go before i try a larger AP machine.. as i would not want to kill the throttle unless i had no choice.

chris.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#18
Ahh...armed when it happens makes sense. I misunderstood the circumstances described in the first post :)

jipp - nothing wrong with that. First thing I tell people when I start teaching them how to fly my multis is "If you get confused, if you get lost, if you get scared or anything else you're not comfortable with....kill the throttle. Preferably down and to the left to disarm". I use my Twitchity 230 for noobs and being a small light CF frame I'm not worried about damage from it falling. I'd much rather have them crash and break a prop or even an arm than have it fly away or go somewhere we can't get it because they panicked.

Even on my more breakable builds - I'd rather it crash and need some repairs than be gone. So for me the first thing I drill into people is "down and left if anything goes wrong. I can rebuild from a crash a lot cheaper than I can rebuild a lost vehicle!".
 

jipp

Senior Member
#19
well i glad iv been doing it right.. and you are right its cheaper to build from scraps than nothing! i also understand how after while in this hobby one has a shelf of parts to build a second quad from.. i know im starting to gather parts i think i will use, but may not this time around.

iv been looking at the EMAX 12A ESC.. and reading the programming of it.. see if it would be worth the 10.00 for the programing card. i do not think so. as it seems the defaults are pretty much made for multi rotors.

however, id id read this which made me think of this thread.

"Auto motor shutdown if signal is lost"

and this one..
"Safe power on protection (motor will not start if transmitter throttle is in the on position when power is connected) "

so that would be consider a ESC fail safe ?

chris.
 
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Balu

Moderator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
#20
My colleague just lost his $200 Electrohub Quadcopter I built for him because he didn't follow the simple "If you feel something is wrong, drop it like its hot" rule I had to learn myself (I was lucky though).