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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterAerial Photography and Video › Does telemetry REALLY work? DJI, MK, Hoverfly...?
11-11-2012 12:51 PM  7 years ago
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i-fly-aerials

rrApprentice

Arizona, USA

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Does telemetry REALLY work? DJI, MK, Hoverfly...?
Hey all,
I'm at an indesisive crossroad...I am about to order a heavy-lift quad but am not sold on any of the 'bells and whistles' that so many people use these days. It seems almost every time I hear of an issue (whether its a crash or an issue on the ground before lift off) it almost always relates to the flick controller or GPS or other computer-related technology on the copter. In my eyes, there are three widely used choices these days...DJI, MK, and Hoverfly, but I have heard of malfunctions with every one of them that leads to frustrations and often crashes.
Now I'm debating if I want ANY kind of GPS or return to home or hover position hold functions on the order I'm about to place. I don't much need way-point navigation but I had every intention of having a system that would offer the above mentioned functions (RTH, HH).
I'm interested to hear if you have any input or advice on issues you may have had, or maybe you went with one of these Flight controllers and have had zero issues.
Flying in manual mode all the time isn't a huge deal...before all these toys came out its hour we all flew...I would just cry if I am paying the extra scratch to have a fancy GPS van system on my octo and that what ends up downing the copter...
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11-14-2012 04:46 AM  7 years ago
i-fly-aerials

rrApprentice

Arizona, USA

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At this point I'm guessing the simple answer is 'No'.
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11-14-2012 10:56 AM  7 years ago
JoeB1

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Ireland, Wicklow

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If I had one of those systems I would help you as much as I can. Maybe it is because I am Irish Maybe you will get a reply now
What heavy lift quad did you go for? I am building an DIY AP rig and I am looking in that direction for my next project. I might go for an octo.
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11-14-2012 05:19 PM  7 years ago
R Hudson

rrKey Veteran

Denver, CO

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I understand your apprehension with this. I have not used Hoverfly or MK but I have had one WK-M and two NAZA systems. One NAZA standalone and one NAZA w/GPS. I personally have had good luck with DJI but I have read about others who have not. Now, some of that is user error but when DJI ackknowledges a GPS glitch known to cause rollovers I fully understand why one would lose faith with DJI. However they are working hard to handle the recall and get people squared-away ASAP.

My NAZA GPS hexa is my favorite so far. It flys great and holds a tight pattern very nicely in GPS mode.

The plain and simple fact is that this equipment is "hobby grade". If you look at, for example, commercial or military grade telemetry, GPS, flight control systems the quality is on a whole different planet but so is the cost.

It is pretty flippin' amazing the features we get on these "hobby" systems at the prices we pay.

I think we ALL are just a little bit crazy for trusting our many dollars of gear to any of these hobby grade systems but people do it every day and some have achieved very high levels of success.

Sometimes things go wrong. I know someone who had a nice heavy-lift Octo carrying a Sony FS700 and it submarined on him while flying over water.

I guess it's the standard risk vs. reward.

A suggestion, albeit more time consuming, would be to build a test quad (smaller and cheaper), set it up, test fly to make sure everything is behaving well on multiple flights and fully-testing all settings, then transfer that system to your heavy lift machine once it has been "field-rated". At least then you have a cheaper guinea pig to test with first.
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11-14-2012 07:00 PM  7 years ago
steph280

rrElite Veteran

Irvine, California

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I've been playing with MK for a few years and while their return home has been solid, there were couple software revisions which cause odd behaviors and sometimes lead to crash. So the lesson learned for me is, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But I wanted the new features so with them comes the risk of new bugs being introduced into the software.

I agree with R Hudson about the test quad. Now I would only test new softwares on a backup ship before putting it on the full blown camera hauler.
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11-15-2012 02:18 AM  7 years ago
i-fly-aerials

rrApprentice

Arizona, USA

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Appreciate the advice...putting the system on a beater quad is a good idea for sure.
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11-17-2012 07:10 PM  7 years ago
bv13

rrNovice

park city utah

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why do you not want to fly?
I always like the term, " keep it simple stupid " I would rather pay a camera operator and fly my heli than wonder if today is the day I come home empty handed.
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01-05-2013 08:46 AM  7 years ago
Josh Moen

rrApprentice

Denver, CO

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I've been flying a MK system on a Cinestar 8 since august without any problems. I've done a couple of waypoint flights just to try it out, it's cool but I don't think I'd ever really advertise that function. Although I did use it once to document a construction project that took several months to complete,(I put it in the same spot every week with the same nick angle on the camera and Point of Interest) the results came out quite well. I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for. I've also had some good luck with the Naza-M with GPS on a smaller Hexacopter.Thanks,

Josh Moen
Team Synergy Factory Pilot
Team Scorpion
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01-06-2013 06:20 PM  7 years ago
Yeehaanow

rrApprentice

Vermont

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The hoverfly OSD is decent. It doesn't point to home.
The gps features work decent, but my NAZA was much better.

If you are attempting FPV, then I would say get the NAZA. Easy on the wallet and works very well when returning to home.

If you want a really smooth flying board then I definitely recommend the hoverfly.

Never tried MK.

EDIT- For heavylift- The DJI doesn't do well with big props.
-Tim
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01-07-2013 01:41 AM  7 years ago
i-fly-aerials

rrApprentice

Arizona, USA

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Thanks for the recent feedback. Went with MK on Cinestar 8...
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