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Advice on Speed and Battery Life

Autelguy

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Hi Guys,

Scenario:
My destination is a mile away. There is no way to get closer to my destination other than by air. I don't need to record until I get to my destination.

Question:
What would give me the most battery life so I have the most time to film once I get to my destination?

Do I try to get there as fast as possible or do I get there at 22mph or even slower? Obviously, putting an Evo into Ludicrous is going to eat up more battery life, but at the same time, I'll get there faster. I know there are trade offs, that's why I'm asking.

What's the recommendation?

Thanks
 

thomasr

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Hi Guys,

Scenario:
My destination is a mile away. There is no way to get closer to my destination other than by air. I don't need to record until I get to my destination.

Question:
What would give me the most battery life so I have the most time to film once I get to my destination?

Do I try to get there as fast as possible or do I get there at 22mph or even slower? Obviously, putting an Evo into Ludicrous is going to eat up more battery life, but at the same time, I'll get there faster. I know there are trade offs, that's why I'm asking.

What's the recommendation?

Thanks

I've done the math - as long as the technology holds up, I figured it would take somewhere between 3-4 minutes to travel 1 mile @ 22 mph on a flight I am planning.

34 will be quicker and eat less battery than 45, but assuming you are getting 20 minutes+ out of a battery, you should be good @ 22 -- assuming no head-winds. You will have used approx 6 - 8 minutes of your flight time in the trip itself.

I am getting really good time and stamina on the battery I have more cycles times on. Still getting my newer batteries caught up through their initial cycles - they are charging and getting a little stronger as expected with each charge.
 

thomasr

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Awesome. Thanks for doing the math for us.
No problem! I even found a tool to the the calculations. It states 2 minutes 44 seconds. The reason I said 3 - 4 minutes earlier are the "unknowns" like wind conditions and if you are piloting directly there or veering off course slightly along the way.

I was estimating approximately 3 minutes and 44 seconds for a 1 mile trip, just to be on the safe side.

It is kind of like planning for solar power. You always leave a little room for inefficiencies and such.

3757

 

OregonDrones

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22 is the most battery friendly. 35 is more practical. Don't do ludicrous as it eats battery.

I always side with 35 in the travel to and from and 22 or 4.5 for filming.
 

G_G

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According to the Autel Head Engineer, the EVO is most efficient at a speed of 15.66 mph. However, given that the 30 minute flight time was calculated under ideal conditions in a laboratory (no wind), presumably only hovering, from 100% to 0% battery, completely bypassing the 10% Critical Battery Autolanding, we have no real world flying time from Autel, even at that most efficient speed, so it is very difficult to determine what true flight time should be. Any calculations of speed over distance will only tell you the travel time, but not the battery consumption required at each speed. Only real world testing can determine that. Anyone wish to contribute their test results?
 

thomasr

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According to the Autel Head Engineer, the EVO is most efficient at a speed of 15.66 mph. However, given that the 30 minute flight time was calculated under ideal conditions in a laboratory (no wind), presumably only hovering, from 100% to 0% battery, completely bypassing the 10% Critical Battery Autolanding, we have no real world flying time from Autel, even at that most efficient speed, so it is very difficult to determine what true flight time should be. Any calculations of speed over distance will only tell you the travel time, but not the battery consumption required at each speed. Only real world testing can determine that. Anyone wish to contribute their test results?
...this person took theirs out approx 10000ft (1.89 miles) and was able to return it home. This one done a lot of looking around and slowing down and speeding up, while filming. A good representation of what is being asked here. If one were to get directly there, do what is needed, not forget to film it or take the photos (lol) - it should be doable.

Especially in just a 1 - 2 mile range. Get it in the air - get it there in a straight path - get your subject - and get back. Anytime you put this thing in the air - you take a risk.






...this gentlemen took his out approx 18000ft (3.4 miles) and that was too far, as he ran out of battery just before getting back and it auto landed. So this gives an idea of how far it may be pushed.




Both of these look to be not to favorable conditions - trees, high voltage power lines -- radio towers (eeek) But they performed as expected.
 

OregonDrones

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22 is the most battery friendly. 35 is more practical. Don't do ludicrous as it eats battery.

I always side with 35 in the travel to and from and 22 or 4.5 for filming.
 

G_G

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22 is the most battery friendly. 35 is more practical. Don't do ludicrous as it eats battery.

I always side with 35 in the travel to and from and 22 or 4.5 for filming.
The head engineer stated the 15.66 mph is the most battery friendly, as being the speed it was optimized for. However 22 mph has to be a very close second, and far easier to maintain, as there is no 15.66 mph speed setting, without manually backing off on the 22 mph speed default, based upon full forward stick in Standard mode. I've been hearing real world flying times of 20-25 minutes at 22 mph, depending upon conditions. I've gotten around 22 minutes to 6% battery at 22mph.
 

drone4u

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What element is not being discussed are gust and wind speed. Even at 100% battery at take-off, wind conditions are most important
 

G_G

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What element is not being discussed are gust and wind speed. Even at 100% battery at take-off, wind conditions are most important
Battery should never be less than 100% at launch! Accepting all default settings avoids a minute or two to reset them all to your preferences. All speed and battery consumption discussions are based upon zero wind. However, when flying out and back, whatever was a headwind on the way out becomes a tail wind upon the return. Never fly downwind expecting to return into the headwind without turning around at 65% remaining. Wind reduces battery life, whenever flying into it or into a cross wind. YMMV.
 
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thomasr

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What element is not being discussed are gust and wind speed. Even at 100% battery at take-off, wind conditions are most important

When I explained how to figure out time it takes to travel distance -- I did mention:

"unknowns" like wind conditions and You always leave a little room for inefficiencies and such.


It isn't just about the wind. Evo will have a different pitch for different speeds. This of course is affected by wind and it's direction -- as it could make the drag hard on the Evo or help the Evo.

It may be better to state, the element not being discussed is basic aerodynamics and or battery chemistry.

People do not think about pitch/drag when flying these things (most of us aren't real pilots, lol) -- as well as other factors like temperature.

Not only will temperature affect your aerodynamics - it will mess with the chemistry in the battery -- and produce different results each time.

This is why Autel or anyone can't give real word numbers -- because it becomes so complex.
 

G_G

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This is why Autel or anyone can't give real world numbers -- because it becomes so complex.
Autel could easily give a realistic range of real world numbers from 100% battery to 10% forced Autoland, based upon user's flight data, compiled on their servers when syncing flight data, from everyone on Android.

They could also easily do their own tests outside, in zero wind, on a calm day, or early in the morning, or at night, when winds die down, at any specified reference temperature. 70°F would be a good average temperature, if available, but any temperature would work.

6 flight times and distances flown should be documented from 100% to 10%.

1. Hovering only at 0 mph
2. Flying at a consistent 7 mph
3. Flying at a consistent 16 mph (their claimed most efficient speed)
4. Flying continuously at 22 mph
5. Flying continuously at 34 mph
6. Flying continuously at 45 mph

Advertising up to 30 minutes of flight time, when that number was only obtained in a hover in a lab from 100% battery to 0% battery, when Autoland forces landing at a minimum of 10% battery, and 25% under default settings, is fraudulent and grossly misleading!

Most users on YouTube are reporting real world flight times of 20-23 minutes.
 

thomasr

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Most users on YouTube are reporting real world flight times of 20-23 minutes.
I never have expected 30 minute flight times -- my expectations were in-line by watching YouTube and knowing how marketing can often times over-hype a product.. From watching my last flight -- in the middle of a landing when I reached my first battery warning -- roughly 20 minutes in the flight(s).

Motors were spinning and taking-off approximately 26 and 44 seconds into the start of me screen recording this flight session.

3896

3898



There is about a 45 second gap from when you see me start the screen recorder until I get in the air. Lots of take-off/landings -- little actual "flying around" I kept the bird in my sights the whole time , but a lot of yawing and hovering -- and up and down movements from ground level to approximately 380 feet.

The EVO's camera was recording just about the entire time - as the BETA firmware actually starts the recording when you take-off ... should you forget. And it stays recording at the end only a small amount of time before it stops until the next.

3895

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3894




This was my first battery warning so it would have flown more before force landing, had I not been in the middle of the landing I was doing at that time. The battery used in this flight had only been cycled 2 times.

My original battery has been cycled 7 or 8 times and easily will get the 22 - 23 minute times claimed by those on YouTube at this same point. The more I cycle these batteries -- and the way they have "performed" as expected: meaning they have gained more time every time I have cycled them -- 30 minutes may not be realistic -- but 25 is starting to look more realistic in my use and getting to know my Evo.

And if right and this even get's close -- 24 to 25 minutes flight per battery -- what's the fuss over being off 5-6 minutes?

To me that is normal for electronics -- over-hyped in marketing while under-performing in the real world. Take WIFI as your example. They always claim glorious fast speed, only for you to realize that you do not get even half of the speed they claim.

but again - not everyone's mileage will be the same.
 
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G_G

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I never have expected 30 minute flight times -- my expectations were in-line by watching YouTube and knowing how marketing can often times over-hype a product.. From watching my last flight -- in the middle of a landing when I reached my first battery warning -- roughly 20 minutes in the flight(s).

Motors were spinning and taking-off approximately 26 and 44 seconds into the start of me screen recording this flight session.

View attachment 3896

View attachment 3898



There is about a 45 second gap from when you see me start the screen recorder until I get in the air. Lots of take-off/landings -- little actual "flying around" I kept the bird in my sights the whole time , but a lot of yawing and hovering -- and up and down movements from ground level to approximately 380 feet.

The EVO's camera was recording just about the entire time - as the BETA firmware actually starts the recording when you take-off ... should you forget. And it stays recording at the end only a small amount of time before it stops until the next.

View attachment 3895

View attachment 3893

View attachment 3894




This was my first battery warning so it would have flown more before force landing, had I not bee in the middle of the landing I was doing at that time. The battery used in this flight had only been cycled 2 times.

My original battery has been cycled 7 or 8 times and easily will get the 22 - 23 minute times claimed by those on YouTube at this same point. The more I cycle these batteries -- and the way they have "performed" as expected: meaning they have gained more time every time I have cycled them -- 30 minutes may not be realistic -- but 25 is starting to look more realistic in my use and getting to know my Evo.

And if right and this even get's close -- 24 to 25 minutes flight per battery -- what's the fuss over being off 5-6 minutes?

To me that is normal for electronics -- over-hyped in marketing while under-performing in the real world. Take WIFI as your example. They always claim glorious fast speed, only for you to realize that you do not get even half of the speed they claim.

but again - not everyone's mileage will be the same.
Good encouraging data point to add to the user database. I never expected 30 minutes either. However, at least DJI cites their conditions for 31 minute flight time for the Mavic 2: "Acquired at a constant speed of 25 kph [15.53 mph], free of wind. Actual flight time may vary because of the environment and use of flight modes." I get about 23 minutes to under 10% on the Mavic 2, flying at a constant 31mph with OA on. On the EVO, at a constant 34 mph, I get 16 minutes. At 22 mph, I get closer to 23 minutes, so there is no way the 30 minutes EVO touts is comparable to the 31 minute's DJI touts. If the only way to extend the EVO battery life to over 20 minutes is to limit speed to 22 mph, which is the speed required for obstacle avoidance, that's a big step backwards to the DJI P4 era (3 years ago) where OA was also limited to 22 mph.

That being said, for me, EVO is about its camera with incredible dynamic range and 4K 60fps, which even the Mavic 2 Pro can't deliver, and EVO's quietness compared to a Mavic Air! Unfortunately, the EVO's lousy video feed beyond 1 mile means it won't be useful beyond 1 mile for video, unlike the Mavic 2 and P4P, which both easily reach 4 miles away in urban environments with stable video throughout for composition.

EVO has its place, but it certainly is no real competitor to DJI. More like satisfying a small niche market, that now includes me, for flights within a mile, where DJI's Nannygate GEO/GEO 2.0 gets in the way! At least EVO can get it up (in the air) everywhere, and at any time! :cool:
 
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thomasr

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That being said, for me, EVO is about its camera with incredible dynamic range and 4K 60fps, which even the Mavic 2 Pro can't deliver, and EVO's quietness compared to a Mavic Air! Unfortunately, the EVO's lousy video feed beyond 1 mile means it won't be useful beyond 1 mile for video, unlike the Mavic 2 and P4P, which both easily reach 4 miles away in urban environments with stable video throughout for composition.

EVO has its place, but it certainly is no real competitor to DJI. More like satisfying a small niche market, that now includes me, for flights within a mile, where DJI's Nannygate GEO/GEO 2.0 gets in the way! At least EVO can get it up (in the air) everywhere, and at any time! :cool:
Correct - the seller for me was range, 4K 60 and no built in Geo-fencing

The only thing I failed to get the memo on - and I am still figuring out when it was changed - are the specs for the wireless part of everything. It was listed as 900mhz and 2.4ghz. The 900mhz part is not activated.

I guess that doesn't really matter, since the battery is only going to give you so much juice. This being said, range is somewhat limited (technically) -- it would travel farther on 900mhz usually than you would 2.4ghz.

I must say though I am impressed with it only being 2.4 ghz though -- as it does seem to get on out there and maintain a relatively good connection despite the channel contention with cordless phones, microwaves and wifi and such sharing the same channels -- as well as no signal issues when flying over trees.

Things like pine needles will screw with a 2.4ghz signal -- some people do not know this unless they have been tasked with shooting 2.4ghz Wifi from one location to another with a few trees in the way... lol
 

G_G

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Correct - the seller for me was range, 4K 60 and no built in Geo-fencing

The only thing I failed to get the memo on - and I am still figuring out when it was changed - are the specs for the wireless part of everything. It was listed as 900mhz and 2.4ghz. The 900mhz part is not activated.

I guess that doesn't really matter, since the battery is only going to give you so much juice. This being said, range is somewhat limited (technically) -- it would travel farther on 900mhz usually than you would 2.4ghz.

I must say though I am impressed with it only being 2.4 ghz though -- as it does seem to get on out there and maintain a relatively good connection despite the channel contention with cordless phones, microwaves and wifi and such sharing the same channels -- as well as no signal issues when flying over trees.

Things like pine needles will screw with a 2.4ghz signal -- some people do not know this unless they have been tasked with shooting 2.4ghz Wifi from one location to another with a few trees in the way... lol
I, too, am disappointed that they either removed the 900mhz band from the production units, or disabled it in firmware. Not sure which. It needs that band to replace the 5.8Ghz band used on the P4P and M2 to achieve a reliable video feed in urban areas out to the rated 4.3 miles! It was also supposed to have been available with a 1" sensor. That also never made it from the hype into reality. With the quality of the current EVO camera, a 1" sensor of comparable quality at 4k 60fps and 100mbps would have been stellar! I'm finding the EVO's video range no better than the original P4, which required amped boosters to reach its advertised range, too! Stock, both crap out at anything beyond a mile, and cannot be relied upon. Oddly, the control signal on the EVO is good well past 3 miles, but the video starts getting gets laggy and drops completely past a mile! Battery life is also a major drawback, even if the video signal is fixed somehow, as at 34 mph, the battery only lasts 16 minutes, compared to 23-25 minutes on the M2 and P4P at 31 mph.

I also discovered yesterday that there is absolutely no way on the Android version of Explorer to monitor the direction of the antennas being pointed at the aircraft beyond visual line of sight! When you click off North Up, it merely changes to East Up, despite their claim that the Android Map settings for antenna orientation existed in both the miniaturized map and the full screen map! At least on the iOS version, in full screen map mode, clicking on the North Up icon changes it to Transmitter Direction Up. However, as soon as you miniaturize the map, the mini map goes back to North Up, and making the map full screen changes it back to North Up! Very annoying, as you cannot simultaneously monitor RC orientation towards the drone and have full FPV!

So, bottom line, Android Explorer scales properly and offers flight logs, but still cannot monitor antenna orientation towards the drone, and has not been updated since October 15, 2018!

iOS Explorer was last updated December 10, 2018 for iPhone only, does not scale properly on any iPad, has no dedicated iPad version, and has no flight logs at all, and has only one way to monitor antenna orientation towards the drone, by manually changing the full screen map orientation every time you go to the full map view, but cannot monitor it at all in minimized map mode, unlike every version of Go 4 and DJI Go going back to day 1 in DJI history! Neither version of Explorer has any update that has been submitted or is even ready to submit to the Play Store or the App Store, despite these and many other glaring deficiencies in both that have been known all along!
Neither version of Explorer is ready for prime time! Autel seems to have run out of talent and resources! :oops:
 
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mavicn00b

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Autel seems to have run out of talent and resources
To me Autel is kinda like the indie-film on a shoe-string budget producing quite spectacular product on a shoe-string budget but its showing its limits with the some of the glaring omissions in the product. Problem is its not really cheaper than the competition so its fair to assume a customer expects certain features/functionality at a same price-point the competition charges (I compare mine to Mavic Pro). If it were a $500 quad like what Fimi pumps out, you could excuse its short-comings but this is a >$1000USD product (assuming taxes paid etc) so some of us feel a little short-changed in some key areas. Hardware-wise the product is there for the most part, with the right software it just feels like it could be so much more.

I'm currently eyeing the Fimi X8 but its current state is nothing short of a s**t-show if RCGroups is anything to go by, Firmware is in development, consumables (batteries, props) are non existent, pre-orders are backed up from December 2018 and god knows what production issues/hardware revisions they encounter along the way.

Back on topic, ludicrous *could* be efficient depending on conditions. Flying downwind since it caps itself to 45mph/72kph so the drone isnt pitching itself forward as much. Yes it chews more battery but since you're flying faster the end result could be the same. The motor RPM is missing in the telemetry so you dont really know how hard its working. Safest is to just assume 22mph/36kph with OA off entirely for max battery life as wind conditions can be highly variable.
 

G_G

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To me Autel is kinda like the indie-film on a shoe-string budget producing quite spectacular product on a shoe-string budget but its showing its limits with the some of the glaring omissions in the product.
The Android Play Store download counts of Autel Explorer vs. DJI GO 4 are very revealing. Explorer shows 1,000+ downloads. GO 4 shows 1,000,000+ downloads.
EVO Android app users are less than 0.1% of DJI Android users, or DJI has roughly 1,000 pilots for every EVO pilot. Definitely a tiny niche market. Still love the amazing dynamic range of the EVO camera in 4K at 60fps and 100 mbps! Rivals the M2P which can only do 30fps in 4K!

Back on topic: according to Autel, 22mph is indistinguishable from their most efficient 15.6mph speed, and a lot easier speed to fly at, by accepting the default Standard speed of 22mph at boot up. So fly out at 22mph. However, if time is of the essence, and what you know you want to shoot at your destination is fleeting, better to get there in Ludicrous mode at 45mph, losing some additional battery life, and catch part of it, than none of it at all, by arriving too late at 22mph! For planning purposes, to extend flight time at your destination, always also return at 22mph, regardless of what speed you arrived at, unless you are trying to beat the rain, or run into a headwind where it is flying backwards, assuming you left enough juice to make it back in Ludicrous mode! Otherwise, plan on ditch landing in one of several safe locations you have preplanned for along the return route, and hike back to it, or drive there to retrieve it, before someone else finds it, and it disappears! Good luck!
 

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