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Autel failure and pilot error...lost drone

Miteehigh

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I bought my first Evo 2 Pro in October. Everything was going great until it didn't. On that last flight my drone lost communication and was lost. I contacted Autel and they wanted my flight records. Problem...no flight records had ever been recorded. I bought a replacement drone in December. Subsequent to my second purchase a hiker in the wilderness came across my drone and through a fortuitous series of events I recovered my lost drone. Undamaged.,..A few weeks later, flying my replacement drone which I had fitted with a tracking device was lost due to my error...again no fllight records. I contacted Autel and finally contacted a tech who was able to resolve my flight record problem...but no recoverable flight records. My wife and I spent three days, dodging cactus, rattlesnakes (this is the mountainous desert) and climbing up and down mountains until we were able to locate the second drone by the Marco Polo tracker. Had it not been for the tracking device, I would certainly have permanently lost the second drone.

Lessons learned...1. do not tell the drone to return home when at maximum altitude and a higher obstruction lies in its direct path.
2. Do not back away from the object you are filming without full awareness of what lies behind the drone.
3. Check that your Explorer app is recording your flight records.
4. A Marco Polo tracker is a cheap investment compared to the cost of a replacement drone.

I now have 2 drones with five batteries...life is good and I hope my mistakes help another pilot.
 

Stillers

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I use a Tile tracker. It's got a reverse alarm so if I can't find my phone then I can use the drone to track it. When you spend as much as 30% of your day looking for **** that was just in your hand, that's a key feature.
 

Alaska

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I use a Tile tracker. It's got a reverse alarm so if I can't find my phone then I can use the drone to track it. When you spend as much as 30% of your day looking for **** that was just in your hand, that's a key feature.
Tile is only good up close and with a cell phone, unless you are in an urban area with lots of other Tile users. MarcoPolo is a stand alone, no cell or bluetooth needed and can be found up to 3 miles away. Out in the wilderness Tile would not help much.
 

kenautelevo2pro

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when I read "...I can use the drone to track it" I take that to mean he can use a different drone to fly out in the wilderness and attempt to locate his lost drone using tile application. is that correct?

btw, I also attach a vifly beacon for audible alerts. maybe you can't hear it a mile away but close to it. once I had almost stepped on my drone before I could find it so it would be nice to hear it when it's dug in or atop a tree. I think of it as the precise location leg of the gps search similar to a plb.

 

Stillers

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when I read "...I can use the drone to track it" I take that to mean he can use a different drone to fly out in the wilderness and attempt to locate his lost drone using tile application. is that correct?
.

That's not exactly what I meant but now that you spin it that way....... If an Antenna tracker can track a drones antenna then why couldn't it also tell another drone where to go "find" an antenna it's tracking.....Now you got me thinking.....
 

kenautelevo2pro

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That's not exactly what I meant but now that you spin it that way....... If an Antenna tracker can track a drones antenna then why couldn't it also tell another drone where to go "find" an antenna it's tracking.....Now you got me thinking.....
yes if you can figure out something, let us know. :)
 

Miteehigh

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Excuse me for intruding. The location of a lost drone is determinable from the Explorer App latitude and longitude of the drones last recorded position. That will get you very near a lost drone. Beyond that a tracking device on the drone will locate the drone. I have had the experience of losing and recovering a drone. Ultimately the GPS location and a tracker will locate a drone. One still needs to walk to the drone's location. Now if someone can devise a way to eliminate that walk I will be all for it.
 

Stillers

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yes if you can figure out something, let us know. :)
Well I dont think it would be very difficult for someone proficient in code. I mean the drone is already reporting its GPS location. And most drones have programming ability built into the software. When you set a waypoint mission, its flying to GPS coordinates that you entered, more or less. So all of the roads are already built for the drone to fly automatically to a set of coordinates. All that needs done is to build a bridge between that and the tracking software. Someone whos proficient in either Android, Linux, or Arduino could probably do it relatively easy Id say.
 

herein2021

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Lessons learned...1. do not tell the drone to return home when at maximum altitude and a higher obstruction lies in its direct path.
2. Do not back away from the object you are filming without full awareness of what lies behind the drone.

I now have 2 drones with five batteries...life is good and I hope my mistakes help another pilot.

That is very odd that it will not fly over the obstruction. According to the app's own verbiage if it encounters an obstacle higher than its RTH altitude it will continue to ascend until it clears the obstacle. Their text specifically reads:

The aircraft will fly home using the Go-Home Altitude or current aircraft altitude, whichever is greater. If Forward/Backward Vision System is enabled, the aircraft will ascend to avoid obstacles when detected.

Did you have the Vision System disabled? If not then either this is a bug or their text is wrong. For Lesson 2 as well, it sounds like the Vision system was disabled, my EVO II is so sensitive I have a hard time getting it to move sometimes if it even thinks something is nearby. I have noticed that the Vision System is one of those settings that if you ever turn it off it will not re-engage until you turn it back on; unlike the DJI drones where it will automatically turn back on when you restart the app.

Also, it is easy to think the system is active when it is not because it will still show you the range to obstacles unless you turn off this display as well. Everything about this situation to me sounds like the vision system was off.
 

verticalflyer

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From what I can tell, Autel stores the config settings on the controller or drone and not within configs associated with Explorer. The reason why you can launch the app and see N/A or change configs and then connect it up to the controller/drone and the settings get populated or changed back to what they were the last time they were changed when connected to the controller/drone.

From what I've seen, there are no config files or config database that Explorer is accessing from local storage except for mission and flight log data.
 

UasDriver

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stores the config settings on the controller or drone and not within configs associated with Explorer.
I've been wondering about that, anyone made changes in explorer then just un-plug the tab/phone n fly with just RC?
 

verticalflyer

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I've been wondering about that, anyone made changes in explorer then just un-plug the tab/phone n fly with just RC?

Someone else may be able to chime in but I can say that I have not. From what I've seen though the settings should stick and stay the next time a flight is done, even without Explorer.

Are you still rocking and rolling with the RC only?
 

UasDriver

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you still rocking and rolling with the RC only?
yup, made it to 17 degrees and sunny yesterday, shot film for 20+ minutes, hit RTH and landed better than I could.
My wife's phone will probably work, but no way I take it to fly, but If I could tweak camera settings, unplug and go.....I'm there
 

verticalflyer

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yup, made it to 17 degrees and sunny yesterday, shot film for 20+ minutes, hit RTH and landed better than I could.
My wife's phone will probably work, but no way I take it to fly, but If I could tweak camera settings, unplug and go.....I'm there

Awesome. I'm still amazed you've held out that long on doing with just the RC.

You've got a good amount of control material already. Best way to find out is to make some changes and go do some shooting and then compare the EXIF data between what you've had prior and to what you changed it to with the phone. Shouldn't be too much of short test in the back yard with a few pics to find out if the settings stick.
 

herein2021

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From what I can tell, Autel stores the config settings on the controller or drone and not within configs associated with Explorer. The reason why you can launch the app and see N/A or change configs and then connect it up to the controller/drone and the settings get populated or changed back to what they were the last time they were changed when connected to the controller/drone.

From what I've seen, there are no config files or config database that Explorer is accessing from local storage except for mission and flight log data.

It definitely stores the config on the drone...know how I know? Because I fly with a custom color profile and if you leave the tablet on, app running, and remote powered up, but take out the battery from the drone and put in a new one, it resets the color profile back to neutral. Also, I have noticed that sometimes the app refuses to show the camera settings while flying, almost like it is waiting for an acknowledgement back from the drone before it will show you the camera menu. DJI drones never did that. The worst your transmitter signal, the less likely you are to get the settings menu to appear in a timely manner,

I'm still not sure why it doesn't save the camera profile settings, every other camera I have ever used has always kept the settings between battery changes and reboots.
 
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UasDriver

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Awesome. I'm still amazed you've held out that long on doing with just the RC.
I like simple, i did complex for a living, it paid well and kept my brain churning, the thought of dragging a bunch of cables n boxes and induced problems, makes my stomach churn ;)
 

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