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Stuck in 50M Hover Drama

Rok

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My first hexacopter is a salvage project; bought second hand; it was a crashed Typhoon H with a couple of broken arms and damaged camera mount.

It was quite pleasing to discover that it required only a few $$$ and a couple of nights of tinkering to restore its airworthiness.

A few practice sessions in the neighborhood park inspired the courage to venture out to a local R/C model aircraft park in search of bigger safer air space for some serious maneuvers.

Darwin Alert - Having read the user manual; and not recalling any serious warnings about interference from other R/C transmitters; I gave only a minimum of consideration to the other model aircraft operating in the area; as well as the high tension power lines a mile away. There was also a huge automated pumping station nearby; but, it too was dormant.

Excerpt from the Typhoon H User Manual follows -


• Do not attempt to operate your aircraft in areas with potential magnetic and/or radio interference including areas nearby broadcast towers, power transmission stations, high voltage power lines, electrical storms, etc.
• Always keep a safe distance in all directions around your aircraft to avoid collisions and/or injury. This aircraft is controlled by a radio signal subject to interference from many sources outside your control. Interference can cause momentary loss of control.


So; unperturbed; I moved off to a far corner of the park determined to make some low level practice runs on my first fully charged battery.

At this point; my dodo bird instincts had not yet started to tingle.

Sunny clear late afternoon sky; mild 5MPH breeze; a few hikers coming and going; in a few minutes we were airborne.

The brave little UAV hovered at 10 meters or so; went through all of the controls: yaw, pitch, landing gear, etc.; climbed up and out quickly in a 45 degree ascent to 50M; then disaster struck.

What happened next in quick succession was a big gust of wind; which blew the TH backwards a couple of meters; it recovered and plugged onward; hesitated; then descended slowly to 30M and returned to a spot directly over its take off point ... and stayed there.

I immediately tried to Home it; and nothing happened.

I switched back to Angle mode and tried to descend or maneuver; still nothing.

Even the camera was unresponsive; no display; no telemetry; no battery indicator.

Panic is settling in.

At this point I noticed that one of the propellers had slowed to a visible rotation speed.

Half of the right side arm prop had broken off; it pinwheeled lazily while the other motors fought to maintain flight in the now mildly turbulent breeze.

The five prop mode appeared to work well as it held steadfast; fixed in the azure sky; stationary; stolidly ignoring my anguished attempts to bring it safely back to Terra firma.

Nothing I did for the next five minutes had any effects on my poor zombie air-droid; including moving the ST16+ around in ever larger then smaller circles; to higher ground; nor switching antennas.

I even toggled transmitter power; twice. On the second power cycle; it seemed to respond to down stick; as it began a normal rate of descent to almost 5M.

Just as I positioned myself to grab a landing strut ... it rapidly took off and climbed back to its original position; then stuck there; staring bleakly out and away as before.

Rough calculations indicated that it had been on air for ten minutes or so; so I stood fast underneath it; hoping I might be able to catch it as it fell from the sky from imminent loss of power.

I had to think twice about that strategy; since I had no idea whether or not those mini machetes might continue to spin.

15 minutes into this terrifyingly errant flight; a small miracle happened.

Slowly; RokKopter began a seemingly controlled descent; exactly to its take off point; landed gently and idled.

I pounced on it and shut it down.

When powered up again to check the battery; it was discovered to be exhausted.

I had had enough; I packed up and went straight home for a post flight Goose-atini sedative.

Ugh.
 
Last edited:

FlushVision

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My first hexacopter is a salvage project; bought second hand; it was a crashed Typhoon H with a couple of broken arms and damaged camera mount.

It was quite pleasing to discover that it required only a few $$$ and a couple of nights of tinkering to restore its airworthiness.

A few practice sessions in the neighborhood park inspired the courage to venture out to a local R/C model aircraft park in search of bigger safer air space for some serious maneuvers.

Darwin Alert - Having read the user manual; and not recalling any serious warnings about interference from other R/C transmitters; I gave only a minimum of consideration to the other model aircraft operating in the area; as well as the high tension power lines a mile away. There was also a huge automated pumping station nearby; but, it too was dormant.

Excerpt from the Typhoon H User Manual follows -


• Do not attempt to operate your aircraft in areas with potential magnetic and/or radio interference including areas nearby broadcast towers, power transmission stations, high voltage power lines, electrical storms, etc.
• Always keep a safe distance in all directions around your aircraft to avoid collisions and/or injury. This aircraft is controlled by a radio signal subject to interference from many sources outside your control. Interference can cause momentary loss of control.


So; unperturbed; I moved off to a far corner of the park determined to make some low level practice runs on my first fully charged battery.

At this point; my dodo bird instincts had not yet started to tingle.

Sunny clear late afternoon sky; mild 5MPH breeze; a few hikers coming and going; in a few minutes we were airborne.

The little UAV hovered at 10 meters or so; went through all of the controls: yaw, pitch, landing gear, etc.; climbed up and out quickly in a 45 degree ascent to 50M; then disaster struck.

What happened next in quick succession was a big gust of wind; which blew the TH backwards a couple of meters; it recovered and plugged onward; hesitated; then descended slowly to 30M and returned to a spot directly over its take off point ... and stayed there.

I immediately tried to Home it; and nothing happened.

I switched back to Angle mode and tried to descend or maneuver; nothing.

Even the camera was unresponsive; no display; no telemetry; no battery indicator.

Panic is settling in.

At this point I noticed that one of the propellers had slowed to a visible rotation speed.

Half of the right side arm prop had broken off; it pinwheeled lazily while the other motors fought to maintain flight in the now mildly turbulent breeze.

The five prop mode appeared to work well as it held steadfast; fixed in the azure sky; stationary; stolidly ignoring my anguished attempts to bring it safely back to Terra firma.

Nothing I did for the next 5 minutes had any affects on my poor zombie droid; including moving the ST16+ around in ever larger then smaller circles; higher ground; switching antennas.

I even toggled transmitter power; twice. On the second power cycle; it seemed to respond to down stick; it began a normal rate of descent to almost 5M.

Just as I positioned myself to grab a landing strut ... it rapidly took off and climbed back to its original position; stuck there; staring bleakly out and away as before.

Rough calculations indicated that it had been on air for 10 minutes or so; I stood fast underneath it; hoping I might be able to catch it as it fell from the sky from loss of power.

I had to think twice about that strategy; since I had no idea whether or not those mini machetes might continue to spin.

15 minutes into this terrifyingly errant flight; a small miracle happened.

Slowly; RokKopter began a seemingly controlled descent; exactly to its take off point; landed gently and idled.

I pounced on it and shut it down.

When powered up again to check the battery; it was discovered to be exhausted.

I had had enough; I packed up and went straight home for a post flight Goose-atini sedative.

Ugh.
Just an idol thought: Did the person who sold it to you tell you how it crashed in the first place?
 
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My first hexacopter is a salvage project; bought second hand; it was a crashed Typhoon H with a couple of broken arms and damaged camera mount.

It was quite pleasing to discover that it required only a few $$$ and a couple of nights of tinkering to restore its airworthiness.

A few practice sessions in the neighborhood park inspired the courage to venture out to a local R/C model aircraft park in search of bigger safer air space for some serious maneuvers.

Darwin Alert - Having read the user manual; and not recalling any serious warnings about interference from other R/C transmitters; I gave only a minimum of consideration to the other model aircraft operating in the area; as well as the high tension power lines a mile away. There was also a huge automated pumping station nearby; but, it too was dormant.

Excerpt from the Typhoon H User Manual follows -


• Do not attempt to operate your aircraft in areas with potential magnetic and/or radio interference including areas nearby broadcast towers, power transmission stations, high voltage power lines, electrical storms, etc.
• Always keep a safe distance in all directions around your aircraft to avoid collisions and/or injury. This aircraft is controlled by a radio signal subject to interference from many sources outside your control. Interference can cause momentary loss of control.


So; unperturbed; I moved off to a far corner of the park determined to make some low level practice runs on my first fully charged battery.

At this point; my dodo bird instincts had not yet started to tingle.

Sunny clear late afternoon sky; mild 5MPH breeze; a few hikers coming and going; in a few minutes we were airborne.

The little UAV hovered at 10 meters or so; went through all of the controls: yaw, pitch, landing gear, etc.; climbed up and out quickly in a 45 degree ascent to 50M; then disaster struck.

What happened next in quick succession was a big gust of wind; which blew the TH backwards a couple of meters; it recovered and plugged onward; hesitated; then descended slowly to 30M and returned to a spot directly over its take off point ... and stayed there.

I immediately tried to Home it; and nothing happened.

I switched back to Angle mode and tried to descend or maneuver; nothing.

Even the camera was unresponsive; no display; no telemetry; no battery indicator.

Panic is settling in.

At this point I noticed that one of the propellers had slowed to a visible rotation speed.

Half of the right side arm prop had broken off; it pinwheeled lazily while the other motors fought to maintain flight in the now mildly turbulent breeze.

The five prop mode appeared to work well as it held steadfast; fixed in the azure sky; stationary; stolidly ignoring my anguished attempts to bring it safely back to Terra firma.

Nothing I did for the next 5 minutes had any affects on my poor zombie droid; including moving the ST16+ around in ever larger then smaller circles; higher ground; switching antennas.

I even toggled transmitter power; twice. On the second power cycle; it seemed to respond to down stick; it began a normal rate of descent to almost 5M.

Just as I positioned myself to grab a landing strut ... it rapidly took off and climbed back to its original position; stuck there; staring bleakly out and away as before.

Rough calculations indicated that it had been on air for 10 minutes or so; I stood fast underneath it; hoping I might be able to catch it as it fell from the sky from loss of power.

I had to think twice about that strategy; since I had no idea whether or not those mini machetes might continue to spin.

15 minutes into this terrifyingly errant flight; a small miracle happened.

Slowly; RokKopter began a seemingly controlled descent; exactly to its take off point; landed gently and idled.

I pounced on it and shut it down.

When powered up again to check the battery; it was discovered to be exhausted.

I had had enough; I packed up and went straight home for a post flight Goose-atini sedative.

Ugh.
You should write a book on that one :)
 

Rok

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Just an idol thought: Did the person who sold it to you tell you how it crashed in the first place?

No; and I was not concerned; it was a rescue project; no assumptions of reliability were considered; I simply wanted the parts so that I might learn how to fix it.

We did review a high performance flight video before negotiating; as well as execute a high altitude medium range test flight before the deal.
 
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From your description it sound like the radio link was broken/lost and the craft did exactly what it should i.e. return to home, hover, and land when battery is depleted.
Why you lost radio link and could not regain it is anyone's guess but that is where I would be looking.
 
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R

Rayray

Guest
Apos for the long post; I was not looking for an explanation for the failure; simply wanted to share the weird experience for levity.

Good post, and good clear writing. You probably are a reader and writer:).

If you retrieve and study the telemetry, you should be able to find exactly what happened. Bro Snaggle is probably right:).

First time I saw your "Rok" I thought Republic of Korea, but obviously not that...I have been to Sili Vali:rolleyes:.
Hey, keep us informed.
 
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I'm afraid FlushVision is on the right track. Every time you buy someone else's used product you run the risk of buying their problems, too. Doesn't matter if it's a car or a jet plane. Not everyone you do business with is upfront or forthcoming with you. In fact, unfortunately it's quite rare when they are, simply because money is involved. And as Cyndi Lauper sings, "Money Changes Everything."

The fact that your H was a rescue makes one point the initial finger at what brought the bird down in the first place, which FlushVision has rightfully pointed out. In hindsight, that information would quite obviously come in very handy for you right now to help determine what went wrong. However, your observation of one arm of your Typhoon being broken halfway while in flight indicates the problem may have also easily included a repair job that was not done satisfactorily. Whatever electronically was erratically going on inside your H may have been trumped by the physical trauma your Typhoon also apparently suffered during this doomed flight. Five-rotor flight is merely a chance to avoid a crash, not an absolute or the preferred way to fly your Typhoon. Still, even that situation would not explain the H's inability to respond and react to your commands via the ST16.

I don't like to buy a used anything. Never have, not since I was a kid, including when it came to bicycles. Personally, I would never buy a used drone from anybody unless I either knew and flew with the seller or if the seller was almost giving it away and I bought it without any expectations whatsoever (which is why I would NEVER buy a used drone!!) Bear in mind this statement is coming from a fellow who is not known for his good luck or hitting upon "great deals," so I'm sure that colors my opinion about buying used products.

For me, I've found out in Life I am always much better off simply putting money aside for something financially out of reach until I can afford to pay for it, brand spanking new. Warranties and guarantees are a consumer's best friends.

Sorry for your misfortune, buddy, but I wish you good luck. I hear things are supposed to get better tomorrow.
 
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PatR

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Ray,

You beat me to it. Well written post by the OP, and made for an enjoyable read.

The return and hover while exhausting the battery describes a system that had lost the RC link. In that respect the fail safe programming worked well. Don't have a clue why it lost link though.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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First off, thanks for the laugh. That was very well written!! Are you sure the test you saw on video were of the drone you purchased? He could have had a replacement and pulled the ole switcheroo on ya. Lol


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Since you said the aircraft was in a crash before, I would pop the shell apart and check the antenna connections. Also make sure one of the antennas is not caught up under the gimbal mount, very easy to do when you mount the camera. I am searching now for the video on how to disassemble the H.
Ahh found it:
It is a long video, but you can see how to pop the shell apart. I will keep my fingers crossed that you find the antenna connection popped loose. If not, I would suspect a bad receiver board in the H. I sure would not want to fly again till you find a cause.
One other thing you could try is a range check. Put the H on the ground and see how far away you can get before you loose telemetry or the ability to start stop the motors/control the camera.
 
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My first hexacopter is a salvage project; bought second hand; it was a crashed Typhoon H with a couple of broken arms and damaged camera mount.

It was quite pleasing to discover that it required only a few $$$ and a couple of nights of tinkering to restore its airworthiness.

A few practice sessions in the neighborhood park inspired the courage to venture out to a local R/C model aircraft park in search of bigger safer air space for some serious maneuvers.

Darwin Alert - Having read the user manual; and not recalling any serious warnings about interference from other R/C transmitters; I gave only a minimum of consideration to the other model aircraft operating in the area; as well as the high tension power lines a mile away. There was also a huge automated pumping station nearby; but, it too was dormant.

Excerpt from the Typhoon H User Manual follows -


• Do not attempt to operate your aircraft in areas with potential magnetic and/or radio interference including areas nearby broadcast towers, power transmission stations, high voltage power lines, electrical storms, etc.
• Always keep a safe distance in all directions around your aircraft to avoid collisions and/or injury. This aircraft is controlled by a radio signal subject to interference from many sources outside your control. Interference can cause momentary loss of control.


So; unperturbed; I moved off to a far corner of the park determined to make some low level practice runs on my first fully charged battery.

At this point; my dodo bird instincts had not yet started to tingle.

Sunny clear late afternoon sky; mild 5MPH breeze; a few hikers coming and going; in a few minutes we were airborne.

The brave little UAV hovered at 10 meters or so; went through all of the controls: yaw, pitch, landing gear, etc.; climbed up and out quickly in a 45 degree ascent to 50M; then disaster struck.

What happened next in quick succession was a big gust of wind; which blew the TH backwards a couple of meters; it recovered and plugged onward; hesitated; then descended slowly to 30M and returned to a spot directly over its take off point ... and stayed there.

I immediately tried to Home it; and nothing happened.

I switched back to Angle mode and tried to descend or maneuver; still nothing.

Even the camera was unresponsive; no display; no telemetry; no battery indicator.

Panic is settling in.

At this point I noticed that one of the propellers had slowed to a visible rotation speed.

Half of the right side arm prop had broken off; it pinwheeled lazily while the other motors fought to maintain flight in the now mildly turbulent breeze.

The five prop mode appeared to work well as it held steadfast; fixed in the azure sky; stationary; stolidly ignoring my anguished attempts to bring it safely back to Terra firma.

Nothing I did for the next five minutes had any effects on my poor zombie air-droid; including moving the ST16+ around in ever larger then smaller circles; to higher ground; nor switching antennas.

I even toggled transmitter power; twice. On the second power cycle; it seemed to respond to down stick; as it began a normal rate of descent to almost 5M.

Just as I positioned myself to grab a landing strut ... it rapidly took off and climbed back to its original position; then stuck there; staring bleakly out and away as before.

Rough calculations indicated that it had been on air for ten minutes or so; so I stood fast underneath it; hoping I might be able to catch it as it fell from the sky from imminent loss of power.

I had to think twice about that strategy; since I had no idea whether or not those mini machetes might continue to spin.

15 minutes into this terrifyingly errant flight; a small miracle happened.

Slowly; RokKopter began a seemingly controlled descent; exactly to its take off point; landed gently and idled.

I pounced on it and shut it down.

When powered up again to check the battery; it was discovered to be exhausted.

I had had enough; I packed up and went straight home for a post flight Goose-atini sedative.

Ugh.


Very scary situation, hopefully you will find out what happened and share your findings with us!

Glad the unit returned to land safely without wasting your invested time and money!

Greetings!
 
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My first hexacopter is a salvage project; bought second hand; it was a crashed Typhoon H with a couple of broken arms and damaged camera mount.

It was quite pleasing to discover that it required only a few $$$ and a couple of nights of tinkering to restore its airworthiness.

A few practice sessions in the neighborhood park inspired the courage to venture out to a local R/C model aircraft park in search of bigger safer air space for some serious maneuvers.

Darwin Alert - Having read the user manual; and not recalling any serious warnings about interference from other R/C transmitters; I gave only a minimum of consideration to the other model aircraft operating in the area; as well as the high tension power lines a mile away. There was also a huge automated pumping station nearby; but, it too was dormant.

Excerpt from the Typhoon H User Manual follows -


• Do not attempt to operate your aircraft in areas with potential magnetic and/or radio interference including areas nearby broadcast towers, power transmission stations, high voltage power lines, electrical storms, etc.
• Always keep a safe distance in all directions around your aircraft to avoid collisions and/or injury. This aircraft is controlled by a radio signal subject to interference from many sources outside your control. Interference can cause momentary loss of control.


So; unperturbed; I moved off to a far corner of the park determined to make some low level practice runs on my first fully charged battery.

At this point; my dodo bird instincts had not yet started to tingle.

Sunny clear late afternoon sky; mild 5MPH breeze; a few hikers coming and going; in a few minutes we were airborne.

The brave little UAV hovered at 10 meters or so; went through all of the controls: yaw, pitch, landing gear, etc.; climbed up and out quickly in a 45 degree ascent to 50M; then disaster struck.

What happened next in quick succession was a big gust of wind; which blew the TH backwards a couple of meters; it recovered and plugged onward; hesitated; then descended slowly to 30M and returned to a spot directly over its take off point ... and stayed there.

I immediately tried to Home it; and nothing happened.

I switched back to Angle mode and tried to descend or maneuver; still nothing.

Even the camera was unresponsive; no display; no telemetry; no battery indicator.

Panic is settling in.

At this point I noticed that one of the propellers had slowed to a visible rotation speed.

Half of the right side arm prop had broken off; it pinwheeled lazily while the other motors fought to maintain flight in the now mildly turbulent breeze.

The five prop mode appeared to work well as it held steadfast; fixed in the azure sky; stationary; stolidly ignoring my anguished attempts to bring it safely back to Terra firma.

Nothing I did for the next five minutes had any effects on my poor zombie air-droid; including moving the ST16+ around in ever larger then smaller circles; to higher ground; nor switching antennas.

I even toggled transmitter power; twice. On the second power cycle; it seemed to respond to down stick; as it began a normal rate of descent to almost 5M.

Just as I positioned myself to grab a landing strut ... it rapidly took off and climbed back to its original position; then stuck there; staring bleakly out and away as before.

Rough calculations indicated that it had been on air for ten minutes or so; so I stood fast underneath it; hoping I might be able to catch it as it fell from the sky from imminent loss of power.

I had to think twice about that strategy; since I had no idea whether or not those mini machetes might continue to spin.

15 minutes into this terrifyingly errant flight; a small miracle happened.

Slowly; RokKopter began a seemingly controlled descent; exactly to its take off point; landed gently and idled.

I pounced on it and shut it down.

When powered up again to check the battery; it was discovered to be exhausted.

I had had enough; I packed up and went straight home for a post flight Goose-atini sedative.

Ugh.

Well, that'll teach me to read such a clenching story while in the bathroom. Oh well, I'll try to go again later.
Must have been a hidden hairline crack in the carbon fiber, huh? Anyways, thanks for the humor injected into your close call. I hate to read stories like this, but seeing your humor in it, and that you already knew you were buying a risk/project makes it a lot easier not to fret for your scare as much. Glad it came back in one, (or two) pieces though. Hope the loss of communication turns out to be an easy find.
 

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