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Video Feed Locking Up - Lesson Learned

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Hello Everyone,

I'd like to share a lesson I learned today. Fortunately it didn't cost me anything more than some time and aggravation. The H is fine. Most of you old hands are probably well aware of this issue and there may be other threads addressing it, but you might at least get a good chuckle. Newbies like myself might benefit from my mental lapse, so here goes.

I've had my H Pro for about two weeks, with about 4 hours flight time on it. Love the way it flies, video is great and everything has been going very well...until yesterday - my first actual aerial video gig. I was about half way through the first battery when the video feed to the ST-16 just locked. It lasted about 30 seconds then came back to normal feed. Then a few minutes later it locked again. I landed and changed batteries, rebooted everything and took off. Everything appeared normal. Flew well for a few minutes and then for no apparent reason the vid feed locked again. This went on again off again, 30 seconds here, 5 minutes there, for all three of my batteries. Very annoying. Very worrying. Very embarrassing with the client standing right there watching. I recharged, went back out to the site later that afternoon by myself and flew all three batteries without any problems and got the footage I needed. Huh? I figured it was just a fluke.

Today I had another video shoot and this time, as soon as I got airborne on the first battery the vid feed locked up. On the ground before takeoff the feed was working fine. Got it up about 50 feet and the video locked up. I futzed with the camera settings and it cleared for a minute and then locked up again, much worse than yesterday. Out of 3 batteries I probably got 2 or three minutes of usable video due to not knowing exactly what the camera was capturing. I really thought something was wrong with the ST-16 or the camera or both. The problem appeared to be getting worse.

Note - in both cases the H was never more than 200-300 feet away, always well within line of sight, no trees or obstructions of any kind. Today in fact, the house was in the middle of an open field with nothing larger than a bush within a quarter mile (very simple video shoot). I have everything calibrated, bound and charged per the manual. And like I said, I've flown it for at least 4 hours without any hick ups or problems of any kind. I was not near anything metal and I wasn't carrying my cell phone. <cough>

I've been monitoring this forum for about 2 months and have gained a wealth of knowledge about the H and it's pro's, con's and quirks from you gize. So I was in the middle of writing this post to the forum, explaining exactly what was happening, hoping that one of the many Typhoon H experts here could provide some insight into this problem and maybe prevent me from having to send the whole thing back to Yuneec. Then it dawned on me...

Per my pre-flight checklist (that I have compiled with the aid of several threads on the topic here on this forum) I leave my cell phone in my truck while flying, calibrating, etc. However, the real estate agent on both yesterday's and today's shoot had her cell phone with her, standing right next to me much of the time and occasionally taking a call, sending a text or what not. I was flying and not paying close attention to her but I knew she was there and she would occasionally look over my shoulder to view the screen and comment on a particular shot or angle. And unlike yesterday where she wandered off, stayed by her car and only occasionally stood next to me, today she was standing right next to me the whole time!

Even though I knew cell phones could be an issue and purposely left mine in the truck well away from my flying position it didn't occur to me in the middle of a shoot that a bystander/client's phone in close proximity could be causing interference. Duh... Fortunately, the H still flies well even when the video feed freezes.

So I recharged a battery and just flew it for about 15 minutes without a problem. And I've added a line to my checklist: "Ensure ALL cell phones are well away from the ST-16."

Fly safe...:)

 
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I'm wondering how the cell phone can jam a 5.8 GHz device. Phone calls are on well different bands. Eventually wi-fi is on 2.4GHz.
Unless it can jam the electronics, which means very bad design and poor shielding of the St 16.
Be alert, because it could be something else.
Ric
 

PatR

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Since the early October firmware update I've had a few hinky things occur that had not previously happened at all since I first got it in May. One of those, which happened today, was a video feed and camera control lockup. No cell phone anywhere close by with the H about 250' out and clear LOS. The H was about 50' higher and roughly 75' away from some regular type neighborhood power lines. No transformers. Pre-flight went well with all controls functional but 3 minutes into the flight and the video froze and control response at the gimbal and camera settings were lost. Full control of the aircraft was maintained. Two days ago gimbal control was lost before launch. Good for the initial pre-flight but out to lunch when it came time to launch. A re-boot corrected the problem. Later the same day I had a "immediately land in Angle and calibrate compass" warning that I believe was caused by reflected signal from a steel hulled ship, but I'm not sure. Me thinks I want to repeat the last AP firmware update.

As for an earlier comment about shielding the ST-16, The odds highly favor the ST-16 not being shielded at all, against anything. Establishing how something needs to be shielded costs time and money in an EMI test environment to establish what type of shielding is needed, and where. The same applies to the systems within the H itself.
 
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What if she had to option on her cell turned on to use it as a wifi hot spot? Could that possibly be what caused the issue ?


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What if she had to option on her cell turned on to use it as a wifi hot spot? Could that possibly be what caused the issue ?


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Wifi is 2.4GHz, while the video transmission is 5.8GHz.
I generally have my cell phone my while flying and haven't had an issue.
However, I leave the phone in the car whenever I am calibrating.
 
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Since the early October firmware update I've had a few hinky things occur that had not previously happened at all since I first got it in May. One of those, which happened today, was a video feed and camera control lockup. No cell phone anywhere close by with the H about 250' out and clear LOS. The H was about 50' higher and roughly 75' away from some regular type neighborhood power lines. No transformers. .
Same here Pat since updating I've had the loss or freezing of video often...that had never happened to me with months of flying prior to this latest update. Twice when I've tried to turn on the motors prior to launch it has also failed, again this never happened prior to this update. I
wish I had not updated at least one of my H's now knowing this. I hope a fix is in the works...
 
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Wifi is 2.4GHz, while the video transmission is 5.8GHz.
I generally have my cell phone my while flying and haven't had an issue.
However, I leave the phone in the car whenever I am calibrating.
There is also wifi in the 5Ghz band.


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Thanks for the insight everyone. All I know is that whenever the client was in close proximity to me while flying I had a video feed lock up. And I know she had her cell phone on her and was using it several times while I was flying. At one point she took some pictures of me and the drone and then uploaded them to the Internet. I've been flying for two weeks and never once had a video lock up...or any other issue for that matter. Completely flawless performance (the drone, not necessarily me), much to my relief. I received the H a few days before the latest firmware release and didn't fly it until after I updated everything to the new firmware. My flights up to yesterday were all in isolation, far from anyone else and the H performed flawlessly on every flight. It flew flawlessly until I tried to fly it with someone standing close to me with a cell phone. Maybe its a coincidence, but I don't think so. I will certainly update the thread if I continue to have problems.
 

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Just remember that as remote pilot in command you get to set the rules for the people around you. Limiting conversation to that required and cell phones would be high on my list.
 
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Just remember that as remote pilot in command you get to set the rules for the people around you. Limiting conversation to that required and cell phones would be high on my list.
I agree completely Pat. There will be no cell phone usage around me from now on.
 
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First flight yesterday H Pro , open fly field , no phone and video froze for about 30-45 seconds
 
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Thanks for the feedback, Brock. That's not good news. I've flown about 6 flights since I had the problem I originally reported. Five of those flights went without a hitch. No phones anywhere close. Yesterday I went outside for a quick flight, trying to get some more footage for my "Colors" video. didn't run though my checklist. Took off and the video froze. I immediately realized that I left my phone in my pocket. Landed, shut everything off and put the phone about 50 feet away. Started up, took off and didn't have any issues.

For my H, cell phones are definitely the problem. I haven't had the video freeze when there wasn't a cell phone nearby. So far.
 
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Thanks for the feedback, Brock. That's not good news. I've flown about 6 flights since I had the problem I originally reported. Five of those flights went without a hitch. No phones anywhere close. Yesterday I went outside for a quick flight, trying to get some more footage for my "Colors" video. didn't run though my checklist. Took off and the video froze. I immediately realized that I left my phone in my pocket. Landed, shut everything off and put the phone about 50 feet away. Started up, took off and didn't have any issues.

For my H, cell phones are definitely the problem. I haven't had the video freeze when there wasn't a cell phone nearby. So far.
Come to think of it , there was one guy at the field. He was finished flying so he came over to look while I tried out different modes. He was standing right next to me and It never came to mind that it could have been his phone that was causing some sort of interference. in going to test it tonight by powering up and seeing if I can get the video to freeze with my phone in close distance. Il let you know what I find.
 

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