Lost my Iris+ when I took it out for a mission today. Put it on auto to do it's mission and set the drone so that it would RTL if the battery voltage goes below 10.5 V. Needless to say it did not return. I am using APMplanner 2.0 to do the mission planning stuff. 

Any advice or help would be appreciated. 

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    • I use mission planner since its kept current by the developer, and is supported to some extent by 3DR. I also regularly contribute to the developer. It also seems to be the baseline configurating software of choice from 3DR.

      My FAA proposal describes use of a software baseline as a flight safety practice. And, I trust MP 'cause I use it and am familiar with version updates. And I run MP with a Surface 3 Pro in my car...my MacBook Pro doesn't have the battery life [anymore] to do the job...and is MC running the latest version? of APM Planner? My point is that I doubt if APM has the same user base support...which is important in this biz.

      Any high amperage carrying circuit would be done for upon saltwater immersion...the corrosion on the solder joints would kill the low amp electronics in a short timespan. Its all around not good. Best you can do with the freshwater rinse is get the SD card. There is a guy in Florida? selling a waterproof quadcopter.....

    • APMPlanner is also kept current by the developer, and is also supported to some extent by 3DR - and used by some of their higher-profile employees.  I used to use MP and got thoroughly fed up with it, it was very unreliable for me flashing firmware, connecting over radio/bluetooth, was incredibly slow at booting and updating and in things like log analysis, and crashed/hung frequently.  Some of that will be down to the underlying runtime and platform I guess.  It does have it's upsides of course - it's more mature and has more features. 

      However, APMplanner is available cross platform, and lots of people simply don't have windows any more - thankfully, it's no longer a mandatory platform.  It's not very pretty but it's fast and reliable, and I feel a lot more confident with it out in the field than I did with MP.  Most of your advice was good, telling someone what software of choice they should use wasn't.

    • I have both APMplanner and MP on my Macbook. I run MP in Windows XP using Parallels. Having used both, I will say that MP has been WAY less buggy for me. I always thought it was strange that the native Mac app didn't work as well as the Windows app running in an emulator.

      Just my 0.02

    • Fnoopy- you are certainly entitled to an opinion, and forums are places where ideas and opinions and experience are freely interchanged...I've got knowledge guided by experience... which then forms my opinion on these things.

      I've never had your reliability problems either. MP has worked for me on an XP machine, a Win 7 machine and my surface, now running Win 10. I've even tried U[gCS.

      I use a Surface in the field because of the touch HMI...yup, even MP I can use by touch. Also, I prefer to fly the drone via Tower...iow, commanding the autopilot... heck, I'd use the new MAC tablet [ to replace my dead iPad] with a touch HMI running APM.

      I never use a touchpad  on a laptop in the field whist standup up...just not intended for that.  Stylus or finger on a touch screen....works just fine.

      I only use the RC controller when "popping up" to look over a tree line or house backyard...otherwise, its take-off...hover and then run the mission.

    • I'm very happy MP, windows and surface tablet works for you, and touching a finger on a screen is a suitable method of flying for you.  I wouldn't dream of telling you not to use whatever makes you confident.  That's my point.

      I've used MP and had problems with it, just because it works for you doesn't mean it's perfect and without problems.  I've used APM Planner and also had problems with it, and it's certainly not as pretty and feature complete as MP, but I find it faster and more robust which is import for me out in the field.  I use a small folding breakfast table and chair, and laptop for most of my flying, with telemetry and digital fpv.  This works very well for me and I wouldn't personally feel confident just using a little tablet and touch screen - I have tried that in several guises.  I'm relatively new to RC but very, very experienced in designing and running critical computing environments.  Different setups work for different people for different reasons.  My point was that advice and tips are good, telling people what they should and shouldn't be doing isn't.

      I also happen to fly regularly over open ocean - up to 2km offshore - for research, so quite relevant to this topic now.  If you take enough care and do enough testing then there's no reason long flights over open water aren't possible or a good idea, as long as you're prepared for the odd loss every now and then.  I do an awful lot of testing and engineering of my quad, but build it relatively cheaply and put relatively cheap cameras and sensors on board in case I do lose it.  Touch wood I haven't lost one yet!  I cover the landing gear with pipe insulation for buoyancy and did have to land on water once when I ran out of battery and pick it up with a boat.  Contingency planning also a good idea!

    • MC-

      do you have a YouTube account?  A good way to share vids.

      Example here

    • It would not let me comment on the post where you referred to me as being "strangely quiet". I have been kayaking and walking around that area for the past three days and have been too tired to reply. I realize the ambition of my auto mission (now that its too late), but I have some AMAzING Gopro footage I would be willing to share with you guys (just tell me how).

      Sorry for the silence, but I was coming in too tired from my explorations and I also did not see any "I think I know where it landed type posts" a lot of the replies have kind of branches off into "best route planner" or "what I use to avoid this problem" good in retrospect, but no good in finding it now.

      Anyways, I looked at the currents for that region (by now it should be on the coast of Venezuela if anything) or its somewhere in the super forested areas. Either way, I see this as a learning experience and am currently looking on buying a new one.

      Hopefully, I can find one in the $300-$400 range on ebay. Either that or I am also looking into buying a dji phantom 2. Though they are more expensive they seem to be in excess according to my local Craigslist.

      Thanks for the help from the community. Hopefully I can use some of the things I learned in Canada or here in T&T.
    • Fnoop-

      for some reason the site wont let me reply to your latest post...

      I've been looking over the Krossblade SkyProwler (not yet in production), the FireflY6 (tilt-rotor) and for a long time at this big boy: Pulsar 3E Pro FPV

      The Pulsar would use a 3DR APM as shown in the schematic, and I'd launch it off my catapult system (Home Depot parts) in AUTO mode set to climb to say 200 feet and hold/pause until all systems check out. Yes, such a thing will easily go BLOS, as most aircraft will, so I'll wait and see how that application w/ FAA will go etc...I reckon with a 5AH battery, we are talking about 12 miles of range, with a mission radius close to 6 miles, since it will glide/low power mode fly "on its wing". With FAA altitude restrictions, we'd not be able to test the altitude performance...... imagine auto flights up to about 2k feet....

      [auto] Spot landings would be a tad interesting until the flap sequence is experimented and perfected.

    • @David can't reply to your message so will reply here.

      Yes OP was a little over ambitious I think :)  I've done hundreds of test flights before I was confident enough to fly over water and spent more time on it than my wife would like.  My quad will do around 30 mins running the battery to the max which is just enough to get out 2km, do a quick bit of filming and then back again.  I do more missions to islands 1km offshore where it has enough battery for quite a bit of flying around and footage.  But honestly a quad isn't really ideal for this kind of job (and a hex/octo even less so I would have thought), a fixed wing would be much better.  I just don't have any experience with fixed wing and I like the flexibility of a quad - if I don't find what I'm looking for I can slowly fly around and look with digital fpv on downward looking gimbal until I find it (I'm doing animal population counts).  I stick with a quad because it's cheap to build, and I use cheap gopro knock-offs (sj4000/xiaomi yi), so if it ditches then it's not too painful to replace.  I'm very careful building and maintaining the quad so it's as reliable as possible so I get good results even with my limited experience, but I'm sure if you know what you're doing then a fixed wing would be awesome, and certainly more suitable for the kind of mission OP was trying to do.  Who has been strangely silent since posting his mission plan :)

    • Fnoop-

      yup, to each his own.

      I'm comfy to stand in the rear area of my Outback with the tablets and displays in the shadows...plus they are charging, as necessary, off the power invertor I installed in the back left panel.

      I'm considering adding a couple fixed wing aircraft to my sUAV hangar...so the 2km flights over water concept has me thinking more about a fixed wing rather than quadcopter platform.

      What's your POV on the matter?  Seems like MC had a great idea to film a rather nice spot of the planet, but, his quadcopter sUAV didn't quite have the range/capability to pull it off...

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