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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 3102
Location: South Florida
Because PhotoBucket is no longer allowing my pictures to be posted here unless I pay $400/year, many of my pictures
are not available. My apologies! Starting on page 58 and forward, my pictures are hosted by Cloudinary, https://cloudinary.com and are visible.

Cloudinary is terrific, and I strongly recommend them for hosting your pictures.

Keith

===============================================================================================================================================================================================





A Drone Test Gone Bad

I started this drone adventure as a test. I planned to launch my Mavic Pro from a nearby arroyo, fly it at a height of about 185’ over a ridge to my house. Distance was about 900’. The plan was to land it behind the ridge at my house. The question: could I control the drone once it was behind the ridge? Of course, it didn’t dawn on me, if I could not control the drone behind the ridge, what would happen to the drone?

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My first try at landing was in tight area between 3 walls. When the Mavic Pro descended to a height of 70’ above the launch, but behind the ridge, I lost control, but, regained control in a few seconds. That should have been the end of the test. I could not control the drone when it was out of sight behind the ridge. But, I persisted. At a height of 150’, I flew it to the back of my house which was more open and again tried to land it. The Mavic descended to about 79’, where I lost control again. This time, I did not miraculously regain control. The Mavic Pro was lost. I was, of course, panicked. I truly had no idea where the Mavic was since the controller had lost touch with the aircraft.

I rushed back to my house and walked the ridge nearest my last contact…no Mavic. I then went to the last place I had contact with it at the back of my house. Amazingly, at this point, I was in touch with the drone via the controller. The drone was still on. The FPV (the view via the drone camera) was displayed on my cell. It showed the drone was upside down, on the ground with some blades of long grass protruding into the blue sky above. It was not very comforting to know my drone was still functioning, because I still had no idea where it was. The FPV view (this is simulated since taking a picture of the FPV was the last thing I had on my mind.)

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I don’t know why, but, starting where I lost control near my garage, I began to walk on a line back toward the launch. Because the drone was still turned on, its lights were on. Somehow, I spotted the drone, the drone lights really, on the ground amongst some tall vegetation at the edge of my graveled drive way.

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Another view

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Looking at the flight log, it is clear what happened. Flight log? Yes, there is a flight log of that whole flight. How DJI, the designer and manufacturer of the Mavic Pro, does that when you have lost controller contact with the drone, is beyond my pay grade. When I lost control of the drone the second time, the drone decided it had to take things into its own hands and head back to the launch (home). It ascended to 97’ (standard) and headed directly to the launch site. At this altitude, it should have cleared everything and returned to home. For whatever reason, maybe the controller regained control, it lowered its altitude to 75', collided with tree branches, and tumbled to the ground upside down but still on. Of course, the propellers had turned off.

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A most important lesson learned: always have a direct line of sight to your drone. Your drone may be too far away to see, but there must be a direct line without solid obstacles between the Mavic Pro and its controller. Of course, it says that in the owner’s manual, but I think I was pushing the envelope and went a bit too far.

Kudos to DJI for building a quadcopter, the Mavic Pro, strong enough to stand the abuse which I have given it. I hope my learning period is over!

Keith

_________________
2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


Last edited by Chekika on Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:25 pm 
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Location: Delnor Wiggins, Fl Peters Twp PA
Hi Keith,

FWIW I experienced a similar event but without the "Ridge Effect" in play: flew my Mavic down a long approach drive and behind some trees using only my phone screen for guidance - about 1500 feet away. No problem. Next day I got a message stating "incompatible firmware" while syncing up and went thru the process of updating. Up in the air for a few hundred feet and my phone lost contact with the MP. Regained contact and then lost it again a minute later. Regained it and hit the RTH button immediately. Safe landing (fortunately). I'm suspecting a software glitch of some sort...


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:15 am 
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Location: South Florida
Wow, Bob, that sounds pretty scary from your drone's viewpoint. I haven't had any problems like that, but have not flown much in the last week--too much company!

You haven't posted any pictures yet. You are still up in Maine?

Keith

_________________
2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
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Location: South Florida
Houses in northern New Mexico

If you have never been out in the “4-Corners” area, i.e., the corner made up of the intersection of the borders of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah, you are missing something. I’m only going to show you a few houses from around Taos, NM, which is approximately in north central NM, just 50 mi south of the Colorado border and 200 mi east of the 4-Corners area, as the crow flies.

This is an abandoned homestead, west of Taos. I have no idea when it was last occupied, probably 50-70 years ago.

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This is a deteriorated rock house. My guess is it was quite cold in the winter time when temperatures get down into the Fahrenheit teens and lower. Roughly half the stones are gone, presumably used where they were needed more.

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Still on the high desert plain to the northwest of Taos are a group of houses known as “Earthship” houses. These houses are self-contained, self-supporting structures—no public water or electricity. If the world destroyed all public utilities and facilities, these houses and their occupants could carry on as if nothing happened. This is one of the more elaborate Earthship houses. Others can be seen in the distance. They attempt to be self-sustaining: catch rainwater/melt snow, grow vegetables in their greenhouse portion of the house year-around, harvest wind and solar energy, passive heat/cool.

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To the north of Taos are the southern Rockies. About 15 miles into those mountains is the Taos Ski Valley, an area which is home to a nationally known ski area. This is the house in the area which belongs to of a friend of mine. It is at 9600’ and a great place to spend the summer…cool.

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On the road up to the ski area is an old, but still used cabin.

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I took all those pictures with my Mavic Pro drone. After I took the one of this cabin, I turned the drone to take a picture of the fall colors in the area.

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and

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You can enjoy the winter if you like to ski, otherwise, perhaps, not so much.

Keith

_________________
2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:33 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Port Philip Bay, Melbourne, Australia
I'm a newbie to the AI and have been 'stalking' the Hobie pages for the last 2 weeks. I'm up to page 59 with the hakas and have picked up some good hints, ideas and down right necessities (thanks NOHUHU). It's a pity about so many pictures not being accessible - but they're still GREAT value. Last night I was trying to work out what Chekika was warning about with the ama shear pins, and his safety system (thanks, I think I've got it). Also the tethering to the AI (thanks tonystott). I'm open to adapting any other suggestions for touring and adapting them to my first crack at AI touring which will be heading down one of our Australian rivers (Murray), hopefully in the beginning of March. It will solo and not from the source (that great flexibility of the AI doesn't include white water rivers). I'm starting not far from the last of the white water and going down to the mouth which will be around 2,200 kilometers (1,360 miles). So I'll be making some hakas, trialing them, adjusting my kit and developing a sleeping system (thanks stringy) to suit the luxurious AI. Also thanks to aussieonyak, KayakingBob, chrisj and so many others, you've all crammed my head full of great stuff, and my wife glazes over with the word kayak. Not to worry, she quickly recovers with some vigor when I offer her a berth :D

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Jeff
AI (2016)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:25 pm
Posts: 2642
Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Welcome aboard Pneuma and I hope you get as much enjoyment as we have on our Island adventures!
We are away at the moment visiting Wilson’s Promontory with the aim of getting to South Point- the most southerly tip of mainland Australia, hopefully in the next couple of days.
Reading back through all the old posts is a great way to learn, there is so much useful info buried within this forum. It’s a real shame about the pics disappearing. What transformed sailing for us was adding Haka, spinnaker and outboard, which really help with long distance adventures.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:18 am 
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Location: Port Philip Bay, Melbourne, Australia
Thanks stringy. I'm pretty excited, in fact stoked about the AI ... feel a bit like a kid again ... they have so much potential and scope of use, but you guys already know about that and also the accommodation and transportation stuff. Purchasing the AI sort of overtook me and unlike Jaws, "I think we're doing to need a bigger boat", I've got the bigger boat but not the new front path entry to fit it, and hadn't counted on moving her citrus tree to get to the newly needed addition to the shed for the new secure storage. Oh, and there's the working out the new roof rack system for a pretty challenged low roof max whilst towing the camper without too many $$$. The adult had to return, but almost there and the kids ready to cut loose this weekend.

The Prom and the Islands up the coast there are a lovely part of the country and the past few days have been pretty good weather (mind you the Prom can be a weather magnet for scruffy weather). But you must be having a brilliant time and being AI/TI based it's not crowded camping. Any pictures or clips? I guess you have already been on the most eastern point, but the other two could be challenging. Haven't read much about the spinnakers as yet but have seen them on the clips. This will be one of the many further areas to explore.

I've been getting a lot of 'education' reading the posts and a bit of salavating watching the clips. Deferred gratification might be over rated! The haka post has been my mainstay and you could say I'm pining for my own haka. You've acknowledged the beauty of the simple wooden haka (well sanded of course) and while I have my name on one of those in the future, for the Murray paddle I have something else in mind. It has been touched on in the haka thread but I don't think I'll let the cat out just yet, and if/when it works out I'll have a post in the haka thread (hopefully) next week.

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Jeff
AI (2016)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:25 pm 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Quote:
The Prom and the Islands up the coast there are a lovely part of the country and the past few days have been pretty good weather (mind you the Prom can be a weather magnet for scruffy weather). But you must be having a brilliant time and being AI/TI based it's not crowded camping. Any pictures or clips? I guess you have already been on the most eastern point, but the other two could be challenging.


We are having a great time Pneuma! We are not camping this time but are doing day trips from a house at Toora, so no its not crowded. So far we have explored the Northern and Southern sections and yes we made it to South Point. I thought we could take advantage of the good weather, though both trips proved challenging, as the actual conditions were worse than predicted. Changes come through much quicker than we are used to at home, but the TI coped well. We made full use of the furlable main, spinnaker, haka and outboard in the strong head, tail and cross winds, then no wind, that we experienced when in the lee of the coastline in certain places. The stability of the TI was great in the confused seas as waves bounced off the rocky coast.
Next week we move into a cabin at Tidal River for a few days and hope to do much more exploring of The Prom, weather permitting!
Our tracks so far:
Image

Approaching South Point:
Image

The Southernmost tip of the mainland:
Image


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:17 pm 
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Location: South Florida
Great pictures, Stringy. Keep them coming!

Keith

_________________
2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:15 pm 
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Location: Delnor Wiggins, Fl Peters Twp PA
Chekika wrote:
Great pictures, Stringy. Keep them coming!

Keith


+1

Magical place there! Looks like a heavy jacket being worn under the PFD. How are the currents?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:50 am 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Thanks Keith and Bob. It is a very impressive and scenic part of Australia and our first visit here. Unfortunately the weather has not been kind for our actual stay at ‘The Prom’. I had hoped to get out today but at 8:30am 53 knot gusts were recorded, which did drop to 41 knots at 12:00pm and were down to 22 knots at 4:00pm ...so went walking instead.

The view from Mount Oberon shows what a great area it is:
Image

Differing land forms:

Image

Image

Image

The currents can be strong Bob but the Outboard negates them. The water temp is 20C and we were just wearing shirts under our PFD’s.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:16 am 
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Beautiful pictures, Stringy. Thanks!

Yes, that kind of wind is definitely walking weather!

Keith

_________________
2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:15 am 
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Location: Port Philip Bay, Melbourne, Australia
Nice photos Stringy. It looks a very pleasant time and I’m beginning to understand the penchant towards motoring. When I’d camp and fish from Waratah Bay I’d often watch the Prom cop more than its share of the local dirty weather, but is a lovely spot and hard to beat on a good day. Toora is a great base and you’ve got Foster around the corner providing some tasty morsels. If you haven’t checked out the information boards in the town they’re quite interesting (well to me anyway). Are you doing any fishing? Also cabins at Tidal river ... nice :)

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Jeff
AI (2016)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:33 pm 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
I’m not much of a fisherman Pneuma, prefer just touring.
We actually stayed in the new units at Tidal River. They were amazing! You can see them left of centre in this pic. (also note Skull Rock Island in the distance at the end of the ridge)
Image




With only one full day left, after the 50 knot day, and with predictions for the strong winds to continue I thought that was it for our TI adventures.
However we woke the next day to much calmer winds and decided on one final trip.
On our South Point trip we’d noticed an island that looked different from the rest. Researching, we discovered it was called Cleft Island, also known as Skull Rock. A local tour operator includes it as a highlight on their itinerary:

Image

Image

It is a huge chunk of granite rising from Bass Strait and has a spectacular large cave. It was worth a closer look so we decided to make Skull Rock our destination. It’s app 14km out from Tidal River and with light winds we motored the whole way. Unfortunately in the surf launch my normal camera (an IPod in a housing) took on some water and was fogged up so we only have wide GoPro video clips. The trip was a lot rougher than the GoPro footage shows, especially closer to the island but you can get some idea from this brief clip:

For those interested in finding out more, check out this 8 minute clip from BBC’s Coast Australia series which also highlights the spectacular scenery of The Prom area
https://vimeo.com/157245381

We had an incredible stay, got four day trips in, each around 30km long:
Red- Walkerville, around Cape Liptrap to Morgan Beach 34km
Green- Toora to Corner Inlet and Entrance Point 30km
Yellow- Tidal River to South Point 28km
Blue- Tidal River to Skull Rock and Oberon Bay 34km
Image

Sadly our time at Wilsons Promontary has ended. With so much more still to see we’ll be back.


Last edited by stringy on Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:45 pm 
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Wow! Fantastic pictures Stringy. Amazing! I wonder what the thinking is for formation of Skull Rock?

Thanks for posting!

Keith

_________________
2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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