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How do I get heading degree feedback when I've lost orientation?

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How do I get heading degree feedback when I've lost orientation?

Old 08-26-2017, 12:22 PM
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theinteresthunter
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Default How do I get heading degree feedback when I've lost orientation?

When my plane goes far away (which is fun to do) what is a technological way to know it's heading and so I can fly it back.

Suggestions I'm NOT looking for:
1. FPV Goggles.
2. Physical techniques for visual queues (like pulling up and banking right... or doing just aileron right, etc)

Suggestions I am looking for:
I'm looking more for some sort of digital reading where I can look at my transmitter (or other device) and see what degree heading my plane is pointed to. Any suggestions?

I'm currently setup with a Hi-tec Flash 8 transmitter with a Maxima 9 receiver.... flying a Multiplex Heron glider.

Thanks for your help!
Old 08-26-2017, 12:39 PM
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The thing about this hobby is,no matter what you do, your gonna lose a plane for some reason Years ago I creamed one when I flew one right into the sun,I cut power and waited to see a plume of Balsa Dust. Ha
Old 08-26-2017, 05:05 PM
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j.duncker
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Off the shelf with FrSky see FrSky Telemetry — Copter documentation

GPS in the plane and telemetry to ground.

I am not familiar with your TX but look to see if they offer air to ground telemetry.
Old 08-27-2017, 04:58 AM
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jester_s1
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Why would you want to do this? Using an electronic device is not the best solution to every problem, despite what my middle school tech ed students think.

If you try to use a readout, you will have to look away from your plane. If you do that, chances are you'll never see it again. So all the technology will do for you is give you a general direction in which to look for the wreckage.

The way to maintain orientation is to understand the very basic principle that airplanes don't change course unless told to. If you were going away from yourself a few seconds ago, then you are still going away from yourself even if it doesn't look like it. So assume that and correct accordingly. If the issue is coming out of a maneuver and being surprised that your plane did something unexpected, the tried and true methods of giving the elevator a slight bump to see if it's upright or inverted and the commanding rudder input to see if it's going toward or away from you are the best chance you have of getting the plane back to yourself. Also, of course, learning to not fly so far away from yourself is a good habit to develop.
Old 08-27-2017, 05:10 PM
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I always just pull up, rotate the wings so you can't see then and then push down. You then know exactly which way the plane is flying. Saved many a plane this way for many people. If it's too far to see the wings then it will "land" somewhere. Lol
Old 08-29-2017, 04:09 AM
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I will second Jesters comment about not taking your eyes off of the plane, but I check my timer on my tx while flying by holding up my tx so I can keep an eye on the plane and check how much time I have left. If telemetry is something you are interested in, then go for it
Old 08-29-2017, 06:54 AM
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I will add my voice to the advice on never taking your eyes off your model.

If you ar doing something time dependent eg glider comps with a 10 minute max and stiff penalties for exceeding 10 minutes a programmable timer with an audio output and a countdown at the end is a very good investment.
Old 08-29-2017, 07:09 PM
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That's not at all what the OP is asking about though. He wants a digital readout to tell him his heading in degrees when he loses his plane. It's the classic error of going straight to technology to solve a problem rather that using skill or thought. I don't mean that as an insult BTW, just wanting to highlight that tech isn't the right tool for the job this particular time.
Old 08-29-2017, 08:56 PM
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Isn't the OP better off flying FPV, he can have all the electronics he can load to help him with orientation, speed, altitude and all that good stuff that an FPV provides.

My two cents.
Old 08-30-2017, 05:53 PM
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IMHO, nobody should be flying FPV until they can first fly without FPV equipment. A buddy of mine is way into drones, and he has stories of guys losing $1500 machines just because they lost their GPS link and with it their autonomous ability. They couldn't even fly the thing back to themselves and land it. To me that's just dangerous and altogether foolish.
Old 08-30-2017, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
Why would you want to do this? Using an electronic device is not the best solution to every problem, despite what my middle school tech ed students think.

If you try to use a readout, you will have to look away from your plane. If you do that, chances are you'll never see it again. So all the technology will do for you is give you a general direction in which to look for the wreckage.

The way to maintain orientation is to understand the very basic principle that airplanes don't change course unless told to. If you were going away from yourself a few seconds ago, then you are still going away from yourself even if it doesn't look like it. So assume that and correct accordingly. If the issue is coming out of a maneuver and being surprised that your plane did something unexpected, the tried and true methods of giving the elevator a slight bump to see if it's upright or inverted and the commanding rudder input to see if it's going toward or away from you are the best chance you have of getting the plane back to yourself. Also, of course, learning to not fly so far away from yourself is a good habit to develop.

This is embarrassing. This is twice I have agreed with Jester in a week. While he is right, you guys have to promise not to tell anybody we agreed on this. OK?

Scott
Old 09-02-2017, 06:45 AM
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Trust me when I say this Pylonracr, the shame is all mine.
Old 09-02-2017, 08:28 AM
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You watch the airplane, you fly it in your head. If you can't do that, buy a train.
Old 09-02-2017, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by HighPlains View Post
You watch the airplane, you fly it in your head. If you can't do that, buy a train.
NO, don't buy a train. Buy a Walmart R/C car. Trains can be damaged by taking a corner too fast as easily as a plane can be lost. I don't care what size engine you buy, they are still expensive to repair and even more so to replace. A Walmart toy grade car or buggy won't cost as much to replace when wrecked
Old 09-02-2017, 05:44 PM
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Don't be mean, guys. The OP simply needs to learn how to think with his plane. It's a skill that eludes many new pilots who want to trust their eyes for everything. Anyone who uses some basic logic, remembering how the plane was pointed a few seconds back and trusting that it has only changed based on the commands given, will be able to maintain orientation just fine.
Old 09-02-2017, 08:52 PM
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Exactly!
Old 09-03-2017, 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
Don't be mean, guys. The OP simply needs to learn how to think with his plane. It's a skill that eludes many new pilots who want to trust their eyes for everything. Anyone who uses some basic logic, remembering how the plane was pointed a few seconds back and trusting that it has only changed based on the commands given, will be able to maintain orientation just fine.
Logic is a skill lost, to many. This is the reason for the variety of gadgets available in today's RC marketplace. Why learn how to do something in the proper manner, when you can purchase a "toy" that will do it for you ?

Geez. I've been agreeing with you lately, too ????
Old 09-03-2017, 05:20 AM
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It's going around for sure. Probably has something to do with school being back in session. I'm sure it will pass.
Old 09-03-2017, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by TomCrump View Post
Logic is a skill lost, to many. This is the reason for the variety of gadgets available in today's RC marketplace. Why learn how to do something in the proper manner, when you can purchase a "toy" that will do it for you ?

Geez. I've been agreeing with you lately, too ????
Actually, it's not "Why learn" but, more accurately, "Why SHOULD I learn". People today are getting so dependent on tech and the internet that they can't think for themselves anymore. For example, I had a "kid", at work, ask what I was working on while drawing out frames for a personal project. When I told him that I was designing and building a gas scale hydroplane based on the 1978 Miss Madison, his comment was " Why don't you just order one off the internet?". When I told him that no one makes or sells the boat I'm working on, his comment was "If no one makes or sells it, then the boat never existed. If it had existed, someone would sell a model of it". I then "burst his bubble" when I showed him, online, pictures of the boat in both it's Pay'N Pak and Miss Madison paint schemes, followed by race footage from 1974 and pictures of the boat being restored. His response was "All of that is photo-shopped, none of it is real". He just couldn't believe that what he was seeing was, in truth, legit

Last edited by Hydro Junkie; 09-03-2017 at 01:06 PM.
Old 09-03-2017, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
Actually, it's not "Why learn" but, more accurately, "Why SHOULD I learn". People today are getting so dependent on tech and the internet that they can't think for themselves anymore.
I built a model for a beginner. I purposely steered him away from any radio that had SAFE or other gadgetry. What's he do ? He buys an after market device.

My club likes the Apprentices, etc. They push students through training in a hurry. They know little when they get their wings, though. Most take the easy route when they by future models. It's what the manufacturer had in mind, as it keeps them coming back for more.

This may be good for the manufacturer and select distributors, but I don't feel that it is good for our hobby.

Last edited by TomCrump; 09-03-2017 at 01:25 PM.
Old 09-03-2017, 05:09 PM
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But was his purchase of that device something he did on his own or did someone tell him to buy it? I doubt he knew what to buy unless someone else told him there were such devices that would help him fly his plane
Old 09-03-2017, 07:27 PM
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The devices don't bother me. Yes, I agree that they will ultimately delay a person from learning true flight skills. For some, it may take some of the satisfaction out of the hobby since they don't have to master handling the wind or getting the perfect setup. Some may leave the hobby because they get bored. But others will use it as a stepping stone to more challenging models. They may wind up putting the electronic training wheels on those models too, but why do I care? If they are out flying they are just as much a part of the hobby as I am. And if they are spending money, they are keeping the businesses that I like afloat. We have many things to complain about, but gadgets that make it easier for beginners aren't one of them.
Old 09-03-2017, 08:12 PM
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Jester, I'm not complaining. I'm just making an observation that someone probably told this guy he needed to buy a device to be sure he could fly his new plane, no more or less. My issue is that whoever told this guy to buy said device didn't do him any favors since what this new flyer needs to learn with his new plane will be lessons he most likely learns the hard way later, probably with a more expensive plane doing the teaching as he has probably wrecked it
Old 09-04-2017, 07:07 AM
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I can't imagine an experienced RC pilot recommending an electronic compass to manage orientation. The OP is probably a millennial, judging from the question and the way he phrased it. Millenials don't generally ask questions of people; they just want to Google everything. And they go straight to electronics to solve every problem if they can. For example, I was an educational aide for 2 years in a middle school. Sometimes the science teachers would give the kids an option of using the textbook or their phones to look up information (a mistake to offer that option, IMO). I would go around and turn the textbook to the right page for them, because many aren't even capable of using an index. Most would push the book aside and spend 2-3 minutes Googling because they were convinced that the electronic solution is always better and faster. It's just the way they think, and a lot of their success in life will depend on learning to think a little more critically about their assumptions.
Old 09-04-2017, 11:07 AM
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Who said it was an "experienced RC pilot" that recommended the device? It could have been someone with an ARF that had one integrated into the RC gear. All it would take is someone saying "Why doesn't your plane have this? If you install one, you won't have to worry about crashing", and off to the internet he goes. Reading through the forums, how many new flyers are touting how great the various "anti-crash" equipped planes are? That could have been the reason this guy bought the device as well. Without talking to him, we'll just never know

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