Great Idea Turned Into Not So Great - RC Groups
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Jun 24, 2013, 09:40 AM
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Great Idea Turned Into Not So Great


Ever had that great idea that turned into such a stupid one?
Here I like to call them BRAIN FARTS.

I'm starting this thread to share my Great Idea turned into a not so great one all because of a Brain Fart I had. But as you will surely find out this story has somewhat of a Happy Ending.

So I have a DJI f550 with NazaM and for those not familiar with these this is a Hexacopter (6motors/props) flying rc that most of the time is used for Aerial Video/Photo stuff. Anyways my f550 is equiped with the NazaM controller with GPS which means it knows it's location and when I do not input transmitter stick control the multirotor stays put. It also stays put in windy conditions.

So I was mainly sport flying mine without camera equipement BUT getting some video shot from onboard was getting more and more appealling.

So here's my GREAT IDEA.

Using my automotive suction cup for my Apple iPhone4 I mount the holder to the belly of the multirotor and attach my iPhone4 to it.

WAIT - Wait just one minute, lets put the iPhone4 in Airplane Mode so that it won't interfere with the GPS and electronic equipement on board the DJI f550 NazaM/GPS multirotor that I am controlling with a Spektrum DX18 and AR8000 fully loaded with Telemetry Altitude Sensor and Spektrum GPS Sensor.

Ok , iPhone4 in Airplane Mode, press Record and take off flying. Here comes another GREAT IDEA, lets climb to 2000ft and get a great view of where I live.

OH did I tell you guys it's the middle of March and this year Winter Season is extremely long and we are getting higher then usual amounts of snow falls.

Ok anyways with my setup I get about 10 minutes of flight when finally it's time to land. When I mounted the iPhone to the belly of the multirotor and since I don't have any landing gear I had to position the copter over a bin and have the legs over the edge while the phone was inside to bin so I could take off which means when it comes time to land I will need to grab it in mid air. NO problem I've grabbed it numerous times before.

So 10 minute is up and I'm coming back down from around 1600ft Altitude Sensor confirmed, closer, closer and finally close enough to grab AND OMG the iPhone and suction cup mount are missing. YIKES

At one point during the flight one of my girls put snow down my back (thinking it would be funny) but it caused me to look away from the multirotor which isn't a big deal since the GPS will keep it lock in place. I guess this is where the mount detached from the belly of the copter and fell back to earth.

Ok so now my GREAT IDEA isn't so great any more and it's about to get even more not so great when I realize I can't use the phone's GPS tracking cause Brain Fart I put the iPhone4 in Airplane Mode.

and another and why not another

6 hours later after searching everywhere I could, front yard, back yard, house roofs, my hourse neighbours house up and down the street even in trees I had no choice but to call my cell phone provider and declare my iPhone4 lost

Having log the entire flight on my Spektrum DX18 SD Card I sent the file to my iPad and using Spektrum's STI App I could view the flight path and at one point it showed the copter being over my front neighbours house or backyard so the next day I resumed the search for it and nothing.

The only other place it COULD be would be the construction yard behind my neighbour's house. So I called them up and ask if I could go and search for it. They informed me that on the weekends they have guard dogs and I couldn't go and during the week being a construction yard it was unsafe for me to go but they would pass the word around to employees and if it turned up they would call me.
Last edited by freechip; Jun 24, 2013 at 09:52 AM.
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Jun 24, 2013, 09:52 AM
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Great Idea NOW Not So Great


Well cell phone provider wants 200$ early upgrade fee since my 3yr contract isn't anywhere near over. Wife doesn't want me to get a new one or pay to get a new one since she wants me to learn from this experience so I'm left with a very out dated flip phone.

With every day passing and snow falling I'm often reminded of all the IMPORTANT information that was lost. Oh the COOL video it would be if I could have recovered it.

With every free/spare time a new search is conducted but always the same result NOTHING.

Now Winter finally over I have new hope that with the melting snow the phone and holder could be spotted easier BUT with that said the melting snow = water and water & Electronics don't go together too well so my chances of finding a working phone are pretty much NILL.

This spring we are getting rained on every other day and with that I can certainly forget about it.
Jun 24, 2013, 09:59 AM
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Story of a lost iphone

With the passing months I would constantly call my cell phone provider being I was a 20yr customer and demanded they offer me a deal or something for being a loyal customer and they explained why I had the FEE and what they offered me. That got me thinking that my wife's iPhone4 was also registered under my name so I enquired about it and it's Early Upgrade fee and what do you know She can upgrade hers at no fee.

Lets Go honey, lets go get you a new iPhone4s. Why? So I can have your old one.

YES - Finally I have an iPhone again, shame I lost all my contacts BUT hey just glad it's over and I got an iPhone again.
Jun 24, 2013, 10:04 AM
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Use Camera Not iPhone


So after having had my BRAIN FART and of course having learned a VALUABLE LESSON, I finally pulled the trigger and bought myself a brand new GoPro Hero3 Black Edition. so I can start making some cool videos.

AH but can you imagine the cool video the Lost iPhone would contain. What a shame at this point even if it had survived the 1600ft fall it would have surely NOT survived the harsh winter NOT survived all this rain.
Jun 24, 2013, 10:09 AM
Surface, Air & Water Rc Toys..
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Special delivery

FRIDAY JUNE 22nd, 2013

2:00pm in the afternoon at work almost done for the day I get a phone call from my daughter.

Someone from the Construction Place found my iPhone4 still attached to the automotive suction cup mount. This was the one place based on the SPEKTRUM GPS TELEMETRY that it could have been but I had no real way of searching for it myself and had to rely on others to look for it.

WoW After 3 1/2 months of winter and spring rain my iPhone4 has finally been returned.
Jun 24, 2013, 10:15 AM
Registered User
I gotta ask... did you look in the launch bucket/pail? :-/ Wouldn't that suck if it was sitting in there all season!

Thanks for sharing... Glad you have a working phone and a gopro now.... was on the edge of my seat hoping you'd have found the phone ;-)

Jun 24, 2013, 10:15 AM
Surface, Air & Water Rc Toys..
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The end


I hope you guys will learn from my mistake and DO NOT use your iPhone to take video from your RC.

What? You guys want to know what happened to the phone?

Well here it is - After falling from 1600ft and 15 weeks of sitting in the snow and rain this is what I got back.

iPhone4's Crazy Adventure (8 min 9 sec)
Jun 24, 2013, 10:23 AM
Surface, Air & Water Rc Toys..
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At the 2:00 mark in the video you can see the construction yard in the center of the scree. On the left of these building are couple of semi-traillers. The phone landed and was discovered on the top of one of them.

The phone contained over 41minutes of video and stop recording because it reached full memory capacity.
Jun 24, 2013, 10:29 AM
Registered User
Cool. The end of the story ;-)
Jun 24, 2013, 11:10 AM
1Corinthians 13:1-8
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That is amazing that it survived the weather that long. Good story.

Latest blog entry: Carbon Fiber Bird
Jun 24, 2013, 11:21 AM
Surface, Air & Water Rc Toys..
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I have contacted Apple and I'm waiting for feedback.

I was truly shocked when I saw it for the first time that the screen wasn't crack, I'm thinking the front and back screen/scratch protectors play a rool in that. And to have it power up after almost 4 months in the snow and rain is quite amazing.

Shame the video is so full of jello BUT you can clearly see it did in fact fall from the sky and judging from the duration of the spinning action it did infact fall from very high up.

I've tested my Spektrum Telemetry and the Altitude sensor is pretty accurate and Telemetry logging showed a little over 1600ft.

I'm actually surprised at the GPS information from the Spektrum Telemetry as it during the playback of the flight showed it flying over there but the entire time I had visual sight of the craft it always appeared to be flying over head.

I had a feeling when it wasn't quickly found that there was a chances the Spektrum information was accurate but it was the one place I personnally could not go look for myself.

It was an expensive lessoned learned BUT it makes for a great story I think and why I wanted to share it with RCG members.
Jun 24, 2013, 11:24 AM
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We gotta take this viral for Apple.

Jun 24, 2013, 11:30 AM
Surface, Air & Water Rc Toys..
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Contacting them is not easy.

I LiveChat with someone and they recommended I post FeedBack.
She did say it was probably the best story she had heard.

With her help Feedback was left but other then driving an hour to Apple Store to talk to someone there I don't know they would be in the position to help me out.

Will see how this feedback thing pans out.

Kudos to Spektrum and the guys working on the Telemetry stuff, Spektrum GPS with the STI app did show it flying over that spot but like I said it was the one place I couldn't go look for it.
Jun 24, 2013, 12:27 PM
Registered User

Great Video

I am not an APPLE owner, but that is a great story. I liked the in flight video as it looks something like a spacecraft flying over and landing on an alien world.

I realize where you live can be considered an alien world in winter. I know as I am down your way several times a year visiting family.

Another Crazy Canuck,
Jun 24, 2013, 02:45 PM
Ken's CAD Models
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Thanks for posting this story. It was an enjoyable adventure. At the same time I am sorry for the loss and expense. I had recently lost my quad with my GoPro Hero 3 White onboard. Somewhere in a lake. Did not see the exact drop in point.

Latest blog entry: Ken's CAD Models new web site

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