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Thread: Aton lost

  1. #1
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    Aton lost

    I'm sitting here crushed. Took my aton out for some fun in the field a block away. I had lots of battery left so decided to walk it like a dog home at about 5 feet. 2 houses away it beeps I am guessing low battery and it takes off on its own. Air Breaks don't work and instead of returning to where we started it heads toward the lake and over it. I go sprinting after it, but lose sight of it and by the time I got over there it was gone. Walked around the apartment complex for more than an hour. looked on the roof, in trees, etc.

    I assume the thing doesn't float but I didn't see any splash or disturbance in the water. its bright green, it shouldn't be that hard to find but it went into a black hole and I never heard the beep.

    First, what good is Air Brake and a warning for battery being low if it doesn't work if you need it? I had zero chance to put it down, it beeped and took off.

    Two what good is return to home if its not going to actually go there? if it had just headed toward where I launched it, there would have been zero problems. no I have never had it not return to home when I pressed the button or it lost connection before.

    I'm really disappointed in myself but also in this product. If it had worked correctly then I'd still have it.

    Im a longtime traxxas fan, but this really hurts my confidence in the brand.

    Im just crushed
    X-MAXX, Stampede VXL 4x4, Spartan

  2. #2
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    Hello dt393,

    Sorry to hear you had this happen. Do you know if it had been updated to the latest firmware version?

    Some other folks have related experiences where they "walked it" from one place to another not realizing that eventually they would hit the geofence and trigger the RTH failsafe. However, I take it that it didn't return home for you, so that doesn't explain your experience.

    Do you remember what the beep sounded like? Were there one, two, or three beeps in the middle of the sequence?

    Maybe you can still find it. In the end, you should call Traxxas and see what they can do for you.

    Good luck,

    Larry

  3. #3
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    Thanks Larry, yeah I had the latest firmware. I didn't think about the geofense since I was 5 feet from it. I don't know the sound. it made more of s trill I think. it all happened without any warning. the sound, it starting to rise, me hitting drop throttle and then air breaks with no response and then it started head to home, but then it turned right and headed to the lake. I thought it had enough flight time since that's the narrow part, I heard the descending beeps but never saw what happned by the time I cleared the area. I got there quickly but it was just gone, vanished so I'm guessing the lake somehow but no one saw a thing despite people being out on their balconies. I will call Traxxas tomorrow for sure. I posted reward flyers all over that area.
    X-MAXX, Stampede VXL 4x4, Spartan

  4. #4
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    I'm confident is Traxxas and their cars. Although, Traxxas has a LONG way to go with properly getting their products up in the air. I've seen more than enough disturbing design flaws IMO and I can't tell if they are intentional or not! (Alias motors dying extremely fast, Aton motor prop thread will strip if you tighten down ONE screw too hard rendering a perfect "$40" motor useless, Aton was released with corrupt firmware , puffing batteries due to C rating or maybe lack of an ESC per motor... apparently there was a reason to swap some transmitters for the older Aton models? the Aton is a lot of fun but sure did come with a little trouble for me... Next time Traxxas I think you should wait a little longer prior to launching a new bird, make sure all the flaws are worked out properly. I spent 500 on my Aton plus and have had quite a bit of stress with this particular model. Just my two cents. I hope Traxxas takes this criticism lightly and looks into my recommendations.

  5. #5
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    Aton expert mode

    ................
    Last edited by Pfrx720; 08-29-2016 at 08:03 AM. Reason: Mistake post

  6. #6
    RC Qualifier cazrack's Avatar
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    These uncontrollable fly aways, if GPS is off do they still occur?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cazrack View Post
    These uncontrollable fly aways, if GPS is off do they still occur?
    The old firmware had some issues which were resulting in occasional fly-aways (or other unexpected behavior) across the Aton community. At least that is how I interpreted it.

    But this is (I think) the first time someone has reported (in this forum) an unexplained fly-away where the new firmware was in place.

    So, at this point, disabling GPS would be an extreme reaction to take. I wouldn't recommend it. We can't know if disabling GPS would have prevented it since this is the only report of its kind in this forum.

    The most important thing is for everyone to be sure that they are using the latest firmware and hopefully the root cause of this incident will be eventually explained.

    DT393, have you spoken to Traxxas support? Did they have any explanations for why this might have happened?

    Larry

  8. #8
    RC Qualifier cazrack's Avatar
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    I dont know much about quadcopters yet but is it common to have fly aways with non gps racing quadcopters? I dont think so but i could be wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by dt393 View Post
    2 houses away it beeps I am guessing low battery and it takes off on its own. Air Breaks don't work and instead of returning to where we started it heads toward the lake and over it.
    Aton beeps when low battery kick in and it should return to home, that is to the gps spot you took off from provided you had gps lock on when you took off?

    If it flew somewhere else prehaps it didnt have good gps reception when low battery kicked in and you transmitter couldnt (reach/connect) to it when you tried.
    Last edited by Double G; 08-30-2016 at 03:21 PM. Reason: merge

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cazrack View Post
    I dont know much about quadcopters yet but is it common to have fly aways with non gps racing quadcopters? I dont think so but i could be wrong.
    Not racing quadcopters because if/when they go haywire they generally don't stay in the air for long.

    Other non-GPS quadcopters, which auto level, have been known to lose connection and just keep going. But this is less common now days since software now often include loss-of-control failsafes (e.g. they land, not necessarily gracefully, when they lose contact).

    Larry

  10. #10
    RC Qualifier cazrack's Avatar
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    Doesnt feel good when you dont trust the

    1. GPS RTH when it enters lvc low battery state,
    Can you disable automatic GPS RTH when lvc kick in?

    2. A low grade transmitter with no (real) antennas
    Is it possible to use another better transmitter?

    Thanks.

    /Patiently waiting for a aton with official FPV and a 3 axis gimbal.
    But i dont want my expensive Gimbal and expensive Camera to fly away ;-)

  11. #11
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    in-line [LarryTru]:

    Doesnt feel good when you dont trust the

    1. GPS RTH when it enters lvc low battery state,
    Can you disable automatic GPS RTH when lvc kick in?

    [LarryTru] There are two "known" issues I am aware of with the low voltage RTH failsafe. 1) There is no guarantee that there is enough battery left to get it all the way home. 2) Running batteries that low will likely shorten their lifespan. For both these reasons I land when the battery gets to 2 bars on the battery level indicator. The way to "disable automatic GPS RTH when lvc kicks in" is to land before the batteries get so low.

    2. A low grade transmitter with no (real) antennas
    Is it possible to use another better transmitter?

    [LarryTru] There is currently no way to use a different transmitter. However, why distrust it? I know another owner was having range issues, but the problem disappeared after he sent it in to Traxxas for service. So, while some individual units have been found to be weak, there doesn't seem to be a universal issue with the transmitter.

    Larry

  12. #12
    RC Qualifier cazrack's Avatar
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    When in sport mode in which occurrences does the Aton automatically decide to use GPS?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cazrack View Post
    When in sport mode in which occurrences does the Aton automatically decide to use GPS?
    I don't know for sure, but I "think" it uses GPS in sport mode pretty much continuously as one of the sources (along with the other sensors) of data the flight controller uses to regulate its flight.

    GPS is used more conspicuously when "air break" is engaged and when any of the failsafe RTH conditions (low-voltage, geo-fence, & signal loss) are triggered.

    Is that what you meant?

    Larry

  14. #14
    RC Qualifier cazrack's Avatar
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    So there is no manual mode flying without GPS like some other well known camera drones have?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cazrack View Post
    So there is no manual mode flying without GPS like some other well known camera drones have?
    There is a way to disable GPS lock, primarily intended for things like flying indoors where the GPS receiver might not be able to get a strong enough signal.

    Larry

  16. #16
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    I fly mine inside using sport mode with gps not locked in all the time , I tried once in film mode and it crashed pretty quick

  17. #17
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    are there trees? did you have the RTH height higher than the default 45'? I raised mine to 85' the same weekend mine took off when I was walking mine like a dog also.. but it flew high enough to clear the trees. maybe yours hit a tree or ridge of a house if your in a complex.
    Traxxas please sell kits!

  18. #18
    RC Qualifier cazrack's Avatar
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    Personally i would like to fly with GPS on but it should not provide any kind of automatic assistance unless i press RTH or airbrakes and when you do that you should always be able to take back manual control and remove automatic GPS assistance.

    But from what info i can gather, GPS is always on and waiting to surprise take over the aton from you which causes fly aways. It feels more like a risky gamble to use it since you never know when its gonna betray you.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cazrack View Post
    it should not provide any kind of automatic assistance unless i press RTH or airbrakes and when you do that you should always be able to take back manual control and remove automatic GPS assistance.
    This is exactly how it works now except:
    1) the GPS is necessary to counteract wind and keep it from drifting and so data from he GPS is being used constantly in film mode for that.
    2) There are situations where the Aton tries to solve a problem by itself. These are failsafe conditions you wouldn't want it to just ignore (e.g. the battery gets dangerously low, the Aton loses it connection with the transmitter, it gets outside the distance you have specified it should stay within). Note that the battery low and geofence failsafes are entirely within your control to avoid. Only the signal loss one is something that is outside of your control. I think it is obvious that it is generally better for it to return to home in that case than to do anything else.
    3) In the event of a software error, it may not work as you described. this is the nature of software errors, things don't work the way they should when they happen. With the new firmware, software errors appear to be exceedingly rare.

    But from what info i can gather, GPS is always on and waiting to surprise take over the aton from you which causes fly aways. It feels more like a risky gamble to use it since you never know when its gonna betray you.[/QUOTE]

    "surprise take over" = failsafes (which are good), and they don't "cause" fly-aways. I don't think you are considering the big picture when you think its a "risky gamble". According to the reports received in this forum fly-aways are very, very rare (with the latest firmware). This forum is not a complete picture of everything happening in the world, but I think we'd see indicators here within the forum if they were happening (as we used to before the latest firmware was released) frequently.

    All this is just my opinion, but it is based on what I've read in this forum since January.

    Larry

  20. #20
    RC Qualifier cazrack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryTru View Post
    This is exactly how it works now except:
    1) the GPS is necessary to counteract wind and keep it from drifting and so data from he GPS is being used constantly in film mode for that.
    2) There are situations where the Aton tries to solve a problem by itself. These are failsafe conditions you wouldn't want it to just ignore (e.g. the battery gets dangerously low, the Aton loses it connection with the transmitter, it gets outside the distance you have specified it should stay within). Note that the battery low and geofence failsafes are entirely within your control to avoid. Only the signal loss one is something that is outside of your control. I think it is obvious that it is generally better for it to return to home in that case than to do anything else.
    3) In the event of a software error, it may not work as you described. this is the nature of software errors, things don't work the way they should when they happen. With the new firmware, software errors appear to be exceedingly rare.

    But from what info i can gather, GPS is always on and waiting to surprise take over the aton from you which causes fly aways. It feels more like a risky gamble to use it since you never know when its gonna betray you.
    "surprise take over" = failsafes (which are good), and they don't "cause" fly-aways. I don't think you are considering the big picture when you think its a "risky gamble". According to the reports received in this forum fly-aways are very, very rare (with the latest firmware). This forum is not a complete picture of everything happening in the world, but I think we'd see indicators here within the forum if they were happening (as we used to before the latest firmware was released) frequently.

    All this is just my opinion, but it is based on what I've read in this forum since January.

    Larry[/QUOTE]

    Certainly understand what you mean but I would like to be able to fly the Aton as a normal NON GPS racer without the GPS surprise automatic take over so if you could disable/enable it as you see fit would be nice. When LOS flying at open soccer fields (close) to houses, trees and other infrastructure i dont want to risk the automatic failsafe GPS/compass cause a fly away.

  21. #21
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    [QUOTE=cazrack;6298030
    Certainly understand what you mean but I would like to be able to fly the Aton as a normal NON GPS racer without the GPS surprise automatic take over so if you could disable/enable it as you see fit would be nice.[/QUOTE]

    You can do that if you want (see page 9 of your manual). It is intended for use on indoor flights.

    However, my opinion is that you would just be trading one risk for another. There is an exceedingly small chance that it would "fly-away" (software bug or GPS failure). But it is more likely that you would run into a different error condition (loss of signal or low battery) where the Aton could end up damaging property or injuring someone.

    Very few of us have ever had a fly away, but many of us have experienced loss of signal or low battery conditions.

    I'm certainly glad that when I've lost signal in the past, that it automatically came back in range for me rather than just drifting, landing, or whatever it does in a non-gps failsafe condition.

    Larry



    Larry

  22. #22
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    It happened to me walking it back to my house it went right back to where I took off, over a tree a pond and back on the levee that I fly from. On checkin with Traxxas it doesn't matter how close you are to the quad when you reach the fence it goes into rth. Not sure what happened but hope someone finds it and returns it to you. I have my address and phone # on mine just in case. Lol

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cazrack View Post
    I dont know much about quadcopters yet but is it common to have fly aways with non gps racing quadcopters? I dont think so but i could be wrong.



    Aton beeps when low battery kick in and it should return to home, that is to the gps spot you took off from provided you had gps lock on when you took off?

    If it flew somewhere else prehaps it didnt have good gps reception when low battery kicked in and you transmitter couldnt (reach/connect) to it when you tried.

    Racing quads? There are people that use GPS and compass etc for 250 size quads which are considered racer size, so they can fly off, but generally speaking the average racer, no. Alot of racer quads dont even have stabilised modes.

    If I lose control or have an issue, I disarm. i have my failsafe also set to disarm.

    I can fix broken, cant fix lost.

  24. #24
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    Any quad can fly off on you, racer, non racer, dji to Aton to blade chroma. GPS quads just have a tendency to do it more

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