QUICK: Ideas for getting drone out of tree! [EDIT: already got it down, but ideas are welcome!]

Ok, so I have built up my $400 FPV quadcopter, and just last night, I was able to get it in the air working flawlessly! I then proceeded to have fun with FPV on a small TV monitor. I quickly got the hang of it, and decided to venture up and around the back yard.

However, there was one problem I have been neglecting, which of course, it bit my ass as you can tell from the title. From countless hours of debugging and stress-testing previous weeks to find the intermittent issue with the ESCs, I finally pinned down the issue and was able to reprogram the ESCs, as well as calibrate them properly. (turned out when I first built the quad many moones ago, I unknowingly entered programming mode in the past and changed stuff I had no intention to change!)

So eventually, I punctured one of the cells on the battery, and did not realize until a few days ago. I found after close inspection that it was most likely due to a crash which dislodged the battery from the strap, and it scraped up against the video transmitter shielding and heatsink. I removed and discarded the damaged cell, so I was left with a 2S battery. It is BARELY enough to lift the quad. And very slowly at that. However, I could not wait for the new battery to come! I just HAD to fly it to see if I got it to work! :D

So today, I have been practicing full-on FPV, and unknowingly flew above a tree. I thought I was next to our chicken house,  and was looking directly at it, hoping to land directly in front of it. However, I did not know I was as close as I was to the tree directly below me. By the time I saw it it in the mobius camera, a slammed the throttle as high as possible, but by that time it was too late. That stupid 2S battery that I have not bothered to replace just did not have the umph to pop the quad up into the air higher, and as it discharged to below 6.98V based on the video feedback data, and the quad just kept descending even at full throttle due to the voltage being too low to effectively power the motors.

So there it went tumbling and got snagged on to a thin limb. I lost remote control, so I could not get it unstuck like I did before from a previous flight. But I still surprisingly had FPV working, with the minimOSD sending down GPS data and battery voltage level. So I get to watch the battery voltage trickle down 1 mv at at time. (Welp, time to pop the kettlecorn and watch the 2S battery progressively deep-discharge and get more damaged by the minute!) It did, however, rise back up to 7.4V unloaded (telling me that the internal resistance must be pretty high, so I would not to too bothered too much to throw away the 2S battery entirely!)  Nor did I bother to watch it to see how low and how long it will take to discharge below the safe limit. I packed up all monitor and ground gear to get it out of the cold.

So here it stands; stuck real high. I have tried climbing up 14-18 feet onto the tree, but it was still a good 12 feet up. I tried a rope to the trunk and shook the hell out of the tree. The limb that the quad was stuck on did not move much, and the tree was dampening the vibrations too much, even after hitting a resonance peak (technically a harmonic of the resonant frequency), where I could clearly see 2 "standing waves" in the trunk, but that got tiring real quick,and the winter sun has set and things were getting darker by the minute. I did not budge the quad. 

I eventually resorted to shooting the limb with a 22 rifle, and on the 3rd shot, I got it to fall down!!! .......... 3 feet, that is, until it got stuck on an even LARGER branch, and now it is really stuck on it. It is on its side on a small fork in the tree, and it is snagged on that now. I can't shoot the base of the branch to break it, because it is like 4 inches in diameter, and on the forked branch right where it is caught, the quadcopter is sitting directly on! If I shoot it, there is a good chance of hitting the quadcopter and destroying the lipo battery causing it to catch fire, or hit electronics or the camera with the beautiful 1080p HD footage of the crash! Again, shaking the tree violently does not do much to budge it.

Perhaps someone in the community has an idea on how to knock it down? 

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Vyger2 years ago

Chain saw. RRRRRmmmmm , Gas powered , makes things come down.

-max- (author)  Vyger2 years ago

Ehh, it is a good tree, I did not want to saw it up. A really long ladder and a pokey stick evenually let it come down the reso of the way.

kjsrocks2 years ago

I would just take my snorkel AKA boom lift AKA cherry picker

maybe you or a freind have one or your local rental center

iceng2 years ago

Next time borrow a bulb remover, that extends about 30'

-max- (author)  iceng2 years ago
I do not know of anyone who has that, but I did consider using a bow and arrow, and have tennis balls on the end of it, to knock it out of the tree. Though that would have been frustratingly hard probably. Thanks for the idea.

Any idea to make it so that it does not catch onto the limbs? I need a really lightweight material to cover all the electronics, but the motors props are like less than an inch above the electronics, so it needs to be thin too.
-max- (author) 2 years ago

Got it down with a really long ladder! But lost the footage of the crash and destroyed the battery pack. Oh well.