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11th hour help

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by Fasterthansid, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. Fasterthansid

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    Hi,

    My son is a photographer and is wanting to do ariel shots, videos etc. So I thought I'd surprise him with a vision 2 plus. I've looked online and it looks fantastic.
    I'm paying for it tomorrow but have been trawling the web the past week and seen people slating it for damaged gimbles and cameras etc after what they call soft crash landings.
    Now my son is used to using expensive pieces of equipment, and I mean EXPENSIVE, and he is an incredibly sensible guy with all his equipment.
    I think what I'm after here is a bit of reassurance that I'm not spending a large amount of my money on a dud piece of equipment that can't take gentle knocks. I'm thinking that during its life it's bound to have a crash but I don't want it to be the death of it.
    Obviously people with problems to there equipment shout louder than people that don't, and quite rightly so, but am I just hearing the people that have problems. Will they take a knock??

    Am I better buying larger landing gear to keep the camera further away from the floor, is there any form of crash protection available for the camera??

    No doubt if he has one I will also get the itch and want one for myself as I also love my photography but in a less expensive way than he does.
     
  2. ORPER

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    Hello I bought the Phantom 2 Vision + and have numerous flights in different weathers with no real problems had a hiccup but got it back and reading through loads of post here before I even turned it on helped me.

    Love it to bits and flies super well. Just need to practice landings and no extra gear is needed.

    There are a few practice steps in a leaflet to do and those are good starts.

    Bottom line is that it a great flying machine

    Btw just in case the unthinkable happens and it decides to fly away... get a gps tracker for it and good luck !

    :)
     
  3. Flyer91

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    There is no doubt that the cameras/gimbal of the Plus are a bit fragile, but how much of a knock it takes to damage them is a relative thing.

    I've posted about the wider and taller landing gear but (as I've also mentioned) I have not yet used them.
    Intuitivly they look to be just what the Plus needs, to get the camera higher up off the ground, provide a wider stance for landing, and be a better "bumper" than the stock gear.

    But they almost assuredly won't allow you to fit your Plus into any of the cases made for it, and may not behave as well as the stock gear in flight.
    Somebody using heavier/larger gear will need to address that aspect.

    But ... they're cheap, and you might just want to get a set to try them ..... especially if there are no outstanding negative reports to be found on any of the Phantom forums.
     
  4. sergekouper

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    These things have some fragile bits such as the camera and the gimbal, as well as the props. The rest of it is more "resistant" but the rule is NO CRASH. Being extremely serious.
    At the beginning I allowed myself to crash a few times ( 3 or 4 times + 1 in the water!) but I've quickly understood that it was not a toy, and crashing was not an option.

    Getting longer legs can save gimbal and camera you're correct.
    These phantoms are actually flying cameras and he will probably treat it as a part of his equipment. So no doubt he will be cautious with it.

    Bear in mind that the spare parts are not really available for this model, and it would be a shame to have it grounded for God knows how long if he breaks something.

    I use a Phantom 2+ zenmuse+GoPro and separate FPV, which gives me more flexibility, and repair options if necessary. You can get those ready to fly, the same way you get the Vision+.
     
  5. Fasterthansid

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    If the worst did happen, fingers crossed it won't, but if it did can you fit another type of gimble that just plugs into the original unit and then use a gopro. Or is life just not this simple.

    Also, how easy is it to fit tall landing gear. I see the compass is attached to the original landing gear. Does the wiring for the compass run through the internals of the leg or is it external.
     
  6. EMCSQUAR

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    Location:
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    I'd recommend buying the P2 w/H3 3D gimbal and a Gopro option. It's more versatile and you're not confined to DJI camera specs. (Nor is it as fragile)
     
  7. Flyer91

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    Location:
    In the Sierras, 17 miles outside Yosemite N. P.
    Yes, there are slotted grommets that go into holes in the landing gear legs, by where they attach to the Phantom's body, and both the antennas and the cable for the compass sensor pass through these.
    The gear is held on by 8 Philips screws, and are not difficult to remove.
    The most difficult part is feeding the compass cable and it's connector through the landing gear hole.
    It's all a bit tricky, but not anything major if you are moderately handy, IMHO.
    NOTE: on edit I edited out the part were I indicated that you need to open up the Phantom, I forgot the compass sensor has its own connector and that's all you need to disconnect.

    I would add, I really don't think you will find anything negative about the taller 'and' wider landing gear.
    I was trying to be as descriptive as I could and may have over-cautioned WRT any possible impact on flight characteristics.
    So without trying to mince my words ( making them easier to eat later ;) ) I recommend them ...... even for advanced pilots, as sometimes a hard landing is just plain beyond the control of the pilot.
     
  8. Birdman

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    I think he'll be fine with the P2V+. If he used to expensive equipment and knows how to treat them, he shouldn't have problems with the camera. It downs' sound like he's likely to fly the thing into the ground nor be careless with landings. The camera and gimble will take normal use. At least mine has. I've had a couple of less than ideal landings, but always on a gravel driveway. The camera still works fine after 20+ flights--and landings. Some folks have had problems, but if it arrives in good shape, the gimbals and camera shouldn't offer problems.

    As mentioned earlier, he might prefer the GoPro version, but keep in mind with that one you'll need to spend in the neighborhood of $2,200 to get the same capability of live camera viewing.
     
  9. ToThePoint

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    Get longer landing gear because the camera mounted on the gimbal is very close to the ground. If something or the landing surface isn't flat and there is something sticking higher the were the legs land it will touch the fragile gimbal+camera.
    Also it is possible to detach that fragile piece so your son can practice.
    Learn to fly first. It isn't easy and mistakes can be made very quick.
     
  10. PetePerrim

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    I agree with you 100%. Get the Phantom 2 with H3-3D. You can then use your own camera and Tx/Rx combo for FPV. Probably going to cost you more to fully kit up but believe me, a much better and more reliable package in the end.
     
  11. Dirty Bird

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    IMHO, the Vision+ is, a solid aerial platform. It requires a reasonably competent pilot. The Phantom itself is robust, and can handle some abuse. The Vision+ camera/gimbal assembly, due to its lightweight construction, diminutive size, and location beneath the airframe, will NOT fair well in a crash. This does NOT mean it is bad. NONE of these gimbal mechanisms fare well in a crash! Were the gimble mounted above the airframe, as in some other designs, it would help. But in a hard crash, the gimbal itself is likely to bend/break due to the crash stresses. I have 54 flights on my Vision+. So far, I have not had so much as a prop strike.

    With reasonable knowledge, care, skill, and common sense, the Vision+ can and does perform remarkably well. At the same time, they are complex devices and one failed component can bring one down in a hurry. A hard crash is going to destroy the camera/gimbal. Best I can recommend is make sure you advise your son to read the manual several times, understand the aircraft, watch lots of YouTube videos to become familiar with the Phantom and its nuances, and spend some time in the Phantom forums.
     
  12. Fasterthansid

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    Thank you all for your fantastic replies. It does seem to be a 50-50 split on this decision even with you guys who are experienced pilots of these machines. I'm now stuck with my decision as I really do fancy buying one for him and one for myself after seeing what footage can be achieved.
    I think if the budget allowed I would go for the gopro option and have a more part replaceable machine. But we only have one gopro between us so another expense of that and the extra equipment is too much for my wallet. I think I'm going to go for the vision plus and put taller landing gear on it.
    I'm almost too afraid to fly the thing when it arrives, but I think that's a good thing. He will also get the biggest lecture of his life when I hand his over to him. I've still got a few hours before the dealer calls me for my payment details so no doubt this desicion will be spinning in my head until then.

    Again, thank you all for your replies.
     
  13. Fasterthansid

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    Or I could buy him a gopro compatible unit and then wait for my wallet to recuperate from the shock and then get myself one as well in a couple of months time. I can't believe what a hard desicion this is.
     
  14. Bespoke Wind Up

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    This is simply not true and appears to be based upon your limited experience with the fragile Vision +

    I've experienced a pretty bad crash (momentary loss of power to a motor) and my Tarot gimbal and Gopro survived just fine. Popped a new battery in and kept flying.
     
  15. XL-Studios

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    With this option you will have to buy him a FPV system also to get the same functionality as the P2V+. I think he will be fine with the P2V+ if he take it easy in the beginning and learn from others documented misstakes on this forum, youtube etc. I am now over 100 flights and have not had even one bad landing with the P2V+ so far. (only one or two close calls due to pilot error)
    Your son is going to have the biggest smile on hes face after every time flying the P2V+ It´s really that fun and rewarding!
     
  16. ToThePoint

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    I had a few really nasty crashes on farmland with the V+. ( i know why i had the crashes, inbound to fast on low battery (20%) makes that the props have less power to stabilize. When you release the controls to let it hover it just doesn't have the power left, making it out of control. So low on battery and coming in hard, slowly release the controls to neutral. Its an easy made mistake due to the excitement of running low on battery. )
    The kind of smacking to the ground and then tipping over.
    Farmland isn't flat @ all, you always have that row forming due to plow activity's.
    The gimbal on this V+ is still doing fine, but before my first flight with it i did a DIY extension of the hight so it has more clearance between ground an camera.
     
  17. Dirty Bird

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    The Tarot is the 2D gimbal sold by Hobby King for around $120? (I'm on their mailing list...lol) I did not mean to imply that in "every" crash a gimbal is going to be destroyed. Even the Vision+ gimbal occasionally survives a crash...witness Midwest Jeff's video hitting the tower. But in general, due to the nature of their design, a gimbal is much more fragile & prone to damage than simply having a camera hard-mounted to the airframe.
     
  18. vortigern

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    Not a crash from a big height but into the trees and flipped over on its back. When picked up the propellers were trying to turn. As you can see no damage was done and the P2V+ continued to fly. I had prop guards on which I am sure helped.
    http://youtu.be/OH4iqNQYaqU
     
  19. CRankin

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    My $0.02.... I think that as long as your son treats the P2V+ as a piece of photographic equipment and not a toy, you'll probably be fine. If you look at videos in various threads on this forum (and others) for a while, I think you'll get the idea of what I mean. Some people are careful and fly responsibly; others, IMHO, do not. (I'm intentionally not singling out anybody or any activity here.)

    My suggestions, from my very limited experience thus far:

    1. I know it's been said before, and bears repeating again and again. Have him read the manual and understand how things work before taking the aircraft out for the first flight.

    2. If there's some extra cash available, you might also want to consider getting a flight sim program designed for quads and an RC controller that will work with the program. That will allow him to get plenty of practice whenever it's convenient without the risk of damaging the P2V+ with a major crash while learning. It will also get him comfortable with flying the quad in manual mode, just in case things go wrong - which is a suggestion that I've seen others with much more experience make several times. (I have yet to do this myself, and would be interested in suggestions for a good program and controller hardware that won't break my bank account.)

    3. There are a number of threads that suggest various pre-flight check activities. I'd suggest having him read them, and then use his good judgment to decide for himself what makes sense to do.

    4. Have him start easy, and then do more things with the quad as he gets more comfortable. My first several flights with my P2V+ were flying around a small open field behind my home, at around 20-30 feet in altitude. I think I may have gone a maximum of 3-5mph the entire time. I didn't crack 100ft until I was more comfortable and had 10+ "boring"/"orientation" flights under my belt. This is probably a bit too conservative for many, but it was what it took for me to become comfortable with controlling things a bit and (perhaps more importantly) gain confidence in some basic skills and my equipment. (Of course, individual results may vary - I tend to be very cautious with $1,300 worth of stuff that could get damaged or ruined because of me doing something that could have been avoided.)
     
  20. jimdenburg

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    All I can add is stay the hell away from trees and use prop guards starting out. Keep in mind that the guards will affect performance, especially in windy conditions, but they can not only save your props, but the rest of your aircraft by keeping it from dropping out of the sky if it does collide with something. The other thing that I would say is to concentrate on flying first just by line of sight. The FPV aspect is really cool but I think some people get so caught up in that before they really learn how the craft behaves. Good luck, that's a nice gift!