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12 days in, considering returning/selling

Discussion in 'Phantom FC40 Discussion' started by 234563542, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. 234563542

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    So I've now owned my Phantom for 12 days and I'm at a point where I've grounded it and I am unwilling to fly it again and considering a return or selling out of concern for safety.

    From day one I've had a number of problems:

    -The charger I received was faulty, as well as a brand new extra battery I purchased had a faulty cell.
    -I've learned the batteries can be a fire/explosive hazard and can become unusable if not used, charged and stored in very specific conditions.
    -I loose connection with the FC40 camera if I travel more than 100 feet, the app force-closes and I spend the rest of my flights hovering while I try to reconnect the camera but fail to do so.
    -The camera splits clips into three minute segments.
    -Last night I became so frustrated that I just decided to dismount the FC40 and fly without a camera until I purchase a GoPro.
    -I've had the battery door pop open mid-flight twice already.
    -The phone mount for the transmitter is poorly designed and swings around, distracting me during flight. This is a minor issue, but is still annoying.

    -My main problem is that a few days ago, I had a fly-away. Thankfully the Phantom returned home after a few minutes. Initially, I thought the fly-away was caused by me becoming too confident and flying too far to impress friends. After mapping out the distance I flew before I lost control, I determined I was well within range when I lost control. I also considered the fact that we had my buddy's GoPro mounted during that flight and that may have caused interference but then I remembered we made a point of turning it's wifi off before the flight.

    After coming across this article http://www.photographybay.com/2014/...flyaway-concerns-and-safeguards-in-phantom-2/ just last night I am afraid of flying my Phantom at all again. It seems as though tons of people have experienced random and dangerous fly-aways, inspiring some ex Phantom owners to start a class-action against DJI.

    Due to the fact that I live in an urban area I cannot risk my Phantom flying away and crashing. There are homes, people, pets and cars all around me and if I was to have an uncontrolled fly-away I could very easily cause a horrific accident.

    Does anyone know if the flyaway issue people were experiencing in the article I've linked above has been resolved? Does anyone have any words of advice for me?
     
  2. Mandrake

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    If you follow the rules you don't get flyaways..simples tccchh.
     
  3. 234563542

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    @Mandrake If you read through the article and it's comments I linked to in my post tons of people have experienced uncontrollable fly-aways after following the correct procedures. This includes me when I had my fly-away the other day. I waited for the fast green leds indicating home-lock before take-off, was not getting any out of the ordinary red leds and was definitely flying within range. People are doing everything right but still having issues and I feel I cannot take the risk of something happening. I've had a blast so far and want to continue flying but I feel doing so in my populated area would be irresponsible on my part after becoming aware of the issues other Phantom owners have had.
     
  4. SanCap

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    "Due to the fact that I live in an urban area I cannot risk my Phantom flying away and crashing. There are homes, people, pets and cars all around me and if I was to have an uncontrolled fly-away I could very easily cause a horrific accident."

    I do not want to sound disrespectful but if your statement really reflects how you feel maybe you should sell. Remote control aircraft do crash and money is lost. Not everyone has the confidence in themselves or the equipment they fly to continue in this hobby. Good luck in your choice.
     
    Scott Gibson likes this.
  5. Mandrake

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    As said above if you're not happy with it then sell it and get another hobby... I still stand by the fact that most flyaways are the product of the pilot doing or not doing something correctly.
    IMU calib then compass dance then get green lights and fly safely..
     
  6. wattage

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    The faulty spare battery isn't DJI's fault unless it's a DJI battery. LiPo batteries need to be handled and used properly, again not DJI's fault.
    Your phone mount problem can be fixed by tightening the screws which hold it onto the rail on the RC TX.

    The FC-40 camera is an entry level device and there are no wild claims about its range or abilities as a camera. In fact, its shortcomings are well documented on the web. Always worth checking user feedback on forums before making a purchasing decision.

    Not sure about the term 'flyaway' being used here. Sounds like at some point during the flight you probably dipped below the critical number of satellites for a stable GPS lock and the quad went into attitude mode. Without a good FPV link, you probably would have become disorientated and temporarily lost authority over its direction. The fact that it returned home means that its failsafe worked as expected.

    Finally, you're not really supposed to fly these in urban areas around homes, people, pets and cars anyway and to do so is asking for trouble.
     
  7. Lonewolf

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    Many of these fly-aways mentioned have occurred in the past. I haven't heard any of recent. So, I've come to the conclusion with fly-aways that it has 3 main issues.
    1. DJI has urged pilots to upgrade to the newest firmware and to include the newest parameter configuration. Since this supposedly has corrected software issues that could have caused fly-aways in the past. So the issue should be resolved.
    2. Now we come to, Pilot error. Since the firmware and parameter config have been corrected, it seems pilot error is now the number 1 cause. Improper compass calibration. Bad GPS signal, loss of orientation. The Phantom has a failsafe option that in the event it flies beyond your preset values it will enter fail-safe and return to home. The default setting for alt. & distance by DJI is ridiculously high. 2000 meters?! That equates to just over 1.3 miles?! I would NEVER trust the transmitter to signal that distance.
    3. Flying near cell phone towers. Many have said cell phone tower interference has contributed to fly-aways.

    As for the batteries? Following proper procedures and maintenance should give you years of good batteries.
    The battery door? Try using UV resistant Velcro to keep the battery door secure.
    Camera splitting video? Never heard of this with the fc40. Perhaps it's defective or, you set up your sd card that way. I've left mine on till the battery drained and it recorded continuously on a single file.

    As many other's have said, all hobbies have their pro's and con's. Cost, upgrades, enjoyment, etc...Choose yours wisely.
     
  8. dtviewer

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    My camera also splits the video, but only if I start the camera recording with the button on the camera itself.
    If I start the video recording on the phone app it records one long video.
    Weird.
     
  9. Cajvol94

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    I've found the camera split when I'm recording and it loses WiFi. The vid while connected was one file and the rest of the flight when WiFi was lost is the other file. I've had recordings up to 11min long flying it close and keeping it in WiFi range.
     
  10. dtviewer

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    The other day I flew it and kept it recording through 2 batteries back to back. The file was nearly 26 minutes long.
    I then stopped the recording with the app, and decided to head home.
    As I was putting the phantom in my back seat I went to turn it off and instead somehow hit the other button and started recording.
    By the time I made my stops, went to the store, etc etc, I got home and had about 25 or so 3 minute videos of the back seat of my car.
     
  11. Cajvol94

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    Weird??? I just enjoy flying in Atti and try not to use the camera as it's so inconsistent.
     
  12. Lonewolf

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    Well then, that certainly should resolve the problem with why it records in split video. I've always used the app to turn on/off the video from my phone. It was so much easier to see instead of that dreaded red led.