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A (possibly) dumb question

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by KevinfromUK, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. KevinfromUK

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    Apologies in advance if this seems a silly question to people here.

    I want to buy a Phantom 3, but up to now, my only experience with quadcopters has been the Hubsan X4. I know that to do any serious photography with the Phantom, you need either a smartphone or tablet on the controller, for FPV and other things. But does this mean you have to have an airtime contract, or a contract that gives you Internet access?

    I'm asking this because my only mobile phone is a prepay model that cost me about £25 ten years ago, and does calls, texts, and nothing more, and it's all I've ever needed. I've never wanted to shell out the money for a smartphone and a long-term contract. I'd hate to have to do this just to fly the Phantom 3. I'm willing to buy a cheap tablet or secondhand smartphone just for the Phantom, but I don't want to buy Internet access for it.

    So can anyone advise me, please? Will I need to pay for Internet access, or have to have a mobile phone contract?
     
  2. msinger

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    You do not need Internet access while you're flying, but you will need it to cache the maps on your tablet before flying. Here's a list of tablets that people have been mentioning they are planning to use with their Phantoms.
     
    #2 msinger, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  3. Ezookiel

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    Can't totally answer that part of your question, but I can tell you that jumping from a Hubsan X4 to a Phantom is perfectly doable, so don't worry too much if that's your primary experience level before jumping up to a P3.
    I'd had some small forays into Twister Blackhawks and similar RC helis, but in reality the Hubsan X4 was the vast majority of my experience, and I transitioned from that to the P2 without any real problem at all. I just had to remember to go outdoors. My two biggest crashes were flying the P2 inside. You'll be just fine with the transition, and in fact be blown away at how easy the bigger ones are to fly compared to things like the Hubsan.
     
  4. MikeON

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    If you buy a secondhand smartphone, be sure it is compatible with the DJI Pilot app. My iPhone 5 is not supported, so I upgraded to a 6+.
     
  5. mad in nc

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    no kidding.... once I had the P2 idling inside and in a software upgrade dilemma and being a Dumb *** shut off the Xmtr - which activated RTH. Holy Crap, it spun up and tried to fly away. Scary and I have the scars to prove it. Lessons learned - no props on when in the house!

    BTW - according to the iTunes store the 1.048 Apple load will work with iPhone 5. It use to say 5S minimal but I can't verify as i have the S. You can also check on a droid device. The choice is yours for smartphones.....
     
  6. msinger

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    This has been confirmed at the bottom of this page. The Apple device must have at least an A7 processor.
     
    #6 msinger, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  7. tcope

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    As mentioned above, you don't _need_ a phone or tablet that has Internet access but it's better if you cache maps via wifi before flying. Your issue is that it takes a phone or tablet with a lot of graphic processing power. I'd say the cheapest bet is a listed Nexus tablet which would run around $130 (US).

    Think about this... the P3 Advanced is $1000. You would _really_ need an extra battery which is $100 to $140. So at $1100, an extra $120 is not a huge issue.

    Look at DJI's website for the listed phones/tablets and then determine the price you'd need to pay.
     
  8. mad in nc

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    ahhh.. P3 uses the DJI Pilot not Vision App. Forgot the Pilot minimal needs are the A7.... Thanks
     
  9. KevinfromUK

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    Thankyou so much for those replies. Just one more question - how do you 'cache maps via wi-fi before flying'? My only Internet access is via the local library - does this mean I should somehow download maps from the Internet then transfer them to my tablet (when I buy one)?

    Again, sorry if this sounds dumb, but I'm in the Stone Age when it comes to anything related to the Internet - all I use it for is reading forums and sending emails. Thanks.
     
  10. Kingfish28

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    When you get your tablet, download the Pilot app, go to the maps screen in the Pilot app, and allow it it load the map images by zooming in where you plan to fly.

    That's it.
     
  11. msinger

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    FYI, it appears that the DJI Pilot app keeps the cached maps (not sure for how long). So, you might not need to cache the maps every time if you're flying in the same location.