Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

A tree ate my Phantom!

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by spudmachine, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. spudmachine

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2014
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I suppose it was inevitable.

    Went out in my garden today and lost concentration for one second. The Phantom was over my neighbour's garden and he has HUGE leylandii trees - maybe sixty feet plus. I thought I was higher than them, but evidently I misjudged it.

    I heard the Phantom "buzz" against one of them, and then lost contact. I hurried around and asked him if I could mount a search, and he helped me out also.

    Couldn't see it anywhere in the trees (there were two candidate trees for the impact).

    I searched all around the garden also, and in the surrounding fields.

    What I was wondering is, assuming the battery pack didn't pop out on impact, should the Phantom lights still be flashing? The tree canopy is really, really dense, but I would have thought I should be able to see the flashing lights. The battery was at about 80% when I lost it.

    Also - it would be super-helpful if the Phantom beeped every few minutes if it suffers an emergency stop. That would make it easier to locate.

    The frustrating thing is that if I actually knew where it was I suspect it had a very "soft" landing. It might not be too damaged.

    So now it's my turn to go through the 5 Stages of Grief.

    I'm past Denial...pretty much into Bargaining now.
     
  2. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7,729
    Likes Received:
    3,449
    Trees are the number one enemy of DJI Phantoms. Avoid them at all cost.
    They will jump out and snag your bird. Just keep right away from them.
     
  3. spudmachine

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2014
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    A partial miracle happened.

    About two minutes after I posted the first message my neighbor came around with the drone. We reckon the wind got up and dislodged it from the tree.

    After a visual inspection I can't see any obvious damage. However, when I tried to power it up:

    - The first time I got the rising notes as usual, but then it seemed to shut down right away.
    - The second (and subsequent) times I try to switch on I hear a faint "click", but no rising tones and it seems to be dead.


    Luckily I bought this from Quadcopters UK, and I think they have a good reputation for after-sales service. But it's a holiday here tomorrow (and most places, I guess), so in the meantime are there any diagnostic steps I should take before I ship it back to them?

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  4. robinb

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    Messages:
    2,907
    Likes Received:
    503
    Location:
    A place in the sun
    ON your phone there is an button "find my drone" or something similar.

    Helps to find the thing if its lost and you can't see it.

    Does the battery show full power ?
     
  5. russianfront

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2014
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Don't fly in BC, Canada there are millions - maybe billions - of trees!!!
    One day quads will have some situational awareness built in and won't fly blind into objects like trees, buildings and the ground.
    For now we are flying blind bricks.
     
  6. Larry L

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Copperas Cove, Texas
    Glad you got it back. There could be a few reasons why it won't power up but hopefully someone more knowledgable will chime in.
     
  7. rbhamilton

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2014
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    13
    Yikes. Close call. Well having the drone back is step 1. It can't be anything too serious if it won't even power up properly. Maybe just a battery connector or loose cable. At worst some kind of cracked circuit board or shorted wiring. If there's a decent repair guy in your part of the world you will be back up and running in no time. Whatever you do don't send it to DJI or it will be summer before you see it back again.
     
  8. spudmachine

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2014
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,
    Thanks for the suggestions, folks - keep them coming.

    I have 3 batteries, and I tried the other two in the Phantom just in case it was the flight battery that had been damaged. Same result.

    A visual inspection of the inside of the battery bay doesn't show anything unusual.

    There no visible external damage whatsoever. Not even a smudge on the camera lens!

    One of the rotors showed a lot of dirt smudging, but none of them broke or were damaged that I can see, and they look ready to go again.

    Could it be possible that when this thing hit the tree (and remember, it's a very bushy, cushioned impact that would have stopped the rotors dead) there was damage to the main board caused by a power surge or something like that? I'm guessing the motors don't like being stopped dead like that.

    BTW all the motors feel "normal" when I turn them manually. No notching or unusual resistance (just the feel of the stepper motor turning as usual).

    I'm probably going to send this back to the place I bought it for a repair job - that seems like the safest option all round.

    A big lesson learned!

    I hope you all have a great time this evening, and Happy New Year!

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  9. rbhamilton

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2014
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    13
    It won't be the motors. First, hard as it is to believe, the motors don't actually mind being stopped dead while under full power. The prop might spin off but that's about all that happens. Second, damage to one motor won't hurt the other ones so that couldn't explain your issues. You are making a good call sending it back to your seller provided they have a good repair center.

    For future reference, trees and organic material (leaves, etc) will block your signal dead regardless of how close you are to your bird. You don't want to lift off up into a forest or fly over one. As soon as a few branches get between you and your bird the signal will be lost.

    Oh well... next time, right?
     
  10. ViperTomahawk

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Use the "Find My Drone" feature.
     
  11. LordEvil

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2014
    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    San Antonio Texas
    How accurate is the find my phone? I a assuming the battery still has to have power for it to send out it's coordinates?
     
  12. robinb

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    Messages:
    2,907
    Likes Received:
    503
    Location:
    A place in the sun
    Or find my drone :)

    You must have power, unless it uses it last known co-ordinates, I have not used it.

    from the manual.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7,729
    Likes Received:
    3,449
    Easy to check Find my Phantom to see for yourself. With your Phantom off it will show where you were flying last.
    Find my Phantom shows the last position your Phantom was able to report - even months later.
    But that position might not be the exact present location of your bird if your Phantom loses sat lock and drifts/flys in atti.
     
  14. Sparhawk12345

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am just a newbie to the Phantom world but already personal experience has taught me that the problem you are describing is a burnt out ESC board. I think if you watch the LED's carefully when you power up the phantom you will see one flash VERY briefly and this is the leg you need to change the board in... or it was in mine anyway! That will also be where the click is coming from.
    ESC boards are not expensive, mine cost me £14 in the UK, but be confident in your soldering ability before you attempt a repair. The track on the main board is prone to coming loose if you try pulling the cable off before you have melted the solder enough.
    If you have a ver. 3 Vision+ Make sure you order V2 ESC boards.
    This will happen as soon as you hit anything with a prop, even if you tilt over during landing with the motors spinning under power, so it might be worth your while to order a couple spare if you can.
    Good luck!