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Advantages/Disadvantages to Carbon Fiber Props

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by skeyephantom, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. skeyephantom

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    I was thinking of upgrading to carbon fiber props. Can someone who has experience with both carbon fiber and factory props tell me what I would gain with carbon fiber? Does it change flight characteristics of the Phantom 2?
     
  2. HarryT

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    Avoid them like the plague. They just don't work. Read this forum and you'll find innumerable reports of problems with them. Yes, they change the flight characteristics - adversely.
     
  3. noctividus

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    I actually have a very nice pair of carbon fiber props. I fly with them regularly.

    Advantages:
    • Rigidity- They maintain shape and don't deform. When they're in the box, they don't bend.
    • Weight- Slightly lighter.
    • Sound- Different pitch, slightly (very slightly) quieter.
    • Color- They're black, so if you get blades in the shot, it's less noticeable.

    Disadvantages:
    • Imbalance- An issue with any prop, many don't come balanced. If you don't balance them, they'll be worthless.
    • Rigidity- Prop may not break on crash, which means something else might break, like your frame.

    Overall, it's an advanced feature. You have to make sure you get good ones that are balanced, or balance them yourself. You shouldn't be crashing much...otherwise you increase the risk of damage to things and your frame...plastic props are safer in that regard. You may even have to re-tune your gains to get optimal performance.

    The fact that a prop is carbon fiber doesn't make it junk. The manufacturing process and the end user determine whether they're useful or not. The main reason I got them was because I was tired of the soft plastic props deforming when I put the P2 in the case. There are slight performance gains, but nothing to write home about.
     
  4. HarryT

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    The problem is, though, that the Phantom's flight characteristics rely on the fact that the stock DJI props do flex, and hence change their pitch under load. CF props are rigid, and unable to flex. I'm happy to hear that they work for you, but they don't work at all well for the vast majority of people who've tried them.
     
  5. skeyephantom

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    Great responses.....thanks.
     
  6. noctividus

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    I don't think the control algorithms rely on "flexing props." The only person that would know for sure is a DJI control systems engineer, since the flight controller is far from open source. Even if they did, it's only a matter of changing the gains to match the new system. Unfortunately DJI only gives you access to a broad "gain" instead of individual elements. Tweaking this was sufficient for me.

    The big takeaway is that you find carbon fiber props that are exactly like the DJI ones. There's some special sauce in their propeller design, it's not just a 9.4" prop with a 4.3" pitch. Part of the long flight times is due to their new propeller design.

    If you're really into it, be prepared to spend some time finding the right ones. After that, the advantages are very limited. I got lucky and got a good pair on my first buy, but others haven't. I clicked on the tread to see if anyone had some advantages that I hadn't thought of. I guess not...again, the advantages are thin compared to the trouble.
     
  7. moonlitnite

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    IMHO The main advantage of CF props his performance, especially aerobatics. Let's not be too quick to condemn CF props, just because most Phantom pilots assume everyone else is also taking GoPro video on their gimbal. A bare-bones phantom flying in manual mode by an experienced pilot is very impressive – just check out videos on YouTube…

    One disadvantage many folks forget about is that CF props can really slice through the skin, or worse.

    That said, not all CF props are created equal. Four instance the Tiger see if props are ultra-thin although too pricey for many folks.

    Happy flying, Michael
     
  8. noctividus

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    Yes- danger is a major disadvantage. CF props will bite you hard.
     
  9. Deathcode

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    I really don't see how the danger of getting hit by a prop is a disadvantage... if anything, you're a stupid moron if you get hit by one.
    That's like not wanting to use a CF prop in a cessna for fear of getting hi by the propeller... how many times does that happen? Sure, it has happened, but for crying out loud if you are careful, follow instructions, you should NEVER ever get hit by a propeller and that shouldn't count as a disadvantage in choosing CF props.
     
  10. WPSPETE

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    Plastic props will hurt and the CF will cut deep. I don't plan on hitting anyone with either prop. But for me I like the way the Phantom flies with stock props.
     
  11. ironbinder

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    I tried Carbon fibre props and my whole frame (shell) developed cracks and many of the bolt holes stripped out.
    I also had about 3 really bad 'death wobble' incidents where my PH2 came wobbling down out of the sky, luckily on a very lush sports field with thick grass, so it survived.
    I would never use them again, I had to replace my whole shell.
     
  12. Ash

    Ash

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    Hi. I did try carbon fibre props as well as after market cheap ebay props. I know some flyers do get away with using them but in my experience and crashes don't do it, as one poster said "Avoid them like the plague"!!! I had costly crashes using them and flyaways..... broken compass, legs, gimbal, fpv tx and smashed battery. Use only DJI props. Apparently cheap and carbon props confuse the controller. I do admit to being stubborn and went ahead knowing they have caused some people problems, to be quite disappointed. Looking at the props, same pitch and length I thought it couldn't be possible to fail..........but I did big time! I have now purchased the v2 phantom with correct props and all is good. Thanks
     
  13. Deathcode

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  14. noctividus

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    It's very important to verify and correct prop balance for any props you buy. This used to be the norm, but it has gone by the wayside as DJI has been turning out perfectly balanced props from the factory. However, many off-brand props are not balanced. Sometimes you get lucky and get a good set, but more often than not they're off-balance.

    Most of the problems described here can be attributed to off-balance props. At high speeds, off-balance props cause violent vibrations. I've purchased some DJI knockoff props that were so unbalanced they were useless. I couldn't even get them righted. DJI props don't usually need balancing...and that's why they're so expensive.
     
  15. shartlza

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    If you are looking for props that are stiffer than the 9443 DJI Props, try the 9450s. They are alot stiffer and make the craft a little more responsive.
     
  16. jason

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    A word of warning: If any of you are using props that do not have DJI stamp on either the 9443 or 9450 they are not of the same thickness nor as ridged as stock props. These after market props will do nothing but cause you problems like being unable to liftoff to uncontrol flights and crashes.
     
  17. Deathcode

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    That is not true. That is your personal experience so don't forget to add "in my experience..."

    In my experience, I've had no problems using props that are not DJI, actually, I've gotten a smoother flight with the non-DJI props I bought online cheaper than the DJI 9450's
     
  18. jason

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    Your entitled to your opinion and I stand by mine.
     
  19. noctividus

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    Seriously guys, it has nothing to do with who makes the prop, what it's made out of, or what's stamped on the side. The only thing that matters is balance. If you're unfamiliar with the concepts behind prop balancing, watch this video:

    [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXuNnYQO2s4[/youtube]

    There's nothing magic about DJI props. One poster commented that they're thinner and weaker. Maybe. The awful props I tested were within .25g of the DJI props, or about 2%. That's not really an appreciable difference. The major problem they have is that they're not balanced.
     
  20. Deathcode

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    Perfect, but state that is your opinion, in your statement above you're stating that if people use props that do not have the DJI stamp then these props will do nothing but cause problems. That is completely inaccurate and it is only your experience/opinion. That's what I was saying, that you add "in my experience/opinion" otherwise you are misinforming people as your experience is not mine. I have had great results with OEM props. That's all...
    Thanks