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Awesome till it crashed!

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by dgiberson, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. dgiberson

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    I bought a Phantom and loved everything about it except lack of remote video feed and battery life. Phantom 2 Video was just what I was hoping to find. I purchased both a used Phantom and a new Phantom 2 Vision yesterday.

    Flew most of yesterday testing camera and getting used to interface on iPhone. Took it out today to test some more. Everything was perfect right up to the point it took a very hard left hand turn into a tree.

    Here is what I sent to DJI. Has anyone else had what seems to be a motor failure with this unit?

    "I have been very impressed with your products and, in the short time I have owned them, have shown it several friends who have committed to buying your product. In fact, I sold the used Phantom to my nephew.

    Today, while flying my new Vision 2 and making an aggressive ascent, the copter made a hard left into a tree. I was also traveling approximately 10 mph over ground when I started the ascent. I had no time to react. The crash happened instantly. There was no wind, none. Three of the four motors were still running after the impact. The fourth motor armature was bound. It would turn by hand but, comparatively, much harder to turn than the other motors.

    Desperate to find the source of the motor failure, I removed the motor and found a loose magnet and the "C" retaining clip that secures the lower end the motor shaft lodged in the motor housing. When re-attaching the clip, it was too loose to stay on the shaft. Also, the prop shaft housing and magnet housing were slightly separated. I gently pressed the housings back together.

    I flew the copter extensively yesterday without incident and it operated perfectly today right up to the crash. I don't know the extent of the damage beyond the failed motor and scratches. I found the rubber grommet surrounding the camera lense had a small piece of trim from the grommet impeding the optical path. The few videos I shot did not seem to suffer any loss of image quality from the trim. I removed the image sensor and trimmed off the small piece of rubber in the optical path.

    I'm at a loss as to what caused the crash. This bird can't be easier to fly and it's stability is very good. I have experience flying helicopters and this crash was the result of some sort of malfunction. I did not notice any birds at the time of the crash. Unfortunately, I was not recording at the time and usually record only when I am in view of the target. If the Phantom captures diagnostic data including system failures, I would love to hear what happened. Had there been a bystander near the point of failure, this could have been catastrophic.

    The dealer does not have any parts and will not replace the unit. I purchased this to assist with solar installation assessments where roof imagery is critical.

    I need to replace this unit ASAP. In fact, I am so desperate, I am willing to buy another if you can commit to refunding the price on this one.

    Thank you!"
     
  2. urgno

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    Location:
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    i guess is the same thing that happened to me :cry:
     
  3. dgiberson

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    Bummer, did you get support from the manufacturer?
     
  4. urgno

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    Location:
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    not yet ... happened sunday and i brought the pieces to shop monday ... now i have to wait :roll:
     
  5. dgiberson

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    I took mine completely apart. I plan to use it for a commercial application and safety is a huge concern. I wanted to inspect the basic construction of the unit to see if the failure appeared to be a function of QA. The good news is that it is well constructed, critical connectors have a small silicon bead to insure the connection and strain relief and components subject to vibration failure are well secured.

    DJI's commitment to customer satisfaction will be tested here as I am convinced the crash was a function of motor failure. I am guessing that the "C" retainer clip came off and got pulled into the motor cavity freezing that motor.

    I will post DJI's response when I hear something back.

    Thanks,

    Don
     
  6. James Cole

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    No response from DJI?
     
  7. dgiberson

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    Not yet....Hoping to hear something early tomorrow.
     
  8. pietern

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    testing camera and getting used to interface on iPhone,
    you wrote. Could there been interference.
    Just a suggestion.
     
  9. dgiberson

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    There is no question, given the $1,300 cost, there are some who would misrepresent facts to get a replacement. I can assure you that I would never do that and my concerns are more about reliability and safety of operation than $1,300. I will be using this to view roofs in public areas.

    I also found that one of the magnets in the motor is loose and another chipped. I assume this was a function of the retainer clip finding its way into the motor housing. I am going to recommend that DJI place a screen over the large opening/vent in the bottom of the motor to insure that magnetic parts, (retainers, screws, etc.) cannot find their way into the motor.

    I have considered RF interference but had absolutely no problems flying it all day yesterday. I have followed all of the instructions implicitly. The crash was not a slow, "oh no", crash. The copter made an abrupt left hand turn. I was NOT making a turn.

    The good news is that I made what repairs I could to the motor to free up the spindle. I performed a quick hover and rotate test and the copter seems to be working. The motor is making an unusual noise so I did not try to do any tests at elevation.
     
  10. terrym21

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    I had the same motor failure after owning my Phantom 1 about two weeks and less than two hours of flight time. I was fortunate in that my motor locked-up on take-off. So there was no crash. The previous day, I had just flown it for about 20 minutes with no problem. When I picked up the Phantom, I noticed something rattling around in the frame. As I attempted to lightly shake it, the rattling went away. I then kind of forgot about it and went home. Next day, I attempted a take-off and it skidded over on its side because one motor was not turning. Luckily, I still have my propeller guards installed and no props were broken.

    I decided to dismantle the the Phantom to see what the problem was. I suspected that whatever was rattling around got into the motor....I was correct. I found a retainer clip lodged in between the rotor and stator (the magnets). I tried to put the retainer clip back onto the shaft, but it was too loose to stay on reliably. Now when I rotate the motor by hand, it does not sound right (kind of a click-ity noise). I suspect that the bearing are damaged.

    I contacted my dealers and they said that the local DJI company, in Austin, TX, had just moved to Los Angeles. So all repairs now have to be sent to LA, I have to pay for shipping, the turn-around time is unknown and there is no guarantee that the repair will be covered under any warrantee. That being said, I don't want to risk being without my Phantom during the best flying weeks of the year (too many windy days in spring). So I have ordered replacement parts and will make the repair myself.

    Bottom line: It appears that the retainer clip, on the bottom-side of the motor, is a major reliability problem! DJI needs to address this ASAP!

    What have I learned?
    1. If you hear anything rattling around inside the Phantom, do not fly it until you have inspected inside. Look for missing retainer clips. They will tend to gravitate toward the motor magnets.
    2. There is no written warrantee on DJI products. The dealer told me that every repair was done on a case-by-case basis.
    3. The retainer clips are a major flaw in the design.
     
  11. BenDronePilot

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    FYI those C clips don't generally just find there way off. Many of the accounts of C clip / motor problems have been related to a prior crash they had and not a random malfunction. Not to say that random malfunctions of a varying nature don't necessarily happen. Anyway sorry you crashed your bird. Hopefully you can get it all sorted out.