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Bought a 'Crashed' Phantom 2

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Help' started by Lord Andy G, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. Lord Andy G

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    G'day from Australia! I am new to this Quadcopter game, but I have an Aviation technician background.

    I bought (cheaply thankfully) a 'Crashed' Phantom 2. From the photos it appeared to need a new body.... No probs I thought... They are pretty cheap. When the quad arrived I started the forensic investigation.... Opened the case and found the worst soldering/repair job I have ever seen! The three wires to 3 of the 4 motors had been cut and then twisted and 'blobbed' back together.... And when I mean 'together', I mean all three wires touching! To make matters worse (Yeah, amazing I know!) the solder had dripped onto one of the ESCs. I assuming that even with my mad 'NASA Standard' soldering skills, that ESC is dead and ready for heaven.

    My questions for the learned forum-
    1. Do I have to replace all 4 ESCs as a set?
    2. Is it better to replace Motors and ESCs together? (One motor appears to be damaged, it binds and has a winding or two sticking out!)
    3. Can I use non-DJI ESCs and Motors (as a set)?
    4. Is the main board likely to be damaged due to the bodgey repairs?
    5. Whats the best way of testing as I go, with all the repairs required?
    Any help greatly appreciated!

    Thanks, Andy.
     

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  2. jason

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    Do two of the motors have an all black shaft or just a black dot on top? If those two have just a black dot all of them are 2212 motors.2cw and 2 ccw.
    If your not in a hurry i'd order the motors and clean the solder splash off the ESC board to see if it's good after replacing the motors. Or just go ahead and order 1 v2.1 ESC board as more then likely you only need the one.

    For four motors, shell and and 1 ESC board your look ing at around $142 USD might be higher in the AU
     
  3. Lord Andy G

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    Hey Jason, thanks for the reply. Yes two motors have black dots on top, does that mean they are original? There are no other markings on them. How do I tell the version of the current ESCs? Cheers.
     
  4. jason

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    Those are the original motors 2212's. You can go with the newer 2312 motors but you would all also have to change all the ESC modules to the v2.1. Here in the US they are only a dollar more per motor and were designed for heavier loads. According tto dji the maximum takeoff weight is 1300 g and I'm at 1378 grams.
     
  5. Lord Andy G

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    Ok cool. So there would be no issue if I only had to change the one ESC to a V2.1 as long as I use the 2212 motors?
     
  6. jason

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    That's correct.
     
  7. Kubelwagen

    Kubelwagen Guest

    I went through the same thing buying two questionable P2's. For me the fun is about knowing how the things work as well as flying them so even though you found some serious issues, I can relate completely to you going this route. And just so there's no doubts, yes, there are some people who should never be allowed to take anything apart let alone use a soldering iron.

    Jason is a sharp guy so I second his remarks. One of the Phantoms I bought had the wrong flight controller for a P2 and a mismatched motor and ESC, along with some questionable soldering. Not nearly as hacked up as yours, though. I ended up replacing the main board and flight controller both, since they came as a set, installed the new V2.1 ESC's and upgrade 2312 motors. I have a Wirelesss Systems Engineering and Broadcast Engineering background primarily so like you, I'm completely comfortable going at this kind of stuff.

    As some mainstream Phantom pilots like to point out, it sometimes costs as much to rebuild one as it would to buy one in better condition. But the truth is you roll the dice pretty much anytime you purchase anything used and as a hobbiest I'm just fine with spending a little more to know exactly what i have.

    Good luck with your repair. They're great fun. Just keep them away from trees...
     
  8. Lord Andy G

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    Thanks Kubelwagen. Yes it has been 'fun' pulling it all down and forensically inspecting each board and component. Unfortunately it got worse.... The Receiver has some significant damge along with the GPS unit. I have since bought a complete new 'flight system' including the upgarded ESCsand motors. Also have ordered an new receiver and GPS. Hopefully I can recoup a little of the outlay by parting out and selling on eBay....... I now think I shoud have forked out for a Phantom 3 standard from the start, but at least I can rebuild the P2 and learn how to fly it and maybe get a P3 in the future..... Cheers, Andy.
     
  9. Kubelwagen

    Kubelwagen Guest

    Man I'm really sorry to hear that it's so screwed up. Truthfully that's just unlucky because typically even a severe crash wouldn't damage that many components. The P2 is normally pretty tough. I crashed mine into some treetops at around 45mph ripping the gimbal and GoPro completely off the air frame, breaking one of the prop guards and snapping off one of the propellers. So after dropping through the trees, it was about 40 feet down the hill from where the GoPro and gimbal landed. After replacing the guard, prop and reinstalling the gimbal, it's back in action. Although even after a new IMU calibration just to be safe, I'm not 100% convinced it's quite as rock-solid stable as it was before. Might replace the rest of the props for good measure even though they just have some stains and no visible chips or other damage.

    The other P2 I bought crashed had a divot in the bottom of the case where the Zenmuse had been folded under and one of the landing gear supports pulled out of the shell. Even that one was fine and flies fine after basic maintenance and flight prep. The Zenmuse was toast, though. Sold it for parts.

    So for yours to be as damaged as it was it must have hit some power lines and dropped onto a freeway during rush hour. Seriously, it seems you've just run into a bad one because normally they aren't that rough even after a hard crash. Unless they've gone into water. Then they're pretty much a right-off..

    By the way since this is your thread, if you don't mind me asking, what aircraft did or do you work on?
     
  10. Lord Andy G

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    Luckily no water damage, but quite a few SMD components delaminated or de-soldered, so it must have been a high-G impact. Hopefully I can sell the parts to assist someone else with repairs. The Zenmuse H3-2D mount was broken, so I don't know if it works yet. I worked on Dassault Mirage iii0, F/A-18 Hornet, Aeromacchi, P3 Orion.
     
  11. Kubelwagen

    Kubelwagen Guest

    One of the gimbals on a P2 I bought was thrashed and ended up selling it for parts. There are some people out there who rebuild them. Hope you get something into the air that you're happy with.

    And that's great about your service. I live in an Air Force community so I know where you're coming from. My wife's uncle was in charge of maintenance programs for F-16's and even headed up a maintenance program in Israel. My dad was in the service and my whole extended family has been involved in the military and aviation in one form or another. My youngest son is in Air Force Reserves now. So well done.