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Converting a P2 to a custom frame

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by Prophecies, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. Prophecies

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    Hey,
    So lately I've been looking into getting my P2 (non vision) converted to a different frame, essentially just keeping the guts and replacing the stock white body shell.

    Essentially, I'd love to have the guts swapped on to a sleeker frame, possibly and F450 or something along those lines, maybe bigger if necessary.

    The reasons for this are pretty simple. I find the P2 shell to be a little clunky, too boxy. I'm annoyed at the fact that the props keep popping in and out of the frame, same with the landing gear. Sure there are ways around this, such as getting aftermarket landing gear, or retractable ones, as well as flying backwards to get the props out of the frame (or finding a way to lower the gimbal a little). But I find all these mods tend to make the shell even more clunky, and really catching in the wind, when it would seem much more efficient to have the Phantom guts mounted on a sleeker frame. I would have gone with a TBS Disco, but having very limited soldering experience, I wanted to learn on a Phantom before moving on to something more serious.

    Does anyone have any experience with this?

    Thanks in advance
     
    #1 Prophecies, Apr 4, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
  2. gingerbloke

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    Subscribe because my PV2+ has cracks and I know I'll need to do this myself one day.
     
  3. 750r

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    Can you explane the props poping in and out ?
    Yes their are a few people that have done youll have to do a search I am on my phone it's little hard to find things (for me)
     
  4. Prophecies

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    I just mean, when you tilt forwards , the props tend to show up in the frame of the GoPro because it's got such a wide angle of view. Yes, I'm aware, you can always shoot with a less wide view, but I want 4K footage, and you can only shoot in wide then.
     
  5. jason

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    Well you can also tilt the camera down about 5° or crop out the props. Another method would be to fly slower so the pitch isn't that great of a problem the same goes for turns.
     
  6. johan

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    None of those methods work in all cases. Tilting the camera down gives a different frame to the shot. Cropping out the props lowers the resolution. And flying slower doesn't work when winds are a factor or when you want faster movement in the shot.

    What I can't understand is why no one has come up with a modified frame for the Phantom 2. I've seen carbon fiber frame kits and the like available out there. Seems it wouldn't take a lot to come up with a frame kit that duplicates the stock DJI frame but cants the arms up so this:

    [​IMG]

    Becomes more like this:

    [​IMG]

    I would definitely pay $100 for such a frame if it were offered on the market.
     
    FedeVision likes this.
  7. jason

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    Well you wrong about losing resolution that all depends on what editing software is being used.
    Is that a P2 NV v1 or the P2 NV v2? Because they do make wider landing gear for the P2 NV v1 but with the newer P2's there's the problem of the new integrated compass built into the landing gear. OOPS!! Just took a closer look at those pics and that is either an FC40 or a P1. Which is it?
     
  8. johan

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    No idea. I just put 'phantom 2 gopro' into a google image search and that was one of the hits. Then I brought it into photoshop and raised all the arms.

    It just seems like it wouldn't be that difficult to make a body with raised arms that one could swap the innards of their phantom 2 into. And then there would be no need to fly slow or crop out the props.
     
  9. Prophecies

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    Editing software has nothing to do with it. If you shoot in 4k, and crop out the props, not only does your framing change, but the resolution and aspect ratio won't be the same. 4k = 3840 x 2160. If you crop, you no longer have 2160 pixels height and/or 3840 width.
    Obviously you can shoot 4k and crop if your final output is to be standard HD (1920x1080p), in which case you have a lot of room for cropping and resizing afterwards. But once again, this really fucks your framing/composition

    The landing gear is not the only problem here, it really is simply the arms/props that get in the way. I can get different/wider landing gear, but nothing I do will get the props out of the way, short of changing the body entirely.

    Like Johan said, none of the options you listed really work in all cases. There are workarounds, like flying backwards so that the pitch gets the props out of the way, and then play the clip backwards in your editing software, but that only works if there are no living/moving things in your shots (animals, cars, people, etc). There's not much you can do to get away from winds when you want a nice slow panning shot though.

    The Inspire has it right, with the props/arms being retractable and thus lowering the camera far below
    the body. But the phantom itself leaves a lot to be desired.

    Obviously, the Phantom was not designed with cinematography in mind, and that is to be expected with an inexpensive drone, but I was hoping there was something I could do to make the most of what I have right now.
     
    #9 Prophecies, Apr 4, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
  10. Deucefour

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    Yes you can do it. I was researching it the other day but I don't have the links on my work computer. Apparently to go to a F450 frame you have to modify the ESC's because the wires are too short. And you need a NAZA with the built in compass and gps. The guts of the phantom are not made for being exposed to the elements apparently? And the compass is a pain to get mounted right once you swap over to new frame. Just some of the key takeaways I learned while researching. There is a german forum where a guy put step by step pictures though. I'll try and link it once I get home. Also you're going to have to figure out a power issue because you cant use the DJI smart batteries anymore and also balancing the entire rig for gimbal mounting, etc..
     
  11. jason

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    I have been editing footage since the mid 90's and know the in and outs of what can and cannot be done. There's an old adage,"you can't have your cake and eat to".

    Down- rezzing 4K to 1920x1080 @ 30fps and crop 5 - 10% off the height which will not mess with the framing /composition that much that would be noticeable.

    To top it off 4K video footage coming of consumer and prosumer cameras to are highly compressed it's a real shame they enough call it 4k and it sure isn't RAW footage by any means.
     
  12. Prophecies

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    Of course it's not RAW footage, very few cameras these days support that, it would be extremely heavy even by todays standards. 4k GoPro footage is nothing compared to a RED Dragon or a Flex4k, but all things considered, it's pretty darn good footage nonetheless, if you know what you're doing. Especially if you shoot in ProTune. There are ways to hack to gopro to get more dynamic range/detail in the shadows and highlights, fortunately.

    Like I said, if your final output is going to be at 1080p, you have a lot of headway for cropping, which is one of the big perks of shooting in 4k. It's a great workflow and awesome to get the props out of the way. However, you do chop off a fair amount from the top, and it all depends on how you want your horizon to be composed in your shots. Ideally, I'd want my props out of the way to get the maximum amount of usable footage without having to crop out.

    But when you have a beautifully composed shot, an all of a sudden, winds cause your props to come into your frame, it's extremely frustrating. Sure there are ways around it, to make it work, but that is a lot of wasted time.

    The only quick and easy way to work this out would be to get extended landing gear, and lowering the gimbal as much as possible. This obviously won't be very aesthetically pleasing, not to mention it will probably be more prone to being blown in stronger winds, but if it gets the props out of my frames, I'd be willing to try it.
     
  13. noiseboy72

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    Moving the camera forward helps a lot as well. Mine is 40mm further forward and prop views massively reduced.

    I would also like to move the guts onto a custom frame, so let me know how you get on!
     
  14. CityZen

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    Yes, getting the wide/tall landing gear and some spacers for the gimbal mount seems like the easiest solution.
     
  15. Prophecies

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  16. Luap

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    I use the storm gimbal mount which is 12mm thick instead of the stock 8mm.
    http://www.helipal.com/storm-flat-top-mount-for-dji-h3-3d-gimbal.html

    For landing gears I use clip on extensions made with my 3d printer.
    I shoot in 2.7k medium @ 50fps - since using above never saw any props or landing gears.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. FedeVision

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    Sorry for including this here, but had to share it,
    found this video, don't know the brand of the quad or any other info:

     
  18. johan

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    That's a Vulcan Black Widow frame. It can be built as a quad or an octo, that one's an octo. They're pretty big. I don't really think it'd be a good candidate for swapping Phantom 2 innards into.
     
  19. FedeVision

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    Wow, those thing are huge, 900mm, hope somebody soon make 400mm phantom style shells with arms like that. Would like to try that with 10/11 inch props.
     
  20. FedeVision

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    Speaking of the devil,
    3D-Robotics-550x300.png