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Couple of Phantom 1 Questions

Discussion in 'Phantom 1 Discussion' started by frogman1206, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. frogman1206

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    I recently picked up a used Phantom version 1 from a friend that updated to V2. He initially had issues getting the V1 flying and I helped him eventually get it in the air after sitting on it for almost a year and not flying it. I'm an experienced RC pilot of planes and multirotors and just wanted the Phantom to add a few aerial shots to my videos since I'm a videographer. I enjoyed the ease of flying the Phantom so I took the chance to get one at a pretty decent price. It is an original version 1 and just lists Version 1 on the bottom sticker. I have a few questions.

    1. When I got it I mentioned to another Phantom pilot friend and he offered me a free Zenmuse 2D gimbal that had been crashed and then repaired by DJI. It didn't have the mounting brackets/anti-vibe mounts or the 8 pin cable to hook it up. He also threw in the Upgrade board for the copter that took away the extra controllers inside the Phantom. I have since decided just to get an aftermarket gimbal from Ready to Fly Quads and not use the Zenmuse since the mounts are hard to find (at least ones I know are going to work properly without extra mods), they are expensive when you do find them and I have no idea if the Zenmuse actually does work since he never tested it after repair. I also only have a GoPro 2 which DJI says won't work with it ( I think it just may have problems balancing properly as all pins on the plug are identical and it snaps into the gimbal just fine). Instead of spending the money on the parts to get the Zenmuse working, hopefully, I decided to get an aftermarket one since it was reasonably priced. My big question is should I go ahead and install the upgraded board into the Phantom even if I am not using the built in gimbal controller hardware? Is there anything in that board that will make the basic copter a better copter? If so I will do the update. If not I will just leave it as it is. I did install the little pitch control lever on the transmitter that came with the upgrade. That will be handy for the aftermarket gimbal.

    2. Can I put 9" props on the original version 1 and will they increase any flight times or help lift the gimbal. I don't want to upgrade the motors or get crazy. Just wondering if there are 9" props that will help it. If there are will it put too much load on the battery. The Phantom batteries that came with it are always slightly warm when I land. Loading the motors up with 9" may really kill them which would not be good. If 9" are ok with the stock setup which ones are good to get. When I bought it there were 3 extra sets of stock props included and one pair of 8" CF props that had been nicked on the sidewalk a little so the tips were ground down slightly.

    3. Speaking of props, I thought I have read that the stock white props are pretty efficient and usually balanced well. All the ones I have balanced are terribly out of balance. It takes a few pieces of tape to get them balanced. What's the truth on the props. The ones I have are the OEM props.

    4. What kind of flight times can I expect with the stock 2200 Phantom batteries if I am carrying a gimbal. I know it will be shorter times and I am ok with 5-7 minutes on a battery. That's more than enough time to get the shots I need under most circumstances.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Thor 555

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    I've had my Phantom 1 for 2 years now and have never had a problem with it that wasn't pilot error. I've upgraded the main board, added a Futaba T8J radio and a Zenmuse 2D. My Phantom 1 still flies flawlessly.

    Question 1
    I don't really have anything to contribute. The stock radio was my main worry so I upgraded to the Futaba. I'm not sure the range has improved but the anxiety has decreased. No problems flying beyond visual range. No experience with other gimbals.

    Questions 2 & 3
    I used 9" props for the first year. First a set of wooden Zinger props and then a set of Graupner E-Props. The Zingers were very easy to balance worked fine but splintered into toothpicks when I struck a tree branch. The set of E-Props were almost perfect except for 1 blade which had an off center mounting hole and was a headache to balance.

    The extra lift you might get with 9" props will reduce your flight time as they use up more power from the LiPo. Extra lift is not free. I've never noticed a big difference between 9" and 8" props with regards to lift and flight time flying with the same payload.

    Here's the problem. I've changed back to DJI stock 8" props even though there might be minor balancing issues. The Phantom 1 is lighter than the Phantom 2 so mounting 9" props makes it more unstable in windy conditions. The extra length of the blades catches the ambient wind to make for a less stable flight.

    Question 4
    I use stock Phantom 2200 mA LiPos exclusively. I find they're lighter, smaller and, I suspect, more than 2200 mA, which my charger seems to confirm. With a healthy stock LiPo, 8" props and the Zenmuse 2D I can get 8 minutes flight time depending on flying conditions.

    Hope that's of some help.
     
  3. CityZen

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    If you're not installing the DJI gimbal, then there's not much reason to install the upgrade board.

    As far as the H3-2D bracket, it's a bit confusing. There seem to be multiple ways that it could be mounted. You might be okay with just this:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/DJI-Zenmuse...187?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item462adc2503
    and using the holes that are lined up through the center. But I can't tell if the spacing is correct for the P1.
     
  4. frogman1206

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    Thanks for the information Thor555. You did answer a number of questions. Guess I will keep the setup pretty much as it is since the 9" props almost seem like more trouble if there is any wind and there is no benefit to increased time. If the gimbal I have coming is super heavy I may give them a shot if it helped lift the gimbal. I don't think it is too terribly heavy.

    I use Deans connectors on all my other RC stuff so I may get an adapter to so I can try my other 2200mah batteries. I will be curious to see how long they last in comparison.

    Thanks,
     
  5. CityZen

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    A bit of info regarding the gimbal mount:

    The hole spacing on the P1 is 40mm from the front hole to the back hole.
    On the P2, there are two sets of holes. The rear pair is 33mm across, while the front is 44mm across. The front set is 30mm ahead of the rear set.

    There were a couple of different bracket configurations for the H3-2D. It could be mounted with the rubber bushings in a "+" or "x" configuration.
    The P1 originally used the "+" configuration, while they changed it to "x" for the P2. You could get an adapter to mount the "x" config on a P1.

    All that said, you could still likely use that bracket I linked above. One of the screws would go into the "v" on the other side of its hole, but should work okay there.
     
  6. frogman1206

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    Thanks for the info on hole spacing. If the aftermarket version I have coming for Christmas doesn't work well I will probably try those brackets out.