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Drone Catches Fire

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by paulsheaves, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. paulsheaves

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    Hi guys,

    I am writing about a fault with my recently purchased DJI Phantom Vision 2+, which has resulted in what I strongly suspect to be non-repairable damage to my drone.

    Onto the details of the problem; the pre-flight checks were all as normal and I had slow flashing green lights as normal with 7 satellites. I never fly the drone without GPS as I always feel more confident with it on.

    The flight was going well, until I attempted to land from a relatively high height. I was pushing down on the controller at full speed, but just before the drone landed (literally 3 metres or so above our heads), I heard a “pop”. I managed to land it, but by this time smoke was coming out of the drone – it was on fire!!! (Albeit very small as I could not see any visable flames). The smoke was coming from the three slits/gaps towards one of the front propellers.

    It was a hot day (around 28-30 degrees), and I can only assume whilst on full throttle coming down from 150 metres or so, it overheated, or that an electrical connection went wrong? – The camera was also very hot, but at no point was the camera LED flashing to say it had overheated.

    However there is nothing in the manual to suggest that flying the drone on a warm day would cause this, so this has to be a fault with the product.

    From here, I brought the drone back to my apartment for a much closer inspection. It would appear that the camera/gimbal also caught fire as I can see burn/scorch marks coming from a hole/entrance in the gimbal.

    Does anyone know what a) might caused this, and b) my chances are of a replacement from DJI/the dealer? - I have owned this particular one for only 3 months or so.

    I will take it back to the dealer asap.

    Paul
     
  2. UrAwFuL

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    Contact the dealer about what happened. It sounds like bad wiring to me.
     
  3. jaxbert

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    This is the first I have heard of one catching on fire... the most likely thing in the bird to actually catch on fire is actually the battery, but it does not sound like that started burning first.

    I would call DJI directly on this. Manufacturers of consumer products don't like to hear their product can catch on fire. That leads to costly recalls, notices from the Consumer Product Safety Administration, and lots of liability. They (should) want to get it back immediately, and replace yours, so they can see if there is a manufacturing defect that they need to correct.

    Sorry to hear it... let us know how it all turns out.
     
  4. Meta4

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    From the DJI website ...
    Operating Temperature -10°C ~ +50°C
     
  5. LuvMyTJ

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    Inspect the battery closely to see if it is puffed or has any evidence of burning. Other than that possibly a short in the ESC wiring? Hopefully you can locate where it appears to have started.
     
  6. John Shaw

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    This is unlikely as when you are full down it actually reduces the power compared to a hover. The motors are not pulling down they are just providing less lift than needed to hover. Gravity pulls it down.
     
  7. brorex

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    Sounds to me like a electrical short. Maybe the esc
     
  8. happydays

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    Was it a bog-standard phantom or had you added any modifications - or had you done the 'foil upgrade'?
     
  9. srandall25

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  10. GerdS

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    Electrolyte and tantalum capacitors are well known to somethimes explode and get into fire. So I expect it was a capacitor located at an ESC. I don't expect problems with DJI when asking for repair under guarantee.

    Regarrd, Gerd
     
  11. Double-D

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    Fire? That's a new fear to add to the list.
    Hope it gets sorted out for you asap. Please keep us updated.
     
  12. ATOMSK

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    Post some pictures when you can. If you ever get a new one, you def have to put flame decals on it.
     
  13. krsdj1

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    I did the foil gps update and hope this didn't wont cause a fire
     
  14. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    Any chance the foil shorted the electronics? Pics please.
     
  15. happydays

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    He's not the OP.
     
  16. slothead

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    The two devices that pump out the most current are the battery and the ESC. The battery feeds the ESC (along with everything else) and the ESC drives the motor, however as previously mentioned there should be no major current output of power dissipation) during descent. The description of the effects (smoke) sound more like a capacitor (on the ESC) than the battery, but I've never seen a Li-Po fail, so I don't know for sure. Because the smoke was coming from the gills, I would first suspect the ESC, but since the battery isn't that far from the same openings, I can't say it wasn't the battery. Looking at both the ESC and the battery should provide some evidence (soot at least) of the source of the fire.

    My money is on the ESC, but I can't imagine what caused the short, unless it was just a marginal capacitor.
     
  17. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    You are correct sir. Thank you for pointing that out as I somehow missed it. :oops:
     
  18. dkatz42

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    Saw a LiPo go off once--looked like a blowtorch.
     
  19. paulsheaves

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    Hi Guys,

    Right an update - I took it to the dealership which was a 2 hour drive away from my home. I live in the UAE, Dubai, and traffic/general customer service can be an absolute nightmare.

    I got to the shop and they said there was nothing they could do until I contacted DJI directly. If DJI say that the dealer can replace it, then they will.

    So! Now I am trying to find the right contact support for DJI. I can find support for Canada, USA and Europe but I am struggling with support for Dubai or the UAE.

    Should I just try support@DJI.com?

    In response to some of the posts, I don't really have any pictures to show you - I wasn't filming on the ipad at the time of the problem, and I do not feel comfortable opening up the drone before someone important has seen it first - don't want to ruin my chances of a replacement or have them say I tampered with it.

    Thank you for all the help though guys, this is a great forum!

    Paul
     
  20. LuvMyTJ

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    The shop you went couldn't provide you with an address or tele number?