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Experiences so far with my Phantom 2

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by jfischer, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. jfischer

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    I just wanted to give my feedback with my new Phantom 2. These forums are a great resource, and I want to contribute my experiences so far so others can learn from what I have done and maybe what could work for them, and maybe I can learn from you all.

    I purchased the Phantom 2 for a father son bonding activity with my dad. I decided to go with the non vision, but the version that ships with the Zenmuse gimbal for the GoPro 3. I added a GoPro 3+ black edition to it day one.

    First experiences in flying the Phantom was a lot of "wow" and "this is amazing". I upgraded the firmware to version 2 on day one, and I have yet to have (knock on wood) any issues with it so far. No fly aways, no battery turning off and it dropping from the sky.

    It wasn't long before I wanted to add FPV to the phantom, as I think flying out of visual range is a huge benifit to a platform like this.

    After reading everything I could and watching probably every youtube review on FPV I could find, I ended up going with the ImmersionRC 600mW transmitter, the black pearl 7ch monitor and receiver and the DJI iOSD Mini. I have to say that adding FPV changed everything again. There were more "wows" and "amazing" type monments with the phantom.

    Installation of the gear was really simple thanks to this video on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TL8pqtEDuos

    I followed that video with my install and it worked amazingly well. Very easy and fun to install. Performance wise, I can say with the Fatshark Spironet antennas I can get ~700m-800m away before I really start to lose video. I ordered the Fatshark Patch Antenna and look forward to playing with that.

    Lessons Learned so far:
    - GoPro footage is amazing, the higher fps and resolutions are really nice to have
    - 1440 resolution is perfect for recording with gopro if you want to crop the video to 1080p and remove the props.
    - playing with editing videos in software after the fact can be a full time job. (A lot of fun)
    - FPV is a must have for me now. It changes everything.
    - I couldn't live without the DJI iOSD Mini (or anything that overlays telemetry on the video). The information such as height, distance and BATTERY % is so nice to have in real time.
    - Don't get caught 700m away with 17% battery left. My first 'heart in my throat' moment was when I wasn't sure I could get home before it forced a landing (I was overtop of not too friendly lands).
    - for me, having at least 2 batteries is a must. Maybe three.
    - always try to be respectful of where you fly. There aren't hard laws where I live, and I don't want add to the list of reasons why that would change and have this fun hobby restricted
     
  2. Bluegrass

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    Congratulations on you new Phantom. I'm only about a week ahead of you with about the same setup. From the little flying I've done, I can see how it is so easy to get disoriented on whether the Phantom is heading out our coming back. I guess you learn pretty quickly to use your turn control to see which if the front of the Phantom is looking at you are away from you. I found the thing flies a heck of a lot faster then I thought it would if you put the peddle to the meddle. I found my craft tangling with some tree limbs before I knew it. I was lucky to only fall about 12 feet and not do anything but break a few solder joints on my TX cable. I also discovered it get's like a sick puppy and slowly looses altitude when the batter gets to one light on. I think I was only getting about 15 minutes flying time. I'll have to check this out a little more carefully. Another thing that is easy to forget. Don't forget after you turn you GoPro on to punch the record button. I thought I was getting some pretty good aerial footage of a hot rod RC plane doing all kinds of acrobats not too for off and discovered when I got home, I had nothing. That's my story of my first good outing last weekend. It's just plain fun. I am happy just going out 50 feet and at an altitude of 15 or 20 foot and hanging for awhile. I'll expand my reaches as I get more comfortable. But it really does surprise me how hard it is to judge how for your Phantom is from objects after it's more than 40 or 50 feet away. Happy flying.
     
  3. QYV

    QYV

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    if you get too confused you can always use Home Lock. just flip the RC switch to HL and one of the sticks brings it straight back to you but don't forget once you get within 10 meters it switches back to normal. There's youtube videos that make it really clear
     
  4. LIONDOG

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    +1 on Home Lock. A very valuable and somewhat hidden feature. If you fly far with FPV then lose video signal, HL is an easy way to get the Phantom back in range without doing the more drastic step of switching to FailSafe/turning off transmitter. I feel much more comfortable pushing range limits know HL can help bail me out if I get disoriented.

    - LIONDOG
     
  5. Bluegrass

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    The problem is I've read that Homelock isn't active on a new computer and I haven't run across the directions to enable it.
     
  6. QYV

    QYV

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    ... I'm seeing that you're using words but I'm not understanding them in this context. "a new computer"? We're talking about Phantoms here... specifically the toggle switch on the upper left of the remote which switches between OFF, CL = Course Lock, and HL = Home Lock.

    this is a very valuable feature every pilot should be aware of although you're right it's not very well explained in official documentation. The below video I'm going to link is kinda cheesy but the guy very clearly demonstrates CL and HL and how they work... skip to about 2:40 for the action.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96oQ74Tq95w

    be VERY careful toggling that switch as it completely changes the way your Phantom responds to stick commands, but basically when you power your Phantom on, part of it's GPS lock procedure establishes a "home point"... the point at which it took off from. Say you fly away and get confused... you can toggle the switch to HL (Home Lock) and then one of the sticks up/down becomes "go away" and "come home" instead of forward/backward. watch the video it'll help that make sense
     
  7. LIONDOG

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    Home lock does need to be activated by the software assistant. There are a number of posts and videos on how to do it. Google Naza Mode Phantom 2 and you will get a number of results on how to activate it. Without activating it in the software assistant the switch on the transmitter won't do it.

    -lIONDOG
     
  8. Justgregg

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    How many flights on your phantom 2s? I thought it was the cats meow until flight 10 and 11. Rigged up with fpv,zenmuse and iosd mini too. Playing the DJI service game now! Don't mean to be negative, but mine has been a real piece if you know what. Hope you have better luck than I did! Built a TBS discovery pro quad that I'm very happy with.