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Firmware skeptics

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by 0DRK3RT, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. 0DRK3RT

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    Since joining this forum, one thing I've learned is that the fear mongering on here is rampant. As a result, it turned me into a "wait a few weeks before I update" P3 owner.

    Then I started seeing a pattern. Aside from 1.5 and flying in cold weather, every firmware release has proven to be stable assuming your bird's hardware is in working order and you update it correctly. Yet there is a persistent pessimistic view by a lot of members about updating firmware.

    It's the same story with each release: a few people (literally, 2 or 3 out of 1,000s) post a problem and claim "this never happened when I was on X.XX.XXX firmware!!" And a long winded debate follows with the usual responses of "that's why I'm still on X.XX.XXX and will NEVER update!!"

    Then after a few weeks of "the new firmware works great for me" with little to no proof of any problems/bugs in the firmware the threads go silent. 3 months later, the exact same debates happen when a new release comes out.

    What seems to be left out by these OP's is its 99% due to error and inexperience with the process, OR defective parts unrelated to the firmware.

    Am I the only one who sees how laughable this has become?
     
  2. mikesmiley

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    My firmware updates have always gone well, and I update every time a new one is released.

    That being said, I've really seen no benefit from any of them, and it very much bothers me that it's impossible to roll back from the latest ones.

    To each their own.
     
  3. BDOG

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    Welcome to Phantom Pilots!
     
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  4. alokbhargava

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    Many users have never faced issues or even if they have faced, they could easily recover. On the other side, many keep struggling, many even don't attempt to update. I won't be surprised if over 50% have not even attempted to update.

    Let me list down some of the reasons for update failures:

    1. There are many users who have very limited knowledge of software handling.

    2. There are three basic parts, Go App, RC and AC. Each has multiple versions available. All are not backward compatible.

    3. There are multiple HW combinations of mobile device, RC and AC

    4. The installers are not intuitive. They do not check compatibility, they do not warn and they do not guide users.

    5. AC FW still requires multiple manual steps to complete installation.

    With all above complications, how can we expect a non-IT experienced user to correctly install SW/ FW with 100% success in very first attempt?

    There are lengthy documents and if we tell users to read this or read that and install, there are all chances of making errors.

    Problem will be minimized when total installation is web based with just button click away and prompt users if there is any mistake.
     
  5. robinb

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    For those that have been in the game a lot longer than the p3, there were numerous problems with p2 firmware updates, fc40 and early p3 releases, not just version 1.5.

    So people are rightly cautious, which is not helped by DJI not providing proper release notes.
     
  6. movius

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    I have updated to each new firmware when requested without problems, at least to date. I see little reason not to as most updates are bug fixes and bugs are bad in my experience. I also read a lot about various suppliers, for example litchi, introducing fixes based on updates to the dji sdk. I would assume that the sdk is in somehow linked to what's in the firmware so flying on 1.4 or whatever makes no particular sense to me. However, I do agree that the upgrade process is a little daunting for the inexperienced and not particularly intuitive. I feel like I'm taking my life in my hands everytime I attempt the upgrade.

    Sent from my SHIELD Tablet K1 using Tapatalk
     
  7. SteveAikens

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    Buddy of mine received his P3P Friday. He brought it over yesterday and we updated the Phantom and controller. He bought a new Samsung tablet and had already downloaded the new GO app. Went exactly as expected. Did an IMU cal, we packed it up and went flying in *too much wind*. I took my P3P and he took his first two photos of my P3P and us at the controls. See attached. High winds are evident...o_O We only flew a short time to verify all was well - before winds got out of hand.

    I continue to maintain that updates are important. I don't like that we really don't know what limitations may be imposed on us in the updates but generally speaking, I believe it's more about correcting potential errors than it is about limiting our capability.

    I still believe the major issue with updates is failure of users to be patient enough to let the process complete or failure to simply follow the instructions TO THE LETTER.
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. RSO2

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    I agree!!! But realize generally just knuckleheads what have problems complain like bitches. Folks with a pleasant experience- 97%- generally have nothing to say. People hate change. Mostly...


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
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  9. Jtrjr

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    0D,

    Although I do agree with the basic premise of your post, I think there is more to it. Anytime I've chosen to update any of my birds the process has completed successfully. I do believe many people do the updates without thoroughly understanding the process and executing the update properly. Then comes the blame game you describe in your post.

    That being said, I'm a bit more with Mikesmiley on this one. In most of the 'firmware" updates I've done on other computer oriented equipment, the enhancements or fixes were to resolve hardware related issues and the manner in which the equipment operates. I'm also usually provided with a fairly detailed description of what is being fixed.

    My interpretation of many of DJI's "firmware" updates is very different. There is little doubt that DJI is using "firmware" updates to implement restrictions and limitations. They also appear to be using "firmware" updates to provided access to the data on our equipment to 3rd party entities. Some people aren't alarmed by this as "everybody does it and has access to your data now anyway". I don't know of any other piece of equipment that I own that utilizes "firmware" updates in this manner. OS updates, software updates, yes, but not "firmware" updates.

    DJI also chooses to limit the information of what is being enhanced, implemented or fixed in their firmware updates. They certainly made their position on this very clear with the NFZ fiasco. Whether you agree with NFZ implementation or not is irrelevant, the manner in which they deployed this system was underhanded to say the least.

    Although I would love to stay up-to-date on all of my equipment, I "choose" not to do so because I just don't have any trust or faith in DJI. The time, energy and research it takes to "wait and see" what a particular update "really" did is utterly ridiculous.

    The idea that DJI has implemented a system that will only allow the end user to downgrade back a single version is also very telling. They could very easily provide a method to do a full factory reset of their hardware but they choose not to do so. I believe that I should have the ability to put my birds back to the original state in which I purchased them. It would certainly make resolving issues much easier.

    A major portion of this forum is dedicated to firmware updates and trying to determine if those updates actually resolved or enhanced things or whether new limitations or restrictions were imposed without acknowledgement from DJI until people on these forums identify such.

    Obviously, my words are strictly, my opinions.

    Jerry
     
  10. Trackman1

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    Some people want to have the latest. Others are happy with what they have.
    If that many updates were failing to install properly we would be talking about nothing else.

    I don't know about the rest of you. But I am still on Windows 7 because I like it.
    I have tried Win10 and went back to 7. (disc imaging)
    Even though Windows 10 is free it doesn't offer anything for me that I can't do in Win7.

    Personal choice. Same as firmware.

    The only difference being with firmware is you can't usually go back to where you might want to be.
    That applys to just about everything that has firmware updates.(TV,DVD,Blu-Ray,PC,printers,GPS) and lots more.
     
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  11. dewster

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    Why are there soooo many firmware updates? I wish DJI would just make a controller with a dedicated screen instead of relying on different devices to monitor aircraft status/video. Maybe that would reduce the drama.

    Additional features are appreciated, the Phantom 3 series should be close to perfection with the constant firmware enhancements.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  12. lookin4pain

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    I like that I have an option to fly with a tablet or phone. I honestly don't think having a fixed screen would solve firmware updates. I do find the firmware posts a little dramatic, but interesting to read. I for one am in the boat where if it works, don't fix it.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
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  13. tcope

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    I'll remind you of one case where DJI released firmware, many people reported problems and DJI released a corrected a few hours later. SO it only took DJI a few hours too realized that they had screwed up in some way. No acknowledgement was made by DJI to this affect but it was obvious.

    Is it likely that the firmware is perfectly fine? Yes. But it's also a fact that they have screwed it up in the past. So if your Phantom is flying just fine, where is the harm in waiting a few days or a week just to be sure? In addition to that, we also know that DJI hides certain changes in firmware (such as adding NFZ). Why not wait a few days or a week to know exactly what changes will be made before making those changes?

    We've also seen a _HUGE_ improvement in firmware releases since DJI started having customers beta test firmware. Up until that time, they were a little buggy. So the caution is warranted.... if not perhaps a little outdated. But I see no reason not to wait to be sure rather then face that one time that DJI screws up (again).

    Just one more example... but this would not have been solved by waiting. Recently DJI discovered an error in the firmware that allowed the Phantom to completely shut down in cold weather when under full throttle. We now know the critical shutdown level of the battery was set to low. Again, waiting to upgrade would not have save crashes that happened but it does show that DJI still makes mistakes with the firmware.
     
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  14. Bigskyflyer

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    Not all of us that don't update are worried about issues from updating. I am still on a very old firmware because I have never had an issue and I don't have a use for any of the new flight options. I, like Jerry, do not necessarily trust dji because of the way they go about things. I also don't like or need the limitations that they have introduced with new updates. You can call it bitching if you want but I will call it me having control of what my bird can and can't, do not dji.
     
  15. Wingfan04

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    Can I give a BIG Amen to the OP.
     
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  16. Jtrjr

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    Wing,

    Sure you can! That's what this whole thing is all about at the end of the day! Give a big "AMEN"! Have at it!

    Jerry
     
  17. AerialZ

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    I do agree with the OP on this, although I also relate to others that have every right not to update FW. The fact is, DJI uses FW updates AS software updates. There's no other way to make the changes to our A/C's & R/C's that may be necessary for APP functions to work. Of course, some lesser desired shiznit gets installed as well.
    I'm relatively new to DJI hardware, but far from new in the R/C community. What has peeved me more than anything else in dealing with this latest round is how someone can go out and spend $1000+ on a niche, higher hobby-grade piece of hardware that they have absolutely NO experience with.
    Style Points to DJI marketing on this one. Everyone can contemplate buying one while browsing through the store.
    These firmware updates require a technical understanding to execute properly, which could easily be expected on this level in a hobby. I don't expect 'intuitive' software to do all the work for me, nor should anyone else. This is NOT an entry level quadcopter just because it can basically fly itself. There is SO MUCH good information out here if people would take the time. But, alas, they do not.
    Sooooo, I have to sit and read posts from people that can't even figure out how to UNZIP the .BIN file first before putting it on the A/C SD card, then are out here screaming that DJI sucks because their update screwed-up their beloved Phantom.

    Seriously...

    It just makes you ask yourself, what has this hobby come to?
     
  18. RSO2

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    Well say d sir!


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
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  19. Jtrjr

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    Aerial,

    I hear you.

    Jerry
     
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  20. DrJoe

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    Started with an FC40 two years ago. Before that, some R/C planes and cars. Also have a private pilot license. The software took some getting used to, but most FW updates were successful. Then a FW update for the P2V+ completely screwed up the gimbal tilt function for a while, and there was nothing you could do.

    Some FW updates have caused other issues, such as Toilet Bowl Effect, the inability to fly straight, and sudden reductions in performance.

    When I bought my P3Pro, I was disappointed DJI pulled the manual flight mode. I used to love zipping around with it, and still do it on the FC40. I understand why they pulled it, but jeez, if I want to fly like a lunatic, I should be able to. I updated the P3 to 1.5, and then read all about the sudden death battery issue. I flew with caution until 1.6 came out, and I upgraded. Its been great. Then the word came down that the GO app was updated. If you updated, you were now given a boat load of new restrictions that you could not work around (not that you should fly in restricted areas, but even with permission you couldn't). There was lots of talk about GEO being implemented and having to go online to plan flights in restricted airspace, but its yet to happen.

    I missed 1.7 and now 1.8. I'm not upgrading for any other reason than I do not know what restrictions, issues, or benefits I'll receive, though most people report 1.8 as a good FW. I use my P3 commercially, so I need it to be able to fly where and when I need it.

    It is prudent to not jump on a FW update as the first one in. Beta testing and reports from those that like to test new FW allows me to know what I'm getting and avoid an issue.

    As to not being able to follow directions, uzip a .bin file, or do things in the proper order; well that's just ridiculous most of the time, but I have come across an experienced user that ended up with hours of frustration.

    Stick around for a while ODRK3RT, and you'll hit a bump eventually.