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First crash! A few questions about crash recovery...

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by WVU_Scott, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. WVU_Scott

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    Hi All:

    I'm a new Phantom 2 owner (with a Zenmuse 3D and GoPro). I had my first crash tonight which of course (as is true in 99.9999% of crashes) was due entirely to pilot error/carelessness. I was pretty mad at myself for being so stupid, especially because I'm a very experienced RC glider pilot (but of course flying multirotor platforms is VERY different!)

    Basically I was practicing a vertical video (pedestal) shot by climbing straight up in front of a large tree in a park. I was probably at least 20 feet away from the tree during the climb and it went well (video looked great as I topped out at the crest of the tree). Then I screwed up by not noticing I had drifted over the wider branches halfway up the tree (I can see where a spotter would be good in a situation like this!), so when I started to descend, I clipped a branch and wham, my poor Phantom tumbled down through the branches to the grassy field below. (Yes, lesson learned!)

    A quick examination showed no damage to the props or airframe of the Phantom 2. And of course the GoPro is fine. The battery popped out on impact with the ground, but it seemed fine and I powered it off, popped it back in, and powered up the quadcopter again.

    But the thin ribbon cable that connects (via mini-USB) the Zenmuse to the GoPro broke (a clean separation of the ribbon from the connector)...so I'm hoping that's no big deal to replace.

    Otherwise, when I powered the copter up again, everything seemed normal: got the power-up beeps, the proper LED sequences, the GPS lock...but when I tried starting the motors (both sticks on my Futaba 14SG down/in)...nothing. Powered off the copter, then powered it up again and tried again...nothing.

    Any suggestions? I'm hoping this just requires a reset or something relatively simple...and isn't a sign of some deeper, more serious damage.

    I bought this Phantom because I knew I'd crash (at least once), and because I've read you can easily replace almost everything in the copter.

    Thanks!
    Scott
    Morgantown, WV
     
  2. WVU_Scott

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    Wow---nobody has ever crashed their Phantom before??? :D I heard from everyone before getting one that I would definitely crash it (presumably because everyone else has). Has nobody ever broken anything that needed replacing???
    Scott
     
  3. Doono

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    Location:
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.
    Is there any indication the Phantom is connected to the controller? There's a small led light under the Phantom.
     
  4. syotr

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    Try connecting the Phantom to the assistant software. Do advanced calibration. Confirm that it is receiving correct signals from transmitter. Calibrate compass before flying again.
    (Another WV Phantom pilot)
     
  5. Fyod

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    I would certainly open the lid and check for loose/broken parts.
    Also check the thin antennas at opposite leg corners. Those are controller Rx antennas.
     
  6. WVU_Scott

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    Thanks very much for the replies everyone! I appreciate it. I'll do everything suggested and post up what I find out. I've never taken the cover off the Phantom, but I figure it can't be too hard (I'm no electronics repair whiz, but I've successfully done other persnickety jobs like the replacing the LCD on my DSLR!)

    ALSO: Can anyone confirm whether or not the ribbon connector (mini-USB) that goes between the Zenmuse 3D and the GoPro is replaceable? (It's a REALLY super-thin, seemingly flimsy cable---I'm not surprised it broke.)

    Scott
     
  7. instax

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    The H3-3D comes with a spare ribbon cable, if you still have the mini USB plug then you can just open up the gimbal and replace the ribbon cable very easily. Check out the video to go to a H3-2D goPro plug and that shows how to remove/replace the ribbon cable. You should be fine. For the no start problem, do an advanced calibration and compass and controller calibrations and go from there.
     
  8. WVU_Scott

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    UPDATE: Okay, here's what I've done so far...

    • updated firmware to 3.04
    • power cycled the Phantom
    • did a Command Sticks Calibration
    • did an Advanced IMU Calibration

    ...and here is what I'm observing:

    • First, I did receive a message the first time I connected to the PT2 software that the compass data was abnormal. The message said, "Abnormal compass data. Please restart the flight controller or reconnect to the compass due to the losse connection. if this error continues, please contact your dealer of DJI customer service."
    • After updating the firmware and power cycling the Phantom, this message went away. I have NOT yet recalibrated the compass because I'm indoors, and I assume this needs to be done outdoors way from metal, power sources, magnetic fields, etc. (But I'll do this in a bit to see if it helps?)
    • Other than the broken ribbon cable, the Zenmuse 3D gimbal appears to be fine. It rights itself when I power on the Phantom, and seems to work perfectly when I tilt the copter by hand (the camera remains level).
    • While indoors (in my office), the LED sequence is: 2 quick green flashes, 3 slower red flashes (which I believe indicate partial GPS lock but not full, correct? I'm in Atti mode).

    So overall, everything looks good...except I cannot start the motors. Moving both sticks on the Futaba down/in does nothing.

    A previous post mentioned taking the cover off and looking for anything loose. I'm not exactly sure what I should look for, but am guessing if anything is loose (or disconnected) it'll be obvious? Could something be wrong with one or more ESC's?

    Thanks!
    Scott
     
  9. WVU_Scott

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    UPDATE 2: Just talked with a technician at Aerial Media Pros where I bought the Phantom. He was very helpful and asked me to do another command stick calibration. That fixed it! Motors starting normally now. I think the problem was in my command stick calibration technique: I was actually attempting to move the sticks in one axis at a time instead of moving them continuously around the perimeter of the "box." (Dumb newbie mistake.) So I'm assuming my previous stick calibration was just lame---doing it the right way solved the problem!

    Now all I have to do (hopefully) is replace the ribbon cable between the gimbal and the GoPro. The mini-USB plug was bent slightly in the crash, but still seems solidly connected to the baseplate of the plug...so I'm hoping it will work. Stay tuned!

    Scott