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FPV Advice: Mod a P1.0 or Start from Scratch with a P2?

Discussion in 'FPV (First Person View)' started by el cuajinais, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. el cuajinais

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    The facts:
    Looking to get into FPV. My object it to frame shots only, I don't need HD FPV of light bridge. But I’ll take all the range I can get.

    I have a Phantom 1.0 with upgrade board and H3-2D gimbal installed. I'm using the Mad Dog batteries which give me about 8 minutes of flight time if I don't want to risk damaging them. I also have a GoProfessional case that fits the Phantom 1, which factors heavily into my decision since I consider having a hard case a must.

    My ideal end state would be a Phantom 2 with FPV and H3-3D, and a hard case to keep everything. My interest in Phantom 2 is for longer flights, my interest in H3-3D is so i don't have to do digital stabilization, which eats up a little resolution.

    I'm a handy do-it-yourselfer who has no problem with soldering.

    Also worth mentioning is I already have a smart LiPo charger that can do up to 6s, so I’m pretty comfortable with custom batteries.

    Looking for advice on what might be my best-value route to take.

    I’m leaning towards the FPV setup mentioned in the other thread which is: a Black Pearl 7" Wireless 5.8ghz Monitor, the FPVLR 3 antenna combo, ImmersionRC 5.8GHz Long Range 600mW A/V Transmitter, iOSD DJI mini, Plug and Play Cable: DJI Phantom 2 to iOSD Mini and Fat Shark/ImmersionRC Transmitter.

    I understand that if I solder a CAN bus into my Phantom 1 upgrade board I would be all set to use everything correct?

    What I think are my options:
    1. Sell my Phantom 1.0 with hard case and gimbal. (BTW How much can I get from that?) Use the money to purchase the P2/H3-3D combo with an extra battery. Install the proposed FPV gear on this setup. From what I’ve seen it looks like you can get 14 minutes flight with this setup! Is this correct?

    2. Install everything on my current Phantom 1, H3-2D. How long flight time can I expect to get with this setup and my mad dogs? Do you think it will all fit on the GoProfessional case? I purchased the larger props but after a single test flight decided agains them simply because the Phantom no longer fits in my case. Is it worth buying the P2 shell to fit a fat 5200mAh inside. Would that yield similar flight times as buying a P2? I figure I will not be able to take advantage of the excellent range of the antennas if I'm going to be limited to 6-7 minute flights.

    Any advice is welcome, I’m trying to spend less and take advantage of the fact I’m a handy do-it-yourselfer. Basically I just want to know if by going with the modded P1.0 route I will end with something considerably inferior to starting from scratch with a P2 and a gimbal with an extra axis. If money were not a problem I’d just sell everything I have and order the Aerial Media Pros set:

    http://aerialmediapros.com/store/home/5 ... -pack.html

    that comes with everything installed and everything fits in the included hard case. (I can’t stress enough how **** I am about fitting everything in a hard case).

    Thanks for your advice and for reading this far!!!
     
  2. cmturn0

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    Short answer, sell your phantom 1 & get a Phantom2.

    Flight time is going to be your biggest hurdle to overcome if you stick with the phantom 1. No point in spending money on crazy long FPV range if you don't have the battery capacity/reserve to go much over 1km or two before you have to turn around anyway. People can cuss those $125 Phantom2 batteries all they like, I did when I first got my P2. But I have since realized they are the main (sole?) reason a phantom2 gets 15-25 minute flight times (I average around 20 mins with 2 axis gimbal and gopro). I got a water damaged battery in a parts lot and took it apart, I was shocked at how small and light the cells were compared to every other lipo battery I have. I would say they were close to 1/2 the size and weight of comparably rated cells from other manufactures. If you look at the Phantom 1's that people run with dual batteries, the flight times arent even close to that of a Phantom2.

    My 2 cents, take it for what it's worth.
     
  3. bobdob

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    Why would a phantom 2 not fit in the case? They are the same size. The only difference would be the battery size and I am sure you can fit that in the case somewhere.
     
  4. Danielhv

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    This is an Easy one... Phantom 1.5. Move everything over to a phantom 2 shell. Sell your 2d, get the 3d. Add the can bus, and get either the big battery pack that Ol has tried out recently, or do like me. I run dual 2800mah batteries. Phantom, h3-3d, mini iosd, immersion 600w, and gopro on board, and I get 14 - 16 min flights before my first warning. Depends on how I fly. I can hover for 16 all day. But if I'm moving the whole time, my first warning kicks in around 14:50.

    Will be the cheapest way possible to accomplish your mission. And you can mod it to accept p2 batteries if you wish, but I dunno why you'd want to do that unless you already have them. Too many cheaper alternatives.
     
  5. OI Photography

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    If you have the basic skills required, then the 1.5 conversion danielhv suggests can be a good option for someone with your dilemma...wanting to get more flight time from a P1, but not wanting to spend as much as the price of a P2 instead.

    By doing that conversion, you can certainly get flight times that are competitive with those of a P2 and at much less cost. The batteries I just tested are less than $30 each and get me to just shy of 17 min when I'm flying with the H3-3D/iOSD mini/FPV Tx.

    Since you already have the P1 upgrade board in hand (necessary for H3-2D/H3-3D), you can do the upgrade for ~$150 in parts, maybe less. If you have the soldering skills to install that upgrade board yourself anyway, you should be able to handle the full project fine. It's not for everybody, but it can definitely be a cost-effective way to reach your goals (as well as sidestep flight restrictions and other headaches with P2 NAZA firmware).

    Adding a canbus to a 1.5 is done the same way you planned to (maybe) do it with your P1, by soldering directly to the board. Or, you do also have the option of putting in a P2 mainboard instead, which at least one other 1.5 owner here (EMCSQUAR) has confirmed will work. That has a native canbus connection on it that will let you add the leg port regular P2's have from the factory...which you can also move internally if you prefer.

    Let us know if you have any other questions about that as you weigh your options, and here's our archive on all related info: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=7017
     
  6. el cuajinais

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    Thanks for all the replies everyone. Being as impatient as I am, I went ahead and ordered all the FPV gear before I got any reply on this thread. (Hey I waited more than 24 hrs!). Anyway I ordered everything except the iOSD mini because the soldering job of the CAN BUS intimidated me. Not soldering on the board, but the part of creating the CAN BUS cable. (I did do the upgrade board install myself without a hitch). The fact that the iOSD looks super heavy was added incentive to postpone for now as flight time is my major concern. BTW, it's been a few days now and I have not received an order confirmation yet from the FPVLR dude for my purchase of his badass antennae kit. The rest of the stuff is on it's way.

    I did not know P2 was same size as P1. I knew of larger props and larger battery bay, and assumed the whole thing was a little bigger. Has anyone tried to fit the P2 in a P1 cutout of a P1 hard case? I would think that the P2 cases are a little larger to account for the larger props. My case fits the larger props but I need to be super careful when closing it. Not comfortable with the risk or damaging a prop.

    Anyway the current plan is to install FPV in my P1 and then evaluate the need for iOSD and longer flights. Also I don't think I would put a H3-3D on a P1 because it does not come with the hole. Maybe I should just do the P2 shell thing, with the flight times OI is getting, it sounds like that is definitely the way to go.

    OI, I would be very interested to hear what are the "flight restrictions and other headaches with P2 NAZA firmware". That would give me added incentive to go full on P1.5. I can trick myself into thinking:

    "yeah... you know... I thought about getting a P2 but it was just to **** restrictive, oh that P2 NAZA firmware, pft, don't get me started on that." :lol:

    When in fact I was just looking to save $$$ and the hassle of selling a phantom with H3-2D gimbal and case.

    You see I was on of the suc...err, early adopters that payed $670 for the Phantom 1.0 and $700 on top for the H3-2D. Only to find a few months later you could get a P2 with a H3-3D for $959. Oh and let's not forget the PS2 could use the iOSD or other CAN BUS goodies which the P1 with the upgrade board (another $69 spent) could not. The sting of all that spending being made obsolete by new equipment costing a fraction still hurts and has not fully healed, hence my reluctance to spend on a P2. I mean sure, Apple updates their phones every year with more powerful versions, but they don't sell them 33% cheaper than the release price of last year's models. After that sour taste, I'm just not inclined to touch a P2. I may buy a Phantom 3, but of course I would wait a good six months after it's released before jumping on it, you know, in case they forget to put a hole in it too!
     
  7. OI Photography

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    It may not take much tricking, from what I read the various iterations of the P2 firmware have created problems for plenty of owners. I don't mean to make it all sound like bunk, and I upgraded a P2 to the latest version last week with no problems at all, but even if it installs/works properly you're still saddled with the following (none of which exist on the P1's NAZA):

    -DJI's no-fly zones (airports, etc): http://www.dji.com/fly-safe/category-mc

    -The Proprietary P2 battery. You can't use regular lipo's in a P2 (without some questionable hacking anyway), but you can use those or P2 batts in a 1.5.

    -Speed restrictions. DJI has placed caps on lateral speed and descent speed as well. While they're probably a good idea for many less-experienced fliers, they can be annoying or worse if you don't need them.

    Btw if you need any further teasing, I tested that new battery again this evening and managed to get 17:24 out of it :cool:

    I actually just picked up a used FC40 today that I'm going to convert to a 1.5 as soon as it and the parts all arrive, and I plan to do a build log (or at least lots of pics) with that.
     
  8. el cuajinais

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    Dude! You were right! It WAS under my spam folder! But I haven't received a shipping notice yet dude! :lol: Guess it takes time to properly match those babies! I'm the order from Puerto Rico which is not a long ways from you.

    Very much looking forward to your build log! So let me ask you this, if you could choose between getting a free and assembled P2 with H3-3D, and your preferred FPV setup, or a free and assembled P1.5 with H3-3D and same FPV gear, which would you choose and why?
     
  9. OI Photography

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    I would still take the 1.5, for all the reasons I listed above. I can use P2 batts if I want to, but I can still use cheaper lipos and don't have those other restrictions. I can't see any compelling reason to go with the P2 instead.

    That's only speaking for me though, I'm sure the P2 is the better option for many people. Just depends on your priorities and tolerance for DIY.
     
  10. el cuajinais

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    Just a quick update:
    Yesterday I spent the whole day installing the FPV gear. It took me probably 5x the time it would normally take if I had clear instructions. Most of the stuff online now is about Phantom 2. I sprag for the iOSD and earned my Sarawuth merit badge as well. Ironic that while a was slaving away on my Phantom for the entire day, I was oblivious the menwhile the news of the a price reduction to the entire Phantom line was taking place. (Recall I was debating wether to sell my P1.0 to use the proceeds to Buy a P2 and install my FPV gear on that. Good thing I didn't learn of this until today. It would have been very bad to learn of this while my Phantom 1 guts were spread all across my dinning room table.

    So anyway, I've had 3 test flights and I fricking love it! Some observations:
    1. Phantom is loosing altitude when stopping from forward or reverse flight.

    2. FPV range was below expectations. I can't get to 200m (horizontal) and I'm using the FPVLR diversity antenna set, Black Pearl Monitor (7 channel version), and Immersion 600mW. This is over a populated area, but still. My antenna is facing down just behind the gimbal. Does not look ideal but the options are very limited. I set the Immersion and Black Pearl to exactly the same frequency, 5860MHz. Any ideas?

    3. The flight time way above expectations! Those longer propellers are a god send. Flight times are 9:12, 9:16 and 10:00 minutes! The 10 minute flights topped my battery at 80.1% so that is right about my limit. Running a single 2700 mha mad dog.
     

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  11. mr_3_0_5

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    Your antenna placement seems all wrong, the pinwheel on the monitor should be perpendicular to the ground, basically in the same plane as the quad mounted one, not pointing at the quadcopter as in the picture, you are pointing the NULL of the antenna at the quad, no wonder it does not work.
    Also the pinwheel on the phantom, should be turned more towards the plastic leg of the phantom, outwardly as to clear the gimbal as much as possible, rather than blocked by the gimbal as shown in the picture.

    One more thing, please make sure your monitor has holes and the antennas connected to it have pins inside, so they mate,
    if they both have holes then it would not work.

    so you have these 3 things to work on, as well as swapping channels, making sure you have the correct selection on the monitor.
     
  12. el cuajinais

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    I really appreciate your reply MR_3_0_5. I did my homework assignment yesterday but had to wait on full day because at the moment it is only calm outside during sunrise.

    1. Pinwheel antenna was repositioned on the Black Pearl as shown.
    2. Pinwheel antenna was repositioned on the Phantom as shown.
    3. Checked all antenna interfaces. All my antennas have the little pin sticking out and they all go into the correctly matching female connectors. But...
    I noticed that the little pin on the Rx pinwheel is noticeably shorter than the pins on the other two antennae. See photos. The longer pins on the other antennae go all the way up to become flush with the connector when viewed from the side. The one on the Rx pinwheel does not. Would this be the cause of my low range?

    In any case I flew 3 batteries today with the shown setup. First two batteries where in the same populated area. I went a tad further but I can't say if it was because I got better range or I simply became more reckless flying with a bad signal. If there is a difference it was barely noticeable. For my last battery I went to a place that is more isolated. I did get to 350 m this time, but I was wholly dependent on the helix antenna. Whenever the Rx switched to the pinwheel, the signal was all but lost. (I saw the image scrolling). Needles to say, this is not an ideal condition to fly in, since it is difficult to keep the thing pointed at the Phantom. (Me having lost sight of to and all)


    Aslo, new question:
    Is it a bad practice to store the Black Pearl with the battery at full charge?

    Again, thank for your reply.
     

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