Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

  1. GadgetGuy

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Messages:
    4,452
    Likes Received:
    1,294
    GadgetGuy's Second P4 Flight Impressions

    So, after my disappointing first flight with my new P4, with only the stock transmitter (lost full control at 6,700 feet at 400 feet AGL, and a flight time of 16 minutes down to 17% remaining battery), this afternoon, I paired the P4 with my GL300A transmitter, modded with FPVLR v2 and 3.0W Sunhans boosters.

    What a difference!

    First, I stayed in P-GPS mode the entire time, and got rid of any video gimbal smoothing in the app settings, and used the full 4K wide video setting at 24fps, same as I use on all my P3P's, as I didn't like the look in the initial first flight video of the gimbal smoothing, and wanted to replicate P3P settings.

    Happily, I was able to maintain full control and video out to 16,070 feet (3.04 miles) and descend to 40 feet AGL at that distance. I certainly could have gone farther, but the battery limited my testing. With full throttle virtually the entire way, into a light 5 mph breeze, I averaged 32 mph on the way out and 40 mph on the way back, even hitting 45 mph, all without Sport mode. The props did occasionally drop into the frame. Total distance of the flight was 40,744 feet.

    I landed at 12% remaining battery.
    Here's the real kicker: Total flight time was only 14 minutes 40 seconds!
    The battery started out at 96% remaining, as the battery charger refused to top off the battery, when I repeatedly turned it on, while connected to the charger. It immediately shut off every time. This needs to be fixed.

    So, the 28 minute flight time is still all smoke and mirrors. Flight time is no better than the P3P.
    This baby needs a serious battery mod to ever achieve those 28 minute flight times!
    Because of the single battery limit, I cannot push much beyond 3 miles to test the video feed at longer range.

    On the bright side, with full P-GPS speeds of 35-45 mph, without using Sport mode, it takes less time to get to your remote shooting location, so it's a fair trade-off that total flight time is reduced.

    Also, has anyone else noticed that the P4 synced flight records won't sync and show up on any other device used with a prior version DJI GO installed? Must be DJI's way of forcing me to install the P4 app update on all my P3P devices, too!

    Conclusion: P4 battery life is no better than P3 battery life, and is actually worse, if you fly full speed in P-GPS. To achieve the advertised 3.1 mile range will absolutely require a transmitter mod. For those of you with a P3P transmitter with a FPVLR v2 mod with boosters, if you got 'em, smoke 'em! :D

    Otherwise, you'll be limited to 1.2 miles. A relatively easy battery mod (Midwest Horizon, are you reading this?) will also likely double the flight time. Can't wait! :cool:

    See also: GadgetGuy's First Flight Impressions of the P4
    and: GadgetGuy's Final P4 Flight
    and: GadgetGuy's P4 Refund From DJI
     
    #1 GadgetGuy, Mar 20, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  2. GregSW

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2016
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    8
    I am getting about 20-22 minutes when my P4 hits the 30% remaining mark. That is in P-GPS mode. But I am in no way pushing mine out as fast, far, and hard as you are.
     
  3. GadgetGuy

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Messages:
    4,452
    Likes Received:
    1,294
    That's just how I roll! :D
    My P3P's handle it with no problem, too! Before my battery mod, my P3P's were getting 15-17 minute flight times to 15% remaining. Advertised P3 flight times are 23 minutes. P4 is 28 minutes. Both are like mpg ratings on new cars. Nobody except Mr. Magoo gets those mpg, but they are usually good for relative comparison purposes, as the mpg testing standards are the same between different vehicles and different brands.

    However, I just realized DJI has based their 28 minute P4 flight time on flying 100% in Atti mode ONLY! Who does that? :rolleyes:
     
    #3 GadgetGuy, Mar 20, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
    Bocephus-73 and dirkclod like this.
  4. sar104

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    245
    Location:
    Los Alamos, NM.
    That's nice, but are you really surprised that at "full throttle", almost the entire time, you got vastly reduced flight time? What would your P3 have manage in those conditions?
     
  5. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2014
    Messages:
    10,636
    Likes Received:
    5,698
    Location:
    Amory Mississippi
    Well does this mean ya not sending it back now GG :)
     
  6. GregSW

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2016
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    8
    Thanks, I appreciate all your knowledge. I have only been into this a couple of months, so I am not comfortable going out so far yet. But I do love my P3P and my P4. Just amazing video and photos. I love photography, and being able to see things from above, gives me a whole different world view perspective.
     
  7. P4pilot84

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    15
    If you buy a car and the stated avg mpg is 15mpg and you go down the highway with the throttle to the floor you would see the same results that your seeing on your P4. Don't know why you would think that would be any different


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  8. Bocephus-73

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    63

    Well luckily I do have the P3P transmitter with FPVLR v2 booster kit so yes --- I will smoke 'em! Gonna send that P4 out long and far! :p

    The really good news is that FPVLR offers a bird-side amp that can be used to compensate for the reduced power on the P4 --- can't wait to get this sweet little honey installed:


    Air side booster mod kit - FPVLR


    [​IMG]
     
  9. GadgetGuy

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Messages:
    4,452
    Likes Received:
    1,294
    15-17 minutes on a single P3P battery, flying in exactly the same way.
    I fly with full throttle in P-GPS mode all the time. I did not touch the Sport mode for any of this flight. All P-GPS. P4 is rated by DJI at 28 minutes, instead of the 23 minute rating on the P3P. P4 delivers 15 minutes instead of 15-17 minutes. No better than the P3P. Worse, actually, for my type of flying. Bottom line, the P4 still needs a battery mod to get the 26-30 minutes I get out of my P3P's with a battery mod. It's no better.
     
  10. GadgetGuy

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Messages:
    4,452
    Likes Received:
    1,294
    I'm conflicted! ;)
     
    dirkclod likes this.
  11. GadgetGuy

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Messages:
    4,452
    Likes Received:
    1,294
    You are missing the point. DJI rates the P4 as getting 5 minutes longer flight time than the P3P. It's pure fiction, no matter how you fly. DJI rates the P4 as 3.1 miles due to an "enhanced Lightbridge". Also pure fiction. P4 won't reliably get beyond 1.3 miles before total signal loss with the included GL300C transmitter, while the P3P will do the full 3 miles every time!
     
    low_budget likes this.
  12. GadgetGuy

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Messages:
    4,452
    Likes Received:
    1,294
    Yes, I fear the P4 will require this, once we get a battery mod and can test the video stability in the critical 4-5 mile range. Based upon the 20% video power reduction over the W323 P3P, it will be necessary, just like with the W323A P3P, which actually has slightly more video power, but still 18% less than the W323 P3P, which set the bar quite high at .746 watts.
     
  13. Dirty Bird

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Glen Burnie, MD - USA
    I have 11 flights on my P4. They run the gambit from pure Sport Mode to casual P-mode with CA which limits the craft to 22 mph. I am averaging just a hair over 15 minutes per battery down to 15%, with the longest flight lasting 20:40 & the shortest being just 13:48. I have only managed to hit 20 minutes on 2 of 11 flights. In 11 flights I am averaging 13 minutes less, nearly half, of the stated 28 minute battery stamina. Even if I remove today's range testing flights which were conducted in Sport Mode, I am still averaging only 18 minutes per flight.

    In comparison my P3s manage 19-22 minutes per battery depending on model (I have a P3P, P3A, & 2 P3 Standards). Even my Vision+ routinely achieves 18-20 minutes of flight time. I think the P4 is a wonderful aircraft with some nice features but, when it comes to battery life, it is thus far a huge disappointment.

     
    Myetkt, Davphys and GadgetGuy like this.
  14. Bocephus-73

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    63
    The one strange thing about this bird-side kit is that it claims the P3 only transmits at 20 mW when we all know the FCC specs state the W323 P3P transmits at 760 mW. Tony at FPVLR is very meticulous so I'm perplexed why he is stating this about the P3P power specs when he knows most of us know how to use the FCC site for verification. I might have to shoot him an email to ask what this is about.
     
  15. Davphys

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    247
    Bocephus- I thought that you shouted loudly and clearly that you weren't getting a P4?
     
  16. GadgetGuy

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Messages:
    4,452
    Likes Received:
    1,294
    Hopefully, Midwest Horizon can put a the P4 battery mod together yesterday from two P4 batteries. The trickiest part will be mounting the two externals made from the second P4 battery. The skids are not as easily removed to mount a battery plate, as on the P3. Perhaps just gaffer taping them between the skids will work. Sure will uglify the clean Apple White look, but it should be all about the video and stills, and not what the camera looks like! Still, it is a pretty bird, even if it has a tiny gas tank!
     
  17. Bocephus-73

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    63
    I said I'm not getting a P4 if it can't be modified to meet or exceed the current performance criteria of my P3P.

    So far, it's not looking very promising --- flight times less than or equal to my P3, and equivalent range needs heavy amplification and booster antennas. So a hyped-up and under-performing P4 is getting all your panties in a wad? Weird.
     
  18. G-K

    G-K

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    15
    I purchased a P3P (my first drone) approx. a month ago. Loved it and decided to go for P4 so bought one just a couple of days ago from Apple Store here in Australia.
    I am learning now. Flying but nothing fancy as you can expect.

    My longest flight times can be seen below with P3P and P4 in same field and similar conditions. The batteries started out at 95% remaining till 10%.

    Total flight time with P4 was 23 minutes and 27 seconds
    Total flight time with P3P was 21 minutes and 16 seconds
     
  19. GadgetGuy

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Messages:
    4,452
    Likes Received:
    1,294
    I'm sure it's an innocent mistake, just like DJI has a misplaced decimal point on the filed FCC ID numbers for both the GL300A and GL300B RC's as .038 watts, when the GL300C is .303 watts! :rolleyes:
     
  20. Davphys

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    247
    Good thing to know that my RC being sent back to modded to me will overcome any issues with transmission range.
    I'm also hoping that a firmware update will fix some of the bugs.