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He bought the wrong one. Now I need an upgrade path.

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Mods' started by PhantomBuck, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. PhantomBuck

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    He bought the wrong model. "He" is the guy in our company who went rogue and bought a Phantom 2 on an expense account. Now that it's in my hands, I have to figure out how to make it useful.

    Here's what we have:

    Phantom 2 (base model)
    Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal with a GoPro
    iOSD mini
    5.8ghz FPV module
    Futaba 8FG transmitter
    7" 5.8ghz FPV receiver/monitor

    I can fly it either line of sight or POV (long-time R/C pilot here, no stranger to R/C craft), but I need a way to fly a set waypoints and I need to figure out a way to enable IOC.

    DJI support told me that I can't use ground station with this Phantom, but he was a Phantom 3 tech (admitted it in the chat) and wasn't sure about what could and could not be done. I asked about what hardware could be purchased to enable it, but he said it couldn't be done. I'm hoping he was wrong.

    If I can figure out how to enable IOC, that would be at least one step in the right direction! The tutorials point to an IOC tab in the Phantom 2 PC software, but I only have Battery, Gimbal, and Limits tabs. The version I have is 3.8.

    So, can anyone lend a hand here?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jason

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    To switch over to IOC you need to switch from Phantom to Naza in the header above tools tabs. Once that is done check the box for IOC. Sorry but I cannot help you with Futaba RC. The P2 is capable of a ground station and you will need a 2.4GHz downlink system for that.

    If your intentions are to use the P2 for commercial work for the company you need 333 exemption from the FAA and a sports pilots license or hire a license pilot to fly it. Guess that's not the like of news you wanted to hear now was it.
     
  3. PhantomBuck

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    I am aware of the exemption, thank you very much, and am taking steps to take care of that issue. The biggest problem I am having right now is dealing with an undocumented piece of hardware, and crappy customer service from DJI and the distributor where it was purchased.

    After you mentioned the data link, I was able to find some reference materials. Funny how neither DJI support nor the distributor knew about it.

    This seems like a poor solution for my needs. More weight and another externally-mounted piece of hardware just don't seem like a good idea for a quad that already has a 5.8 ghz FPV module and an iOSD mini stuck to the underbelly.

    I did find the button to switch to naza mode. I plan to try it out today if conditions stay calm and clear.

    I appreciate the assistance.
     
  4. iowahill

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    I may have missed something with your "another externally-mounted piece of hardware". I have everything, including the Ground Station xmtr neatly installed in the shell of my P2 with my GoPro 3+ Black and Zenmuse H43D. I wouldn't trade my setup as it is for a P3! And you're right about crappy DJI support for legacy products. But that's why this forum exists, to help each other out. Check out some of Jason's posts in the FPV section and you'll see how to get where you want to be.
     
    #4 iowahill, Jan 30, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  5. PhantomBuck

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    This one was purchased from a distributor. They started with a base Phantom 2 (took me a while to figure this out), then mounted the iOSD mini and the FPV transmitter to the belly with velcro.

    I am hesitant to repackage anything until I have a clear picture what we are going to do with this quad. On top of everything, the camera was stolen, so we are looking at the incremental cost of a new camera and the ground station system versus buying a whole new quad with these capabilities baked in.
     
  6. iowahill

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    Some of us are just more inclined to spend whatever it takes to make our birds into the picture of perfection. But if your needs have a limit on expense, tinkering, or time, then yes, you might be better off cutting your losses and buying a packaged solution. The resale value of your present P2 is still pretty respectable, considering I just bought a drowned P2 Vision Plus less controller and battery off of eBay for about $200. I bought it as a parts or test bed to supplement my P2+ with Zenmuse H43D mount and GoPro camera, but bought a controller for it ($50) because I want to tinker and see if I can get it operational after it decided to take a swim in a pool. Hopefully the pool had fresh water and not heavily chlorinated. But then, I'm and inveterate tinkerer!
     
  7. jason

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    Here is a video where everything was installed inside the P 2 . Now the only thing I am not familiar with is Futaba RC and I believe it uses a receiver which there may not be enough room for in the P2 By putting everything inside makes for a cleaner operation and leaves only gimbal, camera and TX under the craft.
     
    #7 jason, Jan 30, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  8. PhantomBuck

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    If it were mine and not owned by the company, I would be more inclined to tinker with it. However, time is money as the saying goes. Buying second or third-hand parts is frowned upon. They want new stuff with warranties so they can hold someone else accountable when things don't work.
     
  9. iowahill

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    They should cut their losses then, write this off, and get something like a P3 that is plug 'n play. Sounds like it's not really YOUR problem. The work and effort is considerable, so if they're paying you by the hour it's money down the tubes. But if YOU somehow end up with it and don't care how much time it takes, you might find something that is addictive and rewarding!
     
  10. PhantomBuck

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    It does look much cleaner on the outside. It reminds me of my in-laws house. Everything is spic and span, but don't open any drawers!
     
  11. jason

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    I have no idea were the mention of third party parts came from. The whole intent of the video was to point out that it would be a much cleaner setup with drag then having all that equipment on the outside of the quad..

    Thi si what mean by clean setup as everything else is stored inside the shell.
    IMG_2061.jpg

    If you haven't downloaded the users manual is the link
    http://download.dji-innovations.com/downloads/phantom_2/en/PHANTOM2_User_Manual_v1.4_en.pdf
     
  12. PhantomBuck

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    The threading is getting weird. iowahill mentioned buying a drowned Phantom for parts. I also mentioned third party parts as this Phantom was a base unit before the distributor added the Zenmuse gimbal, iOSD mini, and the 5.8ghz FPV.

    I caught the meaning of the video. While I would definitely look into streamlining my own equipment, going to the effort in this situation probably isn't worth it.
     
  13. PhantomBuck

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    It's a tenuous situation. While there is support in the local office for remotely capturing data, there isn't at the corporate level. Many initiatives have to be proven locally before they are accepted nationally. Unfortunately, there isn't much, if any, budget for it. If it weren't for someone going rogue and buying it on a corporate account, we wouldn't have the quad.

    Now it's up to me to prove it was worth the expense. It's all on my own time since there isn't a budget and we aren't authorized to fly commercially (yet). It fell to me since I'm the only one with r/c experience and the data that could be generated would be of greatest use to me. I've always wanted to fly FPV with a larger quad, I just didn't expect it to happen this way.
     
  14. kenjancef

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    What's weird about it? You have a Phantom that you're not sure what to do with it, and Jason and iowahil are just giving you different viewpoints of the situation.

    You say the camera was stolen... so you need to get the replacement cost from somewhere.. and if you're still not sure about it, then you should suggest to them to cut their losses and buy a P3 (as was mentioned). And not sure what you mean by "ground station". With a P2, there's not much of a ground station short of the 7" monitor and remote controller.

    i think you guys need t figure out EXACTLY what you want to do with this Phantom before deciding the next step. Did you buy it from a DJI reseller? Can you return it if you need to? We are just trying to help...
     
  15. PhantomBuck

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    People are replying with responses about questions from other responses without understanding the context. It happens sometimes.


    Yes, the camera was stolen when the guy who bought the system left the camera in his car. I'm glad he didn't leave the entire system there.

    Ground Station. iPad Ground Station - Waypoint flying at your fingertips | DJI

    Since my original post I have learned that we can add data link hardware (2.4G Bluetooth Datalink | DJI) and an iPad or iPhone so that Ground Station can communicate to the Phantom. This gets me to what I need - the ability to direct the quad via a series of waypoints.

    We understand the potential uses and we understand that the current platform doesn't meet our needs. The question is what are the upgrade options to enable the capabilities we need and what are the associated costs? That's what I'm trying to figure out here.

    So far, here are the options:
    1. Keep the current Phantom 2. Buy a replacement camera. Buy the datalink hardware. Use an iPhone or buy an iPad to provide Ground Station capabilities.
    2. Sell the current equipment and buy a Phantom 3 with these capabilities.
    3. Sell the current equipment and buy a different platform.
    There isn't an option to return it. The guy held onto it for a long time before it came to me.

    I appreciate the help.
     
  16. iowahill

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    Dollar-wise, buying a P3 with a new warranty makes better sense than buying a camera, iPad, Ground Station, etc. and having NO warranty.
     
  17. kenjancef

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    Suck being in this situation. Depending on price of all the components, you might be better off with #2. Even if you don't get too much for the P2, in the end it might cost more to go with Option #1 than Option #2.

    I'm not sure about Option #3, not sure what other platform would give you the quality DJI has at the price. Right now you can get into a Phantom 3 Advanced for $799. I kinda wish I went with a P3A instead of a P2, but at the time (last July) the P3A was in the $999 range. And now, with all I've added to my P2, I could get a P3A even if it still was $999.
     
  18. kenjancef

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    This too...
     
  19. PhantomBuck

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    I wholeheartedly agree. The issue then becomes one of expensing a new system and dealing with the sale of the old. Lean times make for lean budgets, especially when we are exploring new technologies.
     
  20. PhantomBuck

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    A friend of mine has a 3DR and we spent some time flying them together this past weekend. Some of the pre-programmed flight paths/modes are pretty handy, but not necessarily for my work. The video is the same since it uses the same camera.