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hows the reliability coming along, thinking about buying one

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MILLER4PRESIDENT2020, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. MILLER4PRESIDENT2020

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    I stumbled across this on amazon and immediately said I NEED THIS. After doing some research and looking at youtube I realize this is new technology and will take a while to sort out the bugs.

    I am not so much concerned about the "jelly" that people complain about as that can be easily/cheaply fixed, I am more concerned about the crashes and flying away never to be recovered. I see alot of videos or reviews labeled something like Phanton crash, GPS fail, etc. Are these cases probably novice users in the wrong mode? taking the phantom up in strong winds? trying to fly through a Jungle? or in a poor GPS area?

    or does this thing randomly freak out every once in a while even if you are careful? I already have a GoPro2 so that takes away a little of the cost (even though I will probably upgrade to the 3 at some point) but still to think about investing $500 bucks in a device that can be trashed in seconds is somewhat disconcerting. Are there different version numbers or everything has been the same so far. Do they do firmware updates on these?

    p.s. I am a commercial airline pilot for a living so I think I might be slightly more disciplined/skilled than a novice who does not know how to read a winds aloft report and takes the Phantom up a thousand feet into 50kt winds and watches it go bye bye.
     
  2. DeweyAXD

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    Re: hows the reliability coming along, thinking about buying

    Firstly good man for the research.... seems a lot of people see it, want it, buy it and then wonder why they have problems.

    Peoples opinions on flyaways differ GREATLY. If it happens to you then you will quite understandably feel pretty strongly on the matter. I believe they do happen, I believe it probably rarely fault of the pilot but with all that said I will then refer you to a previous post from me today on a flyaway thread (third one down):

    viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2940

    My view.... buy one, enjoy it, love it, hope and pray you are not one of the unlucky few that it does happen to.... the chances if you are careful are not high, but it can and does happen so go into it with your eyes open.
     
  3. discv

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    Re: hows the reliability coming along, thinking about buying

    Hi and welcome. So many questions!

    Yes, there are many cases of 'flyaways'. But, at the moment, it is not possible to work out the percentages that are down to pilot error.

    Add to this that DJI will not acknowledge the problem and suggest precautions ---------

    Firmware updates are continues, but each has a new bug or two.

    But, hey, best value for money I ever had- and that is a lot of years. Go for it!
     
  4. MILLER4PRESIDENT2020

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    Re: hows the reliability coming along, thinking about buying

    you would think that since the phantom already has a gps receiver built into it, they could just recode it to allow you to track its location from google maps or some other device. Have a small backup nicad battery that puts out a ping once every 5 minutes or something should give it enough juice to last 24 hours, then you can hunt it down in the trees after a flyaway. But what do I know, Im not a programmer
     
  5. MILLER4PRESIDENT2020

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    Re: hows the reliability coming along, thinking about buying

    like i said I am not a programmer but the GPS device within the phantom must send and receive data. It has to tell the satellites where it is, and in the event in the event that it goes lost comm it receives data back from the satellites about where it needs to return to. Seems like there should be some way that if it goes into lost comm mode it tells its coordinates to the satellite and then you can access it via secure code through a third party app like google maps or something. Maybe my knowledge of how GPS works is completely wrong, you would think I know more since I use it every day.
     
  6. Driffill

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    Re: hows the reliability coming along, thinking about buying

    GPS doesn't work like that.

    My opinion. The phantoms have just dropped in price, if you want on now is the best time to get it. Most bugs have been squished (thanks to the thousands who have already bought one) and retailers are trying to pump out the V1 before the Vision/V2 come out. If it does fly away, you haven't lost as much as any other phantom pilot (it costs less now!!)

    As for tracking it after a fly away, there is all sorts of options, the garmin is about the most bulletproof solution but now and then someone brings up the tile or stickandfind. Until these devices are actually released, we will never know the real world performance, the garmin is available and reliable. There is also now a 3d printed caddy for the garmin unit too! :)

    That said, I have no tracking device on mine (yet) but I would like to get a decent sized "radioactive" sticker with the text "If found, Call xxxx-xxx-xxx Immediately" across it, I think that would be better than any reward style sticker lol
     
  7. martcerv

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    Re: hows the reliability coming along, thinking about buying

    Reliability is fine at the same level as most higher end but still cheap electronics, its not 100% guaranteed fail proof and as a commercial pilot you should understand this is the case with everythgin. Even the most high tech instruments or best maintained aircraft will sometimes have issues, parts can fail in a commercial airliner so how you'd expect a cheap toy to be fail proof is a little surprising. You also should understand how GPS works and that makes me seriously doubt your claimed occupation and if its true then I have no idea how you got your license or how the people teaching you got theirs. :lol:

    Going back to flying a plane vs buying a phantom and flying it straight out of the box, you cant fly a plane without the proper training or at least I assumed you couldn't. :roll: You can buy a phantom with no need for training or reading any manual, if you check the same forums with lots of flyaways even more posts are about people not being able to start the motors or what the led flashes mean.

    There are lots of things you just need to learn about it before you can fly it with complete understanding of what its doing and getting it to do what you want it to. This is purely a users choice and if they dont take the care to learn what they need to they are at high risk of joining the flyaway list but nobody is going to stop them from flying. Many of these same people will refuse to believe they could have done anything wrong, still somethings things fail or you get interference that may make you lose control. Though over 90% of flyaway reports would be at least partially user error if not more.

    If a commercial pilot doesnt understand how GPS works and how it has limitations then what hope has the average person that doesnt even bother to read the manual prior to flying. I have lots of friends that are commercial pilots and they all would understand many of these things without needing to ask, they also would understand the importance of understanding all functionality of any aircraft they fly and its limitations. They fly large passenger jetliners and helicopters though and I sure hope you dont do the same but pilot training isnt the same standards in all parts of the world I guess.

    Maybe your a commercial pilot on FSX or GTA which is just a little bit different :lol:
     
  8. MILLER4PRESIDENT2020

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    Re: hows the reliability coming along, thinking about buying

    [/quote]

    It's pretty scary that you are this clueless about how GPS works considering your claimed profession.[/quote]


    well you dont have to be a jerk but my extent of GPS is that if I am flying to a place where I am expected to do an RNAV apporach I check that the predictive RAIM of at least 6 satellites will be intact upon my ETA, and en route if ATC clears me to a new fix all I need to do is press DIRECT TO a waypoint and then the LNAV button. Outside of that I am not required to know how it works, just hows to use it, and if it fails how to revert to good ole fashion VOR navigation. We are given massive amounts of system knowledge in stuff we can actually control, so that when you blow an engine at V1 during rotation due to fire and pull the Fire handles and lose half your hydaulic capacity, you can still fly her and bring it back around and get enough pressure to cycle the landing gear back down. When you lose GPS capability enroute (which has happened to me about 5 times in the last 7 years) there is nothing you can do to fix it and it is not an immediate safety concern, hence why we are not taught about how GPS "works" just how to "use it". Youll get the same response from most pilots when you ask how it works...26 satellites and P.F.M ( pure f'in magic).


    But to all the other responses, thank you.
     
  9. discv

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    Re: hows the reliability coming along, thinking about buying

    It's pretty scary that you are this clueless about how GPS works considering your claimed profession.[/quote]


    well you dont have to be a jerk but my extent of GPS is that if I am flying to a place where I am expected to do an RNAV apporach I check that the predictive RAIM of at least 6 satellites will be intact upon my ETA, and en route if ATC clears me to a new fix all I need to do is press DIRECT TO a waypoint and then the LNAV button. Outside of that I am not required to know how it works, just hows to use it, and if it fails how to revert to good ole fashion VOR navigation. We are given massive amounts of system knowledge in stuff we can actually control, so that when you blow an engine at V1 during rotation due to fire and pull the Fire handles and lose half your hydaulic capacity, you can still fly her and bring it back around and get enough pressure to cycle the landing gear back down. When you lose GPS capability enroute (which has happened to me about 5 times in the last 7 years) there is nothing you can do to fix it and it is not an immediate safety concern, hence why we are not taught about how GPS "works" just how to "use it". Youll get the same response from most pilots when you ask how it works...26 satellites and P.F.M ( pure f'in magic).


    But to all the other responses, thank you.[/quote]

    When I saw a newbie getting a hard time- I wanted to jump in, but decided not to fan the flames.
    In the event- I think you have settled the matter all by yourself :cool: