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I finally bit the bullet

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tapiot, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. tapiot

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    Ordered my Phantom, two extra batteries, spare props, anti-vibration kit and the prop balancer fixture from Amazon yesterday. I should have it tomorrow. I plan on just practicing in the backyard with take offs and smooth landings. I really don't foresee ever flying at maximum distances away, I just don't see that well to be pushing the limits and I won't have a spotter.

    So, 300 feet would be too much elevation to do what I want and probably 300 feet horizontally would be it. (I know these will probably grow as I get experience)

    I've never flown RC before so I'll be trying to get as much practice as I can to get so I don't keep looking at the controller.

    How long does it take to charge a battery? I may want to do continuous flight for perhaps an hour or more, just stopping to swap batteries and change card in camera. Wondering if the three batteries will be enough. I would always be charging one in the car (use inverter for the charger to plug into. Perhaps a second charger would be in order?

    I am going to set timer on my iPad for 12 minutes of flying time, would that be about right? I figure that would give it enough time to get back from the distances I plan on flying.

    So many questions!

    Tim T.
     
  2. Ksc

    Ksc

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    You can get a charger that will charge 4 at a time. Each will be on it's own so you can plug them in at staggered times. You're looking at 10-15 minutes flight time. So 4 to 6 batteries are needed. The charger will charge 4 but each takes an hour. So if you had 4 batteries and that charger, you could in theory fly back to back flights all day with the only down time being the battery swap.
     
  3. ym42

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    Please make sure you really have lots of space around you. I mean - like a football field or more:) My first flights were very disappointing, I crashed couple of times, and nearly lost it few times too. This is especially important if you have not flown rc devices before. It's really easy for it to fly away very quickly if you are not familiar with controls. Read the manual regarding status lights, GPS home location set procedure, different modes of control, and enabling corresponding options through the computer menu. Update the NAZA firmware too.
     
  4. eckoner

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    I actually tried flying mine inside my house at first...i was chompin at the bit so much to fly but was affraid to take it outside.

    Well first hour or so into it i already had to replace props and had crashed into my TV, Art Work, and The dogs are now terrified of it....lol

    as suggested the best thing is to goto a football field, or something with lots of wide open space.

    Trust me...if your just planning to do take off and landings...you will be bored before your fist battery runs out. Then your gonna want to take it up...i'd bet it's not the right place for a newbie to do it....so save yourself the grief and just get over to a park or field.

    Also your first few times you want great light just in case it goes down you can find it.

    Good luck, have fun and be safe
     
  5. jumanoc

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    It isn't a good practice to charge batteries inmediatly after flight. You should let them cool at least for 20 minutes. It won't get fire, just you'll reduce your flight time if charge while still warm. ;)
     
  6. FrankB

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    Some very important suggestions:

    1. Before launching, make sure you always wait until the light pulses green, which shows that you have a solid GPS Home location.

    2. Right away, learn how to access the calibration software and then program in the Fail Safe mode on the third position of your right toggle stick. That way, if you run into a problem (lose sight of the Phantom, have it do something unexpected, etc.), you just hit the toggle and put it into Fail Safe mode and it returns to Home. I've never had to use it in a crisis, but have engaged it several times while practicing to make sure it works. I also am ready to engage it if I let someone else fly the Phantom- if something goes wrong, all I need to do is quickly reach over and flick over to fail safe.

    3. I would strongly suggest buying prop guards- they are cheap, add minimal weight, and don't significantly change flight characteristics. But they'll save you a lot of grief if you accidentally fly into trees or bush, or the Phantom tips over. Also, if you accidentally fly into someone, it is less likely to cause injuries.
     
  7. tapiot

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    Lots of room..

    I guess rather than the backyard, I'll go down the road to where the turf farm is...acres of no trees, no houses and only grass or soil to land in. So I need to get more batteries...shoot...I thought 3 would be enough, guess I wasn't thinking too well...

    Thanks for all the comments!

    Tim T.

    :D :D :D :D :D :D
     
  8. tapiot

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    What/where would I find a multi-battery charger?

    I was looking at the Hitec X4 which appears to balance charge as well as it looked like you could do a controlled discharge for battery conditioning. It seems to take a variety of batteries, does anyone have any "hands on" or is there something better?

    Also as an aside, I have no experience with LiPo batteries, do they need a couple charge/discharge cycles before they develop full capacity?

    So many questions?

    Tim T.
     
  9. tapiot

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    Good to know information, I should have thought of that.

    Tim T.
     
  10. tapiot

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    LocTite

    Is it feasible to use LocTite on the propeller nuts (the stuff that still lets you take apart)?

    My Phantom came today but it is windier than heck (of course) this afternoon so I'm dragging my feet at opening the box.
    I need to run out for a bit and having read that sometimes the nuts come off, thought perhaps some LocTite (believe the blue version) would prevent that.

    Any ideas?

    I'm going to open up and get the battery on the charger in case the wind decides to settle down before it gets dark.
    Just like when I would get a new motorcycle, it always rained.

    Tim T.
     
  11. Dns_Rui

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    Hi,

    Just tight the propeller's nuts with the key that comes with the Phantom. IMO, the nuts that came off are the ones that are not even tight by hand. And don't forget to check if they are still tight before every flight.

    Rui
     
  12. Firestat

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    Oh, and when you take it out, let the lights all function properly, and you push the throttle stick up, NOTHING happens. Pull both sticks down and opposite from each other and within a second, push the throttle up. Took me about 2 days to figure that out :D
     
  13. ArshadR

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    Yeah this is what I picked up and it works great. I'm new to the hobby as well, but it got a lot of very positive reviews from more experienced RC folks. I use it to charge the phantom batteries as well as the Predator FPV receiver battery.

    It only comes with one banana plug with XT60 connector. I used the 2nd one from the stock phantom charger. For the 3rd and 4th battery, It comes with two banana plugs with no connectors as well, so you can solder on two additional XT60's. You'll also need to pick up additional balance boards as it only comes with one of the correct type.
     
  14. tapiot

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    Hitec X4

    Looks like a money pit...

    Tim T.
     
  15. deluge2

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    Re: LocTite

    Enthusiasm is great, but even though the Phantom is classified as a 'hobby' device, it is literally a flying computer. So accept that it has some complexity. Even though the manual is not as clear as it might be, you will benefit from reading through it carefully and preferably more than once. It takes some time to absorb the details. It's amazing to me the things that trip folks up for perhaps days (or worse, lead to a crash or other serious problem) that are based upon not knowing the basics of Phantom/NAZA operation. And yes, there are also problems experienced by users who are familiar with all the docs, so it's not a guaranteed method to avoid all problems. See DJI.com support section for Phantom.

    The turf farm sounds like an ideal place for your first flights. As for Lipos, most suggest 'going easy' on them for the first one or two cycles (only discharge to 50% of capacity, only charge at 1C). But I didn't do that and after 10-15 cycles they're showing no signs of distress, so who knows. I started with two batteries and just the stock charger, but quickly moved up to 8 batteries and a high-powered charger. Absolute keys to long Lipo life are to avoid over charging (solved by using a quality balance charger) and avoiding over discharging (rough guide is flight of 11-12min for a stock Phantom setup) and keep cell voltages above 3.7 v at end of flight. If you move to a charger that shows you mAh after completing a charge, aim for ~80% of rated capacity as the total restored when charging. Take a careful look at the Phantom's default settings for Lipo battery voltage monitoring during flight. This involves some choices on your part (optional configuration settings through the NAZA Assistant PC application when connected to the USB cable in your Phantom) and understanding what the Phantom is telling you when its LED status light begins flashing red during flight.

    A big negatory on the Loctite on the prop nuts. Just snug them up well with the little wrench DJI provides (I keep it in my pocket) and then make sure they're still tight before each flight. I make a pencil index mark from the nut to each prop hub. Then I can tell at a glance if the nut has moved relative to the prop. Also you Phantom is new enough that it might come with two of the prop nuts as LH threads (not sure whether those have hit the streets yet.)

    Steve

     
  16. Roadkilt

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    You are repeating lots of info that other forums have covered, but in addition to the comments above, make sure your name is on the phantom with a phone number, and get a cheap digital kitchen timer and velcro to your transmitter so you cant forget it. And ALWAYS use it. Start with 6 or 7 minutes, then get it back to you, then hover in front and wait for the red flashing lights. Thats your error margin. Always give yourself two or three minutes so the Return to Home can still work.
     
  17. rampage42

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    LOL, that's pretty funny.
     
  18. tapiot

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    No manual

    I did not get a manual in the box so I'm a bit in the blind but have watched the beginning tutorials on their website numerous times of basics but have not got up to plugging in to update firmware yet. I will watch several more times before I turn on the transmitter and plug in the battery.
     
  19. tapiot

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    Why ask why?

    Why do they call them propeller blades instead of rotor blades?

    What grit sandpaper is recommended for balancing blades?

    I'm having issues figuring out how to install camera in "childproof" mount (I had issues getting camera outside of case first time too)

    How does it handle in wind? I have gusts this morning, waiting for perfect calm for inaugural flight.

    Any other "gotcha's" I should be aware of?

    Gotta watch videos a few more times.

    Tim T.

    :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  20. tapiot

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    Hitec X4

    =========================================

    Amazon shows bag of the XT-60 connectors, banana plugs and I'll need three balance r's, correct? I have a 20 amp power supply from my ham days....

    Is that it?

    Tim T.