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I finally got my Phantom 2 yesterday, but...

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by Frendel, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Frendel

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    After reading a couple of hundred too many posts about flyaways the last 24 hours I don't know if I dare fly it.

    I did make a first flight yesterday (great fun! love it!), before reading all these new posts I found. I did know about the problem before but I didn't know it was this bloody common. Now I feel afraid flying it... should I tie a 200m long fishing line to it?

    I mean, basically every story (except the ones mistaking a VRS for a flyaway) is the same. Lot's of previous flights without any problems --> Normal/correct take-off procedure --> flying without problems for some time --> (suddenly stops and hover -->) strange pitch + high speed --> $1500+ worth of equipment goes "再见" (chinese: "seeya").

    DJI, it's apparently time to wake up and do something about this now.

    DJI,如果你们在看这个网站了...... 真的啊,你们快点解决这个问题吧!我不想突然地失败我新的DJI PHANTOM 2...... 烦......
    /一个来自瑞典的中国通
     
  2. tbwester

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    Every single story i've heard the user has done something wrong.

    Only a few hours experience here, but no problems so far.
     
  3. Frendel

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    That's pretty much the impression I had at first too. But then I read discussions like the one I'm linking to here below. Pretty much all of these users have had the exact same thing happening to them. Normal flight --> (sudden hovering -->) then the Phantom takes off in some direction in high speed. Control is lost and failsafe doesn't work.

    http://www.photographybay.com/2014/01/1 ... phantom-2/
     
  4. Frendel

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    Please someone (not DJI) convince me if I'm taking this too seriously.
     
  5. QYV

    QYV

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    for what it's worth, that article is 6 months old and there's been at least 2 major firmware upgrades since then. Most... not all but most flyaways can be attributed to user error, for example leaving your GoPro's wifi enabled during flight or flying in an area like a canyon or close to buildings where GPS signal can get "reflections" off of obstacles and the Phantom gets confused.

    It's really quite rare for a true random flyaway, especially with current firmwares. there's pluses and minuses to upgrading, you should make sure you understand them all... for example people still run the V1 firmware mainly to avoid the descent rate limits or in some cases the near-airport no-fly zones.

    upgrading to current firmwares has many improvements but also forces some limits, like the ones mentioned above. I suggest you go read the changelogs from all the firmware updates to understand exactly what it's doing.

    also consider that for the most part, people don't come onto forums like this and just talk about how their Phantom is working normally. You always see an abnormally high percentage of people having problems in communities like this because people come here for help so if you just judge this site you'd say "omg these things are super faulty" but really what if all the problems here only represent a 10% failure rate of their total products in use? that's a made up number but hopefully you get my point.

    start easy... don't fly super high or long range until you've got plenty of flight time under your belt, failsafe/RTH is tested, stuff like that. as you get more comfortable with the product and a better pilot, stretch your wings further. before I got FPV but still weeks of flying I was at the point where I was totally comfortable flying it at least 1km away, could barely even see the thing much less tell the orientation and when I wanted it to come back I'd just trigger RTH and let it fly back overhead before I resumed normal control.
     
  6. d4ddyo

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    Only you can convince yourself to fly it. There is an inherent risk that you take for flying. It is a mechanical object and it is in the air. Any failure is obviously going to take immediate notice. I am a long time nitro helicopter flyer and Talk about expensive hobby.

    That being said... the phantom is an relatively "inexpensive" system to fly and get's great videos. I got really cocky and crashed once and almost crashed another. the second time due to J-Hook problem that still exists. (Look it up on this forum, compass declination issue).

    DJI sells tons of phantoms. If you figure out how many they sell... vs how many have issues... the percentage is so small and flight issues are usually connected to pilot error of some sort. Even with my J-hook problem... if I was more careful ... i would have never come close... but I got cocky flying near trees early on in the flight and J-hooked through a tree and managed to recover! That being said... things do happen. Things happen with your car. Cars are recalled constantly. There's a chance your car will fail.... there are documented runaway cars due to acceleration. Even with toyota... they found out that some of them were due to the floor mat riding up and pinning the gas petal so much that they added a special hook/anchor to keep it from happening. Do you need to stop driving your $20,000 car because were so many runaway cars? You have every right to not drive... and you have every right to not fly.

    If you are so concerned about crashing it that you won't fly it... then you are in the wrong hobby. I am building a Hexacopter that will cost more than a phantom. I sold my phantom because of the issues with J-hooking. i want to fly in IOC and GPS modes and I decided to look at other options for now until DJI fixes the problem. By that time there will be a Phantom 3! I'll decide then.

    Overall i'm happy with the Phantom but the J-hook/compass declination is affecting me too much.
     
  7. Frendel

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    I see your points and it is good points. Of course there are a lot more successfull stories than what we are able to read on forums.

    However, I think it probably will be a good idea to get a gps tracker for my birdie.
     
  8. xgeek

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    I stopped worrying about flyways a long time ago. I follow my preflight check list and do regular weekly checks on my Phantom (inside and out). I am more worried about a motor or ESC failure.

    If you have already spent the money then go fly and enjoy. If you don't then you will only have a nice paper weight to look at on your kitchen table.
     
  9. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    The two biggest problems that you can't avoid are: mechanical defect with ESC / motor and sudden battery failure. Both of these are pretty rare. The rest of the so called "flyaways" are people doing things they either didn't know was bad or did it anyway.

    So avoidable mistakes include:
    • Not calibrating the compass properly in an area free of magnetic influence (e.g. sidewalk or parking lot).
    • Taking off from a metallic structure (e.g. bed of a truck).
    • Descending too fast without horizontal movement (VRS).
    • Moving / knocking the Phantom during IMU initialization (e.g. starting up on a moving boat).
    • Leaving the GoPro WiFi on.
    • Not calibrating the sticks properly (after firmware upgrade).
    • Flying with aftermarket / CF props (hint: they suck).
    • Not waiting for the home location to be recorded.
    • Flying with less than 7 satellites visible.
    • Flying behind an obstruction (RF loss).
    • Flying too far away in areas of high interference / noise floor.
    • Not recalibrating the IMU after a crash.
    • Flying too far and becoming disoriented.
    • Panic.
     
  10. Frendel

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    Xgeek: You are right of course, I don't want an expensive paper weight (thinking about it though, it would make a mighty fine paper weight... hmm, nah, too big for my desk). I just got **** scared when reading case after case (after case after... well, you get my point) of flyaways. If it isn't too much trouble, would you mind sharing your preflight check list? I can't help wondering if it differs anything from what I've learned.

    Ianwood: Awesome list! I would really like to thank you for your time writing that list. Even if I've (imo) read a lot about safety precautions flying the Phantom, there were two things I didn't know about previously.

    [*] that it's not adviced taking off from a metallic structures.
    [*] that you shouldn't calibrate the compass on a sidewalk. (Why is this? is it because of the car-detectors close to stop-lights? is there any other obvious places you should avoid?)

    Given the fact I've obviously missed some important safety precautions... if you Ianwood (or anyone else) come to think about anything more that could be added to this list I would be very happy if you'd like to share it.
     
  11. badbrad97

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    All concrete has metal bars in it that effect the calibration. I always take mine into the middle of a field away from power lines when I think I need to recalibrate.
     
  12. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Correct, most concrete structures are rebar reinforced. Generally as a rule, only calibrate the compass in the middle of a large open patch of grass. You want the Phantom to get as clean a view of the magnetic field without any local distortions.

    You can take off from a sidewalk, just don't calibrate the compass there. Best to use something like a box to keep you off the concrete. But if you try to take off with the Phantom close to a significant metal object, like a truck bed for example, you will dramatically increase the odds a flyaway as the compass initialization will be off.
     
  13. QYV

    QYV

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    truth. One time I was on the edge of a field and the Phantom just would NOT home lock. I left it for a good couple minutes, even power cycled and it just wouldn't home lock I was like wtf? When I picked the P up a second time I noticed that buried under a few layers of grass was one of those metal plates that covers like a water pipe valve or electric meter. Moved the Phantom just 1 meter away and boom instant lock on.
    very sensitive to metal they are!

    although I have flown within 20 or 30 meters of the Williamsburg bridge with no issues ;)
     
  14. adanac

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    I may avoid sidewalks more now but I have seen plenty without rebar.