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Just bought a Phantom 3 - Worried after reading about problems!

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by StrikerOne, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. StrikerOne

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    Hi all,
    I would like to get some input, reassurance or warning from Phantom 3 owners/experts - I'm a bit worried...

    I've just sold my Phantom 2, having made the decision to walk away from the aftermarket FPV setup on the 2 in favour of the Phantom 3's "Off the Shelf" set up, which on paper, appears to be all kinds of awesome and way ahead of what I was able to do with my P2/FPV...

    Seemed like a logical decision given the price tag of a new P3 was just a few hundred dollars more than what I was able to sell my P2 setup for, particularly after taking into consideration the further costs I would have spent on upgrading a few of the low end bits and pieces that were holding me back from getting the best out of the P2 FPV.

    Anyway, I digress - I'm about to take my Phantom 3 out for the first time - I'm a confident Phantom pilot, having had a P1 and P2 and the location that I will be flying will be at high altitude (1700m+) and in snow covered terrain... A ski resort to put it simply. My intention is to take it up to various locations on the mountain (staying within the confines of the patrolled ski area), and do a little bit of flying around/over the place, just recreational flying that should provide some nice footage from the camera for my first experience with this P3 Pro setup.

    However, I am now starting to wonder if I should just box the thing up and return it, rather than risk losing/crashing/destroying it in terrain that is at best going to be difficult to find/recover it in, should it fly away or just drop from the sky like I am reading reports of, at distance.

    How concerned should I be about what I am reading on multiple forums etc? I haven't touched the firmware - its straight out of the box, Australian delivered and purchased new about 5 days ago.

    Is there a significant and real danger that this thing is at enough risk of factory faults/bugs that I should keep this thing grounded for now and wait for a solid fix - or even just return it? Or am I being over cautious?

    Again, I'm confident in line of sight flight, even at significant distance - I've been confident enough in the RTH function of the previous phantom models that I have been able to enjoy flying right out to the limits of where I can actually see it, which was past what my FPV setup was able to do (was lucky to get 150m out of the video feed, but was still flying LOS out to <500M distances). I'm just not confident in the software of the Phantom 3 - it seems like it has a mind of its own.
     
  2. jlo

    jlo

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    I was worried about the Toyota sticking accelerator recall when I read about it because, at the time, my girlfriend drove one of the recalled vehicles. However, her accelerator did not stick and she didn't die in a fiery ball of destruction.

    The worst thing about my phantom is the tilted horizon. It hasn't flown away, fallen from the sky etc.

    Just go out and fly the thing and have fun. For every one person complaining online there are exponentially more out flying their birds without issue.
     
    SteelGator likes this.
  3. SteelGator

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    I take the horror stories and problems in forums like this under advisement, but try to not over react. This is a place that people come with problems looking for help, so naturally the you get a biased sample. I follow several mobile phone forums as well, and if you spend much time there, you would believe that the phones don't work at all.

    I have not had any issue that make me regret my purchase. My bird flies well, and I have quite a bit of fun with it. My only issue is the occasional shutdown of the DJI app, which is not fatal. I running the latest app, and upgraded the firmware as well.

    My opinion would be you take it out for a few small trips (advisable on any tech products) and make sure it behaves properly, then increase the activity as you get more comfortable. I think sending it back would be a bit of an over reaction.
     
  4. Oso

    Oso

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    My feedback would be to take it out and be completely amazed. Most people are able to fly without concern, even with the few little idiosyncrasies of the firmware and the app.

    I am not a long time expert, but I have about 120 flights done so far with the P3. It still amazes me.

    Since you are already experienced, you will have no trouble getting used to the P3 and dealing with any potential issues that pop up.

    As for flying away - it never even enters my mind. I am totally confident that the P3 will not fly away.

    Since you are in a cool area, you likely won't see any of the issues normally associated with overheating such as lag in the FPV and tablet lock ups.

    My guess is that you will love it big time and will wonder why you ever had a concern.
     
    JoBe likes this.
  5. landmannnn

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    Your P2 was many times more likely to flyaway or crash. 150m on FPV sounds like you had it setup wrongly anyway.
     
  6. HunterSK

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    As someone who lost my P3P recently, my take on it is that the machine travelled with me on my recent holiday and got me some great footage that will last a lifetime.

    Despite losing a couple of thousand dollars (that I don't think was even my fault), at least I shut it down before it could hurt someone or something. There are worse things that could have happened.

    My advice is to fly and enjoy it, but always consider that if things go haywire you need to make sure that it doesn't affect others. Money doesn't matter at this stage.
     
  7. GordonT

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    Go and fly it. Mine works fine.
     
  8. dedstik

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    Most of the problems seem to stem from two things:

    Novice pilots with limited or no RC flying experience, let alone any multirotor experience, and...

    Legitimate issues with the latest FW release.

    You already have multirotor experience so there should be no issues there. Stay with the current FW that your P3 came with and enjoy flying your quad.

    Yes, you may well experience some little bugs or anomalies along the way but there should be nothing serious that relates directly to the P3 itself...i.e overheating tablets are not a P3 issue...

    My biggest challenge has been learning how best to utilize the photographic capabilities of my P3P. The airframe itself and the app are working great for me.

    Go fly.

    :harry
     
    Ken Cruise likes this.
  9. tcope

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    Anything is possible.. just as you can lose anything you own. I'd say the P3 is much more reliable turn the prior versions. There will also always be bugs. Lastly the P3 is brand new and is only now being tested in large numbers. With that said, I would say that issues are highly unlikely. You are always going to read more about issues then perfect flights. If a person flies 50 perfect Flight they are not going to post about them. They are going to post about the one time they thought they had an issue. Fly knowing it could be lost but fly and enjoy yourself it little worry.
     
  10. phantom3menace

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    I'm not a long time Phantom flyer but I will say this. Ive only had my P3P for maybe three weeks and its been awesome. I have not and will not update the firmware even though the app keeps telling me to. I'm terrified of any potential problems I may find if I do update the firmware.

    In other words, if it ain't broke, then don't fix it.
     
  11. Flyboy

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    If everyone here posted every time they took their P3 out for a great successful flight it would outweigh the negative posts 100 fold. When someone has a bad flight or a crash or even worse a flyaway, they post it here looking for help or answers. Just remember for every problematic flight there are a 100+ good flights you don't read about. Go fly and have fun!
     
    jlo and Ken Cruise like this.
  12. Ken Cruise

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    Well written post Striker. I have quite a bit invested in P3P's and have wrecked my share of them. Since you have flown before you are way ahead of many including myself when I started with P3P's. What I do now is with every battery and drone I reserve the 1st 15% of battery power for low alt. movement, rotation and responsiveness and pay close attention to the sounds, DJI App and "feel" of the craft. I watch the discharge rate and check the battery temp right before I send it up. Higher than say 44 degrees C and dropping to 85% faster than normal could mean trouble up there. Once you do it enough you will notice abnormalities stright away. Minding that 170$ battery and paying close attention won't help you if you Derp! and screw up but it will help prevent battery or rotor failure. Go for it man! No guts No Glory!!
     
  13. Ken Cruise

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    CORRECT!! I flew 4 full batteries back to back last night and not a problem in the world
     
  14. StrikerOne

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    Awesome - very informative responses from everyone who has replied, many thanks :)
    What has been contributed has pretty much answered this for me to satisfaction - Almost all of you have given the thumbs up and made it pretty clear that these problems seem to be the exception, not the norm :)

    I'm going to take it for a bit of a familiarity flight down at my local park/oval today so that I can ensure I've understood the new features and have an airworthy Phantom and provided there's no dramas, I'll take it to the snow next week as planned and enjoy!

    Thanks again!
     
    SteelGator likes this.
  15. HiddenDrone510

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    I have only flown 13 flights with the phantom 3 advanced but so far everything has worked incredible with no issue. I recommend that you update the fw. Just have fun and remember to be responsible. Initially I was really impressed with the GPS accuracy and amazing footage. If you're flying at a ski resort I recommend you stay much higher than any obstacles, (including the mountain), also set failsafe RTF high enough to be far away from obstacles, (know quite a bit about ski resorts from living in Vermont ). I assume you know about antennae strength and the way to position the antennae in relation to your drone because of your phantom experience. Also, neither rely on LOS or FPV too much, keep a balance between the two. Sometimes I scare myself with my reliance on FPV just because of the amazing quality. Anyway, if you do update the firmware make sure your SD card is firmly inserted because it could cause some issues if not correctly placed. In addition, DO NOT turn on VPS unless indoors I have had issues in the past with ultrasonic sensors and hills, trees and other objects. Let us know of your experience
     
    #15 HiddenDrone510, Jul 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  16. TimBarnhart

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    I have yet to have any issues with min. I am on current firmware and vps on and don't have any issues
     
  17. ScottyT

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    I wouldn't upgrade the firmware to the version that is out now - bit of a unnecessary risk. Wait until the next version comes out.

    VPS probably won't be of any use in the snow anyway.

    Three other things:
    1. I would suggest not calibrating your bird before each flight - if it flew fine on the previous flight, and you're still in the same general location, seems to be no need.
    2. And check the mod values are sane before each takeoff.
    3. Enable the PAF switch so you know you can switch to ATTI just in case there is ever a 'difference of opinion' between the location sensors which seems to be the most likely cause of the flyways to date.

    IMHO.

    Enjoy :)
     
  18. GordonT

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    I have no issues at all except on two occasions I have had a critical battery warning when the battery is actually at 50%. The drone will automatically start to land at this point, so it's worth practicing the cancel auto land feature a few times so you can override this. I nearly lost mine over water.
     
  19. johnp44

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    4. Install the new Flytrex Live for the P3. They are shipping soon and will not need to open the shell to install.
     
  20. djivinz

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    I had the same worries, and I am a noob.

    Just took it of the box, charged battery, no update although the app said "upgrade needed" and I flew next to high voltage power lines.

    It was almost boring, too easy and hassle free! So no problem on my side and usually you hear horror stories but they are 0.1% of the total, 99.9% are going well!