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Let's hear from long term flyers - how to stay flying

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by concern, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. concern

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    As usual, any public forum will always attract attention from those with negative experiences. I'd love to hear from those who have owned a Phantom 2 for months (if not years) without issue. Tell me about your experiences. I've been flying for about 6 months without issue (except for a VRS at 10 metres), but I always feel nervous after reading the unfortunate fly-away stories.

    I figure, as with any flying machine, pre-flight checks and ongoing maintenance are necessary for any sort of ongoing safe flying. After all the failure of only a single motor, prop or ESC will cause your machine to come tumbling down from whatever height it is operating. Other than the documented pre-flights, what ongoing maintenance and checks do you need to perform to avoid a catastrophic failure?
     
  2. Mako79

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    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Flying V+ since April 2014.
    Flying a P2 ser 2 since Nov 2014.
    All Catch landings.
    No crashes.

    Every time I drain battery (20 flights or so), I open her up and inspect.
    I also turn her upside down and turn props by hand to see if there is debri in the motors - don't use air compressor to remove as it may lodge it in further.
    I make sure all the props and motors move with the same resistance by feel.
    I inspect the props and make sure it has not been compromised.
    I inspect battery - check for puffiness.
    I do regular IMU adv calibrations correctly without the MC temp warnings (IMHO - more important than compass calibration)
    I do regular Transmitter checks.
    I make sure I always have visual contact of the bird and I try my best to always fly her back instead of relying on autopilot.
    And I read here regularly.
     
  3. GadgetGuy

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    Put $20 to $50, depending upon your budget and flying risk, every time you complete a successful flight, into a Piggy Bank, so that when that inevitable catastrophic failure happens, you have enough in the Piggy Bank to soften the blow from the expense of replacement. :cool: And learn all you can from the mistakes of others, so you can prepare for that day when you need to pull a rabbit out of the hat, and fly like Sully (Chesley Burnett "Sully" Sullenberger, III)! Being lucky helps, too!
     
    #3 GadgetGuy, Jul 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
  4. RoyVa

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    Hmmm my wife has been doing the same thing about me. Now she's rich and I'm broke can't figure that one out. Seriously you can only take the best precautions you can. In this so called sport there are no guarantees. They say it's not if you will ever have a crash or flyaway but when. No one really knows what causes a flyaway as there are many aspects to electronics. Same as a computer or laptop. Why did it just stop working or why did it crash. A lot of unknowns but it the same way with Tv's. Some last forever and others months days or years. We just don't know. Anytime you have electronics there are hundreds of components that could fail. A 10 cent resistor could cause a complete shutdown. A hard drive fail or memory go bad. Oh me... Guess what our quad has inside.... Same ole same ole electronics. Resistors, diodes, transistors and many other electrical components. And electronics hate heat and anytime it in use it produces heat. Failures are imminent but it's just when.... No one knows ! Happy flying until then.
     
  5. MapMaker53

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    The best advice I can give is to take one's time going through the pre-launch checks. When you are new at flying, it's easy to rush and miss something -- like not checking the sat count, forgetting to set the home point, or not checking that both S1 and S2 are in the top position. (It's easy for them to be knocked out of it when removing the RC from a case.) It's also easy to rush things when onlookers are present and you feel pressure to get your quad into the air. Just relax and systematically go through each pre-launch item like any good pilot should.
     
    vadajohn13 likes this.
  6. GadgetGuy

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    During flight, also monitor your displayed antenna signal levels for both the transmitter and the video feed, and orient youself and your antennas to keep them optimal, and should you lose signal, try to regain signal within 3 seconds to prevent an unintended Return to Home. On the P3, both antennas should be parallel to eachother and parallel to the struts at all times, unless flying directly above, in which case they should be parallel to the ground. Check all battery cell levels during flight to prevent one bad cell from ruining your whole day.
     
  7. sdtag

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    I bought my P2V+ (v3) in March 2015 so I've had it just a few months now.
    No problems to speak of. I thought I had a compass problem but what I eventually figured out was that the compass needs motion to sense direction or heading. For instance, stopped (hovering) at a way point for 3 seconds, my compass freaks out. After it starts moving again the compass is correct.
    Getting the quad cool and dead nuts level before an advanced calibration is important.
    If you have a P2V+ get a gimbal saver. it is cheap insurance.
    Both switches up, sticks in the center, power on the tablet, the tx, the wifi, and then the quad. Power up the quad last, power down the quad first.
    Also make sure you get the double bursts of green flashes, about 20 flashes each. Then you are good to go.
    Don't loose LOS, don't fly beyond your ability. Don't fly over traffic or crowds. Use common sense.
    I'm sure there is tons more... this is off the top of my pointy little head.
    And oh yeah, HAVE FUN.
     
  8. vadajohn13

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    I've had two P2V+'s since June 2014 and have had only one crash, and that was pilot error. I would follow everything above but add know your wind speed aloft as well as ground level...the Phantom is amazing at holding its position and handling adverse conditions but winds 15-20 mph or more will make flying difficult. I would also mention it will help to NOT PANIC if something does go wrong. Stay away from obstacles and give yourself time to recover control of the unit. Know your controller and what the switches do, label the Phantom with your name and phone number so that a kind soul may contact you, and read this forum for updates!
     
    burnee likes this.
  9. N017RW

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    No substitute for 'stick time'!

    Once you learn the transition to 'nose-in' (the quad facing or flying at you) and can react instictively your chances of an accidental or inadvertent collision will go way down.
     
  10. GadgetGuy

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    If you do become disoriented, hover in place, and just give a very gentle nudge in each direction on the right stick to see which direction it moves. Fortunately, no matter the orientation of the craft, up and down on the left stick never changes!

    Learn to hand catch. It's one of the most valuable skills, and once you are able to successfully do that every time you land, you have a good foundation!
     
  11. gingerbloke

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    P2V+ bought in Feb this year, mostly 100% good experience. 90 flights across two batteries.

    I have :

    - cracks in the shell around the motor mounts, this after 10 flights and mostly hand catches. DJI dealer basically said FO

    - occasional error where the live view does not return after taking a RAW photo, requires landing and phantom reboot. The rest of the app still works (telemetry,etc)

    - one battery warning whilst flying, I've cleaned contacts and all has been well since.


    My opinion is that the P2V+ is quite brilliant, but the company that makes it needs to change their attitude. I would not buy another DJI product until they drop the proprietary battery tech and their support/warranty system improves (a lot!)
     
  12. GadgetGuy

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    The P3P is even more brilliant, and the 4K camera video and stills are to die for!
    90 flights without a major overhaul would be impressive even for a private plane! A little over $10 a flight, if you retired her today! Apparently, the cracks didn't prevent 80 more flights. Sounds like you've already gotten your money's worth. As my mechanic would say, "You are now flying on bonus time!" :D Seriously, if you like the P2V+, which I also own, you'll love the P3P. Much more powerful motor, rectilinear lens, 4 MP stills out of any frame in the 4K video! Just buy it from Amazon. 30 day refund! Best in the country!
     
  13. Vanjo Grale

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    My only close call was when I was asked to film an event called "Hands Across the Sand" to protest offshore drilling, and another guy showed up with a P2V+ identical to mine. I didn't think anything of it until I thought I had lost control of my drone, but was looking at his, and had no idea where mine was since I'd been concentrating on getting a good video. I located it within a few seconds, but it was over the ocean at low altitude, had I kept moving the sticks trying to control *his* drone, I might have crashed mine. I've since decided to use a spotter whenever I do video of large crowds where someone else might show up with an identical drone.
     
    DrJoe likes this.
  14. gingerbloke

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    I had to fix the cracks in my P2V+ myself in order to continue flying safely. If I had returned the phantom I would probably still be waiting for it to return from DJI :)

    I would not be happy buying a P3 until DJI change their support/warranty attitude. I'd rather continue to fly my P2 and wait for the market to mature, other vendors coming into their space is the only way DJI will change.

     
  15. RoyVa

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    New shells are available for you p2 for around $60 on ebay. Depends on the repair and how bad the cracks were as to consider a changeout.
     
  16. gingerbloke

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    My point is that DJI should really fix the cracks on a new £850 quad under warranty and not make people wait 5 weeks+ for the privilege. Great quad, joke company.

     
  17. GadgetGuy

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    That is, indeed, a situation that could really mess you up! Thanks for the heads up. These things are becoming more ubiquitous every day! Sooner or later, it's bound to happen to all of us! Make sure the drone you are trying to control is actually yours! :cool:
     
    #17 GadgetGuy, Jul 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
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  18. GadgetGuy

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    I wouldn't hold your breath on the competition being any better. DJI is maturing themselves, and is far more likely to do a better job going forward, as they are the undisputed leader in the market, with the resources to remedy their shortcomings, and have just moved into larger quarters with room for expansion in Los Angeles. Fixing things yourself will always be the best option. Most drones of the past were all DIY hand built from parts and kits, with no warranty and no one but yourself to rely upon for repair. It's still that way for all the mods. Safe flying and gotta love that "Bonus time"!:)
     
  19. Canyon Mike

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    Like most of the others, I do the preflight calibrations carefully each time I fly. I always verify the camera is working before I take off. I always, rise to eye level, then do a few simple maneuvers to verify everything is working -- up, down, right left, forward, backward, rotate right, rotate left. I always start with a full charge on the flight battery, wifi extender, and controller. The bird has been consistent and flawless on many flights in the 8 months I've owned it. I always hand catch. These guys are a little susceptible to prop wash at anything below a foot or so.
     
  20. DrJoe

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    To answer your question, the best way to keep flying is to have your sh#t together.
    Calibrate compass & IMU regularly.
    Use a pre-flight checklist.
    Give your bird a once-over after each flight.

    Disorientation is your number one enemy. This occurs when GPS is lost and your Phantom drops into ATTI mode. ALWAYS ALWAYS know your heading. After takeoff, switch your IOC to "Course Lock". Go out 100 feet or so, and practice getting your quad to come back based on its bearing to you after takeoff.

    Even if you lose GPS, IOC course lock will still work. If you are familiar with where to move the stick in order to bring the quad back to you, it can be a lifesaver.

    I usually fly in IOC off. But if I experience a problem, and I have, I immediately toggle the S1 switch to ATTI and back to GPS. If that fails, I'll throw S2 into Course lock, and bring her back until I can see the quad well enough to hand fly accurately in IOC off.