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My nightmare with three broken phantom 2's?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by pilkiwilky, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. pilkiwilky

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    So I bought a Phantom 1...

    I feel like I got pretty good at flying it... see an example of what I've filmed with it:

    http://pro-creative.com/Aerial_Video_Filming.html

    I only share this so you know I am not a total novice who is making a rookie mistake.

    So I eventually broke the Phantom 1, trying to solder upgraded motors on, (another long story) so I decided to take the next step and purchase the Phantom 2.

    I brought it through a dealer on Amazon - CitiDrone, who has been AMAZINGLY helpful so far. Can't say enough good things about Sam who's been helping me.

    Here's the problem:

    I received the P2, took it to the field in my back yard where I had flown the P1 for months with no issues and went through all the standard things... calibrated the compass, waited for the flashing green lights to get a lock on the several Satelites. I think I counted 12 or more. Green light starts flashing, so I took off.

    I immediately had a MUCH different experience than the P1... my P1 would hover nice and tight... a feet or so of drift either way, but generally stayed at the same altitude and left/right position.

    However, this new P2 would sway 20-30 feet!! It would go up and down without me telling it to... and eventually would be up high, doing OK... then suddenly plummet to the ground without me touching the controls.

    Something seriously wrong right? Obvious product defect, right?

    So Sam at Citi Drone told me to ship it back and he'd replace it.

    He did so. The new one arrived and did EXACTLY the same thing. I tried everything... got on the phone with Sam who went through every single calibration and software update in the P2 and RC software. Took it back outside and... nothing different. Same issues... I even took it out on vacation with me to the middle of a field in Idaho where the nearest house was 10 miles away to make sure there was no interference... same issue. It would literally drop from the sky and I'd have to catch it.

    After troubleshooting some more with BOTH DJI and Sam at CitiDrone, I sent it back and got a THIRD model.

    I just received that this week and would you believe... same issue... THREE P2's in a row!!!

    I just took this video so you can see what I'm talking about: http://youtu.be/ruVWEEiMOjw

    Please help!!
     
  2. HarryT

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    Your video says "not available". Have you made it public?

    Is it still in the out-of-the-box Phantom mode? You've not switched it to Naza mode in Phantom Assistant?
     
  3. OI Photography

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    Did you connect any of them to the Assistant software and calibrate the IMU? Or the controller input?

    Also, what props do you have on your P1?
     
  4. GerdS

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    Originally I had similar problems with my P2, maybe not as bad as yours. I found out that vibration is the cause. After dynamically balancing the props the problem was gone and I was happy with my P2's behaviour.

    I have described dynamic balancing at viewtopic.php?f=4&t=22911&start=20 page 3.

    Regards, Gerd
     
  5. pilkiwilky

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    Harry - The video is now public. No, I have not switched it into NAZA mode. Should I?

    OI - Yes, as I explained above, I went through all the calibrations over the phone with the dealer who stepped me through the IMU and Controller calibrations. All successfully completed. Not sure what props were on my P1 - whatever stock props came with it.

    GerdS - These are brand new out of the box stock props, but I will test using your direction.

    Please watch the video of my Phantom at http://youtu.be/ruVWEEiMOjw

    Any other thoughts? Thanks!
     
  6. HarryT

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    That looks like a compass or an IMU error to me.

    Question: are you moving the P2 after you power it on? It's very important that it remains motionless for 15-20s after power-on for the IMU to correctly initialise. You're not doing something like turning it on as you hold it and then putting it down on the ground, are you?
     
  7. Mal_PV2_Ireland

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    Are your compass mods between 1200 - 1800 in the assistant software?
     
  8. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
    Staff Member

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    The video definitely shows some odd behavior but 3 units all exhibiting the same type of issue is a rather tall coincidence. Either your supplier got a lot of bad ones (he would probably know if that was the case) or more likely there is something happening specific to your situation that is making this happen. A process of elimination would help to find the source of the issue:

    - Get someone else with a P2 to come by and fly in the same place at the same time to rule that out.
    - Remove any common elements between the three P2s as possible (e.g. flying location, computer used to configure/calibrate, chargers, props, mounted equipment, calibration location and method, etc.)

    It's highly likely, there's going to be something uniquely common between the three units. You just need to find it.
     
  9. pilkiwilky

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    Harry - No... I'm fastidious about placing it on a solid surface during the entire boot up process... as you can see in my video, the P2 is on a plastic landing base.

    Mal - Compass mod says 1840

    Ian - I went to the DJI site and on the downloads page for the p2 there is not such download: http://www.dji.com/product/phantom-2/download

    Your continued suggestions are appreciated.
     
  10. Mal_PV2_Ireland

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    Compass mod is on the high side, I prefer to see mine around 1450-1500. I sent my p2v for repair to dji germany where they fixed and test flew it. By the time it got to me the compass had gotten completely screwed up. First flight it did something similar to yours except 10 times worse. Brought it straight home and hooked it up the the assistant software and saw the compass mod was around 4500. Only thing I could think was maybe an xray machine had messed it up. I ran the basic and advanced calibration 3 times and got it down to 1900 I calibrated it outside after each basic and advanced calibration. Finally I had to do the magnet trick to reset the compass. Its something that is really only advised as a last resort but in your case you might be nearing that time. There are videos on youtube on how to do this but maybe try some other things before attempting this.
     
  11. BaldEagle

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    (To think a little outside the box)

    Given that it has happened to three copters in a row -

    ?Is there potential magnetic interfererence there (iron ore)?
    Is there satellite dropout during the wandering?
     
  12. locoworks

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    i'd say drive 20 miles with your phantom and have another go. if it is cured it's time to move house. though as suggested they may all have had their compasses fried at some electronic scanner the postage/haulage company use??
     
  13. witold

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    Show us a video of how you're doing your compass calibration...

    If a big batch of Phantoms was screwed up from the factory like this, distributors and dealers would know very quickly and halt shipments. It is most likely something on your end.

    What lights are on the Phantom when it's flying like this?
     
  14. gunslinger

    gunslinger Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Which firmware/software versions are you running?

    -slinger
     
  15. JDN

    JDN

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    Were you using the same radio controller for all 3 Phantoms? Or, where these all new controllers and Phantoms you tested that exhibited the same behavior, just at the same location? Just starting with the basics to try and eliminate all variables. New batteries in controller, right? Nothing attached to Phantom, right?