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need a little convincing

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by socman, May 4, 2013.

  1. socman

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    Back 10 years ago I was really interested into RC planes, but never went anywhere with it because I was a poor college boy. =)
    Considered heli's even, but that died when I realized they were much more difficult to learn then planes (at least I was told).

    But just recently saw some video that a phantom took and that intrigue from 10 years ago came back. Phantom seems like a great fit for someone new, and has the ability to take video (which is extra awesome). And not being a poor college boy anymore, I am really considering buying one.

    So anyways, been reading up quite a bit on the phantom lately and there are a couple items holding me back that I am hoping anyone can ease my fears or give me some advice:
    *Been reading a bit of stuff about flyaways happening to people. From what I can gather, it sounds like it is related to Wifi interference somehow. I know DJI has not commented on the issue, however I was wondering if anyone had more information on this.

    *With the flyaways, I was also wondering if anyone knows of anyone having a flyaway while using FPV.

    *Speaking of FPV, I am very interested in this. Any recommendations? I was thinking a GoPro3 with FatShark.

    *I mentioned I was thinking of doing the GoPro3 with FatShark. I also see the Phantom Vision coming out soon. Do you think it is worth waiting to see how the Vision is before deciding for certain?

    So just a few questions, but any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Gizmo3000

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    you're on the right path!

    Flyaways have indeed occurred,. but they are somewhat rare (sometimes caused by outside interference, gopro wifi,.etc)..and a few times user error is involved.
    But just be sure to put your contact info on it.

    GoPro3 w/Fatshark is a great combo (which is what I have set up).

    the Phantom Vision hasn't been out, so nobody knows just how it will perform.. but it looks to be somewhat inferior to having a Gopro mounted . in terms of video and still options. tho I do like that it has the ability to tilt down.
    tough call.
     
  3. Jakethedog

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    Well I can say is do it you won't be sorry they are a lot of fun to fly and super easy to fly . I have experanced flyaways with no camera on it and at a field with no interferance in any view and it took off 3 times I was able to recover it all 3 times we sent it in and they replaced it . Watching dji video and explained about recalabrating it just like aligning your car is needed so is recalabrating it , you hook your phantom to the computer and recalabrating it and it has been flawless . With this phantom I feel totally comfortabe flying it . So all I can do is prase dji for a great quad . Hope this helps ther Will be people chiming in with there out take on this and I'd say almost everyone is satisfied
     
  4. Audaciter

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    DJI is very quickly coming out with new items, The Vision, a brushless gimbal for the GoPro Hero 3, and now a new controller
    system, the Naza M V2.

    I like the Phantom for it's compact size, it fits nicely inside a case with the transmitter, GoPro, extra batteries, FPV goggles, etc.
    It might be worth waiting a few months to see what the Vision actually comes with as far as controller, etc.

    Order your FatSharks now, they are rarely in stock, especially the Dominators.
     
  5. auck

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    Rogue Phantoms (fly aways) is not a common thing so it is difficult to say what the true cause is. That may be why no one has officially acknowledged it as being cause by this or that. There seem to be a common theme of signal interference, but as stated by one response above, he did not have anything on his and it still happened. With such inconsistency I can understand the hush hush about it all. Also, don't forget that majority of forums and posts out there are due to people who have problems reaching out to others who have the similar product for feedback. Meaning that although there is a reported 20% of pilots who read forums are running into this issue, there are as many if not more pilots out there who has no such problems or do not belong to any kind of forums. So, the actual number of people running into this kind of problem may in fact be much less than what is reported.

    As you can see from other posts on this forum, general suggestion is to have your contact info put on the shell or propeller of the phantom in permanent marker so in case of a fly away, and someone finds it, hopefully they are kind enough to contact you and give it back. Another suggestion is to put a tracker of some sort on it (Garmin, Pocketfinder, etc). As far as I know, there has been no report of rogue Phantoms (fly aways) when an FPV was in use. There is no top dog for FPV set up. Everyone likes their own flavor of FPV set up. However the easiest by far is to buy a pre-made kit like the Fatshark kit (there are other kits out there). Once you are comfortable with the kit, then you can move on to changing out components for better ones.

    As far as waiting for the "Vision" is concerned, DJI is having a difficult enough time as is keeping up with the demands of their current model. Not only are Phantoms more difficult to find from a reputable dealer, but any spare parts for it is also extremely difficult to obtain (case and point the shell) so I wouldn't hold my breath for it.

    If you find a reputable dealer who has the Phantom in stock, I would definitely go for it. I had to wait two weeks for my Phantom to come in, and it is worth the money. Stable platform and fun to fly. A bit unnerving as I am a total noob to this whole RC flight thing when I first flew it, but once I settled down, it was really easy and fun. Also, be prepared to sink some serious dough into this hobby..... it's money well spent. :)

    P.S. i would advise you against trying to fly it with FPV on your first flight. get to know your craft, what it can do, what it can't, what is safe, etc. only after you are able to control it without having to think about what you need to do in order for the craft to do what you want it to do, are you capable enough to fly with FPV... just my 2 pence of thought on FPV
     
  6. pwright

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    Ditto on everything Auck said with one additional note.

    Buy it with the awareness that you could lose your whole investment in an instant. This could happen for many reasons from an insecurely snugged down prop nut to a flyaway when you unknowingly fly it through some kind of RF interference.

    They are great fun and I love the video and photos I get from mine.
     
  7. mmcbain

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    The risk of flyaways tend to be exaggerated; most are due to pilot error. I've had three flyaways, the first one was the first time I every flew it. It just lifted off and headed east over the nearby houses. The third one was similar. Why? I forgot tip 2 [below]. With hundreds of thousands of Phantoms now sold, the incidence of rogue escapes is actually very low. Assuming you don't get one of those, I have three pieces of advice on trying not to lose your investment:

    1. Put your name and phone number on the airframe [sides of the battery compartment is good
    2. Before you take off, make sure the Phontom has the required seven GPS satellites and a home lock [green flashing lights, no red]
    3. Buy a key finder, the kind with a longish range and a loud beep. That way, if it lands on someone's roof or in a tree, it can call to you like a lost cat. Get the type with a pushbutton, not the stupid kind where you have to whistle.

    The Phantom itself is a fly-out-of-the-box gadget, a consumer-level introductory quadcopter. Watch the five videos on YouTube about the Phantom by DJI's Colin Guinn. They are an excellent introduction to the things you need to know. Flying the quad is surprisingly easy, once you manage to get it into the air. It can do 40 kilometres per hour [about 27 mph] and ascend at 6 metres [20 feet] per second. It's a serious toy. Start in a large open area, not your back garden. Keep your eyes on it, because it can fly right out of sight very quickly, and you can easily crash it. Take time to learn to control it; getting it to turn on its axis while not causing it to shoot up in the air or crash to earth requires a lot of practice.

    Almost the first thing you will want to do is aerial photography. Actually the first thing you will want to do is buy additional batteries. Check online for the best price [probably about $20]. Try and buy batteries that are exactly the same size as the stock Phantom ones; even a couple of millimetres different in the breadth and width dimension will have you cursing and swearing every time you change a battery [which will be about every ten minutes].

    For aerial photography, the GoPro is the current art. The Phantom can't lift a big load, so the GoPro is a good choice, coupled with the supplied DJI mount. You can get videos or stills from it at a variety of resolutions. If you want to wait for DJI's Vision, then you have fewer things to fiddle with.

    As others have advised, FPV is a whole new area, and you are plunged straight into the DIY hobbyist domain, because every system requires you to make decisions about cabling, video transmitters, frequencies, on-screen-displays, ground station components, goggles, screens, DVRs, etc., etc.. Take your time, get recommendations, buy slowly as your understanding increases. A lot of these components have either no manual or a really poor one. Flying FPV is no cakewalk, either. If you use goggles, you can easily lose situational awareness, so that your quad zooms away at 40 km/h in a mysterious direction; by the time you push the goggles up and look for it, it's disappeared. That's why the AMA [and others] recommend a spotter.

    But, hey, it really is a great deal of fun.

    Michael McBain
    Melbourne, Australia
     
  8. tvpopta

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    I Agree to all that has been said so far;

    The phantom is my first real rc model; But (and do not try this at home) I test hovered and flew it first indoors; and then quite comfortably outdoors in rough wind..

    Did my learning with rc simulators, and crashed possibly a million worth of virtual gear :lol: Master the (virtual) helicopter and the self-stabilizing phantom will be a total piece of cake; The cheap and safe way to get comfortable with rc flying :idea:
     
  9. denodan

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    Gizmo3000 are you using wifi on your gopro 3? I Just got a black gopro 3 and reluctant to use wifi, or even the wifi remote for it. There is a gopro app soon, so you can see and video footage on your iphone/ipad, but not sure if I want to take the risk after the reports of gopro/wifi problems.
     
  10. Gizmo3000

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    Back in late January, when I first got my Phantom and GoPro 3 I tried out the WiFi preview and found the 4+ second delay made it almost useless and frustrating to use, but it did give me an idea of what the view was (so I could adjust my GoPro in the housing to avoid seeing the landing gear.)
    And the GoPro app was great for changing/viewing settings (the screen on the gopro is soo tiny), as well as checking battery level.

    but THEN reports surfaced that the WiFi was dangerous to use with the Phantom and even DJI was telling people not to do it. (to avoid potential Flyaways/Interference with the Tx.
    So obviously that put an end to to that! - and I only used the Wifi to set up the GoPro and then turned off Wifi prior to flying.
    admittedly, a few times I forgot... no issues, but WiFi will suck a battery dry if you forget to turn it off!

    Now that I've got some experience with the GoPro, I found there's very little need to turn on the Wifi/use the GoPro app.
    I just make sure the battery is relatively full, and then I've learned how to navigate the tiny screen (using reading glasses sometimes).
    Plus I've got a Fatshark/FPV that lets me use the On Screen Display of the GoPro - which allows me to preview as well as change the settings easier.
     
  11. Gizmo3000

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    BTW, as I'm sure most are aware,. DJI upgraded the NAZA-M firmware so that it's less likely for people to take off without setting a home location.. the result might be fewer flyaways.
     
  12. denodan

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    I did order one of the small LCD screen for my GoPro, as it will allow me to see where the camera is placed, and I understand you can do adjustments to settings, etc by screen. The way you do it now, with the standard gopro is a very bad system, why did gopro not change this awkward way of getting into settings?
     
  13. Mark P

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    Hundreds of thousands? Where did you get this info, last I saw the latest reported serial numbers were around 8k? Anyway about the "rare" fly aways and only the fly-aways come to forums to post looking for answers is speculation, my guess is there's been hundreds of Flyaways and a large amount were not pilot error that never go anywhere near forums, especially RC forums, it seems when the Phantoms get around 250-400 minutes on them which takes some time, this is the point where the notorious veering full throttle launch starts to rear its ugly head. In the dozen people I've talked to that had the same experience as me this has been a common denominator,

    This thread is hilarious they have a 25% failure rate and keep telling everyone it's less than .1% when their own poll says 25% and they think everyone that's had a flyaway went searching the forums (in english of course) and then posts there. My guess is that's probably 1% of the flyaways considering all the non english speaking people in the world. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthre ... 00&page=35 25% in that forum is absurd, it would have been shocking at 5% quite honestly. Go buy a park flyer like an Eflight SuperCub or any RTF RC item and see how many full throttle veering off flights they have, those probably fall in the rare category. Only time will tell as these things start getting hours put on them, My guess is only a few of the 75% have 200 minutes on theirs and if they do experience a flyaway like on the last page can they take away from their never had an issue vote?

    To the OP, if you do buy one of these items I would seriously consider changing out the TX/RX immediately, if you can't do it google someone close by that can. You may want to consider an FPV setup even if you don't want to fly FPV because you can mount a DVR to the base station and find your Phantom ( and the gear attached to it) http://www.readymaderc.com/store/index. ... ts_id=1204 these things are cool because you can carry it with you and watch while looking. There are a lot of options out there for these Quadcopters and if you want the option to build your own then there are much better options at a much lower price. Another good site to do some research at is http://fpvlab.com/forums/index.php You wont see many Phantoms here and theres a good reason. Actually here's a really good thread where people are building quads that outperform the Phantom for $115 http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread.php ... sers/page8 My Complete Honey Badger was around $321 but I paid the guy to build/trim it for me, another $392 for full FPV gear including a DVR and I have it set to 60% trims because it's so responsive, as I improve my skills I can slowly ramp up my trims to full 3D flying. Good Luck!
     
  14. Gizmo3000

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  15. Gizmo3000

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    keep in mind that the LCD back adds weight.
    Which is the whole purpose of why GoPro left it out as an option, as their goal is to product the smallest, lightest video camera possible.
    the current little screen navigation isn't too bad once you get the hang of it.