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New Phantom 1 Pilot

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tgrizzle73, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. tgrizzle73

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    Greetings from Dallas Texas... I am awaiting the shipment of my new phantom 1 today. I am very excited! I have been a GoPro user for a year now and I believe that I have found the ultimate mount for it with the DJI! I have watched many videos regarding my new hobby but I would appreciate any feedback from you guys... the experts... on what to expect and any tips you may have to offer. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. 2Balls

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    Congratulations on your purchase!
    I am by no means an "expert" because I've had my Phantom for about 2 weeks now, but I can give you the beginner's perspective.

    My first recommendation is to learn how to comfortably fly your Phantom without the GoPro on it.
    You don't want to possibly break your camera while learning to fly.

    Order a couple more batteries.
    The best, and most enjoyable, way to fly is by being proficient. Having more batteries allows you to fly longer in a given session, which "should" help you improve your flying skills more quickly and once you progress, you'll have more time to fine tune your flying ability.

    Start off flying in GPS mode instead of ATTI because when you release the controls, the Phantom should stabilize and try to hold its current position. In ATTI, when you release the controls, it will continue to move in whatever lateral direction it was going until it loses momentum.

    Initially flying in a wide open field is ideal.

    When descending, try not to just go straight down. Move forward, backward, or sideways to avoid flying through the propwash and having to watch your Phantom wobble almost uncontrollably on the way down.

    You should also download and install the most current NAZA-M assistant application (version 2.20) located here:
    PC only, no Mac version as of yet for the Phantom 1.
    http://download.dji-innovations.com/dow ... taller.exe
    and get the DJI driver installer here:
    http://download.dji-innovations.com/dow ... taller.exe
    UNLESS you are using Windows 8 then go here:
    http://download.dji-innovations.com/dow ... taller.exe

    AND don't forget to get the Phantom default configuration file here:
    http://download.dji-innovations.com/dow ... meters.zip

    Here is a YouTube video link that shows how to use the NAZA-M Assistant program.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUAXL575RpU

    Use this program to turn on your Failsafe settings. I have mine set to "Go-Home and Landing".
    You will also use this to turn on Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC). This enables the top left toggle switch on the controller to turn on the "Course Lock" and "Home Lock" modes.

    And lastly, enjoy your new unmanned aerospace vehicle!

    2-Balls
     
  3. tgrizzle73

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    Thanks for the "heads up" 2 Balls. I guess I will have to dust off the old windows machine in order to download everything needed. I did purchase 2 extra batteries and was considering purchasing some propellor guards as well. Not sure if those are important or not.
     
  4. 2Balls

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    tgrizzle73,
    I use Parallels on my Mac, running Windows XP, so that is an option if you have a Windows emulator.
    I've never flown with the prop guards but would guess they will help prolong the life of your props if you bump into something such as trees or bushes, or the ground if the Phantom tips over during takeoff or landing.
    I have extra props, so I'll just live with any dings that occur over the next month or so, and then I'll put on a new set. And will hopefully keep those in pretty much pristine condition.

    2-Balls
     
  5. w0by

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    I've owned mine for a few days and haven't crashed it or anything. When taking off you want to give it a bit of power at first otherwise it "might" tip over and then you'll bust up your propellers :D

    Oh yea definitely don't fly it inside unless you live a gigantic house with a huge ballroom with tall ceilings or something crazy.
     
  6. tgrizzle73

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    Ok... Got my new flying machine in the mail today. I don't think I've successfully landed it as of yet but it is still working great! I didn't realize how fast this thing flies horizontally... wow! Also, I'm not real sure if I've got the gps enabled properly because when I'm flying low, it seems to drift a bit, but when I'm at higher altitudes, it appears to be holding at a steady hover. Oh well, practice makes perfect. I'll get in an open field tomorrow instead of in front of my house.
     
  7. ladykate

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    I have both a P1 and a P2 and they will drift slightly at any altitude but it is most noticeable when it is right in front of you. By drift, I'm talking a foot or two with a little overshoot if you drive it right up to you (had to duck once because I was a little aggressive on the approach).
     
  8. TechJunkieRC

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    I have had my Phantom 1.1.1 for a couple of months. The advice you have been given is very good advice. I did buy the prop guards and I love them. I actually like the looks of the phantom better with them. I guess I must be strange that way. I bought them to help save the props on a bad takeoff or if I get just a little too close to something, possibly myself though not intentionally. I just bought a case for my Phantom so I took the guards off this week which is the first time since I bought it. I must say I have been much more aware of how close it is to me when landing or performing fast maneuvers. The props just seem more ominous without the guards!

    Overall nothing can make you a better pilot than stick time. While new to Multirotors I first learned RC on fixed wing planes. My training has carried over to the Phantom. My advice is to establish a pre-flight routine. Make a list for each craft and memorize it and perform it each time you place a battery into it until it becomes second nature. Take your time and NEVER get into a hurry. If you are in a hurry don't fly! Many crash reports reflect someone who failed to perform a proper pre-flight. By being systematic about it you can identify when things are not right and sometimes the signs are subtle. If it isn't 100% don't fly.

    Most of all HAVE FUN! At the end of the day that is what is all about! Enjoy your new bird and post some great video! :cool:
     
  9. ladykate

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    Drat... forgot to post that I also use prop guards on the P1. They saved the day twice. Once when I had to land it because I lost orientation. It sat down on a curb (kerb for the UK folks) and then tipped over. If the guards hadn't been there I would have lost two props. The next time I also lost it temporarily and it touched the side of my pickup. That alone paid for the guards many times over. Lately I haven't been using them but I'm also a better pilot. I'm getting some 9" props for the P2 and P1 (changed the props on it). I intend to do an outdoor event soon and I want to make sure if the aircraft comes down unexpectedly (or someone does something stupid) I will have a slight insurance policy against nips and cuts. Will use them regularly just for those times when I'm a dumb ***.
     
  10. tgrizzle73

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    Well... I'm getting much more drift than just a foot or two. I really think my props are out of wack because like I said, I haven't successfully landed the thing yet. All landings have been crashes. I have a nick in one of my props and the others might be a little bent. I'm thinking that the prop guard will be a good investment and more practice. This is a really cool gadget! I get real nervous though when it gets a little too far away for my comfort.
     
  11. ladykate

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    Any nicks on the props are serious. If you have them, replace them. You shouldn't be crashing on landing - it is easy. Get it down to a foot or so in GPS and slowly bring back the throttle to zero and then both sticks back and shut off the engines. As you bring back the throttle, the Phantom should settle down and stop if the ground is level. Landing the Phantom is the easiest part for me. Taking off with a heavy load can be a little freaky because the Phantom will occasionally slide sideways. I've found it best to bring up the throttle and then give it a goose to get it up in the air.
     
  12. FlyingFanta

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    I love the look of the guards too. In addition to saving props, they can also save your props by keeping your phantom in the air after the bump into something.
     
  13. Big Ben

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    Any prop damage is 'serious' because it has the potential to have weakened the prop to such an extent that the prop might break in mid-air causing the Phantom to drop from whatever height it is at that moment onto any object or person or animal unfortunate to be underneath it. This can happen sooner or (much) later but still caused by the initial damage. If you don't replace it you have an increased chance to wreck your Phantom and/or do other damage. If a damaged prop causes increased vibration then that might (eventually) cause any kind of malfunction/failure.

    If you cannot say with absolute certainty that a damaged prop does NOT have an increased risk of failure then you basically should replace it. It's a tiny little bit of insurance. For your own peace of mind. It can depend on the locations you fly. If you only fly over areas without people or property it's easier to risk it. In many cases the increased risk will be (very) small. When there's people and property underneath people are likely to feel less at ease flying with damaged props. This kind of small sense of increased risk will affect some people more than others.
     
  14. gbshovel

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    Prop guards are like training wheels.
    Nicked props are flyable, take some 2000 grit sand paper to smooth out the nicks and fly some more.
    Damaged props do effect flight but if your just dicking around they are fine. Save your good props for when it matters.
     
  15. ladykate

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    I agree. But that doesn't mean they are bad. When you are new they will save a set of props and maybe a repair of a soft squishy object nearby (did that for me - once on flight one and once on flight two). I've watched Pros use them when flying near people. They are insurance and they make the crowd a little more comfortable. For normal flying where you are alone and experienced, I doubt they matter that much.
     
  16. TechJunkieRC

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    I guess I am "silly" then myself. If I have a prop strike anything hard or solid , I change it out for a new one. I inspect the prop and try to determine if the prop has been compromised. I might keep it as a backup but if I am not 100% sure of it, it hits the dustbin. Props are too high speed and the outcome of a failure can be too costly for such a cheap part! I am not even mentioning the wear and tear that nicked props can cause on motors and air frames from added vibrations if they are not properly balanced after a strike. If you loose material from a balanced prop it is no longer balanced.

    I won't speak for anyone else. We all have to make our own assessment of risk knowing how and where we fly. I just don't think feeling a potentially damaged prop should be changed is "silly," as a compromised prop could be both costly and dangerous. I also don't think flying with a prop which has been simply nicked, but is otherwise in tact, is irresponsible. It is all relevant to the circumstances.

    My mantra, however, is if in doubt, change it out!
     
  17. ladykate

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    Yes - it is such an easy fix and it costs very little. Good summary. Polarized views aside (you have to be reasonable about all of it), the general logic of changing out a damaged prop is sound. Being negative and condescending is not a good discussion strategy.
     
  18. tgrizzle73

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    Okay, I am becoming a lot better now at flying my phantom. I finally figured out how to land it successfully. I think my main problem was that I wasn't ever in an open field but in my front yard. I am waiting for my prop guards to arrive on friday in the mail and then I will change out all my props. The ones I have on there now are pretty banged up but the phantom is flying like a champ! I've hit a lot of trees and the ground but this phantom is pretty tough. Once I get my new props and guards on it I think I will feel a lot more comfortable to take it to the next level and elevation to get some good footage with my go pro camera. I did try to see if the return to home was working properly. I was only 10 ft from the ground and a few seconds after I turned off my transmitter, the phantom went straight up to appx 60 feet and it looked as if it were going to just fly away because it wasnt coming back into my direction. So... I immediately turned the transmitter back on and regained control of it and landed.
     
  19. 2Balls

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    The RTH sounds like it was functioning as advertised. It will fly up to 30m (~60ft) then return to its GPS "home point", descend and wait a few seconds, then land itself.

    The MOST important point is for you to have waited for the Phantom to record the "home point" (6 rapid green flashes) while warming up, before you takeoff.

    A side note regarding the prop guards! To mount the prop guards there are longer screws that are used to attach them. If/when you remove the prop guards, remember to use the original (shorter) screws, otherwise you could cause motor damage.

    Glad to hear you are getting better at the landings. I am still using "old" props without the guards. They are nicked and stained from "mowing" the yard during the learning stage of landing. And I'll keep them on until the Phantom's performance is too marginal to control. Speaking of which.... "I've gotta go. I've got a date with my Phantom and a German church lit up at night!"

    I've installed some Dr Scholl's type gel to try and rid the "jello" affect and want to see how well it works.

    2-Balls
     
  20. cczx14r

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    For you new guys that might be experiencing drifting when it should be self stabilizing and hovering, have you done the compass calibration every time you fly at a new location? This is very important to do!! While you're at it. run the IMU calibration (when connected to the software) periodically as well!