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Newbee Phantom mod options and questions.

Discussion in 'Phantom 1 Discussion' started by Tito, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. Tito

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    Hi guys.

    Let me quickly introduce myself. I'm Rico, 24 years automotive engineer from the Netherlands who recently got a Phantom 1.

    Flew it about 4/5 times now and it awesome! I had a Parrot AR 2.0 drone before but thats just a piece of ****...

    Now, I'm currently flying it with the rubber dampers and a Denver AC-5000W (great action camera btw, costs just 50 euro). Flight are good and steady and even though the props are a little bit damaged the jello effect is low.
    I've bought a Chinese gimbal from Ebay. Waiting for it to arrive. But i'm just a little bit afraid that i'll overload it. The drone now weighs about 1098 grams with battery and camera. Max takeoff weight is 1200 grams. So i'm 100 grams from overloading it. I bet with gimbal its too heavy. Is it really a huge problem overloading it? I flew it gently last times. Easy descending and so on.
    I've also looked into other props. Will 9" props give me more lift to hold the extra weight? I see some people just recommend the original props.
    Bigger props mean less flight time. So i need more power. I have 4 2200mah lipo's that came with the drone. I want about 10 mins of flight time. Adding a second battery is an option, but then there's the weight increase (so the props would be useless) and I see some people not gaining any flight time somehow. Then there's the option to buy a bigger battery. Whats the max a phantom can handle? 5200 mah would be great indeed but isn't it just as heavy as 2x 2200 mah? And can de stock charger charge the bigger lipo? I know the charger max amps is 3A but it wouldn't be a problem right? Just charging is a lot slower. Something I don't mind.
    I'm a beginner. I do this on a budget. Bought the Phantom second hand, Cheapest Chinese gimbal and not using a GoPro makes it quiet affordable. It's not that I have any money but I don't want another money eating hobby in such a early stage (maybe i'll crash it or something and give up on it)
     
  2. rebelyellNC

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    Hey Tito, welcome to the forum and the exciting world of Phantoms. I too am new at this but waaaaaaay past 24 (64), but still having the time of my life. I wanted to address some of your questions, in fact, I'm surprised no one has responded to you by now.

    I too went to bigger props after doing a lot of research. My Phantom 1.1.1 was getting 16 1/2 minutes with a Turnigy Multistar 4000 and I wanted more flight time without two batteries. So I checked into DJI 9050 thrust boosted 9" props. What a surprise. I put them on and got just over twenty minutes of flight time from motor spinup to touchdown with the same 4000mAh battery. Also, these props give an additional 100 grams of lift, so there's your weight solution. Like you, I had read that changing to 9" props didn't do a lot for flight time, especially if they were stock Phantom 2 props. But these 9050 thrust boosted are the real deal.

    I was using the stock Phantom 2200mAh battery as well, and when I moved up to the Multistar 4000, I expected better flight time, but only gained about two minutes. However, with the larger battery AND the 9050s, that gave me a significant boost that I can enjoy. I don't know the max amperage a Phantom can handle, but after 4000mAh, I would think weight would diminish any increase in time. I'm still stuck with the stock 3A charger and it takes around an hour and a half to charge the 4000s at 3A and about an hour an a quarter for the 2200s on 2A.

    I too am a beginner and definitely on a budget. The addiction these things provide can get you. Be careful and research your options thoroughly. This forum is a great resource for learning and the guys are polite and helpful.

    So have fun, fly safe and let us know how it's coming...
     
  3. Tito

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    Those 9050 props look great! And pretty affordable. So I'll be looking at some reviews and research on those. BTW it looks like there's some difference between the 9050 props including tri-blade props. Are the 9050 thrust boosted different from the "normal" 2-blade 9050? Kinda confusing though...

    About battery's... I flew it today after a week or so. Got it up in the air and it was very unstable. Eventually it drifted away about 50 meters and gradually descended. I guess due to the lack of skills I was struggling to take over control. It drifted away even faster and crashed :lol:
    I need to remind myself that I must calibrate the compass before flight :mrgreen: After calibration it flew great. The stock phantom battery gave me about 10 mins of flight time + the 1 min crash. Not bad at al! Then I flew it again with the other battery's. Held up barely 7 min. So I guess it comes down to quality. I think upgraded props and a 4000mah (decent brand) battery and I'll be happy.

    flew for a good 20 mins today trying to control the drone without homelock. Everything went good and i'm getting better at orientating. Going to try atti mode soon and see how smooth I can fly it.

    How much weight would fpv add btw? And how is it connected? Would the hdmi-link on the camera link up to a fpv system?
    Edit: The HDMI link on the camera doesn't provide live camera. Shame... However I can stick a mini spy cam like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-170-degree- ... 3ceb60bb29 to the side of my camera on the gimbal. That way I can about see what the main camera is recording. The main camera could operate from USB power. So if I somehow get 5v from the drone's battery (gimbal has 5v right?), then I can remove the backplate and battery from the camera. This would reduce weight by more than 50%. I can also view the status LED with the second cam, therefore it's not visible on the main cam.
     
  4. rebelyellNC

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    Tito, you've asked a number of questions I have no knowledge of or experience with, but answer those I can.

    OK, no wonder you were confused. I typed the wrong stock number :oops: . Instead of 9050, it should have been 9450. Here's a link to the one's I bought: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PL7D2G6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Yep, the stock 2200mAh Phantom battery usually gives about 10-12 minutes. With the Turnigy Multistar 4000mAh battery, I got 20 minutes 46 seconds, and that's with the 9450 thrust boosted props installed as well. You'll have to do just a little bit of shaving on the bottom of the battery compartment opening and a little on the left side to get the Multistar in, but it's well worth it. Also, if you cut a small notch on the left side of the battery door and make your connections outside the bird, things will fit better. Just a suggestion...

    That's what it's all about, practice, practice, practice, and practice builds confidence, which in turn, lessens the likelihood of panic when something goes wrong. One caution about ATTI mode, the first time I tried it, I had been flying in GPS mode, then after a few minutes, switched to ATTI, just to see what the difference was. Man was I surprised. In GPS, if you get in trouble, all you have to do is let go of the sticks and they will both center and the Phantom will pretty much put on brakes and hover. But in ATTI mode, there are no brakes!! except of course for reversing direction. I almost slid into a tree. It's sort of like driving on icy roads. But the only way to find out, is to experience it yourself.

    Wow, that's a lot of info you're asking for there. As for the weight, it would depend on each individual component you are using. The only one I'm sure about is the SJCAM SJ4000 HD Action Cam which is 52 grams. Then you would have to add the weight of the OSD device (if you require that), the PMU (for a CAN bus, unless you hack the mainboard and provide your own), the video transmitter, and of course all the connecting cables. So as you are planning your system, be sure to write down all the weights of each piece.

    As for connections, it way easier with the P2 than the P1 or FC40, but there are very detailed videos on YouTube instructing how to do it.

    From what I've read on this and other forums, most folks use the USB connection to provide live video out while recording, if using a GoPro or SJ4000. There are videos on YouTube for that as well, especially if you have to mod the cables.

    Well, I know I didn't answer all of your questions, but maybe someone else can join in and provide some help. I know from experience that as a newb to this Phantom experience, all the information can be rather daunting at first. The guys on this forum can be very helpful, and don't forget to search YouTube for any questions you have; there's probably a video someone has made to answer it. Until then, fly safe and have fun...
     
  5. Tito

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    Yesterday I ordered the 9450 props, China FPV set, small security cam for besides the action cam so I can see what the action cam is shooting. I also ordered a 3000 mAh multistar. I luckily already got a 6.4" lcd screen from a car-dvd player with I will be using. I don't need iOSD or something yet. I'll be projecting the status LED to the second cam so I can see connections and battery status.

    This is very addicting :mrgreen: I'll let you people know how it turns out.
     
  6. KMW

    KMW

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    rebelyellNC, I just got my 1.1.1, and after reading your comments here I am getting ready to order the Multistar 4000 battery and a set of 9450 props. I was wondering though, your 20 minute flight times you mention are with a bare Phantom? Have you run with a GoPro? If so, what are you times with the camera?

    My Phantom is bone stock right now, including battery, and with the GoPro in its case I'm getting 6-8 minutes depending on how hard I fly it.

    Thanks for any info!
     
  7. Tito

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    The phantom battery s*cks. I can get about 10min. with stock battery and just the camera. With the new china gimbal even less. I got 3 aftermarket 2200mah battery's and when I take off with the the bird (and gimbal) it immediately says the battery is empty. Without gimbal the flight time was about 8 min on the aftermarket. But I bet is just cheap junk. I'm using the aftermarket lipos now to power the transmitter (via a 12v cigarette plug charger in the battery tray) and soon the FPV camera.

    It's just the immense power drain with heavy load I guess. BTW, what are the upgrades on a P2 besides the battery? Stronger engines/ESC? I mean, why can it lift more than the P1? I read somewhere the motors where the same? The 5200mAh batterys alone must weight a ton.
     
  8. rebelyellNC

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    Hey KMW, yes my 20 minute flight times were without the camera. But now I have added an SJCAM SJ4000 which is only just over 40 grams without the battery. The camera fits perfectly in the GoPro mount and is powered through the micro USB cable with 5v supplied by the Flysight 400mw video transmitter. Since that 20 minute logged flight time, I have added the camera, DJI PMU V2, iOSD mini, and video transmitter. So I'm expecting some lower times, but the addition of FPV will be worth it.

    BTW, I'm still awed by the quality of the SJ4000. I just flashed the firmware this morning and it allowed me to get rid of the on screen icons and timers, as well as date and time stamp. So now it gives me perfectly clear 1020P HD with nothing on the screen except the iOSD mini data, which is most helpful when processing height, distance, number of satellites, remaining voltage, and when and if FS is triggered. I also have a high gain controller antenna upgrade to add, but I want to wait and see what my range is with the stock controller first.

    I'm sure, since I'm heavier now, my flight time will be reduced somewhat, but the Multistar 4000 and the 9450 props are sure winners to keep it maxed out.

    Happy and safe flying...
     
  9. KMW

    KMW

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    Thanks for the info!
     
  10. Tito

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    Hey guys it's me kicking my old thread.

    I've now flown my bird several times. But still I only fly once every 2 weeks or so.

    Mods so far are:
    3000 mah multistar
    9450 props
    Chinese gimbal (with boosted power output)
    Chinese FPV

    Flight times are 6 mins at 0 degrees at sea level. My old scale was broken and showed this setup at about 1300 grams. About the max a phantom can safely lift with stock props. The old scale eventually broke down and I bought a new one today. Weight the bird and it showed 1179 grams with the 3000 mah! Soooo the 5200mah multistar weighs 130 gram more than the 3000 mah (195 gram + 130 = about 330 gram).
    Soooo theoretically I could add the massive 5200mah battery. Especially with the 9450 props which should give me about 100 grams more lift. At the moment the bird feels nimble and fast.

    Am I thinking right? Would give me about 10 mins of flight time. But the birds power is maxed out.
    And can the stock charger charge the 5200 mah? Would take longer to charge though....

    Btw I'm a little bit concerned I'll burn an motor or esc. So is it worth upgrading to p2 stuff? I've read somewhere the esc and motors are the same?
     
  11. Macdoogal

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    The motors on a P2 are 960kv, and you get that big battery. The downside is, you can't charge the P2 battery on anything but the P2 charger and, without some modification, you must use DJI batteries. Other than that, there are not many differences between a P2 and the P1.1.1.
     
  12. IflyinWY

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    Hey Tito, a belated Welcome to the Party,
    You never should have bought a Phantom if you didn't want a money eating hobby.
    In my opinion, it's worth every penny. This is some serious fun.

    WoW, lotsa questions. Lucky for you rebelyellNC found your post and offered excellent advice.

    So here's my nickles worth.
    Everything rebelyellNC said (I read 9050 but my brain saw 9450, glad that got straightened out) and:

    Compass calibration is not required before each flight, BUT, if your bird is acting weird, bring it back right away and do the compass dance.
    DO NOT do the dance near any electronic interference, like above buried power lines.

    If you are still crashing at this point, you may want to consider prop guards and the string that comes with them.
    I love them, they are way cheaper than props. ;)

    The only limitation on how large a battery you can use is weight. If it's a 3S with the proper discharge rate, it could be 50,000 mAh.
    Here's my favorite battery: Multistar 4000
    http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... _Pack.html

    The stock charger does just fine with the Multistar 4000.
    I believe the stock charger will work with any battery that will work in the Phantom.
    A better charger probably wouldn't be a bad idea but not a necessity.
    Phantom 2 batteries... :lol: they say their "smart", I know they are expensive and not designed for the P1.

    Are you keeping your batteries warm before flight?
    I keep mine in my front pants pocket when it's anywhere near 0c and I can fly just fine to -15c.


    Obviously you've answered your own question on FPV.

    I'm glad you got a new scale.
    How much does the Camera weigh?
    Which gimbal did you get and what does it weigh?
    Did you connect the pitch control and do the associated mod on your controller?

    You've probably already figured this out, but gimbals are designed to carry a specific shape and load.
    Balance is critical and if you screw that up in the least, your gimbal will look like it's lost its mind.

    Here's a link to upgrading motors:
    viewtopic.php?f=20&t=28966

    Have a ball and post some video for us. :D