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P3P Fire at IMU Calibration - Major Damage

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by DroneZone, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. DroneZone

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    Short version: Fire in my drone. Smoldering later on and felt the best thing to do was open it up and find the source.
     

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    #1 DroneZone, Mar 14, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
    fastsmiles likes this.
  2. msinger

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    You should contact DJI support. Nobody here is going to be able to tell you whether or not they'll cover it.
     
  3. suck it up

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  4. DroneZone

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    Assumed exactly that. Looking more for any experiences like mine or similar. A situation where the unit was opened for a reason and then closed back up. DJI has clear nomenclature on the warranty that states no tampering with the drone or the warranty is void.
     
  5. Sinisalo

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    I am certain that you are going to get a replacement as long as you press it, DJI does not want to have it get out that their drones can easily catch fire. If people start thinking of these like the hover boards, DJI will lose a lot of sales. Make sure you tell them the whole story and you should be good. Please post an update when you get this all sorted out.

    Edit: just in case what I said was lost in translation for some, what I meant by "as long as you press it" was to put pressure on DJI for a replacement and not take no for an answer.
     
    #5 Sinisalo, Mar 14, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
  6. Mark The Droner

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    Welcome to the site!

    Sorry for your loss.

    I read this forum regularly and I've never heard of a fire breaking out like this out of the blue. Did you store the battery correctly last January? Was the battery puffed up last week before the fire?
     
    dirtybum likes this.
  7. rene van der meer

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    If the battery didn't fail, I would think of a failure of the driving electronics. Maybe a short in a power transistor.

    In every kitchen there should be some measure to extinct a fire. I think that a fire blanket would have smothered the fire much faster that you trying to unscrew it.

    This looks like a rare incident. I haven't heard of a similar case. Going to the press would not help you or other people would enjoy this hobby. News people will likely exaggerate the story.

    I would contact DJI and explain what you did to prevent further damages. They will probably understand it.

    Good luck! and keep us informed.
     
    dirtybum likes this.
  8. Juhead

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    I would say you have a very high probability to get a new or refurbished unit.

    They would want to know what went wrong to avoid it in the future and most importantly it's much cheaper than the bad pr they would receive.
     
  9. N017RW

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    Battery looks fine.

    Something on the main PCB.
     
  10. 0DRK3RT

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    Why would you open the shell? Seems like you should've just tossed the whole thing outside and put out the fire which an extinguisher.
     
  11. DroneZone

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    My first post to the group and opinions / feedback much appreciated. First...always a fire extinguisher close and those that have been in small accidents before know that we just react as fast as possible. A face full of nasty black circuit board fire and smoke and your wits leave for a few seconds that feel like a few minutes. Sink...get it covered to put out the flames...that was all I could think of half squinting. Those of you who are married, up next to skin burning is damaging the kitchen :) I follow DJI's manual and website and nothing more. No advice from any other source as care and pre / post flight prep important subjects. So no bulging battery, one is two months old and the other came with the unit in late October. Some slight smoldering after the fire was out and it was outside. Had the fire gone out and no smoldering, I bet I wouldn't be posting my experience. Ship it back, DJI take it apart, nothing but good experiences with them so far so I can see full support. The only reason I am worried is because we opened the drone to get smoldering out. DJI has specific text in the warranty about tampering. That's my only concern. That and now I bet the gimbal and camera are off. It hit the sink area hard and a pot crammed on it. For those of you who know what you are looking at, check out the area to what like like an SD card. A copper strip is peeled up away from the board and that, I was told, was the epicenter of the fire. Matches the battery burn marks as the battery sat right below it. Apparently solder joints all around that point melted and you can see they look defective compared to the rest of the board. Agreed on media. They need to contact DJI. I might be interested in telling my story if I'm left with a burned $1,250 drone and a doctor visit bill. I fully get things happen and so glad It happened right after IMU started. Can't count the amount of times I started IMU and left to go do other stuff. Smoke and fire in the face...much better than our dog dying or people hurt (stuff can be replaced).
     
  12. CCDD

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    I was wondering the same, why would one attempt to take it apart rather than just extinguish the fire. This is the first I've read about this and only hope no one else has similar issues.
     
  13. ___1___

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    Where did you purchase from??
     
  14. Oso

    Oso

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    Yikes. That's a scary story. I'm glad that things weren't worse and that you seem to be okay. You had your wits about you more than I would have I think. I would have probably thrown mine so far out the back door that I would need a tracker to find it. Then maybe just sprayed a garden hose on it for a while and opened it later.

    Quick question. Opening the shell is notoriously difficult, but you were able to open yours so cleanly (per photo) using torque drivers in those frantic moments with a fire still inside. What's your secret to opening the shell? Is the top badly damaged?

     
    #14 Oso, Mar 14, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
  15. dirtybum

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    Hey, i give people the benefit of the doubt but this opening while smoldering leaves me with the synical feeling like something happened with the a/c during flight or an attempted mod/repair and Dronezone may be trying to recover damages through a trumped up warranty claim!
    Either way, i hope they give u a new one
     
    0DRK3RT likes this.
  16. LamboH

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    Subscribed. Something phishy is going on. Taking notes and paying attention !!!
     
  17. happydays

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    The last thing that I would have done it to attempt to open a phantom while it was smouldering. It's ruined anyway; I would have got it outside safely and let it burn itself out and then send it back to DJI and let them investigate. I'm with others on the cynical route. Sorry.
     
  18. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    If it wasn't clearly the battery, I would want know where the fire started. I would have opened it. Thanks for posting. This is a first but good to know all the same.
     
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  19. DroneZone

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    Interesting theory dirtybum has. Anything is possible and my publicly reporting the episode is a new proxy by dronehausen new medical condition. Good stuff.

    Good questions on timing and reading it, it sort of looks like I was Flash Gordon and did all of this in a matter of seconds. Million different ways someone might react but for me, POOF...flames and thick smoke in the face...jump back and get your composure...push it off into an open deep well sink to get it off the counter. I'm not reaching down in a sink to grab a drone on fire. Call 911, get the extinguisher under the sink, run out of the house scared, sit and watch it burn...endless possibilities. I, for whatever reason, chose to think electrical device fire / eliminate oxygen and covered it up with a pot nearby. Fire out...moved it right outside and well into the yard. Sat in the yard for 10 minutes or so. Still smoldering after I washed up and checked my face. Unscrew bolts, grab the arms and pull them apart. Middle section felt like it was glued. It snapped open (no glue...just a strong hold). top of the board looked fine. Six or so bolts holding the board, the motors fell off at this point. The LED lights were stuck in and needed prying off. That was about it. Back of the board you can see in the pic and just turned it upside down in the wet grass and left it. No smoldering near immediately in the grass. Hour or two later, move a car out of the garage and put it in the middle of the bay for the next couple of nights until we figure out what Insurance needs.
     
  20. Monte55

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    I agree with this. I would have done a video of the event and
    not be looking for tools to take it apart. Having my face over a burning lipo is not what I would have done.