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Phantom 2 loses altitude fast and suddenly

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by trance728, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. trance728

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    Hopefully you guys can help steer me in the right direction. 2 times now, my Phantom 2 has been in the air, plenty of satellites connected and home lock was fine, all of the sudden it starts losing altitude fast even though I am pressing the controller full throttle up.

    I have a Phantom 2 non-vision and everything on it is stock. I have now had this happen to me twice and the only thing consistent in both crashes was the batteries hadn't been charged for a few days so they weren't full but had at least 80% charge on launch.

    The first time it happened I was leaving Breckenridge, CO (high altitude and a little cold out) and wanted to take a quick video of the sunset. I set everything up as usual, calibrated the compass, GPS and home lock all good, battery was around 80%. Launched it straight up and it would only go up to about 30 meters and then stopped regardless of having full throttle up. Obviously something was wrong so I decided to just let it hover and spin it 360 real fast to get a shot and then planned to bring it down. About midway through the rotation it just started to fall from the sky, barely responsive to the controller but I managed to direct it close enough for me to soften the blow to the ground. Damage was minor breaking one prop and damaging another.

    Took it home, pulled it apart, nothing looked damaged. Swapped out all the props for new ones, hooked it up to my computer and did every calibration, Adv. IMU as well.

    Fast forward a few months, had flown it a handful of times in between with no issues. I was out at a festival and decided to do a fly over of the whole event. Set up as normal, compass calibration, GPS and home lock. This time the batteries were displaying around 90%. The first launch went fine flew around everything getting some great video until I realized I forgot to hit record, so I brought it down, everything nice and good. Swapped out the battery so I could have a long enough flight time, battery was displaying around 90% as well. Hit record this time, launched it, did a nice little fly around and was circling the event. It was about 60 meters away from me and about 40 meters up when all of the sudden it starts losing altitude fast, I am jamming up on the throttle to no avail. It still responded to my other stick inputs so I was able to steer it away from any people but it came crashing down into the side of a tent and into tall soft grass. No visible damage this time, it seemed to be a soft enough crash.

    Both times I have had full GPS and home lock, at least 9 satellites connected, and compass was freshly calibrated before launch. Could this all be because of not having full and freshly charged batteries? Both times the battery level was displaying over 50% when it went down. Any help or direction toward more diagnostics would be extremely helpful. I am at the point of not feeling safe about launching it in any place that might cause a more serious crash or injury to someone.

    Thanks.
     
  2. N017RW

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    Were the Red LEDs blinking on rear arms?
     
  3. trance728

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    Hard to say, I wasn't close enough to tell.
     
  4. N017RW

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    Well it sounds like the 'low battery' auto landing feature.
    LEDs would confirm.
     
  5. trance728

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    If it was a low battery auto landing, wouldn't it descend slower? It was basically falling out of the sky.
     
  6. jason

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    Not if those battery were dropping be low 10.6. Sounds like it's time for batteries.

    Your statement about everything on it is stock leads me to believe that you do not have FPV on that quad. Would that be correct?
     
  7. trance728

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    No, I have FPV, everything is DJI except the monitor, that's what I meant by stock.

    Batteries have only been used about 20 times.
     
  8. jason

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    Do you have the mini iOSD on board? If so charge one of those batteries and if you have room in your backyard put P2 up about 10 feet and hover and keep an eye on the battery level. You may be surprised at the results.
     
  9. trance728

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    I do have it on there, I will try that today or tomorrow. Does the battery being on its way out or the fact of it not being on the charger for a few days prior make more sense for this to occur?
     
  10. jason

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    Could be either way but the battery level will tell you what is going on for sure. How old are those batteries?
     
  11. trance728

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    I got my whole setup around December. Not sure the exact amount of discharges, but hooking them up to my computer didn't show all that many. I have 3 batteries, would have been nice to know if it was the same one both times, oh well.
     
  12. N017RW

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    Be mindful if you stored them at full charge, or without charging after flying, for extended periods of time it will degrade the capacity of the batteries. LiPo care is another issue you could research to learn more.

    This may be what you are experiencing???

    Do they show any signs of inflation or swelling?
     
    #12 N017RW, Jul 6, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
  13. jason

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    Have you been storing those a full charge for any length of time? if you have that isn't good for the battery life. Well once you've charged them all up and tested them in a hover you will know what is happening for sure. I have two 13 month old batteries that use to autoland at 45% and when the v2.6 battery update was available I was able update all five of mine now those two land at 15% but sadly DJI shut that update off.
     
  14. TheCif

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  15. sactownjames

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    Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds or until the red light blinks. This will show you how much life your battery has. See Mic's video. It might be a old battery.