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  1. Dirty Bird

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    This afternoon I finally maidened the Phantom 4 nearly a week after arrival. Went to my usual test site at Ft. Armistead. I wasn't going for distance or records today. Just testing her airworthiness & some of the features. She is running the latest 288 AC FW. I did NOT update the RC to 1.5.80 to avoid the silly CSC change. This isn't some sort of full-fledged review just brief initial thoughts.

    First off the Phantom 4 performs beautifully. She flies very smooth & precise. Stability is excellent & hover accuracy is measured in inches. Very impressive. In P-mode with OA enabled she feels a bit sluggish compared to a P3. This is because with OA engaged she is limited to around 22 mph & that is a significant speed reduction from the normal 35 mph.. I will probably disable OA on missions where it is unlikely to be needed to avoid this speed limitation.

    TapFly works well but carries the same 22 mph speed limit. Be aware that if you tap above or below the horizon the bird will just keep on climbing or descending until you reach the altitude limit, OA avoids the ground, RC control is lost, or she reaches battery failsafe. I did not test ActiveTrack because I did not want people laughing at me as I ran around the parking lot pursued by a strange & angry-sounding whirlybird gizmo.

    Sport mode is...as you will see by this screenshot at only 85% throttle....sporty & VERY fast. 78.1 mph...nuts!!! :cool: You have to be very gentle on the sticks for any semblance of smooth flight as she is a real thoroughbred & eager to please. She is hyper-responsive to the slightest stick input. What would be really nice here is if DJI made dual-rates available that automatically kicked in custom Expo & sensitivity settings when Sport Mode is selected. If you need to get someplace in a hurry or you just feel the need for speed then Sport Mode is your friend.

    [​IMG]

    Now for my one & only disappointment from this afternoon's flights. Battery life! In three flights I got 18, 17, & 19 minutes of flight respectively for a grand total of 52 minutes from three batteries (don't blame me the Go app did the math!). That's less than half of what two batteries should get at the stated "28 minute" run time. Had the batteries lasted say, 25 minutes, I wouldn't have felt so bad. But at 10 minutes less (1/3rd) than advertised I am a bit bummed. Granted I was buzzing around in Sport Mode quite a bit just for the "Wow!" factor as she went screaming past & that surely taxed the battery. But 10 minutes less? Next time out I will fly an pack or two in straight P-mode for comparison.

    [​IMG]

    I have not yet had an opportunity to review my footage from today so comments on camera, gimbal, & video performance will come later.

    [​IMG]
     
    #1 Dirty Bird, Mar 17, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
    Fplvert, byrne68, JickMagger and 11 others like this.
  2. nhoover

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    All sounds good except the battery life. ****, I was hoping that it was for real this time!
     
  3. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    DB just curios .The braking on my Standard scared me the first time I came in in fast and let go of the sticks .
    Course you know what I was used to seeing .
    What ya think this will do going that fast ?
     
  4. Kman

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    Flew mine today too. I can't get over how much better built the P4 is over the P3. The build quality is insane.
     
  5. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Hi DB ... hmmm ... that's significantly faster than the 45 mph in the specs.
    Is that wind assisted and does Sport mode pick up whatever wind speed there is like atti mode?
    Or is it just a lot faster than the specs?
     
  6. Dirty Bird

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    There was a bit of wind but not 30 mph worth. When it was zooming past I was like...Wow! It was literally screaming by & people were definitely taking notice. :eek:

     
    Tron_X likes this.
  7. Fast13

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    So how did you bypass the speed limit by that far then? Normally you need a tail wind + the max speed to = the total speed. I tried to go beyond the 45mph today with no wind and simply couldn't. Have any idea why yours is special?

    P.S. My phantom 3 hit 79mph before it mimic'd a meteorite into the side of someone's house. Be careful. ;-)
     
  8. Dirty Bird

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    The wind was definitely helping because when I was heading the opposite direction she was only in the low 50's, but I was seeing steady 60's all along that segment of the flight.

     
  9. bradbrok

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    Dude, how?! What?! That's incredibly fast! I have some winds coming up, and I really want to wind surf them.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  10. Dirty Bird

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    I have no idea? Was her very first flight & she just wanted to run!

    Maybe I should have named her "Gump?" ;)

     
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  11. John Locke

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    I agree with you that it would be nice to have a 35mph mode, something in between P and S mode for speed control. I chase boats, bikes, skiers and motorcycles all the time. With my P3 I can keep just a sliver of the horizon in the view and not have to worry about getting props in the video, most the time. I think that's going to be a problem with S mode, and 22mph isn't fast enough for these subjects that often do 25 to 30mph. I think S mode is going to be hard to control to keep props out of view when chasing targets manually.
     
    Fast13 likes this.
  12. Pogopilot

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    Nice job on the first impressions and your photos! Certainly you can expect lowered flight times in sport mode. Also you must have been dealing with some wind which would also cause the bird to chew up battery life. Lets see how others fare with the battery life as this was a HUGE selling point for the P4. Thanks for your great post.
     
    Dirty Bird likes this.
  13. Phantom fool

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    Almost twice the speed and half the battery life......

    Correlation?
     
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  14. Kenneth Marsola

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    If you fly a little higher, and slightly angle the camera downward, wouldn't that help reduce the possibility of props in the view ?
     
  15. N017RW

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    The marketing claims are always best case in optimal conditions.
    YMMV!!!
     
  16. NormanNormal

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    Im thinking 78mph has to be some sort of GPS error. Thats just a guess though.

    Thanks for your report. To be frank the more I hear about the P4 the more I am disappointed. Battery life reports are low across the board, activetrack and sensors are very rudimentery and finicky, and the 22mph limit in pmode is crippling. I would probably get too frusted with the low speed and disable the sensors all together eliminating their benefit. Right now the only things that impress me is the build quality, the stability, and s mode.

    Glad you are happy but I hope the P5 really improves on all this.
     
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  17. Dirty Bird

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    When watching the flight data replay I too thought it must be some sort of GPS or log error but the flight speeds reported seemed consistent with what I was seeing while flying. I'll have to pull the flight log & post it so the Log Gurus can check things out.

     
  18. Bigdz

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    Thanks for your un-bias review, I'm a little skeptical about the speed of your bird. I would also think this was some type of error in regards to the speed you posted.

    Anyway, very informative! Thanks again
     
  19. N017RW

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    Is it possible it's KPH?

    78.1 KPH = 48.5 MPH
     
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  20. Dirty Bird

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    Hmmm... I have the app set for Imperial & you can see the MPH in the log but maybe? Go app bug? I'll pull the flight log when I get home & post so the log experts can have a look.

     
    #20 Dirty Bird, Mar 17, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016