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Seeking advice - repair or return?

Discussion in 'Phantom FC40 Discussion' started by webwench, May 27, 2014.

  1. webwench

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    I purchased an FC40 last week for my husband's birthday. He worked with it for a few days trying to get it set up, and he and I worked on it much of the afternoon today trying to get it set up.

    First, the controller wouldn't sync (flashing yellow lights) - we figured that out. Then the controller was in the wrong mode (although we'd done the firmware upgrade and loaded up the settings/profile provided on the DJI site) - we figured that out. Now we're stuck at the compass calibration step. We must have run through that aspect of setup 20 or more times trying to figure out why it's flashing red/yellow, why flipping the S1 switch between 'gps' and ATTI wouldn't put it into the calibration mode, whether the advanced compass calibration process in the software was actually doing anything, etc. We got the 'temperature too high' error in the app no matter how hot the thing actually was or how long it had or hadn't been on, and still haven't figured that out. We're not sure if the unit is picking up any GPS satellites. Sporadically, the transmitter is losing contact (yellow flashes) and needs to be re-sync'd up, a process that the manual tells us should only be needed if we're changing controllers. We have yet to get it to a point where it can be flown and not a lot of confidence that we'll ever get there.

    We called DJI support, and after some troubleshooting and magnet-waving, the guy said we either have a bad compass module, or are in an area where there is too much magnetic interference to fly a quadrocopter, and to try another location. If that fails, he says we should buy a new compass module and see if that works. We drove a few miles away to try to rule out the 'magnetic interference' possibility, with no change in our results.

    I'm well within the Amazon return period. If you were me, would you buy a new compass module and hope that fixes the various issues we're having, or would you just return it? I have no idea how 'normal' this setup process is, maybe this is typical?
     
  2. Ozzyguy

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    Without a doubt send it back.
     
  3. Ohary

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    I'd watch some youtube first flight videos (the online instructions suck to say the least).
     
  4. Ozzyguy

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    I honestly wouldn't wAste anymore time with it and risk your return window closing.
     
  5. Ozzyguy

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    I honestly wouldn't wAste anymore time with it and risk your return window closing.
     
  6. Wedeliver

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    All I can say is, once you get it working it will all be worth it. It seems to me from a repair tech standpoint what is needed first is a determination, is the device broken and therefore nothing can be done that would make it work, or has a step been missed.

    There are videos that show most of this stuff, if you still have questions after I finish please ask away.

    Being a new user also, I can easily remember what I was doing wrong and what was neccessary to make it work. So, starting at the beginining here are the steps I think would have a working Phantom work.

    1., Charge battery, plug both connectors into the charger, not just one, when it is done charging you will have a green light. You cannot over charge.
    2. Make sure you have new batteries in the transmitter, all the same type.
    3. To Calibrate your Phantom and prepare it for flying here are the basic steps. I do this at my work table in the house. with props removed so I can check and possibly set the control sticks.
    a. turn on transmitter, listen for beeps. Make sure both switches are in the up position!! Look for solid green light on the transmitter.
    b. plug in battery to phantom with the phantom sitting level and still, don't lift it up or move it around at all, just slide the ol battery in and close the cover.
    I think if this is the first time doing this process you might need to do the compass dance at this time. So flick the right switch all the way down and all the way up, a bunch of times until the light blinks yellow. then pick up the phantom and holding it completely level (or pretty close) turn the phantom 360degrees until the light goes green, then point the light towards the floor and again rotate the phantom 360 degrees keeping it level and true during this process. If you have done it correctly there will be no yellow lights, if there are still yellow lights check your switches and make sure they are both up and if so, do the dance again.
    c. plug usb cable into phantom and open the software,under the view button check your stick function, are they moving on the screen when you move them? Are the motors doing what they should do as you move the sticks?
    d. At this point you might be tempted to do a calibration under basic but I would recommend you skip to the Tools button and do both check imu and do a basic cali. That should work or at least it should not fail, if it does lets talk about what did not work and how the process failed. but assuming it seems ok click on the advanced tab in the middle of the screen and click on advanced cali... you will get a error message saying your mc is hot, after it gets back to ready don't wait 5 minutes just click it again. It should work after a few tries. At least that is what I have found that works.
    Under the Advanced button you should enable intelligent orientation control and check that the switch works through the settings.
    e. Ok, now the question is do you want prop guards or not. Well all that needs to happen is the thing tilt over and the props will hit the ground and quickly be damaged. So as a new pilot I find them valuable.
    f. take your phantom outside. Me, I have a 4 gig memory card in my fc40camera that is good for at least one hour of recording time I guess, so the first thing I do is turn on my camera (which I found will only charge with my phone charger) get my phone connected to the camera then I put the phantom where I want to call home and I place the transmitter on the ground next to the phantom. Turn on transmitter everytime making sure both switches are in the up position. after beep (s) plug in battery insert in battery case and close without moving the aircraft. Wait for all green, 2 times it blinks green fast, the first time it might still be blinking red, but it will also blink green fast when it is done blinking red. This shows it has found and marked home. If this is your first time flying at this location you might consider a compass dance, but that can be determined just by getting airborne.
    g. lets assume we have all green blinking lights, it blinked the found home signal and then for me at least 8 green blinks with no red. I press record on my phone and then both sticks down start the props. I give a little throttle to see if it wants to climb straight up or tilt over, if it wants to tilt over I might do the compass dance at this time. right switch up and down until the light on the phantom goes to yellow, 360degrees until the light goes green, point the nose at the ground (or the sky) and go 360degrees. make sure both switches on transmitter are up.
    h. I do not just give a little throttle to take off, I have to give quite a bit in order to take off and not tilt over, so i give enough to take off, get maybe 6 or 8 feet in the air and watch for drift. If it is drifting a lot, land and compass dance again.
    I. at first fly close to yourself, (not too close you just want to observe the light on the nose that speaks to you) get used to seeing the blinking green light and learn to see a red or yellow blink. After you have used a couple batteries you might consider testing home lock by flying some distance away from you, pushing down the left switch and pulling all the way back on the right controll, the aircraft should return to you if you enabled ioc in settings.

    Ok, last thing is don't forget to stop your video recording before turning the camera off, it might not save. good luck!
     
  7. J.James

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    Well you usually wont get a Gps signal if inside. You need to have it out side for that and it can still some times take a minute or two. and some times even longer if in an area thats got bad gps reception.

    The compass calibration. If you repeatly flip the s1 switch it will do what its doing and think you are trying to recalibrate it. IF you did any thing that involved a magnet any were near the compass. Then its probably way out of whack but still not broken. To see if your compass is in exceptable range you need to look at the mod values in the naza software were you do the advanced calibration. if your over all mod values are any were between 1500's to 1800's area its fine. You may have to move the phantom around while its hooked up to see the were the mod values are. If mine is about a foot off the floor or more and a foot or more away from my computer its usually with in the right nod value range. I also notice if I do the compass dance any were outside it throws my compass off more then it helps. and also many people recalibrate to many times when its not necessary and nothing wrong to begin with. Nothing you have describe indicates that there is any thing at all broken or not working right and esp nothing that needs to be sent back. Cause even the compass being super out of whack is an easy fix tho it can take some time and trial and error. the rest is all normal to. Even the thing with having to re bind the transmitter and resetting the type in the naza after updating the firm ware or resetting the default parameters.

    If the compass is way out side the 1500-1800's range this is how you fix it and if they told you to do any thing with a magnet its more then likely if it was not out of whack before it probably is now. I messed mine up the first few days just by having my cell phone in my hand once while picking up the phantom. It threw my mod values up to 2100's and it still flew ok just not perfect. Tho fixing it with a magnet can take awhile cause its trial and error till its near the right range again and can for a few trys put it more out of whack. Till its back in the right range. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCT1rRE_UIg
     
  8. J.James

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    oh I also forgot to mention the thing that it says to let it cool down for 5 minutes is just some thing it usually always says and ignore that when trying to do the advanced calibration.
     
  9. Ozzyguy

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    Yes the main controller to hot message is a known bug and can be ignored.
    There are a lot of things going wrong and it honestly should not be that hard. let us know if you decide to persevere or send it back.
     
  10. webwench

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    I wanted to check back in and tell you that after watching some videos, we got it, it's working, it's flying, we're taking movies, it's cool! So what we finally figured out, and this is dumb, is that we (1) weren't flipping that upper-right-corner switch fast enough to toggle the compass calibration mode - it took a video to figure that out - and (2) while the manual seems to indicate that you can calibrate the compass through the software interface, actually, that's two different things, and our attempts at IMR calibration doesn't do anything for the compass. Duh. Once we were past that step, the FC40 picked up its satellites, set its location, and was ready to fly.

    I appreciate the advice and patience.
     
  11. Wedeliver

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    I am so happy to hear that you are flying finally. I had assumed that you guys had some step that you thought you were doing right but it fact you were doing it wrong. That is what normally happens and what went on this time. Hearing that you and your husband were flying together made me want you guys to find success since it is so much fun. and remember a family that flys together stays together. Have fun!
     
  12. J.James

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    Thats great to hear... None of what you originally posted sounded like any thing was wrong at all and just seems like not understanding a few things things all at once. SO it would of really sucked to have to send it back just to get another one and wait just to still have the same things happing till you got it all figured out.