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Some questions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by crash1sttime, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. crash1sttime

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    Hi

    Hopefully by xmas time i will be the proud owner of a Phantom ive been reading the forum and have some questions that hopefully you will answer for me, bear in mind that ive flown the Hubsan mini drone only and am looking at this as a hobby, On the whole im looking to break into the UAV club but want to be sure that i buy the right piece of kit for a first timer

    1) Cost: i see that RCGeeks is selling the P2V for around £700 with a spare battery is this about the right price to pay for a new one, or is there somewhere a better offer.?

    2)New or Old, are second hand ones ok to buy and if so any good places to look?

    3) i see there is a Phantom 1 and an FC40 on RCGeeks, both are these are lower priced, so is it wiser to maybe buy one of these and a seperate GoPro camera, how are things like flight times, control of unit in relation to the P2V, cost of gimbal, is additional cabling needed etc

    4)does the above 2 units have the same things as a PV2, in relation to GPS, failsafe, Home and course lock etc, and are they reliable ie does the fact that they are first generation (i assume this, however feel free to kick me if im wrong) mean they are prone to issues, if so what are they

    5) The PV2+ looks nice but is a little out of my price range, however if this is a better alternative i may combine xmas/birthday and buy that instead.

    Ok thats it, thanks for any replies

    PS im from the UK
     
  2. Great Pumpkin

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    Here is my take on your questions. I have a P2V that I bought a) for fun, b) for taking still pictures, and c) for the fun of taking videos, all in that order. I am very satisfied with the still pictures; their quality is high enough for publication. The P2V lacks a gimbel, so I get shaky videos, especially when it is windy, but no problem because they are for fun.
    1) Here in California you can find a new P2V for about US $800. You'll have to do your own math. Again, that is a stock Phantom - no gimbel, no GoPro - just the Phantom Vision FC200 camera.
    2) I would be very leery of buying a used Phantom, because it may have an unknown crash history. If may fly fine today and crash tomorrow because of damage suffered in a previous crash. And I doubt if you will inherit the warranty, if any, if you buy used.
    3) I don't know anything about the FC40, but I would not buy a Phantom 1, because the P2V and P2v+ are so much more advanced, especially insofar as ease of battery use and flight duration time are concerned.
    4) Yeah, the second and second plus generations of the Phantom have major improvements over the Phantom 1 and so are worth the extra money. On this forum you see how some guys want to know how to upgrade their P1 to a P2. It can be done but seemingly not without some trouble.
    5) I get the sense from reading this forum that the P2V+ has more crash problems than the P2V, but I tell people who ask me: Want fun and good stills, buy a P2V; want fun and good videos, buy a P2V+. Several guys on this forum think a P3 is on the horizon - maybe in time for Christmas.

    Then I would add this advice: No matter what you buy, DO NOT FLY UNTIL YOU HAVE READ (AND REREAD) THE MANUAL. See also Fantomas' excellent alternative manual on this forum. And FLY RESPONSIBLY!!!
     
  3. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Doesn't anyone use Google these days?

    The web is full of resources to compare the different models.
    The place to start is .. http://www.dji.com/products
    Then try .. https://www.google.com.au/?gfe_rd=cr&ei ... tom+models

    The risk of buying someone's damaged bird and having problems is pretty high.
    A Phantom is probably best bought new.

    The P2+ does not crash more easily or more often that the P2V - they are essentially the same machine.
    The P2+ has higher potential to be damaged in a crash but the remedy for that is to avoid crashes by being a careful pilot.
    It is possible that a new DJI quad is coming in the near future and maybe this will also bring price reductions for the P2 line. But as it seems the new one is a little larger, there's no guarantee of this.
     
  4. RichW

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    I have the P2V and am very pleased with it. The down side as others have mentioned is the lack of stabilised video but after owning her for a couple of months I bought the taco rc gimbal and for the price I'm also very happy with the results and quality of the video.

    I have a couple of friends who bought the P2V+ and neither of them got past the learning phase without damaging the delicate gimbal on the +, but that could just have been them.

    I also have a friend with the FC40 who loves it but hates the short flight times in comparison to the P2V but again he has many batteries as they are far cheaper than the smart batteries we need to use so overall he can fly longer than I can but does have to keep landing to change batteries.

    I can't speak about the phantom 1 as I have no knowledge of those but between an FC40, phantom 2 vision and vision + and would go with the original vision and upgrade gimbal if you find you want more stable video after learning to fly it. If you want better video and still quality the gopro offers the phantom 2 non vision is probably your best bet. It really does all depend what you ultimately want out of it though.

    Where in the UK are you? I'm up in the lake district :)
     
  5. crash1sttime

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    Hi

    I checked that page out earlier, however i was looking for a more personal view of the differences, not a stock list of the differences between the different drones.


    is that better, and is it easy to fit.


    Im down Manchester way, i like the lakes full of nice open spaces, im worried that i may find it hard to find anywhere suitable near where i live. :(

    ive had a PM from a chap, with some useful advice on so for now unless anyone else has any opions, i'll be back (sorry had to be done)

    Edit (just found out i cant PM) to the chap that PM'd me, i cant reply via PM yet it seems so will post back in the forum Thanks
     
  6. RichW

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    Your pm should start working after you've made a few more posts

    I like the taco for the price of it. You'll read a lot of mixed reviews on here but I find it great except having to remember not to leave the quad in the boot of the car on hot days (the plastic warms up and distorts easily in hot weather).

    The setup was easy after following a video showing the installation. No soldering irons and no taking the top of the phantom needed so as long as you can use a screwdriver you'd be fine.

    Hope you find the right quad for you and have lots of fun, Manchester is pretty quick to get of in to nice open flying spaces
     
  7. doug86

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    One thing that really helped me out was to buy a cheap toy quad first, weeks before my P2V+ arrived. I bought a Syma X1 like this:
    http://www.symatoys.com/product/show/1878.html

    and I learned to fly. It can crash many times, and costs about $40 USD. It was really cheap training, and I was astounded how easy it was to fly the Phantom after weeks of flying this thing. Just something to consider.
     
  8. crash1sttime

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    I had the Hubsan quad for xmas, its what started me down the path of hex and quad coptors, plus some amazing videos over the Portuguese town where i go on holiday, that however didnt last as i landed it upside down on the roof of my house
     
  9. wattage

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    Depends if you're on a tight budget or not and how fussy you are about the stability of the recorded footage. The P2V is cool technology but I'd get annoyed with the video quality and the relatively limited range pretty quickly.

    If you have basic competence with soldering and cable management and want more stable video than the P2V, you can start with a bare machine and augment it with a gimbal, gopro, video transmitter/receiver and video screen for roughly £300 on top of the Phantom price. If you want the posher Zenmuse H3-3D three axis stabilized gimbal for GoPro, add about another £200 to that. A good setup can be built for pretty reasonable money nowadays, you may even have local shop which can install that stuff for you if you don't fancy that particular challenge.

    Youtube is invaluable if you're looking for user build videos and impartial reviews too. 4 months ago I wasn't even aware Phantoms existed, now thanks to Youtube and of course this wonderful place my head's full of stuff I previously had no idea about; from GPS stabilised flight controllers to micro vibration damping, lipo battery handling, antaenna configurations, gimbal balancing etc. It's certainly been a steep but fun learning curve and despite the odd crash and wrecked gimbal (on its first day out) it's been tremendously satisfying and a justified investment for me so far.
     
  10. IflyinWY

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    Great questions,

    Welcome, and fasten your seat belt. I also started with the Hubsan, it was great and made flying the Phantom quite easy. My Hubsan is in a pasture, waiting to be found. I was literally chasing my new FC40 (my friend was flying the phantom) when the Hubsan flew away.

    A little background info: I'm a newbie, I fly (almost daily) an FC40 at 6,000 ft msl on a really big ranch, I experiment with larger batteries, I modify my bird in goofie ways sometimes, I'm constantly crashing it into objects - stationary and moving, and I'm having nothing but fun with my bird.

    I find myself dreaming of 16 or 18 minute flight times like the P2 and those fancy new machines get. Best I've ever seen is 12 minutes, and that was a very mellow test flight. I'm usually zipping around a couple thousand foot area with my altitude varying by 75 - 100 feet.

    The FC40 is an extreeeeemly durable machine. I've flown it with prop guards since the first rotation of the props. I've had to replace the landing gear, a couple prop guards and after many crashes, now a prop. It's almost bulletproof.

    I've upgraded from the 8 inch props, and guards, to the P2 9443 props & respective guards. Seems a little better than stock. It looks a lot bigger now.

    I was feeling a bit disillusioned for a while there. The P2 folks were talking about such awesome flight times and taking wonderful videos. Then I bought a cheap Chinese gimbal and a cable that allowed me to connect 2 batteries. So, I learned how to fly the machine above the "recommended" weight and got some wonderful videos... till some building ran into the gimbal.

    Anyway, you might want to take another look at the FC40. You could have yourself a pretty nice machine for a lot less than you might expect.

    With a modification to the battery compartment (it's a simple enlarging of the opening) you can use a 4,000 mAH battery to increase your flight time significantly. You can also add a cheap ($65.00) Chinese gimbal to get those breathtaking videos the P2 folks are always posting.

    It's all about the bucks. The low road or the high road. Either will get you there, it's just a different journey.

    Enjoy the ride :D
     
  11. crash1sttime

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    Hi

    so its been decided, im going ahead and buying the PV2, not the plus as ive seen some bad pictures of damaged gimbal and camera assembly, maybe later on after ive got used to flying it i may upgrade,

    Just another question, ive just found out that a work collegue has a 3 year old P1, he hasnt flown it in years, what (in the Uk) is a reasonable price to offer if he is selling it?
    And how much would it cost to add a gimbal and FPV to it, bear in mind the PV2 is currently £657 from rcgeeks?
     
  12. PsychopathRC

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    I know you've already made your decision, but here's my take!

    It really depends on what you want. I would advise AGAINST buying pre-owned stuff, unless you can see in person that the Phantom is working. Someone could sell you a Phantom and say it works, but then claim it was damaged in the post and therefore not their fault. Unless you're some sort of engineer? Then you could really save money by buying a damaged or broken drone for a low price and then fixing it. Otherwise, again, it all depends.

    For example, do you have a GoPro? If yes then you could buy a Phantom 2, a Gimbal, a video receiver, an iOSD mini, and probably some other stuff and then you'd have your own custom setup. Or you could buy the Phantom with Zenmuse H3-3D and a receiver (If you don't have one already) and all you'd need to do is add your GoPro. The Zenmuse H3-3D is costly though. Especially with a receiver. If you want an all in one quality package (Like me) then go for the Vision Plus. It has a built in gimbal, camera and iOSD. So all you need is a smartphone (iPhone 4 or better, Samsung Galaxy S3 or better, or a Tablet) and then you can download the app. You will have the same as a GoPro, only I think GoPro's are a little better at recording video and they record sound. BUT with a GoPro, I believe you need to set it up for filming or photos before take-off. You can't do anything mid-flight like you can with a Vision Plus. If money is a big issue then you could get an FC40, which is a basic FPV setup as it is and then modify it with a gimbal, GoPro and receiver. Alternatively, you can mod the FC40 a little and improve it's capabilities (Just look around the FC40 section of this forum) The only downside to the FC40 is that it is a Phantom 1 model. So the batteries are older and will give you less flight time. That said, a smart battery for the Phantom 2 series is around £100. Batteries for Phantom 1's are more like £30. You can get bigger ones also and somehow use 2. Also with the FC40 you don't get the iOSD, so no on screen telemetry (No sat lock, battery levels, height, distance, radar ect) I think the FC40 is a great Phantom for newer people into quads, or for people who want to have fun, without the huge potential loss that a Vision or Vision Plus could incur if crashed.

    And that's my take.

    P.S - I plan to buy a FC40 next year. But if I hear they are discontinuing it, I will buy one ASAP.
     
  13. crash1sttime

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    thanks for the reply, the seller is a work mate, so I could probably see it working before buying, but im hooked on the idea of this aerial photography thing that the Vision offers and as it has all the bells and whistles built in then that would be my choice, however that said its a scary thing to spend 700 pounds on something and risk crashing it, so im going to take baby steps and learn to fly at low levels until comfortable and then increase height and distance until im better at flying ( ive watched countless videos on youtube and read most of the posts on here) .

    So its the phantom vision 2 for me.

    thanks for all the helpful replies and I will no doubt be back just after xmas asking for more advice
     
  14. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Flying low isn't necessarily safe .. up at 100 feet you will have a better safety margin than you would down low.
    The important thing is to have a large open area - no buildings or trees to snag your bird.
     
  15. RichW

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    +1

    Low flying is something you move onto after getting some practise a bit higher up. First time you take off make sure it has goof satt lock and that both switches are pushed fully up then hit the throttle and lift up to over 50 foot in a nice open space. Don't go easy on the throttle just push it right up.

    When you reach a nice height just let the sticks go back to centre and it will just sit there, then start your baby steps of seeing what happens when you move each one. They really are easy to fly and it shouldn't take you long to get the hang of it :)
     
  16. N017RW

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    I understand your trepidation but don't go into this if you cannot bear the loss or future expenses for repairs and maintenance.

    This is the nature of all things radio controlled.
     
  17. crash1sttime

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    that is a worry, however it just means putting some extra overtime in at work to cover repairs, and the drones look simple enough inside, ive built RC cars before and in essence this is similar, just 4 props instead of wheels, however if anyone can recommend a good repair shop in the UK in case i need one.

    thanks for the advice about height, im learning all the time. its wierd to think that 50ft to 100 ft is safer than say 20ft :?
     
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