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Soon to be new owner phantom 3 advanced

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by KingDad1985, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. KingDad1985

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    I ordered a phantom 3 advanced off of amazon and it should be here Wednesday. It was a bundle deal so I get the hard case backpack, extra battery, some prop gourds and a few other things. I've never flown a drone before and I'm worried I'm going to break it. I've been reading a lot on this forum since yesterday and decided I would make a thread asking everyone for tips or pointers. Any good advice for a newbie? Anything you guys think I should know before I do my first flight on Wednesday? Thank you in advanced
     
  2. msinger

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  3. KingDad1985

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    Another thing I should mention is I have a galaxy s7 edge but I heard ios is better to use with the phantom. So I also ordered a iPad mini 2 which will be delivered before the drone.
     
  4. KingDad1985

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  5. msinger

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    DJI seems to favor Apple devices. However, Android devices work just as well if you're running a recommended device or a device that's close to the specs of a recommended device.
     
  6. KingDad1985

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    Don't you know or think my Samsung Galaxy S7 edge will work good? I'm worried about the Ipad mini 2 I have coming might not be ideal since it's only WiFi. I can turn on WiFi Hotspot from my s7 and connect the iPad mini 2 to it. Would that enable the iPad mini 2 to be able to use follow me and all features? Sorry for the rambling. I'm super excited and nervous!
     
  7. theTastyCat

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    First of all, congratulations! The P3A is a fantastic machine and it's seriously addictive.

    It's good to maintain a healthy fear, but seriously, a child could fly these. Just take it slow and don't get cocky after 5-10 flights; that's often when people crash! Learn what it can, and can't do. Plenty of great information here. If you're into photography/video (which I didn't care about at first but got into once I learned what a great tool this is and that I could actually take great photo/video), buy the Litchi app.

    DEFINITELY read the manual and be really clear on how RTH works, how atti/GPS work and what their limitations are, etc. You don't want to learn on the fly :)

    There are some great people here who are happy to help, so ask away. Have fun!
     
  8. theTastyCat

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    I use an iPad mini 2 and it works *great*. Mine is also wifi only; you don't *have* to have internet on it, but it's nice to have it at least for a few seconds when you start so it will load the satellite view map so you can see where you are top-down. No issues with mini 2!
     
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  9. KingDad1985

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    Thank you!
     
  10. KingDad1985

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    Great! I was worried since I bought a refurbished iPad mini 2 just to use with the p3a. So using my iPad on my s7 WiFi Hotspot will work out perfect. Thank you!
     
  11. msinger

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    A lot of people report that the FPV lags in DJI GO. Your iPad Mini 2 should work well though. I own one and haven't had any trouble with it.

    You would need to attach an external GPS receiver (tethering won't share GPS data). You can find a list of commonly used GPS receivers here. Without GPS on your mobile device, the only other thing you won't be able to do is reset the home point to your current location after takeoff. You likely won't use those features often (if ever).
     
  12. KingDad1985

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    Alright. How crucial is it to have GPS on the device I will be using?
     
  13. msinger

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    It's only needed if you want to be able to use Follow Me in DJI GO or reset the home point to your current location after takeoff. Neither are crucial features and most people probably never use them.
     
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  14. KingDad1985

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    Ok. So I should be fine then. Thank you. You guys are awesome
     
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  15. theTastyCat

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    Also, there's a very rudimentary simulator built into DJI GO - but you have to have the aircraft powered on in order to use it. Spend 15 or 20 minutes in it until you're comfortable - good investment. Also, put the whole aircraft in the fridge for 30 minutes before your IMU calibration - this allows it to "warm up" as part of its preflight boot much faster. Greater minds than I came up with and tested that and it's definitely a good thing.

    Other important stuff:

    Calibrate the compass *every* time you fly
    You have to stop recording in order to take a photo
    Use www.uavforecast.com to see when good flying conditions may be
    Don't fly low and slow over your neighborhood or people will think you're spying on them :) best to maintain a low profile whenever you can - less trouble all around.
    Set a good RTH height before you take off
    I'll think of more things I wish I knew when I got mine as I think of them...

    GPS - you *do not* need it on the device you're using. Not having it simply means you can't use the "Follow me" feature, which is really not much more than a novelty anyway. If you absolutely need that, buy a $100 external GPS for your ipad. But no need. Bird's got all the GPS you could want built into it, and that's how it records the home point.
     
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  16. msinger

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    And, don't forget... beware the trees :D
     
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  17. theTastyCat

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    Ain't that the truth! And power lines - very hard to see in the FPV. Would be a good idea at first to go up to 150 feet or so, do a circle to ensure you're high above anything you could hit, and then stay at that altitude while you cut your teeth.
     
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  18. Oso

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    > The quick start guide that comes with your Phantom is very limited. Be sure to download the latest user manual from the "DOWNLOADS" link after selecting your model from the DJI web site. Read it several times before you fly, and then a few more times after you've flown for the first time when it will make a bit more sense to you.
    > Just because the app tells you that a FW update is available, that doesn't mean you must do the update. I strongly suggest that you check out and become comfortable with your P3 and what "normal" looks like before changing any FW on the RC (remote control) or the AC (aircraft). Batteries of course are okay to update to match the AC. [See my reasons here, but like most things it's YOUR decision]
    (Important Note: if your P3 comes with 1.5 on the AC, you should move from that version).
    > If you do make the choice to update your FW, click here and follow those steps closely.
    > The FW version on your AC does not have to be the same version number as the FW on your RC.
    > AC FW 1.8 and RC FW 1.6 were released together with an encryption change. If you have one, you must have the other (or later) or your AC and RC will not link.
    > Do not use the CSC to stop your motors once you've landed. CSC is known to cause flip overs. Only use left stick down for three seconds to stop your motors. (Note: Use CSC to stop your motors in an emergency, but know that if you are in the air it will cause your P3 to crash!)
    > Full left stick down while descending will not stop your motors while in the air. (This is probably the most often asked question!).
    > There are many outdated YouTube tutorial videos demonstrating old procedures, so try to watch only the most recent ones you can find.
    > The video signal and the control signal are not the same. You can lose your FPV video but still have control. If you see the green LED lit on your RC, you can still control your P3 even if you've lost the video feed. [If you are within range, you can even remove, reboot, or turn off your mobile device and still have control of your AC. Think about practicing this scenario]
    > Read this post for great information about compass calibrations. It is a terrific post that was updated when the P3 was released. In a nutshell, you do not need to calibrate before every flight. It is in fact possible to get a "successful" calibration in a bad (magnetically influenced) location. Then when you launch, you move from the bad location and your P3 flies erratically. Personally, I rarely calibrate my compass, but I do check the mod values before every flight to be sure they are between 1400 and 1600.
    > Do not assume that the P3 will tighten your props automatically. Check your props prior to every flight. Props can and have flown off during flight, so don't be the next crash victim.
    > Maps are not required to fly, though many find them useful.
    > GPS satellites do not download map data!
    > Your Phantom normally has its own GPS to know where home is located.
    > Try the different RTH modes so that you know what to expect before the need arises.
    > Follow Me mode will not work if your mobile device does not have it's own GPS or is not connected to an external GPS device. Most Android devices already have internal GPS, so they are usually fine. With iPads, only the cellular versions have GPS and a data plan is NOT required. [Tethering an iPad does not transmit GPS data for Follow Me to function. Click here for more info on what to expect with different iPads / situations]
    > You have very little chance of recovering from a CSC (with a P3) while in flight even if you are at a high enough altitude and even if you have done it in the simulator. [If you try this, please do so away from people and please record it so we can see the crash.]
    > Don't forget to remove the small piece of foam that is often behind the gimbal on new P3s. Many people have not noticed it. Leaving it on will cause shaky video and could damage your gimbal.
    > You only need to have 2 of the anti-drop pins (inside the white vibration dampeners) installed on the gimbal. Many people put loosely fitted plastic zip ties in the two holes that come empty when the P3 is new.
    > If you set your batteries to auto discharge after a certain number of days, they will only start to auto discharge on that day. It could take 2-3 days for them to discharge down to 65% after they start discharging. If you press the battery button at anytime, the battery will stop discharging and the day counter will be reset.
    > The camera lens cover / UV filter is often difficult to unscrew for removal. It's best to use a very light grip as you turn it. Many use a rubber band or a latex glove to assist, but still always keeping a very light grip. Others have had luck with the prop removal tool. I use a rubber band.
    > In the GO app, the maximum flight altitude setting and the RTH altitude always show in meters and can't be changed to feet no matter what preference you set in the app. Keep this in mind when you are setting your altitudes prior to flight.
    > The P3 splits video files at 4GB. There are no workarounds regardless of formatting as either FAT32 or exFAT. The P3 will still split video files at 4GB even though the exFat format itself allows larger files.
    > Practice ATTI mode on a regular basis in a large open area so that you are familiar with that mode and have the skills needed when the time arises.
    > Also, search the forum for the many other "any tips?" threads for more great info.

    Good luck!

    August 15, 2016 EDIT - Consolidated a few of my "any tips" posts from the past so that I can link to this one the next time someone asks.
     
    #18 Oso, Aug 15, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016 at 11:04 AM
  19. theTastyCat

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    Definite truth. Also:

    It's a good idea upon takeoff to climb about to chest level and let it hover for 10-20 seconds to confirm that it's stable and everything is working as it should.

    Also, a lot of people (myself included) have decided that the physical risk of hand-catching is worth it vs. having it turn over upon landing. Know that the props *will* mess you up if you get caught by one! But I've not been particularly impressed by my ability to touch down flawlessly, so I usually hand-catch.

    Be sure you have an SD card in before takeoff! And be sure you took the gimbal guard off.

    And - balance your props! Get a DuBro prop balancer and the *separate* rod made for the P3 and balance your props, both the props and the hub, so they balance perfectly. Often DJI does a great job from the factory, but perfectly balanced props put minimal vibrational stress on every last part of the aircraft and supposedly allow max speed/maneuverability/etc. It's easy, the equipment is cheap, and you only have to do it once per prop. But order it now so it comes in in time! Can be done before the bird arrives. Some say it's not necessary but physics says it's a good idea and the old guard who have been flying props on RC since I was in diapers swear by it. Makes sense to anybody who's ever had a wheel out of balance on a vehicle.
     
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  20. mikesmiley

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    There was a time when DJI Pilot (now called GO) was better supported on ios devices. Not anymore.

    Your mini 2 should do just fine, though.
     
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