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Splash 1 Phantom

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The Don, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. The Don

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    Mythology tells us the story of a young man named Icarus who flew too close to the sun on manmade wings. Today I flew too close to the sun on wings of plastic. I was exploring a lake in a forest preserve near my house and lost my Phantom in the water. It's my fault for not being more cognizant of my remaining battery power. I assumed my OSD would alarm me when the voltage got too low, but apparently it only counts the mah used and I had already taken a brief flight with this battery a few minutes earlier so the counter reset. I'll use this as a learning opportunity. New rules: 1) Be aware of battery power. 2) Don't be a wiseguy; keep it over dry land.

    They say within every crisis lies an opportunity. With that in mind, I'm weighing my options. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

    1 - New Phantom. I love the platform. I'm used to flying it. I already have a controller, charger, extra battery, and other accessories. I can get the new version 1.1.1, too. If I buy one without the controller I could save a couple of dollars.

    2 - Phantom V2. I can wait for the new Phantom. It will have longer flight time. I'm really concerned about the price point, though. If it's anywhere near as expensive as the Vision then I'm not interested. Also, if the transmitter is in the 5.8 GHz range then I highly doubt I'd be able to use my existing Fat Shark/Immersion FPV equipment.

    3 - Used Phantom. Most cost effective, probably. Maybe I can find one out there that the guy only flew for a few weeks until his wife found out about it or something.

    4 - Upgrade. I could move to a new platform, like the TBS Discovery, or one of the bigger DJI multicopters.

    What would you guys do in my place?
     
  2. OI Photography

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    Your answer is contingent on your budget and ultimate goals with this aircraft (uses, payloads, flight times, etc).

    I've been playing the "what upgrades can I afford in terms of weight and space" game for a little over a month now with my phantom, and I've come to the conclusion it's just time to move to a different platform...a DJI 550 in my case. My decision was largely based on my realization that the phantom has a much lower cap on weight than even moderate-priced options, and the fact I was much more comfortable with my ability to handle a DIY build after spending some time upgrading the phantom.

    However, if you find the Phantom is a broad enough platform for what you want to do with it, I'll probably have a used one for sale here in a couple of weeks once the new rig is flying.
     
  3. Dave Pitman

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    When the Phantom reaches low battery warning 2 (if enabled) then it descends and lands, which in this case was over water, right?
    If, when the phantom enters this phase, the pilot were to enter manual mode, could control be regained until the battery was actually unable to support flight. Or, will the low battery fail safe override manual too.

    I would much prefer to toast a battery and get 30 seconds more flight in an emergency if possible.

    Just wondering if anyone knows.
     
  4. flyshasta

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    My Phantom also lies at the bottom of the lake. It was a sickening splash but then I had a sense of relief that I would buy a bigger platform with the ability to handle a larger camera without the gopro bugs and fly a considerably longer time than the four and a half to five minutes that I was getting from the Phantom. Yes, the Phantom has been a great learning experience. I did not consider another Phantom and the Vision does not seem to be a viable option with a one axis gimbal. It seems that the decision is based on finances and really what you want to gain from flying. Purely an individual choice. Sorry about your Phantom. It is a sickening moment.
     
  5. Peter Patricelli

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    Dave,

    From my hover testing with and without load, even in GPS mode once past the flashing red lights of first level warning the P1 will begin to descend UNLESS you increase throttle. I was at all times able to continue to hover with increased to full throttle for a minute or more...depending on load....longer for heavier loads(but the warnings started earlier)....until there was a sudden, complete loss of power. My understanding is that is mediated by the battery to prevent it hitting an irretrievable low voltage state.

    So, I would project that when the P1 starts to auto-land due to low battery (still some power)...IF you did not have to ascend to clear a tree you could limp back for a minute or so before you lost ALL power. My closest call so far came flying off a high viewpoint and when I realized it was taking more throttle to hold the bird up....it was already below me. So I had to both ascend and get back. Just made it.

    Word to wise: do all the fancy and risky stuff EARLY in the flight and have the bird near and above or at least level to you before the warnings start.

    Note to OP: The P2V(ision) uses 5.6 ghz transmission from it's camera to it's own receiver/signal extender which then projects a local wifi to an iOS device mounted as a monitor. To use your Immersion stuff would mean a complete makeover/bypass that would either be very difficult or more likely impossible.
     
  6. flyshasta

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    6 minutes???!!!! WOW!!! Very impressive, justsomelittleguy!
     
  7. The Don

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    Let me know, but I'll probably be on the road to a replacement in the next few days.
     
  8. The Don

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    Thanks. It's a bummer for sure, but there's nothing I can do about it now.

    I'm looking to spend $1000 - $1200, but I want that to cover the craft, controller, fpv transmitter, camera, and OSD. The Phantom may be my best option, considering.
     
  9. syotr

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    Sorry to read about your loss. I would make an effort to recover the Phantom. Much of it may be usable if it sank in fresh water.
    Since you already have the transmitter and probably spare batteries, you may want to purchase a craft only.
    I often fly over water but with floats attached. They might not prevent all damage but would make it possible to recover the Phantom.
    I am thinking of designing a waterproof quad. There are some avaialble but they are pricey.
     
  10. OI Photography

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    Yeah that waterbuoy looks pretty awesome. I'm thinking about getting 3 or 4 (depending on final aircraft weight) and attaching each to a different arm on my 550...seems like a worthy insurance investment, and would help lift my self-imposed ban on overwater flights. Just needed some genius solution like that one :)

    Tyrohne, the Discovery Pro is an alternative quadcopter platform in the same class as the DJI 450/550, with a unique purpose-built design and layout optimized for FPV and sport flying. TBS = Team Black Sheep, a group/company of known for upgrading multirotors and some of their various components, and they have an "optimized" version of the Discovery Pro that you can buy just as a frame or as a full DIY kit. The Discovery itself is reasonably priced, but like any platform can get wildly expensive when upgrading. It's probably one of the most prolific non-DJI quads out there.

    http://team-blacksheep.com/shop/cat:discovery

    They also produce a tweaked version of the popular EzOSD module from Immersion, I'm still trying to decide between that and iOSDII.
     
  11. The Don

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    I had the TBS ezosd. I really liked it the two times I got to use it before I took my Phantom for a bath. Keeping a closer eye on the voltage reading may have helped me avoid the incident.
     
  12. The Don

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    OK, so I decided that life without my beloved quad wasn't the life I wanted to live. I ordered a new Phantom and accessories. My first thought was to just buy a Phantom craft without transmitter or charger. It would be cheaper, but I'd also have to buy a new battery. After doing the math I figured that for just a few dollars more I could get a new v1.1.1, so I went for it. Here's what everything cost me:

    Phantom $479.00 http://www.intelligentuas.com
    I ordered from this website sort of by accident, but it worked out. Their communication isn't great, but delivery was free. They shipped Priority next day, so it was FAST.
    GoPro $199.99 Amazon
    Mem card $ 13.45 Amaon
    GoPro 3. Got the white one. It's the cheapest, but more than adequate for my needs.
    GoPro cable $ 9.26 http://www.readymaderc.com
    FPV Tx $ 72.09 http://www.readymaderc.com
    Most are familiar with this retailer. They shipped quickly and cheaply. No complaints. Got the ImmersionRC 600 mW video transmitter.
    Shapeways Parts $ 57.47 Shapeways
    These are Dewey's parts for the Phantom. Must have.
    OSD $236.21 http://www.profotouav.com
    I got another Team Black Sheep ezOSD. I wanted to buy from TBS, but their website was on the fritz or something. These guys were slightly cheaper and shipped from Canada instead of China, so it works out.

    The only thing I didn't yet replace is my ImmersionRC FPV antennas. I still have the one on my Fat Shark goggles, but the one on the old Phantom is under water. So, grand total, everything replaced, $1067.47. A little less, actually, I had some Amazon points on my credit card. Not so bad. Well within what I was hoping to spend.