Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Step by step, for New Phantom Owners

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Narrator, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. Narrator

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Step by step, for New Phantom Owners

    The following is a combination of my recent experience and info from the manuals and online sources. Please feel free to correct or add to this post.

    In this, I will assume the Phantom 2 Vision+ (the one with its own camera and gimbal).

    Cavaet: This post does not replace the correct procedures given in the manuals. I write this because of the gaps in knowledge I see everyday here in the forum, mostly from new flyers, but sometimes from experienced ones too.

    Prologue:

    Read the manuals! That is the shortest sermon I'll give, so it bears repeating. Read the manuals!

    a) Buying your Phantom:

    1. Read the forum and watch the Youtube videos first.
    2. Buy at least 1 extra set of propellers.
    3. Have at least 2 batteries.
    4. Don't expect sympathy from DJI or your retailer for a loss if you haven't followed the manual, and maybe not even then.

    b) Before your first flight:

    Out of the box, your Phantom should be ready to fly (RTF), in basic Phantom mode. That's the best way to start (not in Naza mode). As you're probably in a hurry to get flying, I'll stick to the essentials. i.e. You probably won't need to update the firmware.

    You should read all the manuals before your first flight. You can ignore the info on Naza mode at first, but you should read it early in your flying, not later.

    You should also get into the habit of a pre-flight and post-flight routine, and don't be distracted from this by people who accompany you, or by trying a new venue. Both can be more distracting that you realize.

    1. Don't assemble yet and do not fly these at home, unless you live on a big property.
    2. Read all the manuals.. not everything about the Phantom is intuitive!
    3. Watch Youtube clips in this order: The DJI phone app, Home lock, Course lock, Return to home (RTH), on removing your Phantom battery (they get sticky) and any other helpful clips.
    4. Know your S1 and S2 switches and get into the habit of flipping them up to the top.
    5. Know which joystick action does what.
    6. Identify the black tipped motors and the silver tipped motors, and their matching propellers.
    They rotate opposite to each other and also screw on in opposite directions.
    7. Install the phone app for your iPhone or Android .
    8. Find a public park where not many people go - use Google Earth.

    c) Testing the phone app:

    1. Place your Phantom on a table in front of you.
    2. Remove camera clamp and lens cover.
    3. Turn on the remote control (RC) and wifi range extender.
    4. With the battery in, turn on the battery on your Phantom.
    5. Start up the phone app, connect it to the Phantom wifi.
    6. Select 'Camera' on the app and check that you can see the image from the Phantom's camera.
    7. Grab your Phantom by the legs and check your gimbal works as you move the Phantom.
    8. Turn off the Phantom battery first, then the wifi extender and the remote control.

    d) First Flight Assumptions:

    I'm going to start with some assumptions. If any of these assumptions is wrong, your steps will be very different.

    1. You got it new, so it should be in basic Phantom mode, not Naza mode.
    2. You haven't yet downloaded the Assistant software and connected it, or your RC to a PC. Do that at a later stage.
    3. Your props are in good order and you have the black ones on the black motors and silver ones on silver motors.
    4. Your props are not broken, chipped or split. If any are, replace them immediately.
    5. I'll assume a Vision or Vision+, with a camera and possibly a gimbal.
    6. I'll assume you've installed the phone app.


    e) Pre-flight:

    Your Phantom navigates by GPS, and is also aided by inertial navigation. Home lock is a function of the GPS.

    1. Check props and batteries.
    2. Remove camera protection (gimbal cage, lens cap).
    3. Turn on controller and wifi extender.
    4. Turn on your Phantom.
    5. Wait and watch the lights until you get GPS lock.. fast flashing green.. this means you have at least 7 satellites and you have home lock.
    6. Turn on your phone and connect it to your Phantom's wifi.
    7. Once connected and with GPS locked, calibrate your compass (360 turn horizontal then tilted) which is used for inertial navigation.
    (If you don't know how to, then find the Youtube clip and learn to calibrate your compass.)
    8. With GPS locked and compass calibrated, you're ready.. make sure it's on the ground and facing away from you.
    9. Lift-off: don't gently ease it up.. full throttle until it's at least a few feet off the ground - eye level is good.

    f) Watchout during flight:

    - Don't panic
    - The throttle hold down and lock is a feature, not a fault. It's to help with landing.
    - Beware of strong winds/gusts when close to objects.
    - Beware of trees, low hanging branches, overhead wires etc.
    - Beware: Do not do the CSC startup while flying - your Phantom motors will switch off and your Phantom will drop and crash.
    - Beware: When you stop flying in any direction, the inertia will carry it further in that direction before it stops.
    - Beware: The fisheye of the camera makes things look further away than they are.
    - Remember to turn on and to turn off the video (easy to forget).
    - Test the RTH procedure (making sure you home lock it at the start) by turning the controller off.

    In RTH, your Phantom will rise to about 60 ft before returning to the home position and then landing.
    If RTH runs into trouble, turn controller back on and take over again.

    g) Post-flight

    1. Stop the engines by holding the throttle down for at least 3 seconds.
    2. Stop the video before turning off the battery!!
    3. Turn off the Phantom battery (some even suggest removing it in case you don't turn it off by mistake)
    4. Turn off phone app, controller and wifi extender
    5. Check props and body for damage
    6. Replace camera protection (lens cap and gimbal cage)

    h) Camera stuff

    Depending on what size SD card you have, you will need to frequently offload videos and pictures. The card will fill up quickly. You should also know how to format your SD card, using the phone app.

    Always remove the gimbal cage and lens cap before turning the battery on, and turn the battery off before putting them back on.

    i) Advanced stuff

    It's worth repeating this here: Read the manuals!

    Software and firmware: You should install the Assistant software for the Phantom and the RC. Then connect them and familiarize yourself with them. This is where you will do firmware updates. It's a good idea to check the forums for any issues with any firmware updates.

    Naza mode: You should learn to change your Phantom to Naza mode and modify the settings. In Naza mode, you must be aware at all times where your S1 and S2 switches are.

    Ground Station: This is where you can set up a course, with waypoints for your Phantom to follow. Read the manual carefully, it has limits. Also note, if you are running a course in Ground Station, accidentally changing S1 or S2 could knock it out of GS mode and it might fly away with the breeze - this almost happened to me once.

    Youtube videos for advanced Phantom features: Home Lock, Course Lock, GPS mode, Atti mode, Atti2 mode, Failsafe mode, Ground Station, and many many others.

    Cheers
     
  2. houstonpilot

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Awesome post!
     
  3. IrishSights

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Bangor, Northern Ireland, UK
    Great post. A point to maybe add is that consumers generally expect the manual to be in the box. The fact that it needs to be downloaded from dji.com is missed by many in the rush to get in the air.
     
  4. IrishSights

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Bangor, Northern Ireland, UK
  5. Narrator

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Cheers for that. Mine came in the box, but that may be unusual. I also found the PDF easier on the eyes.
     
  6. Milly

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2014
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Wick, Caithness, Highlands of Scotland
    Thanks for that.
    I have printed it off in a much larger font and will laminate to take to the field with me.
    Regards
    KM
     
  7. Narrator

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Glad you find it helpful. :)
     
  8. liketogethigh

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    San Jose, Ca
    You may want to include the proper way to shut off the motors after you land(by holding the throttle down for 3 seconds instead of CSC).
     
  9. Narrator

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Done.. thanks. :)
     
  10. Larry L

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Copperas Cove, Texas
    Very nice of you to take the time to post this.
     
  11. TimmyG94

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2014
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    1
    Excellent post for any newbie. Worth it's weight in gold !! :p

    It's amazing how much the YouTube video showing the "two-hand trick" for removing those sticky batteries helped me in the beginning. I almost ripped off my thumbnail trying to extract the battery with only one hand, and I almost came to tears trying to figure out a better way. DJI really needs to re-design the latch mechanism for the Phantom batteries, although I admit the two-hand technique works very well for me now.

    I'd also suggest a good video on learning how to hand-catch. I realize there's a lot of controversy about this, especially for newbies. However, there seems to be too much risk involved with landing on the ground and tipping over, resulting in busted props, busted gimbal, etc. I was hand-catching by my 2nd flight and have ALWAYS hand-caught since. It really is something every newbie MUST learn quickly!
     
  12. Narrator

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks for the positive comments folks. Glad you like.
     
  13. Phantom flyer

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi I'm try to build a new octocopter from s800 with 30000mah lipo and wookong-m flight control micro DSLR and gimbal 3 axis FPV up to 2k 600m boscam tx rx im basically trying to build a system with a flight time of 30 - 35 minutes can any one help?
     
  14. sdtrojan

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2014
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    That works great if using DJI's controller, not so well with a Futaba 14SG though ;)
     
  15. fastsmiles

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Tx
    excellent post, thanks for sharing with everyone. :D
     
  16. IrishSights

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Bangor, Northern Ireland, UK
    I dont think this is the right forum or thread to ask all that. Try some of the more specific threads in rcgroups.com otherwise it takes away from the thread topic