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Thinking about your first Phantom? I was too!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bomber1712, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. bomber1712

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    Hi all! I am a brand new member here on the board and a complete Phantom newbie (Quadcopter of any kind, actually). I am making this post in the hopes of helping someone out there in making the decision to jump into this AWESOME world!

    My background: I am a 40 something Midwesterner and a self proclaimed computer geek. I have always been fascinated with new tech and have been watching the "Drone" scene for some time. I am not the type to jump right in....I research and surf the net for hours before making a decision on an item like this. If you are like me, you probably found this post while doing your research. Well, my friend, read on!

    I basically knew nothing about these machines when I started. I had flown (and crashed) other types of RC Aerial vehicles (copters, planes, etc) but never a quadcopter. So, needless to say, my fear was that I would spend a bunch of money on this thing and then I would crash it horrendously, losing my entire investment. I started researching the Parrot AR 2.0. Thought it was priced right ($300) and had a FPV camera built in. I also liked the foam frame that can be attached to save the props in a collision. But, after putting in some time learning about what it has and does, I began looking for other alternatives. I looked at the Phantom FC40, The Phantom 2 Vision and the Vision plus. I looked at some options to "build it yourself" including kits and buying parts to build from the ground up. In the end, I opted for the Phantom 2 Vision with an extra battery and prop guards. I bought it at the local Hobbytown USA store and with tax it was $971.

    The reasons I selected this model over any others I looked at:

    • 1. Battery life - I wanted to fly for 20-25 minutes at a time.
      2. Camera - I felt the camera would be great for my new "hobby". I don't need a $1,000 camera on a $1500 rig.
      3. Ease of use - from everything that I had read, this thing was going to be pretty easy to use.
      4. Construction - I felt that the overall construction was strong enough to take some of the inevitable beating I could foresee. :lol:

    Putting it together and preparing it to fly was a snap. Well, almost. When you get yours home, know that you have to go to the DJI website to get the DJI Phantom Assistant software, the RC assistant software, and the Windows drivers. Don't forget a copy of the manual which is not included in the box. You will also want to download the app on your mobile phone (iphone or android). This is the easy to use, AWESOME Ground control. You will fly in "first person" and you can program the UAV to fly itself! The Phantom Assist will allow you to connect the UAV to the computer via USB to do many things, firmware updates being one. The RC assistant software will allow you to connect the controller to the computer to calibrate the sticks. I somehow messed this up and used the assistance of people here to help me fix it (See the thread here)! Once I had it updated and calibrated, it was time to FLY!

    I was still EXTREMELY nervous about actually flying this $1000 machine! I used the training guide to get started. It was AMAZINGLY easy! I had the machine up in the air in seconds, was able to move it back and forth with ease. I could not believe how easy it is to fly! Within the first battery burn (25 min or so on a COLD Wisconsin night!), I was feeling like a pro. I slapped the second battery in and went higher and faster! By the time I had burned my second battery, I had been up 350 feet and had sent it down the street a couple of blocks, all while watching the action on my mounted phone! I had nearly perfect landings right from the start! To be completely honest, however, you do need to give yourself enough room to work (room for error and recovery). I had a slight issue in my living room (sorry, honey! :D ) and lost a prop in an altercation with a tree (pilot error). Thanks to DJI for including some extra props in the box!

    The photos and video from this machine are absolutely breathtaking. I am not a professional photographer, so for me, the quality is FANTASTIC! I don't need anything more.

    Bottom line: If you are trying to decide whether or not to "take the plunge"....DO IT! You will not regret it for one second. I love my DJI Phantom 2 Vision, and I am sure you will love whatever UAV you decide on!

    Happy Flying!
     
  2. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Welcome to the forum. Good first post telling it like it is.
    One of the biggest problems with the Phantom is that it is so easy to fly.
    This can create the temptation to get too adventurous too soon.
    It only takes 5 minutes to learn - but it takes a lot longer to learn how it all works, what can go wrong and how to manage these to prevent problems happening.
     
  3. DKDarkness

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    I had the same considerations, and arrived at the same conclusion, and took the plunge and got the Phantom 2 Vision. Since firmware version 2.00 was released, I have regretted my plunge ever since. My P2V is now in long time storage, and I am building my own copter, which I can easily and cheaply repair. Furthermore I am in full control, and never in doubt why the craft has crashed or acted in a certain way. No more DJI products for me I am sorry to say.
     
  4. un hombre

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    Good thread, I may also add to it with my experiences so far.

    Here is my long thread plus great and helpful feedback from users of this forum: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=25162&hilit=newbie+hobby

    I too was considering Phantom 2 Vision + and Phantom 2 Vision.
    I almost took the plunge for Vision + but in the end decided to take the Vision before of those reasons alone:

    - More sturdy/less delicate camera construction, easier to replace and cheaper to replace repair,
    - A bit better battery life,
    - No GPS problems when recording video, like in Vision +,
    - 300 Euro cheaper (When I was buying) which allowed me to buy 2 extra batteries at this price plus better FPV extender.

    I love this flying camera and I am rediscovering surrounding world with it, however...

    With my current experience, if I was to buy one again, I would invest in the Vision +, especially after recen upgrades.

    My reasoning is, that from my perspective, it is really difficult to crash this quadcopter if you are flying safely and reasonably. I don't know how you can!
    So damaging gimbal would be extremely difficult and the smooth footage is priceless.

    You do get better range out of the box, which is a great thing as well.
    Plus, in the newer version they seem to have fixed the GPS problems when recording videos, which ticks one of the boxes and oh well, you do get a bit worse battery life but something for something.

    I do not regret buying Vision, however. It is a great tool for this price, I am not afraid to fly it in a risky way and it is really reliable so far!
    You cannot go wrong with either of those!
     
  5. Happyflyer

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    Great to read you are happy with your purchase. There is one warning and lots of posts here about it, get yourself a tracker for your quad. When/if it goes away for whatever reason, and there are many, you will feel worse than bad when you can not find it.
    Welcome and enjoy.
     
  6. bomber1712

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    Point taken! I have been (I think) pretty cautious, even though I feel as though I have pretty good control. I mentioned that I have found myself to be a much better pilot when I have considerable room to make an error and correct before I run into any major issues. I will continue to work in areas that provide that luxury.

    Someone had suggested printing name, address and phone number on the unit. I hadn't considered a "tracker". Any specific suggestions?

    Thanks for the great link!
     
  7. Damon

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    There are lots of threads here discussing trackers with each of their pros and cons. I personally use a very cheap Chinese made TK102B variant. It can be a b***h to set up. But has worked well for me. I even had a 100ft free fall due to a failed motor. It survived and works well.
     
  8. oscar19

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    "Someone had suggested printing name, address and phone number on the unit. I hadn't considered a "tracker". Any specific suggestions?"


    I had an flyaway early in my PV2 experiences. Losing that much money isn't easy. :shock:

    So after some tips here I picked up the TK102 tracker in case it happens again.

    This device needs a sim card and some usage time for the sim (not data minutes). I had gone thru a bit of a hassle getting T-Mobile employees to understand me when I asked for a pre-paid sim card and pay as you go minutes. After a small amount of running around I found an employee who understood exactly what I needed.

    The sim allows the tracker to be used like a phone you call into to set up parameters and get gps data as text messages. Its a neat little device, quite cheap. I was able to pick it up for under $30 and got the sim for $10 and paid a 90 day pay-as-you-go on the sim for another $10 which gives you around 100 text messages.

    Overall I'm happy with this choice.


    Testing the unit shows it to be quite accurate. It also is small (about 3" by 2") and weighs little. The unit has lots of capabilities but the instructions are a little hard to follow.
     
  9. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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  10. Happyflyer

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    Yes, be sure you have name stickers on your quad. Even inside if someone finds it and you know who has it. You can prove it is yours by opening it up. As stated there are many versions of trackers. I have and like the RF-V16. Very small and at only $10.00 for three months, price is right also. Use the search shown and it will pop up.