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To Phantom, or not to Phantom

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by rctoyguy, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. rctoyguy

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    I have so many questions I don't know where to begin, so I'll start with this, along with what I want to accomplish.

    I've had a couple of the small, inexpensive quads, and I currently have an A.R. Drone 2.0 - these have made me want to move on to something nicer, and I stumbled on the Phantom -- but I've read to many horror stories of them flying away, and I certainly can't watch $700-$1000 fly off into the sunset. I found the thread listing alternatives, and I wonder if they all have that potential, or if it's specific to the Phantom - and why?

    Also - I've read about flying it in "GPS mode" instead of manual - what is that? What is the difference?

    I currently don't have a gopro, but have been looking for an excuse to buy one :shock: - I'd want to be able to see a live feed from the quad as well as being able to record that video in an editable format. (just like the Parrot does, only with stronger flight, better range, etc) - I don't expect to do it professionally, more just for fun/home movie stuff - but I have worked in television for just over 20 years so I might be a little more picky about video quality than most "just for fun" users. That makes me worry about the reports of "jello video" with the Phantom

    Priced reasonable + many good reviews = really making me want to order today.
    Shaky video + strong chance it will fly away = really making me uneasy.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts, suggestions, ideas, whatever...
     
  2. Scott303

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    I've had my Phantom for 4 weeks now. Love it. Im not an expert RC guy, more of the same background as you.

    I don't know where you get the "Strong possibility of a fly-away". I think there are some legitimate issues with the Naza, but for the most part I would have to say that a lot of fly-away reports are user error.

    It really important to start up your Phantom correctly: acquisition of GPS satellites, home-lock recording, paying attention to the LEDs, etc. Also, when people fly the phantom off into the distance and they lose orientation, they tend to panic. Learning to fly with Intelligent Orientation Control - IOC (which is enabled in the software assistant) is pretty valuable. Take the time to watch the training videos, browse the forums and learn about the vehicle before you go out and fire it up.

    If you want to upgrade to a Phantom over an AR Drone, there will be no comparison. If you want to fly with First-Person-View (FPV), the Phantom is also very capable. Over all, its a great trainer and overall quad to get your appetite wet for more multi-rotor fun.
     
  3. rctoyguy

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    If using a gopro with a phantom, don't you also need to add an additional camera for FPV? I read something about not being recommended to use the gopro wi-fi while flying the Phantom. I know it's true, because I read it on the internet... :mrgreen:

    I also know that most of the time people only speak up or write a review if they have a problem, so reviews tend to lean toward the negative a lot of times.
     
  4. Gizmo3000

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    There's an AV cable video-out for the GoPro so you can use the GoPro for FPV at the same time while filming.
    but yes, WiFi should always remain OFF on the GoPro or a potential flyaway could occur.

    Flyaways are rare, but do occur.
    tho noobdy knows the exact reasons (solar flares? electronic interference,.etc?)

    But the Phantom is a great quad to step up into.
    ..tho you might also want to consider building a F450 instead, which offers the same features but more flexibility.
     
  5. rctoyguy

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    If wi-fi is off on the gopro, how do you get video back to the ground? (live)

    Maybe I'm not following everything as well as I should. I'd also be interested in building an F450, but I obviously have no idea where to start, what's needed, etc. It says RTF, but then flight controllers are listed under extra cost options? (another topic I guess)
     
  6. edunwody

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    You need a downlink TX and Rx for video. The GP sends out a video feed but a downlink must grab it to send to monitor or goggles.

    E


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. jumanoc

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    For live video from phantom you need:

    1) For transmiting from PHANTOM: a camera (GoPro or any mini FPV camera), a Video/Audio transmiter (VTX) with standar or better antenna.
    2) FOR receiving: a Video/ Audio Receiver (VRX) compatible with your VTX, also need Goggles or 7" /8" LCD Monitor.
    3) Some wires for conecting the stuff, and optinally some battery for power components (for VTX usually is used the same flight battery)
     
  8. rctoyguy

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    Thanks - I was thinking the gopro sent it's video via wi-fi. (I don't have one, so that was just an assumption)
     
  9. FrankB

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    I had an A.R. Drone and after numerous crashes and other control problems, never mind putting up with dismal quality JPG's, I gave up and bought a Phantom. The difference was phenomenal- the Phantom is a true professional work tool which gives me far greater range and excellent control and has allowed me with confidence to mount a GoPro Hero3 Black camera and take really high quality pictures and videos. The Phantom now goes to every job site, and there is hardly a day that goes by that I don't use it. Everyone that sees the Phantom in action is just amazed at how well it works, and is just boggled at the quality of the pictures taken by the Hero camera!

    I now consider my purchase of the A.R. Drone to have been a complete waste of money, and look forward to buying the Phantom Vision when it comes out.
     
  10. rctoyguy

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    What would you recommend as a video tx/rx system? You've about got me sold on a Phantom and GoPro. Still pretty uneasy about the chance of a fly-away though.

    What makes these, or any other quad, more susceptible to fly-aways than a "conventional" rc heli? I actually started with them several years ago and the though of it flying away was never even a consideration - the same for fixed wing rc aircraft. I think I even remember that being a concern with the Parrot that I obviously got over.
     
  11. martcerv

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    Re fly away there are 2 main factors, people are relying much more on autopilot and this may fail as can any software. Also many people are very new to rc and only learn to fly in gps mode having never flown anything before, if there is an issue with this then they are screwed as they will struggle to control it in basic atti or manual mode.

    Also if you watch this forum a bit nearly every day a new user cant figure out how to start the phantom. This is clearly shown in the dji setup videos and in the manual so it shows many people go out and fly without any idea how to operate most of the controls properly. Then they lose control of it crashing out of range and rather then call it pilot error they claim it is a flyaway, there are the odd incidents where there has been an issue causing a true loss of control for some unknown reasons but I think pilot error and people flying way beyond their abilities is the main issue.

    I saw a video on youtube where a guy had his first flight off a high rise building in a dense city in 30 to 40 knot winds, no idea how he found the phantom but it ended up a few km down wind as the wind was faster then the phantom's max speed. When you see examples like that you kind of wonder what some people are thinking.
     
  12. Macboffin

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    Re fly aways, if you have live vid from the phantom you can at least see where you are flying away to! Recording of the downlinked pic even more useful. Of course you dont have to utilise a GoPro's vid output and Tx, battery for downlinking to your goggles/monitor, GoPro and mount is approx four ounces. I have a 12v (nominal) vid system, powered by a "jump lead" from the main power battery, the mini vid cam looks at the display screen of a small digicam set to Video, they are mounted on a small lite ply board. The vid Tx is seperately mounted.The whole set-up weighs just under six ounces so no weight problem.
    Of course the vid frequency has to be different to the control frequency. This system good in that you not only can see where you are, you can use it as a view finder for the camera, and via the chip in the digi cam you have a record of it all.
    Finally, as for all AP and FPV, balance props carefully to avoid the dreaded Jello syndrome!