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Upgrade board = 2 bad Phantoms

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Darrell1, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. Darrell1

    Joined:
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    The short story: I upgraded the board on my Phantom. A handful of flights later, it caused a major crash. I purchased another Phantom and another upgrade board. This one is showing the exact same problem.

    Long story:

    PHANTOM PURCHASED IN APRIL
    I have had at least 150 flights with no crashes. I have always upgraded to the latest firmware and purchased a gimbal about 1 week after it was introduced. Everything has been well.

    On August 23rd, I installed the upgrade board and had about 6 to 10 successful flights. Then, for no apparent reason, the Phantom wobbled, flipped upside down, and crashed on a hard surface. Damage was the GoPro camera and Phantom shell. Since then, when connecting it to the computer, the NAZA software says “GPS Needed” as if the GPS is not even connected. With a few power cycles, it was able to “see” the GPS again, but only for a few seconds. Since then, it has been unable to see it. I suspected a faulty upgrade board.

    Since it takes a while for DJI to respond, I ordered a new upgrade board for my broken Phantom, which has not yet arrived. While waiting, and yes, I use it for business too, I purchased another Phantom. I figured I might as well have a backup...

    PHANTOM PURCHASED TODAY
    The first thing I did was open it and pair it with my old transmitter. Then I upgraded the firmware to the latest version and took a test flight. All was well. I then replaced the upgrade board with a new one, took another test flight, and all was well again.

    I then attached the gimbal, video transmitter, and new GoPro camera and did a bit of testing on the bench to make sure the gimbal was okay after the crash. It is making some noises, but everything seems fine. GPS locked while on the bench without any issues.

    I then took it out for a flight, and it could not get a GPS signal! Even when in GPS mode, I just get yellow flashes. After connecting it to the computer, NAZA software says “GPS Needed” with this one as well! Now, BOTH Phantoms with the upgrade boards cannot see the GPS.

    It appears these new boards are “frying” or something is going wrong with them almost immediately.

    Is anyone having success with the new boards?
     
  2. edunwody

    Joined:
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    Location:
    South East, USA
    Been flying the new board with 3.14 for 4 weeks. No issues.
    Upgraded today to 3.16. No upgrade issues.

    Flown twice. No issues.

    Installed: 5.6 Downlink and Zen Gimbal.

    All is well.

    All hardware updates installed by DJI certified dealer.

    E


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. SkyCamFLA

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    Hey Darrell,

    I had my upgrade board go bad as well, though I think it was partially my fault. Once I installed my Zenmuse and 3.16 I was having some pretty good drift issues when doing spins (left/right moves on the left joystick) I decided to downgrade to 3.12 and when I did, it also showed there was an upgrade available for the PMU in the assist software. When I tried to do the upgrade, it failed half way through and I my GPS was gone and couldn't get it back. It didn't show up in the assist under failsafe or in the GPS specs. Like yours, it said "GPS Needed". I tried re-upgrading back to 3.16 and even going to other versions like 3.14, but nothing. Again, I think it's because I was trying to upgrade a PMU that is part of the board now instead of an internal unit. I took it apart, unplugged the GPS from the upgrade board and plugged it directly to the NAZA (like it would be without the upgrade board) and it worked. BH is sending me a new board on Tues so I hope to be flying again soon!
     
  4. MrMediaGuy

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    SkyCam -- Yep, you should not downgrade below 3.16 if you have the new board installed. Assistant 3.16 is the only version yet that is "new board aware," so it knows that the PMU and GCU are on the board and should not be upgraded with the other firmware.

    Darrell -- One thing you don't mention in your story is having any issues with the 3.16 upgrade. Most everyone complains about the flashing yellow/red and eventually figures out that you have to follow *very* specific steps to install 3.16, including doing a compass calibration, a couple of specific power-cycles, *and* setting all NAZA settings to Default in the Tools menu and then re-importing the Default Phantom Config from the DJI downloads page. Did you go through all that? If not, your Phantom will not see the GPS.

    Separately, I think you should peel back the foam on the top shell of your original Phantom and check the ceramic antenna element on the GPS module. After the crash you describe, there's a very good chance you'll see a cracked antenna plate. If you Google you'll see that you can find a replacement just for the antenna for about $15, which is much better than replacing the GPS module for $150+.
     
  5. SkyCamFLA

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    Thanks for the update and info MediaGuy...once I get mine back up, and suggestions on the bad drift issue when doing hover rotations? Other than that, 3.16 was OK for me. Thanks!
     
  6. MrMediaGuy

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    BTW, on the yaw drift issue, I had that happen ONE time, back on firmware 3.12. I landed and did another IMU Advanced Cal and a compass calibration and it never happened again. I think this is a compass/GPS issue and not really related to a particular firmware.

    I'm editorializing here, but I think a lot of us sometimes fall victim to the fallacy of logic that says just because occurrence B happened after occurrence A, it means B happened *because of* A. In other words, we upgrade firmware, and immediately are hypersensitive to anything weird or different that happens. When something does, we're tempted too quickly to just say, "Aha, this upgrade hosed my Phantom -- I need to downgrade."

    To be honest, I've never had a problem with 3.14 or 3.16. Yes, I have had some crazy stuff happen -- but in the end it was always attributable to something else (lack of calibration, flying near interference or metal objects, etc.). Whenever something weird happens, I always:

    - Recalibrate the IMU
    - Recalibrate the TX *off the computer* (Google to find the process to calibrate the TX independently)
    - THEN recalibrate the TX sticks *IN* NAZA assistant
    - Recalibrate the compass

    And if the problem persists, I do all those things *again*. I haven't had an issue yet that's persisted beyond that. Fingers crossed.