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WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FLIGHT

Discussion in 'Firmware' started by race3, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. race3

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    I have a Phantom 2 Vision. I'm an experienced flyer and have been using it regularly since the Phantom 2 Vision came out, so many months ago. I have flown often and have good control and do not take many risks.

    Today I updated to the latest 3.0 firmware. It's a normal weather day, clear with a slight wind. I went flying after doing the firmware update... flying well above open ground with no obstacles nearby. After about 5 minutes of flying, the motors simply stopped mid flight and the copter dropped to the ground, shattering the camera and blades. I could see this easily, because I was standing on my roof top deck and the copter was at eye level, but still about 100 feet above ground. It landed in a parking lot.

    I was frankly shocked... since nothing like this has happened after months of use... but it happened just after doing a firmware update. I have regularly updated the firmware, so i was only upgrading from the previous version.

    I'm trying to reach DJI, but they have a very long wait time on the phone. I need the machine for a trip i'm taking in just a few days.

    Has anyone had anything happen like this before? Any thoughts on how to deal with this?

    thanks.
     
  2. paulgrenga

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    Did the motors power off during a descent?
     
  3. race3

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    no, it was not descending when the motors shut off... i was traveling very slowly horizontally. Then they just stopped and the machine tilted and dropped. I could see how still the blades were as soon as it happened.
     
  4. Cr8tive_leo

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    Where did you take off from? where was 'home lock'?
     
  5. race3

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    I took off from my same spot as always, on a large open roof deck with excellent GPS signal. I always check for home lock before taking off.

    I'm upset mostly because of safety. I've lost a lot of confidence quickly. Up till now, I felt very confident in the machine but the fact that this fell straight out of the sky onto a parking lot, where someone could have been standing, is very concerning.
     
  6. race3

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    Thanks, but i've checked the battery contacts and corresponding contacts in the copter, and both look very clean. The battery was very secure as well, I'm super careful about checking everything. I find it way too coincidental for this to have happened JUST AFTER a firmware update and I believe there is something going on.
     
  7. Cr8tive_leo

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL


    Roof deck higher than your balcony? Just thinking maybe the new firmware thinks it's landed if you're below or close to your home position. Civilian GPS is not that accurate, +/- 5 - 15 feet ... or more.

    just trying to trouble shoot it.
     
  8. SlackerATX

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    Maybe you got too close to an airport. Ironically, flying 2 miles from an airport is probably safer than dropping out of the sky.
     
  9. race3

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    no. i was standing on my roof deck, the same place i took off from. And I was flying about 50 feet away when this happened. I did fly for about 5 minutes without any issues at even farther distance... but then, just a horizontal travel about 50 feet away in distance at eye level and the motors just simply stopped spinning and it dropped to the ground. I've done this pattern thousands of times without issues.
     
  10. race3

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    nope, I am more than 5 miles away from Boston Logan airport and there are no other airports nearby my location. Besides even in that instance, it's supposed to land.
     
  11. Shrimpfarmer

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    I agree this is probably not related to the firmware upgrade. Lots of people have flown on it and I think there would have been other reports by now. I can understand your linking the update with the problem though. I think everyone would.

    I would suspect the main battery connectors. I think the data pin fault was corrected in a firmware upgrade some time ago. If they fail to make contact I thought all thats supposed to happen is you get a message on your screen. Before that fix the motors stopped.

    I can only suggest logging your claim with DJI and hanging on that telephone. There have been several more optimistic reports on improving customer service recently.

    Good luck
     
  12. race3

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    Thanks. I can only shed one more piece of light into this puzzle, but i'm not sure it's related. After the crash, the battery was found separate from the copter. After I came back upstairs, I pushed the button on the battery to check its level and it's only blinking at the first level. I know for a fact that the battery was fully charged with 4 lights just prior to take-off and i flew for 5 minutes max. Even more, I never had any battery warning and it was full % upon takeoff on the iOS app screen. So, either the battery went bad mid-flight or the impact of the crash damaged the battery causing it to only show 1 bar when the button is pushed. thoughts?

    From my perspective, it's just so coincidental that it happened after upgrading the latest firmware. But I understand that could be a coincidence... just such an odd one since I fly fairly often.
     
  13. Gonzoshots

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    I reverted back to 1.08 firmware after updating to 2.0 then 3.0 because the craft would not maintain elevation and overall general decrease in control. After reverting the craft controls the way it used too ie. very good response and feel. It was very easy to revert since the DJI software never uninstalls the previous version of the Assistant software, my PC has versions 1.0, 1.02, 1.08, 2.0 and 3.0. I simply ran the executable for 1.08, plugged in the Phantom, checked for updates and it said I could "update" from version 3.0 to 1.08, seems any variance from the current version is seen as an update, this happens to make things very easy. I did have a lingering issue, that is my Gimbal Tilt switch no longer worked, it stopped working after the update to version 3. I have the Zenmuse H3-2D gimabl. It was solved by recalibrating the X1 stick in the assist software.
     
  14. jimdenburg

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    I wonder what the life expectancy of these batteries is? It just seems there are a lot more instances of this happening, just in the past several days on this site anyway. Most of them seem to be from people who have lots of flights under their belts=more run time on their batteries. You wouldn't think a "smart" battery would behave like that in any even though.
     
  15. Gonzoshots

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    I reverted back to 1.08 firmware after updating to 2.0 then 3.0 because the craft would not maintain elevation and overall general decrease in control. After reverting the craft controls the way it used too ie. very good response and feel.

    In response to the life expectancy of the batteries, of course there is a life cycle for all batteries and is very dependent on how they are treated ie. if they are not completely discharged every 20 charges you can damage the battery, I was amazed at the number of discharge times some of my batteries had. There is also a Percent of Life readout in the Assist Software that I'll be keeping an eye on.

    Might be interesting to start a new thread and have pilots tell how many discharges their batteries have on them and possibly see if there is a correlation between Discharge Times, Percent of Life etc.

    After reading the warnings I went through and completely discharged each battery and then recharged to 100% just to be safe.
     
  16. Shrimpfarmer

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    I think that battery is a very serious suspect in this. Get it plugged in and examine its stats via the assistant software. I would also plug in a battery, take the props off and with you tx turned on start up the phantom. Then tilt it about and give a bit of a shake and see if you can recreate a power outage. Have a close look at the cable connectors inside the battery bay. Thats where people have found a problem before. Battery is suspect number one though at the moment.
     
  17. lgeist

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    I had something similar happen to me back in January with a new P2. After 6 minutes on a fully charged battery my bird made a slow, controlled descent into a lake (not a vortex ring state, I was flying horizontally when it started losing power). I had some directional control but not enough power to maintain altitude even though the lights were flashing green, not red. I lost everything and never did determine exactly what happened. I wrote a two page letter to DJI explaining the incident in detail, but never heard back.
     
  18. enseth

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    I have read that these type of batteries should never be 100% discharged. DJI recommend discharging to 8%, using the App to monitor batery charge levels, every 20 recharge cycles.
     
  19. Mori55

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    I stop flying it at 20%.
     
  20. gecarey

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    Re: WARNING REGARDS LATEST FIRMWARE! LOSS OF MOTOR PWR IN FL

    Sorry to hear about the crash as well....
    I have been flying my P2 non-vision quite a lot(2-3 hours/day) over the last month and a half or so. I have noticed that the original battery it came with has been decreasing in the "Life Expectancy" column of the software( as expected). The second battery is dropping as well in its life cycle. That being said, I have also noticed that "Battery 1" flattens out voltage wise much faster. To explain... When the 30% mark is activated, there is a significantly shorter time between 30% and auto land @ 15%. Battery 2 does not have the same discharge curve at 30%, there is time to actually, throttle up and fly for a additional minute or so, within 2 or 3 feet of the ground for survivability.
    Is it possible that your battery had a discharge failure ???
    I have to say, I am not tremendously happy with the, what seems to be a short life with these batteries. We pay a bloody fortune for these things, there should be a better life expectancy on these things(or a much cheaper price). Yes, I am very familiar with rechargeable batteries, how to treat them and charge them. With other non-Lipo(ni-cad or metal hydride) batteries, both for flying other R/C stuff as well as ground based things there is a longer discharge curve... read more time for the battery to go flat. The tradeoff is a lower available amperage rate, so begins the paradox.
    Higher discharge rate(available amperage) shorter running time(shorter lifespan). Lower discharge rate, longer running time(longer lifespan). If I had to guess, your battery may have been near the end of its" life" charge wise.
    What was the "life % " indicated on the battery ? As a rule of thumb, I have always taken batteries out of " Flight Status" for lack of a better term at the 50% mark.
    The other question for the 2.0 and 3.0 people out there, do you notice anything different with the " battery monitoring" update that came along with 2.0 ? I am flying 2.0 and have not noticed anything different. I am not sure if it was a firmware thing for the battery itself, or the Naza reporting.....

    Rambling on, but hopefully it makes sense.....