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  1. smithcferg

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    Hi. I am a new Phantom 4 owner, and new to hobby aircraft too. I purchased it a short time ago and it is within warranty period, and I didn't purchase the extra coverage extended warranty.

    I have experienced two problems, and DJI is trying to get me to send the drone in for repairs, and I am wondering if I will just be billed by them for repairs that I caused to some extent. Or if there is even anything wrong. I would appreciate your thoughts on these two issues, so that I can better decide whether I really need to send this bird in to get its wing fixed, or if this is just an unwarranted vet bill!

    Prob. I
    I flew the drone for a number of flights in beginner mode quite successfully, slowly expanding on the flight time and area covered. One day I was flying (again in beginner mode) over a lake and I wanted to go a little beyond the restricted boundaries of beginner mode, so I switched to GPS mode <first time> (strong satellite signal) and took the P4 up higher, and a bit farther out. Everything was fine for about two minutes, the suddenly the drone started to slide to the left (from its perspective) even though I had my hands off control sticks. I fiddled with it to try to get to return but it was just flying off . . . I hit return to home, and it flew up to the prescribed height, sped back to my location, and started to descend as it arced off to the right, and again I was madly trying to bring it in but to no avail. It flew behind a boulder, and I could see on my google map that it was changing course as it was descending. I pushed the left stick up to try to get it to stop descending and also spun it around, which I found out later slowed it down. I was able to hike up the hill and find it by flipping between my location on google maps and its last location on the map view in DJI GO.

    I looked at the txt flight log and noticed that when the flyaway occurred, the right joystick was sending input as though it were pushed to the left, even when I wasn't touching it. That was causing the P4 to slide to slide to the left. My actual attempts to stop it just mixed with that input, so it was acting in an abnormal manner. I hit RTH, and then the P4 flew straight up (apparently ignoring the right controller input) and then flew straight back to where I was at more than 30 mph (again, ignoring the right controller input) and then starting landing, at which point it was again influenced by the slide to the left command, and by my shenanigans trying to keep it up (so it didn't land in the lake). I was fortunate that I turned the P4 so it slid into the hill rather than the lake. I also noted from the log that the actual hillside touchdown was much more of a landing than a crash, as the velocity numbers were very low at the end of the log - mostly a little lateral movement. When I found the P4 she had landed on a manzanita bush, and apparently one of the props had hit the brush, and popped off, generating a "motor obstructed" error.

    We have flown the P4 quite a few times since, and it has worked well every time. My questions: Is this remote control broken and in need of fixing? It is important that this doesn't happen again. Is it just a calibration issue (it has worked other times just fine)? Do you think it is important to have the P4 checked for internal damage in this situation?

    Issue 2:
    Remote Video System Error/Horizontal tearing of the video camera image on phone, sometimes with a horizontal magenta line
    When we first got the drone, we were getting this error every flight, with lots of tearing on the phone screen. Pics and video from the sd card onboard were just fine. This was happening when the drone was not far from the remote, perhaps 50 ft. Later we brought the drone in to the shop where we purchased it, and he ran at least one calibration on it (IMU) and updated some firmware. We no longer get the error, and the video to the phone is better, but there is still some horizontal tearing to the phone, even when we are flying the P4 within a baseball field area of the remote control, at an altitude of about 60 ft. Is this typical? Something else I have to calibrate? Need to have DJI look at this? I was expecting a rock steady signal with the advanced lightbridge function that they use.

    All useful input will keep me flying straight, and help me to decide whether it is worth sending this in for an evaluation.

    Thanks in advance,
    Craig
     
  2. smithcferg

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    I wanted to add, on the flyaway above (Prob 1), the txt flight log definitely showed that midflight there was a continuous unchanging "PHANTOM" input being sent out by the right joystick from 6 min to almost up to the end of the flight.<RcAileron value of 817 to 837 according to the log, instead of 1024 for center position>.
     
  3. Sinisalo

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    DJI is very fair in their evaluations. If the problem was caused by them, they will pay up for it. If on the off chance they say you have to pay repairs then usually just a friendly dispute will eventually lead them to cave and repair your bird (if it really was their fault and they are just resisting). If you believe it was their fault, I would insist on them sending you a return label so you won't have to pay for shipping too. Turn around time is very quick too.
     
  4. With The Birds

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    It may be as simple as the RC needing a stick calibration.
     
  5. MacCool

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    Yeah, that's where I'd start. Recalibrate everything in RC Assistant.
     
  6. smithcferg

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    So both problems - intermittent centering issue on right joystick and poor picture reception when the p4 is close - can be caused by calibration problems? If so, I will definitely recalibrate in RC Assistant <something I have not attempted yet.>
     
  7. pelermon

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2016
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    I sent mine in on 9/19/16 / gimbal tilt - 2 hour labor and about $25 parts -
    If I get it next week I will consider myself lucky.
    It has been very frustrating that it should take this long.
    So - Send it back for replacement if you can.