Did I buy a lemon?

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Hi all!

My first post here at Phantompilots! Glad to be here! I'm a new and aspiring drone pilot and loving learning about the hobby.

I purchased my first non toy drone a few weeks ago off of Craigslist. It is a Phantom 2, but I really have no idea if I got my money's worth or not! (It's a sunk cost now anyway, so whatever. I'm having fun with it and learning a lot so it's worth it there)

One thing that's bothering me is one of the propellers is striking the body of the drone. It barely grazes the drone, but it hits. I can't see any visible damage, but the drone has obviously been crashed. Maybe the body itself is just tweaked a tiny bit making the prop strike the body? See the following pics:

20201021_204454.jpg
20201021_204714.jpg


Frankly, the drone seems to fly fine, albeit it's a bit noisy. But I am wondering if there is any tinkering I can do to try and tweak this motor or prop back into a more straight position? (The prop itself is brand new, and I've tried multiple props on there as well. Seems like the motor or drone body is out of whack a bit)

Secondly, I'm trying to figure out what actually came with the drone. I haven't opened it up yet, as I honestly wouldn't know what I saw at this point, but I'm trying to figure out if the accessories that came with it puts me into the 'got a good deal' camp or 'got screwed over' camp. So, tell me what you think!

I paid $200 for the drone.
It came with two batteries...however one of them is shot. Not sure if I can repair it? The second battery works fine.
It came with a charger.
Came with a DJ6 Remote Control.
Came with a really nice hard sided case made by 'Armor'.
Came with a 7" FPV monitor and one antenna. No idea on the brand of this monitor. The monitor has connections for two antennas.
It has a few extra connectors hanging off the bottom of it which I'm not sure what they are. (My guess is that the previous owner had a gimbal and a go pro, but kept those.)
It came with an extra Antenna and box of some sort which I have no idea what they are. See the following pics for the connectors and antenna.
20201021_205904.jpg
20201021_210046.jpg


Notice in the picture with the connectors, there is an additional connector attached to the leg of the drone. Again, I have no idea what any of these connectors are for.

So what are your thoughts? Did I get a lemon or not? And hopefully your answers will lead me in the direction to take to get this drone rigged up with a camera and FPV! That's my final goal! (I'm aware I'll have to buy a Go-Pro and Probably the Zenmuse H3-3d gimbal, just curious what other transmitters et. al. that I'll need)

Stoked to be here! Thanks for any help you can offer!
 

Meta4

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So what are your thoughts? Did I get a lemon or not? And hopefully your answers will lead me in the direction to take to get this drone rigged up with a camera and FPV!
That's my final goal! (I'm aware I'll have to buy a Go-Pro and Probably the Zenmuse H3-3d gimbal, just curious what other transmitters et. al. that I'll need)
Write it off to experience, it's going to cost more than it's worth to get it going properly.
The evolution of drones has moved on massively since the days of a P2 like that.
The soon to be released Mavic Mini 2 is 10x as much drone for only a little more.
 
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Yes, it's been crashed and in the 2nd photo you can see where the arm is bulging out on the joint. I may be wrong but near the motor it looks like there could be a crack which has been covered up with some sort of white compound.

If it flies then, as suggested above, you could just live with it and maybe move onto a newer model in the future. It's not ideal flying it like that but it could be good enough for you to gain some beginner experience.

However, you might be able to do a simple fix - BUT all at your own risk. If it were me I would take the propeller off, loosen off all the shell-securing screws on that arm and then carefully apply some gentle heat from a hair-drier or heat gun, keeping the heat moving around and along the middle of the arm all the time. Be careful not to overheat any area... Be cautious in heating and try to bend it as detailed below now and then - and if it won't bend easily, then return to the heating process once more.

Get hold of the arm in both hands and bend it very gently downwards. Pop the prop back on and you will be able to see when you have obtained an appropriate clearance between the prop and the body. When it looks OK leave it to cool down and then re-tighten the screws, but not too tightly as in the past some models have cracked as a result of over-tightening.

As said, if you choose to do this then it's all at your own risk and be especially careful if that IS a crack near the motor.

As regards the other bits and pieces - most of your assumptions are probably correct IMHO. The duff battery might just have 'gone into hibernation' or it may well be shot. Search (magnifying glass, top right) already done for you here - see below) for possible ways to 'jump-start' it in the former case. I wouldn't start taking it apart as you probably can't repair it if it's worn out anyway.

You can also find answers to many other questions you may have by using the search facility here... ;-)


(LATER) Here you go - an arm-straightening vid on Youtube.

 
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Fantastic! Thanks for the replies! I've got a heat gun on hand so I think I will try the repair. I figure the drone isn't probably worth all that much, so it's a great training drone all around. Not a big deal if I crash it, bend it, break it, re-use it. (Sorry about the daft punk reference)

I'm also very excited to give the battery fix a try. I had no idea that batteries even had that 'hibernation' mode. So here's to crossing my fingers that the battery will come back to life!

Any ideas on what that antenna is all about on my 3rd picture? I'm guessing its an antenna for FPV? It also as Rx on it, so that means it's the reciever right? And I'm assuming there should be a matching one that says "Tx" on it which I don't have? Am I thinking about this right?
 
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Fantastic! Thanks for the replies! I've got a heat gun on hand so I think I will try the repair. I figure the drone isn't probably worth all that much, so it's a great training drone all around. Not a big deal if I crash it, bend it, break it, re-use it. (Sorry about the daft punk reference)

I'm also very excited to give the battery fix a try. I had no idea that batteries even had that 'hibernation' mode. So here's to crossing my fingers that the battery will come back to life!

Any ideas on what that antenna is all about on my 3rd picture? I'm guessing its an antenna for FPV? It also as Rx on it, so that means it's the reciever right? And I'm assuming there should be a matching one that says "Tx" on it which I don't have? Am I thinking about this right?
Thanks for the reply and I'm glad you found the comments useful.

My guess is that if you open up the black casing attached to the 'RX antenna', (I may be wrong) then you're probably more likely to find some sort of oldish VTX transmitter in fact, but open it up if it's easy to do and have a look.

I have a similar pair of antennas and yes, the other of the pair has 'TX' on it, not that I've ever used them as they are nothing special. 1 Pair Tx/Rx RP-SMA 5.8GHz Circular Polarized Mushroom Antenna RC Multicopter | eBay

Good luck with waking up the duff battery - but be careful!... Be very careful with the heat gun too...
 
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Carrying on... The 4th photo shows a board with a VTX connector (does the 3-lead black box cable in photo 3 plug in here?). The other connectors seem to be for some sort of external On-Screen Display (OSD) system, presumably for flight parameters, such as height and distance etc, etc.

As Meta4 has already stated, it's not financially nor technically worthwhile trying to source all the parts/camera/gimbal etc to fly it as it was being flown before.

But straighten the arm if you can, fix the 2nd battery if you can, fly it around a bit just for learning - and then get something a bit newer.
 
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Yes, it's been crashed and in the 2nd photo you can see where the arm is bulging out on the joint. I may be wrong but near the motor it looks like there could be a crack which has been covered up with some sort of white compound.

If it flies then, as suggested above, you could just live with it and maybe move onto a newer model in the future. It's not ideal flying it like that but it could be good enough for you to gain some beginner experience.

However, you might be able to do a simple fix - BUT all at your own risk. If it were me I would take the propeller off, loosen off all the shell-securing screws on that arm and then carefully apply some gentle heat from a hair-drier or heat gun, keeping the heat moving around and along the middle of the arm all the time. Be careful not to overheat any area... Be cautious in heating and try to bend it as detailed below now and then - and if it won't bend easily, then return to the heating process once more.

Get hold of the arm in both hands and bend it very gently downwards. Pop the prop back on and you will be able to see when you have obtained an appropriate clearance between the prop and the body. When it looks OK leave it to cool down and then re-tighten the screws, but not too tightly as in the past some models have cracked as a result of over-tightening.

As said, if you choose to do this then it's all at your own risk and be especially careful if that IS a crack near the motor.

As regards the other bits and pieces - most of your assumptions are probably correct IMHO. The duff battery might just have 'gone into hibernation' or it may well be shot. Search (magnifying glass, top right) already done for you here - see below) for possible ways to 'jump-start' it in the former case. I wouldn't start taking it apart as you probably can't repair it if it's worn out anyway.

You can also find answers to many other questions you may have by using the search facility here... ;-)


(LATER) Here you go - an arm-straightening vid on Youtube.

maybe sell that monitor and use the money towards a much much better p3s (phantom 3 standard) which go for $200 - $250 range.
 
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Good call. I've actually been wondering what the best direction to go with the hobby is. I know this is personal preference, but I've seen a lot of video of some pretty gnarly looking racing drone footage. Essentially backflipping over the edge of a cliff, then flying straight down the cliff edge and swooping up just before the ground, or flying into and out of abandoned buildings at high speed etc. (although I fully appreciate majestic, slow moving panning shots as well and I would love the ability to tilt the camera remotely, which I don't know if that's an option with a racing drone)

I'm leaning toward going in that direction. But I think a racing drone might get my skills up way faster than buying a 'standard' camera drone. I've already purchased the DCL flight simulator, and I was considering selling this drone and parts for a decent transceiver. I was leaning toward buying myself a Taranis X9D Plus, and starting off by plugging it into my flight sim and getting good that way. I'm assuming that'll get my skills better rather than using an xbox controller.

Thoughts?
 
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Good call. I've actually been wondering what the best direction to go with the hobby is. I know this is personal preference, but I've seen a lot of video of some pretty gnarly looking racing drone footage. Essentially backflipping over the edge of a cliff, then flying straight down the cliff edge and swooping up just before the ground, or flying into and out of abandoned buildings at high speed etc. (although I fully appreciate majestic, slow moving panning shots as well and I would love the ability to tilt the camera remotely, which I don't know if that's an option with a racing drone)

I'm leaning toward going in that direction. But I think a racing drone might get my skills up way faster than buying a 'standard' camera drone. I've already purchased the DCL flight simulator, and I was considering selling this drone and parts for a decent transceiver. I was leaning toward buying myself a Taranis X9D Plus, and starting off by plugging it into my flight sim and getting good that way. I'm assuming that'll get my skills better rather than using an xbox controller.

Thoughts?
How about this?


St-Petersburg's a nice city - I lived and worked there for many years..

I've seen fast drones with a controllable gimbal - but I've never seen a racing drone with one, as they are built mainly for lightness and speed.

You can go in any direction or all directions that you want, depending on how deep your pockets are... :)
 
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That's exactly the type of video I was talking about! Thanks for the share! :D

Although I can't help to be a little bummed that those base jumpers (or what looked to be base jumpers to me) didn't jump, and have the drone fly after them. That'd be a fun shot! Just as long as you got the drone out of there before they had to deploy!
 

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