First Flight...Can't Wait for Tomorrow

Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
48
Reaction score
24
Age
32
Location
Portland, Oregon (USA)
I got talked into working a short afternoon shift today that, I knew if I didn't accept, my Phantom wouldn't come so I accepted it and sure enough, I got the call that it was in. I grabbed it in the two hour gap I had between shifts and when I got back to the office, I had a solid 45 minutes before having to go back out on the road again. One of the other drivers kinda conned me into putting the Phantom together and taking it out into the parking lot for a quick test.

Now as I stated in my 'hello' thread, I was planning on doing my first flight in a large middle school athletic field but couldn't help myself. My first 'flight' so to speak was me doing auto-takeoff, rising to about 8 feet, moving to the left and right a bit and then landing. Not exciting but enough to know the thing works. I put the Phantom back in the car, plugged the battery in to charge in the break room and headed out for my three hour shift.

So when I finally dropped off my last passenger, I burned rubber (metaphorically speaking) back to the bus yard, hopped in my car and drove probably three blocks down the road to a wide-open baseball field where I took off in the last hint of dusk. I did probably 15 minutes worth of flying until I noticed the sprinklers in the area near me had come on so I landed the Phantom and headed for the car.

I noticed a couple things that show me this is a very sensitive piece of equipment and definitely not a toy.

- Got several errors about the bias value being too small or too large. Placing the drone on a level surface combined with a reboot usually solved this although sometimes it took a couple times.
- A few times I got an 'IMU Calibration Required' message which also vanished after several minutes.
- The gimbal also seems to be VERY sensitive to load and a few times I got an 8-pin connection error which also solved itself shortly after showing up.

I got the Phantom up to about 150 feet in altitude but didn't let it get too far from me as I'm still definitely a novice pilot here. I never had an issue with controlling it in flight or bringing it in to land although I'm not going to do any more dusk/night flights...just too hard to see the stinkin' thing.

I'll be heading out again tomorrow before work so stay tuned for a daylight flight update. Overall I'm totally smitten with this thing and can't wait to take off again.
 
  • Like
Reactions: IflyinWY

4wd

Joined
Mar 31, 2014
Messages
2,532
Reaction score
430
Location
North York Moors
You need do an IMU calibration if you're seeing that message.
Actually I'm a bit concerned about your other warning messages - they seem unusual..
You shouldn't be getting any warnings flashing up other than perhaps compass error if you carry it near metal.

Do a full IMU when it's cool and immediately on starting - have app ready to go.
,
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
3,470
Reaction score
945
Location
Where the deer and the antelope play
You need do an IMU calibration if you're seeing that message.
Actually I'm a bit concerned about your other warning messages - they seem unusual..
You shouldn't be getting any warnings flashing up other than perhaps compass error if you carry it near metal.

Do a full IMU when it's cool and immediately on starting - have app ready to go.
,
+1
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
48
Reaction score
24
Age
32
Location
Portland, Oregon (USA)
Thanks, guys. I'll do an IMU calibration in the morning.

Also had to do a CSC just a little while ago...totally my fault. I clipped a wall with one of the props while trying to steer the thing away from some sprinklers it seemed intent on visiting. The spinning props hit the wall and the P3 turned turtle, going into wide-open throttle when it did, I'm assuming trying to get itself airborne again. Out of habit I reached for the thing and a little voice in the back of my brain said, "That's a really stupid idea. What did you read about for emergency shutdown?"

So I brought both sticks in at 45º angle and 100% application and she shut right down. It felt like forever but I doubt it was more than a few seconds. Not only am I glad to have that CSC function but I'm glad I knew about it. So this means I already toasted all four props as chunks are missing out of the edges that made contact with the wall and the colored nubs are worn down from spinning balls-out on the concrete. I don't feel comfortable using them again as they are almost certainly out of balance now so I fitted the remaining four that came with it. I hope replacement spares are cheap.
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
73
Reaction score
9
Age
74
You certainly have had an action packed start. Even if it seems to be flying OK with the new props you should hover close to the ground for the next flight or two because there could be motor failure.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
48
Reaction score
24
Age
32
Location
Portland, Oregon (USA)
You certainly have had an action packed start. Even if it seems to be flying OK with the new props you should hover close to the ground for the next flight or two because there could be motor failure.
Will do....I sure hope not, though. :(
 
Joined
May 9, 2013
Messages
451
Reaction score
152
Location
South West, England
Sounds like you are having a fun start, but double check the manual and read sections on IMU calibration and compass calibration before flying again so that you know its all set and ready to go.

Props are cheap, get the order in now though to ensure you have spares to continue flying.

Hope the other error message goes away as that one did sound unusual.
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
2,248
Reaction score
460
Location
Virginia
Take thirty minutes and read the manual. I know we get antsy to fly but you need to learn how to do a preflight check and be sure every thing is in order befor flying. You are lucky you didn't experience a flu a way with the IMU error. If all the sensors are not calibrated and set up for your area and environment it is disaster waiting to happen. To do the IMU you quad must be level front to back and side to side. Use a level and check from the top of each motor shaft. Put pennies dimes , credit cards or even paper under the feet to get it level. Then calibrate the remote control,sticks and finally outside away from metal objects calibrate the compass. Calibrations are the upmost port ant feature to ensure yor craft will fly properly and come back. Key also is having 6 or more GPS satellites and be sure you get home lock before taking off. Happy flying and enjoy!
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
4,308
Reaction score
936
Location
Indy, USA
Wow...what a mess. If you don't take those error messages serious, you will find yourself in a bad predicament. Preventative maintenance is very important.

Good luck, and hopefully all goes well for you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: snerd
Joined
Jun 17, 2015
Messages
132
Reaction score
53
Age
62
i know its hard not to jump out and start flying, but really read what everyone has said above.
Taking a Phantom up to 150' that needs an IMU calibration,( you didn't mention if you did a compass calibration) is a great way to have a remote with no quad to go with it (either a fly away or its in pieces),,,

Just slow down a little, take it in baby steps,,build your skills,,it is a LOT of fun
 
Joined
May 5, 2015
Messages
2,640
Reaction score
1,586
Location
Oklahoma
Glad you're bird has made it okay, so far. This is just another example of how the Phantom is not a pull-it-out-of-the-box-and-fly-it copter. It should be un-boxed, checked for latest firmware, if needed, install it, then do an IMU calibration on a perfectly level surface, then an auto gimbal calibration. Then you'll need to calibrate the remote controller.................. the sticks and also the left gimble wheel. Last but not least, first area of flight the compass needs calibrated. Then and only then should it be started up and flown..
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Messages
453
Reaction score
159
Age
53
Location
Texas
Wow.. great thread... My P3A is being shipped now and I'm so excited but reading this thread has helped me realize that once I get it in, before going out and taking the first flight I really need to do the preflight stuff and calibrations. I've been flying an X5C for a while getting used to the flight and remote work but that thing is just a toy. If it lands in a tree or falls from the sky, it's no big deal. Got to get into the correct mindset with the P3A...
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
4,308
Reaction score
936
Location
Indy, USA
i know its hard not to jump out and start flying, but really read what everyone has said above.
Taking a Phantom up to 150' that needs an IMU calibration,( you didn't mention if you did a compass calibration) is a great way to have a remote with no quad to go with it (either a fly away or its in pieces),,,

Just slow down a little, take it in baby steps,,build your skills,,it is a LOT of fun
Andy, I'm also one to jump right in and let things play out as they come. But honestly it's a different world with the P3's. I spent a lot of money last year because it was always some other reason for why a crash happened rather then the legitimate reason. I can go on about this but wont.

The manual does lack detailed info in it but it is like your best friend and can be helpful. It's good to learn as much as you can from the manual.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2015
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
Texas
Wow.. great thread... My P3A is being shipped now and I'm so excited but reading this thread has helped me realize that once I get it in, before going out and taking the first flight I really need to do the preflight stuff and calibrations. I've been flying an X5C for a while getting used to the flight and remote work but that thing is just a toy. If it lands in a tree or falls from the sky, it's no big deal. Got to get into the correct mindset with the P3A...
I was in the same boat, I went from a Parrot Bebop ($500) to my P3P. I spent the first 2-3 weeks after I got the P3P reading the forums, taking advice from the 'veterans' and reading the manual and watching videos. Went as far as ordering and waiting for the quick disconnect prop guards before flying it to just be safe for the first couple weeks of flight. Definitely learned a lot of proper ways to prep for flight through using patience and reading :)
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2015
Messages
621
Reaction score
194
Age
55
So the first day (read 2 hours) with my P3 and the first time I flew my P3 I turned it on in the break room where I work. Well had no GPS signal so it would not start the engines. Picked the P3 up and set it outside, couple minutes later had a GPS lock, cool, took it back to the break room and set it on the table. About a minute later could not stand it, CSC and we have ignition, WooHoo! Papers a flying and up with the stick, Take Off! oops down down down and back on the table she goes, CSC and not that again for quite some time, whew!
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Messages
453
Reaction score
159
Age
53
Location
Texas
How useful is it to fly the virtual app for a while before the first flight??
 
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
65
Reaction score
31
Age
62
Location
Alabama
You will get how the sticks work, which is not that big of a deal, you are going to figure those out very quickly anyway. You do get to see the app actually working, albeit it is only a sim, but you can see the "gauges" and things. I did it once and haven't used it again. Maybe let my granddaughter play with it, she's 5 and goes with me when I do fly.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
48
Reaction score
24
Age
32
Location
Portland, Oregon (USA)
Well I did an IMU calibration and adjusted the gimbal roll to compensate for my rather crooked horizon that appears to be a pretty common problem with these. Thanks to all who chimed in but I ordered my P3P late last month and did a great deal of reading and research (including the manual) before it showed up. I also did a compass and gimbal calibration before the first test hover in the parking lot at work. I'm not saying it makes me an expert (far from it) but I feel I know at least one thing better than somebody who just took it out of the box and flew.

That's not to say there's always something new to learn. :)
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2015
Messages
6,014
Reaction score
2,675
Location
Yorba Linda, CA
Wow.. great thread... My P3A is being shipped now and I'm so excited but reading this thread has helped me realize that once I get it in, before going out and taking the first flight I really need to do the preflight stuff and calibrations. I've been flying an X5C for a while getting used to the flight and remote work but that thing is just a toy. If it lands in a tree or falls from the sky, it's no big deal. Got to get into the correct mindset with the P3A...
Yes, and you'll likely be prompted to reprogram all the firmware in the bird and controller before you fly, so get ready for some work, fun stuff though. YouTube has a lot of good tutorials on these things. I spent a good 8hrs reading, YouTubing, programming, non-flight testing, calibrating, exploring the Pilot App, etc. Lots to learn before your first flight. Just take your time. I flew mine this morning for the first time, all went well fortunately, I left it in Beginner Mode. Tomorrow I may unleash myself!

I have been flying Yuneecs Q500+ for 3mos, no crashes, so I'm comfortable flying a quad. I've flown RC craft for over 40yrs! the P3P is so much more capable, faster, responsive and complex to learn than my Q. I really like all of the detailed controls of the P3P, especially the ability to slow down the gimbal panning speed to a crawl, very very nice feature my Q doesn't have. One thing I miss is the super quiet stealthy low noise level of my Q. This P3P is pretty noisy in comparison, like a herd of bees ;-). I wonder why there's such a big difference when the Q is a larger and heavier bird. Seems strange.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
48
Reaction score
24
Age
32
Location
Portland, Oregon (USA)
Well after the IMU calibration, all my error messages went away so that should tell all other newbies....CALIBRATE YOUR IMU!!!

Thanks for the tough love, everyone. I took her out again before work this morning and it seems my little mishap last night caused no permanent damage. Up, down, left and right like a....Pro.
 

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
135,408
Messages
1,401,077
Members
98,632
Latest member
jeannot44