Hands on experience Phantom 3 - 4K plus Inside the hood Pictures

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Having enjoyed a unusually warm day here in the UK for April I made the best use of the opportunity by spending several hours with the Phantom 3 - 4K.

I have taken several photos to illustrate how the 2 phantoms compare - apologies for not editing the photos as I have been doing this just before I dash off to work,

First impressions is that the Phantom 3 looks exactly like a Phantom 2. It fits in the case that I use. No modifications needed to the case apart from trying to fit the slightly bulky Inspire type controller in the recess. The Phantom 3 feels lighter in comparison to the Phantom 2. Once in the air you wouldn't be able to distinguish a Phantom 3 from a Phantom 2 Vision + unless you could clearly see the larger camera that is mounted

Props are look the same from the top (9450 style propellers) but the hub is different - the new propellers do not have a metal backing on the thread. I initially did not notice this as I did not look inside the thread of the props.

Battery is same size but different voltage - there is subtle differences in the connector that stops you inserting the wrong battery around. I tried it - cannot interchange (well I wasn't trying to blow things up but concerned I might accidentally pick up the wrong battery when I am heading out)


Here are different views of a Phantom 2 battery and Phantom 3 battery for comparison side by side

Notice the larger contact area for the smart battery connection on the P3. Bigger square area possibly to stop problems with 'No starts'


DSC02136.JPG


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Front of battery looks exactly the same

DSC02138.JPG


The charger is hefty - much better cabling than the Inspire 1 charger that has relatively thinner battery cable. I like this hefty charger that looks industrial and well made. I assume this is the charger that comes with the Professional pack and the Advanced will have a different charger.

DSC02144.JPG


Bottom view of the Phantom 2 Lightbridge vs Phantom 3 - notice smaller LED pods. The camera looks like the Pv2+ but the larger flatter lens makes video amazing to see without fisheye. Gimble looks more beefier but I wouldn't rate its chances if it crashed.


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From the top it looks the same apart from the Gold DJI labelling

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DSC02140.JPG


I haven't had time to upload any video today as I was busy testing the various antenna configurations for my long range project on my PV2+. I can only say that the Video downlink is exactly the same as my Lightbridge unit. Seeing this on the DJI Pilot app instead of the Lightbridge app is a joy and gives a similar experience to the Inspire 1. There is no noticeable lag it is nice to be able to start and stop recording like the PV2+ and take snapshots. This is something I could not do on the Lightbridge Phantom using the Go Pro.

I will spend the next day or 2 weather permitting doing a max flight time and max range check

Inside the Hood....

DSC02161.jpg


Page 6 - Inside the Hood pictures In more detail with closeup photos

Range
2 miles minimum

Battery life
18-20 minutes in 30mph rough winds - this is as rough as you want possibly want to fly the aircraft
Proves how tough this aircraft really is.
23 minutes in gentle flight

Battery
4480mah 15.2V battery (68W) - I will be intending to do a 5%-100% charge time to report the charge cycle from start to finish of a depleted battery

Charging
The charging unit of the Professional has extra capacity - will this charge a battery faster than the regular or will the extra capacity allow remote and aircraft battery to charged together at the same time. I believe the Intelligent battery circuitry decides charging rate. I don't have a regular charger of an Advanced to compare.

Memory cards
I have tried a 64GB Sandisk memory card - it works well.I will buy a 128GB to see if it works for higher capacity.

4K footage consumes 7360K a second
Will try other resolutions to see how it compares
Max file size on card is 4GB -it will split files during a typical flight

Photos - approx 5000K per photo



Props
New hub - the P3 Props look similar to the P2 props from the top. Turn them around and you will notice that there is no metal surround on the thread. Do not use P2 props on P3.

Carry Case
For all intents and purposes the P3 will fit in a P2 case. There are subtle differences - I have no problem fitting the aircraft in all the P2 carry cases I have with me.

Remote
Very similar remote to the Inspire1 remote. All White instead of Silver and White of the Inspire1. No Landing gear slider switch on the return to home button. Hold the H button down - it will start beeping and flashing to initiate a RTH.

Holder can accommodate Tablet size of 6 3/4 inches / 17cms max width - accommodates- Ipad mini 2 / Nvidia shield/ Nexus 2013 and works well. Clever design enables smaller devices to be clamped

Left shoulder has Gimbal control, switch for PAF (Unclear if IOC will be implemented) and record button
Right shoulder - Jog wheel for moving between recorded footage
Play button
Single silver button ? function
C1 and C2 rear buttons that can be programmed
Sticks can have their length adjusted
My Inspire1 remote will pair with the P3 - I have not tried to pair a P3 remote with an Inspire1!

Video downlink
720p high quality - no notable lag. Works best on the newer tablets - Ipad mini 2/ Mini 3, Nvidia Shield etc Very stable - in my opinion better than my Lightbridge units.

GPS
Acquires a fix very quickly - I have seen at times 16 satellites on the screen.

Indoor flying
Yes the system works and makes it possible to fly indoors. Not sure if would take my hands off but maintains height and does not drift.

Auto landing
Works really well.

Auto take off
Not tested

VIDEO and Photos - uncompressed

DJI Phantom 3 DNG files
DNG attachment https://www.dropbox.com/s/wmfe5b3u4s9zj3e/DJI_0025.DNG?dl=0

DNG attachment https://www.dropbox.com/s/t6vkm1mbzat8fzy/DJI_0024.DNG?dl=0

DNG attachment https://www.dropbox.com/s/5jjj2eqh03jar43/DJI_0021.DNG?dl=0

Uncompressed Video in Mov format

https://www.dropbox.com/s/az4qmcsu61xx9ol/DJI_0026.MOV?dl=0

 
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That charger charges at 5.7amp, whey faster than you should charge a 4480 mah lipo for best battery life and safety. Dji have all ways charged under 1c so surely they are not going to start charging faster than the Standard Industry recommendation for charging a lipo.
 
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Just looked now and the inspire charger only charges at 3.8amp. If the final P3 charger tips up with that amp charge rate i will not be using it that's for sure.
 
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What about the hubs?
Looks the same - it looks like your regular phantom 2 hub. I realise the propulsion system is supposed to be the new E310 motors. I am not seing a change in the tread , shaft diameter in the P3 I got. There maybe further changes in the model that ships at the end of the month ?
 
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Just looked now and the inspire charger only charges at 3.8amp. If the final P3 charger tips up with that amp charge rate i will not be using it that's for sure.
I would always buy this beefier charger. Unfortunately it cannot be used to charge Inspire batteries
 
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Its the amp it charges at that is concerning me, Charging a 4480mah lipo at 5.7amp will decrease the life span of that lipo considerably. It will charge it faster yes, but not as good for flight time and will defiantly decrease the battery's life span. Charging it at 4.4amp or slower will give the battery its best flight time. If that is the charger they send out with our P3s then Dji are going to sell a lot of batterys over the next couple of years for these birds.
 
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Its the amp it charges at that is concerning me, Charging a 4480mah lipo at 5.7amp will decrease the life span of that lipo considerably. It will charge it faster yes, but not as good for flight time and will defiantly decrease the battery's life span. Charging it at 4.4amp or slower will give the battery its best flight time. If that is the charger they send out with our P3s then Dji are going to sell a lot of batterys over the next couple of years for these birds.
Not sure - I charge my Race car lipos at 4C - pump around 20amps into 5amp packs and charge it in 15 mins. A slight increase of 1.25C charge rate is not likely to make a significant shortening of lifespan if the cells are designed that way.
 
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Nice, looking forward to the max flight time test and the max range distance check, Premierclean do a wide range carpet cleaning service lol.
 
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Thanks for the review, can you please measure the total height compared to your vision+?
 
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Nice, looking forward to the max flight time test and the max range distance check, Premierclean do a wide range carpet cleaning service lol.
Funny this is where I take apart RC trucks - the motor oil / shock oil is very difficult to shift
 
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Thanks for the review, can you please measure the total height compared to your vision+?
My vision 2+ has extenders on it as it has a dronexpert quick release modification that allows me to install the Go pro 4. So it is not a accurate comparision
 
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My guess is that the pro version charger that states charges at 100w which is a lot for a little charger by the way and in reality that drops of with small cheaper chargers as a rule. It would take a transformer of good good size to do that constant, so they are making up for it by cranking up the amp it charges at to charge it faster, yes it will charge faster but that will come at a price, that being over time shorter and shorter flight times with every charge.
 
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You must have hell of a charger to do that, thanks for the update and pics by the way seems i have done nothing but rant since you put the post up. I would personally never charge above 1c with my car lipos i use nano tech and gens, each to the own. Anyway i can sort my charge problem easy. The main problem i have is waiting to hear from someone if the CE and FCC setting can be changed. Please please tell me you can answer this, oh please.
 
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You must have hell of a charger to do that, thanks for the update and pics by the way seems i have done nothing but rant since you put the post up. I would personally never charge above 1c with my car lipos i use nano tech and gens, each to the own. Anyway i can sort my charge problem easy. The main problem i have is waiting to hear from someone if the CE and FCC setting can be changed. Please please tell me you can answer this, oh please.
There is no option I can see that changes FCC / CE in hardware - it may be a software switch that might be in the final version of the app. I am using the Inspire1 DJI Pilot app.

the charger is a 70amp charger that can parallel charge at ridiculous amps using a 100amp 48V Power supply as its input

http://www.giantshark.co.uk/product/173234/icharger-4010-duo
 

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My observations (subject to photo quality, some already assumed):
>Gear different, Complass moved to horizontal portion of landing gear, new vertical sections reinforced,
>Smaller LED lens with 2 LED modules, thus new lower half of shell at least,
>Main battery contacts shifted towards center to prevent use in P2 and vice-versa,
 
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My vision 2+ has extenders on it as it has a dronexpert quick release modification that allows me to install the Go pro 4. So it is not a accurate comparision
Understood, how about just a measurement of the P3 total height with and without props.
 

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