I don't yet have a Phantom, how to find a good deal on the used market?

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To start, I have a Spark and a Mavic 2 Pro, occasionally I think it might be nice to round out the collection with a Phantom. They pop up frequently on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, generally with only the most basic description, usually only one or two pictures, and almost never any proper name to help me discern what version it is. Often, I get the feeling the sellers don't really know what they're selling. Searching this forum it appears this is a fairly common occurrence, there are a number of posts of people asking for help identifying their new find.

Short of asking each seller for a model or serial number is there any way to at least discern what the basic model is so I can pare down the choices and not waste time on an early/outdated design?

Obviously, the various colored stripes on the arms jump out to my eye, gold, red, blue, etc. Do these colors mean anything?

Thanks!

Ryan
 
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To start, I have a Spark and a Mavic 2 Pro, occasionally I think it might be nice to round out the collection with a Phantom. They pop up frequently on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, generally with only the most basic description, usually only one or two pictures, and almost never any proper name to help me discern what version it is. Often, I get the feeling the sellers don't really know what they're selling. Searching this forum it appears this is a fairly common occurrence, there are a number of posts of people asking for help identifying their new find.

Short of asking each seller for a model or serial number is there any way to at least discern what the basic model is so I can pare down the choices and not waste time on an early/outdated design?

Obviously, the various colored stripes on the arms jump out to my eye, gold, red, blue, etc. Do these colors mean anything?

Thanks!

Ryan
I would suggest visiting the DJI site. Loads of documentation for the Phantom series. Even within each series, there are variations and it can be confusing.

My Phantom 3 Standard has the red decals. My Phantom 3 Pro has Gold. I think the decals got dropped with the Phantom 4. Don't know what series had blue. The colors are merely decals and as such can be removed and replaced with different colors.

The standard and professional will have a label placed directly above the camera. My P3S is silver and it clearly reads Standard. My P3P has a gold label and clearly reads professional.

The controller is also a clue. The Standard controller will have one antenna, the professional has 2.

Personally, I would avoid any seller who does not know or claims not to know what they're selling. That's a clear indication they are not the original owner and as such no telling how they acquired the drone or where it's been. Buy local if you can. That way you can meet the seller and actually see the drone in action. There are countless stories of people who purchased off of e-bay with a litany of issues asking for help to identify what's wrong with their drone. If you must use e-bay, research the seller carefully.

Hope this helps!
 
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The number of antennae on the controller is some guide as has been mentioned.
Coloured decals on the arms are not absolutely definitive, mine came with decals of all the colours on waxed paper etc. it's easy enough to peel one set off and replace them with another.
That said I'd only buy something like this on a site where the site can force the seller to accept a return at their cost etc. e.g. ebay in the UK. Never been on Craiglist or facebook so I haven't a clue about them. In the same vein payment by the likes of paypal or credit card, i.e. where the money handler is 'independent' and a reversal 'enforcable'.
When I was buying on ebay I ASKED for the serial numbers for the drone and the controller and possibly the camera/gimbal & charger, preferably in photos. The reasons being
1) You can check that the seller has sent what they advertised &
2) The seller can check that you, if needed, have sent back the correct item.
Ok serial numbers not an absolute guarantee with this DJI stuff since the serial numbers are on stickers but.....
Also DO ASK about cracks in the arms under the motor mount and any problems, battery life and the number of charges.
DO NOT try to look at an advert through rose tinted glasses, if you want something clarified ASK!
Adverts with little info are not a selling point, nor are reticent sellers !
Save any photos from the adverts and correspondance
 
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To start, I have a Spark and a Mavic 2 Pro, occasionally I think it might be nice to round out the collection with a Phantom. They pop up frequently on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, generally with only the most basic description, usually only one or two pictures, and almost never any proper name to help me discern what version it is. Often, I get the feeling the sellers don't really know what they're selling. Searching this forum it appears this is a fairly common occurrence, there are a number of posts of people asking for help identifying their new find.

Short of asking each seller for a model or serial number is there any way to at least discern what the basic model is so I can pare down the choices and not waste time on an early/outdated design?

Obviously, the various colored stripes on the arms jump out to my eye, gold, red, blue, etc. Do these colors mean anything?

Thanks!

Ryan
The bad news is many sellers don't know what they have. The good news is many sellers don't know what they have. Occasionally there's a good deal on eBay and you can get your money back if you get a dud. I went to FB Marketplace and found a P4P V2.0 in mint condition (with two batteries that had only been charged twice, charger, cables, extra props, etc). They also included the DJI racing goggles which were still in their sealed box. They wanted $800 for everything. I gave them $900 and still felt guilty. Deals are out there. Took me 4 days to find mine.
 

Capt KO

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I would suggest staying with the phantom 4 line. Even though most are discontinued, they are the quality that you are used to already. I have had good and bad luck with eBay. Have purchased a few on craigslist with good success and able to haggle an excellent price. Those have all worked out well. In person you have an opportunity to check out the batteries which has been a problem for me with eBay, bad batteries which turned a good deal upside down.
Watch for deals on the forum here, as well. Some great, some Not.
Good luck
 
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I have good luck with both the Mavic Pro and Phantom 4 series by purchasing refurbished aircraft. We get them either through the DJI store or a vendor such as DroneNerds or Carolina Dronz. You get everything that came with a new one, plus factory warranty included. Not a bad way to go if you want some confidence in what you're buying.
 
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The bad news is many sellers don't know what they have. The good news is many sellers don't know what they have. ......................... their sealed box. They wanted $800 for everything. I gave them $900 and still felt guilty. Deals are out there. Took me 4 days to find mine.
Having read the first bit I was going to ask if you are Jackie Chan aka Mr Miyagi.........then read the second bit and decided I didn't like you, lol. Lucky beep beep
 
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my take is to avoid used p3p's cause the chance for no image is very high do to overheating
 
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ha! sacastic much! ;)
i know its common knowlege for experienced p3 peeps but the 'no image transmission' do to overheated gimbal boards may not be so known to noobs to p3.
No sarcasm whatsoever. I've owned my P3P for two years. Never a problem, nor have I read any other threads about P3P losing image due to overheating. I have heard people advise using a fan during updates to avoid overheating, but that's it.

Maybe you could post a link to some examples. Maybe I'm missing something?
 
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No sarcasm whatsoever. I've owned my P3P for two years. Never a problem, nor have I read any other threads about P3P losing image due to overheating. I have heard people advise using a fan during updates to avoid overheating, but that's it.

Maybe you could post a link to some examples. Maybe I'm missing something?
i still feel like u must be joking me cause it has been talked about here SO MUCH and u are not new.
i did put a link in my last post, but here is a link to the troubleshooting chart that peeps go to. it was made cause the issue is seen so much:

@quaddamage @Oso @KachemakDiver @Fly Dawg can u guys give more? sori if it turns out that @LarBear360 is punking me. :p
 
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All drones break. All flash memories de-program over time. I don't think the chance of issue with Ph3 Pro is much higher than in other drones due to design. It may be higher today only because the drones are older. There is a design flaw, like in many products; but it isn't critical.

With Ph3 Pro, when you have the issue, you at least have a known and well-documented way of fixing it.
For Ph4, in comparison, you can't even calibrate gimbal. Threads with people asking for help are short and rare there not because the drones do not break, but because from the information available, people see there is no chance to get technical help.

Just to show an example for the above - some time ago I started linking to the DaVinci fix in Ph2 section (P2V and P2V+ also have the same chip), and suddenly more and more people started getting involved. Before, from the information available, they assumed posting about that would go nowhere.
 

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i still feel like u must be joking me cause it has been talked about here SO MUCH and u are not new.
i did put a link in my last post, but here is a link to the troubleshooting chart that peeps go to. it was made cause the issue is seen so much:

@quaddamage @Oso @KachemakDiver @Fly Dawg can u guys give more? sori if it turns out that @LarBear360 is punking me. :p
I’m not sure what you’re looking for @JoBe since there’s already a large amount of related info on the forum pertaining to the “No Image Transmission” problem. The link you posted earlier is a good start I’d say.

I’m not the resident expert, so I’ll leave it to the others such as @quaddamage or @KachemakDiver to provide more technical feedback. I did however find an old post of mine with a small amount of non-technical background info. I hope it helps shed some light. Cheers!
 

KachemakDiver

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IMHO, and from prior experience with many P3P ‘s, the usual cause of the “no image transmission “ is caused by doing a firmware update without using a fan aimed at the gimbal board. I did it with my very first P3P. That sucker gets warm enough to smell it! Then after you smell it, go ahead and touch it. It made me a believer.
Guess where I learned about it,,, right here on this forum! From the likes of members @Oso, @quaddamage, @Capt KO.
I have read about the board loosing flash memory also. For that reason, I fire up all my P3P’s at least once a month. Especially during the winter months when it’s to flippin cold out for me to enjoy my drone time. Better safe than sorry!
It’s not to technical to use common sense.🤔👍😎
 
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To start, I have a Spark and a Mavic 2 Pro, occasionally I think it might be nice to round out the collection with a Phantom. They pop up frequently on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, generally with only the most basic description, usually only one or two pictures, and almost never any proper name to help me discern what version it is. Often, I get the feeling the sellers don't really know what they're selling. Searching this forum it appears this is a fairly common occurrence, there are a number of posts of people asking for help identifying their new find.

Short of asking each seller for a model or serial number is there any way to at least discern what the basic model is so I can pare down the choices and not waste time on an early/outdated design?

Obviously, the various colored stripes on the arms jump out to my eye, gold, red, blue, etc. Do these colors mean anything?

Thanks!

Ryan

I was waiting for the virus hype to calm down to put my Phantom 4 (basic model) on the market. I acquired a Phantom 4 Pro from my brother, so need to sell my first P4. It has been my baby and has been rock solid. Will post later in the Phantom classified.
 
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I’m not sure what your budget is, but I have a phantom 4.2 never crashed with 4 battery’s and a lot of extras. Private message me if your interested and I’ll get a more complete list of what I have.
 

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