my take after 2 months

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May 19, 2014
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My first post so be kind with criticisms. :D

Bought Phantom 1.1.1 version late May and have been flying almost every day since. This was my first quadcopter and I probably should have started with something cheaper and smaller. Learned a lot in over 200 flights tho. Thought I would share some insight and opinions on the Phantom.

  • This is a great hobby and if you have the time and money pull the trigger, you'll not regret it!
    This hobby isn't cheap, but if you have the patience to do a little research there are ways to keep costs minimized.
    You're going to crash the Phantom. Accept that fact and try to minimize damage by flying under control.
    If you're going to get into aerial photography, do more research before buying. Better to start with something cheap (I'll explain why below) then move up to more expensive ones.
    Read the manual several times before you fly the thing.
    Become able to identify the light sequences without thinking about it, they are trying to tell you something important.
    keep the payload minimized, even a few grams here and there can add up quick and greatly reduce flight time.
    Every once in a while take all the extras off the quad to lighten up the load and fly it naked. You'll be surprised how long your flight times increase and this put into perspective that each added gram counts.
    Find a local hobby shop, visit them often, talk with them, pick their brains. They will eventually save you some day.
    2200 mHz batteries are standard and work well, but 2700 are better and 3000 are about the max. Be sure the dimensions of the battery will fit if you upgrade.
    fly cautiously even after you get the hang of it.
    Get a better battery charger (dual if you can afford it) than what comes out of the box with the quad, you'll not regret it.
    Get a A kitchen countdown timer to remind you when to land.
    Get one of those gizmo's that check for battery power and put it in your pocket. Always check batteries for full charge before using.
    If you're climbing and the red LED flashes relax, it's just the load on the battery. If you are hovering and see the immediately!
    Hard landings are going to happen.
    Use a spotter with great focus and eyesight especially if you're flying far distances
    Get to know how to determine the quadcopters orientation while flying close, that will pay off when it's way out there.
    If you lose sight of the quad, don't panic. The return home will work if you practice good flight setup.
    Test out the return home feature after reading the manual, knowing how it works and before you NEED it!
    Learn how to solder, that will save you money and time.

My config:
Phantom 1.1.1 w/gimbal control level already installed on transmitter.
Stella Gimbal & Shareways gimbal mount made from 3D printer.
Balanced carbon fiber props (9" that are for Phantom 2 work great and increase flight times)
Prophet Sport Duo battery charger.

I originally bought the cheaper CNC gimbal from China and learned how the gimbal works. One day it just stopped working mid-flight. I then went to the Stella gimbal and haven't looked back since. That gimbal is the lightest out there I know about too. GoPro 3 only tho!
Jul 26, 2014
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Thanks for the help. I'll add a couple after a few flights from a FNG.

Don't fly on the windy days unless you like high adventure, especially when it's gusting.
Prop guards :lol:
Avoid sandy areas, if you set down hard and get sand in the prop motors it's a PITA.
Fly close to you to learn what the heck is going on, flying out further or higher is not the time to be guessing what to do. :mrgreen:
Print out the helpful posts here on flying modes, the light sequences etc. Put them in your gear bag.
Ditto on the spotter with good eyes, if you're older you're not going to be able to see the Phantom well at 100 yds. Preferably a good looking spotter. ;)
Don't solder when nekkid, trust me on this.
Oct 24, 2022
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This is a great hobby and if you have the time and money pull the trigger, you'll not regret it?


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Premium Pilot
May 9, 2014
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Amory Mississippi
This is a great hobby and if you have the time and money pull the trigger, you'll not regret it?
Sorry but this thread was made in 2014 and the member hasn’t been on since 2016 so he’s long gone.
That in mind I’m closeing this.
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