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Phantom 2 first impressions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ududidj, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. ududidj

    Oct 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    I have been flying a Phantom 1.1 since late last summer and it has been wonderful (always wanted an RC craft as a kid but couldn't afford it- I did model rocketry instead- also expensive but maybe more controllable at the time). Yet, as I was shooting video on it with my GoPro Hero3+ (of which I just returned 3 of them to GoPro due to that terrible low DF issue on the early models.. doh), I was always wanting a gimbal to smooth things out. I didn't have one and had to be content with a few seconds here/there for nice footage. At the time, I didn't want to try to do all of the upgrades to a new board and such.

    With the current generation of Phantoms, I was hesitant to purchase, mainly because of the larger battery costs (I already have 15 P1 batteries and 5 chargers) and of all of the bad battery reports, crashes, etc of the P2 series scared me off. Still, with the P2 available with a ZMuse gimbal, it was just too tempting. So, I went for it and took it out for a flight last night.

    I was mainly interested in how it compared in handling to the P1 since I have so many flights on the P1 bird. Some pilots here stated the P2 seems sluggish and like it had a load in its pants. Compared to my P1 bird, it was nothing but the opposite. The P2 felt snappy and simply was able to haul-*** in comparison for speed. I'm not looking for speed but was just surprised by how much faster it felt. I got about 19 mins of flight time with the ZenMuse and GP3+ on there, doing random hover, return-to-home, high speed and other tests. Seemed good!

    The gimbal simply kicks *** and is so needed for any video work. I love the pitch control, though I wish I could make it super slow (like 10 seconds or more) to make the transition more gradual and useable (for my stuff, anyway). I'm also enjoying a newer model GPH3+ without the horrid DF issues the early ones I had exhibited...

    ... essentially, I need to go re-shoot all the stuff I previously gathered. I am up to 5 batteries but still *need* more so I don't have to try to re-charge on the road, in the desert dust in my Taco. So expensive though!

    Still, I have a question/wish list that some here might be able to help me out with:
    1) Head light. I love the 24LED one I have for my P1 that I could plug into my battery. The P2 ZenMuse doesn't seem to have a port like I've read about to hook one up. So, what are my options?

    2) Field battery checker. I like to check my batteries after flight for voltage. I can't find any yet for the P2. Could hook up to the PC in the field, but this seems like too much to just check a battery level.

    3) Prop balancer. The search function on this forum blows. I get better results via Google. Still looking for a USA source similar to the awesome stainless steel version someone in the UK was shipping for a while.

    4) Anyone test that $5 12V car charger for the battery yet?

    5) GoPro Hero3+ lens protector. I have two. I sacrificed one to try to get it to fit well with the gimbal installation. Trimming around the protector failed and it still sucks and mis-fits (crooked). So, I'm flying it bare-backed which I would rather not do. Any good options out there? I've considered taking the Dremel to the gimbal bracket but just seems sooooo bad to do so. It's minimal as-is.

    6) P2 gimbal vibration dampers- what are people finding to work well? I am using the stock black ones and they seem good. So, I'm not intent on changing at the moment.

    7) Gimbal limits. I noticed that the gimbal shuts down when the roll is such that the gimbal is up against the gimbal mount vibration dampers (you can hear it sort of struggle and then just stop). It recovers on a power cycle but not in flight (that I can currently tell). I tried to adjust the roll limits in Naza, but seems to have no effect on the gimbal with whatever settings I try. Is there anyway I can limit the gimbal roll amount on this P2 setup so that I don't have it shutting down in flight due to excessive roll? I'd like to dial it in so that it won't have the option of hitting the mounts and shutting itself down.

    In conclusion, and as expected, my P1s are boxed up for training friends on this wonderful hobby (with prop guards, LOL). I might tinker with some board conversions on one of them for a gimbal install for a backup to the P2. I've got a brand new digital Weller iron that is still looking for a first use.

    Overall, very happy with the P2. Also, no jello noted out of the box with the current setup. Sweet!
    Thanks. Love this forum, save for the search function.

    Fly on...
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