Phantom 3 pro purchase. Can you help please?

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#1
im looking to get into flying drones but I’d rather not spend too much money on this as it may all end in tears or non-usage!
I’ve seen a bunch of P3 pros on Facebook and a few local sites going for around £400, which is at the very top end of my budget. Is there anything that I should look out for when buying - I don’t know a thing about drones and can’t really afford to get ripped off!
Are these drones reliable and are they expensive to repair is they go wrong?
Finally, am I being foolish to even think of buying a second hand drone - I’d like to get a dji Spark but I really can’t justify £579 for a new one..
Any help would be most welcome!
 

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#2
im looking to get into flying drones but I’d rather not spend too much money on this as it may all end in tears or non-usage!
I’ve seen a bunch of P3 pros on Facebook and a few local sites going for around £400, which is at the very top end of my budget. Is there anything that I should look out for when buying - I don’t know a thing about drones and can’t really afford to get ripped off!
Are these drones reliable and are they expensive to repair is they go wrong?
Finally, am I being foolish to even think of buying a second hand drone - I’d like to get a dji Spark but I really can’t justify £579 for a new one..
Any help would be most welcome!
The P3pro and Advanced (they are almost identical) were very good drones but have been superseded about three years ago.
If you could find a gently used example, it could still be a good acquisition - but one that's been abused or had a hard life would not be a good buy.
You would definitely need to have demo flight to ensure that it does everything properly and get a feeling for how good/bad it might be.
 
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#3
Its very difficult for anyone - even the 'experts' to fully check-out / diagnose a 2nd hand purchase. So many tiny things can be in error but appears fine.

BUT the main thing is that with 2nd Hand - you usually get far more for your money ... I bought a 2nd hand P3Pro and I have never regretted it. I paid 600 Euros and rec'd a hard backpack case .. spare battery ... spare props .... Later it did need to go to DJI for repairs after a failed FW change, but really that was not fault of being 2nd hand ... and they found a slight distortion to the gimbal arms ... but otherwise it was fine. The arm worked fine and I never detected any problem.

I am still flying that Pro today and very happy with it.

I have to admit that I already had reasonable knowledge - I was upgrading from a P3Standard ... so I first of all before going to view - I asked the seller to have his tablet etc. ready to fly the Pro - to save my having to register it to my tablet etc. I gave it the general 3D motion checks and hovers ... all was fine.

You can also download the logs of it - but then you need internet connection to decipher all the info - IF he left logs on the machine ...

Above may sound a bit scary - but many people buy 2nd hand P3's and have good use out of them. The Pro is worth the money but if you are only wanting a machine for geneeral video / photo use and not wanting great range (which falls outside legal anyway) then the Standard or Advanced could save you a bit of money. But be aware that the Standard can be a bit hit or miss on range due to its WiFi control system.

Nigel
 
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#4
Hi Homeyjay

You don't say where you are located, but I had a quick look on ebay UK and there are some examples below £400.00. As the other OP's have said, but I would also add this, Ask to see a close up picture of the underside of the arms where the motors mount, you should look for and ask if there is any small cracks around the motor mounting screw holes.

Also ask the seller if they could make and send you a video ( using a mobile phone or camera with date stamp) showing a flight close to the ground, say with an altitude of 3 meters with the bird just hovering, and then doing a slow Yaw rotation, look for a good attitude lock, where the bird hardly moves around at all when hovering, and does not drift when doing a Yaw rotation. Ask them to video the whole flight using the on board cameras highest resolution.

If they are happy to do this and you like the results, then you should be OK.

Good Luck
Waylander
 
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#5
Hi, I’m in the UK, in South Wales.
Have to say all of this is scaring me off a little from buying a used one! There are obviously so many things to go wrong and most sellers don’t seem to particularly forthcoming with things like sales receipts and purchase dates. Most of them are a ‘couple of months old’ and ‘hardly used’!

I’ve asked a couple of sellers for more info and have just had single word answers and not much else. Perhaps time to save for a new one..
 
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#7
I've bought all of my driver's second hand. Look for cracks on the shell, full movement of the gimbal, inspect the motors for corrosion and dirt. Have them fly it to so you can see if there is any wobbling or odd movements. Check the batteries for cracks and swelling.
 
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#8
im looking to get into flying drones but I’d rather not spend too much money on this as it may all end in tears or non-usage!
I’ve seen a bunch of P3 pros on Facebook and a few local sites going for around £400, which is at the very top end of my budget. Is there anything that I should look out for when buying - I don’t know a thing about drones and can’t really afford to get ripped off!
Are these drones reliable and are they expensive to repair is they go wrong?
Finally, am I being foolish to even think of buying a second hand drone - I’d like to get a dji Spark but I really can’t justify £579 for a new one..
Any help would be most welcome!
You cannot go wrong with choosing the P3P, you can go wrong by choosing the wrong one. I personally bought a used P3P last October and do not regret it at all.
I also own a Mavic Pro but the P3P becomes my bird of choice if it is windy. I personally believe it handles the wind better.
IMO, the Spark is not a good choice.
Others have told you what to look for when buying a used drone, the only thing I would add is to have someone else who knows drones to help you make that decision. If you go by yourself it is possible for you to be carried up in the moment and overlook something.

Jim from West Michigan
 
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#9
Those are sensible words, thank you. I was just wondering if there was a register of user groups in the uk so I could perhaps try and find a local one and ask for help. Not sure where to start looking for that though!
 
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#10
I have to agree with JamesVG ... we have P3's, P4, Mavics, Sparks in our club and also a few others I know outside of the club.

The P3P is the one that seems to hold best in gusts etc. Its a good steady platform and because its End of Line - BUT still supported by DJI - bargains can be found. Its a good machine ... its the heaviest of them all - that's probable reason why.

Nigel
 

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