Prospective Phantom 3 Advanced buyer seeking advice

Jul 28, 2021
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Hello. First post here. I am looking to get started with FPV drone flying as a hobby. I have tentatively identified DJI Mavic 1 Pro or Platinum and Phantom 3 Advanced as two models that should be good basic flyers, not cost me a bundle to get started, and that probably won't leave me feeling an urgent need to upgrade in short order. I have posted several questions on the Mavic Pro in the Mavic Pilots forum, and gotten answers to serve as a basis for my pursuit of a used drone. I do have a few initial questions specifically regarding the Phantom 3 Advanced. First, I see (mostly older) threads on this site about DJI deliberately crippling the Phantom firmware so as to prevent flying with non-DJI batteries, OTOH, I see a number of compatible batteries listed on Amazon for $50 - 60 with quite good recent reviews, and no mention of this issue. Is this still a potential problem, or something that is now completely in the past? I also see an issue of cracking of the structure at the base of the motor mounts. This seems to have been common at times (possibly a bad batch from the factory). Those threads also seem to be fairly stale. Is there a current consensus on how to prevent this problem from occurring, and the best remedy if it has occurred? Finally, there are two local (I won't buy any drone unless I can see it fly, in person) Phantom 3 Advanced examples listed for sale on FB Marketplace. First, one for $300 for a unit with spare props but only one battery that claims little use. Unfortunately, so far the seller is being coy about a demo. Second, one that claims to have only been flown once (nearly NIB) with two batteries and a case for $500 (recently reduced from $750). I did a quick scan of on-line offerings, and both of these units seem to be fairly priced. I'd like some thoughts on that from experienced flyers, as well as any other pre-purchase advice you might deem appropriate. Thanks!
We've had my (my Son's) P3A from new back in 2016 and have one original DJI battery and one compatible battery about three years old, and never had any issues with either during any firmware updates.
I fly with latest firmware but check what firmware any you might buy has. If you look back through any of the drone forums by far the most common complaints about drone not working is following a failed firmware update so yes, make sure whatever you buy, flies, and then leave it alone!
Never had any issues with motor mount cracks. This will usually happen from over tightening the mount screws, the motor impacting something or possibly too aggressive flying, a lot of twisting, turning and braking.
Check the life left/charges on any battery, make sure they're good. Download the manual to check how to do this or do an Internet search. It's all about pushing the button.
Good luck Sam.
So, I have agreed to buy a low-time P3 Pro from a local guy. Comes with 3 batteries, spare props, Pelican case and some other misc, stuff. The bad news is that it is having a problem binding the aircraft and the controller. The seller says he is too busy to figure it out, and too busy to fly, anyway. I did quite a bit of research, and my conclusion is that this issue probably shouldn't be difficult to resolve. Found a good thread on this board,among other places. I got decent price reduction for taking the risk. The guy has a footprint in the local hospitality business, and a reputation to protect. So, I doubt that he is shining me on, and I'm pretty sure I could get some kind of remedy from him should there be a major problem beyond the comm issue. Should be picking this up next week. I look forward to getting the comms working and taking a test flight :)
When you get it, first things first, what firmware have the components got installed?
What are you going to use to fly it, iPhone, Android????
Thoroughly check out the batteries. If it hasn't been used for a while they will probably need some TLC to bring them back to life.
When you get it, first things first, what firmware have the components got installed?
What are you going to use to fly it, iPhone, Android????
Thoroughly check out the batteries. If it hasn't been used for a while they will probably need some TLC to bring them back to life.
Understood. My intention is to use an unconnected Android tablet (I'm not at all an Apple guy, and I'm a cell phone philistine who tries to keep my use as simple and basic as possible:) I will need to identify the specific tablet, which probably relates to the version of GO 3 and through that to all the versioning information you mentioned. I see that it gets a little complicated. Fortunately, in my 38 years in IT before I retired I became accustomed to this kind of "stuff", so I'm not intimidated :)
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Well, I usually don't have any difficulty making a decision quickly and sticking to it (for some reason, my wife calls that "obstinate" behavior...) but between the parts availability issues and upcoming remote id requirement, I backed out of my agreement to buy the P3 Pro. I now think I'm going to bite the bullet and buy a new Mini 2 Fly More package. Since it is under 250g, it should allow me to avoid both compulsory registration and remote id requirements. Range compares favorably to the P3/Lightyear combination and it does have FPV capability. It should be more than adequate for learning and recreational purposes. I was pleasantly surprised at the pricing. Thanks to all here for their help and advice.

Good decision iamsam. I'd probably do the same if I could afford it but as an 82 pensioner I'll have to stick with my (son's) old P3A. It flies well and for the amount I actually use, it's just fine.
Happy flying.
I'm sure the P3A is an OK choice as well as the Mavic 2. When I was searching for my DJI bird, I considered those, too. Then I found a deal on a nearly new P4P v2 with 2 batteries with about a dozen flights on each. It was immaculate and the demo flight was impressive. With 12 props, I paid $600. I also picked up a nice case, a iPad 4 Mini (WiFi, 128GB) and DJI goggles racing edition for $300. For $900 total I'm having a blast and glad I didn't settle for anything else.

So, the point is, deals are out there. You just have to search around to find them.

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