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What should I do at this point - first crash

Discussion in 'Phantom 1 Help' started by nauzerlvr, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. nauzerlvr

    Aug 27, 2014
    Likes Received:
    If you all would take a few moments to bear with me on this and offer suggestions, I'd really appreciate it. You guys are the experts so your opinions will definitely be appreciated.

    I've been researching and wanting to get a DJI Phantom for quite some time now and lo and behold, one popped up on Craigslist one hour before I looked at it. Turns out, a lady ordered it for her husband who had survived a heart attack. She thought it would be something he would enjoy outside. He didn't even know what it was. So I bought it from her - in a completely unopened box sealed up, never opened . It's the DJI Phantom 2 with the H3-3D Zenmuse Gimbal. I bought it for $650.00. Got it all assembled with no problems, even the gimbal, installed a GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition.

    After a first successful flight, then a second, I plugged in a using my Mac, upgraded the firmware on the Phantom and the controller. After a few tests all seemed well. Then the problems started. First the camera would only point down. Moving the switch on the back of the controller only resulted in a slight attempt at movement. I went back to the computer and calibrated everything I could find. Then tested again. The gimbal was now working just fine! What a relief.

    Go outside, fire it all up and get a great test flight. All is good now.

    Then the day I went outside to do another test flight and the Phantom fires up. However, here's where the problems begin... It wouldn't develop enough power to lift off. Freshly charged battery in the Phantom and in the controller as well. Turned off everything, repowered up, calibrated the compass, set the home point, everything done correctly. Fired up the Phantom and it shot straight up - completely without any control from the remote. It wasn't responding to any input from the controller at all. I went into panic mode, flipping all the switched from GPS mode and back, everything, then I flipped the switch on the back, the one that should drop the camera into the down position and the Phantom suddenly lost all power and fell probably 50 feet onto the grass.

    - The battery popped out of the back, cracked but still on. I shut that down.
    - Turned off the controller and began to access the damage to the Phantom
    - Front part of the landing skids was bent, not broken but bent. I straightened them as best I could
    - The gimbal is a complete loss, all bent up
    - GoPro hasn't got a scratch on it! It world fine. Too bad it wasn't on at the time. (Well played GoPro, well played)
    - All motors but one work fine. the unfortunate one will spin but will not develop power.
    - I'm not sure about the electronics inside although they seem fine.
    - The Phantom had one arm that I had to loosed up and pop the two halves back together, no other visual damage.
    - Battery still works but the casing is cracked, making it a bit difficult to insert into the Phantom.

    My questions are pretty simple, should I send this off to have it properly repaired and if so, where to? Or should I attempt to repair it myself. I'm not at all sure why it did this, whether it was the controller of the Phantom. Something is definitely wrong though to cause it to just take off on it's own. I guess this is a "flyaway/" And my biggest question is why would the Phantom suddenly shut down because I flipped the switch on the bcd of the controller? Makes no sense to me at all.

    One thing I do know, you all know your stuff and if anybody can guide it's, it's you!

    I'm planning to use this for aerial video (obviously) and not wondering if I should just pack it in an not put any more money into this, buy a new one and use this one for parts, send it off for repairs, try to repair it myself, or order the low end one.... any help or guidance will be appreciated. Thanks in advance everyone.

  2. Buckaye

    Aug 24, 2014
    Likes Received:
    First of all... sorry for your crash... that sucks.

    Second - for the gimbal issue - there's two places to calibrate the controller. You calibrate the sticks in the RC assistant software - and you calibrate the gimbal control in the phantom software. I had the same thing happen to me (little movement) and once I calibrated it worked fine. But - of course... that's the least of your problems

    When you updated the firmware, did you check the calibration of the IMU? It sounds like you updated everything, but it's hard to tell with the "I calibrated everything I could find" statement :)

    It doesn't sound like you're too confident in how the quad operates (not a criticism - just an observation) - so I would suggest you take it to a dealer and have them repair it. The motor thing sounds pretty complicated - and who knows if you cracked the GPS module.

    I can't give you advice as to whether you want to "just get a new one and use this for parts" except to say - a new one will be way more than you got that one for :) I can't imagine the repair costing more than a replacement since it seems like the bulk of the bird is in tact.

    Good luck - Alex
  3. nauzerlvr

    Aug 27, 2014
    Likes Received:
    I bought a new motor and installed it myself. Flys fine now but I really don't trust it right now, like a dog that has bitten you before..
  4. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 9, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Amory Mississippi
    Well buddy if ya don't have faith in it now you be careful where you do fly it !!! I have sent mine to Texas before I started doing my own stuff and it was to UAVDirect and can give you the guy's name and # to call about having them check it out . Really hate to hear of your crash as I do know how ya feel !! As far as that dog..... well it can bite ya again if something is off in your bird .
  5. IflyinWY

    Sep 12, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Where the deer and the antelope play
    Hey Nigel,
    Instead of hijacking this thread, why don't you delete this post and start your own thread.
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