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Erratic flyaway and crash of brand new Phantom 2 v+ 2.0
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romain.peigney
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Hi,

I would have loved not to make my first thread on this forum about a crash feedback, but there it is...

We (my father and I) have bought a Phantom 2 Vision+ v2.0 for Christmas and finally got a chance to try it out on this Easter week-end.
Everything seemed OK, the procedures had been followed thoroughly, stock propellers correctly screwed in, calibration had just been made, enough satellites in sight (I haven't had the chance to check this point at the moment of the crash, but there were definitely 7+ at take off four minutes before the incident).
Right after unboxing we had plugged the drone into a computer and updated all the firmwares. Since we are quite inexperienced we did not try to mess up with any other settings and in particular we left the drone in the recommanded "Phantom mode" (thus theoretically no risk of messing with the side switches).

Weather was good with a low wind (around 5mph) and we had been practicing for a few battery cycles (we bought three) at reasonable speed and rather low altitude (don't think we ever went over 150ft), always within sight, for learning.

We had took off for about 4-5 minutes and were hovering at about 70 ft on standard GPS mode when suddendly the drone went full speed on a sideway arc, bounced on a tree and crash landed a few feet below.
Quite fortunately it did not suffer too much damage, the tree had slowed it down and it fell on rather loose ground, we had a couple of broken propellers and three of the four gimbal dampers screws were missing (since there were only two spare of these in the pack we have ordered replacements but havn't had the chance to fly it again since then).

Even though we were rather lucky, this is quite distressing since we can't determine what happened and since it happened on our VERY FIRST DAY of flying the drone. The video of the crash event was damaged and when we got it back using the procedure described in the manual it stopped unexpectedly about 30 seconds before the crash, way before the events that led to it (the erratic flyaway before crash did not last longer than 8 seconds).

A wild guess though: could a gimbal damper has broken during flight, causing huge inbalance and thus triggering such an event?

Many thanks.

2015-4-7
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johnwarr
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The gimbal dampers are only held on by 2 of the plastic clips, so you only lost 1.
Trees and novice users don't mix, for practice find a large open area to fly in.
As for the cause of the accident, nobody knows, only you were there and can say if there were any sources of interference nearby.
As a precaution I would do full IMU calibration before flying again.

2015-4-7
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nrgwise
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From what you describe, the damper would not throw off balance enough to cause that.  
2015-4-7
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Raybro
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I don't think the damper had any effect on it if you were in GPS mode. The motors would compensate for balance. Sounds like all the other fly away stories. Typical as well that the video stops before starting the erratic flying maneuvers. Sad to hear.....and now DJI is introducing new models. Fix the ones you have!
2015-4-7
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kirk2579
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I am curious about the batteries.
You had been flying short trips around for a bit using them.
Do you recall what the % level on battery was at time you had crash?

food for thought!
had same thing happen, was videoing neighbor out with snow blower doing drive in Feb. Had the RC on strap on my neck.
it was hovering fine and I reached over to get something.
My jacket bumped the right stick and way it went and boy did that phantom bounce around the trees a second or 2 later. a few props and snow removal from everything and all good.

you only need the 2 of the camera posts  so get back out and try again ,
have fun and good luck
2015-4-7
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droneflyers.com
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What John said - and what the DJI manual says "Find a large open area for your first flights". Learn how to fly ATTI and switch to it when GPS problems occur.

The V2.0 does have more GPS glitches than the V3.0, so be careful...or send it in to one of the independent shops to have the GPS upgraded.

Never use the batteries when they are below 50% (don't take off again!).

http://www.droneflyers.com/2014/ ... m-fly-away-crashes/

My advice to add to DJI's:

"1. If this is your first quadcopter – don’t fly it! Buy a couple toy quadcopters and then perhaps a low price (stripped) Phantom 1 or older Blade 350QX and get a number of hours of flight time. This may end up costing you $50-$500, but just one crash in your Phantom can easily cost $800+ or even result in a total loss of your $1300 investment."
2015-4-7
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wazzupbeckham
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-4-7 21:38
What John said - and what the DJI manual says "Find a large open area for your first flights". Learn ...

I'm new too. Why fly in ATTI instead?  ^^
2015-4-7
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jtrjr
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Wazzup,

You don't need the GPS signal to fly in ATTI. It will drift with the wind. It's much harder to fly in ATTI and I haven't done much of it yet. It is one of the things that I want to practice a great deal when I get some good weather. If you lose your GPS signal it will automatically go in to ATTI so it can be devastating if you can't at least control the craft in ATTI. When the weather permits I'm going to park myself in a large open field with no one else around and really practice. From what I understand it takes much skill to fly this way.

Jerry
2015-4-7
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nrgwise
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jtrjr@yahoo.com Posted at 2015-4-7 21:57
Wazzup,

You don't need the GPS signal to fly in ATTI. It will drift with the wind. It's much harder ...

Jerry,
It really doesn't take skill, per se, to fly in ATTI - it takes paying attention more than anything.  One quick look away and you could drift/crash into something (obviously dependent on where you are flying).  Don't be afraid of it.  Fly the same as you would otherwise, just remember it takes stick movement to stop directional momentum.

Chris
2015-4-7
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adrianjacobs
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nrgwise Posted at 2015-4-7 22:08
Jerry,
It really doesn't take skill, per se, to fly in ATTI - it takes paying attention more than  ...

i agree.  I've been flying a lot in atti mode recently and once you get to remember that it doesn't stop dead when you centre the controls, it's relatively easy to fly.

Now manual mode... that's a whole new ball game!
2015-4-7
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nrgwise
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adrianjacobs@nt Posted at 2015-4-7 22:39
Now manual mode... that's a whole new ball game! ...

Manual mode is the reason I recommend flying something like a Hubsan first and really learning to fly it.  I flew one for months and months before getting the Phantom.  The first time I was "well, this ain't no $40 quad.  Do I really want to do this?"  I am amazed at how responsive and maneuverable the Phantom really is.  BUT, if you don't know how to fly manual, the Phantom should NOT be the quad you learn on, IMO.
2015-4-7
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droneflyers.com
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wazzupbeckham@y Posted at 2015-4-7 21:43
I'm new too. Why fly in ATTI instead?  ^^

As NRG says, become very familiar with it because it's what you need to do to save your craft during GPS errors. If GPS is screwy, home and course lock don't work - RTH does not work, only ATTI works!

Also, it will give you a MUCH better idea of how to be a pilot. Think of it as the difference between knowing how to run a motor boat or a sailboat. A sailor ends up knowing more, IMHO.

In this context, ATTI reduces the chances of losing your craft. The hardest part, IMHO, is not panicking when something happens...and switching to ATTI.

But, yes, as nrg states - take the craft up a bit so you can see the lights on the bottom - switch to ATTI mode and it should maintain height but drift with the wind. Switch back.

As drone operators we are "real" pilots. There is a reason they train pilots in simulators and stage various wind and weather events. Knowing how to deal with the unexpected will hopefully result in a longer life span of our machines.

FYI, I've been flying for years and crashed my new P2V+ into a tree recently. It was my fault - let the battery drain too much and it went into automatic RTH...while the quad was low and close to a lot of trees.
2015-4-7
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adrianjacobs
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nrgwise Posted at 2015-4-7 22:46
Manual mode is the reason I recommend flying something like a Hubsan first and really learning to f ...

Again, I agree.  i have a now very old and battered (but still working perfectly) Hubsan X4 on which I gained my "wings" (and lots of scratched and scraped furniture).  If you can fly one of those in a confined space, you can fly anything :-)
2015-4-7
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oakspi
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I had similar issues with mine on the first several flights in January.  After doing an Advanced IMU Calibration the issue disappeared.  I suspect the aircrafts sometimes get jostled around in shipment and effects the electronics enough to cause issues with flight until the IMU settings are corrected.  I almost crashed several times.  After 20 or more flights I know that it was not operator error when I did my first several flights. Do an Advanced IMU Calibration.  That is my thought!  I think it should be something for everyone to do before the first flight.  Other pilots who did not have the problem will likely dismiss the thought. It is very important to have the aircraft level during the calibration procedure.
2015-4-7
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nrgwise
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oakspi Posted at 2015-4-7 23:15
I had similar issues with mine on the first several flights in January.  After doing an Advanced IMU ...

For some reason people here seem to shy away from/not recommend/are afraid to do the IMU cal.  I am glad that I didn't read the forums first.  When I first got the quad I did every cal and set-up possible - including advanced IMU.  I would recommend it be done BEFORE any first flight.  Why take the chance?
2015-4-7
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gsp171
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oakspi Posted at 2015-4-7 23:15
Do an Advanced IMU Calibration...

I agree with this
2015-4-7
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grangerfx
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nrgwise Posted at 2015-4-7 23:34
For some reason people here seem to shy away from/not recommend/are afraid to do the IMU cal.  I a ...

I did the same thing when I got mine and have never had a problem (unless you count that annoying and wrong overheating warning when you do it).
2015-4-7
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jtrjr
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nrgwise Posted at 2015-4-7 22:08
Jerry,
It really doesn't take skill, per se, to fly in ATTI - it takes paying attention more than  ...

Nrg,

"One quick look away and you could drift/crash into something"

Hence, skill. I have flown in ATTI a bit, I learned from this forum that I needed to learn to do so, before I every put the bird in the air. I certainly haven't flown with it as I have for so many hours with my X4's. I was just trying to provide careful and measured feedback. If someone has never been in ATTI before and they were to lose GPS, the reactions of the craft could be very significant and surprising. I'm not afraid of it, I just want to learn how to fly with it in a more skillful manner.

Thanks for all of the input as I do love to learn!

Jerry
2015-4-7
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jtrjr
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oakspi Posted at 2015-4-7 23:15
I had similar issues with mine on the first several flights in January.  After doing an Advanced IMU ...

Oak,

"It is very important to have the aircraft level during the calibration procedure"

That was certainly the issue I ran into after my first advanced IMU calibration. It said level surface, I figured my dining room table was level, it wasn't. I learned from that mistake.

Jerry
2015-4-7
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nrgwise
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adrianjacobs@nt Posted at 2015-4-7 23:11
Again, I agree.  i have a now very old and battered (but still working perfectly) Hubsan X4 on whi ...

I have a small wooden bowl on a shelf in my home office.  In it are all the Hubsan props I broke, servos I wore out/burnt out. I am happy to say there is a layer of dust on top of everything now.  I fly the X4 three or four times a week.  Where I work we have a huge warehouse.  During the winter months you took your chances going in there as the X4 was always buzzing around.  One of the warehouse workers would chase it around in his forktruck.

I still love flying that quad.
2015-4-7
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jtrjr
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adrianjacobs@nt Posted at 2015-4-7 22:39
i agree.  I've been flying a lot in atti mode recently and once you get to remember that it doesn' ...

Adrian,

"Now manual mode... that's a whole new ball game!"

I ain't even touching that at this stage! I'm sure I'll want to down the road but that's a ways down my road.

Jerry
2015-4-7
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kirk2579
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-4-7 21:38
What John said - and what the DJI manual says "Find a large open area for your first flights". Learn ...

+ 1 on trainer craft,  After crashing the new P2+ into garage early on I realized why a basic phantom would be very nice cheap insurance.
Bought a P1.1.1 and p2v1 , sure takes a lot off the fear out of it while learning.

going to atti from gps is sorta Like back when taking the training wheels of the bike as kid.
IF your ready for it,  you ride , if not you crash

Then I use the Plus for videos etc.

The syma 5c-1 is another great cheap trainer for indoors and very light wind outdoor use.
They can sure take a beating over and over!
fun flyer
2015-4-7
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Raybro
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kirk2579@aol.co Posted at 2015-4-8 06:56
+ 1 on trainer craft,  After crashing the new P2+ into garage early on I realized why a basic phan ...

I have a syma x5c I learned on....still fly it. Lots of fun. I planted it in a tree one day about 25 ft up.thought I was never gonna get it down. It's so light it doesn't really hurt it when you crash. The most damage mine has sustained was from the cat chewing on the props. I have yet to use atti mode with the phantom...I am soon though.
2015-4-7
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CapitAn
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l have the xc5-1 too, it's pretty indestructible. And a tiny HT F803 for in the house.
Sorry about your flyaway OP. I hope it's easily fixable.
2015-4-7
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romain.peigney
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Wow thanks for all the answers, I was not expecting that many.

The area I practiced in was pretty open, a large field but there were indeed trees on the side and since the p2 banked for maybe 80-100 meters before crashing that was it. I will know better next time.
As for battery I was around 75 per cent. when I took off and still above 50 per cent. at the moment of the crash. Therefore I don't think that the problem is due to RTH taking over on its own and causing the mess.

The logical conclusion, assuming the glitch did not come from the drone itself, is that it somehow lost GPS signal, got caught in a gust (there may have been more wing in altitude than on the ground, it was hard to tell) and then we did everything wrong trying to recover.
We learnt the hard way but fortunately at not too much a cost.

Before giving it a new try I will definitely do the advanced calibration (I did not even know this existed before reading about it here as I did not dig deep into the software beyond firmware updates) and probably switch it to NAZA mode so that I can practice in ATTI.

And considering buying a toy quadcopter for training and fun!
2015-4-8
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kirk2579
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romain.peigney@ Posted at 2015-4-9 00:53
Wow thanks for all the answers, I was not expecting that many.

The area I practiced in was pretty o ...

many nice small quads around 50 to 60 dollars
2015-4-8
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romain.peigney
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kirk2579@aol.co Posted at 2015-4-9 13:47
many nice small quads around 50 to 60 dollars

I did not look very far, Just bought Syma x5c-1 as it was highly praised in the previous replies
2015-4-9
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kirk2579
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romain.peigney@ Posted at 2015-4-9 21:26
I did not look very far, Just bought Syma x5c-1 as it was highly praised in the previous replies : ...

Had mine (syma 5) out last night for a bit about 11. it was so quiet and nice weather for a change.

I had a ball running it around the neighborhood dodging trees and stuff
2015-4-9
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atcosby
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I had a incident about 3 months ago with my phantom.  I bought a new battery from the store and didn't charge it.  It said it was at 50% when I put it into the phantom for take off.  I had only intended to fly for 4 minutes to film some waterfowl on our property before coming home.  Well shortly afterwards my battery dropped down to 30 then to 15 percent in a matter of seconds.  It automatically started coming home and once it hit 6 percent it decided to land amongst some trees over a swamp.  You have never seen someone in so much distress like me before!  My buddy and I tore out into the waist deep swamp planning on catching the Phantom 2 but it rested gently in the limbs above about 35 feet.  Long story short after going to Wal-Mart to get supplies to get the phantom out and 4 hours later we successfully got the bird down from the limbs using a tennis ball tied to fishing line.  And it never touched the water below since my friend caught it after it bounced off a smaller tree.  One thing I noticed though is that the camera didn't have any of the recording leading up to the time of the crash?  It recorded the entire event while it was sitting in the tree though?  WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK HAPPENED HERE?  
2015-4-9
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yorlik
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-4-7 22:56
As NRG says, become very familiar with it because it's what you need to do to save your craft duri ...
If GPS is screwy, home and course lock don't work - RTH does not work, only ATTI works!


I think this is incorrect and important to realize.....

Of course RTH & HL do not work without GPS, *BUT* I am fairly certain CL (course lock) works as advertised in both GPS *AND* ATTI.  

Course lock is simply a compass direction thing and has nothing to do with GPS; thus works fine in ATTI too.

I think it i s critical we know this since we very well can be flying too far out and loose FPV video and thus telemetry (radar) and if GPS goes, we STILL can blindly bring it back knowing CL works - assuming you have taught yourself to ALWAYS power up with SAME N/S orientation every time - mine is always power up pointing N so I know how my CL will work in GPS or ATTI if needed in a crunch.
2015-4-10
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Gerry1124
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yorlik Posted at 2015-4-11 08:19
I think this is incorrect and important to realize.....

Of course RTH & HL do not work without  ...

You are right in saying course lock works in GPS and ATTI, but there is a condition with that.  Your Phantom has to be in NAZA-M mode as setup in the PT2 assistant program on your computer.  If your Phantom is still setup in the PT2 as Phantom, the s2 switches won't do anything except reset your home point when you toggle it 5 times.
2015-4-10
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birdfolk5555
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I'm guessing you made an error calibrating the compass. Were you close to a large metal object? Somehow, the bird was getting interference or mixed-up signals. Maybe you flew over a power line. Maybe someone turned on their microwave oven... Maybe the Sun winked at you... Who knows? It'll probably never happen again.
2015-4-10
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wazzupbeckham
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grangerfx@gmail Posted at 2015-4-8 01:09
I did the same thing when I got mine and have never had a problem (unless you count that annoying a ...

hi. where to do the  advanced IMU calibration?
2015-4-11
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drone7
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wazzupbeckham open your  PT2 software hook up the cable from your computer to your PV2/+ with  the power on ( no props installed). Click  "tools". If you have not calibrated your Quad in a  long time I suggest do "advance calibration" this will calibrate you IMU to the right settings wait for it to finish, then click "check IMU status" it should say " no calibration need" something like that, then you are good to fly.  My suggestion always do at least the" basic calibration" before you fly just to be safe. I do that all the time and so far I have not encountered any issues. Have fun flying!
2015-4-11
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drone7
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romain.peigney,
There is only one reason your quad crushed. You did not calibrate your IMU before flying. Always  calibrate the IMU before each flight, that will save you a lot of trouble. Good luck!
2015-4-11
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romain.peigney
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Hi !

We've done all that was suggested here and gave it a new go.
The Phantom flew all right, but the crash must have damaged something in connection with the camera, as the images we get (videos or stills) are covered with blue hued vertical stripped lines.

Here is a sample of what we get, picture taken in bright sunshine:


From the outside the camera looks just fine, no scratches or bumps.
However one of the flat cables at the surface of the gimble seems to be slightly damaged, with a bit of copper exposed below the black layer.
This image is taken form the SD card but we get the same blue hued image through the wifi link whenever we start the drone.

Any idea what could cause that?
Many thanks!
2015-4-16
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Gerry1124
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drone7 Posted at 2015-4-11 22:35
romain.peigney,
There is only one reason your quad crushed. You did not calibrate your IMU before f ...

Calibration of the IMU might not be needed for months.
2015-4-16
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drone7
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romain.peigney, Your ribbon might be damaged. Try replacing just the ribbon they sell it on Ebay for around $50.
2015-4-16
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drone7
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I usually do at least the "basic call" calibration before going out to fly and I've never had any issues, of course I'm speaking for myself.  
2015-4-16
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jonathan
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nrgwise Posted at 2015-4-7 22:46
Manual mode is the reason I recommend flying something like a Hubsan first and really learning to f ...

THIS is exactly right. I flew a hubsan x4 h109L indoors (get the crash kit  . . . and a bunch of xtra props) until I stopped smashing it into walls, THEN tried it outside in LOW or NO wind, at low heights. When I got to where I could fly it waaaayyyy up there, let it get blown by wind, NOT panic, and regain control by figuring out which direction it was facing without being able to see it too well . . .THEN I stepped up to the h109C (has the camera). I replaced several motors, several boards, a camera module, etc. and am glad I took the time to learn this stuff.  By the time I got my P2V+, I had been flying the small hubsans for over 6 months, had been thru LOTS of props, lost one or 2 due to going far too high and far to far away, and never found them . . . great lessons at very low cost. I still fly them around the house or at the park when there are too many people around to fly the big bird.

Learning to control a small hubsan in some wind is great training for how to work the sticks in ATTI. First time I lost GPS over WATER while shooting some skyline pix downtown, I was VERY happy I was comfortable dealing with wind drift.

J
2015-4-17
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