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Phantom 3 Standard - first impressions
1423 17 2015-8-16
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squidlyboy
lvl.1

United States
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I'm a complete noob when it comes to drones, and i got this drone so that i can take video of our Dragonboat Crew practices.  We've had boats come along side of us during practices before shooting video, but you can only get one side at a time.  This drone will allow aerial shots of the whole boat like we've never done before.  That was my only reason to get this.  When i first started to look at drones, i was overwhelmed with how many models there were, but when i stumbled upon the Youtube video that showed the DJI Go App, i was like WHOA, this is the one i'm getting.  I was looking at the Phantom 3 Professional at the time.  A day later, the Standard was announced.  I quickly reviewed the specs as best i could find (wish DJI would have put up a comparison table/matrix to make things easier), but given that it was like $400 less, it was a no brainer to get the Phantom 3 Standard.


The out-of-box experience was less than stellar.  The DJI Go app was not ready for the P3S when it was shipped.  I think whoever made the decision to ship on that date was thinking the app was going to be there by the time the drones got to customer's.  It wasn't.  For first time customers of DJI, the surprise of having this big expensive sophisticated piece of modern technology act as a big paper weight was not amusing at all.  Way to give a first impression.   Some people said that it was Apple's AppStore's fault for delaying the release of it, but i don't buy it.  I mean the app is also available for download from DJI's website, so they had full control of that situation.  Someone at DJI just made a calculated risk that everything would come together at the right time, but it didn't.   

It didn't help that as soon as I got past the simulator excercise and was ready to fly it for the first time, it said there was a firmware upgrade available.  But instead of saying, thanks but no thanks (for now), it didn't allow me to fly the drone until i got the update ... Grrrr...   It didn't help any that everyone and their brother was effectively downloading this firmware update at the same time, so something that should have taken 10 mins or so to complete took like 2 hours.

After all that BS was taken care of, i must say, that i have been nothing but impressed so far of how well everything is integrated together - avionics, controller, Go app, video subsystems. The drone was pretty intuitive in terms of controlling it, although i need a lot more practice before i'll get out on the lake with it in a boat.  The number of safety features (beginner's mode, fly home, low-power conditions, warning feedback, stationary hover) is spectacular.  I'm sure you guys are all used to these features already in previous models that DJI has put out, but being a first time noob, i must say i've been very impressed.

The 2.7k resolution video is absolutely stunning and breathtaking, even though i only had a chance to take some quick aerial shots of my neighborhood.  I can only imagine what this would do in more exotic locations.  I love the integration with Youtube Live Streaming, and how it catalogs the videos.  My only slight beef with the video is that once you are done, it doesn't seem like it allows you to export the video as is.  It seems like you have to do this weird splicing of multiple 6-second snippets into a movie before the video is exportable to your iPhone.   I was able to just copy the the raw 2.7k video to my MAC using the USB cable, but man, that thing is HUGE.  My MAC can't even play back the raw video without stuttering due to the sheer amount of data that needs to be decoded.

The only slight scare i had my first time out, was when i decided to try out the "fly home" feature.  I had the drone hovering about 3 ft in the air and i thought it would just move over a few feet to where the home point was, and land, but to my complete shock, the drone shot up into the sky like 50 ft up.  And my battery was about to go out at the time, so it just compounded the problem.  I desperately tried to bring it down manually, and it seemed like it was fighting me for awhile.  The descent was super slow.  I landed somewhat roughly and the props didn't turn off like they normally do when i hold the sticks down, so some of the props got stuck in the grass while the motors were still turning.  I don't think there was any damage, but i don't think i'll be using that feature again until i know what the hell the thing is doing.

The only other small annoyance i have is how slow the drone comes down.  I'm sure this is a safety feature, but i don't know enough about it to know if i can somehow adjust this so that it can descend at a little faster rate.

All in all, with all things considered, i'm pretty happy with the purcahse, and i'm looking forward to a lot more air time with this thing before i take it out to the lake.  All the sub-systems in this drone have been very well thought-out and engineered.   Kudos to the DJI team for putting at a drone that has some pretty advanced capabilities that is also affordable for the rest of us weekend warriors that don't have a lot of $$$ to blow.

Well Done!!

Btw... my first flight over the neighborhood
https://www.youtube.com/timedtext_video?v=rwUSUytBMWY






2015-8-16
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Skater67
lvl.4
Flight distance : 417149 ft

Colombia
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Might want to check your props for damage and replace if necessary.  I understand the DJI Standard does not fly well as a Tri-Copter.  Have fun flying.
2015-8-16
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Viper989
Second Officer
Flight distance : 891194 ft
Canada
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congradulation on your new aquisition .

make sure you read the owner's manual  .

Practice , practice  , practice

BTW the RTH ( return to home ) has a preset height , which can be changed in the DJI Go app . In case of a lost connection or trying to go farther than the battery can take you back , the feature will take the craft to that predetermined heigth and then bring your bird home on it's own . One thing , make sure you have enough GPS signal to have a home point . It can also be use manually if you loose your craft out of sight . Just remember that however it's activted , it's gonna go sraight up to the height you chose and head back straight to the home point , thus make sure the heigth is high enough . Also check to see if the failsafe is on return to home or land .
2015-8-16
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Stan1970
lvl.4
Flight distance : 105318 ft

United Kingdom
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I just got my standard as well - I was lucky as mine arrived on Friday and the firmware update was all ready to go on that day as was the app . - a bit frustrating that all the videos on the advanced and pro are there for tutorials but not for the standard (well they were not there on Friday) - and I was a little surprised when the remote didnt look like the one I had been watching on the videos and trying to remember what all the buttons do.

I am really enjoying the standard - did my first flight this afternoon with beginner mode off - lost sight of it once and then only remember after about 30 secs to look at the app to find out which way it was facing.  I have not gone to the extremes of height or distance but its great fun so far.  I also had the shock when I first tried the fly home feature as the drone was not far away from me - its all about trying a few new things at a time rather than trying to do everything in one go and having an expensive mistake
2015-8-16
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squidlyboy
lvl.1

United States
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Viper989 Posted at 2015-8-17 02:02
congradulation on your new aquisition .

make sure you read the owner's manual  .

there's an owners manual?  lol ..  i only saw the quick start guide
2015-8-16
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squidlyboy
lvl.1

United States
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"BTW the RTH ( return to home ) has a preset height"

Ahh... that explains it- thanks!  actually i just went into the settings and the default is 30m, which explains why it just shot up like that.  Seems a little high, but i guess they want to be sure it clears tall trees and other high obstacles to give it the best chance to make it back in one piece.




2015-8-16
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squidlyboy
lvl.1

United States
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I had some extra time this afternoon so i took it out to the lake just to see how much interference, obstacles, etc.. there is in the general vicinity before actually taking it out on the water.  There was a slight breeze going on, and man, i couldn't even get the thing up in the air.  As soon as it got up a few feet, the breeze pushes it naturally downwards, and it softly crashed landed (albeit upside down), and that was it for me.  Note to self:  Don't take this thing up in a breeze until i can learn to maneuver against the wind more skillfully
2015-8-16
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bazza220146.hot
lvl.3
Flight distance : 1037615 ft
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Australia
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squidlyboy Posted at 2015-8-17 06:56
I had some extra time this afternoon so i took it out to the lake just to see how much interference, ...

The manual is found on the downloads page at the DJI website. Make yourself comfortable with a coffee or three....
2015-8-16
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Viper989
Second Officer
Flight distance : 891194 ft
Canada
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squidlyboy Posted at 2015-8-17 06:49
"BTW the RTH ( return to home ) has a preset height"

Ahh... that explains it- thanks!   ...

I have my preset height at 50 meters . Once you see the craft , you can always cancel the RTH and bring it back manually . Better to high than to low
2015-8-16
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Viper989
Second Officer
Flight distance : 891194 ft
Canada
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bazza220146.hot Posted at 2015-8-17 07:17
The manual is found on the downloads page at the DJI website. Make yourself comfortable with a cof ...

^^^^^This^^^^^
2015-8-16
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aburkefl
First Officer
Flight distance : 78612 ft
United States
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squidlyboy Posted at 2015-8-17 06:35
there's an owners manual?  lol ..  i only saw the quick start guide

It sounds like you tried to stop the motors with the same stick motion you use to start the motors. Although there are two methods listed in the manual, the CSC (Coordinated Stick Maneuver) method should be used ONLY to start the motors.

When landing, once your Phantom has actually touched the ground, continue to hold the left stick in a full-down configuration. Once the barometer in the Phantom senses that it is no longer descender, in another second or two the motors will stop turning.

Using both sticks to stop the motors once it's on the ground is asking for trouble - despite it being a technique listed in the manual.

Glad you're already having fun.
2015-8-16
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AlmostTan
lvl.4
Flight distance : 118665 ft
United States
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The descent rate is controlled at a very slow rate to avoid the Phantom entering a vortex ring state.  It's basically when an air vortex surrounds the prop and it stops generating lift, causing it to fall out of the sky.  
2015-8-16
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myTehi
lvl.2

United States
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i believe that when you initiate the RTH feature that you need to be a minimum distance away from home point. Seems like 65ft or something?( dont quote me on distance) Or it may do something other than what you expect. Im sure that the manual can give you more precise details on that.
2015-8-16
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squidlyboy
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aburkefl@gmail. Posted at 2015-8-17 08:33
It sounds like you tried to stop the motors with the same stick motion you use to start the motors ...

Thanks for this piece of info.  I read somewhere that if you hold the stick down, it turns off the motors, but not knowing any better, i thought, well, isn't that the way you make it descend?  I don't want the motors to turn off if its still in the air and descending.   I thought, its gotta be smarter than that.  So the barometer i guess takes care of that issue Thanks!
2015-8-16
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squidlyboy
lvl.1

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Dudes.. its impressive how many experts are in this forum.  Thanks for all your great tips and insight!   I'm like a little kid sitting among giants
2015-8-16
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Stan1970
lvl.4
Flight distance : 105318 ft

United Kingdom
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squidlyboy Posted at 2015-8-17 06:56
I had some extra time this afternoon so i took it out to the lake just to see how much interference, ...

I took it out in some windy conditions - no impact on flight - it just hovers - I wonder if you have a problem - if it was just a breeze?
2015-8-17
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aburkefl
First Officer
Flight distance : 78612 ft
United States
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myTehi Posted at 2015-8-17 09:23
i believe that when you initiate the RTH feature that you need to be a minimum distance away from ho ...

When the Phantom is that close to you, instead of actually returning to the home point, it will just land right below where it is - not always where you might want it to land!
2015-8-17
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jimcloud74
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1298317 ft
United States
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squidlyboy Posted at 2015-8-17 11:28
Thanks for this piece of info.  I read somewhere that if you hold the stick down, it turns off the ...

Yes. What you have is an updated Phantom 2V+ so it seems. You can hold full down on the stick for the most rapid descent without issue. I remember my P2V+ was much slower than the P3P I have now. I do not believe the 65 ft return home distance is the same on the P3S either. I believe it will rth up and over as you stated every time. If you have tall trees, you better set RTH 50 feet higher than the tallest one. I wouldn't want to lose tx control and watch helplessly as it sticks in that one tall tree you never thought would be an issue.  I used to set my P2 at 50 meters or 150 or so feet and it NEVER let me down. Just be safe and get real comfortable with it and it will become natural to you. Oh, you should be able to hover pretty well on up to 20 mph winds. If you can't, something is going on. Happy flying!!
2015-8-17
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