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Is this a waste of money?
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2104 41 2016-5-26
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G_MEZ_G
lvl.4

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So, I would like to replace the set of propellers,  as I have another set. I haven't crashed or anything like that but I do like to push the bird in A-Mode a lot. I was thinking I could put new props on every 2 months as a maintenance sort of thing to keep it flying as well as possible. Any thoughts?
2016-5-26
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Jkeller84
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The fact that they are really cheap is exactly why I buy extras and replace them every couple of months. Never hurts to err on the safe side.
2016-5-26
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G_MEZ_G
lvl.4

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Jkeller84 Posted at 2016-5-26 19:14
The fact that they are really cheap is exactly why I buy extras and replace them every couple of mon ...

Good to hear I'm not the only one. It seems like the least I could do for what the bird does! I love to fly it every chance I get and lately I have really enjoyed night flying. When I take the props off, they are sometimes covered in bug guts and I wipe them clean.
2016-5-26
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Phantomski
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Interesting...  So far I discarded one, because of thread issue, but did not reall ythink much about when to replace the others.. unless I can see visible imperfections, I was not gonna.... but i do have 3 more pairs, including one set of CFs.... well, CF coated.....
2016-5-26
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G_MEZ_G
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If I flew my bird very little and maybe even a lot but very slowly I wouldn't even think about changing the props until a 4 month mark but I fly her a lot and she really works hard. I feel that changing the props out on a schedule it couldn't hurt anything and it wouldn't break the bank. Even CF props aren't outrageously expensive.
2016-5-26
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labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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G_MEZ_G Posted at 2016-5-27 10:08
If I flew my bird very little and maybe even a lot but very slowly I wouldn't even think about chang ...

You could swap every two months but there's no need if it's not hitting any obstacles.
You should be happily able to use the same props for 6 months without any worries.
2016-5-26
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nigelw
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Has anyone ever had a confirmed prop breakage without impact?  This is all guesswork without any data.  If it makes you happy to swap them every 2 months, 4 months or 6 months, just do that.  I'd like to see something from DJI regarding number of hours flown, but they don't seem bothered.  I've had my CF props on for over 7 months & have no intention of changing them, but I don't fly very often, probably 1 hour a week or less now.
2016-5-27
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ccbiggz
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If you aren't hitting anything with them or stripping the threads on them, why would it matter if they were a couple of months old or not?

I have two boats. The prop on one of them gets worn from hitting sand, logs, etc. and I have to replace it every couple of years because it starts to loose hole shot power and top end speed. The other prop never hits anything because it always runs in deep water and it looks like the day I bought it. I would think the same sort of thing appiles to the Phantom props.

Just curious.
2016-5-27
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Toorboy
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iv used same props for a year no worrys I would only change if they clipped something
I always carry a spare set just incase but they are fine
2016-5-27
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microcyb
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Summer time and Bugs will make you want to replace your props, but either then that, I was flying all winter and my props are great, so guess it depends on the wear and tear.
2016-5-27
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terrylewis
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Toorboy Posted at 2016-5-27 22:24
iv used same props for a year no worrys I would only change if they clipped something
I always carr ...

I'd agree with you up until last week when I replaced a set of props I had been using for some time and noticed how much better the new props gripped and how they required more tightening. See this thread for the unfortunate results of prop loss.....

+1 for Jkeller84 post!
2016-5-27
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soundbyte58
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ccbiggz Posted at 2016-5-27 03:58
If you aren't hitting anything with them or stripping the threads on them, why would it matter if th ...

I see your point however, a boat will not sink because the prop lost a blade. I look at my props the same way I look at my guitars strings. they  both have serious stresses applied to them and eventually will break. Regular changing, can only be a good thing. Unlike my guitar though, I would base it on hours flown and distance rather than an arbitrary amount of time. Also a lot of sudden stops and attitude changes probably puts a lot of extra stress on the hub of a prop. After all, 3 pounds of drone is sitting on 1 once of plastic.
2016-5-27
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Not A Speck Of
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I hadn't worried about this before, but now that you bring it up, I think it's a good plan.

Airliner parts get replaced on a regular basis. They know that parts subjected to vibration will eventually fail. They like to replace them before they do fail.

I've heard that cheap, third party props for Phantom can fail relatively soon, blades coming off of the hubs during flight, so I won't be buying any of those. However, I wonder if even official DJI props won't eventually do the same thing, given lots more time.

Chris
2016-5-27
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quickpoint
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G_MEZ_G Posted at 2016-5-26 22:08
If I flew my bird very little and maybe even a lot but very slowly I wouldn't even think about chang ...

10 hours is my rule,   after 10 hours replace regardless of condition.      p3 plastic props are 12 bucks for a full set.   cheap investment.   you can easily track flight times on dji app.   every 10 hours i write retired on all the props and they sit on a shelf. on the top of the prop near the tip i write the number of total flight hours on the tip so i know when they were installed.      if i have a problem with a specific prop and replace it and write new number on the tip as when doing set change.   
2016-5-27
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Phantomski
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yes, aviation does seem wasteful sometimes, but what they do actually does work and is a sane approach.... Good to know. Would be nice to know if DJI ever did any testing on life of an average prop and have any sort of stats that would generate a pretty solid recommendation.....
Quickpoint, why 10 hrs? Just grabbed the number out of thin air? Just wondering.
2016-5-27
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quickpoint
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Phantomski Posted at 2016-5-27 12:02
yes, aviation does seem wasteful sometimes, but what they do actually does work and is a sane approa ...

good round number with inspecting and looking at wear patterns.   with my p4 i noticed around 9 hours started getting little clearance with the center shaft in the prop.   with my p3 wear marks on the threads.    just my personal feelings.  

around 10-11 with a full set of p4 props started noticing slight instability.   checked deflection of prop tips between 11 hours used and brand new and used bent further under weight than new.   showing weakness of the plastic.   this also leads to decreased performance because of increased deflection of weakened/used/stressed plastic.  not able to hold its shape and weakened.   not gonna trust it and few bucks for new props is a great investment   
ill do same tests with p3 props and post up some pics.   i know my mantainance and pre/post flight checks areway more intense than most.   
2016-5-27
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Phantomski
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quickpoint Posted at 2016-5-27 10:25
good round number with inspecting and looking at wear patterns.   with my p4 i noticed around 9 hou ...

Well, thank you sharing your thoughts.. I like understanding the "behind the procedure" scenario, and I totally agree with you. I will take a look at my props tonight, see what I can find.. certainly some good and useful thinking here guys!
2016-5-27
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johnwarr
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I have a 2 year old V+ with the original props, so in my experience changing the props every 10/20/30 hrs of flight time would be a waist of money.
My case is not large enough to carry my Phantom with the props on, so they have been fitted and removed 100's of times without any problems.
What I do is inspect them each time I fit them and make sure they are "nipped" up on the motors.
2016-5-27
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soundbyte58
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johnwarr@live.c Posted at 2016-5-27 09:57
I have a 2 year old V+ with the original props, so in my experience changing the props every 10/20/3 ...

It's great that you feel confident about your props but everyone has there own comfort zone. I haven't had my P4 long enough to find what my comfort zone is but I'm not going to fly them until they break. Everything always works right up till the time that it doesn't and in aviation there are no do-overs. A waiste of money, maybe, but so is going out for a few beers. It's about the same amount of money.
2016-5-27
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soundbyte58
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Just to clarify, I happen to love drinking a few beers from time to time. And doesn't feel like a waiste until it's going down the drain.
2016-5-27
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Old Geezer
lvl.4
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Whenever I have a few beers they go to my "waist" and I then "waste" months trying to shed those few pounds gained.    
2016-5-27
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soundbyte58
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Old Geezer Posted at 2016-5-27 10:54
Whenever I have a few beers they go to my "waist" and I then "waste" months trying to shed those few ...

Too true!!!
2016-5-27
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quickpoint
Second Officer

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soundbyte58 Posted at 2016-5-27 13:30
It's great that you feel confident about your props but everyone has there own comfort zone. I hav ...

exactly.  i do 10 hours which many consider to be very early.  p3 props are like 12 bucks a full set,  p4's 15-20.

if a prop fails most likely you drone will be destroyed.    thats 700-1k dollars gone,   if your drone damages property, your on the hook for the damage.   if someone gets hurt,  your going to most likely be paying the rest of your life.   around 1-2 dollars an hour for reducing risk of an accident is a very small price to pay.   no brainer in my book.
2016-5-27
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quickpoint
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johnwarr@live.c Posted at 2016-5-27 12:57
I have a 2 year old V+ with the original props, so in my experience changing the props every 10/20/3 ...

i could never take that chance and use them for that long.  like soundbyte said, "everything works until it fails" and "there are no do overs" is very accurate.  every thing fails at some point.  i know for a fact those props WILL fail at some point.  hopefully they are retired before that point arrives and doesnt happen in the air.  

personally i could care less about my drone getting damaged, i care more about if my drone damages anything else or anyone else.  

i know new props can be defective which is true,  when ever i hand a new set of props on ill go to a open field and stress the hell out of them.  both my 3 and 4 ill go in atti mode,  6-10 feet(2-3 meters) off the ground or so and just strafe left and right hard as it goes,   then foward and back.    as much stress as i can throw on them with full speed stops in all directions.   if they are going to break i want them to break under my terms when im expecting it.   so if they fail only the drone is damages, nothing else besides maybe some grass
2016-5-27
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nigelw
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quickpoint Posted at 2016-5-27 21:00
exactly.  i do 10 hours which many consider to be very early.  p3 props are like 12 bucks a full s ...

Putting it like that, maybe you money would be better spent on insurance first?

As I said earlier, each to their own.  I'd still like to see DJI doing some testing & providing a maintenance schedule.  Until then, or until I see people's props failing regularly, I'll just stick to checking them & replacing them when I see something I'm unsure about.
2016-5-27
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nigelw
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quickpoint Posted at 2016-5-27 21:10
i know new props can be defective which is true...

I worry about this more than fatigue failure to be honest.  I'll probably adopt the same procedure for new props...eventually.
2016-5-27
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quickpoint
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nigelw Posted at 2016-5-27 16:36
Putting it like that, maybe you money would be better spent on insurance first?

As I said earlier ...

i have it covered under my business insurance,  but not using the drone for business.  when part 107 comes into effect the story will be different.  leaning on the side of caution is never a bad thing.  if the risk and chance only directly involved me i wouldn't care if anything happened.   if im only flying over water i would go longer as if something failed only drone is lost.   

with your other post about fatigue, thats another reason i shoot for around 10 hours. props are spinning 4.5-5k just to hover 8.5k-ish to maneuver.  lets just say average 7k rpm.   in 10 hours of flight that roughly 4 million revolutions in a 10 hour life.  each of these plastic props undergoes enormous stresses in every flight.   tips of the props are between 120-240 mph.   with all that stress i would prefer wasting few bucks and replacing over running until failure or just before.   

feel free to break in and test new props with my method.  i havent had a failure yet and went thru a hand full of sets and never had any issues yet.   when/if i do will only be a short fall to the ground and hopefully little damage to the drone.   but i know no one will be hurt because of stressing props testing them.     also after i do an imu calibration i always burn a whole battery just checking hover stability and not flying crazy just incase.   
2016-5-27
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Cessna172
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To save the planet, please send all your used props (especially ones with 10 flights or less) to the following address....

Perfectly Good Props For Free
P.O. Box 123456
Yerrloss      CA 90210
2016-5-27
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quickpoint
Second Officer

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Cessna172 Posted at 2016-5-27 17:12
To save the planet, please send all your used props (especially ones with 10 flights or less) to the ...

lmao   replacing based on flights is insane,   average of 20 minutes a flight is 30 flights per 10 hours.  ill give away props with 10-12 hours happily!
2016-5-27
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Aardvark
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Any item is most likely to fail when its new (untested), or when its old (worn out) , the natural distribution curve

DJI must have some idea of the life span of these things, or mean time between failure.
2016-5-27
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G_MEZ_G
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Cessna172 Posted at 2016-5-28 05:12
To save the planet, please send all your used props (especially ones with 10 flights or less) to the ...

Good one! I love it!
2016-5-27
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G_MEZ_G
lvl.4

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I live in Texas and summer is coming (in a Ed Stark voice). I recently have been having lot of good south Texas bug residue on my props and the process of cleaning them, required some good amount of pressure, I worried that somehow I may damage them or deforming them. I'm tossing my props and replacing them before my next flight.. I have three batteries and I love to fly fast. I also like two earlier posts regarding the maintenance on air liners and the one about spending money on beers. Last night I spent enough on beers to buy at least 5 sets of props =)
2016-5-27
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Aardvark
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G_MEZ_G Posted at 2016-5-27 23:41
I live in Texas and summer is coming (in a Ed Stark voice). I recently have been having lot of good  ...

"Last night I spent enough on beers to buy at least 5 sets of props =)"

Sore head ? {:4_117:}
2016-5-27
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G_MEZ_G
lvl.4

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Yep, And I'll drink another 5 sets tonight =)
2016-5-27
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MTR-Aerial
lvl.2

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I wiped out a best buy tonight ahah. 4 sets ftw! I change them every 2 weeks
2016-5-27
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OrlyP
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Barring any physical defects such as chips, deformations, cracks, imbalance, or loose/stripped threads, there's really no reason to replace them.

I have a broken prop that was a result of a crash at a beach. Apart from a broken tip, the hub was structurally intact. I tried breaking this prop at the hub by twisting the two blades in opposite directions with my hands and really, it's solid. I can't imagine how this can break off in flight without it hitting anything. I suggest you guys try destroying an old one just to see how well-made genuine DJI props are. Though I can't comment on non-DJI props as I haven't used aftermarket ones long enough.

To me, it's more important to have a thorough pre-flight inspection of everything (including the props) rather than blindly replacing them and trusting the new props to be free from defects. You don't change your tires every few weeks, do you?

But if your resolve is to replace them on a regular basis, it's really up to you. I just think it's unnecessary for the reasons I mentioned.

Just my opinion.
2016-5-27
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Rnfaust
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I rarely remove my props. I even bought a case where they can remain attached.
Except for an impact, I would only be concerned with the thread condition. That's why I don't remove them.
They will probably outlast the motors, but that's another topic.
2016-5-27
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labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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It's amusing to hear Phantom owners invent their own arbitrary rules for things like replacing props every 10 hours or never removing props.
It's all about feeling good because you are doing something rather than how relevant something actually is.
If any of these things were at  all  important, DJI would advise owners.
2016-5-27
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MrPinaColada
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-5-28 12:33
It's amazing to hear Phantom owners invent their own arbitrary rules for things like replacing props ...

DJI never said anything about stress fractures appearing in the screw mounts of the frames, and look where that went....straight back down to earth lol
2016-5-27
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OrlyP
Second Officer
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Screw thread wear is a well-known concern. It's very easy to over-tighten them since there are no torque figures provided, much less a method to torque them. I've read at least a few people claiming to have stripped the threads off while tightening them.

I'm with Rnfaust on the idea of minimizing thread wear by not removing/installing the props when there's no need for it. My bag (Lowepro CS 400) also allows me to store the drone with the props installed.
2016-5-27
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