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How often do you change your props?
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Capt Whitefoot
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United States
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I've only had my P4P for a couple of months, and yes, due to my learning the 'right way' and 'wrong way', I have trimmed a couple of trees before getting comfortable with the controls.  That being said, I've noticed some slight cuts and bumps on some of the props.  This has brought me to wonder how often should props be changed?
As a former yacht captain, I know any small "ding" on a marine prop can cause cavitation, vibration, and even imbalance of the shaft.  
Does anyone have any information on proper care, and if its recommended to file or sand such minor imperfections in the blades?  


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2017-9-4
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DJI Diana
Administrator
Flight distance : 2408 ft

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I always check my props before every single flight, I would like to replace it if there is any crack or nick.
2017-9-4
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RMJovo
First Officer
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United States
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Props are not expensive that is why I have 4 new sets of props and always have a spare set with me when I fly, if you have nicks on the leading edge replace them. Also I clean the BUG Splatter off the props at the end of the day. The Quad will still fly with badly beaten props Buy Why Do It when the cost to replace is so cheap. Not to mention eliminating undo stress on the motor caused by imbalance or vibrations from a bad prop.  
2017-9-4
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Capt Whitefoot
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United States
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RMJovo Posted at 2017-9-4 18:56
Props are not expensive that is why I have 4 new sets of props and always have a spare set with me when I fly, if you have nicks on the leading edge replace them. Also I clean the BUG Splatter off the props at the end of the day. The Quad will still fly with badly beaten props Buy Why Do It when the cost to replace is so cheap. Not to mention eliminating undo stress on the motor caused by imbalance or vibrations from a bad prop.

Thank you for the advice.  I wasn't sure since they are plastic if they warp or lose their shape over time.  I have an extra pair, maybe should buy a couple more for when I travel.
2017-9-4
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CraigR
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Australia
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You might be able to file or sand away minor damage but you'd have to re-balance the props after such a procedure. I'd stick with RMJovo's advice for sure.
2017-9-4
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Capt Whitefoot
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CraigR Posted at 2017-9-4 21:21
You might be able to file or sand away minor damage but you'd have to re-balance the props after such a procedure. I'd stick with RMJovo's advice for sure.

I think you are right.  Thank you for confirming that.
2017-9-4
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ImHereToCrash
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i wouldn't worry about them too badly..   if bug splatter or scratches and scuffs it's fine for a little while like a few weeks, clean them up .. but if they get chipped up or cracked replace them..    and like most aircraft you should replace all sets of props at a certain interval, for me i plan on every 6 months to replace all 4 on my mavic pro .   as long as i'm not crashing around too much and destroying them all the time that is... but this isnt sea water that will essentially take any imperfection and ruin it rapidly. so small scratches, scuffing and tiny dents arent going to be the ruin of your time, i flew with a huge crack in my mavic pro's rear right prop for 2 weeks before i finally replaced it.. didnt seem to caused any issues..

i do suggest however that maybe shouldnt use the drone to weedwack.. i dont know wat phatom 4 pro's like eating but i know my mavic pro doesnt like eating greenery too much either.

2017-9-4
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repairman
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Flight distance : 3894 ft
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you can sand small scratches,nicks,erosion out as long as you can rebalance props without removing to much material. hey they do full scale rotors and props this way.
2017-9-4
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Capt Whitefoot
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repairman Posted at 2017-9-4 22:08
you can sand small scratches,nicks,erosion out as long as you can rebalance props without removing to much material. hey they do full scale rotors and props this way.

I figured that from having to touch up props in the shipyard back in my yachting days.  But the difference in stress on the rotors was what I wasn't sure of where to draw the line.  thank you.
2017-9-4
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Nigel_
Captain
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United Kingdom
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Capt Whitefoot Posted at 2017-9-4 22:17
I figured that from having to touch up props in the shipyard back in my yachting days.  But the difference in stress on the rotors was what I wasn't sure of where to draw the line.  thank you.

There is a difference to your marine props in that if one blade disintegrates then the aircraft will be destroyed.

If they have taken a hard hit against solid rock then replace them in case of stress cracks, also consider replacing the plastic mounts for the same reason.   If they have just trimmed some grass and bugs then they can be cleaned up.   Some fine sandpaper (eg 800 grit) over the surface will keep them efficient and quiet.
2017-9-5
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Sasquad
First Officer
Flight distance : 319245 ft
United States
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Cheap as beans to replace. Nicked and spattered props will cause imbalance and poor flight. Change them when you see fit.
2017-9-5
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Rigger73
First Officer
Flight distance : 378478 ft
United Kingdom
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I know what you are saying about marine props.

I used to work aviation as an airframe and propulsion engineering tech.

Some damage could be filed out - albeit to a tolerance, in accordance with the Air Publication.


However - with these UAV blades, and their relatively low cost for a pair - I can't see it being worth trying to repair and then try to balance them.

Any damage - any nicks or deep scores (can your thumb nail catch in the groove), or just any hesitation or doubt - I'd replace the blades.

I'd also make a habit of snapping the old ones to make sure they are not inadvertently re-used.
2017-9-5
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Capt Whitefoot
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Rigger73 Posted at 2017-9-5 13:41
I know what you are saying about marine props.

I used to work aviation as an airframe and propulsion engineering tech.

Thank you.  An early morning trip to the bank tomorrow, and I already have the blades on my "wish list" on my amazon account for the purchase after the bank.  But oooooohhh, those DJI Goggles look tempting too.  No... must... resist...
2017-9-5
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Rigger73
First Officer
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Capt Whitefoot Posted at 2017-9-5 17:25
Thank you.  An early morning trip to the bank tomorrow, and I already have the blades on my "wish list" on my amazon account for the purchase after the bank.  But oooooohhh, those DJI Goggles look tempting too.  No... must... resist...

Out local Apple store in Belfast are selling Phantom props for £14 a pair.

While that may not be a massive amount for some, I found there are alternative options.

We have another authorised DJI seller in Belfast - The Drone Factory.

They are selling prop pairs for only £7.  Makes sense then to not even bother trying to repair old/suspect props.
2017-9-6
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Mabou2
First Officer
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Same advice here.... I have had the same props on my P4 for nearly 6 months of flying.  If they get nicked I replace them.  If they get bug goo'd, I wipe them down with a non-alcohol based product.  
Pro-Tip... If you decide to toss your props, cut the blades off of them as cleanly as possible and keep the caps.  You can use the caps to protect the motor mounts should you ever need to pack the drone for travel purposes.
2017-9-6
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Capt Whitefoot
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AWESOME idea!  Will do that when we travel this holiday season.  thank you.
2017-9-6
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