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Firmware Update Renders Phantom Pro 3 Useless?
563 9 2018-10-12
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klarabee1
lvl.2

United States
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Hello, everyone! I was wondering if someone might be able to help me with an issue I’m having. I recently purchased a used DJI Phantom 3 Professional from a media company. I didn’t know beforehand, but the drone had clearly been damaged before I purchased it.
  
The drone flew just fine however, and connected to my DJI Go app the day I got it. I sent it up in the air at least half a dozen times that day and everything worked fine.
  
The next day I updated the firmware and it hasn’t worked since. The light on the RC continuously blinks green, and all I can see on the app is the “How to Connect” screen. I contacted DJI Support and after going through all of the troubleshooting methods (reset the RC, reconnect the RC and drone), DJI requested that I send it in for repair. After assessing my drone, they sent me a list of things that needed repairing (such as motors) and a bill for more than $400.
  
I asked DJI to send it back, thinking I would at least attempt to fix it myself. So my question is, does anyone have any ideas on how a firmware update could trigger a hardware malfunction? And what I might be able to do about it?

2018-10-12
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ALABAMA
Captain
Flight distance : 9234058 ft
United States
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Were any boards on the list?
2018-10-12
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klarabee1
lvl.2

United States
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ALABAMA Posted at 2018-10-12 12:58
Were any boards on the list?

Yes, the Phantom 3 Main Controller Board Module (2312) and the Phantom 3 Main Controller Board Module (2312A). Uh oh, does that mean they're fried?
2018-10-12
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ALABAMA
Captain
Flight distance : 9234058 ft
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Probably.  It will never update or relink if they are damaged.   Sorry.
2018-10-12
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Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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Interesting.  

First off - it's been documented that it's a good idea to put a fan under the gimbal when doing a FW update on a P3P because history as shown there's a danger of boards on the P3P overheating during a FW update.  

But let's assume for a moment that there was no overheating or damage done to the boards during the upgrade...

Based on Alabama's comment, it seems possible the FW does not unintentionally render the AC useless, but it appears maybe part of the process of the FW upgrade is to test all the components to be sure everything is 100% operational before it updates successfully so as to prevent a future problem.  So in this case, the FW upgrade process found those boards, and at least one motor to have a problem, and therefore won't allow the update to happen, thereby disabling the system, but saving the AC from a future drop, fly-away, etc.

There was a similar thread yesterday complaining about this same sort of problem with a FW update, but it was a P4:  https://forum.dji.com/thread-169124-1-1.html

It seems possible the update attempt, after it finds bad boards, sensors, motors, etc., effectively at least temporarily "kills" the AC, but it appears that in actuality, the update is finding a future possibly catastrophic problem and preventing a mishap by effectively grounding the AC until the problem can be addressed...

I always thought the boot-up of the system did all that, but maybe it doesnt' do it as thoroughly as an attempted FW update does it.  

Or maybe the problem IS overheating... and in both cases a fan would have prevented the problem and allowed a successful update.  

Here is some invaluable info for every P3P owner new and old:  https://phantompilots.com/thread ... .87175/#post-901549

Reading the post linked above could save many P3P owners a lot of heartache, and it could help others as well.  

Good luck








2018-10-12
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ALABAMA
Captain
Flight distance : 9234058 ft
United States
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Good observation, Mark, but the question still begs to be answered as to why some have no problems before the update. Boards , or other components seem fine.
2018-10-12
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KenDuke
Second Officer
Flight distance : 50833 ft
United States
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did you update your RC as well?  If not, that could be why you can not connect as well.  It could of also got stuck in the update, because of overheating, and cut off, saving itself from a meltdown.
I would try to use the older firmware before your update, and see if the AC will take it.  
As others suggest, a cool spot under the unit should help.

Not an expert by any means......
2018-10-12
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DJI Mindy
Administrator
Flight distance : 7 ft
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Hi klarabee1, sorry for what happened, I managed to get your case number via your Forum account, upon checking the damage assessment, there are many physical damages, and the drone has been out of warranty, therefore, the warranty service cannot be provided, it is not recommended to repair the drone by yourself since there are a lot of parts need to be replaced, please send in again or find an Authorized Service Centers for further assistance: https://www.dji.com/service/repair/centers Thanks for your understanding.
2018-10-12
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klarabee1
lvl.2

United States
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Thanks for your response DJI Mindy, and apologies for my delayed response, but I have a couple more questions. I mostly just want to save some money.

As I explained, the drone worked just fine up until the point that I updated the firmware. Why would a firmware update cause me to have to replace two boards, three motors, and a whole lot of other items that were working up until I updated the firmware?

Also, why do I have to pay the repair service fee three times?

I see a lot of people offering used drones for parts online. It seems to me that I could save a significant amount of money by doing it myself, and apparently, other people are doing it as well. I just hate that this thing flew great right after I purchased it, but now I have to pay several hundred dollars to fix a problem that to me seems caused by DJI’s firmware update.
2018-10-19
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klarabee1
lvl.2

United States
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I just have a follow-up question if someone might be able to help me. A colleague from another market in my company heard about my problem and asked if I had tried downgrading the firmware. I looked through these forums on how to do it, but couldn't ever find a definitive answer for my model. Is there another thread that I may have missed, or is this something someone might know how to accomplish? The problem started when I upgraded the firmware on the RC, and I think I know how to reset that. But I had upgraded the firmware on the drone because I was instructed to do so by DJI Support when I called in, in hopes of resolving the issue. I'm not seemingly able to figure out how to do that.
2018-10-29
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