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Solid red lights out of the box on Phantom 2 Vision+
2703 11 2015-6-2
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abhijit
lvl.1

India
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I bought a brand new Phantom 2 Vision+ yesterday. But to my utter dissatisfaction, it is showing solid red lights (rear LEDs), indicating either IMU malfunction or some serious problem (manual says "Repair needed" as one of the possibiities). Here is what I have tried so far.




1) Fully charged all batteries, including those of the remote controller, range extender and Phantom.
2) Powered on the RC and Phantom, got solid rear red lights right out of the box.
3) Re-inserted the battery of the Phantom to ensure that the contacts are getting made properly.
4) Visual inspection of the battery compartment of Phantom shows everything normal (including the battery contacts)
5) Still I get red lights
6) Connected Phantom to the PC, started Assistant software. It showed that a firmware upgrade is available. It completed the firmware upgrade successfully and I was asked to power cycle the Phantom.
7) After power cycle, it showed the light sequence which meant that the drone is powering up (warming up). But it never came out of that sequence.
8) Re-started the drone. Same sequence (warming up)
9) Connected the Phantom to PC again. This time, an error popped up showing "Basic Calibration error". So I clicked the basic calibration button under "Tools" in the Assistant software. It completed the calibration and asked to power cycle the phantom.
10) Another power cycle, but still shows "Basic calibration error" (I don't remember what lights it showed at this time).
11) So I tried advanced calibration. Here I got an error saying that the MC temperature is high and I should wait for 5 minutes. So waited for a long time (15-20 minutes), but the message kept coming up every time. So I igonred it and waited for some time to see if it still proceeds with the calibration. The assistant software appeared to do something (the bar at the bottom moves a few times), but after some time, it got stuck.
12) I did another power cycle and now it's back to red solid lights with "Basic Calibration Error" still showing on Assistant software.


Unfortunately, this is my second BAD out of the box experience with Phantom (the first one which I ordered 2 months ago won't even power up out of the box). So I am a bit frustrated now! Before returning it and deciding not to ever order the DJI drones, I am willing to make some last-ditch efforts !


Would really appreciate any help from this forum!
2015-6-2
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JtrJr-Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 4341 ft
United States
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Abh,

Hi again! You can't get a break can you? Everything that I am going to tell you is based on my opinions and experiences. It may not be the way that DJI or anyone else chooses to do it. That being said,  I would probably do the Advanced IMU Calibration as well. A couple of things you need to know. A lot of people have had issues with the advanced calibration. Some people have had issues with the 3.14 firmware as well. I stayed on firmware version 3.12 and have not had any issues. I did have issues with the advanced IMU calibration the first time or two that I did it. However, I now do it a very specific way and I have had no issues since I started doing it in this fashion. Make sure you have a very level surface to put the bird on. A surface with no metals or magnetic fields around it. Make sure it's not by other electronics gear such as TV's and speakers, etc. I use a solid wood table in my dining room, away from everything. I keep everything completely still. No walking around, nobody else moving around, no bangs or bumps. I do it when no one else is even around just to be extra careful. I place the bird on my table, with the props off. I then place a piece of glass from a picture frame (the glass only, not the frame) on top of the 4 motor posts. So the glass is now spanning across all 4 motors. I then take a level (non-magnetic) and I place it on the glass to make sure my motors are level with the earth. I use business cards to place under the legs of my Phantom to shim it until the glass is level in all directions. I do not power on the bird until I have everything else in place and ready to go. I get my laptop and my assistant software setup and on the calibration screen. I then plug the bird into the computer. I recheck everything and make sure the glass is completely level. I remove the glass and level and power up the bird. I then immediately start the advanced IMU process. If I recollect properly, a green percentage bar will start as the calibration progresses. If you get the MC temperature warning just bypass it (it's a known bug). I watch the whole process until it competes. I believe that a check mark appears once it's completed but I'm not entirely sure. You'll know it's complete because you'll be able to use the buttons again. After it has completed, I exit the assistant software and power down the bird. I pull the battery and let the bird and battery cool down for a while. I then reinsert the battery, power up the bird, go to the calibration page in the assistant software and select the check calibration button again. If everything worked and all looks good I exit the assistant software and open the RC assistant software. I do the controller calibrations and exit the RC software. I go back in to the assistant software and redo all the RC calibrations in there as well. Once done with all of that I take the bird outside, do a compass calibration and carefully test it. I keep the bird fairly close to the ground and observe how it hovers. If it hovers steady for a bit, I'll start moving it around and continue with testing various things. If it does not hover steadily, I immediately land the bird, shut everything down and I repeat the entire calibration process again from start to finish, trying to ensure that everything is completely level and that there is no movement while the advanced IMU calibration is underway.

So sorry if I'm over doing things but I wanted to try to be very specific. There are many threads on doing the Advanced IMU calibration on this forum. You may want to read some of them before you do it the way I just described. I doubt that a lot of people do it in the fashion that I do but it has worked very well for me. I hope I didn't leave anything out. I also hope that you get successful results and you can start enjoying your Phantom. You certainly deserve to have a more positive experience than you have had so far! Good luck!

Jerry
2015-6-2
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roy
First Officer

United States
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Most of the time as has been said the IMU calibration will fail if the MC temperature is to high. I found if I calibrate my sticks and go through the upgrade and then do the IMU it will fail every single time because the MC has been running and no air flow so it overheats fast.  I will only do My IMU when the bird is cool and its the first ting I need to do. If the message comes up click it off and continue and the advanced calibration will finish. Give it a try while the bird is cool... 5-10 minute4s is not enough for it to properly cool. some guys even use a fan blowing at the air openings.
2015-6-3
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Raybro
Second Officer
Flight distance : 11099 ft
United States
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JtrJr-Droner Posted at 2015-6-3 13:22
Abh,

Hi again! You can't get a break can you? Everything that I am going to tell you is based on my ...

I've also heard of people putting their Phantoms in the freezer for a short time, then you can preform the advanced calibration. I personally ignore the warning and do the calibration and I have yet to have one fail. I connect the Phantom with the assistant running and power it on then immediately go into the advanced IMU calibration.
2015-6-3
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PanamonCreel
Second Officer

Mexico
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The advanced calibration will take longer if you do it with a "warm" unit but it should still complete provided that the unit is level,  no magnetic/ferromagnetic interference and no vibrations/movements are present during the calibration process. You can also place the Phantom without battery in the fridge (not freezer) for 30 minutes  prior to the adv. calibration process.  You'll have to hurry to get it started once powered up since it warm up pretty fast.  
Can you please post screenshot of your Phantom assistant Basic and Tools screens ( TX has to be ON )?
2015-6-3
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JtrJr-Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 4341 ft
United States
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PanamonCreel Posted at 2015-6-4 00:17
The advanced calibration will take longer if you do it with a "warm" unit but it should still comple ...

Panamon,

It is refreshing to see you providing input to people on this forum. From reading your posts and thoughts I believe you have an extremely good grasp of the Phantom and its systems. I certainly hope that you chime in when I'm looking to solve a problem with my craft. There are a few people on this forum that I deem to be in the "expert" category, you would be one of them.

Jerry
2015-6-3
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abhijit
lvl.1

India
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JtrJr and others,

My apologies for not responding earlier. I was traveling and wasn't able to read your kind responses. Just seeing all the responses.

Thank you for your help! JtrJr's detailed email with the procedure is really useful. I will try two things now (where I was probably making a mistake).



1) Start the calibration literally immdiately upon power-up (earlier, I was waiting for a few tens of seconds before starting the calibration),
2) More importantly, I need to find a space where there are no magnitic interferences. I live in a concrete house and the "ground" in my home is a slab with metal/steel reinforcements. I am suspecting that this may be interfering with the calibration. I need to take everything (including the laptop) outside. Will try this.

Just for kicks, yesterday, I took the bird outside without the propellers and even though the red lights were showing up, forced it to enter into compass calibration mode (by flipping switch S1 rapidly 5 times). The compass calibration completed successfully and now it was showing "ready to fly" (slow green blinking lights). However, I did not have the guts to put the propellers on and fly it knowing the calibration error it was showing earlier. So left it at that...

I will try the above suggestions soon and report here.

And JtrJr - Yes, I can't help but get my hands on this gadget :-) I hope my previous bad experience was a one-off and am seriously hoping this experience is much better :-) Fingers crossed!


2015-6-7
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jonnied2010
lvl.4

United States
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I place my Phantom, with battery removed and propped up so the air is blowing into the craft, over an AC vent on the floor for awhile to cool it down before starting the calibration. I also place the battery over another AC vent. I have every thing set up and ready to calibrate on the table. Move the Phantom to the table, install the battery, plug in the USB cable, power up and hit calibrate. Never get the over temp warning this way.
Too much beer in the fridge to fit the Phantom in there!
2015-6-9
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abhijit
lvl.1

India
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Finally a successful first flight! Yay!!

Broke a propeller first time in the process and injured a finger by putting it in the middle when the bird tipped for the first time (my stupidity!!), but still, the joy of flying was greater than the pain of wounded finger after the change of propeller!!

After following all the suggestions here, the calibration succeeded. I took the bird out, powered it up, did compass calibration, tried a few turn on and off's for propellers (just to be sure) and lift off! And then a distraction from kids, so had to bring the bird down. But unfortunately it landed on a mound of dirt and tipped. I was stupid enough to run to it to try to straighten it while the propellers were still ON. Just saved my finger (injured badly, but nothing serious - lesson learnt). But then I put the spare propeller on and had enjoyable moments with the family thereafter.

A big thank you to everyone on this forum who helped (especially those who helped me in my first problem 2 months ago when I got a DOA Phantom).

Will keep posting as I develop my flying skills...
2015-6-13
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JtrJr-Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 4341 ft
United States
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abhijit@mba.ber Posted at 2015-6-14 11:12
Finally a successful first flight! Yay!!

Broke a propeller first time in the process and injured a  ...

Abh,

Congrats on getting in the air!

Put prop guards on that thing! At least until you get used to it. They would have saved your prop and probably your finger. Remember, you can destroy an ESC in no time if the motor runs while the prop is stopped. If you blow an ESC you're going to be without your Phantom again! If you tip over with prop guards on you probably won't have any damage. Think about it, cheap insurance until you get through a few flights.

Jerry
2015-6-13
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abhijit
lvl.1

India
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Yup! I have the prop guards with me. I will put them on next time for sure!
2015-6-14
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trrdesign
lvl.3

United States
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abhijit@mba.ber Posted at 2015-6-14 19:58
Yup! I have the prop guards with me. I will put them on next time for sure!

Get the removable guards.  So you can take them on and off as needed.  Once you are comfortable, you can just fly without the guards and keep the attachments on.
2015-6-14
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