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Old 05-12-2014, 06:28 PM
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Mini-Review
DJI PHANTOM 2 VISION PLUS REVIEW

I will be receiving a DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus either today or tomorrow. I was not planning to do a review of the product, but I have received over 100 PM's asking me to conduct a review. Just so everyone knows, I am actually testing this product for another company at their request. I have flown some quad and octo copters several times in the past. I also have experience flying helicopters, but I will say I am far from the expert in the Heli arena. I will try to give everyone the nitty gritty details on this beast. If any of you have specific questions, please fire away.


Brian
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:12 PM
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I just got word that the Phantom is been delivered. Tonight, I will up pack it and let everyone know how it made the trip from China straight from the manufacturer.

Brian
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:01 PM
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:31 PM
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Well the nice package came in the mail directly from DJI in China. It took approximately ten days from the time it was ordered to the day it was delivered. It came very well packed. It was a box inside a box. The following photos are the unboxing of the Phantom. The interior box was also very well packed and every square inch was used.


All items were individually packed in its own separate package. I had previously read the manual prior to receiving the Phantom. I unpacked everything and began to install the rotors in the correct places. It was easy as the rotors are color coded. Silver capped rotors go in the silver colored motors. The black capped rotors go on the motors with the black spot. The propellers have the direction to tighten and loosen each propeller which makes the install a breeze. I would call it dummy proof.


Next I unpacked the spare battery and placed it on the charger that was supplied in the package. The connection point on the charger is very similar to a the battery pack charger I have for my lithium Ion powered drill. Three spades that plug directly in the battery. Again its dummy proof. Next I plugged the Wifi extender into a USB charger as well and everything is charging.


I will let everyone know how long the initial charge takes. I have included a few pictures of the unboxing.


Brian
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:35 PM
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:45 PM
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I charged the batteries and it took one hour to charge the spare battery. Instructions say that when all the lights go out the battery is charged. The second battery will take approximately the same amount of time. The WIFI extender is still charging and it appears it will take around two to three hours to finish.


I am trying to decide if I want to convert the unit to Naza M or keep it running on the Phantom specific software. It is easy to convert as DJI supplies some very useful software called Phantom 2 Assistant. You connect the Phantom and its remote to the software by a mini usb cable that is supplied. You connect the mini usb to a computer where you run the software.


I have opened the software previously on other DJI units so I was already familiar with the software. I will make sure the unit has the latest software as DJI has updated the software in the last few weeks. The software has upgraded the decent from 6 meters per second to 2 meters per second. The quick descent sometimes causes extreme vibrations. Many believe this is due to the prop wash that four propellers cause. I know there is some additional. firmware fixes, but I am unsure of the others.


One thing that you must do is update both the remote and the quad. If you only update one and not the other, they will not communicate. One thing that is pretty interesting about the transmitter is that it transmits on 5.8 ghz and not 2.4. The reason for this is that the camera transmits on 2.4. Many have found using the Blade quad is that the GO PRO wireless interferes with the transmitter. Horizon has gone so far to tell its customers that using the GO PRO wireless is not suggested while they are flying as they have had many units fly away never to be seen again. I will try to update both the transmitter and quad this evening.


Many are wondering why I would change the Phantom's system to NAZA M. The main reason is that the remote has two switches on the transmitter. One of the switches is used to align the compass. The other does not work. Phantom's solution to get the unit to return to base is to turn off the transmitter. I am not fond of turning off the transmitter in any condition. The NAZA M system uses the switch to change condition much like flight condition on a an airplane or heli. I am leaning to the NAZA M system for this reason. I will conduct some more research and I will explain the process as I change it.


For now I will keep watching the batteries.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:53 AM
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Very cool. Did it come with a gimbal and camera?
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:25 PM
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Sheldon,
Yes it did....It's really plug and play. I flew it last night and I will type up a review later tonight. Its pretty darn cool and a breeze to fly.

Brian
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:02 PM
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Here are a few details as I flew the Phantom yesterday. First I downloaded the App from the Apple App store to my Iphone and Ipad. Next I plugged the battery in phantom and it came to life. I turned on the Phantom Wifi extender and found the Wife address on my phone. I clicked on the Phantom wifi and then turned on the app. The camera picture now came to life.


Next I had to calibrate the compass on the phantom. You cycle the S1 switch approximately five times and the lights go to yellow. I then rotated the entire phantom 360 degrees while keeping it the same distance above the ground. I then cycled the S1 switch five more times and rotated the phantom in a vertical circle. As soon as I was done the lights turned to green telling me it was ready to fly.


I looked at the picture and Iphone and I saw the Phantom had locked onto 8 satellites and off I went into the sky. This thing is super stable and maybe the easiest quad I have ever flown. I took it up to around 50 feet, held my breath, and let go of the sticks. Solid is a rock and only a very slight motion side to side. I then fly the quad around. It was very nice and super smooth. I took a video of the event and the link is posted below. I took the video at 1080p at 30fps.






DJI00010 (2 min 19 sec)



Brian
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:55 PM
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I put in four flights today with the Phantom still programmed in Phantom mode. I will change it to NAZA-M mode this weekend. The main reason for changing is the fact you can make the S1 switch programmable. You can program the switch to when imitated, the Phantom will return home. If you keep it in Phantom mode, the only way for you to tell it to return home on its own is to turn off the transmitter. Is that scary or what. I don't think any RC guy would want to turn off their transmitter. That in my opinion is the biggest reason to change the programming. There are some other functions, but I will not get into that yet as I do not want to bore anyone.


I will say one thing....this little guy takes the most awesome stills. I have included one that I took tonight. The camera is a thing of beauty. If you look at the still you can see some fish eye on the edges. I still have to play with it to get some of the fish eye out. I still love this little beast. I have been getting roughly 20 minutes per battery. Pretty good.




I am really getting to like this guy and it will be very difficult to pry it out of my hands when the time comes.


I hope this is not boring anyone as I have gotten very few questions. Let me know if anyone had specific questions.


Brian
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:25 AM
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Not boring at all. Thanks for the info, now I really want one.
Do you need to calibrate it every time you power it up?
Thanks
James
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:37 AM
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I am also considering one of these. Great write-up. How easy is it to switch to the NAZA mode?

LJ
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:27 AM
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Really wanting one of these, but will probably go with the version without camera and use a go-pro. Could use the go-pro for tons of other things.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:37 AM
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I've had a Phantom 2 Vision since late March. Got mine EIGHT DAYS before the Vision + was announce.

For those who are interested there is a forum dedicated solely to the Phantom and its various variants:

http://www.phantompilots.com/index.php

Tons of good information there.

One thing I realized is that these are more about doing something rather than flying something. It is all about getting the shot or shooting the video. The Phantom mode is a good place to start since it simplifies the learning process. Once comfortable the NAZA-M mode is nice. As mentioned it gives you a failsafe option at the touch of a switch. But it also allows to to fly without the GPS keeping you located (ATTI mode). The gyros stabilize you, but you fly it around.

On S2 you have two options, Course Lock and Home Lock. HL is nice. Put the S2 all the way down and then just pull the right stick full back and it comes screaming home to you!!

I really like mine, but wish I had even a tiny clue that the Plus was coming. I added an aftermarket 2-axis gimbal to mine, but it is still not as nice as the 3-axis of the plus.

The big advantage of the Vision and Vision + is that you get ready to fly FPV using your smartphone or tablet. You can see where the camera is pointed and you can turn the video on/off and go back and forth from video to stills. You can also swivel the camera from level to pointing straight down.

The Phantom 2 with GoPro does not have the FPV ability. It also operates on 2.4 GHz while the Vision and Vision plus use 5.8GHz for the radio and 2.4GHz for the WiFi connection to the camera.

http://www.dji.com/

Fun stuff.
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:40 PM
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Thanks for the link to the forum. So if you are looking for a pretty much RTF FPV platform to play with seems like this one will be the ticket.
Really cool stuff!
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