DJI Phantom vs 3d Robotics IRIS

I have had my DJI Phantom for about 3 weeks now and loved how easy it was to setup and fly. The best part was flying in GPS mode, I could just let go of the sticks and it would hover in place. 

Yesterday I decided to take some go pro pics of the intercoastal waterway and all the fishing boats docked at high noon.

Of course, the first time I fly near any body of water, my Phantom decided to go berserk and landed into the marsh. 

I was able to salvage it and and the go pro, but I'm pretty sure it will never fly again, nor do I want to waste any more time/money with DJI products.

So I have been doing research on the IRIS and wanted to know how it compared to the Phantom, specifically does it have a GPS flight mode where I can let go of the sticks and it hover. I believe Pixhawk has a 'loiter' mode - is that the same thing?

Also, DJI Phantoms are apparently notorious for random fly aways - is there a chance the Pixhawk or IRIS will have the same issues? With the Phantom, you have to be uber careful where you fly and calibrate your compass before every flight...such a pain.  

With the IRIS/Pixhawk, do I have to worry about stuff like that?


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  • Do not get to easy with it because my three week old iris+ flew away last week and the only reason I found it was the link and the android table I had it hooked to but it is in many pieces and now it is up to 3DR to find out my fate, by the way I had a 12 satellite lock. 

    • Update 3DR has told me that after reviewing the logs they do not know what caused the flyaway but that it was not pilot error and that they will replace the iris+ but with that being said I do not trust the iris+ any longer and as soon as I get the new one it goes on e-bay, I had two Phantoms and never had a flyaway and two Blade 350QX's also.

  • position hold on apm is the same as gps on dji

  • I chose the IRIS over the Phantom for waypoint navigation, extensibility, and support and self-help resources. I've since found the IRIS is also more durable and reliable than I would have thought, and capable of high-grade video when tuned properly. I'm one of those guys who bought a full IRIS/Tarot set-up as my first quad. Starting from zero but with plenty of research and a few new skills under my belt, it's been a total blast without a single significant crash, incident, or system malfunction and dozens of successful missions. Those times things have gone screwy can be traced back to user error/ignorance or, in one case, an underpowered design that has been resolved with the IRIS+.

  • I fly the pixhawk and a few friends fly Dji phantoms, I also have a Naza H on my 770 Goblin for testing. With pixhawk you can run two GPS receivers for redundancy, it will switch to what ever reciever has the best signal. DJI does not offer this yet as I know of anyway. With that said,
    I have been checking Gps signal with a android app and an external gps unit to see where they are flying in the sky at that given time, it helps.
    I have yet to have any gps issues on my pixhawk nor have I had any issues with the Naza H. I also fly with a Futaba 18Mz and get over a mile [line of sight] with my setup, you won't get that with a DJI radio.

    Just remember that civilian gps is not fool proof so unless your system has a military reciever on board check before you fly.
    • That's good info Rodney.  Do you mind saying what is the Android app that you use to check GPS?  Thanks.

      • Dan

        what I have used for years is a ( DUAL ) Model XGPS150 universal GPS receiver.
        I am running a Galaxy tab 10.5 with Android APP from GG MobLab called Bluetooth GPS.
        I have this on my phone also. So when I go out to fly I set the GPS receiver out on the ground to check location and signal strength. Gives you a good indication of a fly or NO fly situation. 
        You know if you are getting a good signal on the ground its going to be better in the air.
        here are a few screen shots sitting in my office with the unit next to me..
        It works well enough to save me from a possible GPS signal issue. 
  • After a colleague crashed into saltwater, I can recommend you just wash out your copter (just fresh water at first), then finish off with some alcohol to help things dry properly.

    Your battery won't be salvageable, but the rest will probably work fine, once everything is *completely* dried. Our drone just needed a new circuit board in one of the ams as it got damaged during the crash.

    Otherwise, it flies again!

  • I think the issue with the Phantom is not the flight controller but the radio Tx it comes with. It's a low end unit. The phantom is IMHO really isn't a serious RC product but more of an advanced mass produced toy.

    • And the there is customer service and mfg support. Don't know about IRIS but Phantom is the worse .
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