After spending many hours troubleshooting and waiting days for responses from support I finally took back my first Solo the was eventually deemed defective by 3DR for a number of issues. It took another 2.5hrs at the retailer to perform the exchange and a 5 day wait with a 3 hour commute to pick up Solo #2 at the nearest retailer with inventory.

I will say that I was quite excited when unboxing #2 as the whole process was extremely smooth compare the previous one.  in less then 10 minutes #2 was updated to 1.05 and fully calibrated.  It had 12-13 satelites registered and locked in seconds from startup.  #1 took a minimum of 4-5 minutes if I was lucky to lock 6 for auto fly. Not to mention the controller showed full bars for solo connectivity and telemtry readings in the app were dead on.  

With such good flight conditions before packing up the kids in the car to head over the field I decided to take #2 up and down just to confirm flight first.  here is #2's first flight video 10 mins from coming out of the box.

Solo - $999

Gimbal(still haven't recieved)  - $399

GoPro 4blk - $499

Xtra batterys - $597

spare parts - $80

40+hrs invested in troubleshooting/support and exchange of 1st Solo - $3000

Capturing this majestic first flight on video - Priceless!


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Replies to This Discussion


+1 wow
What happend? A prop might have come off??

Wow, that sucks. How was the battery voltage, first thing I thought of when I saw 10min out of the box. I hope that 3DR will quickly take care of this. Keep us posted.

Some are on Solo #3 or #4.

I have to question WHY you invested so much time and money in something which was not yet reviewed, proven and deemed reliable by 100's or thousands of users? 

Surely you could have just ordered one of many models from Amazon or other vendors and saved a lot of time and money?

I'm sorry for your hassle, etc. but still scratch my head as to why people go through these chases 

Some hobbyists enjoy hacking, breaking, fixing, building, modding and if that's the case, forgive my comments above. However, if you desire a real RTF camera/gimbal quad, look at models that have been out for months or years and are in stock complete, etc.

A general rule of thumb - if you are not familiar with the RTF hobby end - is to wait at least 90 days after a release and read unbiased reviews, etc.

Some companies, Parrot for example, took years to get their first model up to even their basic claims (released in 2010, still had problems in 2013). 

Pioneers sometimes get scalped. There are a lot of down sides and almost no up sides except bragging rights. 

If you want to hack around without a camera - get a good deal on an Iris+ or similar. If you want to fly a camera/gimbal quad and take good vids, etc  get a Phantom 3, Yuneec Q500+ or Blade Chroma. If you want to race around and FPV, look at the $250 Walkera runner. 

Be an educated consumer!

Can you please use the app to send the logs to tech support. They'll be able to diagnose and replace. Looks like a prop failed from the video, but we'd need the logs to be sure. 

I've seen a lot of solo crash videos out there. Are these mostly user errors or hardware/software issues? One video is a compilation called... 'The wind caught it'

You have to keep the #s in prospective. 'A lot' is very few if going by the forums and youtube compared to the 1000s in the field. Those that have an issue with any product, from Mercedes to Sony, will always be the most vocal and should be. But those that are enjoying the product are not on forums looking for answers.

There is no distinct line between user errors and machine errors. Smart machines are supposed to protect us from ourselves and not allow us to make certain mistakes. Solo is not yet doing this to the extent possible or needed.

Failed props would be something new. Props tend to be the least of the problems on the current generations.

Definitely a lot of hardware and software shortcomings - you can call them errors if you like. A totally experienced pilot may be able to avoid some of those crashes but since newer machines are marketed to beginners that doesn't do much good.

A lot is an accurate description. Too many is another. Hopefully each itineration of the FW along with hardware improvements will stem the tide.

True... and then there's always the risk as early adopters that the kinks will be worked out in the next iteration until the chasm is finally crossed. I prefer to be in the early or late majority since I don't have a lot of money to spend on being a test case.

"A lot is an accurate description. Too many is another. Hopefully each itineration of the FW along with hardware improvements will stem the tide."

Well at least we agree. 'A Lot' is not a number it is interpretive, and more than 1 is "too many" and fits any product ever made. Not sure what 'itineration' is so will leave that one alone. But thanks for playing.

Fly Safe..


I really don't see the point in John's video; it's a typical propaganda campaign against a competitor by a "fanboy" as they're called. It doesn't prove anything, other than with a few no matter how easy a RC to fly, you just cannot fix stupid.

Always read the comments,and look for the motive of the person posting the video. He's obviously a DJI guy, and I wouldn't doubt a few here at DIYDrones are from RCG that simply do not like 3DR and post day after day over there regurgitating the same barf mulch over and over. You know who you are.

All or none in the video may be the fault of the drone, but someone apparently from 3DR set the record straight on a few of them, one of which has been well known for a long time. Did any of you read it? Obviously not. The first example was replied to by the owner and said 3DR replaced it and has been working fine; maybe the replacement had the latest update? Or it could have been a defect. 

I waited until v1.0.5 was released as it seemed to have fixed some or most of the issues I read about, bought one, kept it for two weeks, put it in the car to return to BB, but read a response from 3DR I was allowed to make parameter changes that if not linked to a crash/flyway, would not void the warranty. Early on it was said using Tower would void the warranty, which also turned out to be untrue. So I decided to keep it. Thus far, 20+ flights without issue. Being an experienced RC'er, 35+ years, only 2 in MR's, it's become easy to spot those that really care and those that are here only to cause trouble. You also know who you are.  I don't fly where it shouldn't be flown (as seen in the video), I check the solar K-Index before flying (have forgotten on a few occasions), etc. etc. and take my time.

Quite honestly, there is no way on God's green earth I would spend or even admit to  "40+hrs invested in troubleshooting/support and exchange of 1st Solo - $3000". Sorry, that is just ridiculous. 

As for the gimbal, I haven't received mine either; patiently waiting until BB has them stock so I can use the rewards money.  Who has received it? A few maybe, don't know. Will it be as good as 3DR is purporting? I don't know. If it doesn't meet my expectations, it will be posted here at DIYDrones.

Finally, the bark is peeled from the tree. Don't get a Solo, get a Yuneec or P3. Here's a review by a guy who I like to watch on occasion. If I may say, it doesn't look all that great, and doesn't have a smidgen of the capabilities of the Solo. Plenty of crash videos for the Yuneec. It flies, Follow Me kinda sorta works sometimes, but has some serious shortcomings.

It's easy to play the "watch the video" game:

As for the Phantom 3, it's very easy to find countless videos of P3 crashes/flyaways and multiple hardware/fw problems that have been there since P1. Can someone look at these pictures and say with a straight face the P3 is a better built product? Oh, and now there are reports of the gimbal mount weakening and not holding horizontal level.

So, many of you have experienced cracks with your phantom 3. So have I. I decided instead of waiting 8 weeks for the repair process, I'd fix it myself.

Arms held together with zip ties to keep the frame from falling apart.

Oh yes, those $3000 Inspire owners.....they didn't have problems when first released? Ah, they'd like for this video to disappear. The guy received all kinds of quite despicable responses. Turns out it was a software glitch, DJI replaced it and he's happy.

If you like your drone, great, no matter what brand it is. We all know these machines are going to have problems, but I for one think the Solo will in the end turn out fine, but that's my opinion. Everybody has one,  but please dispense with the BS games.Do I think Solo was released too early? Probably. Do I think they jumped in too soon before having the logistics to handle the problems? Probably yes on that too. Should complete noobs be flying a Solo? Doubtful.  I'll wait another 3-6 months before giving my final opinion on the product as a whole. For now I'm counting on the devs to come through and continually improve on the product.

Craig Issod> "There is no distinct line between user errors and machine errors."

You must be very new to drones, and/or only have very  limited experience with toy drones with no  logging capabilities.  The ability to distinguish between user and machine errors is actually a great strength of Ardupilot underlying the Solo.

Oh but wait ... 

DG>  "Always read the comments,and look for the motive of the person posting the video.  [...] I wouldn't doubt a few here at DIYDrones are from RCG that simply do not like 3DR and post day after day over there regurgitating the same barf mulch over and over. You know who you are."

Great post DG. No kidding!  :)


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