I'm ready to drop 3DR, go with DJI

Alright, this time I'll try to whine and complain a little less, but I think this is it.  After replacing gimbal after gimbal, broken arm after broken arm (are they always the blue ones that break?), watching my Iris drop dead from the sky time after time, I'm just ready to get out of this abusive expensive relationship.


I will give it just 1 more chance though.... and it hinges on how 3DR support will reply to my email I sent today.  Will they blame the pilot, again?  Or will they say "hey, you know what, you just might have a bad piece of hardware"

I took my Iris out to the park, wanting to practice some Follow Me paths while riding my bike.  Well, I didn't even get to hop on my bike before the Iris crashed twice, both times killing power in the air.

The first crash was luckily only 3 feet off the ground, so it landed on all 4 legs.  I flew it again, hovering around 4 - 5 feet for a minute or so just to see if it would kill again, nope, I landed it.

Maybe I'm arrogant, but this time I tried launching with the Tower app.  Launched fine, and as it climbs to about 20 feet I realize if it falls from that height, it might do some damage, so I pressed "Land" on my phone, and the Land button must be 3DR for "kill power and dive" because that's what happened.  

I wasn't so lucky this time, it took a nose dive breaking an arm and the gimbal.  Fortunately THIS time my GoPro was not harmed.

If anybody wants to waste some time trying to investigate a problem I expect 3DR Support will blame on pilot error, here are my logs from today.  But please, if you do find out what happened (other than it looks like you lost power here...), I would appreciate some feedback.  It would be interesting to see if 3DR support has a different answer too.


Here is also the entire video, uncut from today, for your laughter.


Like I said, 3DR has 1 last chance to impress me.  I've just received a bonus check from work for a couple thousand dollars, and I'm buying a new drone.  3DR Solo?  DJI Phantom 4?  Let's see how this support call turns out.  Last time they offered me a 15% discount on an overpriced Tarot gimbal.  No help with my crushed GoPro.  Not even a constellation prize set of propellers.

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  • Thanks, it's been a very positive experience

    Harry Courter said:

    Good Luck With That.

  • Thank you for reply! It's useful information for me :)

    I have built multiple copter over three years, started from F450, ended up with my own foldable Y6 design but none of them are capable to do any close to what DJI does.

    The level of integration is unreachable for ArduPilot community at this particular moment (I was frustrated once realized it this summer).

  • Absolutely love it!  I haven't counted the flights and films I've made with it yet, but it has given me no trouble.  I haven't lost any confidence in it, and there has been no sign of it failing.

    Feel free to browse my drone videos from this year:  https://www.youtube.com/user/bogleydotcom/videos

    It's a world of difference.  The only reason why I'm not talking so bad about my Iris+ now is because I'm trying to sell it LOL.

    3DR Customer Service is GONE now, by the way.  The very same thing they would say about DJI's customer service, in an effort to keep losing customers to them, is what has happened to 3DR.  

    In a way, I'm glad I had such a horrible time with my 3DR product, because it has made me appreciate DJI that much more.

    Andrey Belyaev said:

    Hi Justin,

    How is your experience with Phantom 4? (if any)

    Justin McFarland
    Justin McFarland on Instagram at @justin_mcvideo Drone videos, Outdoor Landscapes in Utah, Outdoor recreation, wakesurfing, mountain biking
  • Hi Justin,

    How is your experience with Phantom 4? (if any)

  • Your crash looks pretty repairable to me but I share your frustrations.  I have been flying full manual prior to go with an autopilot and I've constantly been perplexed at how buggy everything is.  Reading the DJI forums I see that many people feel the same way about DJI.  I'm wondering when or how to get a more reliable system up.  I'm a tinkerer who uses a Mac with the command line - I like stable reliable products but also the ability to tinker on them.  Is there just significant lack of data on what is causing these problems?

  • All this stuff is way over complicated. A GoPro on a gimbal and Helium balloon, two strings for orientation are control. Its got to be better that $1.5K and video full of jello.

    Really, all this gear is overkill for selfies.

    • I use a Xiaomi Yi  that outputs to a 200mhz Vtx and I love flying around with goggles on. Video quality is much better than a board camera and it saves weight (delay doesn't matter). This alone makes my investment in my Iris+ worth every penny. 

      So, get a lawnchair, punch some flight coordinates in, put your goggles on and enjoy the view - even with the Tarot and it's only 2D its fun to fly around autonomously, then switch to manual and change video orientation.

      p.s. I only get jello when I'm descending because of turbulence, as well as the occasional harmonic of the blades, particularly when they're fighting the wind.

    • I would agree with you if the balloon is as easy to control as a well tuned drone. Have you tried to fly a balloon with an autonomous mission.

  • Front left hand motor or ESC failed. Because it was so quick I would expect ESC. Could be a solder join on or connection to it.

    Once you have a failure, fly low for a bit and try to observe the problem again. It wont go away magically. If it falls straight down then all motors stopped at the same time, its the FC or power. If it falls to one corner, its specific to the arm. Use your head and your wallet will be heavier.

    Other wise put your GoPro on a broom handle and get your sister to follow you around.

    "I just want to" is the ugliest phrase in the English language. Go boots and all or not at all!

  • I actually like both, for different reasons.  If that's what you're using it for you will like it, especially the remote access to the camera.  

    I wouldn't sell it though, I plan to keep mine for my collection...


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