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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    • T3

      No worries, you just bought the wrong thing for your application.  And that may be partially 3DR's fault, since they advertise it as an "everybody" copter when really its best for a hobbyist who is interested in tinkering with it.  I've been building my own copters long enough that if my Iris crashed, calling 3DR support would be the last thing on my mind.

    • You were fishing for "this was not my fault" . I don't think you will get it here nor from dji forum after you crash your p4 or p3.

      good luck.

    • FWIW I had to modify the APM firmware to output appropriate diagnostic information to prove to 3DR that my compass was defective. Yes, it irked me at the time but what I've subsequently come to realize is that there are a million ways that these devices can go wrong, there are a million stupid questions that people ask and you are paying not very much money for pretty sophisticated hardware. Put those all together and the odds are stacked against you unless you try and learn a bit more about how these things work, how they fail and what you can do about it.

      If you want more of a turn key solution then go with DJI but the same considerations apply and you will get what you pay for.

  • I would have loved to diagnose why the first takeoff failed, but it seems I've got a team of people looking at my logs now and the only answer is "somehow lost power".

    I'm not sure how I could have solved the problem if I would have taken it home, opened up the case, further voided ANY chance of 3DR Support because I'm now tearing it apart....

    What could I have honestly done after the first take off failure? Isn't it best to get more data? That's why I let it hover again for a few minutes at 4 feet high, seeing if it would cut out again. Is this not researching the problem?

    Honestly, sometimes people like to point out how it's my fault for crashing the 2nd time because I knew it crashed the 1st time. Should I have put it up for sale immediately after the first failed launch? No, I hovered it to see if it would happen again, to provide some kind of clue as to what's going wrong. Like I said, even with the provided logs, there is a group of people here in this thread looking at them with no concrete answer.

    Some of you over estimate my abilities to read the logs, better than a group of experienced operators.
    • You can use the mission planer app for down and analyze the log on location.

      Again, an experienced operator wouldn't pop the drone up at full throttle after a power issue. 

      If you haven't noticed, the battery for Iris has relative low C rating that means it is not equiped to handle high amp demand.

      BTW,  if you don't want to deal with 3DR anymore, Phantom 3 standard is only $399 on ebay. It is a nice beginner quad. When you crash it it doesn't hurt as much as the $1400 P4.

    • Since they discontinued the Iris+, I don't think it's supported anymore?  I noticed they have a similar DIY kit they're selling.  

      Like I said, I don't trust the apps on take off & landings.  I usually lift off in manual to check the winds, then see if the GPS loiter & if all's well, knock it into auto.  

      Besides this forum, I take it into a hobby shop from time to time.  A year ago, the Phantom's seemed a lot easier to use & notorious for fly aways.  

      I'm afraid what you're experiencing is the beginning of new technology & you might have to just chalk it up.  I have a digital camera I bought for $1,000 around 20 years ago.  It held 5KMB of memory & took about 5 min to anticipate the photo.  That's just how it goes when the technology is brand new.  Even a plane in auto pilot relies on the pilot to land the plane.  

      If you're tired of working on your drone, I'd go w/ the Phantom 4 & hope they've solved the fly away glitch.  

  • Thanks for the feedback everybody. Trust me, I've been reading and researching a lot lately. At first I was all set to buy the Solo with my new bonus check from work. But now I'm just not looking forward to getting blamed for more manufacturing defects. I have zero confidence in 3DR Support. They have never been a benefit in any way to me. I've never had a positive experience. Sure they're nice people but when you dump @ $1,000 dollars into drone equipment, you kind of expect a little help now and then.

    DJI Support is rumored to be bad, yes I've heard. But if both 3DR and DJI customer service are not helpful, I just have to default to the equipment that will work better and rely on communities.

    Currently I'm in discussions with 3DR Support. I purchased this Iris from Amazon 1 year ago, little did I know that this would play hell on getting better support.

    I'm trying to contact the seller, Jestik (who seems to have sold a bunch of these), to see if they can help me out in finding their original order from 3DR.

    I've sent the picture of the Serial number to 3DR support in hopes they could track down a manufacturing timeframe to see if there was a bad batch of ESC boards around that time perhaps, but that isn't going to help me.

    I'm predicting if I do happen to get the original order number from 3DR, it's not going to help me at all. That won't tell them any info on why my Iris misbehaves, I feel it's just another hoop to jump through so I'll eventually give up and stop bothering them.

    Are the logs, video, and serial number not enough to show what happened? If it is indeed a soldering joint on the ESC board, and that is not subject to a manufacturing defect, could somebody tell me what would count as a manufacturing error?
    • 3DR support is much better, despite the problems you've had with them.

      I've always had a good experience with them. To be honest, with my Iris I tend to try to fix things myself because it's so far from stock at this point. But with the Solo they've replaced the whole drone even after the 30 day period - even when it was questionable whether the fault was really on their side.
    • If  you have your iris more than 12 months, chance for getting refund or help from 3DR is very slim. You will have a tough time to prove it is manufacturer defect after the crash. In your case, it is easier to show operator error. As you stated, you disregard an earlier power issue and you elected to go full throttle (auto launch).

      If you don't know flying a quad is very expensive hobby, this would be a good lesson. 

      As I pointed out to you in other forum, regarding dji support.  Grass looks greener if you are on other side of the fence.

      To me, I don't count on the technical support, like all RC hobbyists before me. I learned how to make repairs and now I can assemble any UAV from parts or design one for  certain needs.

      May I suggest you putting portion of your bonus ckeck for setting up a repair bench and buying parts, whether you are buying a solo or P4 is immaterial because sooner or later, they will crash and you will repeat the same post if you count  solely on technical support. Just keep in mind, the repair technicians need money to live too. No business can exist without a profit.

  • I am in IT and I own both DJI and 3DR products. 

    I agree with Erik Graham's comment above.

    When people ask me what I recommend, I tell them the 3DR is like a Unix and DJI is like a Mac.

    I also run a local repair business and almost exclusively repair DJI's. I don't think it's because they crash more, but Unix people would almost never let someone work on their equipment and most Mac people aren't interested in tinkering.

    They both have their advantages, but man that new Phantom 4 looks cool and that bonus check of yours would just about cover it. LOL

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