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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    • This analogy sums it up pretty nicely.  I bought a phantom 4 after about 4 years of building apm and pixhawk-based craft.   My main pixhawk craft hasn't left the shelf since I got the P4.   The HD video range of lightbridge is truly impressive.   The only building I plan to do now is <=250 FPV.

    • I just want to fly and film aerial footage.  I do not want to tinker, customize, edit, or optimize any part of the drone.  I want one that comes out of the box and fulfills 1 purpose.  So it sounds like DJI Phantom 4 is the one for me.  

      I just regret believing the advertisements for the Iris up until Feb 2nd 2015, as it was selling a drone that was great for beginners, yet was easy to film professional grade video.

      Then after I got the gimbal, GoPro, and video transmitter antenna on there, and I thought back to the phrase from the promo video "When we see the Iris, we think 'Aerodynamic'".  I heard that losing horn music from the Price Is Right playing in my head as I looked at the monstrosity that now existed as my Iris, and to think it looked "aerodynamic" gave me a shiver.

  • The Iris isn't really a consumer drone. It's more a platform for hobbyists and researchers. You'd have been much better off with a 3DR Solo.
  • All of this stuff crashes unfortunately. You may have a hardware power fault. You probably should try a phantom 4. It is going to be a much simpler set up and is two generations,better than a Tarot gimbal. And is the best consumer camera ship out there now if you just want video and pictures with good camera control.

    But read up on user ezperiences. They all have theif quirks. 3DR pixhawks sell well now so you could get some $$ back. Or put it on another frame and learn how to make your own quad.
    • I haven't had those kind of problems w/ mine at all?  I have two Iris + that I use Tower software w/.  I do have a Phantom Pro 3 as well.  

      I take off & land w/ the controller & kick it into auto to use the Tower app.  I don't trust the apps at all, they crash all the time.  The DJI app is the same, I'll crank up my tablet & the damn thing won't even open.  

      It could be the apps you're using?  They're all getting there.  I've been doing this for over a year and just last week was the first time I pressed the phone app & it took off, got the shots, and landed w/out me doing anything.  

      The Tower app was actually very advanced for its  time (last year. ) Fully autonomous is the goal, almost there.  

  • Hard to tell, but on your last connection of the battery, before the crash, it does not give the proper initiating tones. But you did get it to arm, so I dunno.

  • I feel your pain.  Good thing you have good documentation.

    We see from the video that motors stop in mid air.  Reviewing the logs everything looks good except for the current output.  It suddenly drops and we can see that throttle out goes to max.  This indicates a power issue just after the Pixhawk power connector since the pixhawk stays active.

    The 4 in 1 ESC leaves little room for bad solder joins but there must be one in there some place that comes loose just when you start trusting it again.

    It's nice to have a piece of equipment that monitors and records everything that's going on.  Without it you have no idea what happened except bad piloting.

  • McFarland,

    I saw your post @dji facebook before I saw your post here.  

    I have 3dr and dji products. 

    You popped your drone up to the air right after it crashed without proper analyze the problem.

    To me, if you keep on the way you were doing with 3dr product, you will have the same experience with dji too.

    Before you get your dji, please visit phantompilots.com for other dji users experiences with dji. The grass may not greener on the other side.

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