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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  • Justin:

    I'm sorry to hear of your crash.  However, I see your problem is more fundamental than the hardware you purchased.  

    Your comment tells the story, 

    "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... "

    So you've made a deliberate choice to NOT understand the dangerous flying craft that you bought at the local toy store so you can ride your bike, and get selfy video of yourself.  This is a problem, perhaps you did not cause the crash, and it was a hardware issue, so what.  This will happen to you again, whatever hardware you buy, because you don't know whats going on, and state you really don't want to know.  Perhaps next time you'll crash into a person, or busy traffic.

    Its not really your fault, as you stated 3DR promised professional video footage without any learning or experience.  This entire new industry promises such things.

    Like a previous post the best recommendation is that you set up a workbench repair your drone and read this site to learn about your new device.  Become part of the community instead of throwing stones, regardless of the hardware you pick up.

    • They did promise that so don't pretend they didn't.  It is also possible as many hundreds or thousands have demonstrated.  Both are to blame.  3DR for trying to pretend the craft are non-problematic, which most are, and the consumer, who wants to fly out of the box, which they can.  Both view are correct and incorrect at the same time.  I have yet to meet a pilot that has not crashed and I have yet to see a company admit that their craft crash.  Back when I was first getting into RC, the mid 70's, the hobby was difficult.  It still is but people don't want to admit that.

    • There's a lot of myths about advancements out there in the whole drone world.  I just talked to someone yesterday who said their friend has a start up for fully autonomous & watched their drone fly off into the water.  It's safe to say anyone taking this on now is taking a chance w/ their drone crashing or flying away.  Give it a little while & there will be fully autonomous.  

      Until then, whenever you put something in the air you're PIC (pilot in command).  It there's a glitch you know about beforehand, don't just go for it.  I make sure everything's updated & calibrated, sometimes I won't even fly it if I see something's out of whack.  When I do see it's all good, the last thing I do after kicking to auto is cross my fingers.  

    • Randy and devs here have really gone a long way in that regard and getting better all the time. The code is getting much smarter and dealing with glitches and or out of whack readings. And the compass and EKF monitors are a huge improvement!! Now you can see [ with a GCS ] if things are borderline not set up right. before sometimes you found out the hard way.  But I agree... if something isn't right don't just fly and hope!! I did that and lost a quad. Not the codes fault it was Human error. It warned me but I flew anyway. Dumb. 

    • If he continue his "take_it_out_and_fly" attitude, he will make the same post in DJI forum.

      He will find out how he would be treated on DJI forum.

  • Sorry to hear of your frustrations.  I've had similar frustrations a couple years ago while I was learning how these things work.  One drone I had would randomly flip and crash, I debugged it down to a single crack in a soldering joint on the power distribution board. It could handle low power but when I punched the throttle it would go crazy.  The pixhawk based drones I have now are rock solid with hundreds of hours of flight time.  I don't trust a drone that has crashed badly, I start over, even though that is more expensive, the results have been good.  Recently I purchased a 3DR Solo, and that is a completely different ballgame.  It is an amazing drone, it works flawlessly and is tuned so a 5 year old could fly it, it's almost impossible to crash.  DJI has similar drones.  I still prefer 3DR over DJI because of the open source firmware that I can tinker with.  

  • "Not even a constellation prize set of propellers."

    The expression is "consolation prize." The purpose of which is to console. 

  • I didn't read the entire thread just thought I'd mention my brother was like you he didn't want to tinker just take it out for the box and fly. He's had really good luck with his phantoms getting great video and it has excellent range. However.... he has now had 4 flyaways. Total losses including a gimble and go pro and FPV  on all of them!!! That's a LOT of $$. He is a VERY detail oriented person and goes through a pre flight check list. These were not pilot error. He's pretty sure two of them were battery software oriented. Sometimes for whatever reason even though they are reading 3/4 or more full the damn thing just stopped in flight and crashed. One time he watched hopelessly  as it landing itself in the ocean. Customer service is so bad he didn't even bother calling them. Not to mention without logging there's no way to prove what happened. But.... these were older phantoms... are they better now? I really don't know. I will say it was probably a mistake on your part to fly again right after you had a problem...I'd want to look at the log after it crashed from 3 feet and see if I could figure out what the deal was before flying again. I've been flying pixhawk DIY drones for 3 years and had one flyaway which I consider my fault as it was warning me the compass having an issue but I flew anyway. Good luck!

    • LOL this is getting hilarious now.

      I would have stopped after the first failure, uploaded the 10 second log to see if you could help interpret the issue, and you would have said "Sorry there's not enough flight data here to find an answer. We need more data."

      You guys want it both ways; you want me to pack everything up any time it farts wrong, but you want enough running time to provide a detailed log.

      Please tell me what you would have found if only provided the first failed launch. That's all I'm interested in. Ignore all other data, even the video. Just look at the first launch failure and tell me what happened, in greater detail than "lost power".

      Cmon, you can do this.
    • HI,

      had a look on your logs and the video..

      so the short log is this one from the video?

      in the log its clearly to see you raise the throttle down before the copter was falling down like a stone..

      power etc. all ok. 



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