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.

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


    • This does not even have the current class of DJI flight controllers in the P3/P4 and Inspire as an option. I am not sure how relevant it really is if it is so incomplete and is only addressing mostly legacy FCs. I am not much of a fan boy but it is generally accepted that the latest offerings from DJI are not so afflicted with fly-away syndrome. 

    • If you take in the consideration of number of unit sold  (http://fortune.com/2015/04/08/dji-drones/ 30,000 per month), the percentage of fly away is very low.

      As the government expects a million drones sold in 2015 x'mas season, even a  very small percentage, the number of incident is still looks high.

  • Developer

    I had a look at the log which must correspond to the video and it looks like a pretty clear case of an ESC/Motor failure of the front left motor (#3).  It's clear because as the troubles start motor #3 (front left) goes to full while it's opposite (#4, back right) goes to minimum.  Despite the front-left motor being at full throttle, the vehicle starts rotating forward and left (both pitch and roll become negative - see 2nd graph below).

    3702218336?profile=original3702218593?profile=originalWhen I first saw the log and video I was very suspicious because it really sounds like the motors turn off and it happens so soon after the vehicle switches to Land mode (0.75 seconds after the switch) but from the logs, it looks just like a regular motor failure.

    If it's a new IRIS, I'd hope that 3DR would replace the vehicle for you.  I have no power over them of course, I hope the graphs above help convince them that it's a mechanical issue (i.e. ESC/Motor).

    Connect ESCs and Motors — Copter documentation
    • I believe OP case clearly shows the important of the need for on the site diagnostic tool. As now, all the development efforts are concentating on features for fancy picture shot and drone movement. I know these features sell the drone but lack of safety and diagnostic features enforce the impression of unsafe flying weed eater.  my 2 cents.

    • Open Source world, my friend. Feel free to start coding!  :)

    • It takes more than codes, my friend,we need sensors to monitor the health of the drone. 

    • he had the iris over 12 months.

    • Randy, if you plot the current output you will see that it went to 0 just before the motors went there separate ways in both logs.  This would indicate there is a bad solder joint just after the power plug to the Pixhawk since it did not loose power.  Haven't look at the 4 in 1 ESC board to see how the power is broken out. Maybe there was a previous crash that cracked the 4 in 1 ESC power board.

    • Developer


      Ah, yes.  You're right.  It's very suspicious that the current drops to near zero even though the pwm output to 3 of the 4 motors remains high.  So that points to a mechanical failure more like you describe - a total failure of power to get to the motors and ESCs.  That would also fit better with the video in which is really sounds like all the motors stop.

      3702740658?profile=originalI've personally had good luck with my 4 or 5 IRIS+ vehicles.  I find them nearly indestructable although they're under powered with a gimbal attached (I generally don't fly with a gimbal).  I have had a vehicle in which the battery connector developed a break in the solder and would reset everything sometimes while plugging in the battery - i re-soldered it myself and it's been ok since.

      Slightly OT but it's unfortunate that for Justin it's a 3DR vs DJI choice.  I hope/expect that more companies will bring low cost RTF ardupilot based vehicles to market.  Of course the Solo's price are also much more competitively priced these days it seems.

    • Don't forget Yuneec. 

      I never thought they were a player until recently.

      DJI is suing them for patent infringement. Sigh. And so innovation ends with our hobby as DJI's profits will eventually decline when the fad is over and it goes back to being a hobby.

      Or, wait a second, innovation will continue with the hobby which DJI will then incorporate into its platform (just like Apple does - nothing new, just borrowed and relatively well executed). 

This reply was deleted.