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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    • A I pointed to OP before, The first crash suggested the the battery had issue. The log clearly showed the battery voltage dropped significantly which indicated battery was unsafe. A prudent operator would abandon further flight after first crash but OP did not.

      Forum members who posted crash log in general are looking for help so that they can avoid repeating the problem. I don't think OP has the same agenda.

    • i agree this individual is making it very difficult to even attempt to help him. He has a set up mind already. Why bother.

    • To be fair, this hobby isn't for the faint of heart. I think there are expectations that have been set by all drone companies that you're buying a toaster. It is necessary - you have to sell the dream, but people just don't realize that you're putting something into that air and that all landings are controlled crashes, that these batteries are fickle and can be dangerous, etc, etc.

      I think DJI has probably done the best of engineering the user out of some of the more complicated sides of the hobby, perhaps to its detriment. They are trying to make the toaster of the sky. They've succeeded in many ways, but at the end of the day whatever goes up must come down. 

      These are also far from military grade with redundant hardware that is super shielded from stray EM fields. I mean, they use WiFi for the most part!

      There are just so many things that can and will go wrong and expectations will never quite match the reality.

      OP, I think, represents this side of the hobby. He does have an agenda because expectations were set by the manufacturers and I think that's OK. For many of us that have been around RC for a long time we know better: what goes in the air may or may not come back to the ground in the same shape it left the ground, even if there wasn't a crash. ESCs overheat, vibration kills, mass produced electronics have some batch issues, etc, etc, etc.

      Personally, I love my Iris+, even with the issues I've had. I can do anything I want with it, and do. Do I wish I could get a camera system like with DJI? Yes - the video from the Phantom 4 is sick! But, soon I'm having my own frame cut from CF and will move everything from my Iris+ over to it - should add another 5 mins to flight time, at least based on my calcs. Can't really do that with DJI!

      On a side note: I'm an Android fan. iPhones are great products, but I'll take my Android any day, thanks.

    • Frankly, my replies are not for OP any more. By extending this discussion so future UAV operators will have a better check list for pre-flight procedure.

      For us, every mission, we pack several freshly charged batteries (we don't use new nor untested batteries), extra spare parts and computer for diagnostic. It is not unheard that we use few batteries in pre-flight check and on location tuning before the actual mission. For several occassions, we abandoned the mission after pre-flight check.

    • I have an IRIS + and have had no problems with it.  I also have an APM 2.8 on an self-built quad.  It was previously an APM 2 but I upgraded.  When it was an APM 2 I had a crash in which I thought, and still think, it was the hardware.  There is almost no way to prove either way.  I rebuilt and moved on with no other major problems.

      That is just for background, now to your problem.  After the first crash, I would have flown "manual" for quite sometime at low level to get some more data.  I would have landed and taken off at different speeds to see if there were a repeatable problem.  It appears the pixhawk is remaining powered during the whole flight, including the times when the motors stop so it could be an ESC or power distribution problem.  Knowing there was a likely problem, I wouldn't have used an APP to do any flying until I had sorted things out.  I'm not belittling you because you did, we are all different and approach things in a different way.   Other than my first APM shipping weeks later than it was supposed to, I have never had to deal with 3DR but I've seen many people that have had trouble with their customer service and that is a shame because 3DR really has/had a good product.  We've yet to see if they survive much longer.

      Others have said that the Iris + isn't a consumer drone.  I disagree.  I took mine out of the box, attached the gimbal and Gopro and have been taking videos on a regular basis.  I've done so with manual and automated flights.  The guided missions and follow me functionality is great. That is what I purchased it for and it works very well.  Yes, I could tinker with it if I wanted to but I have my other quad for that. I have added FPV to the Iris + but I don't consider that tinkering.   DJI is good for some things and 3DR is good for others.  I'm not against DJI but I have no reason to switch because my APM 2.8 and Pixhawk do everything I need and more.  On future purchases, I may have to switch to another FC if 3DR isn't around or isn't selling to the consumer market but I'm really happy with the APM, Pixhawk, Ardupilot and supporting software.  The community is also excellent.  I've seen many take many hours of their time to help users diagnose and solve problems.  We all must realize that some problems just can't be solved.  Distinguishing between pilot error and hardware failure can sometimes be impossible.  My first really bad crash, I was the same way you were.  Someone mentioned pilot error and I became defensive and blew up and said things about people that I shouldn't have.  I still think it was hardware error but I can't prove one way or the other.  I didn't fly for a year after that crash because of it.  I then rebuilt and started flying again.  I later purchased the Iris + and upgraded the APM 2 to a 2.8. Now I think of the year I missed flying because I was mad at something that didn't really matter in the long run.

      I've seen many posts on other forums of people having poor customer service with DJI.  I think that companies, in general, really don't care much about their customers.  That's just a fact of the corporate culture.  Most of the people in this community do care about the others and they will do what they can to help.

      Just my 2 cents

    • As I pointed

  • I doubt that that buying another drone or changing company will change the attitude of the user. 

    Yesterday I've had a chance to look into the Ph4. Decided that my other drone will be Hex or X8 custom drone based on Pixhawk(2). 

    So far I'am very pleased with Solo and 3DR support. 

    I don't say DJI is bad. I also wish good luck to Yuneec with their TyphoonH drone. Now I'am testing the new player - Xiro Xplorer drone. I think it will be very hard competitor with Yuneec. 

    But my experience with 3DR was always good. My IRIS+ flies great with newest APM 3.3.3. My 3DR X8+ works great also. 

    Fly Safe!

  • A test of P4 shows the weakness of P4 OA


  • Ha ha, ok maybe I can explain it this way.

    Flying into a tree:

    Operator error.

    Flying after the low voltage warning and crash or lost:

    Operator error.

    Flying backwards and hitting a building or object:

    Operator error.

    Flying inside restricted air space:

    Operator error.

    Sudden power loss from a faulty ESC board:

    Mechanical error.

    I'll gladly take responsibility for any Operator Error.  Stop trying to classify a sudden power loss on the pilot.

    • This thread is generating more heat than light. Pixhawk is not for everyone and IMHO you need to treat an IRIS like a DIY system. I do not think it is for you. If you just want aerial pics get a Phantom 3 or 4 and do not look back. I prefer Pixhawk generally but when I want pictures and aerial video without fancy yaw movements, I just pull out a P3. It may still crash, like anything, but your chances of being a happy consumer are going to be much higher. Only diehards are going to argue that point. 

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