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$4,500 U.S. Dollars Later

Mad Mavic

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Today I decided to give some hard earned opinions of DJI products. Specifically the Mavic Pro Platinum, and DJI Goggles. While I'm here I might as well throw in a few words about the Titan antenna mods; being all inclusive in my rant/review.

First I have to say without question DJI has an incredibly complex device that, were it not for the inferior manufacturing,, they would be worth ever cent. Unfortunately, they are simply too fragile to stand up to the demands placed on their capabilities, let alone the drones limits.

I've experienced a lot of pilot error, and thanks to DJI Refresh,I kept flying, at least until today. For no reason the gimbal servos began slamming into their respective stroke limits like some possessed demon had overtaken my drone. After several attempts at fixing the issue through some YouTube videos, I noticed that one part of the gimbal was too hot to the touch.

I decided to extract the gimbal and have a look. I found a flat ribbon cable along with a length of single stranded wires leading to the camera. The ribbon cable seemed to be in tact but the individual strands had rubbed the gimbal housing during operation; causing several to short circuit. Evidently the short transferred into the servos causing the erratic behavior.

I bought two drones, two sets of goggles, two custom hard cases, two extra controllers, and two long range antenna mods. IMHO I feel I have a right, considering the expense, to offer a rating on each product.

Let say 5 stars is excellent:

DJI Goggles; without reservation I give these 5 stars. Aside from being a little bulky, they provide an immersed experience like none other. The video quality is super fine. And the HUD allows you the convenience of being able to monitor all flight data. The only data I would add is the power level of the device running the GO4 app.

The Titan Antenna mods; They get zero stars from me. Heavy bricks that did absolutely nothing even remotely close to what was told to me by the manufacturer. Some people claim great results but obviously these are people who are either flying LOS such as high altitudes or over flat terrain. I get exactly the same RC signal with or without the brick attached to my modified remote, or just the stock remote.

The Mavic Pro Platinum:
I'm sort of torn here so I'll have to break this down in sub categorizes.

Technology: 5 stars.for sure. Perhaps the most advanced drone on the market. Especially the logic programmed into such a small footprint. Never once did I have an issue with the system failing to deliver. Always responded as it should, and even outwitted me a few time on RTH.

Mechanical design: 5 stars. The size and style is certainly an eye catcher. The fold out arms, battery size, and overall shape of the drone make it one of the nicest looking drones on the market in its class.

Operating system hardware: zero stars. Here is the big negative with DJI. I've been all through the controller and drone, and these are simply poorly constructed devices that are prone to fail. If your one of the lucky ones, you are getting more than the 100+ hours I got..

Having multiple devices, I discovered that there are more than one supplier, using differing components inside the units. For example, one controller fan plug may be white while another is red. Not a big issue but I found the solder joints by some suppliers to be defective. For example the antenna connector and fan power connector simply detached from the board when attempting to unplug.

My experience in manufacturing tells me that quality control is all but non existent. If DJI is ISO compliant at any level, I would Like to see the audits.

In summary, I'm stuck with a pile of parts that will only fly if I continue to pour money in. Its too bad because I absolutely love flying.the Mavic. Its as close to being in the cockpit as can be. An American, German, or Japanese unit would be superior in quality, but probably too expensive to the average hobbyist. So my suggestion is DJI stop production. and put a lot of focus on improving a product with great potential.

Final word, probably wont be buying anything else from DJI
 
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netfolks2000

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Thanks for sharing. Indeed they, like any manufacturer, best watch quality control. Like many, once I see my money is being wasted, I can find it easy to drop any hobby. It is, after all, not a necessity, but a pleasure. And news of displeasure spreads like fire and can seriously "burn" any company.
 

Kilrah

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In summary, I' stuck with a pile of parts that will only fly if I continue to pour money in
You say you have a Platinum. That's necessarily still under warranty. So I fail to understand how you "have to continue pouring money in", just get it fixed. They're good at getting things right.
 
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rickw

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Can't believe you're not happy with Titan,James will stand behind his products 100%,I wouldn't be able to fly from my backyard if it wasn't for Titan
 
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Mad Mavic

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Can't believe you're not happy with Titan,James will stand behind his products 100%,I wouldn't be able to fly from my backyard if it wasn't for Titan
I respect your input but that's exact;y the issue. I trusted his recommendation in that I wanted to land next door in a relatives yard. He knew all the details. The Titan mod looses signal at the same exact altitude and coordinates as stock. Its not a matter of being happy. Instead of someone selling me something that didn't produce results promised.
 
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Mad Mavic

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You say you have a Platinum. That's necessarily still under warranty. So I fail to understand how you "have to continue pouring money in", just get it fixed. They're good at getting things right.
yep, under warranty just like my automobiles, but I bought both to enjoy and use, not sit in a repair shop. But like automobiles, DJI needs to begin a recall program.
 

Mad Mavic

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I own a mavic and fly one at work and after more than 100 miles both have been flawless machines. I would venture to say that I abuse my personal mavic and it just keeps on ticking.
That sort of what I was doing, flying at lunch every day. I'm seeing a lot of people with their camera going crazy. It fixed once by firing it up inverted but the next start it did the same thing.

I'm able to complete the IMU and compass calibrations, but not the Gimbal. Like many posts I've read, it stops at 5% then fails to complete. I dissembled it to check the flat ribbon but no issues. Hopefully someone finds a fix
 

MGS9500

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Interesting post.

My experience:

DJI Goggles; 4 Stars. Very nice, high resolution.

I wish they had a "firmware" update to allow for VR, but otherwise good.

They need a better head support. I added a rear support, and some have added weights to the back to balance the front weight imbalance.

I'd love to talk to the design team and tell them how to fix their headset support.


The Titan Antenna mods; 5 Stars. Great result. I would call Titan to troubleshoot. I live in a heavily wooded area. With the mods I increased my distance by 35% compared to pre mod range.


The Mavic Pro Platinum:


Technology:5 Stars. Cutting edge, but like all cutting edge, fragile and may fail. The problem is there really is no competition. But, when you consider that for about $1000 you get a drone that using GPS will fly, hover, transmit high resolution video, and RTH with battery or signal issues, it is a feat of technology.



Mechanical design: 3 Stars

I have concerns about the Mavic. Multiple reports of cracks in the body. I have had the right landing gear crack under what I consider standard use.


They need to add a leg extender. The drone sits too low and puts too much pressure on the front legs. The gimbal is exposed and rather fragile, (apparently fixed in the Spark).


Charging should be universal input for all of the drones and remote. And, USB C is the mandated standard for all cell phones in the USA. Why is DJI still using the old micro USB standard.


Operating system hardware:

2 stars.

It works but the constant firmware updates are annoying. Also, the check and confirmation and accepting or denying the firmware at each start should be removed.


Also, the updating is so problematic that DJI needs to have a better system for updating drone, remote, and goggles in a simple method that works.


I would like the remote to show where the drone is in relation to the remote with an arrow. The compass and map show the location and direction but pointing a directional antenna at the drone is a "hit or miss" guesstimate. I know where the drone is on a map, I know the direction, but I can't be certain I'm aimed at the drone.


Also, finding submenu changes to the drone are not obvious. I always struggle to remember where the "prop cage" change is for the propellers.


If Goggle or Apple made the firmware/software, it would be much more intuitive.
 
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Mad Mavic

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man,you must be doing something wrong,2 mavics in the repair shop all the time?maybe you should take up bowling
In the first few months I certainly did have my share of learning curves. I went through four or five cheap drones just to get familiar with the hobby. I only had one of the Mavic's in the shop though, My comment was simply that I bought two to fly, not so they could sit in repair. So far #2 is still flying.The second Mavic did have a brief episode with the gimbal, but it mysteriously came and went.

After reading a lot of posts, it seems the gimbal is an Achilles heel on the Mavic after extended use . I bought two flat ribbon cables and will post back if it fixes the issue.

Oh, and I tried bowling... never could get it going fast enough to get airborne; I’m thinking the drag coefficient LOL
 
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MGS9500

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A few thoughts:
1.) If the drone is needed faster in a repair, you can pay for upgraded shipping and not use the DJI label. You will have to pay for the 2nd day at the local FedEx or UPS.
2.) I would be hesitant to "break open" the drone and check the ribbon and do a repair. It is straightforward, but the clips that hold the ribbon in are somewhat fragile and damaging the clip means a new board.
3.) If you damage the board in a self repair, I believe you have voided the Mavic Refresh warranty. It states that you must have a drone to return, and I believe not self repairs.

Exclusion are noted below. Any third party part replacement voids the refresh. I don't know where you got your ribbons, but if they don't say DJI, there is a problem.

DJI Care Refresh does not cover the following:
1) Lost or partially lost aircraft, gimbal or accessories.
2) Stolen, forgotten, or abandoned product.
3) Damage caused by flight under unsuitable conditions.
4) Remote controller, battery of Inspire 2, Phantom 4 Pro and Phantom 4 Advanced, and modification accessories.
5) Deliberate losses.
6) Abrasions and shell damage that do not affect the performance of the product.
7) Direct or indirect losses caused by force majeure.
8) Replacement requests for damage incurred outside the period of validity.
9) Extra fees resulting from technical enhancements or performance improvements.
10) Damage resulting from modifications that are not in accordance with manual recommendations, or the use of incompatible batteries and charger.
11) Damage resulting from the use of third party accessories, batteries or software.
 

Mad Mavic

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I decided to fix my gimbal. i worked on it for a couple days putting on new ribbon cable and nothing helped. I opted for a new gimbal assembly and with my store credit got the board, ribbon, and stranded camera cable for $140 new in the box free shipping.

It seems my screw up was thinking I had powered the unit down and placed it in my protective case. My son was the next to fly it and said when he pulled it out of the case it was hot as %$#^... I'm lucky I didn't fry the whole unit.
 
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pbell

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Technology:5 Stars. Cutting edge, but like all cutting edge, fragile and may fail. The problem is there really is no competition. But, when you consider that for about $1000 you get a drone that using GPS will fly, hover, transmit high resolution video, and RTH with battery or signal issues, it is a feat of technology.
I can tell that you're impressed, but I have a drone which does all the things you list (well, video at 1920x1080), and it cost me $160. However, what my inexpensive drone lacks is control and video transmit range, stabilised video/gimballed camera and extended flight time (it's only ~15 minutes, realistically).
I will buy an MPII, when it's available, but in the meanwhile I'm practicing, and having fun, with my Bugs2W.
 

Gizmo

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I have a P4 and a MPP, the Mavic is just a month old and have had no problems so far. The P4 is a year old, it has crashed, it went down in a river, and it is still working flawlessly. If I ever buy another drone IT WILL BE A DJI, I'm sorry for your bad luck.
 

anom3

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I'm a new Mavic owner myself, but I'll chime in.

Before I begin... Yes, I should have returned it day one since I bought it at a retail location... But the issues were "minor" enough to ignore...

a) Battery jiggle...
- Friend came over with his... Looks like its an issue with my battery not the Mavic it self.

b) One of the rear arms has some play when folded in... Not my video but same issue (although quite a bit less then this video):

c) Blurry right side of video, common issue.

So yeah, made in China baby!

Frankly, such an amazing piece of tech that I wish they would have made it in Germany or Japan (as OP mentioned) and I would have happily paid 1.5x the cost.
 

MGS9500

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reply to anom 3
I am going to preface this with a comment that I have many concerns about DJI customer service. For those of us who have been using their products for several years, there is an appreciable improvement.

Emails get answered in less than one day.
The customer service lines are quickly answered.

Problems are still on the line troubleshooting. The response is more often than not to send the product in. Shipping for east coast to California via their UPS is over one week and then one week return. So, all repairs for DJI refresh or replacement are about 3 weeks. They should offer 2 day shipping.

And, all the tech support is mainly sent to China where the help is limited in what they can offer other than their pat comment to "sent the product in." Unlike Apple, they don't have dozens of stores to give immediate assistance.

It's like having an expensive but fragile Swiss watch. Lovely to look at, but if something goes wrong, it's back to Switzerland.



Having said that, your posting needs some clarification.
The battery wiggle looks minimal. Does it come out, or just wiggle? Is that a battery from DJI or did you buy it on line and branded as DJI?
The are wiggle has no effect on flight. The arm attachment is by a spring latch. There is no real adjustment. No screws to tighten. If it is too snug, closing the arm would cause a stress on the leg and joint. I don't see a concern.
The comment about being made in China as a comment concerning quality is absurd. Apple makes their products in China, as does Lenovo computers, and Converse sneakers, most LL Bean products, Mattel toys, and play doh.
Every country can be impugned for making junk.

I don't love DJI, nor am I a fan of China manufacturing, I just believe blanket hostility against Chinese manufacturing is an empty comment.
 

Mitch

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I'm a new Mavic owner myself, but I'll chime in.

Before I begin... Yes, I should have returned it day one since I bought it at a retail location... But the issues were "minor" enough to ignore...

a) Battery jiggle...
- Friend came over with his... Looks like its an issue with my battery not the Mavic it self.

b) One of the rear arms has some play when folded in... Not my video but same issue (although quite a bit less then this video):

c) Blurry right side of video, common issue.

So yeah, made in China baby!

Frankly, such an amazing piece of tech that I wish they would have made it in Germany or Japan (as OP mentioned) and I would have happily paid 1.5x the cost.
The battery may need just a little more pressure pushed downward to snap it in snug. I wouldn’t push much harder. Mine was similar.