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Every Flight Is A White Knuckle Experience

VintageDude

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It's become clear that many are not reading from the beginning of this thread and just adding to the noise. I got 2 bad birds and it ALL went away when I got a good one.


I'm new to drones and have had 2 MPPs in the last 3 weeks. I spent a week working with DJI trying to get the first one to activate, but they told me to take it back for a replacement.

I was able to get the second one to activate and fly. However, I'm finding that nearly every flight is a white knuckle experience with random "Recalibrate compass...", lost GPS, RC disconnects and "Extreme interference..." issues along with a few short uneventful flights. For every battery worth of flying, I end up stressed out and spending hours researching, installing firmware/software and trying to download and analyze the fight data in an effort to find out why I keep having these issues.

Everything is up to the latest version installed multiple times to make sure it sticks, but every time I start to fly, it's a whole new adventure. Sometimes the problems start as soon as I get everything powered up, other times it's after flying for 1-x minutes. All my flights have been in a semi-rural area with no power lines and only 3 houses with barns in about 20 acres. I always put my Galaxy S7 in airplane mode.

Is all this normal for drones in general, DJI products, the MPP in particular ? If it is, I think I'll find another hobby. If not, was I just unlucky and got another defective MPP ?
 
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Do you have anyone nearby that can help you get it set up and flying? Have you tried flying it at different locations?

Compass errors once airborne are not normal, neither is loss of GPS reception or disconnection.

DJI makes great products, so, no, it's not a DJI or MPP inherent design or manufacturing defect.
 

DroningOn

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I’ve had a pro since October 2016 with hundreds of stress free flights on it. I have never encountered what you are describing. It does not sound like “user error“, you might have just received lemon #2. It happens
 
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VintageDude

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No, I don't know anyone who could help me locally. I've spent many hours searching and reading online before buying and first flying the MPP. I see that lots of people have had these same problems and I've tried many of their solutions, but none has helped to tame this beast. I've also tried using a new Fire HD10 tablet instead of my Galaxy S7 with the RC, but it didn't make any difference in the randomness of the problems.

I haven't taken the time to scout out other areas to fly because I wanted to master it on my own property before trying it elsewhere. I've already had a disconnect a few days ago where it took off on it's own and I couldn't get it to reconnect or RTH for about 3 minutes. By the time I did get it to reconnect, I couldn't see or hear it and it wouldn't RTH. I had to fly it back manually using the camera to get oriented (where I discovered that it was 1/2 mile away above a school). That episode left me shaking.

I own RC planes, heli's and small manual quads, but haven't flown for several years. I wanted something easier to fly that had a camera, but am disappointed at how challenging this has turned out. I'm very computer and electronics literate, so I'm pretty familiar with hardware, firmware and software and radio control. I'm used to solving problems like this, except this is so random. It's never consistently the same issue or sequence of events, so it's hard to pin down the cause.

Yesterday evening, I lifted off and flew up about 100 ft. and out about 300 ft. to use the camera and gimbel to take pictures of the back of my property. I was aiming the camera when I got a no GPS, then the RC disconnected and I had no flight control. I immediately rebooted the RC and it reconnected. Hit the RTH and it came right back as if nothing had happened.

This morning when I went out to fly, it told me I needed to calibrate the compass as soon as I turned everything on. I tried and failed 4 times, so I checked the status of the compasses, and #1 was a full, solid red bar. I thought that maybe the compass had finally died. I turned everything off and came back in the house, but had things to do, so didn't get back to it until the late afternoon.

Did a bunch of research, then went outside to turn it all on and see how it behaved. Everything booted up fine and gave me 16 satellites and 5 GPS bars, then told me to Go Fly ! I no sooner lifted off and it starts telling me that there was extreme interference and to fly with caution. I went ahead and decided to fly anyway to see what it was going to do. The flight was uneventful except for several more extreme interference warnings, even when I was 300 ft. up and 400 ft. away. Flew for about 10 mintues, then gave it a RTH. It landed right where it took off.

Took off again, got the extreme interference warning and continued flying. Flew around trying several different maneuvers, banking, circling, testing the sensitivity of the controls, pivoting in a 360, etc. for 15 minutes, then got a low battery warning. Hit RTH and it came back, but wanted to land about 6 feet from the takeoff spot. I had to cancel RTH and land manually, but other than that, it was a relatively uneventful flight.

After the week working with DJI on my first MPP, I'm not real confident in their customer service.
 
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Droneroni

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This sounds like something is really wrong with your drone or remote. I'm new to this, got a MPP from dji a few days ago, and it is working fine. No problems at all and easy. I'm in a suburb of New Orleans.

I'm sorry, I know it has to be frustrating. It shouldn't be like that. I'd keep on them and try to get a new one. Like droningon said, sounds like they sent you lemon #2.
 
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Canuk

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My Pro was doing all the same stressful acting . I was going to send it in but because I live in northern Alberta I know it would be 2 months without my drone .
The way I got mine going is I took a level and got my table sitting 100% bang on . I then did the imu and when it gets to the position of nose up it must be leaning on the legs and not the motors . It will sit upright either way . Once that was done I went for a drive and went far enough that I was even out of cell service . I put a app on my phone that checks for ground magnetism . I found a spot that I felt was good and did the gps calibration. Make sure your phone is at least 50 feet away from your drone . You will know when to put your drone on it’s side for the,ast part of the calibration as the tail light will change it pattern from the first half of the setup .after I finished my in the sticks tuneup my Pro has been flawless . It was terrible with all the warnings and junk that was going on . I could not even fly it as it got so bad . 20 feet up hovering and showing 20 sat’s it would go into atti from extreme interference. Very stressful . Give it a try like I did and let me know if it works for you like-it did for me .
Good luck captain


Troy
 

Sprocket

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I think a requirement of new membership here is some kind of address should be required in the information under a posters name. At least country and state would be helpful. The OP states that he has no one near him to call on to help. I'd bet most of the time someone is closer than you think. I'm not trying to hijack his thread. Who knows he might be near one of the many people on this site that would be more than happy to help in person. I know I would. These are too expensive of toys not to enjoy.
 
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VintageDude

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I'm new to this forum, sorry about the lack of location information. I live in the SW part of Washington state.

It shouldn't be this hard to get an expensive, sophisticated piece of equipment to just work. Would anyone buy a TV if we were required to take it out into the middle a desert, be required to power it off batteries, leave our vehicle at least a mile away and wear only a loin cloth and sandals in order to calibrate the picture ? :(

I don't wear a watch of any kind or have any electronics on me except the cell phone or tablet required to use the RC and I always make sure it's in airplane mode. I've used 3 different cables that work with all my other electronics in both USB ports on the RC with no difference in behavior. I'm located in a semi-rural area with 5 ac. lots and a 53 ac. farm next to me that all used to be pasture for the same farm. Open skies with no big trees, hills, or buildings to block satellites or radio. I have DirecTV with the dish mounted on the side of my house and my signal strength is in the high 90s on all channels. I do have a couple of neighbors located about 1/3 mile away who have ham radios. Plus, there is a high voltage powerline along the road located about 200 ft. from where I take off from while flying in my back yard, but I always fly away from it.

I will try to find an isolated spot to recalibrate the IMU and compass before giving up on this bird.
 

Canuk

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After I calibrated my compass out in the sticks I can fly all over top of my small town I live in and even near a cell tower without any problems anymore . I know I was very disappointed in how my bird was acting . Why it started acting up I still don’t know .
 

Sprocket

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You might try watching this video:
This guy is really good, but talks way to fast for this poor dumb country boy. I downloaded his video and watch it in VLC Media Player. It has a function to slow down playback so I can keep up with him. VLC is a free player and works good for most stuff.
I would also suggest that you setup your drone (minus the props) on the kitchen table and walk thru all the settings with him. Maybe you will find something set up wrong.
I wasn't intending to chew on you for not having a location. Just trying to prod the mods a little.
SW Washington has some beautiful country to fly in. Can't blame you for wanting your drone to perform correctly with scenery like that. Good luck.

edit: His other videos might help more than this one.
 

Qoncussion

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It sounds like you've tried everything, except for changing locations. There may be *some sort* of EMI at your house. You really need to go elsewhere to recalibrate everything and test fly it. In terms of troubleshooting - you can't eliminate a variable until it has been tested. There are three variables here that you have not eliminated: 1) Location, 2) Location, 3) Location... ;)

When you do change locations, recalibrate everything first... Then give it a go.

Someone mentioned above that calibrating the IMU on a dead-level surface helped them. I'm actually surprised that this doesn't get mentioned more often on these forums. I made a small 10"x10" board with adjustable feet, that allows me to get the board dead-level when placed on a nearly level surface, like my dining room table. It does help!
 
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VintageDude

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Just got back from a different, isolated location. Took a flat piece of plywood and a level with me.

After power up, got message to calibrate compass. Checked status and compass #1 showed 999. I started a compass calibration with the RC 25 ft. away from the AC which is sitting on the level plywood, walked back to the AC and rotated, walked back to the RC to check, walked back to the AC and rotated nose down, walked back to the RC and it showed calibration failed. Completed this routine 4 more times, but all failed. Checked status and compass #1 still showed 999. Powered everything down, then back up.

Started IMU calibration, again with RC 25 ft. away, but it got to about 95 % of step 2 and after several minutes was still there. I set the timer on my tablet and waited another 10 minutes, but it showed no progress. Shut everything down, then powered it all back up again. Got message that compass needed to be calibrated. Checked the status of IMU and all 4 are good with small numbers, but compass #1 still at 999 and compass #2 good and in the 20-30s. Sure looks to me like compass #1 has failed.
 
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Canuk

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That sucks after going though all the steps to give it a perfect setup and the rear compass kicked the bucket . Compass one is the one at the rear of the craft . Do you have anything to try and demagnetize the gps . I read where a guy set his MP on a speaker and it scrambled the gps setting up and it would not reset
 
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VintageDude

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Yes, I can return the bird to Costco for a refund and that's what I'm probably going to do. Unfortunately, this is the second defective MPP I've had to return in less than a month. Not sure if I want to try another yet, but getting the thoughts of other more experienced Mavic users is why I started this thread.
 
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Canuk

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It makes me think it’s something those guys are doing at the store . Maybe they are stacked up in the stockroom next to stereo’s and speakers . Getting two bad ones in a row is terrible luck . Do you have any other place to get one after the sick one is retuned
 

VintageDude

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I was wondering something similar. It might not have been Costco that mishandled the shipment, but the freight firm.

I've been a Costco member for 30 years and buy my electronics there when I can. I haven't looked into where else the MPP is available locally, but the price at Costco is very good, plus they double the manufacturers warranty and offer a 90 day, no hassle return.
 
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