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More discussion--bound drone

DRONE HAPPY

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Folks: I have read alot about dji drones that are "bound" but are up for sale from a third party that has no link to the person that originally bound the unit. Often a "seldom used" unit can be had for 1/3 the price of new. So there is a real temptation, although buyiing used can frequently have issues. Aside from any mechanical problems, the big issue seems to be purchasing a unit that is bound to the account of the previous owner.

I contacted DJI on this and after we got past the "why don't you buy a new one" commentary, they advised if I supplied proof of purchase and they were satisfied the unit had not been part of a flyaway insurance claim or reported stolen, they could reach out to the previous owner and request that they unbind the unit. However, this is completely voluntary by the original owner. If they refuse, DJI says there is nothing they can do. This seems rather odd.

I should stipulate if I was going down this road, I would only purchase a drone which includes the controller it is bound to.

So after reading many threads on this, I now understand:

  1. If the drone and contoller are bound to each other, it is possible to fly the drone with no restrictions other than not being able to retreive any flight data. Correct?
  2. It seems to me if one is using a RC controller with the built in screen (no mobile phone connected), and that controller is bound to the drone there should be no issues to fly other than the inability to access flight data.Right?
  3. In this scenario is one able to connect the controller to wifi to perform undates?
  4. Is it the same for controllers where your mobile phone is connected with the Fly App installed as the Fly App in your mobile would be a different login? As in #3, will you be able to update the Fly App and still connect to and fly the drone?
  5. It would seem to me in either of the above cases, if the owner that bound the account logs out of the Fly App, then that renders everything useless and you are left with "dust' collectors. Correct?
I very much appreciate all responses.
 
Too many problems, too many assumptions, no accountability, nothing in writing, too much dishonesty....all good reasons to absolutely steer away from this topic when it comes to buying a used drone. I don't even know where to begin with this issue..... o_O
 
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the safest way to buy a used drone, is in person with the seller ,so you can try it out ,see exactly what you are buying,if you then decide to go ahead and buy it ,get them to perform the unbinding process ,if applicable ,then register it with DJI on your E mail address ,and see if it flies after that has been done
if the person selling the drone is honest ,then they will be only too happy to follow the above procedure,if not then look elsewhere
with something as specific as a drone purchase,then because of the often quite high sums involved,then there are always going to be dishonest ,people trying to take advantage of unwary buyers ,if the deal sounds to good to be true ,then it most probably is
there are genuine bargains out there to be had for sure ,but really, even if it means waiting that little bit longer, to buy that drone of your dreams ,doing that and getting a brand new one from a reputable supplier ,is definately the best option
 
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It is more complicated than you think.
There are two 'strengths' of drone-to-account binding, the weaker one DOES NOTHING as far as my experiments have shown. This weaker binding is open to any model of drone that can be bound but which DOES NOT have care-refesh, the drone concerned can be bound to the account BUT the contoller CAN NOT be bound to the drone.

The stronger binding is available to ONLY those applicable drones that have care-refresh and FLYaway insurance and is I think what you meant in "1)"
With regards to "1)"
I would say "wrong on both counts."
Firstly a drone that is bound to a DJI account can either
......a) ONLY be flown by when used with an App that is logged into the DJI account that created the binding ** Or
......b) is restricted to a certain number of flights before the drone is grounded........ but, to be honest, I think this consequence relates to something else.
** I haven't seen any comments about the use of an App that is not logged into ANY DJI account but I suspect the restriction is still applied.

Re logs, a logged in App will ONLY display the logs for which it has been 'responible'. It does not show logs that are flown using a different login and does not show logs flown whilst logged out of the DJI account.
HOWEVER all the logs that exist on the screen device, be that a smart controller or a phone, can be accessed by connecting the screen device to a computer via USB cable.
I suspect a smart controller can, using its file browser, transfer ALL the flight logs to the mSD card.
It would be interesting if some one would, using a smart controller, log out of the app, fly a test flight then see if the smart controller file browsing route can see the logged out flight log and transfer it to the mSD card.

With regards to
2) ONLY if the App is logged into the account that created the binding. If it is not logged into that account then "a)" applies. I have seen a thread where someone, the second owner, fell foul of this and logged out of the binding account BEFORE they undid the binding and ended up with a brick.

3) don't know.

4) You can update the app at anytime, even when it is not connected to anything else.

5) if it is the stronger binding and the original owner will not undo the binding or give you their log in details you have a brick.

The following is restricted to the 'stronger' type of binding, it DOES NOT apply to the weaker binding since with that the controller CAN NOT be bound to the drone.
Note if the controller is bound to the drone then
.......c) the controller can not be used with another drone or is restricted to 5 flights or something like that.
.......d) the drone can not be used with another controller or is restricted to 5 flights or something like that.
 
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You can stipulate that unless the seller contacts you personally you will not buy period. I have gotten some great deals on Ebay BUT I will not buy a drone whose owner I cannot talk to directly. Ebay rules say A drone that is bound must be sold for parts only If the seller cannot unbind it.
Welcome to the forum!
 
I bought a FPV fly more with 2 charges on one battery for a great price on eBay. The owner did not unbind it so it does not show up on my site. However when I connect my device to the goggles and select it on the app all the information is there but it must be connected th DJI Fly with a cord.
 
Thank you to all that responded partiularly Yorkshire Pub that enlightened me on hard and soft bindig. But, I am not done yet!!!!

Background
Where I live in Canada, there are at least 6 online auctions companies that are reselling merchandise that is "misdirected freight, or product returns". Everything from underwear to big screen TVs. To be clear, a bidder (buyer) is purchasing from the Auction company (not from an indvidual like on Ebay). I have purchased stuff from them before and it as appaarent from the labelling on the carton that it is an Amazon return. Every week, there are at least 12 DJI drones listed for auction mostly Mini 3 Pro and a variety of DJI products, accessories, and goggles. The product description can vary but here is one typical example:

"Open box in like-new condition. Tested and in perfect working order. Complete.
Original owner forgot to unbind account from drone. Can still be used fully without limitation, just can not purchase fly-away insurance."

I have no idea how they come to that conclusion. Unlike purchasing from an individual, it is hard to believe that a company that sells literally 100's of these every month would be able to get away with it. Certainly not me, if I had ever purchased a drone, which to date I have not. (I did purchase a fly more kit at a very attractive price).
Needless to say the pricing is very attractive--can get a complete Mini Pro 3 kit for $550-$575 US.
I know that it is always buyer beware under these circumstances. I don't need to be reminded "if it is too good to be true, it usually is". It just seems to add more confusion. I wish DJI would clarify the situation and advise the drone community how they can unbind a drone and what details are required to do so. Telling me to buy a new one is not helpful. An analogy would be buying a used car, but you can't use the radio because it is bound to the previous owner.
 

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I wish DJI would clarify the situation and advise the drone community how they can unbind a drone and what details are required to do so.
Why would they do that? Are you asking them to explain what it takes to defeat a substandard process that barely works correctly that they themselves don't really know for sure how to handle it? There are way too many unanticipated situations that come up that have to be handled on a case-by-case basis for DJI to institute a policy and since the process has so many unintended consequences, they are unlikely to make the situation worse by stating exactly what the problem is and how to remedy it. It's always evolving until they can better figure it out. It's like asking the police to tell you exactly how to clear your name.
 
Original owner forgot to unbind account from drone
They either know nothing about what they are selling OR they Know and are trying to get rid of useless drones.
DJI will NOT unbind it . They will tell you to contact the previous owner or purchase a new drone. They do this for many reasons. The question you should be asking is: Why is the seller lying to customers about their drones. and Where are they getting all these "bound" Drones
 
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Folks: I have read alot about dji drones that are "bound" but are up for sale from a third party that has no link to the person that originally bound the unit. Often a "seldom used" unit can be had for 1/3 the price of new. So there is a real temptation, although buyiing used can frequently have issues. Aside from any mechanical problems, the big issue seems to be purchasing a unit that is bound to the account of the previous owner.

I contacted DJI on this and after we got past the "why don't you buy a new one" commentary, they advised if I supplied proof of purchase and they were satisfied the unit had not been part of a flyaway insurance claim or reported stolen, they could reach out to the previous owner and request that they unbind the unit. However, this is completely voluntary by the original owner. If they refuse, DJI says there is nothing they can do. This seems rather odd.

I should stipulate if I was going down this road, I would only purchase a drone which includes the controller it is bound to.

So after reading many threads on this, I now understand:

  1. If the drone and contoller are bound to each other, it is possible to fly the drone with no restrictions other than not being able to retreive any flight data. Correct?
  2. It seems to me if one is using a RC controller with the built in screen (no mobile phone connected), and that controller is bound to the drone there should be no issues to fly other than the inability to access flight data.Right?
  3. In this scenario is one able to connect the controller to wifi to perform undates?
  4. Is it the same for controllers where your mobile phone is connected with the Fly App installed as the Fly App in your mobile would be a different login? As in #3, will you be able to update the Fly App and still connect to and fly the drone?
  5. It would seem to me in either of the above cases, if the owner that bound the account logs out of the Fly App, then that renders everything useless and you are left with "dust' collectors. Correct?
I very much appreciate all responses.
I have a secondhand Avata that is bound to the original purchaser I get all the flight data & have had no issues with functionality. The only issue is resale so I've bought an Avata 2 & the original Avata is now the sacrificial training drone to learn the art of manual flying if I destroy it learning so be it !
 
Thank you to all that responded partiularly Yorkshire Pub that enlightened me on hard and soft bindig. But, I am not done yet!!!!

Background
Where I live in Canada, there are at least 6 online auctions companies that are reselling merchandise that is "misdirected freight, or product returns". Everything from underwear to big screen TVs. To be clear, a bidder (buyer) is purchasing from the Auction company (not from an indvidual like on Ebay). I have purchased stuff from them before and it as appaarent from the labelling on the carton that it is an Amazon return. Every week, there are at least 12 DJI drones listed for auction mostly Mini 3 Pro and a variety of DJI products, accessories, and goggles. The product description can vary but here is one typical example:

"Open box in like-new condition. Tested and in perfect working order. Complete.
Original owner forgot to unbind account from drone. Can still be used fully without limitation, just can not purchase fly-away insurance."

I have no idea how they come to that conclusion. Unlike purchasing from an individual, it is hard to believe that a company that sells literally 100's of these every month would be able to get away with it. Certainly not me, if I had ever purchased a drone, which to date I have not. (I did purchase a fly more kit at a very attractive price).
Needless to say the pricing is very attractive--can get a complete Mini Pro 3 kit for $550-$575 US.
I know that it is always buyer beware under these circumstances. I don't need to be reminded "if it is too good to be true, it usually is". It just seems to add more confusion. I wish DJI would clarify the situation and advise the drone community how they can unbind a drone and what details are required to do so. Telling me to buy a new one is not helpful. An analogy would be buying a used car, but you can't use the radio because it is bound to the previous owner.
With regards to their comment about care refresh etc. if the previous owner did not buy care refresh then a subsequent owner CAN buy care refresh but they have to show that the drone is airworthy at that time, google "DJI verification video ".

With regards to that company selling bound drones, if there are no restrictions on the drones' use then either it was the soft binding or the drone was tested using a smart controller that was logged into the binding account. There is a danger in the latter since DJI have introduced automated log outs that are time dependent and once the app is logged out the buyer has a brick.
 
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With regards to their comment about care refresh etc. if the previous owner did not by care refresh then a subsequent owner CAN buy care refresh but the have to show that the drone is airworthy at that time, google "DJI verification video ".
You are correct, I just wanted to clarify that the rule is generally only one care refresh per drone [life] so even if you are the 10th owner, you can be the 1st to seek care refresh using the verification video process. And even if the 1st owner decides 18 months down the road to get care refresh, he can too, as long as he's the 1st. That's the way it used to be when there was "care refresh" and "care refresh+" but it might still be the same under the new method "care refresh 1 yr", "care refresh 2 yr"
 
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