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When to change props

JethroXP

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#1
I've seen a number of threads and videos for other drones talking about when to change props. After an impact or with obvious physical damage is a no-brainer, but I'm more concerned about PMCS (Preventative Maintenance, Checks, and Services). I found this video where he suggests every 10 hours on an Aspire and every 15 hours on a Phantom. My take away from that is that lighter weight drones can longer between preventative prop changes? I'm approaching 19 hours on the original props of my Mavic 2 Zoom. Something I've noticed during my last two flights is that the prop noise sounds louder than it used to. In the video he mentions that seasoned pilots can tell by the sound when it's time to change props. Curious if that's what I'm hearing? I've inspected my props, there are no indications of physical damage, but I don't have anyway to determine if the rigidity or geometry has changed over time. Thoughts?

When to replace your drone propellers & how to extend the life of your drone!
 

paulatkin73

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#2
balancing the folding prop is a bit tricky. usually folding props can let to tighten the screw that holds a half of the propeller in the assembly hub. google a 'how do you balance a folding prop' topic. usually a well balanced prop lasts as long as it takes to smack the model into a tree or asphalt, or anything hard enough to damage the prop and a result of that is very visible, usually. do not fly with a damaged prop, ever - as it increases vibrations above the threshold that keeps model stable and then different firmware may act differently. just to replace it every 10hrs if prop is perfectly fine is not needed. to pre-balance all props to make sure you not introducing unnecessary vibrations is a smart thing to do.
 

JethroXP

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#3
I had a spare set of props, just put them on and I definitely notice a sound difference, it's quieter with the new props. I'll make a video today and try to capture the sound of new vs. old props. The only physical difference between them that I can discern is that the new props are stiffer at the pivot point where they connect to the center hub. The older props are not floppy loose, but definitely pivot with little to no force.
 

paulatkin73

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#4
I had a spare set of props, just put them on and I definitely notice a sound difference, it's quieter with the new props. I'll make a video today and try to capture the sound of new vs. old props. The only physical difference between them that I can discern is that the new props are stiffer at the pivot point where they connect to the center hub. The older props are not floppy loose, but definitely pivot with little to no force.
dji made a new prop design for a quieter flight. it may be the reason. i do not think dji has screws to adjust the pivot - it should not be neither too loose nor stuck dead, something in between.
 
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JethroXP

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#6
dji made a new prop design for a quieter flight. it may be the reason. i do not think dji has screws to adjust the pivot - it should not be neither too loose nor stuck dead, something in between.
Are you saying they've already redesigned the Mavic 2 props? The original props I have shipped with my Drone (I ordered on the day they announced it) and the spare props are what came with the Fly More kit I purchased at the same time, so I believe my old and new props should be of identical design.
 

paulatkin73

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#7
Are you saying they've already redesigned the Mavic 2 props? The original props I have shipped with my Drone (I ordered on the day they announced it) and the spare props are what came with the Fly More kit I purchased at the same time, so I believe my old and new props should be of identical design.
I think it was around june 2018 when silent props were announced. Pro or pro 2 - i think props are same and mount is same.
 

msinger

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#8
I've inspected my props, there are no indications of physical damage
You don't need to toss your props out after a certain number of hours. Inspect them carefully prior to each flight and replace any that are damaged. The hub is the most vital part of the prop (since it locks onto the motor), so inspect it closely and look for wear and/or cracks.
 

JethroXP

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#9
You don't need to toss your props out after a certain number of hours. Inspect them carefully prior to each flight and replace any that are damaged. The hub is the most vital part of the prop (since it locks onto the motor), so inspect it closely and look for wear and/or cracks.
Well I ran a test today, flew with the old props, and with the new, switched back and forth a couple times. Definitely a sound difference. New props are super quite, just like the old props used to be when they were new. Old props now have a much more pronounced "fluttering" sound. That alone is enough for me to toss them. I don't want to risk a $1250 drone because I was too cheap to spend $30 on new props ;-)
 
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#10
You don't need to toss your props out after a certain number of hours. Inspect them carefully prior to each flight and replace any that are damaged. The hub is the most vital part of the prop (since it locks onto the motor), so inspect it closely and look for wear and/or cracks.
...The hub is the most vital part of the prop (since it locks onto the motor), so inspect it closely and look for wear and/or cracks.

This why I read MavicPilots. I learn so much by other people’s experiences. Thank you all.
 

JethroXP

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#11
Went out and did some more testing today, found that in addition to the increased noise of the old props, the drone visibly struggled to hold a steady hover position, and breaking distance was farther than with newer props. The only noticeable physical difference was in the pivot points at the central hub, the new props were a bit tighter and required more force to pivot than the older props. Now, I do want to be careful and not overstate this. Other than the sound I don't know that I would have noticed the other stuff had I not been doing a side-by-side comparison and looking for differences. Do I think the old props are unsafe to fly with? No, because the differences I was observing were small and the drone seemed to be able to adapt, though I suspect at some cost of reduced flight time. However do I feel comfortable swapping out props now? Absolutely, this gives me peace-of-mind that I'm less likely to hurt anyone or lose my drone due to a prop failure. For reference, I began to notice the different sound of my original props at about 18 hours of usage.
 
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JethroXP

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#13
What is the „hub“? Sorry for asking, but i‘m not a native english speaker :)
Thanks a lot!
The central piece where both folding props connect, and the part that connects the whole thing to the motor.
 
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msinger

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#14

BrucenYvette

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#15
I'm discovering that when begin to see changes in flight attitudes- i.e. drifting, horizon-shift, etc.- installing new props is the "fix". Also, I've learned just like new tires on a car, you never buy and replace one at a time.
 

ff22

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#16
I took the thread and used it to guide me to replacing all props yesterday evening. There were a few nicks and burrs and rough spots and decided I was pushing it.
 

E92Vancouver

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#17
I carefully inspect the hinge for play. Check the props for cracks at the hinge interface. Those little hinge pins support the whole weight of the drone and take the torque of the motor. If one of those hinge pins lets go, it is is going to be a bad day. Replacing props is cheap insurance.

I would consider buying non folding props to eliminate these 8 potential points of failure.
 
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kilomikebravo

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#18
I would consider buying non folding props to eliminate 8 potential points of failure.

The logic is sound. However, not only would it be a pain to transport, rigid props without the hinges, might put even higher strains on the hubs when the aircraft gets jammed into a backpack or other carrying device.
 

E92Vancouver

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#19
The logic is sound. However, not only would it be a pain to transport, rigid props without the hinges, might put even higher strains on the hubs when the aircraft gets jammed into a backpack or other carrying device.
You would have to remove the props for storage and transport. Would give you and opportunity to inspect the motor clips on the bottom.
 

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