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Jun 30, 2015, 04:47 AM
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Test Review DJI Phantom 3 , RTF Quadrocopter with 4k cam: You better keep away !

Review DJI Phantom 3 , RTF Quadrocopter with 4k cam : You better keep away !

Some of you might remember, I did not intend to buy a Phantom 3. Sure not.

Iīm a DIY guy and donīt like RTF Multirotors, although I tried several times .
True, I owned a Phantom 1 (reliable, but boring), replaced its NAZA by an APM, had a Walkera 350 ( terrible P1 copy), bought an 3DR IRIS dev (too heavy with a 3rd choice Gimbal) and wasnīt happy with a Yuneec Q500 (Slow Motion and a rather poor cam). I never wanted to buy an RTF bird again. For aerial Iīd stick to my F450 with 3D ZENMUSE and NAZA V2 . Forever, despite of its fisheyed GoPro view. Might buy another lens.

Thatīs what I thought. Until a friend of mine got hands on a Phantom 3 Professional, which was supposed to offer Inspire experience for the smaller wallet (and backpack). A complete flying Non Fisheye Video and Photo system, which includes a long range digital HD Video and Telemetry Transmission, some sort of small sized air tripoid. Even able to fly indoors wih a sonar / cam system. My friend sounded like a Colin Guinn imitator.

Really that great ? Probably another kids toy, hyped boredom. Or could this be a useful tool for job and leisure time ? Although in doubt, I started to get curious, and got hands on.


All in the box, everything you need to fly. Additionally a nice bag, including 4 extra props (Donīt squeeze them;-) and a Charger for smart battery and for the remote controller. Besides that, 4 extra vibration dampers and a sticker set with different colors, (Usable for Phantom 1 camouflage, if the red ones are used). Paper: Quick start manual, safety instructions and flight rules applying for several countries. Well, an extra battery would be nice to have.

Phantom 3 Looks

Its hiding its completely new technology, since it comes with the original look of its predecessor, a million seller design, being copied probably more than a hundred times . The legs are a little bit higher and wider. Visible change: The motors (and rotors) are tilted, formerly known from DJIs Pro Multirotors, supposely increasing flight stability.

Front view: The golden plate identifies it as Phantom 3 Professional, coming with the 4K camera. Besides that, the Phantom 3 Advance with the Full HD cam, looks the same. Silver applications instead of gold. If DJI didnīt apply the grey 4k Print on the lens body and the small additional vent between body and cam, it wouldnīt be possible to notice a difference.

Rear view: Smart battery LED. Just pushed the red battery button to check if it is charged. Pressed a little longer, its revealing battery health (remaining life) as well.

Left side: Micro SD inserted in the slot of the cam. Donīt forget this pre flight ;-) The Pilot APP reminds you, but sometimes home is far away.

Right side: CE /FCC label, camera data port for the Micro-SD card contents. The Phantom 3 has to be turned on to get access. This port is not really needed, if your PC reader is faster.

The fat belly is showing the 4k Cam for video and stills and in the rear, the VPS system for indoor flight and low attitude with 2 Ultrasonic sensors and a tiny (grayscale) cam sensor. (optical flow) Weight of the Phantom 3, as shown here, including rotors and smart battery is app.1290g (2.8lbs), diameter including rotors 689mm (2.2ft) and its height is app.190mm (7,48", Rotors removed)

Camera and Gimbal

The Phantom 3 Professional is coming with an HD camera capturing 4K/30fps footage, while its Advanced variant allows up to 1080p/60fps footage to be captured. As well as 12MP stills, by choice already cropped to 16:9 or native with a resolution of 4000x3000 . Both of them are using Sony's EXMOR 12MP sensors, featuring a 20mm f/2.8 lens with FOV 94°. Bye Bye fish eye, this lens offers almost distortion free stills and videos. (As far as possible with a small 94°lens).
Amazing experience for former GoPro users, who had to replace the lens for a natural view.

Another great feature is the possibility to capture DNG stills (app. 23MB) allowing perfect adjustments e.g. with Adobe Lightroom or other editing SW. Lightroom 6.1 is coming with P3 presets. The jpeg (app 5MB) exifs are containing GPS position and altitude. The remote controller is offering a shutter speed adjustment dial and separate video recording and shutter buttons. Further adjustments and functions, like burst, BKT HDR are available at tablets DJI Pilot app. Check some examples below @ Phantom 3 experience.

Fast Micro-SD cards are required for the cam, at least UHS-1, Class 10. The Phantom 3 Professional package included a 16GB LEXAR (633x). The maximum size is 64GB.

The gimbal of the DJI Phantom 3 stabilizes the cam with three brushless motors (3-axis) and is coming with vibration damping. Since the camera is seperated from its mainboard, its very light weighted and therefore the motors are able to do their balancing job very quickly, which is required for perfectly stabilized footage. The gimbal base, containing the electronics, comes in a metal case acting as a heatsink as well. Since 4K electronics is getting a bit hotter, the Phantom 3 Professional is equipped with an additional fan, hidden underneath the body.

The camera can be tilted by remote controllers Gimbal Dial and offers two operation modes: Follow mode (Great for footage and stills), where the angle between gimbals orientation and Phantoms nose remains the same constantly and FPV mode, where the gimbal synchronizes with the movement of the aircraft to provide a first-person perspective. The maximum FPV preview quality via Lightbridge wireless streaming is: 720P/30fps, Latency is short as 220ms, depending on conditions.

During transport, the Gimbal has to be secured by the included gimbal protector (yellow),almost self removable, but it confuses new users, trying to put it on again. Just use this picture or buy a simple 3rd party solution from a 3D printer shop. Also shown, the so called Anti-Drop Kit (blue) which prevents the cam from leaving its base, e.g. after a hard landing. Two of them are diagonally mounted, 2 extra spares are included. However, it is possible to replace them by a fishing line, but donīt attach it too tight. Some ZENMUSE gimbal users formerly claimed, that this alternative method reduces the impact on vibration dampers.

VPS (Vision Position System)

Another exciting DJI InspireI1 technology has been added to the Phantom 3 as well: VPS includes two ultrasonic sensors (red) and one optical flow sensor (green, probably a grey scale cam) , mounted including its electronics onto the bottom of the Phantom 3 shell. These sensors, operating from 0,3 up to 3m help to stabilize the Phantom 3 hover indoors, where no GPS is available, also working outdoors as well at available light (>100lux) and contrast. This is greatly stabilizing low level flights.

But keep in mind, VPS systems donīt work reliable above water, so better turn it off, if thats the idea. Nevertheless, its hard to figure why DJI gave away this incredible feature at its entry level. Since the Phantom 3 not only is coming with GPS, but with additional GLONASS reception, its outdoor lock-on is already incredible without it. This bird stays, where you left it, leaving the sticks alone.
Antennas, Compass (MAG)

The Phantom 3 is coming with 4 patch antennas, well protected within the landing gear profiles (green). Two of them are connected to the diversity remote controller receiver (rx) , the other two are serving the Lightbrigde system. Below one of them, at the right side, the external compass is attached (purple), far away from possible magnetic interference, well protected against wetness. To prevent accidental magnetization, causing large compass offsets, badly affecting GPS flight modes, it is better to keep it away from metal surfaces, power lines, big E-Motors and speakers . This is no specific Phantom 3 topic, all Multirotors with GPS (reardless of brand) are working with sensitive compass sensors.

Propulsion System (Motors, ESC, Rotors)

The propulsion system of the Phantom 3 represents another revolution, but most of it is (unfortunately for a review) hidden underneath the shell. The only visible parts are the 2312 Motors, showing perfect single strand wiring and the biggest upper bearing of its class. Endurance runner ! The 4 ESC, formerly seperately mounted into the arms (copied by several competitors) are now part of the mainboard, which appears to be a replacement issue at first look. But at the second, they are coming now with over current protection as well as health monitoring, promising a longer life than conventional designs do.

Moreover, these 4 little computers are offering 2 way communication with the Phantom 3 flight controller as well as a sine wave output, worlds first in its class, true novelty. Active braking is is part of the system, allowing incredible fast stops, adjustable via the DJI Pilot app. Experienced users already guessed, that the propulsion system of the Phantom 3 is a derivate of the E310 Tuned Propulsion System, a milestone on the DIY market, detailed review >>>here

Rotors (Propellers)

Another important part of the Phantom 3 Propulsion system is the new Self-Tightening 9450 (L) Rotor (Thrust Boosted), already known from the E310 DIY kits. Black and silver tops matching the corresponding color of the motor thread (CW/CCW).Tool-free mount ! It is made out of one piece, coming with a composite hub instead of the (formerly) inserted metal hub, known from Phantom 2 / Vision+ V2 rotors.

Due to the new active braking, a better grip onto the thread was required and realized with composite material. Although this looks a bit cheaper, several E310 tests have shown already, that this is no step backwards, regarding safety and endurance. The good news is, that these newer rotors are being offered for half the price or even less, depending on location. Curiously, the dedicated Phantom 3 (plein white) version costs a little more than the gray or the white ones with deco stripes .

Indicator and Position LED array

The front LED array, glowing red, has the purpose to show the orientation of the Phantom 3, permantely indicating its front. The LED arrays build into the rear arms are indicating flight modes, warnings and errors with red, green and yellow color and different flashing sequences. For beginners it might be hard to remember all these messages, nevertheless all of them are covered by the DJI Pilot App as well. Some buy stickers for the remote.

Remote controller with in inbuilt Lightbridge Groundmodule

The new DJI Phantom 3 remote controller GL300A looks almost like the one of the Inspire I1 The only visible difference is the missing HDMI / CAN output jack on its back and the white front cover instead of aluminium. This controller looks far better than any Phantom controller before. Its nice to hold soft its rubber pads, to touch big silver buttons and to turn smooth dials. Even its weight (850g including tablet holder) is giving the impression of rugged quality. The internal rechargable LiPo battery (2S, 6000mAh) is supplying power for a tablet as well. The inbuilt Lightbridge serves as HD video downlink.

Right beside the illuminated power button, a dedicated RTH (Return to Home) button (blue) is promising safety at one push, indicated with a circular red LED. The LED chain below (black) informs about battery level and controllerīs system status by the left LED, turning green when connected. On its left side, the gimbal dial (green), the video recording button (yellow) and the flight mode switch (red) coming with three options, if Multiple Flight Mode is activated at the DJI Pilot app. Otherwise its locked by default to the primary flight mode:

P(osition) Mode, using the GNSS and the VPS system for stable hover, switching to VPS if GPS/GLONASS reception is not available, finally turning to Atti mode if VPS doesnīt work( e.g due to low light condition) Second flight mode is the A(ttitude)-Mode, using the barometer for a stable attitude without posittion hold.The third flight mode is called F(unction)-Mode > IOC/Course Lock/CL, which needs to be enabled as well..

At the back, the controller has two customizable buttons (blue), e.g. usable for an instant battery status pop up at the tablet or a fast 90° gimbal tilt. The USB port (brown) is needed for tablet supply and data connection. At some Android tablets, USB-Debuging has to be enabled first. Located at the right side, the shutter button (yellow) is placed beside the playback button for captured images or videos. The dial (green) adjusts the camera settings.

Note : Video buttons and dials are only operating if a tablet, running the DJI Pilot app is connected to the controller. Users, missing the HDMI output of the Inspire controller, will be able to purchase a hardware update soon . Probably not a bargain*** at first look, but a must have for some of us using ZEISS Cinemizer or an external Video monitor. ***Update: Its available for just 99$ now !
Btw., Inspire owners are able to use their controller for the Phantom 3. It doesnīt work the other way around.

Tablet and Remote Controller Requirements

Complete aerial system. Although the Phantom 3 flies without it, a tablet is required for map and camera view during flight. The matching DJI Pilot app, free download at DJI, Google or Apple app store, offers useful telemetry data, like battery and GPS status as well as several menu adjustments for the complete system.

Designed for Apple and Android tablets : Its a good idea to check the DJI compatibility list first. Older tablets might not offer great video experience due to long video lag (latency), older OS might not work at all. Outdoor brightness might not meet your expectations. Read the forums.

Some of the favourites there: Apple Ipad mini 2/3, iPad Air 2 and for Android, SONY Z3, NEXUS 9, Nvidia Shield and the shown SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab 4. Smaller tablets up to 7" are getting fully charged by the controller, bigger ones partly. Full brightness, usually required outdoors, needs some more power ;-) Hint: Several DIY and ready to go solutions for shielding the tablet display from direct sunnlight are around, even DJI offers a hood.

The removable holder takes tablets up to 10", (max. width app 175mm). It allows to carry smaller 3.5-5" Phablets ( min. width 50 mm) as well, grabbed by foldable hooks (green). A cheapo like the Landvo L800 or an iPhone 6 fits perfect . Note, the Inspire holder with aluminium arm fits as well, not sure if its really stronger than the composite type (red).

Flight battery / Battery charger

The intelligent battery (360g, 4480mAh 15.2V) looks like the former one of the Phantom 2, but its capacity is bigger (68Wh vs.57,7Wh) and it contains 4 cells instead of 3. Its called intelligent, because its coming with an internal smart balancer, which provides exact charging, furthermore health monitoring and enables the pilot to see all important data (such as single cell voltage and charging cycles). Remarkably it even discharges itself automatically down to optimal storage voltage, which extends battery life. If the battery is not attached to the Phantom, its 4 LED roughly indicate remaining power and charging status.

This is visible at the DJI PILOT APP, where the automatic discharge, and battery warnings can be adjusted too. This provides security for long range (and time) lovers, being able to check remaining flight time any time.

Ian (Mad_angler1), an exerienced Pilot coming from Wales, UK, sure is happy about battery monitoring and donated this screenshot. Incredible flight distance, the author never tried.

Others might just rely on automatic failsafe, which returns or lands the Phantom 3 when the battery is empty. But keep in mind, that continous low discharge shortens battery life. Most pilots will buy some extra batteries to extend the fun.

The smart battery port of the DJI Phantom 3 is coming with HD power contacts (red) and spring mounted data contacts (green) for a reliable connection.

The Charger of the DJI Phantom 3 Professional offers is offering 100W (17,5V 5.7A) and it needs about 60 minutes to charge the intelligent battery. Its smaller 57W version, provided with the Phantom 3 Advance, needs up to 100 minutes. Note: The thermal protection of the intelligent battery prevents charging if its too hot (directly after the flight) or if its too cold.This improves battery life.
Both charger versions are able to charge the internal 2S, 6000mAh of the remote controller as well.

Its tempting to charge them at the same time, but donīt do this: Its never a good idea to charge batteries with different sizes (capacity/voltage) parallel or supply different charger electronics by the same source. Charging the empty flight battery, the charger starts with app. 15.6V, continues with 16V (second LED) and ends at 17.5V (all LED blinking). Time vs. Voltage behavior while charging the smaller Flight controller battery with its own charging electronics is different. You wonīt save time anyways.

Same goes for parallel charging of multiple intelligent batteries. Although several auction sellers will earn money with fancy adapters, allowing to connect several batteries at one charger, its not recommended, since they never have the same charge state or internal resistance. If multiple charging is required, its better to use separate chargers or chargers with truly separated outputs, which should not exceed the 17,5V max., mentioned before,and should not be below, since balancers usually need a voltage higher then cell voltage for proper operation.

DJI Pilot App

The DJI Pilot APP is working with the DJI INSPIRE and the Phantom 3. (Future : Matrix N100) Its a free Groundstationcan be downloaded as iOS Version for Apple as well as Android version at the Google store or at the DJI page for Android phones and tablets.
The DJI Pilot APP has so many functions, a detailled description would fill easily 30 pages and more. See some of the attachment pics below the review. Luckywise its self-explanatory, one doesnīt need to be a computer pro or scientist to handle it.

Its main functions such as camera / map view, state of flight, GPS and battery are visible at the front, possible warnings are popping up as well as the reminder to do an update, if online. It works offline as well, if no cell or Wifi connection is available. Maps are cashed.

Further adjustment screens are available within the menue. Most users wonīt touch this in the beginning, except for the initial compass (MAG) and IMU calibration before the first flight. The manual explains how to, and several tutorial videos in the web support lazy readers.


If we are talking about easy travelling with the DJI Phantom 3, a carrying case like a suitcase or a backback is mandatory. There are a lot of solutions on the market, even some for the former Phantom 2 might fit with minor mods.

One of the solutions, DJI is offering, is this hardshell backpack, which sort of combines protection of a suitcase with the flexibility of a backpack. Its ready to go, no need to cut out anything , an internal safety belt included. But since its looking as valuable as its content, it might be a good idea to cover its DJI or Multirotor logo on the back, if you want to "keep it" in certain "unsafe" areas. You even might like to apply some ugly graffiti or old stickers on it.

Soft pads on the back promise comfortable wear.

It is able to carry up to 4 batteries, a tablett (9" on the left side, bigger on top), controller, charger and rotors. Although the required prop removal looks like a disadvantage, its a good thing, because attached props might get damaged (bend) during transport.

Hardshell back, tough quality appearance, bottom feet. Usually coming with a logo, covered here.

Flight and Aerial Experience

After the DJI Pilot APP has been installed, after charging, Compass and IMU calibration of the (cold) Phantom, the first test flight started without a significant delay. The GPS indicator showed more than 12 sats (which includes the GLONASS sats as well) within a minute and the status indicator at the APP turned green, as well as the back indicator LED of the Phantom itself did.

Right after the start it became obvious what rock steady means. (for foreign speakers as well). Although used to DIY and RTF multicopter, (meanwhile some) with dual GNSS as well, DJI Phantom 3 holds its position far better than any other RTF copter tried before. (Including former Phantom 2). It seems like its fixed in the sky. Incredible.

This is truly a flying tripoid, which makes it easy to take great stills and videos with it. Pretty simple, because the tablet shows what the camera sees. Fully stabilized, even if its windy. Tried up to 4BFT . Most pilots will start right away with simple stuff like the pics below.....

..ending up with pro looks, Phantom 3 users (some artists) all over the world published already. Since this is not a preview and DJI sold several ten thousands (or even more) so far, lots of very skilled pilots took the oppurtunity to show what this great tool is being able to :

Landøy, Mandal - Phantom 3 - 4K (2 min 4 sec)

One impressive video by Morten Gjerstad, shows his beautyful home country , Norway. The original quality is even better, keep in mind that the video and picture hosters usually are downgrading content quality.

An outstanding National Geographic look, done by havasuphoto United States, AZ, Lake Havasu City . He explains: Its an HDR via AEB 5 Shot, using Photomatix by Google. His Phantom 3 HDR Tutorial can be found >>>here .

A gorgeous postcard view with 3D appeal of Petrinja area done by Tommee (Croatia )
He explains : All RAW photos taken in log mode. 5 exposure bracketed photos put together in HDR Efex Pro to create Single HDR photo, than repeated for the other photos, than stitched in panorama in Photoshop an finally finished in Lightroom. A little bit of gradient filter, curves corrected and finished.

Flight Time and Range

Flight time: The DJI Phantom 3 is coming with a variant of the DJI E310 Tuned Propulsion System which offers besides active breaking, sinusodial drive, a dynamic behavior better than any of its predecessors. Too bad there is no manual mode anymore to flip this bird (without the cam for sure). However, this system also offers, in conjunction with efficient 9450 rotors and the big 68Wh battery, real flight times up to 20minutes, depending on usage and environmental conditions. Maybe even longer, but safety (and battery life) first, as mentioned before.

Range: Far out of specs, a Turkey pilot even demonstrated above 4.4 miles (7200m) , which hasnīt been tried for this report, not only for safety reasons. But it is true, the flight (remote) controller with its integrated Lightbridge HD downlink offers a range, which definitely sets a world record in its class (and above) .

Inspire pilots are probably used to this, but the Phantom 3 dried out any kind of antenna or range booster discussions as well. Also in Europe, where the tx power is limited automatically (based on GPS data). Even if this high range is not necessairy, it implies a lot of safety for LOS (line of sight) flyers as well. During the test period (40 flights, 300-1500m at open field), the RC /Lightbridge system never failed, despite a few video dropouts, possibly Android or APP related. Its a good idea to turn off WiFi, 3G and Auto update during the flight. ;-)

Notes and conclusions

1. The DJI Phantom 3 is coming with all you need for aerial videos and stills, except a tablet.
2. It is easy to setup and fly, even beginners will get along well after a few hours. Almost foolproof... after reading the manual and watching the instruction videos.
3. The range of the RC and the Lightbrige HD Video system is outstanding.
4. The flight behavior is very stable, postion hold capabilities are great. Probably best in its class. Very fast GNSS (GPS and GLONASS) lock, high sat counts even in partly shaded environments. Indoor use within limits of the VPS system.
5. Video and photo quality is very good, Adieu GoPro fisheye ! Great for real estate sellers, hobby, sport and landscape documentation, or artists, reaching out for other perspectives.
6. The remote controller (TX) looks and feels great. Stick, switch and dial quality is far above RTF average, its integrated rechargable LiPo shows endurance and saves money .
7. The charger of the Phantom 3 Professional is pretty fast and charges the remote battery as well. Plug 'n Play, no adjustments required.
8. The intelligent flight battery is rather expensive, the propellers offer big value for small money and are coming ready to go.

Pricing / Comment

Phantom 3 Advance , 1080P HD Camera, 57W charger 999 $ (USD)
Including extra battery and hardshell backpack 1259 $ (USD)
Phantom 3 Professional, 4 K Camera, 100W charger 1259 $ (USD)
Including extra battery and hardshell backpack 1519 $ (USD)
Phantom 3 battery 149 $ (USD)
Phantom 3 9450 Rotors (Pair of 2: CW,CCW ) 6 $ (USD)
Hardshell Backpack 149 $ (USD)
Phantom 3 - HDMI Output Module 99 $ (USD)


Considering, whatīs included and how it works, the DJI Phantom 3 is a great deal, compared with other RTF of its size, even with the previous Phantom types. Its not worth a thought to buy cheaply made copies. But It maybe hard to decide whether if its going to be the 4k Professional version. As already stated at the E310 review , the bargain price of the 9450 rotors will even drive cloners to nuts, pretty hard to compete with. Good for DJI, great for pilots, who never get along without buying some extra rotors. The battery seems rather expensive, but honestly, usually compared with some shrink tubed cheapo cells of unknown origin. Time will show. Nevertheless, its tempting to re-use the smart part of it.

Point of view

The DJI Phantom 3 should have never come out : It probably drives DJI competitors nuts and it does the same thing to me. Donīt get this. Iīm a dedicated DIY guy having so much fun with this piece of plastic. As I wrote in the beginning, I never wanted RTF again, and sure did not want to be a part of the Phantom owners group, sort of synonym for a crowd of unexperienced noobs doing risky stuff without any clue.

But Iīm not better: Although I buildt a bunch of multirotors, wrote several howtos for different flight controllers, being familiar with RC electronics, I start to get lazy: Just realized, that I cannot do a bird like the Phantom 3 @ comparable costs... or at all ?

Its even worse: It flies so well, that I didnīt even care to do gain tuning. Didnīt even disassemble it, e.g. in order to improve the GPS with copper foil. Truly hoped for some major bugs, I could solve with indeep research and my solder tip. Didnīt happen. It simply works.

Well, I sure wonīt stop my DIY stuff, although my confidence about individual buildts being better, got damaged quite a bit and some projects banished to the basement. Thereīs still hope: Someone might steal the Phantom 3 or the battery might get fried. Stuff like this could happen. Some day.

Meanwhile I will take the backpack and start to learn how to do decent aerial jobs instead of fixing DIY issues...

So hereīs my advice: If you like DIY, digging deep into the details, hunting after improvements and if you like discussions e.g. about PID tuning and GPS systems, keep away from the DJI Phantom 3 . Its no good for you, it changes your mind.

But if youīre a beginner, photographer, sports guy, real estate seller or landscape artist, interested in great aerial video and photography, go for it ! But please, donīt tell guys like me.

Recommended sources

Manufacturer Info

Download Manuals, DJI PILOT APP , Assistant and Drivers

DJI Phantom 3 tutorial videos by DJI (6 videos )
DJI - Phantom 3 Tutorial - Unboxing Part 1 (7 min 4 sec)

Official Phantom 3 Professional / Advanced Owner's Thread including FAQ

Phantom 3 HDR Tutorial by havasuphoto

DJI PILOT APP tutorial Walkthrough & FAQ by Drones In SC

DJI Phantom 3 & DJI Pilot App Walkthrough & FAQ (35 min 25 sec)

Phantom 3 HDR Tutorial by havasuphoto

Note: This report just reflects the personal view of the author. Accuracy and completeness are not provided. It is recommended that users stay in tune on the forums and @ DJI site. As always, all product pictures of the report and product related text passages are done by the author. They may be copied and also be used in other places for private purposes. The use for E... auctions is not allowed, commercial use by request.
Last edited by gervais; Jul 13, 2015 at 03:44 AM.
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Jul 02, 2015, 01:46 AM
Registered User
I hoped so much in the beginning of article to find something serious against this... now I am depressed
Jul 02, 2015, 03:46 AM
Made in Germany
Thread OP
24h after release without any reply, I wasnīt too confident, that thereīs anybody out here understanding this "issue" Thanks!

PS: I was prepared to use sentences like :

...but as my vendor told me, that will be fixed pretty soon, ...or... since this is a developer version (by choice pre-production unit) , one cannot expect...or... due to gps solar flare interference during the flight test, Postion Hold did not work as expected....
And get it to the bay after the pics have been done. Well, next time.
Jul 02, 2015, 04:08 AM
Registered User
Preparing the text for a Hitler style rant, not founding anyone about P3 yet...
Jul 02, 2015, 11:34 AM
Registered User
probably the best review I have seen yet, I'm with you on tinkering so this is probably not for me but I like the video and camera and all the automation so now I want it! see what you did ?

nice review !
Jul 02, 2015, 03:33 PM
Made in Germany
Thread OP
Originally Posted by Waterbound
..... so now I want it! see what you did ? ..
Could say that Iīm sorry, .. but honestly have to admit, that I wanted some other guys to share this bad experience as well

Thanks for your compliment !
Jul 03, 2015, 07:46 PM
Critic at Large
craigiri's Avatar
This is truly terrible. So many people will be unable to spend all day and night discussing mods and repairs. What will become of us? What will become of RCG? We will all have to stoop to the level of appreciating amazing videos and pics from all over the world.
Jul 04, 2015, 03:28 PM
Made in Germany
Thread OP

Solar Charger Phantom 3

What will become of RCG?
You may still laugh about my concerns, but the P3 is just the beginning of the era where aerial platforms start to get completely fool proof, wiping away the need for educational places like your platform as well.

But today, I could at least do some low level DIY :

Solar Charging

Everywhere in the world, cheap solar panels are available. Almost all of them are produced in China, India or Malaysia.

Solar Panel

The shown foldable solar panels are coming with different power and sizes, sometimes with a bag. As long as you choose solar panels with poly- or monocrystalline cells laminated on glass, there are no big quality differences (2nd choice cells anyways). Even cheap panels will do the job for years. (My oldest panels are 20 years old and are still working)

Solar charge controller

Since the output of the panels is higher than 14V (Usual so called 12V panels are 36 cell panels with an open circuit voltage around 18V), a solar charge controller, designed for lead acid batteries, is needed .
At the foldable panels usually included and mounted at the back. You could buy them externally as well, the cheap ones like shown here, are designed all alike , simple shunt regulators.
Better, true MPP (hi efficient) controllers are not needed if enough direct (!) sunlight is available.

Sine Wave Power Inverter

To transform the battery voltage (app.13V) to AC (110V) for the Phantom charger Iīm using a true (pure) sine wave power inverter, and not a cheap trapezoid type, usually called modified sine wave @ the bay.
Spend at least 150$ or better buy locally, if you donīt want to fry your charger, since the cheapos never come with correct specs, or even burn at higher operation temperatures.
Iīm strongly recommending at least 200W continous output to ensure safe operation @ sunny days.


This is easy, even a child could do that. Just donīt use a car style power plug for the power inverter> battery connection. Currents up to 15A need a reliable connection, screwed on or sth. like Deans or Anderson Power Poles.
Ensure that the Solar Panel is directed to the sun, avoiding any shades.
If the Solar Panel is rated 50Wp (Watt peak), the shown system needs app. 2-3h full sunlight to "replace" the energy which is needed to charge a Phantom 3 battery.
Last edited by gervais; Jul 04, 2015 at 06:52 PM.
Jul 06, 2015, 11:18 AM
Made in Germany
Thread OP
DJI extended the Self-Tightening 9450 rotor program. All of them are Phantom 3 compatible, its composite hub fits all DJI motors with CW/CCW thread (2312, newerPhantom 2212) as well :

Advance style:

White with silver stripes

Professional style:

White with gold stripes

Each pair (CW/CCW) for 7$ @ the DJI Shop


Black, carbon fiber reinforced

Black, carbon fiber reinforced with white stripes

Black, carbon fiber reinforced with yellow stripes

Each pair (CW/CCW) for 15$ @ the DJI Shop
Jul 13, 2015, 03:51 AM
Made in Germany
Thread OP

HDMI Output Module is available

As already announced a couple of weeks ago , DJI just came up with the HDMI Output Module which extends the controller with an additional 2 Monitor HDMI output port and a CAN BUS Port for future extensions. Its available for just 99$.

The HDMI Output Module for the Phantom 3 (Pro/Adv) can export 720P real-time images via an HDMI port.
It can be used in broadcasting or video monitoring.
It supports a double-screen display, and exports real-time images via the HDMI and USB ports.

Live data of flight controls, video feedback and the aircraft’s battery levels can be exported via the HDMI Output Module.
You can also choose to switch off the data display on your app.
This module can be mounted on the back of the Phantom 3‘s remote controller.
It includes a Mini-HDMI output port, Micro-USB port, USB port and a CAN expansion port.

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