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Known Common Problems With the Phantom 3

Now that the Phantom 3 have been out and about for a few weeks i thought it would be good to list the issues most commonly reported by users and what we know is happening with them.

NOTE: Although there are some common issues that *some people are reporting its by no means a reason NOT to buy an Phantom 3. There are tens of thousands of Phantom 3’s in the sky and very few are having any issues.

Known Common Problems With the Phantom 3 – Updated 29-09-15

The issue are listed in no particular order. This will be updated as and when news arrived of fixes/new problems.

  • Gimbal Horizon. The horizon being off is a well known issue that seems to affect both the Phantom 3 Professional and Advanced. Although it can be adjusted in the App, the issue not only returns the next flight and required re-adjusting in the App, the issue seems to come and go during flight. One user has noticed that the horizon seems to fix itself during left Yaw but goes crooked again when not. DJI are aware of this issue and should hopefully come out with a fix soon. Highly unlikely its a hardware issue but if it is I think DJI will sink ( definitely not hardware issue )
  • Gimbal Drift. Think this is related again to the horizon issue and should be fixed with firmware ASAP.
  • Vibrating gimbal/camera. I have seen a good few people reporting vibrations in the gimbal that causes jello in video intermittently ( every second or so it seems ). http://forum.dji.com/thread-16248-1-1.html – Units have been returned with this issue and we await the result. – No reports of this in a long time.. Considered resolved..
  • Disconnect issues on the App. Many users are reporting disconnect issues in Android. I’m sure this will be down to device comparability and will probably be resolved partly with new App versions. Still ongoing to some degree with firmware 1.4
  • Battery not charging. This is not a bug its people not reading the manual. The batteries MUST cool down before they will charge.
  • Ultrasonic System Error Please land as soon as Possible. A few have reported getting the message “Ultrasonic System Error Please land as soon as Possible” during flight. Not seen any specific answer to the issue – http://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=16346 – Think this issue happens under very specific circumstances. The latest firmware 1.1.9 did fix and issue described as “Fixed issue of some aircraft unable to determine their altitudes.”. Not heard of the issue post firmware 1.1.9. Resolved with firmware it seems. No recent reports of issues.
  • App crashing in Android. Many ( not hundreds, but enough ) \re reporting the Android app crashing during flight. Although is you don’t panic and restart the app/device everything continues to work but its definitely something that’s annoying users. Make sure no other apps are running on the device at the same time, turn off unused features like Bluetooth. Issue will likely be fixed/reduced in the next app update ( no, I don’t know when it will be out ). Possible temporary fix for Android users.. Also downgrading Android from 5.01 Lollipop to 4.4.2 fixed video feed issues for one user. Since the release of newer firmwares and updated Pilot App this issue is not widely reported and considered resolved.
  • Numerous Compass/GPS Errors. Since firmware 1.1.9 there seems to be more and more reports of compass/GPS errors. Unknown if this is a firmware issue but more reports since the latest firmware. Use caution when flying especially over water. Any sign of compass/GPS error, fly it back and land. Also do NOT use RTH if you suspect compass errors, just switch to Atti mode and fly it back yourself. Reports of this issue seem to have stopped after newer firmwares. For now I consider this issue resolved by firmware.
    Abnormal Compas Error
  • Wavy horizon in images. This one has had a few people report it now. The issue very rarely occurs but when it does, users get images with a wavy horizon. DJI Autumn over at the DJI Forums has confirmed that DJI are aware of the issue and working on a fix. Resolved it seems.. No recent reports.
    Wavy Horizon
  • Latency on *some Android devices as well as IOS using firmware 1.1.9. Some users are reporting a lot of latency/lag on their devices when the Phantom 3 is running firmware 1.1.9 when it was OK/Not bad on 1.1.8. Its hard to get clear info on this at the moment and only supported evidence is from people showing it DOES seem to work OK.. Mystery..
    More and more evidence showng temprature is the likely cause. Some devices throttle performance when it gets hot ( and some just give an error ). Try and keep the device cool and away from direct sunlight. Always use a sunshade ( white if possible ). Give the tablet device time to coo between P3 battery flight. Turn the brightness down a little. Seems fixed with user using decent devices and changes to app/firmware.
  • No video feed IOS. With the latest firmware release 1.2.6 for the Pro and 1.2.7 fro the Advanced, some users are reporting that they get no video feed on iPad’s. Not a confirmed issue but worth knowing about. Fixed, use firmware 1.3.20 upwards.
  • Crazy VPS errors. Since Firmware 1.2.6 for the Pro and 1.2.7 for the Advanced people are reporting the VPS system doing some crazy stuff.. At low altitude when VPS should be active the craft ascends and descends fast and does not keep position. In the air above VPS altitude, the Phantom is giving a VPS error and telling you to land. For now the suggested option is to disable VPS until a new firmware is issued. This has been reported to DJI.. Fixed, use latest firmware 1.3.20 or 1.4.10
  • Strange artefacts in video transmission and images when using 4:3 aspect.
    Some users have noticed strange artefacts in the video transmission and images when using the 4:3 aspect. Its being investigated by DJI. Advise for now it to use 16:9. This issue was resolved in firmware 1.2.8 for the Phantom 3 Advanced.
  • DJI Pilot App shows “Gimbal Motor Overloaded” and “Poor” radio channel quality message.
    This issue seems to only affect Android users after the release of the new Pilot App version 1.2.0. Looks to be only and App issue rather than anything else. Fixed, use latest App/Firmware.

(14) Comments

  1. Ultrasonic System Error Please land as soon as Possible. still happens on 1.19 actually never encountered it before i installed 1.19 on my P3A

    It only happened when i was 40m+ in the air so wasn’t a problem.

  2. great resource thanks for posting. re issues, Just had my P3 pro for a few days and was seeing android 4.4 tegra note dropping out restarting when P3 is away is fun.
    Thought my horizon was a bit off will see about some updates thanks again for the info

  3. It might be advisable to address the problems SPECIFIC for the Phantom 3 ADVANCED and the Phantom 3 PROFESSIONAL as there seem to be big differences… the same for iOS (which I use) and ANDROID…
    I just heard that DJI is (or seems to be…) aware of the problems with the PH3 PRO and is working on various problems.
    I asked if there was a HARDWARE difference between the first and the next batch of the Phantom 3 PRO but… I did not get an answer…
    Thanks for your investigations and work… Max

  4. Poor horizon, gimbal twitching constantly and very poor video link since updating to 1.2.6 on my P3P. So wish I hadn’t updated. An option to downgrade would be good. IOS

  5. I’m on an iPhone 6 and have the phantom 3 pro. Only flew it a few times then updated firmware. Now my imu needs to warm up before flight and I keep getting poor radio channel messages.

    I’m running 1.2 version on app.

  6. Recalibrate your imu. But first make the bird cold. Set it over an air conditioning vent for 30 minutes or so. If the drone is cold during the IMU it will not need the heat up to be ready to fly. Aircraft pilots have been using this trick for years..

    Jeff

  7. I am running IOS 8.4 on an iPad Air 2 with my P3P and also get Gimble Motir Overloaded message. Would seem to be a larger issue than just for Android users.

  8. My cure for “gimbal motor overload” was to finally notice and remove the plastic shipping restraint from the camera mount. :)

  9. I have now done two video flights to 50‰ battery with my new P3A.

    I have used 1080p video for the first flight – quality was excellent no issues.

    Used 2.7K video made possible by latest firmware on my second flight. Quality on this was questionable.

    The horizon was razor sharp and stable on the first flight, the second flight video showed instability like a slight vibration on the horizon.

    I have also noticed after start up today the image coming from the camera/gimbal drifts to the right slowly before stabilising. I don’t think this happened yesterday.

    The only thing I can think of that might be user error is that I have left the gimbal clamp on a couple of times when I have powered the battery up. I immediately noticed both times-powered down, removed it and started up again.

    Can this cause damage?

  10. Hi, I really hope you can help me since I got no answer from DJI yet. I got my first flight yesterday with a new phantom 3 professional. I flew in beginner mode the three times and I’m shure there was no collision for the damage I found. The top plastic cover on the side of motors 2 and 3 is cracked. Not broken but it is not as it should be. I wonder if this is related to an odd motor rotation or an extreme force made while it was in the air.

    Sorry for bothering and many thanks if you can help me.
    Best regards.

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