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Amazon: DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone Quadcopter for GoPro $499

pandaexp 84 September 8, 2013 at 09:36 PM in Tech & Electronics (3) More Amazon Deals
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Amazon third party sellers for DJI Phantom:

http://www.amazon.com/DJI-Phantom...14015071_6

For $479.00

This is the drone that has been extremely popular these past few months. Regularly sells for $679, now $499 with FSSS or scroll down for $479 deal.

4.5 star review, great for aerial photography.
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Joined Aug 2011
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#2
It's popular because it's a beginner quad that is simple to use. I wouldn't call it great. Adequate might be a better description.

If you built a quad yourself with the same spec esc/motors, and dropped in a multiwii pro w/ gps, you'd be able to shave off several hundred dollars and get essentially the same production value.

As you might be able to tell, I'm not a NAZA fan.
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#3
Got some inside tip from a dealer...said the price drop might be permanent. More dealers might follow soon, after clearing their expensive stocks.
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#4
Quote from mysql View Post :
It's popular because it's a beginner quad that is simple to use. I wouldn't call it great. Adequate might be a better description.

If you built a quad yourself with the same spec esc/motors, and dropped in a multiwii pro w/ gps, you'd be able to shave off several hundred dollars and get essentially the same production value.

As you might be able to tell, I'm not a NAZA fan.
So you're saying I could pay several hundred less than $500 and get the same value/setup? Point me in the right direction please.
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#5
I just hang my GP Black under my AR Drone 2.0 and away I go Smilie

Couldn't be easier for my 2 year old to fly the thing... "tilt the ipad this way..." Big Grin

My 2 cents Big Grin

Quads are VERY interesting toys! I highly recommend them!
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#6
Quote from taiguy View Post :
So you're saying I could pay several hundred less than $500 and get the same value/setup? Point me in the right direction please.
Well... it won't have the famous NAZA quality. You know the one - where it decides "return to home" means China and you never see it again.

Here's my current collection [imgur.com]. I'm building a very nice octocopter right now. It's cost is right at $500. That's with 8 quality motors/esc and includes frame and flight controller with gps.

If you're serious about wanting alternatives, the flight controller would be different since nothing is naza besides naza. There are a half dozen quality FC available that you could pick from to control the multicopter. Aside from not having NAZA, the other components would actually be better than what is supplied with the DJI, at lower cost. I like sunnysky motors, simonk flashed ESCs, and multiwii pro3's. Google them first, then let me know if you have questions.
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#7
Quote from jtam View Post :
Got some inside tip from a dealer...said the price drop might be permanent. More dealers might follow soon, after clearing their expensive stocks.
I don't have any insider info, but I suspect the new "Phantom Vision [youtube.com]" might be the reason why the old unit has the price cut.

The use of 5.8ghz for radio control on the Vision seems really odd to me. I wouldn't want signal in that high range since flying behind a tree would cause signal loss. Maybe I am missing something.
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#8
Quote from mysql View Post :
Well... it won't have the famous NAZA quality. You know the one - where it decides "return to home" means China and you never see it again.

Here's my current collection [imgur.com]. I'm building a very nice octocopter right now. It's cost is right at $500. That's with 8 quality motors/esc and includes frame and flight controller with gps.

If you're serious about wanting alternatives, the flight controller would be different since nothing is naza besides naza. There are a half dozen quality FC available that you could pick from to control the multicopter. Aside from not having NAZA, the other components would actually be better than what is supplied with the DJI, at lower cost. I like sunnysky motors, simonk flashed ESCs, and multiwii pro3's. Google them first, then let me know if you have questions.
I am also interested. Are you selling somewhere or you do as side hobby? It looks involved and may be you can download some of your stock.
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#9
Quote from taiguy View Post :
So you're saying I could pay several hundred less than $500 and get the same value/setup? Point me in the right direction please.
Quote from fargoadvice View Post :
I just hang my GP Black under my AR Drone 2.0 and away I go Smilie

Couldn't be easier for my 2 year old to fly the thing... "tilt the ipad this way..." Big Grin

My 2 cents Big Grin

Quads are VERY interesting toys! I highly recommend them!
http://www.amazon.com/Parrot-AR-D...B007HZLLOK

I also have one. I love it.

I purchased a few extra batteries from HobbyKing for significantly less than the 'official' batteries for the drone. Works just as well for way less money.

Also, this has a built in front facing 720P camera, you said you were looking for a similar setup for less money, but also as mentioned, in the other post, you could probably just hang a GoPro from it, although it would add a lot of weight and make it harder to fly.

More information:

http://ardrone2.parrot.com/

Looks like they are coming out with a version that has extra batteries and extra propellers included.
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#10
Quote from DavNeil View Post :
I am also interested. Are you selling somewhere or you do as side hobby? It looks involved and may be you can download some of your stock.
I do it just for fun. I don't sell anything. I really like flying FPV. Here's a short clip of my last time flying FPV [youtube.com]. I'm building the octo so I can have a larger more stable platform. The quad I am currently using for FPV is too small (can't go beyond 9" props) and it's overburdened.


There's a significant difference between toy grade and hobby grade multicopters. There's also professional stuff, but those are in a different price range altogether.

Toy grade are the micro quads. I would include the AR drone as toy grade.

The Phantom fits in somewhere between toy and hobby grade.


I made a super cheap hexacopter the other day, and made a video of the first flight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGvTw_9g9CI

The motors are crap, the ESCs are crap, but if you watch the video, you should be able to tell that it's not a toy grade multicopter. Part of the reason why this thing has so much power is the home made frame (2-3x lighter than premade frames). The power levels you see is with the flight controller dialing power down to 60%. It actually had too much thrust to be useful.
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#11
Quote from mysql View Post :
It's popular because it's a beginner quad that is simple to use. I wouldn't call it great. Adequate might be a better description.

If you built a quad yourself with the same spec esc/motors, and dropped in a multiwii pro w/ gps, you'd be able to shave off several hundred dollars and get essentially the same production value.

As you might be able to tell, I'm not a NAZA fan.
It's great compared to what was available a few years ago - I seriously doubt you would get anything off the ground for "several hundred dollars" less - that would mean $200, a laughable budget for a quad. That $500 buys you the aircraft AND the radio. It's a bargain - an incredible bargain when you consider that you may get bored with the whole thing - maybe only a couple hundred out of pocket after you resell it. If you love it (i hope you do!) then you can try building from one from scratch.

Now if you already own a decent radio then this is less of a deal.
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#12
How much did that hexacore cost you to build? That looks like lots of fun to fly! bounce
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#13
I'm just getting into this hobby myself and I see in the video you are using the KK2 (outta stock at HK like forever), do you have any experience with APM? You mentioned Muliwii, do you like that one better than KK2?

Are you going to use a gimble in the octocopter to stabilize your video work? What is the framework that you're using, aluminum rods? Can you give us a parts list of the hexacopter? Other than HK, are there other suppliers that we should be aware of? Stay away from? Build or buy a clover leave antenna? Which version of Fat Shark? How do you calculate your engine lift to weight ratio, I can't really tell from reading the specs. Which long distance set up for FPV? ezUHF, Dragonlink, etc?

Oh man, I just started typing all and question after question spilled out.Sorry about that. As you can tell I'm very new at this and want to learn.



Quote from mysql View Post :
I do it just for fun. I don't sell anything. I really like flying FPV. Here's a short clip of my last time flying FPV [youtube.com]. I'm building the octo so I can have a larger more stable platform. The quad I am currently using for FPV is too small (can't go beyond 9" props) and it's overburdened.


There's a significant difference between toy grade and hobby grade multicopters. There's also professional stuff, but those are in a different price range altogether.

Toy grade are the micro quads. I would include the AR drone as toy grade.

The Phantom fits in somewhere between toy and hobby grade.


I made a super cheap hexacopter the other day, and made a video of the first flight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGvTw_9g9CI

The motors are crap, the ESCs are crap, but if you watch the video, you should be able to tell that it's not a toy grade multicopter. Part of the reason why this thing has so much power is the home made frame (2-3x lighter than premade frames). The power levels you see is with the flight controller dialing power down to 60%. It actually had too much thrust to be useful.
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#14
Quote from scsl View Post :
I'm just getting into this hobby myself and I see in the video you are using the KK2 (outta stock at HK like forever), do you have any experience with APM? You mentioned Muliwii, do you like that one better than KK2?
KK2 is usually considered a beginner flight controller because of it's simplicity. However it's simplicity also makes it extremely good if you're into acrobatics. I currently use 1.6++ firmware, which does full acro, and goes into auto level mode when you release the sticks.

MultiWii is really nice. I get more stable and smoother flying out of it than the KK2 board. And the price of the Pro3 is ~$45. Add $35 for GPS and you are set. Baro isn't 100%, I get fluctuations of around 2-3', but that really only matters if you're near to the ground. Flying 500' in the air and it isn't noticeable in the slightest.




Quote :
Are you going to use a gimble in the octocopter to stabilize your video work? What is the framework that you're using, aluminum rods? Can you give us a parts list of the
Yes, will do 2 axis brushless gimbal on it. I will likely buy the motors and control board and make my own mounts.

The aluminum rods are actually home depot towel racks. They are very thin and lightweight. I have a bunch of carbon fiber rods (round and square shaped) and they can't beat these HD towel racks. The octo is using 4 of the 30" rods - they run $5 each. Octo frame for $20 and it's only 400g in weight. Hard to beat that!


Quote :
hexacopter? Other than HK, are there other suppliers that we should be aware of? Stay away from? Build or buy a clover leave antenna? Which version of Fat Shark? How do you calculate your engine lift to weight ratio, I can't really tell from reading the specs. Which long distance set up for FPV? ezUHF, Dragonlink, etc?
I'm using frSky right now. Once I get the octo where I want it, I might go for dragonlink.

Using Fatshark attitudes. They are the best value from fatshark right now. Honestly though, I'd prefer wider field of view on googles and camera. The upgraded antenna's are a must.

I use buddyRC for the sunnysky motors (Think T-motors at a fraction of the cost). HK is good for batts, afro esc and some misc parts, but I wouldn't buy anything expensive like the fatsharks from them due to return policy and shipping (Plus buying from a US vendor gives you the same price on them).


Parts list on a hex or octo is the same as on a quad. You retain the same flight controller and everything else. The only difference is you have a few more motors and speed controllers.


Quote :
Oh man, I just started typing all and question after question spilled out.Sorry about that. As you can tell I'm very new at this and want to learn.
Huge part of this is knowing the right questions to ask, it seems you know more than you let on Smilie
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#15
Quote from jawshoeaw View Post :
It's great compared to what was available a few years ago
Yes, that is true. But it's also over priced for what you get. Flight systems with true autonomous flight and unlimited way points are available for far less than DJI's stuff. Like I said, their systems are good for beginners. I don't mean that in a negative way - simple is good. The issue is their pricing and there are bugs that still need to be worked out.


Quote :
- I seriously doubt you would get anything off the ground for "several hundred dollars" less - that would mean $200, a laughable budget for a quad. That $500 buys you the aircraft AND the radio. It's a bargain
I'm not so sure about your math skills. Several hundred less than the $500 price of the Phantom would be around $300. I can most definitely build a quad for that.

DJI 330 frame is similar in size to the Phantom (I've got both, so I can take a photo if you don't believe me). Buy the real 330 for $20 or a knock off for $8. Get 4 motors ($15 each for cheap, $25 each for quality), 4 ESCs at $12 each for cheap, $15 for quality. MultiWii for $35. 9X radio for $55. That totals $285 for the good stuff or $206 on the cheap. That still leaves me enough room to upgrade the MultiWii to have GPS. Or I could get rid of the 330 frame and get a Phantom shell for $40 on ebay for only $20 more.

Yes, there are incidentals like shrink wrap, zip ties, and you'll need a solder iron, screw drivers, etc. Oh, I forgot props, but they are only a few dollars.


Quote :
maybe only a couple hundred out of pocket after you resell it. If you love it (i hope you do!) then you can try building from one from scratch.
I get the distinct feeling you aren't paying attention to my posts. I've built around 7 multicopters from scratch this year alone.

My own Phantom isn't even a real DJI Phantom. I bought the shell and put in better electronics and motors [dropboxusercontent.com]. I also have a DJI 330 and 450, but I got tired of excess weight (Not talking about the 330 though, that is 170g), so I make most of my frames myself now after trying many commercial offerings.


The Phantom shell is lightweight (Almost exactly the same weight as the F330), but it's expensive compared to most frames in that size, and there is zero durability. The motor mounts get stress cracks over time. If any arm is broken, the entire thing is scrapped. The arms have side to side flexing.

Anyway... I am talking too much now. If you were starting out and wanted a nice quad to play with, one that has a lot of aftermarket support, then the Phantom might not be too bad. It just isn't without it's flaws and it isn't cheap even with the reduced price tag. That's all I am saying.
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