DJI Phantom

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Dji phantom frame.jpg
Dji phantom kit.jpg
Dji phantom frame inside top.jpg

The DJI Phantom was released January 2013 and is a fully pre-tuned ready-to-fly (RTF) quadrotor. It has protective aerodynamic molded body with all required equipment integrated. Designed for aerial filming with a GoPro camera.

Specifications

  • Released: December 2012
  • Type: Symmetric 350 size small vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) quadrotor
  • Airframe: Molded plastic
  • Dimensions: W292xH185xL292 mm (excl. propellers)
    • Absolute size: W457xH185xL292 mm (incl. propellers) [1]
  • Weight: 800 grams (incl. battery)
    • Weight frame only: 630 grams
  • All up weight: 1000-1500 grams (incl. camera)
  • Flight controller: DJI NAZA-M with GPS and compass module
    • Default gains: basic 125/125/100/100 and attitude 125/125 [2]
    • Optimal gains: basic 130/120/100/100 and attitude 122/122 - pitch will be greater than roll since the mass/momentum (battery, camera) is bigger on the pitch axis
  • Transmitter: DJI 7-channel 2.4GHz 40mW/16dBm transmitter [3]
    • Mode: mode 1 or 2, changeable by moving stick assembly and two wires
    • Range: 300m (advertised), 1000-1800m (tested) [4]
    • Channels: 7th channel located on the back of the transmitter, upper hole, useful for gimbal, X1 in NAZA Assistant [5]
  • Receiver: DJI 2.4GHz PPM -93dBm bare-board receiver
  • Battery: 3S 2200 20C+ single LiPo pack with XT60 connector
    • Battery weight: 170-220 grams recommended
    • Battery cage: W36.5xH28xL109 mm
    • Charger: DJI Balancing XH-JST 3A Lipo charger [6]
  • Motor: DJI 2212 920KV 8 mm shaft white brushless motor
    • Suitable motor: 22x12 mm (Ø28x26-28mm) or 22x16 mm (Ø28x30-34mm), 700-900KV, 150-250W, 25-50grams
    • Motor mount arms: 16x19 mm pattern
  • Propellers: 8x5-inch, 2xCW 2xCCW
  • ESC: 4x Integrated 18A 400Hz speed controllers
  • Forward speed: ~30-40 km/h
  • Flight time: 8-10 minutes
  • Product pages:
    • DJI Phantom - official product page with software upgrades and manuals
    • DJI NAZA-M - further details about the flight controller
  • Similar models:

Upgrades

Below is a list of potential upgrades:

  • Add quality propellers for less vibrations and better reliability
    • The stock propellers are soft and could break in extreme maneuvers
  • Spare Lipo battery packs with XT60 connectors
    • Easily swap the battery to get back in the air
  • Install a camera gimbal with pan and tilt
    • The stock NAZA flight controller can be configured to stabilize the camera gimbal
  • Replace the remote control transmitter and receiver to enable 6-channels and longer range
    • Enables manual adjustment of pan and tilt from the remote control transmitter
    • Adding a UHF system extends range to several kilometers
  • Add a simple FPV system using a GoPro video-out cable and velcro to attach a video transmitter to the underside
    • Auxiliary power from the battery is supplied by two leads through one of the arms

Manuals

Gear

Propellers

  • GemFan 9x5-inch carbon fiber props - fits directly on DJI motors, 8mm bore [7]
  • Graupner E-Prop 8x5-inch - quality, balanced, 5mm bore, requires reaming to 8mm
  • FoxTech Carbon Fiber 8045 propeller - direct fit on stock motors, DJI bore notch, 8mm bore [8]
  • RCTimer 8x4.5 carbon fiber propeller - cheap, great for practice
  • Zinger 9x4 Wooden Props - less vibrations, bit larger than stock [9]

Motors

  • Tiger Motor MN2214 920kV brushless motor - direct replacement motor, white, bit more powerful and efficient
  • Tiger Motor MT2212-13 980KV brushless motor - quality, powerful
  • Emax MT2213-935KV brushless motor - same as the original DJI motors
  • Suppo A2212/13 1000KV brushless motor - quality
  • Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 2822-1275KV brushless motor - cheap, powerful
  • Cobra C-2208/34 1180KV rushless motor - great motor, efficient, pricey [10]

Batteries

  • APLUS Extreme 2200mAh-65C 3S1P 11.1v Lipo pack - quality pack
  • Hyperion G3 CX 11.1V 3S 2500mah 25C Lipo pack - extra capacity
  • Zippy Compact 2200mAh 3S 25C Lipo pack - lightweight, inexpensive
  • Turnigy nano-tech 2200mah 3S 35C Lipo pack - inexpensive, must be handled properly
  • Thunder Power G8 Pro Force 2250mAh 3S 70C Lipo pack - quality, fast charging

Gimbals

  • RC-Drones X2 PhantoMount - pan, tilt, supports GoPro
  • RC-Drones X2-Wide PhantoMount - pan, tilt, supports GoPro case, space for video-out cable
  • QuadFrame GoPro 2-axis gimbal - pan, tilt, lightweight, uses DS11-SCB or ES08MD digital servos or similar
  • DJI Phantom GoPro Gimbal - prototype [11] [12]

Cases

  • Go Professional Cases DJI Phantom - space for transmitter, batteries, charger and lots of accessories
  • ToughCase DJI Phantom - carries transmitter, battiers, charger
  • Pelican 1620 case - large case, customizable foam fittings
  • BuzzFlyer DJI Phantom Case - customizable foam inserts [13]

Transmitter

  • Futaba 8FG 12-channel transmitter - quality, feature proof
  • Turnigy 9X 9-channel transmitter - extreme value, customizable

Modules:

  • FrSky DJT-II-V2 2.4GHz 60mW transmitter module - plugs directly into JR and Turnigy tx
  • EzUHF 433Mhz transmitter module - quality, long range, sma connector

Receiver

  • FrSky D8R-II Plus 8-channel receiver - great sensitivity, diversity antennas, two-way communication
  • EzUHF Lite 8-channel receiver - quality, slim, long range, sma connector

Charger

  • SkyRC e6680 80W 220V/12V charger - well-rounded charger, powerful, easy to use, great value
  • SkyRC e4 Balance Charger - Direct replacement for the DJI charger

Accessories

  • Dubro Tru-Spin Propeller Balancer - reduces vibrations and "jello"-effect dramatically
  • UBEC 6V Power Regulator for gimbal - power gimbal servos directly, instead of via NAZA [14]
  • DJI Phantom Graphic Skins - apply different desgns to the body [15]

Tips and tricks

  • For multiple flights, get a few extra batteries and a faster charger, preferably one which works in a car
  • To enable manual/rate mode, connect the NAZA flight controller to the assistant software and in the autopilot section change 'Atti' to 'Manual' in the drop-down menu
  • A gimbal with pan and tilt can be connected to F1 and F2 on the NAZA-M, the gimbal will be stay level as the quadrotor moves, no remote gimbal control possible
  • Consider balancing the propellers to get vibration free GoPro video, alternatively get Graupner or Gemfan propellers
  • To minimize the jello-effect, use 1080p60 or 720p60 and disable ATTI GPS to avoid miniature adjustment performed by the flight controller
  • Keep the LED sequence reference handy, print out page 15 and 16 of the manual [16]
  • For better range or gimbal remote control, replace the stock DJI RC receiver with a regular module (and transmitter) capable of S-Bus output [17]
  • Try a new maneuver, or anything risky, at a fairly high altitude so that you will have time to make a saving correction [18]
  • Wobble on fast descent is caused because self-turbulence and stall (props are rotating slower) and is not the fault of the flight controller [19]
  • To make the quadrotor more nimble, adjust the attitude gain in the NAZA Assistant from stock 125/125 to 120/120

Community

Shops

Videos

Below is a video showing a FPV equipped Phantom.

References