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Is Inspire worth it?

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Hi All, My first post here and have a question. I'm on my second Phantom vision+ v3 in 2 weeks. First one the camera started doing the jitters after a week. so I sent it back. It had the new 2.1 escs. The second one has the 2.0 escs so I'm going to send it back. Should I bite the bullet and get the inspire instead? is it worth it? How much do the batteries cost and what is the flight time. Is there anything I need to look out for with a neThanks for the help
 
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I own a Phantom Vision Plus. I really like that it is a turnkey solution for flying, monitoring what you are shooting, and being able to control the camera, etc. I do video production for a living...and I was really unhappy with the quality of the camera with the Vision Plus...looked crappy...make me cringe looking at it on a large monitor.

So I invested in a Phantom 2 Kit through DSLR Pros (Sundance Kit) and invested in a GOPRO Hero 4. ($3,500). This system made great pictures, but there is all kinds of stuff hanging from the Phantom, the FPV is standard def and was not that great, and most important, I could not control the camera from the ground. I basically would press record and take off, fly and shoot and end up with large HD files in edit. I could not stop and start recording, change settings, switch from video to photos, etc. All this for over $3k!

So the Inspire came along and looked to be exactly what I wanted. I bit the bullet and sold my Phantom 2 kit for a huge loss and Invested in the Inspire. I am very happy with this unit. Most important, I am happy with the images/ video quality. The video feed to my iPad Air is great. The APP is really something. The Inspire itself is much more stable in the air...it is heavier.

The Inspire came with the lower amp battery...flight time 12 minutes or so...being conservative. I have ordered 2 higher amp batteries at $200 each...these are supposed to give 18 - 20 minutes conservative flying time. I have never had an issue with not enough flying time....I think about what I need to shoot, get the shots and usually have plenty of time to return safely.

I really think this unit is worth it. I'm sure later iterations will be improved and there have been all kinds of "issues" with this being a new production model...but I could not be happier with the Inspire...it is really solid, in my view.
 
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I could not have said it better.
Thanks...I'm working on a pre-flight check list...a couple other folks have expressed an interest...is there a way to upload a word document?
 
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Only thing that concerns me is the IOS app not being available. Any one know when that is expected?
 
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Only thing that concerns me is the IOS app not being available. Any one know when that is expected?
You can get an earlier version easily....that's what I did...and I'm not a mac guy at all...I bought an I Pad Air specifically for this...they day I got my Inspire, DJI pulled it...for whatever reasons...I was livid. I calmed down and was easily able to download and use versions that people had saved and made available...works like a charm...as soon as the sanctioned app is made available, I'll download that. But the app that I have on my iPad Air works beautifully...no issues. I did make a sunscreen out of black
I just finished putting a check list together last night. Care to share/combine?

I just finished putting a check list together last night. Care to share/combine?
This is what I've come up with....this is all condensed into a condensed check-list at the end...I want to have a laminated list that I go through religiously every time I fly...I had a crash indoors (everything is OK except props) because I did not focus on what I should be doing...did not have Airplane Mode turned on on my tablet.

I don't want this to be too complicated, but I really want to be able to confident when I take off and fly...for me, a good checklist that I can follow every time I fly is a must. I don't want another crash and I really want to make sure I'm being safe. Feel free to chime in, I could use some help.


INSPIRE CHECK LIST (AS OF 2.2.15)


BEFORE I LEAVE TO FLY – IN MY HANGAR (OFFICE)

In general, I like to keep my Inspire ready to go. This basically means that I have all batteries charged, maps loaded on my iPad Air, and my camera set to the default settings I normally shoot with. I always keep my card in the camera formatted without any files on it. (I keep Cache Maps switch to on position – APP settings)

Before I leave to shoot, I check my IMU Calibration, the Mod values…to make sure they are where they need to be.

(Mode / Advanced Settings / Sensors / 3 Mod Readouts on right…stacked above each other)

Gyroscope Mod – 0.00

Acceleration (g) Mod – .99 to 1.01

Compass Mod – Mod – 1400 to 1600

(note: maybe this needs to be done before I take off each time?)

If I’m shooting in town or anywhere I’m able to drive, I have my Inspire already set up with camera mounted and my iPad Air already mounted on my remote control with improvised sun shade attached. I put the Inspire and Remote in my car already set up.

I drive a Honda CRV and have “compartments” set up in the flat, rear section of the car so the Inspire and remote can travel securely. I keep the case in this back compartment as well with anything else I will need for multiple flights, recharging, etc.

I also give some thought to the overall logistics concerning the locations in which I’m shooting. What are weather conditions (wind), when is the best time to shoot, where will the sun be, do I need to consider people or traffic present, what would be a good safe place to take off and land, what shots do I have in mind when I take off. Do I need to get permission to do this shooting?




CHECK LIST
(with explanations) - based on flying with GPS control…which is all I want to do.

1- Find a Good Take-off / Landing Area…flat, free of obstructions, people, possible radio interference. (really important when people/ traffic are around)

2- Check Props - make sure they are nice and snug - by hand. (No prop-locks yet)

3- Check Camera Filter - ND or regular, depending on sunlight. (easy to forget)

4- Turn on Remote Control, iPad Air also turns on at this time. Confirm your remote is charged…4 white lights on lower face of remote.

5- Confirm your Tablet Battery is Charged.

6- On your tablet/monitor Settings, Turn on airplane mode or confirm you are in Airplane mode.

7- Make sure Flight Mode Switch is in the P Position – Flight Mode – P-Atti. GPS Control. (3 position silver switch on the left rear of the remote - put it on P)

8- Turn on the Inspire.

9- Turn on the Pilot App…select the Camera Icon…Confirm that the BASICS ARE CORRECT on the Aircraft State Screen. Flight Mode, (P-Atti) – RC Mode (Mode 2) – Aircraft Battery (fully charged?). RC Battery (good charge?).

10- Perform a COMPASS CALIBRATION. Do this every time before you fly and when you move to a new location. Do this in an area that is free of metal objects…sidewalks are not good because they have iron rebar underneath.

Calibration - Press the compass calibration “button” on your APP. A Yellow Light should come on at the rear of the craft. Hold the Inspire horizontally in front of you and make a slow 360 circle….wait for a solid green light… then turn the Inspire vertically in your hands in front of you and make another 360 circle.

At this point, you can set the Inspire back in the take-off area you have designated.

11- Confirm on-screen that you have GPS Control. You should have white solid bars next to the satellite icon on the top of the screen on the APP. (# of satellites are not visible anymore on the APP). The light on the rear of the craft should be Blinking Green. There should be a message at the top of the screen that says Safe To Fly-GPS Control. (The video DJI just put out on :”How to Fly” says you should look for a blinking purple light to confirm GPS control – this is not correct)

12- Confirm the Gimbal Mode you want to be in on the APP…left hand side of screen…I prefer the Follow Mode. (need to do more experimenting here)

13- Do a quick Map Check on your APP monitor to make sure the Inspire Icon matches the home base you have just established with calibration…go back camera mode after you do this.

14- Check and Confirm Camera settings…auto iris, white balance, shooting resolution, frame rate, (I’ve been mostly in auto mode for iris and white balance…will be doing more in the manual mode as I get more comfortable)

15- Stand Behind the Inspire for take-off. Do a final check to make sure people are clear…if people are standing too close, ask them to stand back. (I feel more comfortable standing behind the Inspire…not totally necessary, but this helps me)

16- Take Off and Hover 8-10 feet or so, initially. (I prefer taking off manually)

Let the craft hover for 30 seconds or so close to you…do a quick status check on your monitor to make sure everything is in order…GPS control, battery levels. Check the blinking light status on the rear of the craft…Blinking Green. (This is a double check)

17- Raise the Landing Gear. (I have forgotten to do this several times)

18- Go fly. Get Your Shots. Be safe and have fun. I won’t fly with the craft out of my sight line. Don’t fly above 400 feet. Use common sense…don’t fly low over a bunch of people or traffic. Don’t fly near the White House. Don’t take off next to a freeway like the idiots did from OctoFilms, demoing a Beta version of the Inspire for You Tube.

19- CONSTANTLY CHECK INSPIRE BATTERY LEVELS AS YOU FLY. Make sure you have enough battery to return in plenty of time. (30% warning level set on your APP)

20- When you Land, Turn the Inspire Off First…then your turn off the remote control unit.



PRE FLIGHT CHECK LIST – CONSOLIDATED


1______CHOSE A GOOD TAKE-OFF LANDING PLACE

2______CHECK PROPS

3______CHECK CAMERA FILTER

4______TURN ON REMOTE CONTROL

5______CHECK TABLET BATTERY LEVEL

6______TURN ON AIRPLANE MODE ON TABLET

7______FLIGHT MODE SWITCH IN P POSITION ( P - ATTI)

8______TURN ON INSPIRE

9______TURN ON PILOT APP – CONFIRM BASICS ON SCREEN

_______FLIGHT MODE (P-ATTI)

_______AIRCRAFT BATTERY CHARGED

_______RC BATTERY CHARGED

10______CALIBRATE COMPASS

11______CONFIRM GPS CONTROL

_______APP SCREEN - SATELLITE BARS FULL

_______APP SCREEN – SAFE TO FLY (GPS CONTROL)

_______INSPIRE REAR LIGHT BLINKING GREEN

12______CONFIRM GIMBAL MODE ON APP (FOLLOW, for me)

13______MAP CHECK – AIRPLANE ICON AT HOME BASE?

14______CHECK AND CONFIRM CAMERA SETTINGS

15______STAND BEHIND INSPIRE

16______TAKE OFF – HOVER – FINAL CHECK OF BATTERY LEVELS, GPS CONTROL

17______RAISE LANDING GEAR

18______FLY SAFELY, SHOOT. CONSTANT BATTERY CHECK – ALLOW TIME TO RETURN
 
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This is what I've come up with
Here's my preflight check list:

Allow equipment to get acclimated to temp.
Turn off any/all cell phones
Batteries fully charged--Aircraft and Controller
(Exit Storage Mode if aircraft was packed in case)
Install Micro-SD card in camera
Install ND filter (remove for low light)
Attach propellers firmly (use locks if available)
Point antennas correctly on Controller
Verify Mode: P (positioning); A (attitude); F (function)
Connect tablet/phone/monitor to Controller
Load Pilot App & enter Camera page
Power on Controller
Power on Aircraft
Check for cleanest Channel
Calibrate compass (tap MODE for instructions)
Check IMU Calibration; should be within .99 - 1.01
Set Fail Safe Height
Set RTH for Controller or Aircraft
Set Gimbal Operation Mode
Ensure Aircraft Indicator is blinking green slowly (check status in Pilot display)
Take off
Raise landing gear
Before landing lower landing gear
Land
Power off Flight Battery
Power off Controller
 
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Here's my preflight check list:

Allow equipment to get acclimated to temp.
Turn off any/all cell phones
Batteries fully charged--Aircraft and Controller
(Exit Storage Mode if aircraft was packed in case)
Install Micro-SD card in camera
Install ND filter (remove for low light)
Attach propellers firmly (use locks if available)
Point antennas correctly on Controller
Verify Mode: P (positioning); A (attitude); F (function)
Connect tablet/phone/monitor to Controller
Load Pilot App & enter Camera page
Power on Controller
Power on Aircraft
Check for cleanest Channel
Calibrate compass (tap MODE for instructions)
Check IMU Calibration; should be within .99 - 1.01
Set Fail Safe Height
Set RTH for Controller or Aircraft
Set Gimbal Operation Mode
Ensure Aircraft Indicator is blinking green slowly (check status in Pilot display)
Take off
Raise landing gear
Before landing lower landing gear
Land
Power off Flight Battery
Power off Controller

Very helpful...I'd rather be **** about all of this than just plain stupid. I'm adding some things from your list to mine.

Thanks
 
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Thanks...I'm going to make the list (with suggestions from this site) into a laminated document and use it every time I fly. Having a minor crash really opened my eyes. I don't mind being a bit nerdy.
 
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Very good list. I forget raising and lowering landing gear, even though I put a sticky reminder on my Inspire. Another thing I sometimes forget is to turn off the camera after landing before turning off Inspire.

Enjoy life and be nice
 
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Just one I do, I always before start up change the flight limit to 15m, this way when it starts up if there is a fly away problem it shouldn't go past the invisible brick wall. Never start it with a 500m limit. Once everything seems it ok I increase it gradually to the distance I need

Dave
 
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I doubt this would have much effect, as a flyaway is basically a failure of the FC to abide by its own rules in the first place.
 
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Are you guys calibrating the imu before each flight? I've done the necessary firmware update a week ago when my inspire was in lock up by dji. I read that there is a full imu calibration done in the update however I tried calibrating my imu again today as I've been flying a lot lately, and it said be patient as it can take up to 10 mins. 20 mins later it was still at 0% :eek: anyone have any ideas
 
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Are you guys calibrating the imu before each flight? I've done the necessary firmware update a week ago when my inspire was in lock up by dji. I read that there is a full imu calibration done in the update however I tried calibrating my imu again today as I've been flying a lot lately, and it said be patient as it can take up to 10 mins. 20 mins later it was still at 0% :eek: anyone have any ideas
To answer your first question, it is not necessary to do an IMU cal each time you fly. The app will tell you when it's necessary. If you notice your quad drifting in ATTI without any wind, it may be advisable to do one. Compass cal, OTOH, should be done every time you change flying location.

To do a proper IMU cal, the craft should be cool or even cold (Ed and Blade both mention that the colder the craft, the better the IMU cal).
If the Inspire has been powered up a few minutes, the IMU heats up tot the point that it will not proceed with a full cal.
 
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