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Just unboxed my Inspire - Initial impressions

Dec 8, 2014
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Hey guys,

I just received my Inspire about an hour ago after what seemed like an interminable wait. Here are my initial impressions on the unit and accessories - no flight time yet.

  • The case is awesome, smaller than I expected, with a nice embossed DJI logo and textured finished as you all saw. I would buy it in a second if it weren't included, an absolute must in my opinion to transport the Inspire, especially once you see the quality and complexity of the build and design of this bird.
  • Build materials are top notch. Everywhere I expected fake metal/plastic, I'm seeing aluminum or what looks like magnesium. I guess a significant part of the steep price went into these high quality materials. From the face of the remote that's all magnesium, to the machined roller dials on each side, to the aluminum arm for the device holder, to the body of the camera, everything is metal (I think) and feels incredibly solid and refined. (see Inspire-12.jpg).
  • The Inspire itself is slightly smaller than I expected, not that much larger than my Blade QX350 (yeah, talk about an upgrade!). It's the props that are humongous! (see Inspire-9.jpg).
  • The remote is massive, feels heavy and solid in your hands. Top quality build and materials again. It's Apple-like in design and build quality. Check out that machined device holder (Inspire-7.jpg).
  • There is some serious industrial design involved in this thing. Radiators beneath each motors (Inspire-10.jpg), air intake on the front of the camera (Inspire-4.jpg), cooling fan in the back of it (Inspire-5.jpg), the inner skeleton frame with the infinite screw and the steel(?) connecting arms (Inspire-13.jpg).
  • The only thing I'm not too fond of is the landing gear. There is some shock absorption through the small white pistons of the triangular legs, but not much. I would think that any hard landing will propagate a lot of force to the carbon fiber arms and skeleton.
  • The package includes a few foam cutouts to apply to the sides of the battery in cold weather, to isolate it and keep it warm I guess.
  • Everything was well packaged and protected when it arrived. The main battery and remote were charged at about ⅔.
  • Repair costs on both the Inspire and the remote will likely be high. They are built not only to be solid, but also to look fancy. There could have been a lot more plastic here and there. Nothing will be cheap to replace.
I'm incredibly impressed with the whole kit, an amazing feat of engineering you have to admit, despite the delays, miscommunication, etc. Now, I'm just waiting for my battery to complete charging and for some decent weather (-4F up here in Canada). I guess I'll be taking off indoors, and landing, and taking off again... and landing... for the next couple of days. :)

Hope you all get yours soon! Cheers.

Very cool, congrats! But I'm not happy you're sending your bone rattling cold my way from up there. Keep your temps to yourself! Lol. Just be careful indoors. Don't lift off in a space that's really too small. Indoors can kill it faster than being patient for the great outdoors. Good luck.
Hey guys,

I just received my Inspire about an hour ago after what seemed like an interminable wait. Here are my initial impressions on the unit and accessories - no flight time yet.

Awesome! Thanks for the closeups. Don't forget to snap a few DNG's! I'm like a freaking broken record, but no one will post a DNG...
Awesome! Thanks for the closeups. Don't forget to snap a few DNG's! I'm like a freaking broken record, but no one will post a DNG...

I feel your pain, Jonathan. I promise I'll post some for you when I get my drone. Of course, by Saturday someone may have already done so. I, like you, am just as interested in the stills as in the video.
Thanks Cacau for taking time to write such a detailed description and take the great close-ups. That's why I log in to the forum, some useful and exciting news! Mine is en rote to be here tomorrow!
Curious, where in Canada are you? Your temps sound a lot like mine (but a bit warmer...)

Also, did you order from DJI? Any problems getting it through customs? Other people are supposedly having issues...
I'm in Montreal. I ordered from DroneDepot.com. With the US exchange rate as it is now, it wasn't worth getting it from B&H, which would have been my alternative.

Jonathan, I'll snap some pictures in RAW/DNG tomorrow in daylight, but they may not be the landscapes you're expecting. I'm grounded until temps warm up a bit.

Some more observations:
  • The fan spools up as soon as you power on the Inspire and stays on until you turn it off. As someone suggested in another thread, it probably is meant to cool the Lightbridge transmitter. The fan is quite loud for its size, but it doesn't bother me, this thing is meant to fly. You can also hear the light clicking of the sonar system at all times.
  • Coming from a smaller quad, this one seems really powerful, was blowing away all kinds of things in my veranda just at idle. Lifted it off the ground for a second, that's it. **** arctic weather...
  • I updated the firmware on all components - wasn't as uneventful as the readme describes it. Here's how it went for me, if it can help others:
    • I put the .bin file on the microSD card, inserted it into the camera.
    • Powered on the Inspire1 then the remote right away.
    • The firmware was already updating when I got to the pilot app which displayed the status.
    • The readme says the camera will go "D--DD" once done, but actually, the Inspire puts up quite a light and sound show. Different LEDs constantly flashing in different patterns and colors. Non-stop loud beeping also in different patterns throughout the process.
    • The Pilot app indicated the Inspire was rebooting and it did with normal initialization lights and sounds. Everything seemed fine for the aircraft and battery firmware update at that point.
    • The process took much less than the 25 minutes the readme mentions.
    • I then copied the .bin to a USB stick that I inserted in the back of the remote.
    • I powered it on, and after what seemed like more than the documented 25 seconds, the main status light of the remote turned blue, showing the beginning of the firmware update.
    • Lots of beeping again for less than a minute, and then a fixed red status light, which seemed to indicate an error, should be green per the readme.
    • I restarted the remote, got the blue light and beeps again, with the same results.
    • I removed the stick and restarted the remote which now displayed a cyan/green status light - seemed to be some sort of failure state.
    • I then connected the USB cable from the remote to the operating Inspire's camera, an alternative that the readme suggests.
    • I restarted the remote, and after some 30 seconds, the blue status light came on to indicate the beginning of the update.
    • As I expected the weight of the cable itself on the camera kept the gimbal moving around as it was trying to correct. I you ever get in this situation, make sure the cable to the camera is not tangled in the gimbal, as it'll be moving throughout the firmware upgrade.
    • Thankfully, that didn't last too long ( about a minute, much less than the documented 10). The remote restarted with a green status light, indicating a successful connection to the still running Inspire.
    • I don't know why the USB stick update failed, though I suspect the new stick I was using may have had an incompatible file system.
  • Finally, as I posted in another thread, I have yet to lock the horizon on the gimbal as some have said it is possible. FPV mode on the gimbal keeps the horizon completely straight as I move the unit around in my hands.
Hope this helps.

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