DJi Mavic Pro - 2nd hand buying tips?

Discussion in 'Other Toys/Hobbies' started by vladtepes, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    I'd like to get a Mavic Pro Fly More combo but new is beyond me.

    I was hoping prices would have been driven down more by the release of the Mavic 2 Pro but I suppose that's so much more expensive than the original Mavic pro that the prices of the originals are holding up.

    What does seem to be happening is people are selling their Mavic Pros to change to a Mavic Air or Mavic2.

    The local facebook buy/sell groups appear to have a number of claimed low hours Mavic Pro fly more combo kits for around the $1300 mark.

    Aside from getting them to demo the thing, of course, what should I be looking for to satisfy myself that I'm not getting ripped?

    Cheers and thanks
     
  2. insular

    insular Member

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    wouldnt buy in person via cash. just because drones are things that you do NOT want to hand over cash for and find its faulty later on.

    i would be against going 2nd hand. they can have issues that might result in a crash, but not necessarily noticeable on a small test flight.

    you can get mavic air fly mores now for much less, around $1300 with discount codes. buy the insurance and enjoy.
     
  3. damn duck

    damn duck Member

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    Test flight:
    Hover the drone 2 metres off the ground and see if it keeps its position and altitude without input. Switch to sports mode so some rapid movements (yaw spin, quick forwards and back, left and right) and if nothing falls off you're good.

    Tilt the camera up and down and check the quality of the photos/video. That should be it.
     
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  4. caspian

    caspian Member

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    hmm... https://forums.overclockers.com.au/threads/dji-mavic-pro-fly-more-combo-extras.1254437/

    IMO the Mavic 2 is a minor incremental improvement on the MP. the better camera and gimbal are nice, but unless you need it I wouldn't spend extra to get it. I have a colleague who has a whole fleet of DJI aircraft and he says his MP2 Zoom is not much different than the MP other than the 2x optical. if someone is selling a MP cheap because they upgraded then more fool them, but the reason the prices aren't coming down that much is simply that the MP does the significant majority of that the MP2 will, and any "extras" like batteries, props, camera filters etc aren't transferrable from one aircraft to the other.

    I would not buy an Air. they cost most of what a Mavic does, but the lack of Occusync is a huge downside. I really cannot stress how much difference Occusync makes to both range and video quality. if you can't afford a Mavic, buy a Spark flymore combo and a $10 OTG cable. you'll get most of what the Air can do for $500 less.

    for a purchase inspection, I'd check:

    Aircraft
    general inspection for bumps or dings that might indicate a crash, or general "hanger rash"
    fold all arms in and out several times. they should lock firmly in position when deployed, and there should be no wiggle indicating the joints have been stressed. have a good look at the plastic around the joints for any signs of cracking.
    inspect the gimbal assembly, which is the weakest part of the aircraft. the ribbon cables should not be pinched or folded, and the lens on the camera not "sandblasted" from taking off and landing in gritty areas. give the aircraft a gentle wiggle when held horizontally and nose vertically and observe the gimbal, it should self-centre. if not the damper bands might be broken or missing.
    make sure the gimbal lock and cover are present, and ideally were being used.

    Controller
    general inspection for potential droppage, all switches feel OK etc.
    the left hand roller wheel is actually both-ways momentary with spring centering, make sure that works.
    the small joystick at bottom right of the main screen should be fixed firmly (they can come loose, like a laptop g-spot).
    fold the bottom arms out, they should have good friction at both joints.
    check both the bottom full size USB port and the micro USB port have not been butchered, especially the latter.
    make sure the sport/GPS mode switch on the right is where it should be.
    if you plan to use the controller with a phone in the bottom arms, check the little ribbon USB cable has not been fuckered and the connector is right for your device.
    both antennae should be nice and firm to position.

    Batteries and charger
    pretty much as for any lithium batteries... check for signs of abuse or droppage, look at the cables for butchery.
    press the button on the top of each battery once briefly and release. the LEDs on the top of the battery should light. three lights is storage charge. more is not a bad thing as the batteries will self-discharge to a safe voltage using the internal management circuitry (they are intelligent batteries), but 2 or 1 lights indicates the owner might not have been careful about proper lithium storage charging.

    time for active testing.... what flight mode is the controller set to?

    power the aircraft up outside without props. make sure the gimbal lock and cover are off!
    there should be no warnings or advisories in DJI Go 4.
    do a compass calibration and check it succeeds.
    check it gets a satellite lock, should take 2 mins tops.
    do a gimbal calibration and check it succeeds.
    do an IMU calibration and check it succeeds.
    still with no props, start the motors and throttle up a bit, and listen/feel for any signs of vibration, bent shaft or motor bell, bearing noise etc.

    inspect the props! personally I would just replace the lot anyway, but at least check them for unusually tight or loose joints, cracks, or chips from object strikes. if they are scuffed or scratched, what have they hit?

    take off and hover around head height. again listening for noise, vibration, anything abnormal.
    set the home position.
    test all of the flight controls. make sure the response feels the same in all directions.
    in P-GPS mode, check the forward sensors are working, you shouldn't be able to fly closer than a couple of metres up to an object.
    fully exercise the gimbal from one extent to the other. make sure the focus on the camera works. the picture should he sharp and clear.
    try a decent range flight, away from any buildings or sources of interferemce, and without any foliage or trees in line of sight between you and the aircraft. if you don't get at least 500 metres with 100% video and controller link signal then something is wrong.
    try a RTH landing to test the GPS lock, and the downwards sensors.

    if all that passes then you should be reasonably OK.

    as an initial purchase step I would suggest updating all of the firmware to the latest version (controller and aircraft) and default both to get rid of any weird settings the previous owner may have done. there are plenty of initial setup guides on the net.

    also, plan to buy a set of Polarpro ND filters, or at least an ND16 singly. this helps protect the camera lens in use and makes the full-daylight exposure far more reasonable, without it it can be a challenge to get smooth panning in video.
     
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  5. PrawnBoy

    PrawnBoy Member

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    Arrange a test flight. Make sure there are no errors. Calibrate compass, vision sensors, and gimbal. If any of those were rooted, it would show up there.

    I have an Air which I had some issues with. $200 later and a 24 hour turn around from DJI in Melbourne and they replaced it with a refurb unit. The previous owner crashed it and I got it cheapish. It's been great since that. Love the fold up portability, gimbal, camera etc
    If you get it this month you can buy DJI refresh on sale, so if you have any issues you can get it fixed under that.

    Before the Air I had a spark. Which is under rated - if you don't know what to get, get a spark and if you love it, sell it later and upgrade.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    Thanks for the tips.

    Meanwhile a deal way too good to refuse came up.

    So... I'm getting a Mavic Pro Platinum Fly More combo

    Why? I had VERY unexpected permission from the wife; so had to strike while the iron was hot. :D


    Now just have to wait a week or two for the postman.... :(
     
  7. Hater

    Hater Member

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    I've been looking at drones.

    A mate of mine (who recently joined up to OCAU) as a Mavic and he did this footage for my very, very amateur youtube channel ( htt ps://www.yo utube.c om/watch?v=K 7tkNkRezQM remove the spaces, new OCAU automatically embeds the video :( )

    What would be recommended for someone like me who wants to take footage on the road, on a whim?
    I had a brief go at his Mavic but was overwhelmed. I can't imagine the skills the homebrew Drone fliers have, wow.

    I'm assuming a Spark is for me?
     
  8. Copie

    Copie Member

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    Hope it wasn’t a grey import.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    Copie:

    Evidently an official importer. Full warranty etc. Really good reviews online, nothing negative.
    I've see no reason to be concerned. I did do my research on that front first.
    Saved about $400 overall. if I'd saved $1000 then yeah I'd be worried... :)

    Hatec:
    What was overwhelming about it? It has plenty of 'automatic things to make life easier.. not sure if your mate was using those or not.
    A number of people at my work (but other states to me) are very happy with their Sparks. I don't think you could go wrong with one.
     
  10. PrawnBoy

    PrawnBoy Member

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    Actually flying the mavic and the spark aren't too different. Spark blows around a bit more in the wind and the lack of occusync can make flying up high a bit of a cafuffle.

    If you were in Melb i'd offer to come and take some videos if it had anything to do with bikes haha.
     
  11. Hater

    Hater Member

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    Ah no Occusync. Maybe I should wait for a Spark that has that, I want it...

    I guess I was overwhelmed at how responsive it is (He turned sports mode on and off for me) and I got dizzy looking at the controller and the drone and all kinds of things... Plus he can make it land so smooth and so nice, I couldn't get it anywhere within 4km's of the ground without it going all over the place :D

    Practise I suppose.

    Thing is I do lots of trips on the bike, so I like the smaller size because it's less to pack. Only considering my own drone as there have been cool mountain rides (and rest stops) with cool scenic stuff (Blue Mountains etc) where it'd be a bit hard to go "Hey come drive 4 hours to meet me here so I we can get a cool sunset image", he's 100% up for filming anything I want and tbh that suits me perfectly, I am more in it for the footage, he's more into flying it and enjoying that side of things!
     
  12. caspian

    caspian Member

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    nice one!

    if you're going to fly with a phone, you need one of these - so much better than putting it into the lower arms. https://www.polarprofilters.com/products/dji-mavic-phone-mount

    if you're going to fly with a tablet, just save yourself the time and get one of these. absolutely awesome piece of kit and worth every cent. https://www.mavmount.com/index.php/...pro-spark-air-drone-ipad-tablet-mount-holder/

    you will need a USB cable for either, a 90° one on the device end makes life a lot easier.
     
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  13. OP
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    vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    Thanks.
    I can see the reason for tablets but why not just use the normal position for a phone?

    Also - wouldn't they cover the telemetry on the controller (Mavic Pro) ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  14. caspian

    caspian Member

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    if you're flying FPV at all, the the higher up the screen is towards your line of sight, the better. the lower arm mounts are just a consequence of DJI trying to get the controller size as small as possible in line with the portable nature of the Mavic, as opposed to the much larger Phantom series (including their controllers).

    the lower arms also force you to fit the controller to the phone as opposed to adjusting the width to where it is comfortable for you, and if your phone is in anything other than the slimmest case it will have to be taken out to get it to fit into the arms.

    finally, the little ribbon cable that links the controller to the phone is a real weak point. if you get the phone up on top of the controller in a proper mount, you can use the full sized USB socket in the bottom for the connection to the phone, and the micro USB port just becomes a charge port. the ribbon cable and the annoying slider can be popped out and thrown back into the box, and good riddance.

    you don't need to be able to see the controller screen. everything on it is replicated into the DJI Go 4 app. that's why the newer Air and Spark controllers don't have a screen at all, and the Phantoms and Inspire series never had one.

    the Polarpro phone mount does place the phone above the controller, so you can still see the screen if you want.

    with a tablet you wouldn't want this, it would make the controller very front-heavy and unbalanced. the Mavmount is very well balanced, I fly with an iPad mini and I don't bother with a lanyard.

    finally, if you want to fly a lot, bear in mind that the stock charger only has enough power to charge one battery at once, so even if you use the battery hub, it just charges the battery sequentially. there is an aftermarket charger (referred to by the fraternity as the "blue" charger for obvious reasons) that does a much better job https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/312274311791 there is an older version that does not have the detachable battery leads - make sure you get the newer version with the plug-in leads, it is much easier to store and transport.

    useful resources:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg_9trE5An6AO1_H-EJ52YA (ignore the incredibly boring voice, he's quite good)

    https://www.youtube.com/user/billykyle9

    https://www.youtube.com/user/deeyungentertainment this guy is quite good, some videos I found useful:
    Code:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzjvDCA50DI
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t53_Ti_Zsdw and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRpLYiwFyZs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzhGce7QPps
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SUDTJB7iCI and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRBqp5V-X58
    https://mavicpilots.com/

    you can get the DJO Go 4 preinstalled on your phone, and it can be useful to have the DJI Assistant app on your PC.

    also, make yourself an account at https://account.dji.com/register (you'll need it later),

    and also sign up for https://airdata.com/ and download their app onto your phone. leave this last one until you're up and flying, because you get a month's free trial of the Pro package, and you don't want to waste it. after the month it goes back to the HD Free plan unless you subscribe. I'm toying with the idea of getting a Gold subscription, but what you get with the free plan is pretty damn amazing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
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  15. Hater

    Hater Member

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    Man that's a lot of viewing. Delving into the DeeYoung guys videos, seems like a cool bro dude.

    Lots to learn...
     
  16. OP
    OP
    vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    Caspian - thanks for all that much appreciated.

    I think it's ready to pick up at the post office tomorrow - the missus can get it but I'll have to wait til after work.

    Thanks for the tips. I had no idea it was a sequential charger rather than all at one. What a jip !

    Are there any requirements for the actual tablet? I have and older one but it doesn't have a sim card etc. Would that be OK or does it need to have a live internet connection?

    That mavmount link you provided - US dollars I assume, Plus freight?
    Did you happen to find it anywhere cheaper ?
    Would you bother with getting the lanyard as part of the kit, or the extra $16 (USD?)

    Thanks
     
  17. OP
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    vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    further to the above:
    This link https://www.dji.com/mavic/info?pbc=mF6h4ZTt states that Android 5.0 or above is required. My Note 5 is running Android 7. So while other lists don't mention the Note 5 as specifically supported - given the Android version it should work, yeah?

    Tablet: I presume tablet requirements would be same as for phones (re android version) and I'm wondering what people use. I'm an Android person so that's preferred.
    I want something relatively inexpensive (as my budget has been chewed up by the drone itself) but want to know what I should be aiming at.

    Therefore very interested in what 'cheaper' tablets others are using successfully with their Mavic Pro's.

    Cheers
     
  18. Hater

    Hater Member

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    It will work fine, but if your Note5 has a borderline battery, the app chews juice like no tomorrow.
     
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  19. OP
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    vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    What about a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 ? These seem to get good user reviews and OK 'pro' reviews.

    Surely they'd be able to cope well with the DJI Go app, assuming not doing other cpu-hungry stuff in background ?

    http://www.tabletpcreview.com/tabletreview/samsung-galaxy-tab-10-1-review-2/
    (3.5/5)

    https://www.productreview.com.au/p/samsung-galaxy-tab-a.html
    4/5 (user reviews, including current / very recent reviews).


    The other I'm considering is an ipad mini. I'm most concerned with stability / not crashing,. (Drone and tablet ! )
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  20. OP
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    vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    At USD $16 that seems to be an expensive lanyard ! Obviously the break-away ones we have at work are no use; but surely a lanyard of the type mavmount offer must be available more cheaply somewhere else !
     

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