Unstable Flight

 

If you have updated the firmware to the latest June/July version on your P4/P4 Pro/P4 Advanced, you will find there are negative impacts on the drone's flight stability.

Firmware Versions Affected:

  • Phantom 4 (std) aircraft firmware V02.00.0106 dated 2017-07-06
  • Phantom 4 Pro aircraft firmware V01.04.0602 dated 2017-06-08

For those of you who fly primarily in ATTI mode, such as professional videographers, you will not see the adverse effects of the firmware update.  In order to prevent unstable flight in P-Mode flight, please take the following steps before you fly!  

  • If you have a Phantom 4 (any variant) you MUST do all three of the following before flying in P-Mode:
    • Adjust the gain settings
    • Adjust the sensitivity settings
    • Perform an IMU calibration
    • Instructions for all 3 can be found on our Tech Update page
    • Also make sure you check out our P4 specific flying tips in the flying section below.

General Tips for Stable Flight (not related to recent firmware issues)

  • Make sure the drone is centered in the white mount fittings.  Failure to properly center the  drone impacts the center of gravity and results in erratic behavior.
  • Remove any additional accessories or payload.  The additional wait of WaterStrider plus prop guards, GPS units, and other aftermarket products is too much for the Phantom to handle, and can result in unstable flight (especially in windy conditions).
  • Verify the straps are attached tight enough.  The WaterStrider should not be able to move relative to the Phantom or it can impact the center of gravity, resulting in erratic behavior.  
  • Make sure the WaterStrider is assembled correctly.  (See assembly section below). 
  • When flying, please use gentle start and stop commands.  (See flying section below.) 
  • If you have read through all the tips and are still having trouble, please contact Support@DroneRafts.com.  


  • If you have a Phantom 4, please read the tips below as well as Phantom 4 specific suggestions located here.
  • Do not fly with extra accessories installed (LED lights, prop guards, camera protectors, etc).  WaterStrider has not been tested on the Phantom with the weight of additional accessories, but it is known that too much weight can cause problems.
  • Your first flights should be in a wide, open space away from any obstacles or other people.  
  • Use gentle transitions and learn how your drone handles with WaterStrider installed.  Gentle turns help keep the pods out of the view of the camera.  Aggressive turns are likely to result in the pods entering the camera's field of view as the camera gimbal corrects for aggresive maneuvers (just like with the propellers).
  • Don't descend straight down.  You can get into a vortex ring (aka "wobble of death") causing stability issues.  This condition is present in virtually all drones, even without WaterStrider attached, especially on calm days.  The solution is to apply some lateral movement (i.e. go down on a diagonal path) when descending.  You should, however, go straight down at the moment of touchdown to prevent a tip over.  
    • Note that the RTH (Return to Home) feature on both the Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 cause the drone to descend straight down.  If possible, use of this feature should be avoided.
  • If your system isn't responding like in our videos, something is wrong.  Please review the assembly instructions and the installation / removal instructions.  Please contact Support@DroneRafts.com if you need further help.  
  • DroneRafts LLC is not responsible for any crashes.  As with all drone flying, the ultimate responsibility lies with the Pilot In Command (PIC).  

flying


INSTALLATION AND REMOVAL

Check out this quick video to learn how to properly install your WaterStrider on a DJI Phantom 3 and DJI Phantom 4!  It's quick and easy!    


INCORRECT ASSEMBLY CAN LEAD TO UNSTABLE FLIGHTS AND/OR CRASHES.  

  • If you have questions on proper assembly, please contact us.  
  • Please do not fly without being certain of proper assembly.
  • If you lost your instructions, or just want the latest version, they can be found below:
  • It is VERY important that the long legs go in the back.  If your WaterStrider is not assembled correctly, it will not be stable in flight.
  • We've included instructions showing how to install the hook and loop straps.  There are other ways that work equally well, and your personal preference may dictate a different solution.  Just make sure there is plenty of engagement between the hook side of the strap and the loop side of the strap, so that your WaterStrider is securely fastened to your DJI Phantom.
    • Once you've settled on a hook and loop strap configuration, consider trimming the excess length for a cleaner look.  
  • Additional tips for assembly of WaterStrider 1.0 only:
    • The carbon fiber tubes can be difficult to insert into the mount fittings in some instances.  This is by design because we want a consistently tight fit.  
      • Take the time to line up the hole in the mount fitting with the hole in the carbon fiber tube as much as possible.  It makes inserting the bolts much easier.
      • Double check each hole doesn't have a piece of plastic shaved off from inserting the carbon fiber leg at an incorrect angle.
      • Contact Support@DroneRafts.com if you still have problems.
      • If you have trouble inserting any of the bolts, make sure the holes are properly lined up.  Then, use light to moderate pressure on the bolt head by pressing on it with a standard flat-head screwdriver while rotating the screwdriver clockwise.  
      • If you have trouble inserting the bolts through the second half of the landing pod, try gently lifting on the side of the pod that hasn't yet accepted the bolt.  This helps get the necessary tight fit between the carbon fiber tube and the landing pod.  
      • The nuts should only be finger tight.  DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN!

    Assembly

     


    Maintenance

    We have a couple quick tips to help you maintain your WaterStrider:

    • Do not store your WaterStrider in your garage.  Gasoline fumes can break down polymers over time.
    • Do not store your WaterStrider in direct sunlight for long periods of time.  Long-term direct exposure of UV rays can cause the polymers to break down.  If for some reason this is an issue, simply wipe the plastic with a UV protector like 303 Aerospace Protectant (widely available via Amazon.com) periodically per the instructions.
    • Your hook and loop straps can get dirty over time, and will be less effective.  If you use your WaterStrider a lot and need more hook and loop straps, they are easy to buy online.  Any similar 8" long x ½" wide hook and loop straps will suffice.  In a pinch, nylon zip ties also work, although usually they aren't reusable.  
    • After a hard landing, completely disassemble the WaterStrider and inspect each part.  Pay special attention to the center cross brace and the area around where the legs tubes meet the pods.  Contact Support@DroneRafts.com  for replacement parts.