3Dr Support, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

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At the beginning of April I finally had my first flight with the Solo. It was very good! The setting on the 4 Black were perfect and the 3D gimble performed great. The flight was 18 minutes. My problem was that the battery meter on my Ipad mini never went lower than 100% for the solo. I took the unit home and charged up the battery. After the charge, I turned the unit on and it started to beep loud and constantly. I tried several power ups and connected to the Mission Planner to see if there was any issues. None that I could find. I then contacted support and they said it was a disconnected GPS unit and asked me to watch a vid on YouTube to see if it was the same sound.... It was not!
I then made my own video and posted so 3DR could hear what I hear.

Here is the link:

The Good... somewhat
After 3DR reviewed it, they sent me the paperwork to send it back o them for either repair or replacement. the first problem was the paperwork that 3DR sent did not include the FCC customs forms for the drone. The box sat at FedEx until I was able to complete the form information. At that point I was on a road trip and had to turn around to sign a form at the depot that the FCC information for both Canada and the US was correct.

The Bad
My wife ordered two extra batteries and had them sent to my friends house in WA as we are in Canada and were planning on visiting down in the area when 3DR had that one weekend 2 for 1 sale on batteries. For what ever reason they ignored my name and address and somehow sent the replacement unit to WA and not Canada.
It was a bit of a battle to get hem to reroute the replacement to the correct address in Canada. But they were able to do it. A week or so later it arrived today!
 
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The Ugly....
Now keep in mind, I have a new 3DR Solo with one 18 min flight, no crashes, and the plastic still on the controller and battery. New New New! This is a hardware issue and no structural damage. I have all the original paperwork including the stickers to put back on the motor pods.

I receive the "Refurbished" Solo and carefully open up the first box that states "Start Here". It is the box with the propellers for the unit, all 6, 3 black 3 silver..... Here are the pictures of the said props.

IMG_0285.JPG IMG_0286.JPG
 

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More Ugly....

Further to this, I fully inspected the the entire Solo from front to back because if this was any indication of QAQC I wanted to know all the damage!

And yes, it turns out that the motor pods had dirt all inside the top bearing and motor pod 01 has a scrape along the outside of the motor assembly were it came in contact with the outer shell I assume when this drone crashed!

3DR did not repair my drone, it seems that they might just have sent me another drone that was coming in for an RMA as well!

I'm not sure how the support team does there work on repair, but cleaning the unit and inspecting it before sending them out as replacements might be what they want to add to their checklists!

At this point I asked for a replacement of a new one and not a top quality "Refurbished" unit. I was told that 3DR does not replace defective Solo units with new ones. Even if they are new out of the box!... Looking back I should have just taken the unit back to the store I purchased it from and let them deal with it!... Lesson learned!
 
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The Ugly Update...

3DR has sent me out another RMA code and more FedEx forms to send in my "Refurbished" replacement for ... yes another "Refurbished" replacement.

I sure hope that this other one is not a crash repair or someones RMA they are just passing off to me! Or at least take the clumps of grass and dirt out of the motor pods!
 
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From Tower App
1.- Follow the steps shown.
2.- Open the menu and go to Parameters.
3.- Once you area at the parameters section search for the SYSID_SW_MREV parameter.
4.- When you find it please select the number written to the right of the parameter name, delete it and write a "0" (Without quotation marks).
5.- Once you have changed the parameter go to the upper-right part of the screen and select the three dot icon.
6.- On that drop down list please select Upload Parameters.
7.- Finally turn off your Solo and then turn it back on.
*Please make sure to do both level and compass calibrations after doing the rese
 
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From Tower App
1.- Follow the steps shown.
2.- Open the menu and go to Parameters.
3.- Once you area at the parameters section search for the SYSID_SW_MREV parameter.
4.- When you find it please select the number written to the right of the parameter name, delete it and write a "0" (Without quotation marks).
5.- Once you have changed the parameter go to the upper-right part of the screen and select the three dot icon.
6.- On that drop down list please select Upload Parameters.
7.- Finally turn off your Solo and then turn it back on.
*Please make sure to do both level and compass calibrations after doing the rese

Would have loved to be able to do this, but 3DR has my new Solo now and they sent me a Solo that was used as a lawn mower. Any idea what the Beeping is? Support at 3DR could not figure it out, that is why they had me send it in.
 
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This is the picture of the mounting area for the GoPro. Dirt actually came out of the rubber shock absorbers.
 

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Part of the Good..

The communication from 3DR has been very well received. I do wish I was able to talk to someone on the phone, but they have been good at the communication. Support has no answer for me as to how this lawn mower / quad-copter could have passed an inspection to be used as a refurbished replacement for my defective new Solo. That being said, I am hoping for a more favourable outcome with the next drone to replace this one that was received today.
I did attend the master class offered and I still like the idea of the product, and the support has been well communicated. I would just like to have a good product to go along with all the goods things UAV pilots have said about 3DR Robotics.

Third time the charm (crossing fingers)
 
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Have to say I'm on the fence so far on their customer service as well. I'm in the middle of a email hot potato session with them right now and while I understand that the logs may not tell them exactly what's wrong, I keep getting replies that it's fine and I need to redo all the things I mentioned I've done already and fly in a wide open area with 0 trees.

I've been flying solo here at home 90 percent of the time since release and I know somethings not right, I've also been flying a p2 here for years and both were fine. So why would updates to solo make it harder to find an appropriate place to fly without issue. Most good shots aren't in the middle of a wide open field, so I'm going to do what they said again, go to an open field and record from the ground what's wrong I guess. I had a similar issue a while back and got the same response of solos perfect I'm doing it wrong and I'm kinda tired of having to jump through hoops to show that somethings wrong.

Ive actually been pretty lucky overall with very few issues, but after hearing about and even cheering for their service I'm hoping they come through eventually. It seems to me service is kinda pushing it a bit to weed out people trying to get over. I bought it on release and havent asked for a thing so it's not like I've made a few claims. Hell I'll even pay for motors or whatever it may be no problem. I just want to be able to use it with the weather improving finally for the first time since the gimbal finally came out. Since buying solo I've also spent a ton on upgrades to everything on and surrounding it and I'm hoping to get some use out of it all. Sorry still love the platform and all they keep updating and offering, but a bit frustrated with this issue and hoping they continue the service I've heard is great. I really don't want to have to buy another bird yet with the limited time I've had weather wise hopefully it's not that time just yet.
 
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Popcorn thought...

I just had this pointed out. All 6 blades, 3 silver, 3 black, are damaged! The Solo uses 4!
So theoretically someone in the RMA department knowingly put all 6 into the box!.?
That is a very disengaged employee.

Interestingly enough, the perforated label on the two long boxes that you receive in the box was covered by a new perforated label. Not sure why they would even bother.

It's the broken prop that still gets me.... I mean come on! There are chunks of the blades missing!

I am worried about what I am going to receive next! To be honest.
 
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Would have loved to be able to do this, but 3DR has my new Solo now and they sent me a Solo that was used as a lawn mower. Any idea what the Beeping is? Support at 3DR could not figure it out, that is why they had me send it in.
Sad story. I would get in touch with Vu on this. You can reach him on fb. The boss needs to be aware of such incidents.
Likely someone in the shipping department accidentally sent out a crashed unit from another fellow.
To the beeping: this sound indicates a failsafe situation. Reason can be manifold, battery voltage drop, GPS glitches, signal loss, ... hardware failure.
I would have checked first all wiring inside Solo, then followed by an examination of the logfile and finally done a full factory reset before sending it in.
 
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Here is the pictures of the close up of the dirt in the motor pods...
FWIW, whoever manufactures the motors uses an epoxy slug to place into the motor's bell housing to assist in balancing the motors. It's a dark brown material... Did your depicted "dirt" break loose by any effort of cleaning? If not, it is the epoxy mentioned.

For the record, it appears all the manufactures of BL motors use this method for balancing the motors. So it's common rather than uncommon.

Your story is a sad one for sure. Hope Vu does step in.
 
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Sad story. I would get in touch with Vu on this. You can reach him on fb. The boss needs to be aware of such incidents.
Likely someone in the shipping department accidentally sent out a crashed unit from another fellow.
To the beeping: this sound indicates a failsafe situation. Reason can be manifold, battery voltage drop, GPS glitches, signal loss, ... hardware failure.
I would have checked first all wiring inside Solo, then followed by an examination of the logfile and finally done a full factory reset before sending it in.
The wiring was checked and a full factory reset was completed. At the request of Support. I will post the pictures of the board.
After all that it was still beeping away! No change.
 
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I wrote to you what to do!
I had such a problem.
 
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image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
FWIW, whoever manufactures the motors uses an epoxy slug to place into the motor's bell housing to assist in balancing the motors. It's a dark brown material... Did your depicted "dirt" break loose by any effort of cleaning? If not, it is the epoxy mentioned.

For the record, it appears all the manufactures of BL motors use this method for balancing the motors. So it's common rather than uncommon.

Your story is a sad one for sure. Hope Vu does step in.
The little bits of dark grey just on the inside of the housing is the epoxy. The dirt and bits of sand come out quite easy. The pictures are of dirt. Not epoxy.
 
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In your last picture, it's hard to tell, could you double check your compass plug is full seated into the connector. It's the one showing the white, green and black wires...in the picture.
 
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I wrote to you what to do!
I had such a problem.
You wrote me what to do ...after the fact. It had already gone through a full factory reset. No change. I'm not sure if the instructions would have helped Before, I sent it, but I do appreciate your input.
Did your unit beep the same way?
What caused yours to do that?
 

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