Naturally, the most important component of drone surveying is your drone. Use these tips to keep your DJI Phantom 4 drone (Phantom 4 RTK and Phantom 4 Pro) in good working order. 

Batteries

  • Have extra batteries for your controller and drone
  • Store batteries in a cool, dry place (22°C to 28°C) away from flammable objects or liquids.
  • Don’t overcharge batteries, leave batteries charging overnight, or without observation.
  • Keep batteries in a room that has a functional smoke detector, fire extinguisher, or sprinkler system should a fire occur.
  • Are the sides/top/bottom of the battery flat? If any sides appear rounded, or “puffed”, steer clear! A puffed battery typically indicates a weak or dying battery.
  • DJI suggests that you deep cycle your battery every 20 flights by letting the battery discharge to about 8%, letting it cool, and then charging it. Performing a deep cycle extends the life of the battery. Do not attempt to fly the drone until the battery is down that low, but rather fly the drone until the battery down to about 20%, then let the drone sit and idle until you've reached the 8%.
  • Do not use the battery again if it was involved in a crash or other heavy impact. 
  • Do not use the battery again if it has been submerged in water. 

You can use Propeller's battery troubleshooting steps if your battery is not working as expected. 

Propellers

  • Change out propellers every 50 or so hours of flight time or every 200 flights. Change them out sooner if you are in a high UV area.
  • Replace the propeller if there is a crack, chip, or other damage to the propeller.

Motors

  • Blow off the motors on occasion with canned compressed air.
  • If you think the motor needs lubrication, it is better (and cheaper) to get the motor replaced.

Camera, Sensors, and Gimbal

  • Wipe down camera lens and sensors with a microfiber cloth. Do not use any substance containing alcohol, benzene, thinners, or other flammable substances to clean the camera. 
  • Keep the plastic gimbal clamp and check the gimbal for damage after flights.
  • If flying in heavy fog or clouds, the gimbal may become damp. Allow to dry completely before flying again.

Drone Body

  • Check that all of the screws on the underside of the drone are still tight. 
  • Ensure no foreign objects (water, oil, soil, sand, etc) are inside the aircraft.  
  • Contact DJI support if cracks or other damage appear on the body. Your Propeller support engineer can help you get in contact if you don't already have their contact information.

Storage

  • Store the aircraft in a dry, cool, and non-magnetic place to avoid any damage.
  • When the aircraft and the battery will be stored for more than 3 months, store around 77°F (25°C) and avoid direct sunlight.
  • Discharge the battery to 40% to 65% prior to storage. Storing a battery with full power or low power for a long time may lead to permanent damage.

Firmware

Remote Controller

  • Repair or replace the antennae if they are damaged. 

If you're experiencing issues with your drone that we didn't cover, please contact the seller of the drone or DJI support.

I still can't do it!

We wrote these articles to arm you with everything you need to get the job done on your own, but we understand that sometimes this isn't sufficient.

If you're stuck, the Propeller hardware support team may be able to help. You can contact our support team by emailing hardwaresupport@propelleraero.com.au.