Probably the coolest gadget of 2014, consumer drones have really begun to take off (eh, ehhh?). An estimated half-million drones were sold to US consumers in the last three years—and that was before everyone had a very merry drone Christmas last year. All those drones under the Christmas tree—ready for fun and mayhem right out of the box.
So where are all the drones now? Well, by necessity, these things are built to be light and very powerful—meaning they break. A lot. That, and drones practically invite themselves to be crashed into trees, knocked into buildings, dunked into lakes, and sent flying into your boss’s car. So we’re pretty sure quite a few of those Christmas drones are laying abandoned in closets or garages, broken, and probably in pieces. Not to worry, drone aficionados, we’re here to help. You learned how to fly them—we’ll teach you how to fix them.
To get started, we invited our friend David Hoyt—Cal Poly Computer Engineering graduate and our local drone expert—to spend a week at our office in SLO and kick-start our Drone Repair section. David has built heavy lift octocopters to film with the RED Epic camera, autonomous drones, a rainbow drone, and on top of all that has built and flown drones for Hollywood types—like Discovery Channel and Parks & Rec. He talked us through the basics of drone repair, which you can see in the video above. And with David’s help, we made a full set of repair manuals for two of the more popular consumer drones out there—the original DJI Phantom, and the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+. While he was here, he also made a FlyAway troubleshooting resource—just in case your flight controller malfunctions, causing the drone to fly erratically and ignore user input.
So come on over, take a look at our work, and get your drones flying again. And if you have a drone we don’t have a repair guide for, you can help all of your fellow hobbyists by making it! We’ve made a bunch of stub pages for popular drones—and they are just waiting for you drone enthusiasts to fill them up.