In this article, we will describe the steps you must take to perform a Phantom 3 firmware upgrade. It doesn’t matter if you own a Professional, Advanced or Standard version of the Phantom 3. We will help you get it upgraded.
It’s a good idea to update the firmware before you go take off for your maiden flight. I followed these steps and successfully upgraded my phantom 3 pro. The times noted below are in reference to the initial firmware upgrade after receiving the new phantom 3. If you have issues with the upgrade read the common solutions at the end of this post.
Here’s what’s needed to do a Phantom 3 firmware upgrade:
- A charged Phantom 3 Pro or Advanced (I normally upgrade with a fully charged battery. Technically you can use a >50% charged battery, but it’s better to play it safe.)
- Charged Remote Control or Transmitter (Tx)
- microSD card
- microSD to SD adapter or card reader. I use the one that came with my Lexar 64gb microSD card.
To upgrade the Quadcopter/Drone itself follow these steps:
- Charge your DJI Phantom 3 Pro or Advanced
- Charge your Remote Control
- Take microSD card from Phantom 3
- Insert it into a cardreader, and plug into your computer
- Backup contents of your microSD card
- Download the firmware from the official downloads:
- Be sure you choose the firmware meant for your version of the Phantom 3! (also: note that the 1.1.6 version isn’t the current version)
- Extract the .zip file
- Place the .bin onto the root of the SD Card
- Safely remove the microSD card from the computer
- Make sure the Phantom 3 is powered off
- Make sure the Remote Control is powered off as well
- Insert microSD card with Firmware .bin file into the Phantom 3
- Power on Phantom 3 alone
- (Note it may take 25 min for firmware upgrade)
- During the Bootup Phase (first 60 sec) it will initialize the gimbal and do a normal startup. After the minute it will beep in a pattern such as “Beep-Beep-Beep-Beep-Pause” and this will be repeated during the whole firmware upgrade. The good news is its not the Startup Beeps (ESC’s & Motors) but something on the gimbal board. It’s much quieter than the startup beeps. During the process the front LED indicators are solid red, and the Aircraft Status Indicator LED’s flash yellow.
- (Updating to 1.4.0010 i got the normal standard bootup beeps four times around the 13th, 14th, 15th and 17th minute into the process) After each it just continued it’s normal “Beep-Beep-Beep-Beep-Pause” sounds.
- (Updating to 1.4.0010 at 31min the beeps got a bit distorted for a few seconds then returned to normal)
- After about (13 minutes in my case for 1.1.0006 and 32 minutes for 1.4.0010) The beeps will change to a “Beeeeeeeep-Beep-Beep-ShortPause” tune. This means the firmware upgrade is complete.
- Shut down your Phantom 3 Note: The Camera Processing Board, Gimbal and Camera can be hot to the touch, happens to me too. Just be sure to let it properly cool before flying or putting it away.
- Take the microSD card from the Phantom 3 and insert it into your microSD adapter again or other card reader and check the contents on a computer.
- Open the .txt file (in my case P3X_FW_RESULT_AB.txt)
- Check for success message. (If you don’t receive a success message try the upgrade again AFTER reformatting your microSD card and re-downloading the firmware. As always backup your data before reformatting)
To update the Remote Control:
Either update using the DJI GO App:
- Make sure the DJI Go App has been updated to v.1.2.0 before trying this upgrade. If there is an upgrade available for your remote control and your current version of the Go App allows for it to be installed the System Status Bar in the Camera View will flash several times.
- Tap the System Status Bar.
- Tap Overall Status.
- Tap Download the firmware update package to download and update the firmware. You can track the progress in the DJI Go App. The status LED on the remote control will blink blue during the update and blink green once the update has been completed successfully.
Or to upgrade using a USB Drive (only option until you get to v1.3.20. See what happened to me below instructions):
- Place the same firmware file onto the root directory of the USB drive (in my case i moved all files off the drive so only the firmware file was on the device).
- Safely remove the USB drive from your computer.
- Make sure both the Remote Control and the Phantom 3 are turned off.
- Place the USB drive into the USB port of the Remote Control.
- Turn on the Remote Control.
- After about 25-30sec it will start beeping. During the upgrade, it can beep in different intervals and patterns. As long as the Status LED is Blue the upgrade is in progress!
- Once the beeping stops (took in my case 1m33sec for 1.1.0006 and a bit longer for 1.3.20) and the Status LED shows solid green the upgrade is complete.
- Turn off the Remote Control and remove the USB drive.
I happened to have the 1.1.0006 firmware on my remote control when i tried to update to 1.4.0010. My DJI Go App told me I couldn’t update with the mobile App and the 1.4.0010 firmware on a USB stick caused the following result:
The firmware on the SD card is identical to or older than the current firmware on the remote controller.
My Solution was to install the 1.3.20 firmware on the remote control.
After the above steps are completed you will have the current firmware on your phantom 3. After each firmware update i highly recommend resetting the IMU and recalibrating the gimbal. Of course the first flight should then be started with a compass calibration.
Common Issues & Fixes:
Remote Control shows cyan Status LED and won’t bind with Phantom 3:
- If normal bind procedure doesn’t work, here are the steps to do a hard reset on your remote control:
- Power Cycle your remote control
- Push and hold all of the following buttons at once (see image below)
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