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Crashed today, how tough are these things?
683 10 2018-4-6
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cameracollector
Second Officer
Flight distance : 807133 ft
Canada
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I was getting some railroad track footage and made the mistake of looking up to see the aircraft instead of concentrating on my screen, and slammed right into a stop sign. Broke all 4 props and the camera has popped out a bit of the housing. At first I thought it hit the edge of the stop sign dead on, but on watching the footage it appears it hit just to the side making it somewhat a glancing blow. The gimbal was still working but making a slight noise when I picked it up, then I powered the battery off and have not powered it back on.

I have attached some pics showing the camera, and a link to the footage. The footage shows the crash, then a slow mo version. It is exactly as taken off the camera, no editing other than slowing it down was done.

It looks to me like the camera just popped out of its housing, and I'm hoping I can take it off an pop it back in. I don't want to power it back up until the camera is back on properly, then I can see if the camera still works or not..

What do you folks think, any chance my camera is still ok?  There is a small dent on the camera right where the M is in Phantom, as you can see in the pics. The rest of the copter seems fine, other than the prop mounts are broken, but I have a spare set of those.

Video of crash is

small dent by M

small dent by M

side view

side view
image001.jpg
2018-4-6
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A CW
Captain
Flight distance : 13838848 ft
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United Kingdom
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Very sorry to see that happen. Impossible to say if it will work or not - best to try what you can and test it and if not working effectively then raise a ticket with DJI support to ship it back for repair. Fingers crossed for you.
2018-4-6
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ALABAMA
Captain
Flight distance : 10442687 ft
United States
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Looked like a kind of glancing blow,  or it could have been worse. Only thing is, there could be unseen damage also.  Sorry this happened.
2018-4-6
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DJI Thor
Administrator
Flight distance : 13602 ft
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Sorry for the crash. I suggest sending the drone in for repair. Please contact our support on the following page to start a case, we will do our best to help. http://www.dji.com/support
2018-4-6
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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REminds me of when I was walking along a crowded street in the middle of Melbourne. Saw a hot woman, as she passed I turned to take a long look, then turned back just in time to break my nose up against a parking sign.
2018-4-6
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Bashy
Captain
Flight distance : 2040486 ft
United Kingdom
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if its out of warranty etc, i would remove that section and just make sure all is well and then poke that back in to place,

You flew straight and then as you got near the sign you altered course straight for it...
2018-4-6
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Genghis9
Captain
Flight distance : 961 ft
United States
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I think your patient is going to need to see the doctor, no matter how you try and stuff that gimbal back in to its place...
Good Luck!
2018-4-6
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impressiver
lvl.2
Flight distance : 106535 ft
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It's hard to say without taking the cover off and seeing what happens during the startup sequence. Of course, if it's still in warranty, just send it to DJI. But since you're asking, I'll assume that's not an option.

As a bit of encouragement, all of the expensive stuff looks to be intact based on your photos. The camera housing is thick metal, should be fine. Unless the gimbal arms were bent, you might need a new gimbal ribbon cable, some new mounting hardware, maybe a motor or two. DJI will suggest you replace the entire gimbal, but good luck finding a new one. It is absolutely possible to repair with parts off eBay, for less than the cost of a new gimbal.

Here's an idea of what you'll find inside the gimbal mount. This is from a recent P4 project I completed a few months back.


2018-4-7
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cameracollector
Second Officer
Flight distance : 807133 ft
Canada
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impressiver Posted at 2018-4-7 17:32
It's hard to say without taking the cover off and seeing what happens during the startup sequence. Of course, if it's still in warranty, just send it to DJI. But since you're asking, I'll assume that's not an option.

As a bit of encouragement, all of the expensive stuff looks to be intact based on your photos. The camera housing is thick metal, should be fine. Unless the gimbal arms were bent, you might need a new gimbal ribbon cable, some new mounting hardware, maybe a motor or two. DJI will suggest you replace the entire gimbal, but good luck finding a new one. It is absolutely possible to repair with parts off eBay, for less than the cost of a new gimbal.

Thanks for the replies all. Yes I was flying past it and it looks like I hit it on purpose the way I veered into it.  For awhile now I have had trouble with the P4 drifting to the right when I try to go in a straight line, this was one of those times and I was trying to slowly get back centered over the tracks. I was flying from inside my truck at the time because it was -10C out, and had just glanced up to watch it fly by the crossing I was sitting at and I thought "oh yeah that stop sign" about 0.5 seconds before it hit.

Yes it's just shy of two years old, so well out of warranty. None of the gimbal itself seems to be damaged, or the ribbon cable. Same with the motors, other than all 4 props broken and 3 of the prop mounts. The only visible damage to the chassis is the small dent in the gimbal housing as seen in the 2nd image.

I was going to take it apart this afternoon but didn't get around to it, perhaps tomorrow.
2018-4-7
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KedDK
Captain
Flight distance : 1133038 ft
Denmark
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cameracollector Posted at 2018-4-7 22:12
Thanks for the replies all. Yes I was flying past it and it looks like I hit it on purpose the way I veered into it.  For awhile now I have had trouble with the P4 drifting to the right when I try to go in a straight line, this was one of those times and I was trying to slowly get back centered over the tracks. I was flying from inside my truck at the time because it was -10C out, and had just glanced up to watch it fly by the crossing I was sitting at and I thought "oh yeah that stop sign" about 0.5 seconds before it hit.

Yes it's just shy of two years old, so well out of warranty. None of the gimbal itself seems to be damaged, or the ribbon cable. Same with the motors, other than all 4 props broken and 3 of the prop mounts. The only visible damage to the chassis is the small dent in the gimbal housing as seen in the 2nd image.

''I have had trouble with the P4 drifting to the right when I try to go in a straight line''
This most likely is the camera not pointing straight forward, have been fighting this myself.

Good luck with the rebuild.
2018-4-7
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cameracollector
Second Officer
Flight distance : 807133 ft
Canada
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update - got it all apart and back together, from what I could see the impact caused the internal floating bracket to dislodge one of the dampening rubbers that holds it in place. I was able to slip it back on but it appears it has a very slight tear on the edge, I think it will be okay for now but I should order some more.  I powered it up and all looks okay, but won't be able to tell for sure until I can fly and get some footage.  I put new style P4 prop mounts on because all but 1 were broken from the collision,  so now I will recalibrate the IMU, compass, gimbal etc. and fly it when I get a chance.

This is the video I followed, it's pretty good for this type of repair


2018-4-9
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