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Gimbal Issues
474 10 11-4 12:03
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dmcke5
lvl.1

Australia
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Hi guys, new here.

About a month ago I bought myself a pile of Spark bits from a guy who had crashed and then attempted to rebuild his spark into a new frame but gave up half way through.
I have a fair bit of experience with this sort of thing so I figured this would be a cheap way for me to get into my first DJI. I have the whole thing back together but I've been having issues getting the gimbal working properly. Upon power up the gimbal rocks violently from side to side, hitting its limits. It then throws an overload fault and goes limp. I know a bit about how these gimbals work, but this one really has me stumped. I've replaced the motor housing assembly and have tried a new cable, although the replacement cable that turned up wasn't much good anyway as the camera would no longer work when connected through it. The gimbal did the same motion for both cables though which makes me think its not a cable fault.
Both motors are able to turn freely so I don't think that's the issue. I have tried the calibration process on the PC but it just fails every time I run it. To me it looks like the sensor for the position of the camera isn't working properly in the roll axis which is why I replaced the motor housing as I assumed it was part of that assembly. Now I'm thinking it may actually be part of the camera board itself?

Before I pull the trigger on a complete replacement gimbal, does anyone know if the main board in the spark is likely to be casuing this fault? There aren't many components left to replace that are related to the gimbal...


Cheers,
- Daniel




11-4 12:03
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DJI Paladin
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Flight distance : 318 ft

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Hi dmcke5, thank you for providing us information about the drone, I am sorry to hear that the Gimbal of your DJI Spark is not responding as it should. Regarding crashed drones we do not recommend our customer to do DIY or fix their drone to avoid additional damages. It would be best for you to contact our DJI support team at https://repair.dji.com/repair/index for further assistance. We have a professional team that will do their best to fix and a proper resolution will be provided for the said issue. Thank you.
11-4 12:38
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dmcke5
lvl.1

Australia
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DJI Paladin Posted at 11-4 12:38
Hi dmcke5, thank you for providing us information about the drone, I am sorry to hear that the Gimbal of your DJI Spark is not responding as it should. Regarding crashed drones we do not recommend our customer to do DIY or fix their drone to avoid additional damages. It would be best for you to contact our DJI support team at https://repair.dji.com/repair/index for further assistance. We have a professional team that will do their best to fix and a proper resolution will be provided for the said issue. Thank you.

Yeah I had a feeling I would get that response from here. I definitely understand why you don't want customers working on these things but for me, it is just not worth the cost involved in sending the drone in for repairs when I'm perfectly capable of fitting whatever parts are needed myself.

Basically what I want to know is, could a fault in the camera module itself cause the gimbal to not function correctly? Asides from the camera module and the main board, every other part relating to the function of the gimbal has been replaced but the fault has remained.
11-4 12:57
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DJI Paladin
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dmcke5@gmail.com Posted at 11-4 12:57
Yeah I had a feeling I would get that response from here. I definitely understand why you don't want customers working on these things but for me, it is just not worth the cost involved in sending the drone in for repairs when I'm perfectly capable of fitting whatever parts are needed myself.

Basically what I want to know is, could a fault in the camera module itself cause the gimbal to not function correctly? Asides from the camera module and the main board, every other part relating to the function of the gimbal has been replaced but the fault has remained.

Hi Dmcke5, thank you for the quick response. With regards to this query. I am sorry to say that without examining the said DJI Spark physically, we are not able to say which part of the drone is  damaged. It is best for our technician to see the drone personally for them to check and run some test on each part of the drone if it is working properly or not. Thank you.
11-4 13:04
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Nidge
First Officer

United Kingdom
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dmcke5@gmail.com Posted at 11-4 12:57
Yeah I had a feeling I would get that response from here. I definitely understand why you don't want customers working on these things but for me, it is just not worth the cost involved in sending the drone in for repairs when I'm perfectly capable of fitting whatever parts are needed myself.

Basically what I want to know is, could a fault in the camera module itself cause the gimbal to not function correctly? Asides from the camera module and the main board, every other part relating to the function of the gimbal has been replaced but the fault has remained.

I empathise with you @dmcke5. It can be quite patronising when you get a response like that. A while back someone asked me to take a look at his drone that had developed a fault. It had been returned from the service centre as an uneconomical repair, claiming it needed a new flight controller board, esc, and downward facing sensor. In less than five minutes it was back up and running as all it needed was a squirt of switch cleaner into one of the controllers gimbals.

As for your camera gimbal issue, do you have access to a test bench PSU? If you can power the gimbal separately from the Sparks electronics it may help in isolating the fault. I’m only hypothesising but from your description of the gimbal behaviour  the issue maybe associated with the IMU and its associated circuitry.

Regards

Nidge.
11-5 02:17
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dmcke5
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Australia
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Nidge Posted at 11-5 02:17
I empathise with you @dmcke5. It can be quite patronising when you get a response like that. A while back someone asked me to take a look at his drone that had developed a fault. It had been returned from the service centre as an uneconomical repair, claiming it needed a new flight controller board, esc, and downward facing sensor. In less than five minutes it was back up and running as all it needed was a squirt of switch cleaner into one of the controllers gimbals.

As for your camera gimbal issue, do you have access to a test bench PSU? If you can power the gimbal separately from the Sparks electronics it may help in isolating the fault. I’m only hypothesising but from your description of the gimbal behaviour  the issue maybe associated with the IMU and its associated circuitry.

Thanks mate, I have plenty of gear so I could easily power something up independently if required however all of the connectors are extremely small so I would first need to work out a way to safely provide power to them. I didn't think the gimbal would run independently though as surely the gimbal itself is too small to house the control gear for the motors? The impression I get is that the main control board handles all of the control side of things, leaving nothing but motors and sensors on the gimbal itself.

The IMU was damaged by the original owner when he attempted to rebuild the spark into a new housing. I replaced it with one from a guy on ebay that is parting out a spark. It calibrated up perfectly and appears to be working just fine.

Gimbals I've dealt with previously have had their own gyro/acc on board for positioning feedback, but I'm not sure if that's the same way this gimbal functions. Based on the naming of the calibration functions I used on the computer, I feel like it may be using hall sensors instead which would need to be incorporated into the gimbal motor section, which I've already replaced. Basically the only things I haven't replaced yet are the camera board itself and the spark main board. I'm willing to replace the whole gimbal if I think it'll solve the problem, but I don't want to keep throwing money at this thing just to find out its a faulty main board. Unfortunately I'm fast approaching the cost of a functioning, second hand Spark (which is probably what I should have done originally lol).

Appreciate the input.
- Daniel
11-5 12:09
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MartyTravels
Second Officer
Flight distance : 290627 ft
Thailand
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Very unfortunate. Did you solve the problem in the meantime? When I calibrated my new gimbal housing it behaved as expected and everything works great now. Did the old gimbal do the same thing? Maybe you got sent a faulty unit?
11-6 21:26
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dmcke5
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Australia
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MartyTravels Posted at 11-6 21:26
Very unfortunate. Did you solve the problem in the meantime? When I calibrated my new gimbal housing it behaved as expected and everything works great now. Did the old gimbal do the same thing? Maybe you got sent a faulty unit?

I've tried calibrating the gimbal with both cables and both housings, with no success. Both respond in a very similar way. I decided to bite the bullet over the weekend and purchased a complete gimbal from a part out. Fingers crossed this solves the issue as the only other part I can replace after this is the spark main board.
11-10 11:33
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MartyTravels
Second Officer
Flight distance : 290627 ft
Thailand
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Good luck...let us know how it goes.
11-10 20:20
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fanscdcbee96
lvl.1

Australia
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MartyTravels Posted at 11-10 20:20
Good luck...let us know how it goes.

Well fitted up my replacement gimbal today and it all appears to be working! Ran out of time before sunset to get a flight in as one of my motors was turning backwards, but that's an easy fix.

So either the replacement cable or housing was faulty, or there's something in the actual camera module that reports position back to the mainboard that was faulty in my original gimbal. Either way, its working now so I'm pumped to finally get this thing in the air after 2 months of slowly waiting for replacement parts to turn up.
11-18 01:19
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MartyTravels
Second Officer
Flight distance : 290627 ft
Thailand
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Terrific :-) good luck that your Spark stays up in the air. Send us some pictures.
11-18 03:09
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