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Interesting cold weather observation about micro vibrations
804 8 2017-1-4
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Fishbisquit
lvl.2
United States
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Got my mavic about 2 weeks ago and my first footage looked horrible, vibrations and jello. Did some research and calibrated the gimbal, IMU reset camera and made sure i had latest firmware. The following footage looked much better with no jello affect but I was still getting micro vibrations. Tried more calibrations but still could not get any footage without the vibrations. Contacted DJI support, sent them footage and they told me to send it in for repair. I wasn't thrilled with having to send it it in so I did another test. All of the footage I had done up to that point has been in cold weather, mostly all below 25*F, some much colder. I had been reading that a lot of people believe the micro vibrations have to do with cold weather.
So today I did a flight indoors in a warm gymnasium and then immediatly did one outside in 5*F air temps. The indoor footage looked fine, no vibrations other then a little focus push/pull. The outside footage from the very start had jello and vibrations. I wished I had gone back inside then and did another test indoors, but didn't.
So I am wondering if I can assume that my gimbal is totally fine working normally?  Because DJI states not to operate it in cold weather (I thought was for battery concerns).
If this is the case then I am happy I have a working mavic but disappointed that I can not use it in cold weather. Also it appears as if there are some people getting usable footage in cold weather, isn't there? Any thoughts are totally welcome. Should I send it in for reapir?


2017-1-4
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FreezeSun
lvl.2
Flight distance : 742093 ft
United States
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My mavic has the same problem. Seems like we can only take photo but no video in cold weather
2017-1-4
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WolfgangStiller
Captain
Flight distance : 599416 ft
United States
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There have been a number of threads on this.  I have done a lot of flying in cold temps and I have noticed that when moving from warm to cold, I experience exactly what you do.  However when I give my drone time to acclimate (I am still trying to figure out minimum time but this would appear to vary with the temperature differential) it's fine. My theory is the gimbal and/or optics need to be at a stable temperature with the outside environment.  I have flown down to 8 F (at the end of a long backpack) with no video issues but last Sunday I flew at about 32 deg F. I had only a few minutes (about 5) before I needed to start flying/filming. The first two or three minutes showed some jello but then it was fine for the remainder of the flight.
2017-1-4
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kiltedrunner
lvl.2
Flight distance : 484948 ft
Canada
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Hi guys,
I'm not having the same issues that you are - at least I'm not noticing jello in the footage - and I have flown in as cold as --32C (-25.6F) today. I threw my video up onto a 65" TV and didn't notice any unstable video throughout a 10 minute flight or hovering. Not sure what to say.
2017-1-4
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Fishbisquit
lvl.2
United States
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kiltedrunner Posted at 2017-1-4 19:25
Hi guys,
I'm not having the same issues that you are - at least I'm not noticing jello in the footage - and I have flown in as cold as --32C (-25.6F) today. I threw my video up onto a 65" TV and didn't notice any unstable video throughout a 10 minute flight or hovering. Not sure what to say.

Did you have the mavic outside for a bit before you started flying and filming?
My #1 issue is micro vibrations. I notice a quick horizontal jitter every 10 seconds. Tomorrow I am going to test the acclimation theory and let my mavic sit outside for 10 minutes  before trying a quick flight.
2017-1-4
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DRONE-flies-YOU
First Officer
Flight distance : 1182441 ft
United States
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Yea I've already put mine outside for the night.  It should be good in the morning.  
2017-1-4
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Fishbisquit
lvl.2
United States
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So the acclimation test didn't work. I let it sit outside for 15 minutes ( minus battery) and then took it for a quick flight. Temp was 1*F, I know pretty cold. The footage had vibrations and seemed to have a hard time finding focus. Considering this mavic worked completely fine indoors a few days ago do you think it has an issue or are these things just not meant to work in extreme cold? Trying to decide if I should send in for repair?
2017-1-6
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Fishbisquit
lvl.2
United States
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I just did another test inside and the gimbal was rock solid. No vibrations. I have done about 12 flight tests, 2 inside and 10 outside. Both inside footage looks great. All the outside footage has micro vibrations.
Of note, all outside footage has been below 32*F. So basically do I have a drone that can't be flown in Winter? Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks,
2017-1-6
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4wd
Second Officer
Flight distance : 241706 ft
United Kingdom
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Clearly some people are getting acceptable footage well below freezing point but DJI specs suggest 32F as the minimum for trouble free operation and the further you go below that the more likely problems will be.
So - options are, ask for return hoping a replacement has slightly different gimbal mounts(?) or try to persevere and keep it warm in a vehicle until just before a short flight.
You have a drone which isn't guaranteed to operate smoothly in severe cold, most other brands have rather similar specifications.
2017-1-6
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