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Gimbal died mid-flight
1386 28 2017-1-18
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fans9cbc7a56
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I was adjusting some parameters during a test flight today, namely 'YawEndPoint' for the purpose of getting smoother cinematography.

I had strong signal, was flying directly overhead at an altitude of around 120m, in a brisk wind - when the gimbal suddenly went limp. You could tell from the video that something had gone wrong. Initially I thought it was the Phantom behaving weirdly, but as I landed, I realised that the gimbal was just hanging - without any power.

I tried a gimbal calibration, and the app told me it was calibrating the gimbal, but then halfway through the calibration I shut down the app (latest update - not DJI GO 4) on IOS and restarted the Phantom. When it booted up, everything was fine. Strange. Thoughts, anyone?
2017-1-18
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DJI Mindy
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Could you please clarify which Phantom model you have?
Please check your gimbal's 6 pin and 8 pin cables for any physical damage and try to replug cables then test again.
2017-1-18
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$gambino$
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Mine did this once then never again ....weird for ref this was my p4
2017-1-18
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fans9cbc7a56
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DJI Mindy Posted at 2017-1-18 01:43
Could you please clarify which Phantom model you have?
Please check your gimbal's 6 pin and 8 pin cables for any physical damage and try to replug cables then test again.

I have a Phantom 4.

There is no damage to the ribbon cable.
2017-1-18
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DJI-Jamie
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fans9cbc7a56 Posted at 2017-1-18 15:23
I have a Phantom 4.

There is no damage to the ribbon cable.

Do you happen to have a small video of this behavior?
2017-1-18
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Meteoroz
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2017-1-18 16:15
Do you happen to have a small video of this behavior?

Yes, I have a video taken while this issue happened (from the P4). I will post it tonight when I get home.
2017-1-18
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DJI-Jamie
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Meteoroz Posted at 2017-1-18 16:21
Yes, I have a video taken while this issue happened (from the P4). I will post it tonight when I get home.

Whenever you can would be appreciated.
2017-1-18
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Meteoroz
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2017-1-18 22:07
Whenever you can would be appreciated.

Here it is:
2017-1-18
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DJI-Jamie
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Meteoroz Posted at 2017-1-18 23:02
Here it is: https://youtu.be/spL4-Pe72_Q

That is odd. Had you tried an IMU calibration with the gimbal calibration in that order? Have you reset the unit to factory defaults via the Assistant 2 software to see if this helps? To you knowledge, you did not see any error messages when this occurred, correct?
2017-1-18
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Meteoroz
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2017-1-18 23:17
That is odd. Had you tried an IMU calibration with the gimbal calibration in that order? Have you reset the unit to factory defaults via the Assistant 2 software to see if this helps? To you knowledge, you did not see any error messages when this occurred, correct?

No, I haven't done any of that.

I'm assuming that this is a one-off issue that probably won't happen again. It's never happened before. The P4 has been an absolutely rock solid unit since I bought it almost a year ago. There was no error message.

The one thing that I did notice, was that the radio strength icon (the tower with a ball on top) was red as I was descending, even though the control response was fine and I was only metres away from the P4.
2017-1-19
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DJI-Jamie
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Meteoroz Posted at 2017-1-19 00:48
No, I haven't done any of that.

I'm assuming that this is a one-off issue that probably won't happen again. It's never happened before. The P4 has been an absolutely rock solid unit since I bought it almost a year ago. There was no error message.

The RC signal strength would not have affected the gimbal in that kind of manner, Just to make sure I'm on the same page, this has not happened since or does it happen intermittently?
2017-1-19
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Meteoroz
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2017-1-19 10:35
The RC signal strength would not have affected the gimbal in that kind of manner, Just to make sure I'm on the same page, this has not happened since or does it happen intermittently?

I've only flown once, since this happened, which was immediately after I rebooted the P4. Everything was fine.

None of these problems have ever occurred before.
2017-1-19
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DJI-Jamie
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Meteoroz Posted at 2017-1-19 14:13
I've only flown once, since this happened, which was immediately after I rebooted the P4. Everything was fine.

None of these problems have ever occurred before.

Could you happen to perform another test whe you can to see whether this is a reoccuring problem or if it was a one off thing?
2017-1-19
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Meteoroz
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2017-1-19 14:43
Could you happen to perform another test whe you can to see whether this is a reoccuring problem or if it was a one off thing?

Sure. Will run a few test flights this weekend and report back. I don't want to be caught out at an important job with a floppy gimbal.
2017-1-19
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DJI-Jamie
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Meteoroz Posted at 2017-1-19 15:04
Sure. Will run a few test flights this weekend and report back. I don't want to be caught out at an important job with a floppy gimbal.

Whenever you can would be great.
2017-1-19
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Meteoroz
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2017-1-19 15:28
Whenever you can would be great.

Flew a battery today and everything was perfect.
2017-1-21
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Punchbuggy
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2017-1-19 14:43
Could you happen to perform another test whe you can to see whether this is a reoccuring problem or if it was a one off thing?

DJI-Jamie, I'm curious - how would an IMU issue affect the gimbal?

I ask, as I had a similar problem myself two days ago. When I first started the P4 craft up, the app reported that there was an IMU calibration error (IMU #2?) and I needed to recalibrate. I checked out a few other parameters, and then checked sensors to note that both IMUs and Compass' were all green. Main screen showed GPS acquired and good to go. Umm, OK I thought ...

A few minutes into flight I lost sight of it and decided to hit RTH. I saw the P4 approaching with the gimbal limp (hanging down and to the side). Manually landed it, power cycled the P4, and all good again. Swapped batteries and next flight had no issues. I haven't seen either issue (IMU error and limp gimbal) before.

Took the P4 out again yesterday and didn't have either problem. I did, however, lose connection 600m out with perfect line of sight, and in between multiple connect/disconnects managed to get a RTH in...
2017-1-22
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DJI-Jamie
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Punchbuggy Posted at 2017-1-22 13:55
DJI-Jamie, I'm curious - how would an IMU issue affect the gimbal?

I ask, as I had a similar problem myself two days ago. When I first started the P4 craft up, the app reported that there was an IMU calibration error (IMU #2?) and I needed to recalibrate. I checked out a few other parameters, and then checked sensors to note that both IMUs and Compass' were all green. Main screen showed GPS acquired and good to go. Umm, OK I thought ...

The IMU can affect the gimbal if there is a conflict as what is supposed to be level. It's good to hear that it seems to be a one off thing thus far, but do you notice any wear in the gimbal's ribbon cable at all? Do you recall seeing the gimbal go limp after panning or tilting in a certain direction?

As far as the range incident, what kind of area were you flying in? Is this an area you fly often in?
2017-1-23
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DJI-Jamie
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Meteoroz Posted at 2017-1-21 00:22
Flew a battery today and everything was perfect.

Good to hear. Just to make sure I'm on the same page, you even panned in the same manor and the gimbal didn't act up again?
2017-1-23
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Punchbuggy
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2017-1-23 15:27
The IMU can affect the gimbal if there is a conflict as what is supposed to be level. It's good to hear that it seems to be a one off thing thus far, but do you notice any wear in the gimbal's ribbon cable at all? Do you recall seeing the gimbal go limp after panning or tilting in a certain direction?

As far as the range incident, what kind of area were you flying in? Is this an area you fly often in?

Hi Jamie. No wear on the cable - all solid. I wasn't videoing at the time, so actually didn't note it was limp until it was returning. I'm hoping it was a one-off - a solar flare, a slip in the earth's magnetic pole, who knows?

Re the craft disconnect, it was in an open valley area with perfect LOS. I've flown there before. It happened to me the next day too out in the country. That was much scarier, as it didn't auto-return home and I had to wait for it to reconnect long enough (it kept coming and then quickly going) to use the RTH button - which I eventually did. I'll see what happens next weekend when I take it out again.
2017-1-23
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DJI-Jamie
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Punchbuggy Posted at 2017-1-23 22:13
Hi Jamie. No wear on the cable - all solid. I wasn't videoing at the time, so actually didn't note it was limp until it was returning. I'm hoping it was a one-off - a solar flare, a slip in the earth's magnetic pole, who knows?

Re the craft disconnect, it was in an open valley area with perfect LOS. I've flown there before. It happened to me the next day too out in the country. That was much scarier, as it didn't auto-return home and I had to wait for it to reconnect long enough (it kept coming and then quickly going) to use the RTH button - which I eventually did. I'll see what happens next weekend when I take it out again.

Please let me know if the gimbal issue comes back. For the disconnect, do you also lose FPV or only the RC signal? Does the status become 'disconnected' or 'no signal'? Do you recall this happening after a firmwre update or a hard landing? Are you certain that your antennas were in an optimal position?



2017-1-25
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puredata
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2017-1-25 11:30
Please let me know if the gimbal issue comes back. For the disconnect, do you also lose FPV or only the RC signal? Does the status become 'disconnected' or 'no signal'? Do you recall this happening after a firmwre update or a hard landing? Are you certain that your antennas were in an optimal position?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7M9JtfVwQE



what should I do? It's a new unit
2017-2-1
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DJI-Jamie
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puredata Posted at 2017-2-1 07:37
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTdAEhlfp_o

what should I do? It's a new unit

Has this occurred more than once since you got it? How long have you had it thus far, or is this from the first flight? Did you notice this after an update or a hard landing?
2017-2-1
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puredata
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2017-2-1 10:41
Has this occurred more than once since you got it? How long have you had it thus far, or is this from the first flight? Did you notice this after an update or a hard landing?

Thank you. Unit is pretty new and had no impact ever that could cause this. Not even a scratch on it.

It happened again, I'm attaching the video.


I guess these are the steps to reproduce the problem;

Press record video button on RC, record some video, press photo button in order to take a picture, press again to video record button to start video recording. In less then a second this happens. In flight logs I can see crazy gimbal movement.

I have cooled down the unit and calibrated IMU on  a flat surface, auto calibrated gimbal as well as compass calibration before the flight.

How should we proceed?

Thanks in advance
2017-2-4
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DJI-Jamie
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puredata Posted at 2017-2-4 11:40
Thank you. Unit is pretty new and had no impact ever that could cause this. Not even a scratch on it.

It happened again, I'm attaching the video.

Just so that I'm on the same page, when you switch between  recording and photos, you are properly starting and stopping the recording before switching to photos, correct?

Since this is becoming a reoccuring problem, the best course of action would be to have the unit sent in for further analysis and repair. That would ensure that it's addressed once and for all.
2017-2-6
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puredata
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2017-2-6 13:42
Just so that I'm on the same page, when you switch between  recording and photos, you are properly starting and stopping the recording before switching to photos, correct?

Since this is becoming a reoccuring problem, the best course of action would be to have the unit sent in for further analysis and repair. That would ensure that it's addressed once and for all.

Jamie, what's properly stopping recording. If I press the photo button while I'm recording video would it cause an issue similar to this?

Thank you for your response. We will send the unit shortly for investigation.
2017-2-7
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DJI-Jamie
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puredata Posted at 2017-2-7 07:22
Jamie, what's properly stopping recording. If I press the photo button while I'm recording video would it cause an issue similar to this?

Thank you for your response. We will send the unit shortly for investigation.

The best practice when transitioning from video to photo is to hit the record button again in order to stop the recording, then press the photo button. It primarily helps ensure that the video has enough time to properly save onto the SD card before moving onto another task. Short videos at HD resolutions (1080/720 or lower) are a little more forgiving with outwardly switching from record to stills instantaneously, but higher res or longer videos should have enough time to save via the method mentioned above.

I've seen files get corrupted from the quick switch, but I haven't seen it necessarily linked to the gimbal going limp. It seems really odd that you're able to replicate that with that method.
2017-2-7
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HomeFlight
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I had the same experience today.  Mine is also  Phaontom 4, but I was using the Litchi App.   In the middle of flight while recording video the gimble just went limp.    (no mix of video & photo)  Should not be an RC issue, since I was running a way point mission and all the movements should have been stored in the drone.   When it returned home I also had non response from the remote for the gimble, however after a restart everything was fine.

It was a little windier than I would have liked, and was actually wondering if the wind over powered the gimble motors, and they just needed to be reset...
2017-4-14
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DJI Natalia
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HomeFlight Posted at 2017-4-14 12:33
I had the same experience today.  Mine is also  Phaontom 4, but I was using the Litchi App.   In the middle of flight while recording video the gimble just went limp.    (no mix of video & photo)  Should not be an RC issue, since I was running a way point mission and all the movements should have been stored in the drone.   When it returned home I also had non response from the remote for the gimble, however after a restart everything was fine.

It was a little windier than I would have liked, and was actually wondering if the wind over powered the gimble motors, and they just needed to be reset...

What's your aircraft firmware version? it never happened before, right?
Do you have the video saved to show the issue?
2017-4-14
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