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Random intermittent X3 video recording problem
199 10 2017-8-6 10:30:38
Njorl
lvl.1
Flight distance : 466899
United States
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I've successfully used my Inspire 1 w/ X3 camera for over 2 years now, but in the last couple months it started doing some strange - seemingly random - and intermittent video recording.  If I'll take say five 4K videos (each between 10 seconds and maybe 1 minute long), and say 20 pix each flight, of those, typically somewhere between 1 and 3-ish of the videos will appear to record perfectly on the controller, but when viewed on PC, they'll be usually only around 5MB in size, and be less than a half second long even though it was showing good recording during the flight.  Usually all of the pix are fine, but very rarely one or two will be only some random-height horizontal portion of the shot.
I've also successfully used this X3 on my OSMO for many months without problem, but it also started experiencing the same problems at the same time, and I'm sick of losing valuable, video segments for my clients.

Interesting note: The Inspire 1 videos I lose to this error are typically when my camera is pointed straight down while either descending or ascending, not when flying parallel to the ground.

So, I just TODAY I did the following:

1) cleaned all contacts gently with a clean/new #2 pencil eraser (on iPad cord, on camera gimbal, on I1, and even on the MicroSD cards);
2) bought and used a brand new SanDisk MicroSD card (see specs below), placed the latest bin file on it, let the Inspire format it, did a test flight, took six short videos and a bunch of pix, and here's my results:
* All pix are perfect.
* The first 2 videos are perfect (19 seconds, and 39 seconds long)
* The next 2 videos are less than 1/2 a second long good image (5MB size) of right when I pushed RECORD, and they PLAY in a repeating loop when previewed in Media Player.
* The last 2 videos are less than 1/4 second long NO image (2MB size) of black screen only, and they don't PLAY at all in Media Player.


MY KIT: Inspire 1 (bought April 2015) / X3 (bought Oct 2015) / iPad Air 2 (bought Apr 2015) - latest iOS / genuine Apple cable / controller with dual slide-on parabolic reflectors / 32GB SanDisk Extreme Pro U3 HC1 MicroSD / 16 GB Lexar 633x U1 HC1 MicroSD / 64 GB SanDisk Extreme Pro U3 XC1 V30 (Just bought Aug 2017).  When using X3 on OSMO: HTC One M9.

MY TYPICALS:  All firmware up-to-date / typically filming 4k & JPG only / recalibrated before each first flight at new location / Hardware Decoding ON.

My gut tells me the culprit is the X3 camera.  Any help on how to fix this would be GREATLY appreciated!!

2017-8-6 10:30:38
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DJI Mindy
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Japan
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Njorl, sorry for the experience with our product, so this issue happens recently after firmware upgrading?
Is that possible to upload several corrupted videos to Dropbox and post the link here? I will feedback to our engineers for further analysis, thanks in advance.
2017-8-7 23:00:46
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Njorl
lvl.1
Flight distance : 466899
United States
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DJI Mindy Posted at 2017-8-7 23:00
Njorl, sorry for the experience with our product, so this issue happens recently after firmware upgrading?
Is that possible to upload several corrupted videos to Dropbox and post the link here? I will feedback to our engineers for further analysis, thanks in advance.

Hi Mindy,

Yes, this happened after successful firmware updating.
Here is A LINK to FOUR .mov videos I took during the same flight within under 3 minutes.
The first one (#115) shows 2MB file size w/ black screen.
The second one (#116) shows < half a second worth of a 5MB video of right when I pushed the record button;
The third one (#117) is a 93MB correct video.
The fourth one (#126) is the very rare 2MB file but w/ a single frame of image capture (instead of black screen).

Also in the Dropbox folder is a file explorer screenshot showing the 8 total video files recorded during that flight (#113 - 129) highlighted in blue.  You'll also note additional videos captured during the previous flight on a different battery as well.

Thanks for any help you can offer.
2017-8-12 08:53:51
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DJI Mindy
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Njorl Posted at 2017-8-12 08:53
Hi Mindy,

Yes, this happened after successful firmware updating.

Sorry for the late response, the videos you uploaded have been forwarded to our engineers for further analysis, I will come back to you once I hear from them, appreciate your patience.
2017-8-15 01:27:39
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Njorl
lvl.1
Flight distance : 466899
United States
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DJI Mindy Posted at 2017-8-15 01:27
Sorry for the late response, the videos you uploaded have been forwarded to our engineers for further analysis, I will come back to you once I hear from them, appreciate your patience.

Thanks Mindy!  I hope to hear back from you soon on this.  In the meantime, I have a service ticket open to send my X3 in to DJI for service.   I just need a second working X3 so I can send this one in...
2017-8-20 13:19:27
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DTK
Second Officer
Flight distance : 384755
Australia
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Have you tried other more powerful Ipad, it is probably the root cause as the latest FW is really CPU intensive and hence older/less powerful ipad may not be able to keep up.
2017-8-20 16:20:45
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DJI Mindy
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China
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Njorl Posted at 2017-8-20 13:19
Thanks Mindy!  I hope to hear back from you soon on this.  In the meantime, I have a service ticket open to send my X3 in to DJI for service.   I just need a second working X3 so I can send this one in...

Thanks for your patience, we will come back to you as soon as possible.
2017-8-21 01:04:52
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Donnie *
Captain
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United States
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Ok, the video to the I pad is perfect correct ?  You may want to inspect the 2  cables from the Vibration board to the Aircraft, these sometimes can become crimped .  Be sure to examine them closely .  Also make sure the pins are making good contact beween the camera gimbal and the vibration board.  In addition to the cleaning  you may wish to loosen the 2 phillips head pan screws on the  camera  gimabl mountplate , this gives it a bit of wiggle room to seat properly ,Just loosen about 1/2 to 3/4 of a turn on each one , just   want a little bit of play , not to much .

Also  just for grins try recording in 1080 and not 4k and see if that makes a difference .

I think you are correct in thinking the problem is on the X3, also good jog on your efforsts to solve the issue logicallly , to many members are quick to just condem the product as junk .......NOT realizing there is maintainance and tweking involved sometimes in this hobby .


Loosen the 2 philips pan head screws in example below . NOT the Allen Head bolts.
Can you duplicate the ;problem on the ground by any chance , I would make sure you can Pan and Tilt on the camera and then while on the Work bench begin wiggling things and panning and tilting , see if you can duplicate the problem or narrow it down .

You did not happen to have laning where the camera may have taken some impact , My friend did that once by landing on an uneven surface and the Camera took a hit causing some similar symptoms you describe .  NOT saying you did that , just wondering if possible.
***Did you test another palyer?  Or the SD crad reader/writer  you use may be faulty , I would try another PC and SD reader as well .



Let Us know

donnie



loosen the to pan Philips screws above NOT the Allen heads.

loosen the to pan Philips screws above NOT the Allen heads.
2017-8-21 04:28:41
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Njorl
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Flight distance : 466899
United States
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Donnie * Posted at 2017-8-21 04:28
Ok, the video to the I pad is perfect correct ?  You may want to inspect the 2  cables from the Vibration board to the Aircraft, these sometimes can become crimped .  Be sure to examine them closely .  Also make sure the pins are making good contact beween the camera gimbal and the vibration board.  In addition to the cleaning  you may wish to loosen the 2 phillips head pan screws on the  camera  gimabl mountplate , this gives it a bit of wiggle room to seat properly ,Just loosen about 1/2 to 3/4 of a turn on each one , just   want a little bit of play , not to much .

Also  just for grins try recording in 1080 and not 4k and see if that makes a difference .

*** POSSIBLE PROBLEM LOCATED AT BOTTOM OF THIS REPLY!!! ***
but first....
Thanks for all the bits of advice Donnie; much appreciated.   OK...to answer your questions...

I did very carefully remove and inspect the 2 cables + ensure good contact.  Although they did not appear crimped, they've served for many hours, so I bought new, and replaced them.  Next flight still had issue.

Just this evening I took a QUICK PIC to confirm that all contacts are "leaving footprints" on their corresponding contact stripes: they were.

I have not yet tried filming in 1080...I'll try that in the next day or two to see if that might be the issue.

I've tried duplicating the problem on the ground immediately after a flight, but it seems to not record improperly then.  I haven't, however, tried to make numerous "on the ground", minute-long 4K recordings in a row right after landing, however...I'll have to try that soon as well.

Regarding the hard landing question...I did have one moment, just before landing, way back on March 19, 2017, where the rig was stationary hovering less than a foot above ground, but a gust of wind pushed the rig down just a little so the camera did just barely touch ground before the arms had fully reached landing position.  There was no damage at all upon inspection, and it had no problems recording video for months afterward.

I did test another player on another PC, and on a Mac, and several different card readers, but none helped.

Just this evening I carefully removed the gimbal board (w/ the 2 phillips head pan screws), carefully disconnected the cable, checked & found no apparent issues, then reconnected ensuring good fit.  I reseated the gimbal board and screwed back in the pan screws, but not as tight as they were before so as to leave just a little play in it as you suggested.

...hmmmm...just had another thought...so I went back into the iPad Air 2 to see if the Editor in the DJI Go App has any of the messed up recordings AND IT DOES!!!Under 'Album', 'Videos', there appear EVERY VIDEO FOR THE PAST COUPLE WEEK'S RECORDINGS, INCLUDING THE FAULTY ONES!!   The iPad is connected only to my home's WiFi, and when i tap on one of the videos I know was FUBAR on the microSD card, it's smaller version plays just fine on the iPad.  When I touch the "i" with a circle around it button in the lower left corner of the DJI "Editor" screen, the information pop-up indicates the date/time, equipment, AND that it's "Size" is "1280x720" (not 4K).  When I click the faint, light blue "Download original video" button, it pops up with "Connect your equipment to download the videos".  If I ignore that advice, and instead tap the "download to iPad" icon (a down arrow pointing to a wide "U" shape) in the lower left corner of the screen, it pops up with "Save video to your device" button.  Once I push that, a pop-up states "Saved".  Now if I go into "hotos" app, right there is the full 29-second video under "Camera Roll".  I then uploaded to Facebook, then downloaded to my PC laptop, and post it HEREin all it's 9Mb glory.

So...could this likely mean it's NOT the X3, but instead an issue w/ either my iPad storage function, and/or the DJI Go App, and/or the July firmware update?


My iPad has 3.26 GB of "documents and data" within the DJI GO App...by far the biggest memory hog on my iPad.  Under "Storage" my iPad lists 11.76 GB used, and only 397.9MB Available.  Perhaps this is the problem point?
2017-8-21 19:19:54
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Donnie *
Captain
Flight distance : 997877
United States
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Njorl Posted at 2017-8-21 19:19
*** POSSIBLE PROBLEM LOCATED AT BOTTOM OF THIS REPLY!!! ***
but first....
Thanks for all the bits of advice Donnie; much appreciated.   OK...to answer your questions...

The problem must lye in the camera ( system , vibration board or gimbal ) somewhere , BECAUSE you have anomalies in BOTH  the SD card and on the Live go app and recordings , so that tells me it is on the X3 camera /gimbal somewhere .
May  want to rollback the FW on the Aircraft and camera to the previous one , IF the issue only started after FW update ? If it still occurs then ,reload again  to the latest , You are on current RC FW  correct ? I really think there is a loose connection somwhere, perhaps do this last if you dont find any definitive cause .

Now you did say you tried to play the SD card on different devices and the problem still exists correct ?
"Witness Marks "  ( footprints ) look perfect on the picture .  
Regarding the SD cards : Max capacity: 64 GB. Class 10 or UHS-1 rating required and the anamolies happen on ALL OF THE SD card you own correct ?
Is there anyone in your area that has an X3 camera you could use to test it out ? ( May not be necessary , I am almost sure it is the gimabal and camera )
You  did say you have an OSMO and it does the same thing on. it correct , if so then it must be on the Camera and/Or gimbal apparatus .
Also be sure to  try to record in 1080 ? any change ?
Interesting that the problem does not occur on the ground with the motors not running .  You need to do more testing on this , be sure to push and pull on things while recoding on a fresh formatted SD card and  then immediatly palyback and see if the glitches show up { get it narrowed down }
Be sure and Inspect the black falt ribbon cable , this is more than likely where the problem is , look for bends or kinks or any damage , you will see part of the flat ribbon cable on the Gimbal itself along the inside of the 2  gimbal Arms , Use a flashlight and look closely .  

Do you format the SD card before a photo shoot ?  Make sure the latest FW is NOT loaded  when flying as this can cause some issues , { have heard of recording issues in the past if the FW was still on the SD card , not sure if this applies to you but worth mentioning }

I think you have a loose connection  ( flat ribbon cable ) somewhere in the Camera or in the Gimbal .  Just over time and use they may have just gotten worn out or out of tolerance .  These glitches on vido are the hardest ones to figure out because they happen on such a random basis , You may need to send the camera in for Repair and have the Flat ribbon cablers replaced at mimimum .   OR You may want to wait a bit longer till the problem gets worse or they may send it back to you and say < No issue found .

Let me know

donnie




2017-8-22 09:58:23
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DJI Mindy
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China
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Njorl Posted at 2017-8-21 19:19
*** POSSIBLE PROBLEM LOCATED AT BOTTOM OF THIS REPLY!!! ***
but first....
Thanks for all the bits of advice Donnie; much appreciated.   OK...to answer your questions...

Njorl, we are so sorry for the late response, our engineers think the firmware may fail to update completely, we suggest to try to update once again.
If the problem still persists, we would like to have the screenshot of all version in General Settings--About.
If the X3 has been sent in, please inform us the case number, thanks.
2017-9-13 04:41:05
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