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Phantom without gimbal and camera
17552 12 2015-5-24
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sofagbem
lvl.2

United States
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Will the Phantom 3 fly without the gimbal and camera attached?
2015-5-24
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digitaldave
lvl.2

United States
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Yep. My father-in-law already crashed his into a tree and broke the gimbal. We removed it to see if she would still fly and all was well. Just no video feed ;)
2015-5-24
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sofagbem
lvl.2

United States
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How much less does it weigh?.  

Do you still have control through the app?
2015-5-24
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tejones777
lvl.2

United States
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Possibly.....

I can only tell for sure about my Phantom 2 Vision+ experience, which may give a bit of insight.  I doubt anyone has tried to remove the camera gimbal on the P3P/P3A to know for sure.

I know (from experience) that you can fly the Vision+ without the camera/gimbal, however, the telemetry back to the receiver wouldn't work because the Wi-Fi transmitter has it's power supplied indirectly though the gimbal, fur unclear reasons.  Yes, the power line comes from the phantom main board, down to the gimbal, then back up to the Wi-Fi transmitter module.  Not sure why they did that.  Therefore, when you unplugged the camera/gimbal, the power supply to the Wi-Fi transmitter was cut, and while you could fly the Phantom 2, not only was the video gone, but the display of the Phantom's battery strength, GPS position, altitude, were all missing.  Luckilly, the hackers on the "PhantomPilots" forum figured out how to get power to the Wi-Fi module, and published wiring diagrams with connections/pinouts of the gimbal/camera unit, and the Wi-Fi module, and so we figured out how to attach our own camera and gimbal replacement (the Vision+ camera/gimbal replacement is almost $600, so I, and many other Vision+ owners, replaced this with our own Go-Pro and third party gimbal system which is much cheaper.  The only thing you can't do, is start and stop the video recording, and take pictures while in flight through the DJI application.  You have to manually start the video recorder on your go-pro before you take off, or you can just use the Mobizen Application on android devices to record your android devices screen.

I've noticed that the P3P and P3A gimbal unit has much fewer connection/ribbon cables to connect it (an 8 pin ribbon cable, and a 5 pin ribbon cable) so I suspect they didn't send any vital power cables down to the gimbal and back up to the phantom circuitry, like they did on the P2 Vision+.  I'd bet money the P3A or P3P flies just fine without the camera/gimbal, with the exception that you won't have video, and the DJI Pilot application will say there's no SD card in place, so you can't take pictures.  

Now, why do you ask?  What are you thinking?  If you have a Phantom 3 where you broke the gimbal (like I'm sure a lot of people already have) go ahead and unplug those 2 ribbon cables, and see how it flies?  

- Thomas.

2015-5-24
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andycox1411
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United States
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Yes, it does fly without the gimbal, I have the Phantom 3 and just flew it. It seems much lighter and agile without the camera for sure but you lose pretty much every functionality on the DJI app.
2016-2-7
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sitsalva
lvl.3

Puerto Rico
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Hello,
The Phantom 3 can fly without the camera. I bought  one P3S without camera and I fly it a trainer just to practice without risking the expensive camera. DJI GO is useless without camera. You have to always turn on the transmitter first then the Phantom. Be sure that the lower right LED turns green meaning that the radio link is ok. It will take longer to initialize. You need to rely on the status LEDs  to know the flying mode. Manually calibrate the compass using S1 switch. The transmtter's LED will always be red. When you remove the camera the weight of the Phantom will shift to the rear. I added some fishing weights to the inside of the front arms to balance. The weight added was way less than the weight of the camera and gimbal. You will enjoy a much more agile and faster Phantom. Flying time will increase due to the weight reduction. I changed the settings for more agility though DJI GO before removing the camera. Enjoy...
2016-7-27
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wmichaels1
Second Officer
Flight distance : 654049 ft
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United States
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sitsalva Posted at 2016-7-27 05:16
Hello,
The Phantom 3 can fly without the camera. I bought  one P3S without camera and I fly it a tra ...

Was your transmitter already linked to the aircraft when you bought it?  I have one without a camera and cannot get a transmitter to link to it.
2016-8-5
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ucha4964
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Georgia
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wmichaels1 Posted at 2016-8-5 20:36
Was your transmitter already linked to the aircraft when you bought it?  I have one without a came ...

I have same problem. I can't link transmitter. Maybe it's because of camera.

Any ideas to link transmitter when drone has no camera? Is it possible?
2016-8-8
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wmichaels1
Second Officer
Flight distance : 654049 ft
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United States
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ucha4964@gmail. Posted at 2016-8-9 02:06
I have same problem. I can't link transmitter. Maybe it's because of camera.

Any ideas to link tr ...

I have a camera and gimbal coming today, and I'll try to link again once that's installed and let you know.  I've tried a couple different controllers, both of which I know have worked on other aircraft, but can't get either to link.  Hoping it's not the aircraft itself.  I bought it as a new bare unit.
2016-8-9
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wmichaels1
Second Officer
Flight distance : 654049 ft
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United States
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wmichaels1 Posted at 2016-8-9 08:49
I have a camera and gimbal coming today, and I'll try to link again once that's installed and let  ...

Can confirm that in order for a new controller to be linked to P3S, camera must be attached.
2016-8-9
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ucha4964
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Georgia
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wmichaels1 Posted at 2016-8-10 02:22
Can confirm that in order for a new controller to be linked to P3S, camera must be attached.

Thank you very much. I'm waiting for a camera now.

Have a nice flights ))
2016-8-10
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pmein
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United States
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ucha4964@gmail. Posted at 2016-8-11 01:59
Thank you very much. I'm waiting for a camera now.

Have a nice flights ))

So,  I went down this path and here is my experience on a P3 Standard.  After a collision lost video and gimbal.  No shocker but I took apart everything on the gimbal/camera to assess repair.  Bought a new ribbon cable and gimbal motor.  I disconnected the remote from the drone and could not reconnect....

but...
if simply reconnect the gimbal main board without the motors and camera (this the flat circuit board housing where the four buffered screws attach to drone it will relink.  I fly the drone in this mode and it still understands the GPS back to the DJI Go App and will do some of the basic F function flight modes .

hope this helps.
2016-8-11
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sitsalva
lvl.3

United States
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wmichaels1 Posted at 2016-8-5 12:36
Was your transmitter already linked to the aircraft when you bought it?  I have one without a came ...

Hello,
Sorry for a delayed reply. My P3 was linked when I bought it. I just installed the camera from another P3S to adjust the settings and calibrate the IMU. I had to relink everything again manually using the linking switch under the P3 and the rotary knob and S2 switch on the transmitter. When flying without gimbal and camera DJI GO app is useless. You have to rely on the indicator LEDs. The one below the body at the right side (which also doubles as the linking switch) should light green if you have a solid link. Always turn on the transmitter first then the Phantom. It will take a little longer time to initialize. The transmitter power LED will light red. The battery indicator LEDs will show the charge remaining.  The weight of the camera an gimbal plus wifi antennas is about 8.25 oz. nearly 234 grams so the P3 will be much more agile and faster without the camera. Flying time will be longer too. Just to give you an idea, the motors are just warm after 15 min. of very hard flight. I recommend to reinforce the frame for this kind of flight. I installed some carbon fiber strips to the inside of the arms to avoid twisting and cracks.
2016-8-30
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