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Broken Gimbal Fix, Ribbon Cable Issue

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Brandon Katcher, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. Brandon Katcher

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    I had an unfortunate crash with my month-old Phantom Pro, which ended up breaking the arm off the gimbal. Over the last few weeks I have been attempting to fix with a new gimbal arm and a new ribbon cable.

    Got the new gimbal arm on and a $15 eBay ribbon cable hooked up, turned on for the first time, and something is very wrong.

    Try 1: Gimbal does not calibrate on startup, video is garbled mess, horizontal lines and dropouts.
    Try 2: Left it alone for an hour, hooked up again. Gimbal does calibrate, but video is still screwed. Both the video to the controller and the recorded video looks the same.

    My guess is that the ebay ribbon cable is bad, since if it was the gimbal itself, either the video or the motors wouldn't work. I want to try a DJI branded one, but I also don't want to keep spending time and money to try and fix this, if the gimbal itself is just busted. Has anyone else run into the same problem with a gimbal repair? If I need to, I'll buy an entirely new gimbal and use this one for spares, but wanted to get your opinions. Does it sound like the cable, or the gimbal itself?

    Thank you very much for the help.
    Brandon
     
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  2. Mork007

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    Brandon, I am not saying the ribbon cable is not the issue but DJI does not actually make their components. Odds are the OEM cable is also made in China but rest assured that DJI will want much more for it.
     
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  3. richardtomcat

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    The shaped ribbon cable for a P3P is $35 at DJI Parts. Where did you get the 'down' arm (side to side .. 'yaw' arm)? I can't find 'pieces' at DJI Parts ...
    Buy Phantom 3 Spare Parts | DJI Store
     
    #3 richardtomcat, Feb 20, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
  4. Ted4797

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    I have tried the e bay ribbon cables. I bought 6 and they all failed. Compare the original to the cheap one. U get what u pay for. If someone got the $10 cable to work please chime in.
     
  5. Ted4797

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    The yaw arm and roll are are all aftermarket because Dji does not make them. E bay
     
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  6. dirtybum

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    Yep its the cheap cable!!
     
  7. Crunch97

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    Brandon I made same mistake you did. The arms were great fit but I have the same issues with mine. I tried a different gimbal board and cam same video and drop out outs. Since then I have one coming from dji so I will let you know.
     
  8. normr

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    I've read a number of posts where these aftermarket cables are the problem, people have posted the same symptoms and then a genuine DJI part is used and the problem gets eliminated.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
    #8 normr, Feb 25, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
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  9. Ted4797

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    I totally agree about the cheap cables. I have tried many and none worked. They actually waste a lot of time and sometimes u buy parts u don't need before u realize it was just that cheap cable. I would like to find a cheap one that works.
     
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  10. thom5

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    Thanks guys, I've attached some pictures, found a replacement camera and gimble on eBay for £200

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  11. Ted4797

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    Good luck
     
  12. richardtomcat

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    Mine snapped in the same place and took out the cable. New yaw arm from iCarbideTool out of California (CNCd from a aluminum alloy) through Amazon. It's well machined and accurate. I've learned the most important element of this arm is proper channeling for the gimbal cable. I'm a retired tool and die maker. Ordered cable from DJI. It left China on Monday and just arrived in Nashville. I live in Colorado.
     
  13. Arcticm39

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    It seems the cheap ribbon cable is the culprit.

    I have replaced the yaw and roll arms. Fairly easy repairs, if you follow closely the direction on youtube "how to fix" video. Fortunately, my old OEM cable was still good, so I didn't have to replace with aftermarket. However, before I finally have the gimbal/camera working properly again, I did, on one attempt, not fully insert the ribbon cable connection into the slot, and that result in screwy gimbal operation. I had to fully dissemble and reassemble to fix the problem.
     
  14. richardtomcat

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    I just put a yaw arm and DJI (OEM) cable. Great video on YouTube to help as this was my first repair. Yaw arm is easy but the cable is a bear because everything must come apart. Everything back together and .. nothing. Is that what you mean by "none worked"? The gimbal just hangs .. nothing. My cable came from DJI. I saw no physical damage on the boards and no covers are dinged or warped.
     
    #14 richardtomcat, Feb 28, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
  15. Ted4797

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  16. Ted4797

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    U may have a bad main board on the gimbal. They somehow get damaged in a crash but look ok
     
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  17. Crunch97

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    Ok update new oem cable came in this morning from dji and it fixed all the problems... with mine so I would never use anything else. No drop outs and was able to update firmware as before it couldn't finish because gimbal board would drop out and reset.
     
  18. richardtomcat

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    Have a RMA from DJI. Shipped to DJI North America in LA. Learned something interesting .. spoke with a authorized DJI warranty repair in Castle Rock, Colorado (I live in Estes Park). I told him this story and he told me to call DJI Support and start the process. He also told me that he is not authorized to replace ribbon cables .. only DJI Support can do this through their repair centers (North America, Germany, China). He has to send the birds to LA for ribbon cable installation.
     
  19. jiminyfixit

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    Thought I would chime in to confirm what you all probably already know. The cheap Chinese ribbon cables for the P3 Pro/Adv DO NOT WORK. I have half a dozen perfect working cameras that I tested the Chinese ribbons in and found they work for about 15 seconds. The camera does its dancing boot thing and then goes limp. The DJI Go app shows NO SIGNAL and of course no video. I can shut the quad off and restart and it goes through the same process. Bottom line, these cheap, single ply, Chinese ribbons are junk. I just returned 11 of them to the eBay seller in China, (big pain in the butt), who has NO idea these ribbons don't work IN the camera. They say they test them, but if they test for continuity only, they aren't really testing them. (I really don't think they test them at all). The reason I sent him 11 ribbons was to get my point across. One of the cameras I had, someone had put the exact same ribbon in it, without success. It had the exact same number printed on the side as the 10 that I purchased. I tested 3 and had enough. The double ply ribbons are the only ones to use. I have actually reused original ribbons that were whole that still worked, even when the camera had experienced major damage to the yaw arm. And boy, do these cameras experience MAJOR damage. I have never had a P2V+ camera show anywhere near as much damage. DJI FAILED miserably to increase the wall thickness of the yaw arm assembly. It is basically the same as the P2V+, but it has to withstand more impact due to the increase in mass of the complete camera. So far though, I have had better results with a higher rate of functioning electronics than the P2V+ units, so that's a good thing.
    Let me know if I can help.
    Jim
     
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  20. richardtomcat

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    My ribbon cable came from DJI. Installed properly with no results. Yaw arm was easy. My bird was still under warranty. DJI paid for ship both ways and installed a new gimbal/camera. They retail for over $300. Awesome service. Had it back in less than a week. I attempted my own repair with no thought for warranty work because I crashed it. I spoke with a authorized DJI repair service in Denver and he told me they are required to send ribbon cable work to Culver, CA, where my bird was repaired.