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Gimbal Breaking By Design?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by MapMaker53, Nov 24, 2014.

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  1. MapMaker53

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    I find it interesting that DJI chose not to incorporate the simple gimbal bracket onto the upgraded P2V+. Clearly, they have been well aware of the problem and know how to solve it (as we all do) by adding an inexpensive bracket. Yet they didn't bother solving the problem. I have also learned from a reliable source that DJI has contacted at least one seller of the bracket and told them to stop selling it. Seems to me that DJI is actually counting on our P2V+ gimbals to eventually rip apart upon relatively low impact so that we must turn to them for an additional $900 repair that goes right into their pockets. It's ironic that a Chinese company is pressuring others to not make accessories for their product when historically China has never honored others' patents or copyrights. It seems to me that DJI, in this case, has chosen to be a company that is simply interested in profit over quality and is intentionally perpetuating a problem that will bring it additional profit, above and beyond the initial purchase price, at the expense of their loyal and enthusiastic customers. Why else would they make any replacement camera ribbons so scarce, not incorporate the simple fix into the upgrade, and demand that sellers of the gimbal bracket guards stop selling them? Personally, I do not trust a company that does that type of thing.
     
  2. msinger

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    Which seller?
     
  3. Jstic

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    Mapmaker, when you come on a forum and make allegations like you have, and don't post a shred of evidence to back it up, you sound like another angry customer who crashed his drone and is looking to blame the manufacturer. I find it very hard to believe that DJI is contacting bracket makers to ask them to stop selling them. "I have learned from a reliable source...." is a pretty ballsy thing to say on an internet forum, and then not name the source.

    First of all, the brackets and protections being sold, DO NOT STOP the basic problem from occurring. The rear gimbal motor shaft is press fit into an aluminum housing and the aluminum is soft so after some/repeated lateral force, the opening widens and the shaft spins freely. Eventually the opening increases in size and the motor shaft comes right out of the housing and separates the gimbal/camera into two pieces and breaks the ribbon cable. Further proof of this is the other two gimbal motors where the shaft is press fit into a stainless steel motor housing. These do not slip or come apart. NONE of the so called bracket protectors are going to stop the shaft from coming loose from the housing. The only thing they can do is to prevent the camera from separating in some cases, and this can prevent the ribbon cable from tearing. The only real long term fix(other than replacing camera) for this is to install a bushing onto the shaft, and increase the size of the hole in the housing to accept the bushing, which is press fit onto the shaft(credit to forum member burlbark on this ). All the fixes involving epoxies and other adhesives do work, but they are not going to hold up through crashes or repeated hard landings.

    IMHO, one reason DJI does not sell the cable separately is because of the level of skill and experience it takes to make the repair. For proof of this, go on over to ebay and on any given day you will find a half dozen or so cameras for sale where the owner tried to fix it himself by purchasing a replacement cable and installing it. I just bought one on ebay from a guy who tried to fix it, he had the cable totally disoriented and tried to install it backwards because he didn't know what he was doing. Take a few minutes and read through this and other forums and you will see that there is no where near 100% success when replacing the cable. Some are able to do it, it is not impossible, but many fail IMHO. I have done about a dozen of them myself so I have some experience, but I also have a backround in micro soldering, PCB repair and working with tiny parts. DJI and their dealers would be dealing with many customers who buy the cable and when it doesn't fix their camera/gimbal, want a refund or more. They don't need to open this can of worms and I don't blame them.

    What DJI could do is redesign the rear motor assembly and housing and how they are mated. As has been suggested in this forum and others, a slightly longer shaft with a threaded end and a retainer nut or clip of some kind might work. But even that could be problematic as anything protruding from the motor housing has to remain clear of the ribbon cable which moves when the gimbal moves on that axis. It would likely be costly in R & D costs to do this and because DJI is making money and people are buying new Phantoms and replacement cameras, they have very little incentive to do so. That would also open up another can of worms as disgruntled owners will come out of the woodwork and want refunds because of the design change.

    DJI is not all about money either, otherwise they would not have implemented a 12% price cut on their best selling model a couple months ago.
     
  4. MapMaker53

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    Gee.. I guess we all can remove those gimble brackets now. Thanks.

    Sounds like you work for them. It isn't an allegation. A seller informed me of it and I don't disclose identities unless I ask and obtain permission to do so -- and I haven't asked. I'm just letting our members in on the fact that DJI is doing it. If you choose to not believe me, then don't. I don't give a rat's a**. I'm not a disgruntled customer and I have never crashed my P2V+ -- but do have the bracket installed which will keep the gimbal from separating and ripping apart -- which can happen with a single hard landing if you've read other's posts over the years. Oh right... I'm sure DJI cut the price of their best selling model 12% just because they like us. Get real.
     
  5. msinger

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    I don't and I agree with what Jstic said above.

    As far as I'm concerned, this is just another rumor until you confirm the seller -- and that seller confirms what you're saying. Otherwise, this thread should be locked because it's worthless.
     
  6. AerialIris

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    :eek: Ya there's never any conjecture or rumor allowed on these forums. :mrgreen:
     
  7. Jstic

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    Mapmaker reminds me of Opwan, a member who left this forum a while ago after being called out. Opwan was allegedly initiating a class action suit against DJI because his Phantom crashed. Apparently, Opwan had recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in multiple suits similar to what he would file against DJI, but could not disclose any information about any of them because of "confidentiality agreements". Yeah, right.

    Just because a lot of people are buying "gimbal protectors", does not mean they are the cure all. This stuff is not rocket science, it is simple physics and mechanics.

    If he wants to start unsubstantiated rumors about DJI, that is Mapmaker's prerogative. And if people like me want to question those who start the rumors, it is mine. You make claims on the internet with ZERO proof to back them up, you will get called out.
     
  8. Jstic

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    Probably a good idea to close this thread, I could not agree more. It is definitely useless.
     
  9. mixstreme

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    It always amuses me when people get into the DJI conversations, its surprising how many people stick up for DJI, that's a good thing and shows respect for the product.
    Never the less, the amount of people who require a Ribbon cable and cant get one because DJI wont supply them is ridiculous.
    No amount of technical experience is regarded as acceptable and the only resolve is to send it back for repair and incur fees for such.....
    There is no doubt that there are issues with the design, and many resort to hand catching their units to prevent any such damage, Does DJI support hand catching? maybe the AMA support handcatching?

    NO, its dangerous.

    For something that doesn't really exist as an issue, despite admissions from the techs at DJI, there have been a lot of people buying the 3rd party ribbon cables and many forums including this one, with numerous fixes and proven techniques to remedy the issues.

    Well , times running out, the Phantom 2 vision + will soon be gimbal free and allow any camera and any gimbal to be used on its platform, using all the stock wifiTx etc.....
    No more massive repair bills, no more official and original gimbal costs... no more with holding the actual parts people require. This will see an end to the DJI gimbal issue and result in people upgrading with other better performing cameras/gimbals. No more £400.00 replacements for the same problems....

    The main point being, WHY with hold parts that could help so many people and then give the impression that they need sensitive calibration to be fixed.
    Are all the forums and many people who have performed the self fixes and resolved their own issues lying?
    I can safely say that the ribbon cable being with held is purely about money and has no bearing on the capabilities of the end users.
    Look at the other goodies they sell and tell me how an incompetent person is supposed to fit it?

    More importantly as a consumer, do you not feel you have the right to choose to fix it yourself, or be told to send it away for repair.
     
  10. MapMaker53

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    Methinks thou dost protest too much. But go ahead if you must. I'm not going anywhere.

    I understand the desire for proof. But even if I were to provide the seller's name, or if the seller posted a confirmation that DJI did in fact tell him to stop selling the bracket, then there would be people who would still want more proof in the form of an email that had been sent to him. I'm a truthful person and I believe the seller to be a truthful person who told me this first-hand. If something is told to me privately, I'm not going to divulge who told it to me. That's up to the seller to do if he wants to post a complaint. I'm just reporting here what I was told by a seller. I have no reason to make this up as I love flying my P2V+. Those who choose to believe I was told that may benefit (or at least have their eyes opened) by that information. Those who choose not to believe me until I cough up a name, then don't believe me. Like I said, I don't care one way or the other. I'm just putting out information I have been told first-hand. Don't get me wrong.. I'm not suggesting that DJI originally designed the camera gimbal to purposely fail. But they knew of the problem and didn't bother to remedy it with their latest product upgrade. What I am suggesting is they do not want a cheap $22-$45 fix to kill their $900 per repair income -- based on the fact that a seller told me DJI has told him to stop selling his bracket. Why else would DJI not want this little bracket to be sold?

    btw.. If I had posted that DJI told a seller I know that they were about to come out with a P3V++ with a zoom lens and only a 3 sat lock requirement, I bet everyone would be salivating and not complaining that I hadn't given the seller's name. Funny how people are.
     
  11. Jstic

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    So you also have some first hand information from DJI that their reason for not making the cable available for sale is to increase profits? Or are you "safely" assuming that you are right?

    You are way above your pay grade here.
     
  12. aartsf

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    There is merrit/logic in what mapmaker is telling us. I also understand he is not able to expose the name of the seller involved. Actually looking how dji (not) react on problems with there problems tha are reveilled at ths form makes is storrie even more plausible. So for me this thread has value unless proven otherwise!
     
  13. Idbird

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    I agree. :)
    The separating gimbal has been our curse and has been a persistent problem for the P2V + pilots.

    How many threads have we seen about gimbal dancing/tilted/separated?

    DJI did seem to address several other complaints with the V3 like shielding and Channel 7 tilt. (Little cost there)

    Why they didn't incorporate any protection for the camera/gimbal was certainly a business decision.

    If they did ask a developer to quit producing devices designed to prevent damage to their product, I'd ask them to make me an offer! :lol:
     
  14. msinger

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  15. rbhamilton

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    He sounds like an angry customer for sure but who wouldn't be? He's got a solid point. The camera and ribbon cable are ridiculously flimsy. Just a terrible design that can't do much except break under even the lightest impact.

    On the other hand, I don't think it's just to sell us expensive parts or they would have had mountains of spare parts lined up and waiting to sell to us. I got my Drone in May and they are just finally getting a few spare cables out to dealers now in November?

    Remember the old saying: "Never attribute to malice what can better be explained by incompetence"
     
  16. Jstic

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    I never really considered a possible production/supply problem but knowing the number of Vision + models they have and are selling, this is a valid point.

    Yeah, DJI is the big, bad evil drone maker who doesn't supply parts and make expensive design changes exactly when customers like Mapmaker want them, who has fixed many of these gimbals and cameras for free over the past 6 months, and who LOWERED the price of a product that was in such high demand and so popular that they easily could have increased the price. Now they come out with the ribbon cables for sale, and do they ask the $85 per cable that ATK has been selling hundreds of? NO, they sell TWO cables for about half of that! Now that the "let's not sell ribbon cables so we can drive up profits" conspiracy theory has been debunked, it's just a matter of time before these other idiotic fantasies are as well. Some seem to forget that the Phantom 2 Vision+ has been on the market all of 6 months. In the real business world things take time.

    Big thanks to DDM Steve again for staying on top of this and offering cables for sale.
     
  17. RobertMfromLI

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    The forum admins should sell popcorn...

    :mrgreen: :D :mrgreen: :D :mrgreen: :D :mrgreen:
     
  18. morph000

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    My 2c worth:

    DJI isn't any different to virtually all major manufacturers of consumer products.
    You'll usually be forced to buy a complete assembly rather than the insignificant part you want.
    That saves the manufacturers holding vast inventories.
    Granted, back in the 80's things were different when component level repair was the norm.
    Repairing miniature parts like gimbals and cables is virtually impossible even with experience repairing precision electronics.
    Modules are pricey ! No disputing that, although I'd say they are excessive considering the costs of a complete v2+ purchase. Should be more like $200 for a complete camera/gimbal.

    Designed to break ? Not really. They're miniature assemblies and so are not inherently robust !
    I don't know if DJI make sub assemblies available to repairers but if so having one part break under stress rather than trash the entire assembly would actually save DJI on warranty repair costs.
    I unfortunately also had a crash/flip last night (1.5m above ground)and the circular magnet in the camera encoder motor housing cracked in 1 spot. Off for warranty repair :|
    So yes, some form of protection beyond a gimbal clamp mod would be good and when I design one, I'll post it !
     
  19. MapMaker53

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    Wow.. someone is expending a huge amount of energy trying to defend DJI. Unfortunately, nothing said here changes the fact that I was told first-hand by a seller that DJI told him to stop selling his gimbal bracket. And anyone with common sense knows that manufacturers reduce prices in order to sell MORE of the item and increase profit through a greater volume of sales. They certainly do not do it because they feel they don't need the money. LOL. It's simple economics. A company will also occasionally go out of their way to help a consumer as a way of boosting their company image. Business 101. But maybe someone can offer a theory as to why DJI would pressure a seller not to sell a cheap fix that keeps their fragile gimbal from separating. I'm not angry at all. Never have been about this. I have nothing to be angry about. My P2V+ has never crashed, my gimbal has never separated, and I have taken a very inexpensive step to insure that it will not. I'm simply theorizing (as in my opinion) what DJI's motive is in trying to stop the gimbal sales. They must have a motive or they wouldn't have done it. I fully understand and appreciate that my reporting of this falls into the rumor category to others here, but I know it first-hand from a seller to be a fact -- and nothing anyone says here can change that. Sorry, to disappoint. BTW.. If any DJI reps happen to frequent this forum and feel it must have been some rouge employee that did that because they would NEVER pressure a seller, feel free to PM me and I will pass your contact information and concern on to the seller in order to iron out the situation. (Just be prepared to provide me your DJI.com email address.)
     
  20. morph000

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    Easy answer - it prevents adverse publicity (marketing) that could impact on sales :roll: DUH !

    Somewhat simplistic - that argument doesn't take into account profit margins. You'd need hard numbers to prove that one.
    Also given the global economic collapse, manufacturers are desperate to stay afloat and so are cutting prices, having (permanent) sales etc.
     
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