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Gimbal Saver

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by rbhamilton, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. rbhamilton

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    So I got a metal gimbal saver from KillerRC to replace the plastic one on the back of my gimbal. Really well made. It has a little "reach around" arm to protect the front side of the motor. It's made of aluminum so light and strong. Really loved it.

    Then I went out for a flight. Mmm... the video was vibrating. The camera made a few sudden abrupt movements which is very unusual. Now this was the first flight with the protector in place and all of that vibration is on the video prior to the landing. Check it out:

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUI2x1eXEVg[/youtube]

    You can read more about my crazy drone adventure here: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=30610

    That landing did look a bit rough. Maybe the Gimbal Saver saved my ribbon cable? Who knows. But with a drone down and perched on top of the Papago Arch the little vibration in the video was temporarily forgotten.

    When I got the drone home I did some checking. Yep, that lower gimbal joint wasn't moving smoothly at all. The motor would humm and strain but couldn't really move the joint properly. I could move it by hand but it was definitely binding on something. I'm not blaming the protector. That camera was previously damaged and repaired so it could be a bit thicker than normal. Maybe something inside? Maybe I tightened the screws to much? Possibly something needed to be ground down a bit? Not really sure.

    Ok... I removed the "reach around" arm. Nope. That wasn't the problem - still binding. The problem was definitely coming from inside the gimbal joint.

    So? Remove the protector cover and see what's going on, right? And that's when the real trouble began.

    Turns out the Loctite I used was the wrong type - my fault for sure. I figured one type of Loctite was as good as the next. I used the wicking kind and it locked the **** out of those screws. I couldn't get them out. I wrecked my admittedly cheap Phillips screw driver and also partly stripped the heads of the screws. I went out and bought a high end screw driver set but nothing on earth could move those screws. Finally I drilled the heads off the screws and popped the cover up over the remains of the screws to get it off.

    With the cover removed the gimbal joint moved like before. Totally free. So really no idea what was binding. And sadly now the camera now has "crazy camera dance syndrome" like it's 1999. Something is wrecked for sure. Probably by me drilling things out.

    Well enough death and destruction for one day. I pulled the camera off and packed it up with another camera I have here. I'm sending them both off to Hani. Hopefully he can make one working camera out of the wreckage.

    KillerRC makes a good solid product and please don't think I'm being critical of the product in any way. Lots of people have used it with success and I plan to buy another one. But as with any add-on, you have to have an "exit strategy" if things go south. No Loctite next time until I'm sure everything is installed right and moving properly. Expensive lesson learned the hard way. Again.
     
  2. mij119

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    Do yourself a favor, leave the gimbal protector in it's package. I bought one and installed it. Had a very light crash from about 10 feet above my driveway. The little aluminum piece that wraps around bent inwards toward the camera motor and bound the motor. Motor couldn't move so it burnt up. Now I have found out that even though I believe the problem with the crash was due to a defective battery, DJI won't even consider repairing it under warranty because I "willingly modified" the camera/gimbal assembly.

    I did not buy my protector from the same place as you. But from what I can tell, they both are designed similarly. If you use it I hope you have better luck than I did.
     
  3. kenargo

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    If you have the one I think; basically a bent piece of aluminum taped to the back of the gimbal, the killer RC one is very different and a few people using them have reported gimbal saves during a crash. The killer RC one is also very easy to take back off and no-one would be any the wiser. Considering that having a crash without a gimbal protector on may lead to a very expensive repair (as much as $700) I disagree with your suggestion that you shouldn't put them on. DJI isn't going to warranty a gimbal damaged during a crash in either case.
     
  4. rbhamilton

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    Ya just to chime in, there's no way the one from KillerRc is going to bend from any crash. When I was drilling out the screw heads I had the thing in a vice and it was rock solid. The arm that wraps around is even more solid. There's no chance it's going to bend. Not before the entire drone is in smoldering ruins. It's got to be a different model that bent.
     
  5. DrJoe

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    So what was the deal with binding? Two "big" screws, one "small". Did you mix up the positions?
     
  6. msinger

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    It was the Phantom Fix.
     
  7. mij119

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    Not true at all. If you have video evidence of a factory defect or failure, which I did in this situation, they will be more than happy to repair anything that got broke or damaged during a crash.
    The only thing that prevented them from repairing my phantom under the warranty is the gimbal protecting device.
     
  8. BlackTracer

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    I have this same protector installed on mine. Hasn't been tested for me because I have not crashed mine. I need to ask you if you did not shut your phantom power off immediately after the crash. And if not how long did you leave it on. Cause I would think it would take at least a few minutes before burning up the motor. And how is this different than powering up with the factory clamp on? We have never heard of a motor burning up when the clamp was left on by mistake. Maybe you didn't realize it was binding and flew it that way for an extended period of time? But that would show a gimbal error in the assistant, so WTF?
     
  9. rbhamilton

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    Well I really have no idea what went wrong. You could be right - perhaps that little black plastic came off inside. Or something else. Who knows. But I took a situation where there was a little bit of binding and turned it into a major disaster - that's all on me.
     
  10. MapMaker53

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    I also have the same protector. It isn't meant to withstand something bashing into it during a crash. I have a carbon fiber shield under the camera and gimbal to protect them from that. The aluminum gimble bracket is simply to meant to keep the gimbal motor from separating upon impact.
     
  11. BlackTracer

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    Right. Because if that roll axis motor separates, the ribbon cable gets torn, and you have to put the motor back together and install a new cable (difficult for the average bear). So the bracket keeps it from separating AND tearing the cable.
     
  12. MapMaker53

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    Two questions.. 1) How could DJI use that as an excuse not to make the repair under warranty when it doesn't interfere with the gimbal's operation and 2) why did you leave the bracket on when you sent it in to them for repair? Never send anything in for repair with any added extras on it -- if only for the fact that you might not get them back. That goes for any type of product that might have a battery, memory card, strap, etc.
     
  13. Fplvert

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    :eek:
    Yes, I'd have to agree. The KillerRC bracket would survive a crash that would tear everything else apart. Sorry to hear about your situation, but it must have been the loctite that caused the binding.
    I haven't had much flight time since I got the bracket installed, so I did some testing last night after reading your thread. I can confirm there is no binding or any difference in how the camera/gimbal behaves with the bracket installed. I didn't use any additional loctite on mine since the screw threads still had blue on them.
    Surprisingly enough, while testing indoors, I got 8 sats. locked and ran the motors to discharge one of my batteries. Probably could have flown around, but I really have no desire to test the crashworthyness of the bracket in the house! :lol:
     
  14. rbhamilton

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    Well since I started this thread I want to reiterate that the disaster was caused by ME.

    Was it clamping the thing on too tight? A screw in the wrong position? Some internal failure of the joint? An improperly fitting lower joint due to a previous crash? No idea. Sometimes things just don't fit properly and you need to tweak them.

    It would have been a simple fix - IF - I hadn't glued the whole thing together with the wrong kind of Loctite. Even that might have been fixable - IF - I had a proper screwdriver and hadn't stripped the heads.

    I made a bad situation much worse. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes. But please don't blame this on the Gimbal protector.

    I strongly advise you to buy the Gimbal Saver from KillerRC. It's a very well made product. I plan to buy another one as soon as I get my camera back. But next time - no loctite for me.
     
  15. MacCool

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    I haven't had a chance to test it in a crash, but it's a rock-solid device. Good advice about the LocTite. Heat is almost always to solution to LocTite, even red LocTite. For small pieces like this, I have always had good luck using a pencil soldering iron applied to the loctited screw. I'd be worried about heat damage to the underlying board, but the aluminum would act as a great heat sink so if one is judicious, I think you could still remove an over Loctited screw without damage.
     
  16. rbhamilton

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    Good tip. By the way, is that an early prototype of the Oculus your Avatar is wearing or do you do something in the medical field? What is that thing?
     
  17. mij119

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    1. You'll have to ask DJI that, I don't make their company policy.
    2. I never said I sent it in for repair, I was told over the phone that the gimbal device voids the warranty. This is common with many products. Modify your car's engine, void the warranty, modify your computer, void the warranty. Modify your cell phone.....

    As far as my reason for telling them, it's called honesty. That's how I roll. If taking off modded parts to try and get someone to repair your Phantom to save a couple bucks is what you are implying, that's up to you and your conscience. But if that is true, then don't complain when DJI takes a hardline on repairs, you can't have it both ways.

    apologies to rbhamilton, I didn't mean to hijack your thread with my comment, I just wanted to share my experience with the group
     
  18. MapMaker53

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    I don't think taking off the gimbal protector before sending it in for repair in any way would rip off DJI -- unless it had actually caused the damage. But any honest company should be able to assess the situation and see if the damage was your fault instead of blowing you off without even looking at it. For them to refuse to repair a bird under warranty just because a protective gimbal bracket had been attached is IMO absurd. I completely respect your honesty, but in my opinion it is they who are ripping you off. It is common for camera companies to instruct consumers to remove any accessories before shipping a camera back for repairs, and that gimbal guard is clearly a benign one. I understand that it is their policy, but I think it is unreasonable. But thanks for the heads up regarding the policy. I'll keep it in mind.
     
  19. msinger

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  20. MapMaker53

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    Yep.. my mistake. Sorry, mij119. Didn't realize with the quotes in quotes that your bird was the one with the bent bracket and burned out gimbal motor. Obviously the bashed in bracket could cause a gimbal to bind, so I can see them claiming that an accessory you added contributed to the damage when it crashed. Not your typical gimbal separation crash.