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Just replaced my torn Gimbal Ribbon. Not fun.

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by riflyer, Nov 22, 2014.

  1. riflyer

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    So I just successfully replaced the gimbal ribbon on my phantom. After a dumb crash, the camera separated from the arm and tore the ribbon with it. I got a replacement for $85 from http://atkdrones.com/

    No instructions, just went for it. Scary as hell. Everything is so tiny. The adhesive on the ribbon is really important, so you need to make sure you get the adhesive strips positioned correctly before you start installing. Use the old ribbon for reference to see where the adhesive needs to go.

    The connector at the camera has a little brown flap that flips open. All the other clips are just slip fit from what I could tell. I was too afraid to try and pry in case they weren't. Definitely would be nice to have a magnifying glass. I didn't have one, but wish I had. The worst part is getting the new ribbon into the connectors. I used tweezers, you need to grip the ribbon firm enough to get a good grip, but not too tight that you damage it. It's really hard to get the ribbon in the clips, it's sort of a "wiggle push", alternating one side at a time. a little bit on one side, a little bit on the other side.

    Before you pull out the old ribbon, take pictures so you can see how far in the ribbon is so you know when you've got it in far enough. Wish I had taken more pictures.

    The other really important thing if the camera comes off the arm is to watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3Ii1i3-x3I. The arm is a friction press fit back onto the shaft, but you need to make sure it's oriented correctly, so the phantom knows where "horizon" is. Basically, the flat part of the shaft needs to be oriented parallel to the phantom body.

    Also, you don't need to break the plastic clips in order to get the gimbal mount off. Just slide the round disc clips down the shaft and leave it for about 10 seconds (that will stretch the clip teeth out a little bit) Then slide it up and off the shaft. It will come right off, without breaking any teeth.

    If anyone has any questions, I'm happy to answer. Not sure if anyone else has run into having to replace their ribbon before.
     
  2. Jstic

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    Hate to tell you, but every ribbon cable end goes into a connector that has a retainer clip, or "brown flap" as you called it. The other clips are black and if you did not flip them up and then back down after cable end was inserted into connector, you might not have a proper connection or permanent one. That's why you had trouble getting the ribbon into the connectors. When you do it correctly, there is no wiggling or need to force the cable at all, they slide right in. Your cable may be ok, but it may not. I've done about 10 of them.
     
  3. ToThePoint

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    Indeed the connectors have all a clip that has to be flipped to open/close it.
    Magnifying goggles are a must ( for me that is ).
     
  4. RichWest

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    I applaud your effort to change the ribbon out, thanks for sharing your experience. I've been curious about the retainer clips, mainly the one located at the camera. Anyone with photos?
     
  5. burlbark

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    As everyone has said they all have clips. The top one in the controller is the thinnest one and is prone to breaking. You must go slow flipping that one up and easing it up along its length. The bottom one in the camera is pretty easy. Just make sure to get the ribbon cable nubs in there locators as it make it more secure and is intended to be that way. I start from the bottom now and wind it on up and it takes around 10 minutes to do it all.
     
  6. CityZen

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    A couple words of advice:
    * Be very careful with the adhesive. You don't really have to have quite as much as was originally on there, in my opinion. The problem is, when the adhesive touches a surface, it really wants to stick to it well. If you don't get the cable stuck down exactly right the first time, it's a bit nerve-wracking to take it off again, since you have to pull pretty hard. I'd suggest (a) don't take the backing off until you're ready to work on that length (work progressively from one end to the other), and (b) use tweezers to very carefully position the cable. On the motors, there are a couple of places where the cable (and adhesive) go in two different directions. Stick the main cable on first, then remove the backing for the motor end and stick that down second. Be careful when positioning the cable around the tilt motor. There should be a small gap between the cable and the motor. It's all too easy to stick the cable too far back and have it rub up against the motor.
    * Remove the little metal shield that goes around the camera shaft. There's just a couple of tiny screws, and it comes right out. Other wise, it's difficult to thread the cable behind this.
    * Sometimes it's difficult to remove that plate that's under the yaw arm. Just stick a tiny allen wrench into the set screw that holds the yaw arm on to its motor shaft and loosen it a half turn or so. This gives you the slack you need to remove the plate. Just tighten it back up after you get the plate out. Loosen it up again when you want to put the plate back, and tighten it up again (while holding the gimbal hanging down as normal) when done.
    * Use a paper clip with the end bent into a small J shape to release the motor cable latches. You can stick it into the gap, hook it behind the latch, give it a twist, and the latch will come up. Shine a light down in there to see if it's up or not.
    * To release the latch for the gimbal board, I just use a tiny (1mm) flat screwdriver. I stick it where the ground test point is (the little gold circle) and give it a twist.
    * After all this work, once you're going again, get a gimbal guard!
     
  7. AsiaFlyer

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    I thought the gimbal needs a special calibration that only DJI can do after a ribbon cable is replaced??
     
  8. fastsmiles

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