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My crash and cheap h3-2d gimbal replacement

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by golgotha, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. golgotha

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    After logging many hours of perfect flights, the inevitable crash finally happened.
    I accidentally switched into manual mode during an FPV (goggles) flight while my viewpoint was looking straight down. I have some experience in manual but still a beginner. My inexperience with manual, coupled with my viewpoint and disorientation at somewhat low altitude... you can guess what happened.
    I hit some grass in a nearby park and when I went to get my Phantom 2, the battery and a broken propeller was sitting next to it, however the H3-2D gimbal and GoPro was nowhere to be found! I searched everywhere and the only thing I could think was a large area of waist high grass about 15ft away. I'm thinking it most have thrown the gimbal into the grass. By the way, I had two twist-ties holding the new mount plates together. Believe it or not, the metal mounting plate for the gimbal snapped in two places.
    After a few hours of searching, it started to get dark so I decided to order a metal detector the next day to look for it. When I went back to the park, all the grass was freshly mowed! The camera and gimbal was nowhere. I found the mowing guy on a big riding mower, and he admitted something big and metal thrashed inside his mower, but at the end, only little pieces were left. So, while I was recording, no video could be recovered.

    Now I'm left with no camera or gimbal and I'm grounded for FPV flying.

    The GoPro Hero3+ Black and H3-2D gimbal worked really nice, but I don't feel much like dropping $700+ to replace it all. I'm not a professional photographer and don't need a perfect setup. I'm even considering buying a cheap CCD camera strictly for FPV flying, but I'll miss the tilt feature of a gimbal.

    I see all kinds of gimbals on Ebay for ~$50. Perhaps I can get one of these and a cheap GoPro white (or Mobius) all for a couple hundred bucks or less. My concern is, will these cheap gimbals plug right into the H3-2D ribbon? I don't mind separating out the ribbon, stripping and soldering, but does anyone have a diagram of the ribbon threads? Do I rip out the ribbon entirely and solder new wires to connect to the Naza (for tilt control) and directly wire up my video transmitter and power to the gimbal directly?

    Has anyone been in a similar situation and know of a cheap solution to get me FPV flying again?
     
  2. Bluegrass

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    I had a crash last week but it must not have been as bad as yours. My gimbal mount got bent up but the worst part was the crash tore some of the small thin black ribbon cable that connects to the gimbal motors. You can't purchase this cable and DJI charges more then half the price of a new Zenmuse.

    Mine is a 2D but the newer 3D costs the same as the older discontinued 2D so I just ordered a new 3D on Amazon for $379. The Hero 3+ black costs $400. I'm not sure where you're getting your prices for a replacement GoPro & Zenmuse 3D gimbal but the best prices I could find where quite a bit more then what you stated.
     
  3. golgotha

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    I agree that with all new gimbal and camera, it's closer to $800 to replace.

    I think I figured out the solution. It's really all about what you want to do. For me, each flight can be different.

    I may want to take it up and get some good video of a particular object. For this kind of flight, I'm extremely careful to not do anything risky or make mistakes. This is the flight where you can load up on all your expensive gear. Not foolproof, but you will lower the risk of pilot error significantly.

    I also like sporty FPV flights that are fast and risky. Think of it like dodging trees at high speed in a empty park. I'm not going to use an expensive gimbal and camera setup for that! I just ordered this cheap camera and tilt mechnisim from ReadyMadeRC: http://www.readymaderc.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11_62_12&products_id=1563

    I plan to buy a Mobius for filming things that are noteworthy. I'll install extra connectors and velcro strips so cameras, gimbals and other things like OSD are all plug and play and instantly swappable. This should cut down on high replacement costs in the event of a crash.