Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Should I remove the Camera & Gimbal?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by Rebelvis, May 24, 2014.

  1. Rebelvis

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I have received my new Vision+, but have not yet flown it. In terms of experience, I am very much a beginner with quads. I'm competent with fixed-wing RC but, the only quad I've flown is essentially a toy and nowhere near complexity (or cost) of the vision+.

    So, given all that, would it be prudent to remove the camera and gimbal for the first few flights until I gain some confidence? They seem like the most fragile components of the quad and I thought it might be less pressure or stress to just fly without them the first few flights. Along those same lines, removing the 2 holding pins and 4 vibration dampeners looks pretty easy, but I didn't know how easy it would be to then unplug the one or more ribbon cables (there are plugs, right?).

    Any thoughts or advice is much appreciated.
     
  2. 4wd

    4wd

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    Messages:
    2,532
    Likes Received:
    421
    Location:
    North York Moors
    I think it would be highly risky, the components could easily be damaged by guessing how to dis-assemble.
    You'll also miss out on much useful information from the app such as battery life remaining, altitude, heading and speed.
    Just start in a very open area and beware of becoming over confident after a handful of flights.
     
  3. Fred_C_Dobbs

    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Crestview, FL
    I wish I had removed mine. Had a bit of a hard landing and now the gimbal is toast. Camera is fine, copter is fine, hardly a scratch. Mind you this is my 5th drone, so I should have known better. Was very worried about 'fly-aways', when I should have paid more attention to staying well away from things to hit. I have since removed the camer/gimbal assembly and am waiting (along with many others) for DJI to start accepting returns for repair for the P2V+. The camera/gimbal is pretty easy to remove, here is what I was told by the very helpful guys at Dave's Motors:

    I am working on shrinking the photos so that I can upload them.

    Pictures!
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Fred_C_Dobbs

    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Crestview, FL
    And the 4th picture...
     

    Attached Files:

  5. wilsonpf

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do yourself a major favor.....buy a simulator. I bought Aerofly RC7 which has a dji Phantom model. I crashed several times on the simulator before I got the hang of manual flying. The real quad flys much easier. Step through all of the training that dji suggests on the simulator and you will be good to go. Now I'm using the simulator to learn to fly RC planes (I need a lot of practice with those). Cost about $100 US but money well spent in my opinion.
     
  6. wharfbanger

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Very good idea. I destroyed my camera and gimbal on my second flight - it doesn't take much of a crash to destroy the gimbal and very expensive to replace. Very easy to remove and reconnect, just 3 plugs as shown in photo. You will have to break the two hard plastic pins that run through the vibrations dampers. I don't think you need these. Handle the vibration dampers with care (use tweezers!) when detaching/reattaching gimbal.
     
  7. Phantom_Menace66

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    469
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    You will need to replace those clear pins if you want to put the camera/gimbal back on. They prevent the whole assembly from falling off. You could alternatively use small cable ties if you can't get any pins.
     
  8. wharfbanger

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    I doubt it. I challenge you to find a post where the gimbal and camera have spontaneously detached because the clear plastic pins were missing. On the contrary, the gimbal and camera seem to break off because of the shock of impact, but the pins never break. H'mmmm, just wondering hypothetically if the pins were removed then the elastic vibration dampers would have more travel and could act more efficiently as shock absorbers in the event of a hard landing?

    Many if not all of the camera detachments result from shearing of the lower gimbal motor shaft (and ribbon cable) upon hard landing. If the rigid clear plastic pins were removed then perhaps more impact energy could be absorbed by the elastic dampers? It is very unlikely the camera and gimbal will separate from the dampers; I lost my V2+ gimbal and camera just as described above (hard landing) then replaced the assembly with a Canon camera attached to upper part of the camera (aluminium plate that holds camera components and receives the 3 cables ). The 4 shock absorbing dampers have been able to hold the plate and Canon without pins and without problems.
     
  9. Fred_C_Dobbs

    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Crestview, FL
    One other thing regarding removing the camera/gimbal. My Phantom became a bit unbalanced after the camera and gimbal were removed, in that it would want to pitch up on takeoff. I was able to fix that by removing the rear prop guards and flying with just the front ones on. Now she takes off level with the added bonus of it is a bit easier to tell front from back.
     
  10. Rebelvis

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Thanks for the pictures and advice, Fred (and others). With the foreknowledge provided by the pictures, I removed my camera/gimbal. I was very careful and it proved fairly easy. Now I won't be quite as stressed with the phantom when I maiden it today or tomorrow.

    One other question comes to mind. Since I won't intially have the camera/gimbal, is there any reason to turn on and use the wifi extender? If I'm understanding things correctly, the wifi extender is just for communicating with and controlling the camera, but again, I may be missing something. Thoughts?



     
  11. Fred_C_Dobbs

    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Crestview, FL
    You are correct. The Wifi repeater is not needed at all unless you have the camera/gimbal attached. I removed mine from the transmitter.


     
  12. Dirty Bird

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Glen Burnie, MD - USA
    Personally, depending on your expertise, I think you are taking as much of a risk by removing the camera/gimbal as you are by flying with it attached. I see so many stories here of people crashing on their first or second flights and it boggles my mind. I read stories of people who have crashed their Vision+ 5-6 times! I have flown dozens of RC aircraft and the Phantom is by far the easiest of all of them to fly. My goodness folks, if you get in trouble just let off of the sticks! It has a built-in pause! Compare that to flying a typical RC fixed wing aircraft, where you actually have to fly the thing!

    Short of an aircraft malfunction, I think what happens is people just get way ahead of themselves and beyond their abilities. After you taken care of the software side of things (calibration, updates, etc), take your Phantom to a big, open field with no distractions, let her initialize, start the camera, and fly. Burp the throttle and jump up 8-10' and let her hover for a few seconds to make sure she is stable. Then fly SLOWLY and stay low and close at first while WATCHING THE AIRCRAFT. Don't get caught up in the FPV before you are comfortable controlling the aircraft! If you've never flown before, follow the Flight Training guide in the manual so you become familiar with the controls and how the Phantom responds. Don't be tempted to see how fast she goes right out of the box. Its about control, not speed.

    It is very easy to misjudge your distance from a tree or other obstacle. That's why you see so many crashes involving clipping a tree. I've done it myself, though not with the Phantom. I enjoy flying slowly. Its safer and you get less prop in the video. When you want to look at the FPV, let the Phantom hover safely in place. In time you can fly by FPV, but you still need to keep your eye on the aircraft. As you gain confidence and begin to fly further, you will eventually be flying on FPV alone. Here I recommend you pan around and scan the horizon. Set your altitude higher than any object you could potentially hit if Failsafe is activated.
     
  13. Rebelvis

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    A quick update FWIW...

    With an assist from Fred's pictures, I did indeed pull the camera and gimbal. Yesterday we had our Memorial Day picnic at our flying field and I took the camera-less Vision+ out for its maiden. I was fortunate that a guy at the event is very experienced with Phantoms and he helped me prep it, get over my nerves and fly the thing. I was very conservative with it, never going very high nor far away. I played a little with Home Lock and Course Lock and tested RTH. Happily, the thing performed just as it should. My phantom "coach" flew it some and I asked him if he could tell much difference between his non-plus without prop guards and my plus, with them. He said he couldn't tell that the prop guards made much difference in terms of flying characteristics.

    I've now remounted the camera and will try that for the next flight. I'm glad I maidened the thing camera-less because it lessened the stress and kept me from being distracted by the camera controls, etc. Honestly, one of my biggest fears then and now are the various reports of spontaneous loss of control. My only other observation from my brief flights is that I wish you could program in some exponential like I'm used to with my Spektrum and other transmitters. If you aren't delicate with the sticks, that thing is gonna get up and go pretty quickly. I know from my planes that beginners struggle with over-control so I can adapt, but some expo would be nice. I'm also undecided if I like the much reduced descent rate. It is slow coming down, but I suspect DJI is trying to keep folks from slamming them into the ground.

    Thanks to all of you for your advice.
     
  14. rgc2005

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
  15. Dirty Bird

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Glen Burnie, MD - USA
    Place your thumb & forefinger at the BOTTOM of the sticks and it makes the control much more precise.
     
  16. BlackTracer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Winter Park, FL USA
    Thank you for this tip Dirty Bird. I keep forgetting to try this as I have gotten used to having by thumbs on top of each stick. I will try to remember next time out as I want to try this method.
     
  17. ToThePoint

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    I applied a other way to detach the pins that doesn't involve destruction of any parts.
    I toke a hot air gun.
    Pointed between the legs to the front so the hot air doesn't blow on the gimbal nor camera.
    After 5 sec the plastic clip is hot enough so the lips on the clip can be put aside with a hobby knife.
    The cold metal of the knife make makes the lip going stiff again so you have time enought to do the 3 others.
    After taking the clip of just use a tweezer to hold the clip. Careful reheat the clip and the lips fall into place by themselves.
    Bear in mind not to overheat stuff !