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  1. GadgetGuy

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    Slight P4 Gimbal Click, When Manually Elevating Camera Up and Down With Power Off

    Needing some help here to find out what is normal on a completely properly working P4.
    The gimbal on my P4 makes a very slight clicking sound when manually elevating the camera up and down with the power off. The gimbal calibration also failed right out of the box the first two times, but succeeded in the third attempt, and has a 50% success rate now. When the calibration succeeds, everything is fine after, with one exception. On one flight, when I tried to manually adjust the gimbal angle in flight to correct the horizon, the changes I made immediately reverted back to the original angle several times in a row.

    So, two questions for all P4 owners who are willing to contribute to this thread:

    1. Does your P4 gimbal make this very slight clicking sound when you rotate the camera up and down manually with the power off?

    2. Has your P4 ever failed a gimbal calibration?


    At least one other person confirms that their gimbal clicks and also fails the gimbal calibration 50% of the time, so I suspect the two issues are related.

    Clearly, a click indicates some form of mechanical rubbing that the P3 gimbals never had, unless there was a problem that could also eventually lead to sticking and locking up in flight.

    Obviously these P4 gimbals are different gimbals, so maybe the slight click is the new normal, and the current gimbal calibration algorithm may be unreliable, which can be fixed in a future firmware update.

    Just want to know if I have a defective P4 gimbal, before my 30 day exchange period runs out.

    All input welcome!

    Thanks!
     
  2. msinger

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    When my camera is pointed up as far as it'll go, it sometimes rubs against the edge of the ribbon cable. That could be the clicking sound you hear.
     
  3. Patrick

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    did you ever get a resolution to this, I've noticed the clicking as well, like when im straightening the camera to put on the gimbal lock. but haven't had the calibration failure.
     
  4. GadgetGuy

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    Thanks for contributing. No, this is during any rotation back and forth on the elevation plane from any position, and not just at the extremes. It's very light and a slight clicking sound, but it is audible, and isn't completely silent like the P3P gimbal is in the same situation.
     
  5. msinger

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    Is it audible enough to hear on a video? If so, please post a video.
     
  6. GadgetGuy

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    Not yet. I'm planning on having a battery mod done, which may void my warranty, so I want to make sure this won't cause problems later, and that it is normal, or nothing to worry about. The calibration failure, so far, always eventually results in success, when repeated, but it is disconcerting.
     
    #6 GadgetGuy, May 2, 2016
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  7. Phantomfreak

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    Mine does exactly the same thing, very faint irregular clicks if I move the camera up or down with the power off. It has never failed a gimbal calibration. But sometimes the gimbal moves itself during flight and gives me a slightly crooked horizon
     
  8. GadgetGuy

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    It would likely be audible on a video. Mine is currently completely sealed up in a shipping box, ready to be sent out for a battery mod. However, perhaps you can confirm that yours makes no audible clicking sound? That's what I really want to know. Are there truly silent gimbals on P4's, like the silent one on the P3P?
     
  9. GadgetGuy

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    Thanks! Are you able to make a 5-10 second video of the sound to post and show everyone else the sound we are talking about? My P4 is already sealed up in a shipping box, so it isn't readily available. If we can confirm, however, that other P4 gimbals are completely silent, it is then an abnormal sound which is unacceptable, no matter what it sounds like, and we should be seeking a silent gimbal, too!
     
    #9 GadgetGuy, May 3, 2016
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  10. mike22222

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    This might shed some light
     
  11. GadgetGuy

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    Excellent! Thank you! Hopefully, others with the same issue will read this thread, and view the video, and decide whether it is much ado about nothing, or something they want fixed. Of all the potential problems one could have with a new P4, this one seems pretty benign, and low risk, likely with no adverse effects, with an inexpensive ribbon cable replacement ultimately being a worst case scenario some time in the future. The mild binding of the ribbon cable causing the light clicking, however, does explain how the gimbal calibration can fail intermittently on a P4 exhibiting this light clicking, so the two issues are connected.
     
  12. msinger

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    Yes, mine does this too. The sound is very faint.
     
  13. Phantomfreak

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    The sound is so faint I don't know if the video would pick it up.. On further close examination I believe the clicking isn't from the gimbal at all, but from the ribbon cable moving as I move the gimbal manually.. If that's the case, I don't know what could be done about that


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  14. msinger

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    I believe it's due to the issue noted in the video mike22222 posted above. Assuming that video is accurate, I don't think there is anything to worry about.
     
  15. Marc Hufnagel

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    I have both a very slight clicking and gimbal calibration failure (about half the time).
     
  16. msinger

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    Perhaps some gimbals drag more on the ribbon cable than others?
     
  17. Phantomfreak

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    Wouldn't surprise me at all, seems almost par for the course with DJI..



    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  18. GadgetGuy

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    According to the video, it is slack in the ribbon cable, causing the mild clicking from rubbing against the body of the camera. In my experience, rubbing eventually leads to wear, and loose ribbon cables move and slide which is why the gimbal calibration can fail, and in use, the gimbal will have intermittent issues, depending upon how much the cable is binding. Even if you successfully move the cable away from the point of rubbing, it is only a temporary fix, as the slack in the ribbon cable has still not been removed, and will allow the ribbon cable to move back into contact. Even if the ribbon cable isn't clicking now, if all P4's have too much slack in the ribbon cable, eventually the ribbon cables will slide over and click when they rub against the side.

    The video says that if your P4 has this issue, it should be replaced on day 1, but if it is past that opportunity, you may be able to learn to live with it. It won't cause a crash, unless the camera locks up at an angle that prevents you from properly using FPV, and loss of forward facing FPV then leads to a crash, or the rubbing severs the data link in the gimbal ribbon cable from the camera, leading to a total loss of FPV during far away flying, which could lead to a crash.

    Based upon all the above, I am going to try and find one at Best Buy that doesn't rub at all, or send this one in to DJI for repair, before proceeding with my battery mod.
     
    #18 GadgetGuy, May 3, 2016
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
  19. GadgetGuy

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    Update: Contacted DJI today. The rep said the audible slight clicking noise during manual gimbal elevation movements while the aircraft is off is "normal." (Given that I know it is caused by too much slack in the ribbon cable, I don't accept that.) However, he said that failed gimbal calibrations are not normal, but can occasionally happen without any real concern. He suggested an IMU calibration followed by a gimbal calibration to see if that eliminated the gimbal calibration failures, as the IMU calibration and the gimbal calibration are linked in some way. (Even if true, I doubt anything having to do with the IMU will fix the excessive slack in the gimbal ribbon cable, but I'll try it anyway.) If that does not work, a warranty RMA repair order has already been set up for me to ship the P4 in to fix the problem. Total turnaround time from their receipt, back to me is now only 1 week. I'm going to send it in, before my battery mod, and see if they can remove the extra slack in the gimbal ribbon cable, which is causing the clicking/rubbing and the failed gimbal calibrations. For those that choose to live with it, even if you voluntarily void your warranty with a battery mod, the normal DJI repair cost for replacing a gimbal ribbon cable is under $100---$30 for the ribbon cable and an hour of labor at $65/hour. Otherwise, it should be free under normal unvoided warranty coverage, and DJI also pays for shipping both ways.