C-GO2 CGO2+ camera failure, gimbal

Discussion in 'Camera's (C-GO2/C-GO3/C-GO4)' started by Tazling, Aug 12, 2018 at 7:56 PM.

  1. Tazling

    Tazling New Member

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    Hi all. I have an older Blade Chroma, which is really a Yuneec rebranded (which is why I dare to post here). It has the CGO2+ gimbaled camera. I flew this quad for maybe 20 or 30 hours after unboxing -- flawless functionality always -- then got involved in some other projects and put it away (in its own custom-made wooden crate, in a safe dry place) for a few months... well, OK, for about a year. Recently someone asked me if I could take some aerial footage for them, and of course I said Sure, and pulled the Chroma back out of its box.

    Much to my dismay (it was all working fine when it went into storage!) the camera gimbal won't initialise. Everything else is working OK, the camera is accepting wifi connection and sending video.

    But after init the camera module sings a little distress song: Dah, Dah, Dit-Dit-Dit, on a falling scale, forever. The camera twitches feebly a few times during init but remains lolling helplessly to one side, never self-levels. It does not respond to tilt commands from the remote. It moves freely in all axes, so it's not a mechanical interference or corrosion or like that.

    I did a bit of reading and found that I am not the only person to experience this, though I'm puzzled because there's no proximate cause (like a crash or wetting) to explain the failure. I did handle the drone (carry it around, etc) after unpacking it, so maybe I briefly held it vertical or upside down while installing battery? but is that enough to break the cam gimbal? Mine survived an actual crash on its first flight (a very low-alt, slow-speed crash, but still, camera separated from drone and rolled along the grass field) and worked flawlessly ever afterwards.

    So my question is this: aside from the things I have already tried based on google results (stabilise the camera during init; check the plug connection to the drone body; unplug the camera during drone powerup then plug in w/drone at 45 deg resting on back legs) is there anything else I should try that might fix this? Does the feeble twitching offer a clue?

    I don't want to start disassembling the camera module unless I'm fairly sure it's really broken and there's little to lose. If it's just a broken wire I can see and fix that, but I don't have a hot-air station or the appropriate tools/skills to do SMT repair; so I'd have to send it out to a repair service if that's what's required. I'd rather not ship the whole drone, so am wondering if there are any repair shops that can accept just the camera.

    The price of a new replacement cam is outrageous ($700 CAD!) and I'm not seeing any refurbs so far. I hate to throw another $700 at a quad that has already earned my distrust (at least, the camera module has!). If I can't get it repaired at reasonable cost then I'm thinking the $700 might be better put towards purchase of a new, more modern camera quad. Maybe not a Yuneec next time (sorry, but I'm a bit miffed; it was a darned expensive quad at the time, and I've now read several gripes from upset CGO2 owners with failed gimbals -- sounds kinda lemony).

    I could also maybe install some other camera, i.e. turn the Chroma into a DIY project, use a Spektrum controller, 3rd party gimbal and cam... kind of a major project. Anyone gone this route?

    So, if anyone else has been in this position, maybe you could tell me what you did to get your camera platform functional again?
     
  2. Jagerbomb52

    Jagerbomb52 Moderator
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    As you mentioned there has been a few with this problem. I do not recall any easy solution. The CGO3 also suffers from the peeping problem. There is a youtube video where the guy tries to explain some of the peeps. They are basically codes to tell the tech guy fixing the camera what to look for.
    My only suggestion would be email CarolinaDronz as they do camera work and might be able to help you out.
     
  3. HarveyH54

    HarveyH54 Active Member

    Had something similar happen with my first Q500. The 4k camera survived a pretty bad crash (powerline), which I had to replace the body on the Q500. Flew well for a few months, was flying in the evening, was going for a sunset video. Wind start to kick up a little more than I'd like, and figured best to get on the ground before it got worse, and lose the daylight. Had a little rough landing, tipped forward, broke a blade. Next day, when I went to fly, noticed the gimbal wasn't working. Did every test I could think of, no life in any of the motors, but all turn freely, no rough spots. Camera still works though. I bought a Q500+, for about $100 cheaper, than just a new camera. It good for me, never used the 4k, or really mess with settings much. Later, I found a refurbished 4k, for $200, which I still haven't flown. I crash the first Q500 again, decided not to rebuild it again, was looking at $200 in parts, without opening it up, and would have had to make a battery connector (couldn't a replacement). Figure if I need to fix the Q500+, I'll have most of the parts.

    I flew the first Q500 with a cheap dashcam ($35) and a USB power bank to power it, for a couple of months, before the Q500+, and the fatal crash. The video was a little jumpy and bouncy, but not horrible. I tried action cameras, but they weren't very good. The dashcam had better electronic stabilization. The gimbals do work pretty hard though, as I learned from fly without.

    I've seen refurbished Q500s going for $325 (US), past few months, sell out pretty quick. Not sure if it's high demand, or low stock though. I like Yuneec, because they are one of a few, that don't require a cellphone to fly.
     
  4. Jagerbomb52

    Jagerbomb52 Moderator
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    One other thing you should check out. The boards inside the gimbal have all those little wires that plug into the board. One might not be seated right. It does not take much to get a bad contact. If you have any contact cleaner try cleaning them one at a time so you do not get them mixed up :)

    I'm guessing it sounds like this

     
  5. Jagerbomb52

    Jagerbomb52 Moderator
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  6. Tazling

    Tazling New Member

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    Thanks all. Gee, I wish I could just order that nice cheap 4K cam, but amazon doesn't ship it to Canada. Grrr. Maybe I could get a US friend to get it for me and reship. I wonder how certain I could be that it would be compatible with the Chroma?

    Checking the wires sounds do-able. I'm fairly handy with small electronics, just not SMD replacement.
     
  7. Jagerbomb52

    Jagerbomb52 Moderator
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    I believe Lawrence has added to CGO3 to his Chroma and it works just fine. You could send him a PM to get more info.
     
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