H520, ETx gimbal problem

Discussion in 'H520 Hexacopter' started by rimann, May 29, 2022.

  1. rimann

    rimann New Member

    May 29, 2022
    So, this drone was crashed and got into my hands after mechanical repairs were done in the field but the gimbal/camera were still dead. There's no official service available around and frankly it's cheaper for a client to buy a new camera setup anyway, so I got it for a DIY-repair attempt (note that I'm not an expert technician in a commercial drone game, but I have some background in control systems software, uav design and such). There was a visible tear damage in a datalink flex connection around the gimbal shaft in the camera casing, so I gently disassembled the camera module and got it off the shaft to get that cable out enough to fix it and after some wild hours over the microscope (never did micro before) I managed to restore 4 damaged tracks and reassemble everything back in one piece. So far so good, I got camera/thermal feed back on the remote but the gimbal is clearly unhappy about something else. When the drone is powered on, it does this dance in the loop, if I try to initiate gimbal calibration it just goes limp and never shows any progress.
    I already sent the drone over, so the main question would be if this is something that still can be dealt with on spot or does it absolutely need official service software to recalibrate/debug or something like that? Additionally, is there a possibility to lock the gimbal in the settings or switch it off and lock it mechanically so that the thermal can still be used in fixed position (might be obvious, but again, not a pilot myself :) )?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. WTFDproject

    WTFDproject Well-Known Member
    Staff Member

    Oct 3, 2018
    Retired Power Plant
    North Carolina Piedmont
    First, let me express some genuine admiration. You are the first I know of to manage a ribbon repair at all on one these cameras. It would be great if you would describe the techniques you used. Not sure I could repeat them, but would love to know a way it can be done.
    I assume the "ribbons" are of the same nature as the C30/E90 series, since the visible parts of the arm imply a similar arrangement and gimbal board. If the ribbons are similar, then it does not surprise me to hear of stabilization problems after the repair. These ribbons are strangely tricky. They can produce performance anomalies even when ALL the conductors appear to be zero resistance and no short circuits when measured on common multimeters. The actual problem is beyond my knowledge. I have no idea if it is some incredibly small change in conductivity, possibly some sort of induction issue, or something else entirely.
    If there is still an issue with the ribbon, calibration will not likely resolve it. The similar problems with "strangely tricky" required new ribbons.to resolve. And no calibration was required.
    I hope the repair center at least tells you what they did to correct it. But history implies they are not very open about what they do beyond the minimum documentation needed to document the bill.

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