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Disassembled Inspire 1

Joined
Nov 18, 2020
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Last week I took possession of a disassembled Inspire 1, just the drone. The advert said that one arm was broken, otherwise the drone was complete. On inspection, yes there was a completely broken arm, but it did not belong to the rest of the drone in the case. It was green/brown camo in colour, the rest black, patterned carbon fibre. There were two other unbroken arms complete with motors. Unfortunately both were RH arms. I did have a LH arm was was able to full assemble the drone. All back together I added a battery, a controller and my i-phone for the DJIGo App. Everything came on and the controller connected. The drone was in he landing gear down position, so I wiggled the RH button on the controller (holding my breath), the body lowered to the table top and stopped. Wiggle again and the body rose up. Yes! I added a camera and got video feed on my phone. The camera calibrated. With no props, I pressed the automatic take-off button and slid the on screen take off button to the right. Up came the dreaded "ESC Error" message. Then I remembered that the LH arm had come off of another Inspire 1 with an ESC error. When I bought that drone, the seller had said that he thought that the problem lay with the front right (M4) motor as you look at the drone. I changed that motor, it had signs of overheating, things were a bit crisp and smelly. That didn't resolve the problem, so I replaced the whole arm and motors. The removed arm was the one I had now used. I had a set of 4 motors and ESC boards. I swapped M4 out, no change, so I swapped M3 out (it showed what I think was water or condensation damage, blue, scaly deposits), no "ESC Error" message. So now everything works on the assembled drone. It flies and responds beautifully. I've posted because on this occasion the troublesome "ESC Error" was resolved by replacing the damaged ESC boards. There is a maiden flight video here to bore you with.
 

kevbac

Premium Pilot
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
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Location
Fredericton, NB, Canada
Last week I took possession of a disassembled Inspire 1, just the drone. The advert said that one arm was broken, otherwise the drone was complete. On inspection, yes there was a completely broken arm, but it did not belong to the rest of the drone in the case. It was green/brown camo in colour, the rest black, patterned carbon fibre. There were two other unbroken arms complete with motors. Unfortunately both were RH arms. I did have a LH arm was was able to full assemble the drone. All back together I added a battery, a controller and my i-phone for the DJIGo App. Everything came on and the controller connected. The drone was in he landing gear down position, so I wiggled the RH button on the controller (holding my breath), the body lowered to the table top and stopped. Wiggle again and the body rose up. Yes! I added a camera and got video feed on my phone. The camera calibrated. With no props, I pressed the automatic take-off button and slid the on screen take off button to the right. Up came the dreaded "ESC Error" message. Then I remembered that the LH arm had come off of another Inspire 1 with an ESC error. When I bought that drone, the seller had said that he thought that the problem lay with the front right (M4) motor as you look at the drone. I changed that motor, it had signs of overheating, things were a bit crisp and smelly. That didn't resolve the problem, so I replaced the whole arm and motors. The removed arm was the one I had now used. I had a set of 4 motors and ESC boards. I swapped M4 out, no change, so I swapped M3 out (it showed what I think was water or condensation damage, blue, scaly deposits), no "ESC Error" message. So now everything works on the assembled drone. It flies and responds beautifully. I've posted because on this occasion the troublesome "ESC Error" was resolved by replacing the damaged ESC boards. There is a maiden flight video here to bore you with.
I'm getting ready to do a rebuild of one I1 and an upgrade to another myself.
One has a broken arm and broken X3 camera. I've disassembled it and I have a new arm (and the little parallel arm).
Sent the camera to DJI - repair estimate was $135, including shipping to and from their repair center. I happily paid.
When I tested before disassembly, with my not broken X3, it all worked fine. No errors reported.
My working I1 has the setup for, and came with an X5 (which was broken and had been disassembled by the previous owner)- DJI repaired for $298 (including shipping). Actually, they didn't repair it - they sent me a new one.
I have the V 2.0 motors and ESCs which I will be transferring to the I1 with the X5 setup. That will leave me with a full set of spare motors and ESCs, in case there's an issue with the rebuild.
Happy to know someone else has undertaken a rebuild BUT... If I had looked at the DJI repair site, I might have just sent it to them - $165 flat rate labour for I1 repairs, and the parts costs are lower than on AliExpress.
Since I have all the parts, and I'm feeling kind of intrepid... I'll give it a go. If it fails to work, I think I'll use DJI's repair service again.
 
Joined
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I watched one YouTube video of replacing the Centre Module, then attempted it myself. It took me about 4 times as long as the video but it is quite straight forward, I had no bits or screws left over. I have now replaced a battery motherboard, several NCore units, a couple of centre modules (including the bearings and centre spindle), whole arms and removed and replaced motors and ESC's. Getting all the connections into the back of the battery motherboard is a bit tight. Make sure that the grey leads going to the NCore are crossed, looking at the craft from the front there are 4 connectors at the base of the module 1, 2, 3, 4 going from L to R. Black lead from the L goes to 1. Grey lead from L goes to 3, Grey lead from R goes to 2 and the Black lead from R goes to 4. There are 2 Philips screws that go into the nose-cone from the underneath, before you replace the gimbal assembly. It is better to screw the GPS in place and then fiddle with the multiplug connector, than try to place the screws when the craft is assembled. The top body section, position the front bolt holes first and work back, there is enough wiggle room then to locate the bolt holes at the battery board and finally the tail. Having the tail light off helps reassembly as well.

RE:: my original post above, the donor left arm came from another craft that I bought with an ESC Error. On that "other" craft I had replaced the left arm and motors and the ESC Error persisted. As replacing the motors and ESC's had worked on the disassembled drone, I swapped out the front and rear motors and ESC's on the right arm of the donor drone. Powered up and no ESC Error. Table top take off without propellers all 4 motors started and accelerated. I had purchased the 4 motors and ESC boards for £37.79 (about $50) and now had 2 Inspire 1's ready to fly.
 
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Joined
Aug 1, 2021
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Old post but great job getting the problem resolved. I watched your video and that is what inspired me to post........ I smiled when I saw the part where you take off like a bandit from the home point and then a slight pause and ascent when you remember the power lines being there .... nice work!
 

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