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HOW TO: Calibrate Zenmuse X3 gimbal - guide

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Hi Guys,

A little summary from my weekend, decided to craft up a how to guide on fixing your crashed or out of sync gimbals.

If you guys have a gimbal that will not power up or acts up, this how to may help you.

MODS please move to appropriate area if this discussion is in the wrong place.

WARNING: try this repair at your own risk, this is meant as a helper guide. I am not responsible for damage to your gimbal or aircraft.

Steps

1: Take many notes and pics along the way while dismantling your gimbal.
2: Remove one magnet nut at a time, mark it, and retest location before moving to next unit.
3. Some gimbals have a N stamped on the, i usually ignore that as it does not always line up or it may coincide to a certain position the arm is turned to match that N.
4. Always have IC boards secured with screws before installing gimbal for tests.
5. Fix YAW, ROLL, PITCH... in that order. YAW is not as critical but can act erratic if very off skew.
6. remark locations again once it fires up, remove nuts and add loc-tite red or blue ... and then allow to dry before reseal.
7. WARNING: some gimbals may not be the same as these settings, takes some testing.
8. If gimbal twitch occurs, its a good sign but do not let the gimbal kill itself smashing around, catch it and let the motors rest, resume minor adjustment to PITCH and ROLL motor.
9. Assemble all parts in reverse order and close up all caps, let loctite dry.
10. Happy flying.

Pics show notes as well. If you have any parts or bad gimbals, I'm always looking for parts or new projects. I accept DJI parts as donations or well priced :)

IMG_2625 - YAW motor.jpg IMG_2624 - Roll Motor.jpg IMG_2618 - PITCH motor.jpg
 
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Updates to follow, currently re-calibrating an osmo x3, they have similar issues after a lot of usage they lose calibration.
 
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If these are your videos, they were my initial inspiration to fix my camera. I picked up a few osmo x3 cameras for parts, some parts are nicely interchangeable :) and the cable is also usable.

The current osmo repair is working well so far, just needs some slight tweaking.
 
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Thanks for posting this. I’ve been messing with my nuts (and the magnetic nuts on the x3 gimbal ;-) for weeks now. I can’t get past the twitch. I have the yaw lined up fine and have narrowed down roll and pitch to the general area but can never get past that point.
When I intentionally make the roll wrong I can see how to line up the pitch thru the DJI go app. But once I get the roll in the correct range they both go crazy.

As for these videos, the guy has the theory down but otherwise it’s useless unless you have already indexed the nuts. This guy uses a compass to determine N and then comes back out of nowhere with a nut that has a completely unrelated mark. So for me, who doesn’t have a premarked nut, his videos were just long and painful and useless to watch...

Any tips on getting past this point and finding the roll? Did you get the gimbal to work 100%?
 
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Thanks for posting this. I’ve been messing with my nuts (and the magnetic nuts on the x3 gimbal ;-) for weeks now. I can’t get past the twitch. I have the yaw lined up fine and have narrowed down roll and pitch to the general area but can never get past that point.
When I intentionally make the roll wrong I can see how to line up the pitch thru the DJI go app. But once I get the roll in the correct range they both go crazy.

As for these videos, the guy has the theory down but otherwise it’s useless unless you have already indexed the nuts. This guy uses a compass to determine N and then comes back out of nowhere with a nut that has a completely unrelated mark. So for me, who doesn’t have a premarked nut, his videos were just long and painful and useless to watch...

Any tips on getting past this point and finding the roll? Did you get the gimbal to work 100%?
Hi there,

Thanks for the feedback, certainly looking to post more info and hopefully get your camera working again.
I should have mentioned that your camera must be 100% undamaged physically, as in no bent arms, no bent end stops or damaged stops, bearings, etc.

I found swapping circuit boards has worked in the past without affecting the marked stops but I only did it on specific chips (like the roll, maybe i got lucky).

As a quick summary into what you are finding, all the boards are programmed differently to be in sync with each other, this may be due to either an assembly easy of use or DJI just not having to spent countless hours to get them all to be identical since they dont need to. Therefore videos and pictures like mine cannot be followed verbatim. They are accurate and work well for MY SPECIFIC camera, i have fixed many cameras to work 100% as they did originally and some have deviations from the pictures for sure.

From the reverse engineering process, it appears that DJI assembles the arms, magnets etc as they fit with a set torque to allow easy of movement, then have the North pointing anywhere.
The circuit boards are added with a blank North orientation, the entire camera is placed into a jig that locks all of the angles in sync with each other at perpendicular angles to each other. The jib then programs the natural state and moves the camera in all the possible movements to train the chips the location of the end stops for the mechanism.
The movements are then locked into place and the gimbal is ready to go.

If any of the above are out of place, game over, they will not be in the programmed state of mind. Its just like a power window on a car knows where the end stop is so the glass doesnt try to exit through the frame (frameless cars).

So back to your camera, the glitching is normal and means you are close, im not sure how you know where to put the north, there is no setting for the roll.
In my experience you adjust the YAW (based on app display), then the Pitch, then the roll finally.

It will take countless hours usually, my time is usually around 3-4 hours when starting with a blank slate.

The video was very good, but useless when it comes to the process. The north markings mean nothing as I have not had them line up, or they match with some sort of calibration tool they use. Some cameras say N, others say x2. Others have the actual marker points of where the end and stop locations of the N markers are, which is the greatest find :)

Let me know if you have further questions, and yes my repaired units work 100% as they did originally. I also converted an OSMO to work on the inspire, had to use some arms off the inspire x3 though as the camera has a different configuration. I have a black x3 and white x3 as a result to fit my drone. Both work on the osmo handle of course (originally osmo x3 will not work on inspire).

My current projects are an X3Z (osmo zoom x3 model) and a broken X5 I just picked up.
 
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Very useful information for me.
I soon expect the arrival of spare parts for my broken camera and I will have to reassemble it and configure it. By the simplicity of my reasoning, until I found this video and your information, I thought that I would just be carefully assembling all the pieces together and nothing more .. But everything turns out to be more complicated. I'm hoping to go through the assembly and setup path well.
 
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Very useful information for me.
I soon expect the arrival of spare parts for my broken camera and I will have to reassemble it and configure it. By the simplicity of my reasoning, until I found this video and your information, I thought that I would just be carefully assembling all the pieces together and nothing more .. But everything turns out to be more complicated. I'm hoping to go through the assembly and setup path well.
Mark all magnet locations before you take apart the damaged gimbal.
The yaw will be most likely out of place if that arm broke. But that is easy to realign when drone shows direction of camera vs direction of drone.

Msg me if you run into issues.
 
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Mark all magnet locations before you take apart the damaged gimbal.
The yaw will be most likely out of place if that arm broke. But that is easy to realign when drone shows direction of camera vs direction of drone.

Msg me if you run into issues.
Thanks for your advice, but unfortunately it's too late ...
The camera was dismantled completely - the lever was broken and the cable was torn.
Spares are already coming. At the same time I bought a second camera, if suddenly I can not do anything with the assembly or it will take a lot of time.
If I have any questions, I will definitely contact you.
Once again, thank you!
 
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Thanks for your advice, but unfortunately it's too late ...
The camera was dismantled completely - the lever was broken and the cable was torn.
Spares are already coming. At the same time I bought a second camera, if suddenly I can not do anything with the assembly or it will take a lot of time.
If I have any questions, I will definitely contact you.
Once again, thank you!
Alternatively if you run out of patience, I offer calibration services and we can work out a fee to get it fixed up for you.

You can pay me in parts as well like send 2 scrap cameras and get one good one in return :)

I’m fixing one for a customer at the moment so it’s qorking quite well as a fix. Osmo parts also work for spare parts in the repairs. Plus I made a black x3 with the osmo shells.

Next project is fixing a crashed x5 camera.
 
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Hello again.
The spare parts came, I assembled a gimbal . And of course he did not work. Image from the camera is. I made another mistake because of my forgetfulness - I unscrewed the Pitch nut without marking it with a marker. ( God give me reason! )))
After some attempts, he nevertheless began to spin. It calmed me down, that the loop is good, the voltage is supplied to the motors. So you can go further and try to calibrate.

I will use your recommendations and video. But it seems to me that I will have everything the same way.
I'm interested in the question, is there any software for reprogramming the sensor anew, how at the factory? That is - just tighten the nuts (they by the way wedge the motors and clamp them), establish the position of the levers, connect through the USB to the computer and reprogram it? Is it possible ?
 
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Alternatively if you run out of patience, I offer calibration services and we can work out a fee to get it fixed up for you.

You can pay me in parts as well like send 2 scrap cameras and get one good one in return :)

I’m fixing one for a customer at the moment so it’s qorking quite well as a fix. Osmo parts also work for spare parts in the repairs. Plus I made a black x3 with the osmo shells.

Next project is fixing a crashed x5 camera.
Would this adjustment only be applicable for physical repair issues? My Z3 fully rotates during power-up calibration, and leads camera into flight turn. But no response to control yaw / rotation, the Z3 will not rotate by RC spin dial.
 
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Would this adjustment only be applicable for physical repair issues? My Z3 fully rotates during power-up calibration, and leads camera into flight turn. But no response to control yaw / rotation, the Z3 will not rotate by RC spin dial.
I have not taken a z3 apart yet.

From the sound of it everything calibrates correctly ?? just no control over gimbal ??

what about yaw movement ?

Usually when the cameras are off calibration, nothing will work. It will just make some beeping noises, go crazy and then go limp.

Let me know how its behaving or upload a video.

Cheers
 
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Hello again.
The spare parts came, I assembled a gimbal . And of course he did not work. Image from the camera is. I made another mistake because of my forgetfulness - I unscrewed the Pitch nut without marking it with a marker. ( God give me reason! )))
After some attempts, he nevertheless began to spin. It calmed me down, that the loop is good, the voltage is supplied to the motors. So you can go further and try to calibrate.

I will use your recommendations and video. But it seems to me that I will have everything the same way.
I'm interested in the question, is there any software for reprogramming the sensor anew, how at the factory? That is - just tighten the nuts (they by the way wedge the motors and clamp them), establish the position of the levers, connect through the USB to the computer and reprogram it? Is it possible ?
No software that I know of for us to use, Im sure DJI has it but why would they release it to the public lol.

Im essentially reversing the process of calibrating the points.

It has worked quite well for several cameras, fixing 2 units for a fellow forum member at the moment. 1 was flawless, the second unit is a bit problematic since it was in quite a serious crash.

You can check my shared drive for more shared media, pics of the various pitch, yaw, roll motor N locations for other models. They are shared between various models so the more combos you have, the more you can try.

X3 repair Jason - Google Drive.
X3 gimbal repair - Google Drive

If you need to send it in give me a heads up, it sounds like you are very close to finding the stable point.
 
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I have not taken a z3 apart yet.

From the sound of it everything calibrates correctly ?? just no control over gimbal ??

what about yaw movement ?

Usually when the cameras are off calibration, nothing will work. It will just make some beeping noises, go crazy and then go limp.

Let me know how its behaving or upload a video.

Cheers
Not necessary to upload, provided the details and your response was sufficient. As indicated, it behaves completly normal, normal powerup, normal video, normal pitch control, normal "lead-in" when I1 turns or yaws. Only lacking RC yaw rotation control via spin wheel. Ruled out I1 and RC by installing a 2nd Z3 that operates fully normal. It's an odd one was wondering if anyone else has experienced. With last few threads I've inquired and the few service shops, sounds like it's an oddity. I'm assuming within a circuit board within the Z3. Now just need to find a Z3 for parts or this one as parts to make 1 good Z3.
 
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it may be a long shot but if the top yaw magnet is off it would prevent it from spinning. But again it would fail the startup dance (from experience).

Does the camera point straight when the little radar map shows the camera and drone facing in the same direction ?

I have a z3 for my osmo, and i never got to the z3 for my inspire as I got an x5 lol. It would be nice to try out a z3 if I find one for parts.

Most recent unit sold for over $550 on ebay and it had some issues, pricey little units for sure.
 
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it may be a long shot but if the top yaw magnet is off it would prevent it from spinning. But again it would fail the startup dance (from experience).

Does the camera point straight when the little radar map shows the camera and drone facing in the same direction ?

I have a z3 for my osmo, and i never got to the z3 for my inspire as I got an x5 lol. It would be nice to try out a z3 if I find one for parts.

Most recent unit sold for over $550 on ebay and it had some issues, pricey little units for sure.
Lol... ya that Ebay today @$535 was me buying it to combine for one good unit. All that one needs at most is the circuit board with micro SD slot... if it can't be corrected once taken down... normally someone sticks card in backwards bending the card socket catch that can sometimes be corrected.

It's an odd one... yes the camera and directional indicator in Radar point ahead. Plus, if I hand hold it and rotate the I1 it turns in lead
-in correctly... and if while in the turned lead in I hit the C2 button (align gimbal) it will straighten the camera forward.

To service the camera was going to be $200 minimum... if not a replacement cost. So the $500 was a repair bill to me.

I agree, have the X5 and X5Raw... they work beautiful. The Z3 is a great camera too... they all have their place.
 
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Lo

Lol... ya that Ebay today @$535 was me buying it to combine for one good unit. All that one needs at most is the circuit board with micro SD slot... if it can't be corrected once taken down... normally someone sticks card in backwards bending the card socket catch that can sometimes be corrected.

It's an odd one... yes the camera and directional indicator in Radar point ahead. Plus, if I hand hold it and rotate the I1 it turns in lead
-in correctly... and if while in the turned lead in I hit the C2 button (align gimbal) it will straighten the camera forward.

To service the camera was going to be $200 minimum... if not a replacement cost. So the $500 was a repair bill to me.

I agree, have the X5 and X5Raw... they work beautiful. The Z3 is a great camera too... they all have their place.
hahha what a small world .. as i was cursing your name this morning :p

I dont really need a Z3 so it was a bonus play toy for me. If you are looking to get rid of the problematic unit, we may be able to work something out and ill take it off your hands, perhaps I can figure out the yaw issue or use it as is controlled by craft movements only.


On the ebay unit, the SD slot may just be bent out of shape. easier to fix the slot than start taking apart YAW controllers. I personally don't feel the controller is an issue on your current unit or it would not respond to the craft either. It may be something else.

Only z3 i fixed was on my osmo where the yaw arm was completely shifted, the camera would fail upon startup and go limp.
 
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hahha what a small world .. as i was cursing your name this morning :p

I dont really need a Z3 so it was a bonus play toy for me. If you are looking to get rid of the problematic unit, we may be able to work something out and ill take it off your hands, perhaps I can figure out the yaw issue or use it as is controlled by craft movements only.


On the ebay unit, the SD slot may just be bent out of shape. easier to fix the slot than start taking apart YAW controllers. I personally don't feel the controller is an issue on your current unit or it would not respond to the craft either. It may be something else.

Only z3 i fixed was on my osmo where the yaw arm was completely shifted, the camera would fail upon startup and go limp.
:p Ha... so it was you that pumped the price up an extra $100. Hmmmm... I'll remember that if we deal on a Z3. LoL!!!

Ya, it's an odd one. I've taken it down, removed boards, examined connections, etc. All look good.
Before I swap parts, I plan to downgrade it and re-Apply FW updates just to rule out FW oddity. But I think... not certainty, it was working correctly a few weeks ago... but I may not have tested the yaw spin wheel.
 

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