Improving your Inspire 1 - I felt the Inspire gimbal this would be a good subject of an open discussion - In this post, we’ll talk about some of the inherent problems of the Inspire gimbal mount and a few remedies.
My First Glimpse - When I first seen DJI’s Inspire1 Pomo and witnessed the camera and gimbal flopping around like it was about to fall off, I really thought the video was some kind a joke. Anyhow, it wasn’t a joke; DJI actually had flying shots introducing the Inspire with this horrific shake.
Anyhow, if you own an Inspire, chances are you’ve witnessed the camera swinging aimlessly, this motion only deteriorates the cameras video quality and overburdens the gimbal motors which result in excessive current drawn from the batteries.
Looking at the problem – while most pilots think the Inspires camera shake is only lateral, this could not be further from the truth - on every swing, were upsetting both lateral and horizontal plane. It’s a documented fact that lateral motion of a camera “smears” the pixels, which accounts for the video performance of the Inspire to be no better and in some case worse than the Phantom 3P.
The Problem - When DJI designed the Inspire 1, they attempted to keep the Inspires aerodynamic design, in doing so, they designed the front gimbal mounts far too narrow, only 1.5” wide to support the weight of the Inspires gimbal & camera. To give you an idea, the width of the Phantom 3 mount is 4 inches across - over twice the width of the Inspire yet it has less weight to carry.
To understand the problem further - the center of the Inspires lens is located 4.25” below the platform, so as the camera moves & swings at a frequency of 1-3 times per second, the camera is actually moving in an arc from the mount. i.e. the camera is swinging from the mount and not sliding as it would on a rail for true lateral movement.
This problem is know as a “Pendulum Movement”, on each swing, the camera moves out of the horizontal plane, which is different than the plane you calibrated in the processor during set-up. Since the camera is swinging in a 4” pendulum motion, it has considerable more movement on the bottom of the arc than it does at the top. This movement is changing the horizontal plane of the camera and is in turn picked by the sensors resulting in an instruction to the motor in an attempt to correct the movement. In other words - the roll motor is constantly at work in an attempt to move the camera back to its original horizontal plane on every swing. This is why its important to restrict the movement of the camera – it serves no purpose what-so ever to have the camera moving under the platform, it only severs to further burden the processor and over-work the motors.
A Quick Fix - Anyhow, by adding two small tie-wraps to the front mounts (see image) you can stop the camera from flopping around. Aside from improving your shots by eliminating this unwanted pendulum movement, it helps free up the processor and the gimbal motors will work less and save your battery.
To fine tune the tie-wrap fix, I recommend taking short flights with some induced yaw and cyclic movement to get the tie-wraps at the correct tightness, tighten them a few clicks at a time just until the camera quits swinging in the mount.
While DJI tech service and their reps have advised Inspire owners this is normal and the way DJI designed the system - this is not the case, the Inspire mount is “Broken” and regretfully the design was a mistake . . . . Think about it for a minute - what possible benefit could there be having a mount designed to stabilize a camera that actually allows it to induce additional motion itself.
In conclusion – Its evident that DJI has been aware of this problem which they acknowledged when they introduced the new “wider” mount for the Pro. You’ll find a lot of pilots are now outfitting their Inspire 1’s with the new X5 gimbal mount, which also cures the problem. In closing, it would be a nice perk if DJI offered the new mount to the Inspire 1 owners at no cost or even perhaps at a reduced price.
Best Regards – Mike
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