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Inspire 1 repair story.

kevbac

Premium Pilot
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Aug 2, 2020
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I bought a crashed Inspire 1 that I was planning on repairing as a winter project in 2020. My evaluation of the I1 was that it needed a new right arm. I found one on Ali Express and waited for it to arrive. Then I moved, so it became winter 2021 project. Lots of stuff going on, including doing a failed repair on a crashed Phantom 4. I had a really good experience when I sent them an X5 that had been torn apart by the previous owner of my functioning Inspire 1 Pro, And another good experience when I sent them an X3 that had a broken mount arm - it came with the crashed I1 I was planning to repair.

Rather than having that massive case and its content just taking up space until NEXT winter, I decided to see how much it would cost me to have them repair it. DJI said to send the drone, gimbal and controller so they could test that everything works. The X3 I sent was the one that came with the I1 Pro I mentioned earlier (A whole LOT of stuff came with it). Anyway, the X3 seemed to have a slightly tilted horizon, and I didn't want to send back the brand new one they previously sent me. Did I forget to mention that they didn't repair and return my broken X5 and X3 - they sent NEW ones...

It took a couple of days for the kit to get to DJI repair in California from Eastern Canada (I live in New Brunswick, about 100 miles east of Maine).

And now, I'm really glad I sent it all to DJI for repair. Remember, I was only expecting to replace the right arm and the thin parallel arm. They found several other parts that were damaged and that I hadn't accounted for:
  • Lower shell
  • one of the motors
  • all 4 landing gear
  • power and ESC cable
  • middle frame (it's most expensive part - $137, but also the main structural part of the aircraft - with it being cracked, who knows when the next crash might have come)
  • quick-release prop-mount thing for the new motor
  • vision positioning module
  • a couple of other cables
  • a new set of props (although I didn't include or ask for them, since it's only $24 for the set there's no way I'm not going to take that deal
They sent photos of everything that they deemed needed to be replaced. When I looked at the photos, I agreed totally. I also know that these were absolutely parts from the drone I sent in - I had skinned and the stickers were still intact. It came to $342 for parts, $130 for labor.

DJI found that the horizon was sked on the X3 and couldn't recalibrate it. For the price of 1hr labor ($65) and a new roll motor ($8), they're sending a new (or refurbished to like-new performance) x5. $73 to replace the camera... not bad.

So, $545 total, including UPS in both directions, they had it in the shop less than a day and shipped it right away. They even phoned me to apologize because they wouldn't be able to save the skin I had on it.

I got the shipping manifest...

What they're sending me:
  • Inspire 1 Aircraft Body (Excludes Remote Controller, Camera, Battery and Battery Charger)
  • Zenmuse X3 Gimbal and Camera
  • Zenmuse X5 Vibration Absorbing Board
  • Remote Controller
What,... What??? X5 Vibration Absorbing Board? Also, they mentioned that the new arms are 'plaid' - my original aircraft had the whatever they call the older style arms. I'm not going to bet on it, but I will not be surprised if UPS delivers a V2. (Fingers crossed).

Anyway, all of this to say DJI have given me awesome service. The I1 series may be "obsolete" but the level of support is still outstanding. Not to mention, I'm happy to be able to use regular Micro-four-thirds lenses on the X5, rather than the incredibly expensive lenses needed for the I2 cameras.

Another story ... I bought a broken Mavic Mini. Owner said it wouldn't pair with the controller. He said it just stopped working for no reason he could figure. I was able to update the firmware and pair it, but it would not start the motors. Sent it to DJI. Previous owner had drowned it and lied to me. DJI phoned me, told me it was water damaged and offered a new one (drone only, no controller, charger or other items) for about $US150, taxes in. I took it, rather than just getting the drowned one back and disposing of it. Not DJI's fault that the previous owner was dishonest.
 
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It's funny how hot and cold DJI can be. Overall, I've had good experience with DJI repairs in warranty, out of warranty and with extended warranty (DJI Refresh). But they definitely have their shortcomings.

D
 
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That's quite the tale!
I've had overall a pretty **** good time with them too, considering the horror stories you sometimes hear going around!
Here in Korea, especially, a lot of these companies pride themselves on their customer service and speed, and I've had that in spades with DJI Korea.
 

kevbac

Premium Pilot
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
33
Reaction score
19
Location
Fredericton, NB, Canada
So... I did not get a V2. That's fine because they didn't owe me one anyway.
They did include an extra set of props (1345S). This is a good thing because I just sold all of my 1345S props (7 sets) plus a new set of mounts.
I have plenty of 1345T props and the prop-lock mounts for them, so when I wear out (hopefully not break) the 1345S props, I'll just upgrade the prop locks. DJI says props are good for about 200 flights, so I shouldn't be needing to change them soon.
 

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