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Shows bars but no GPS flight mode with camera "removed" . .

Apr 27, 2015
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. . and by "removed" I mean the gimbal mount (and gimbal bracket for that matter) is for the moment not in the bird.

Backstory: New pilot, planing to use the Inspire as a professional tool, amazed by the machine, flight characteristics etc., simply blown away and marveling that the systems work so well, . . 20 or so successful flights and then, I did something I promised myself I wouldn't do. I was showing off/hotdogging in front of some friends and clipped a twig on a low branch (just a bit) dropped about 10 feet with landing gear up, so the camera took the hit. The camera/gimbal is toast (deservedly so, doh!) but the rest of the craft is (seems) fine, I can't find a scratch or mark on her, the props didn't even get damaged. My replacement camera/gimbal arrives in 2 days and the gimbal mount is for the moment removed while I repair a crack gimbal bracket. In the mean time, the Bird *flys just fine, smooth, no funky noises, wobbles or otherwise so I feel pretty lucky.

*The only fly in the ointment is that although I get the expected "Not Connected" warning in the center top of the app (the camera sure isn't connected, it's in pieces!) . . AND I also show the GPS bars locking and then getting a strong connection, AND the app shows P-GPS mode, . . BUT in fact it's not flying with GPS. Post crash the Home point does not automatically set and canot be set manually. RTH just brings it straight down and the flight characteristics don't have the braking effect and it will drift from a hover in light wind, . . no GPS, Hummmmmm . .

THE ISSUE: With No Camera, Gimbal Mount, Gimbal bracket attached to the bird AND the 2 ribbon connectors from the body that go to the camera ara also removed for the moment, . . the Bird flys fine, shows good bars and says it's in P-GPS mode but in fact is flying without GPS.

I have checked the other ribbon connectors on the bird as I went though every inch looking for any damage but everything is tight and looks fine.

HERE IS MY QUESTION - Any experienced pilots/operators/app-software-geek-gods have any insight or ideas about this funky GPS behavior without the camera attached? Could the lack of ribbon connectors that would go to an un-mounted Gimbal receiver be part of this behavior?

Obviously I am hoping that when everything is back together I will regain actual P-GPS flight and have not damaged the GPS hardware. I'm crossing my fingers that this totally boneheaded bad pilot move will only cost me the $550 for the replacement camera and I can avoid sending it to the black hole of DJI repair. I will update the post/thread if anything changes once I get the new camera and assembly back together and the bird in the air . .

. . but in the mean time, any thoughts, ideas or insight would be greatly appreciated - Thanks Guys!

Doc Paradox
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Could the lack of ribbon connectors that would go to an un-mounted Gimbal receiver be part of this behavior?
While I can't be sure I imagine it could, yes.
Looks like there may be a bus of several chained devices, and removing that plate breaks the chain leaving something unconnected at the end.
Put it back on and try, will be the only way to be sure.
UPDATE: This is interesting - have the gimbal mount, bracket and ribbon cable back together on the bird, still waiting on the replacement camera so it is sans camera, . . NOW I am able to program the home point manually and change it - no warnings (like yesterday, I forget the actual text saying it couldn't be done), BUT even though I can now set the homepoint manually, it still isn't setting it automatically at the beginning of a flight start up procedure - like before the voice starts to say "home point s// . . " and then cuts to the next ready for take off phrase, . . hummmmm
Still shows good bars, app says P-GPS mode, lights flash properly on the bird as if in P-GPS (steady green flash) but it still seems to be flying in P-ATTI and will not return to the actual home point I have set durring RTH test (it still is performing a straight down auto-landing, even though it has allowed me to manually set the home point and confirms it has been set).

I am assuming it is not flying in P-GPS as the minor drift when wind hits it, less breaking sensation remains the same. . . . but I don't know for sure as I had yet to purposely fly in ATTI, so have not experienced ATTI flight characteristics to know 4 sure.

SO: With the ribbon cables now connected to the re-attached gimbal mount on the repaired bracket the performance has had one change - it now let's me manually set and re-set the home point. Interesting that the performance has changed (although the same doubts about P-GPS remain) with the cables attached to a camera-less mount, but it has not changed to normal operation . . hummmmmmm.

The replacement camera comes tomorrow - I of course am hoping that somehow an attached camera will clear this up, . . but I'm not holding my breath as the lack of camera doesn't make much sense as a cause of the "showing P-GPS but performing as if in ATTI" issue, . . but then again, the small performance change (allowing a manual home-point set) with the ribbons now connected dosen't make much sense either, . . wild stuff !

I had not yet updated the firmware from it's fresh from B&H condition 2 weeks ago as I had read of so many issues folks have had and it hadn't locked me out, the LA DJI help center actually told me yesterday to "wait a few days" for the next update if I haven't done it yet (what's up with that!) . .

QUESTION: I'm guessing attaching a camera isn't going to solve this issue so can any of you Gents who have been further down the road suggest the next best steps I might try to get things working correctly. I'm really trying to avoid the DJI "RA to LA" black hole of repair.

All this neophyte can think of is to install the update and start from zero with fingers crossed - any other (better) ideas guys?

Doc Paradox
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