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  1. Erich Haubrich

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2016
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    Hi guys,

    I got in a pretty bad crash, which resulted in the main board dislodging from the chassis of the solo. It also knocked the HDMI port on the gimbal off, but I got that 'fixed' at work.

    I stripped Solo down all of the way to check everything and it all looked fine for the most part except for the main board being slightly bent towards the rear. After inspection I re-assembled everything, checking all contacts and wires carefully.

    Items I noted during re-assembly:
    • Solo Link Board (PN #PH11A) was partially unplugged
    • Main Board was slightly bent down toward the rear
    • All wires appeared normal

    Here's what I've go going on now:

    With the gimbal in place I insert a battery then turn on the Solo. I then turn on the controller then I wait. After a few minutes of "Waiting for Solo" on the controller it finally comes up and says "Waiting for GPS" and "Gimbal Not Connected" or whatever.

    Sometimes the controller will connect then go back to "Waiting for Solo" intermittently every few minutes.

    IF and when it gets GPS and is "ready to fly" it acts normally, sort of, except that it still does not see the gimbal. I tried testing it out and was able to start the motors and "take off" - this was done with no props on.

    I got brave and decided to do another test, this time with the props on. I was able to manually fly the Solo. I took off and hovered around at about 3 meters off the ground and everything seemed fine, then all of the sudden it started gaining altitude on its own. Finally Solo lost connection completely but somehow I got lucky and it decided to land itself. This was a little scary. If I do this sort of test again the Solo will be tethered with 55 cord.

    Current Status:

    • Does not detect or provide power to gimbal
    • GPS acquisition seems about normal
    • Connection between controller and Solo is shaky at best
    • Motors all work properly
    • I think I'll need a new gimbal at the very least.

    This is what I'm wondering:
    • Is there any possibility of my Solo working properly again or is this flaky behavior a symptom of its demise?
    • Is there a way to do some kind of hard reboot?
    • Is there a way to re-calibrate everything?
    • Is there a way to run diagnostics on the main board?
    • Should I strip it back apart and try to restore it somehow?
    • Should I try to buy a new main board (or a whole new Solo)?
    • Should I just sell the Solo and accessories on Ebay and start over with another system?
    Any help is appreciated. I just recently bought the Solo, the GoPro Hero 4 Black, the backpack, six spare batteries and the Solex app. I'd really like to continue being a Solo pilot, but without the ability to fix things & buy spare parts I'm a little apprehensive to say the least.
     
  2. T-Ray

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2016
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    I hear you on the lack of spares. I just got one and promptly took it for a swim... Though I figure I can salvage most of the guts for another project if something really bad happens.

    As far as your problems:

    I think the WiFi link is the first to address. Maybe antenna are damaged/disconnected? They feed into the legs. Or maybe the WiFi card is not properly seated or also damaged?

    Haven't poked around at the gimble too much yet...
     
  3. RichWest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
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    Location:
    Chouston, Tejas
    I recently crashed and was able to get away with just replacing a motor, props, gps module and the gimbal isolators, so far - so good. If it would have been worse, it would be in the parts bin already...

    If you're willing to nickle and dime your way through trouble shooting, then by all means have at it. But you mentioned many things wrong plus the gimbal. Sell or save as parts and buy a new bird package...go fly.
     
  4. Erich Haubrich

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2016
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    Thanks. I will thoroughly go through that part of the system. I hadn't considered that the little Wifi card might be seated poorly or that a connection or wire might be chewed up in the places that weren't visible. That sounds rather plausible actually.

    I will be doing a lot more thorough tear-down in the next few days. This will be part of that. Cheers.
     
  5. Erich Haubrich

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    New/spare bird is a must. I'm also going to employ some protection for the crucial components.
     
    RichWest likes this.
  6. pious_greek

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016
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    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Erich,

    Your gimbal has two ribbon cables connected to the gimbal's main pcb board which the hdmi plugs in to. Probably one of those ribbon cables has yanked off part of the connector from the pcb or has been partially severed. If i were in your situation, I would look at those connectors and if they looked good, then i would test the gimbal on an operational solo which you know works and if it doesnt, i would give up on the gimbal.

    Part number PH11A is the pixhawk unit. That's secured firmly to solo main board MB11A with 4 screws and shouldn't move much in relation to the main board even in a crash.

    You might have damaged the pixhawk's internal sensors or imu (barometer, accelerometer, magnetomoeter, etc.). If the pixhawk is damaged, that might explain the instability in your flight test assuming you didn't perform the flight test indoors. You could see if your logs give you anything useful to further pinpoint your issues. Diagnosing problems using Logs — Copter documentation

    The poor wifi connectivity might be a result of the solo link board SL11A or simply one or both of the two antennas are loose or you didn't put the screw-on antennas on the remote control. The solo link antennas are glued down pretty well internally with plenty of slack so i dont think they would have come loose but it's worth checking. You may even have dislodged them on disassembly/reassembly.

    if the solo link board and the headers that connect it were bent, it's possible you detached a solder pad or a pin from either the solo link or the main board. This could explain a lot of your issues also.

    I would check the antennas and then i would focus on looking for any loose/broken solder connections and pads between the solo link and and main board headers.

    I have spare mainboards, sololink boards, pixhawks, etc that i would sell if you knew which part was faulty, but you're better off buying another solo used on ebay. A used solo on ebay doesn't cost that much more than a few spare parts.
     
  7. artcuda

    Joined:
    May 5, 2017
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    Speaking as one who is on his 5th (that's right....FIFTH) gimbal. I can say unequivicably (however ya spell that word..) that it's gonna be the gimbalo. Seriously, the brain surgeon who came up with that HDMI setup...with that stiff cable and all... should be shot, imo. I've tried everything under the sun to repair that HDMI area where the female was pulled off. All to no avail. I had it ALMOST fixed one time, but that was a fluke. I've since ordered 2 of the Relish3D micro flat ribbon cables for both of my birds.