Dead Gimbal Repair...Plus More

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I recently encountered a gimbal that had no power, no-LED-indication type dead. The gimbal had been subjected to a fault from Solo’s main board. An odd occurrence, but the following shared knowledge may help someone resurrect a faulty gimbal or assist in trouble shooting other gimbal faults.

First, I am no electronics person and have no background for such things. I am a mechanical piddler, being that I fix and modify things that are mechanical. So I depend heavily on the knowledge of others, the internet and Mouser to plod my way through electronics’ issues. @just_bruce was my guide for trouble shooting this power faulted gimbal, Thank you Bruce.

If you find error with any of the following, please correct me. I’m just conveying my understanding for the component and its place within the given function.

The gimbal has three PCBs, each has CAN and a motor control circuitry for its associated motor. PAN, ROLL and TILT/Pitch. Here is what I understand for these three boards…

PAN-PCB – This board is typically the board to fail. It has the most exposure and the more delicate connectors. It distributes the various power and protection needs to the gimbal from Solo. Hosts the HDMI-FFC connection to the micro HDMI connector. And has a motor control circuitry.

ROLL-PCB – This board is strictly a motor control circuit board. It is somewhat vulnerable to damage or handling type failures. It taps off the power/data ribbon running down the gimbal. This board’s components allowed me to isolate the PAN-PCB’s power/protection circuit from the 8-Pin click-mate connector and then to the Data-FFC.

TILT-PCB – This is the main board of the gimbal, all the brains reside here. It is less likely to be the point of failure as it is well protected by its housing. The IMU, gimbal’s comms, Hero’s comms & port and a motor control circuit reside on this tiny board. It also has attached a potentiometer via ribbon cable to indicate its motor’s position.

HDMI’s ribbon is a homerun from the camera to the HDMI-FFC on the PAN-PCB. If you have video issues, isolated to the gimbal, then you basically have four items to inspect. Primary cause is the micro HDMI connector on the PAN-PCB. Then next would be the HDMI-FFC, ribbon or the HDMI micro that connects to the camera. There is no video conversion done on the gimbal, it all happens in the IMX6.

Data/Power ribbon, terminates to all three PCBs via its respective DATA-FFC, there are two version of this connector. If the ribbon is damaged in any way you are SOL, as there are no replacements unless by salvage. I can’t stress enough to release the ribbons from their FFC before disassembling a gimbal.

Final note regarding disassembly, all three motors have keyed shaft adapters held by grub screws to the keyed motor shafts. Orientation is critical, indicate/mark before disassembly. These adapters have through holes for securing to their respective arm, so orientation can be off by 180⁰ if improperly installed. Also the screw for the arm mount is secured by a grub screw through the end of the exposed adapter. Remove this grub screw first, it requires a 1.3mm hex.

So back to the original story, what I did to fix a dead gimbal. I tested the PAN-PCB board off the gimbal and powered by the J1 connector as normal from Solo.

I was able to isolate a protection/distribution circuit off the PAN-PCB. It appears that U6 & U7 make up that circuit. TP24 was reading about 2.940v, it should have the full battery voltage, 15.16v as an example. I believe the point of failure was between the two chips, not certain if both or one was faulted. I replaced U6 and the voltage tested low again at TP24.

Replacing U7 from a donor board and then TP24 showed the 15.16v. TP21 & TP22 prior was 3.48v and after U7 it was 4.26v. TP23 was zero on all tests, I assume this is the third phase of the BL motor.

I reassembled the repaired PAN-PCB to the gimbal and installed onto Solo. Initially the gimbal powered up with a green LED and then it turned orange indicating a reset or calibration. Once done it returned to green and I had full auto and manual control of the gimbal. It was stable in both low and high torque modes…success.

Here are the list of components that I’ve ID’d over the last few years. I have little ability to ID the traces through the boards, identifying what is what. Would be nice to have a schematic! Again trial and error, voltage and a continuity meter to hack through it all. As to resistors and capacitor, those will likely be obvious if failed. It is my understanding that either would need to be removed to ID properly with a meter.

PAN-PCB components:

J1 – 8 pin click-mate connector
J2 – Micro HDMI port - 10118242-001RLF - https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/649-10118242-001RLF
J3 – Data/Power FFC - SFV14R-3STBE1HLF - https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/649-SFV14R-3STBE1HLF
J4 – HDMI FFC - FH55-22S-0.5SH - https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/798-FH55-22S-0.5SH
J5 – 3 pin motor wire connector

U1(2) – TI DRV8313PWPR - https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/595-DRV8313PWPR
U2 – TI TMS320F28067PNT - https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Texas-Instruments/TMS320F28067PNT?qs=/ha2pyFadugKKKzuuRZuEPqRCfVoM/RbJd3NpS%2bIDFktfSzBPyCe6Q==
U3(2) – AD8210 - https://www.mouser.com/_/?Keyword=AD8210YRZ
U4(2) – AD8210 - https://www.mouser.com/_/?Keyword=AD8210YRZ
U5(3) – TI VP232 - SN65HVD232DR - https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/595-SN65HVD232DR
U6(1) – VN750PS - https://www.mouser.com/_/?Keyword=VN750PS-E
U7(1) – QUxx - MCP809T-450I/TT - https://www.mouser.com/_/?Keyword=MCP809T-450I/TT
R39 Bournes 3382G-1-252 https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Bourns/3382G-1-252G?qs=2YQutYEabddkWwolD8h/Wg== @Ribs
(1) gimbal’s power & protection circuit(s)
(2) board’s motor control circuit, these duplicate to the other two boards.
(3) CAN Transceiver
(_) I’ve got no clue…

Y1 - ABM3B-20.000MHZ - https://www.mouser.com/Search/Refine?Keyword=ABM3B-20.000MHZ

Sorry to be long winded, it’s what I do. And before anyone asks… I do not offer any repair service as a business. Hope this effort helps someone else. Thank you 3DR for making this fine gimbal, still the smoothest camera platform for its size. Long live Solo, one gimbal at a time.

SOLO_GIMBAL_PAN-PCB.jpg
 
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Excellent summary Rich. I also do not do repair as a business, but was very glad to offer what help I could. I definitely learned a thing or two in this process.

Just one small addition/clarification- Each of the PCBs has a potentiometer for it's motor as a secondary positioning feedback aid. Pretty sure there is some blending of the IMU and potentiometer data in the gimbal firmware.
 
Thank you Rich-- and Bruce, for your prodigious efforts toward solving the gimbal questions. Its way over my pay grade and level of knowledge but I have a deep appreciation of all the time and effort you have gone to in getting as far as you have. When I had a problem with my gimbal when the micro HDMI connector decided to separate itself from the circuit board, (I can't imagine why!?) , my simple solution was to set it in the far back part of my closet and I then promptly bought a new Solo and gimbal from Bruce. Problem solved. Still working like a charm. Thanks Bruce.
 
Just one small addition/clarification- Each of the PCBs has a potentiometer for it's motor as a secondary positioning feedback aid. Pretty sure there is some blending of the IMU and potentiometer data in the gimbal firmware.
You are right again...R39. I overlooked the pot' , got caught up in this write up. I was never able to ID the part by the markings either. "Cross that bridge" kind of thing...
 
Additionally I added it to the files section of the Solo Group I help moderate.
I'd appreciate you NOT posting it up to your Solo Group. My posting here was purposed to benefit 3DRPilots forum, call it payback for the years of not filtering posts and leaving us to moderate ourselves.

You are welcome to link to this post at 3DR Pilots forum.
 
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I'd appreciate you NOT posting it up to your Solo Group. My posting here was purposed to benefit 3DRPilots forum, call it payback for the years of not filtering posts and leaving us to moderate ourselves.

You are welcome to link to this post at 3DR Pilots forum.
I find myself sharing this sentiment. I loathe that so much knowledge has been locked behind the doors of Facebook. Nothing personal, but I'd love to start drawing people into the open with their contributions.
 
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I find myself sharing this sentiment. I loathe that so much knowledge has been locked behind the doors of Facebook. Nothing personal, but I'd love to start drawing people into the open with their contributions.
Sorry bout that. I did provide all the credit to you and the Forum on the document and in my post. I will take it back down.

That said, I don't agree with your standpoint. I have shared what I do for the FB Group here for the benefit of ALL Solo Owners. My post on the ProTec sale is a good example. This is your material and I respect your sentiments.

Post as well as the document have both been deleted.
 
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Yes. YOU have indeed shared your knowledge. But have the other members of your group? I'd like to encourage the type of behaviour you are exhibiting, and one of the only ways I have to do that is to keep the information in a truly open place in hopes that folks will come here and maybe stay and play a little.

I guess I could have worded it better. I'm a little distracted and I guess that makes me less tactful than I should be.
 
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Yes. YOU have indeed shared your knowledge. But have the other members of your group? I'd like to encourage the type of behaviour you are exhibiting, and one of the only ways I have to do that is to keep the information in a truly open place in hopes that folks will come here and maybe stay and play a little.

I guess I could have worded it better. I'm a little distracted and I guess that makes me less tactful than I should be.
Truthfully it's a very small Group of mostly very inexperienced members. I have many times encouraged several that I thought could both benefit and contribute apparently to little avail. I'll continue to participate here and share with our Group more indirectly in the future as you suggested with links.
 
I'm not trying to create division, but FB and the various groups feel disconnected and controlled. Why I mainly post here, freedoms.... If 3DRP forums receives ad money for the additional traffic with this or my other posts....I am so cool with that. They've been graciously hosting the forum and allowed us to police ourselves. Best forum ever.

Further, no one has beat you up. I haven't seen Matt in the thread yet....;)

Still the pdf exists, please remove...Dead Gimbal Repair...Plus More
 
I'm not trying to create division, but FB and the various groups feel disconnected and controlled. Why I mainly post here, freedoms.... If 3DRP forums receives ad money for the additional traffic with this or my other posts....I am so cool with that. They've been graciously hosting the forum and allowed us to police ourselves. Best forum ever.

Further, no one has beat you up. I haven't seen Matt in the thread yet....;)

Still the pdf exists, please remove...Dead Gimbal Repair...Plus More
Ha! Poor Matt. I'm probably one of few that understand where Matt is coming from. That said, considering the incredible contributions he has made and continues to make he of all people can whip me, beat me and make me feel cheap. In my eyes, mind, and heart the guy is an Institution.

As an aside, the Group in question breaks many molds. We are an incredible (Just Better) Group of folks that show respect or get bounced like hot potatoes. Trust me I learned the hard way exactly how that's done. ;-)
 
:rolleyes: Again - Still the pdf exists, please remove...Dead Gimbal Repair...Plus More
No, actually that was the replacement post (see my screen print above) using the link to this thread along with my plug for the Forum as per your suggestion- That's now deleted as well. If you aren't a member you apparently have some spies that aren't all that observant. You didn't ask me to remove the .pdf from the Forum only the FB Group which I imeadiately complied to. In my second post the link I used was to your OP not to my .pdf.

So it appears I am no longer a match to this Forum. Normally being at odds with someone in a Group or Forum is part of life. In this case seeings it is with someone of your rank I'm the guy that doesn't fit in. So I deleted my original post of thanks that contained the .pdf that was intended for the Forum members not the FB Group.

I'm leaving the Forum. I know, good riddance. I'll stop in from time to time and see what you folks are up to. It was a a great run. I learned a lot and will continue to do so. I just won't rock any more boats with errant contributions.
 
No, actually that was the replacement post (see my screen print above) using the link to this thread along with my plug for the Forum as per your suggestion- That's now deleted as well. If you aren't a member you apparently have some spies that aren't all that observant. You didn't ask me to remove the .pdf from the Forum only the FB Group which I imeadiately complied to. In my second post the link I used was to your OP not to my .pdf.

So it appears I am no longer a match to this Forum. Normally being at odds with someone in a Group or Forum is part of life. In this case seeings it is with someone of your rank I'm the guy that doesn't fit in. So I deleted my original post of thanks that contained the .pdf that was intended for the Forum members not the FB Group.

I'm leaving the Forum. I know, good riddance. I'll stop in from time to time and see what you folks are up to. It was a a great run. I learned a lot and will continue to do so. I just won't rock any more boats with errant contributions.

Gee Michael, you get your feelings hurt so easily. I've seen similar replies several times from you on various topics. I have no spies and have no rank, no one is ganging up on you. You are projecting those thoughts.

It's just a common courtesy to ask to use/publish someone else's work, prior to distribution. I asked and I trust you are a person of your word...simple. It was just another reminder to delete this local PDF.

So why delete the PDF? It is a dead document, caught in time without further additions. This forum thread is live and expanding, waiting for "on topic" discussion and more details of discoveries.

Peace.
 
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You are right again...R39. I overlooked the pot' , got caught up in this write up. I was never able to ID the part by the markings either. "Cross that bridge" kind of thing...
I have a crunched pot but only the thin case part so I'm gunna try glue, it should fix up ok. However I measured it reads 2.5k ohm one direction and settles down to about 3.7k ohm with meter leads reversed. It is swamped with something so it could be a 5k pot or a 10k. I'd to pull up a leg to read for sure but not unless the glue job fails, no sleeping dogs kicked here.
HERE IS THE PART TYPE depending on what the ohms value really is.
Bournes 3382G-1-252 would be 2.5k ohm and 1-502 would be 5k, etc. Out of stock at Digikey but should be available elsewhere.
 
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