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Arris CM2000 Gimbal Dead On Arrival

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
Categories: Aerial ImageryCamera GimbalPhotographyRandomVideo

During Christmas vacation I finally was able to dedicate the proper amount of time to getting my new Arris CM2000 gimbal working with my DJI Phantom quadcopter.  I was stoked to get it running to do some flyovers of some New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The first step is to get power to the gimbal.  There is an auxiliary power cable DJI puts in the Phantom for this exact reason.  It is located in the plug near one of the landing gear.  Unfortunately in trying to get the wire out, I shoved it into the unit.  That meant taking the whole top cover off.  So while I had it open it was cool to take a picture:

DJI Phantom Opened

I had to stop by a local hobby shop to get a JST connector which I soldered to the end of the aux power wire.  That allows easy plugging and unplugging of the gimbal’s power.

That is the extent of the “good” part of this story.  The gimbal was supposed to be RTF (ready to fly) out of the box.  It was not.  The unit would not move and there was a quickly flashing green light on the motherboard.  This indicates a problem.

The next two days were hell.  I needed to connect the gimbal’s motherboard to my computer to check it and perhaps tweak the gimbal settings.  Being a Mac user made it difficult, as these types of things are usually windows based.  I did get communication established, but there were errors.  So I booted my Mac in Windows mode.  After a lot of trial and error I finally got the proper drivers loaded and was able to talk to the board.  My work hit the wall at that point as I got a “sensor not connected” error:

gimbal-sensor-not-connected

I’m suspecting it is the sensor below the camera.  There’s a small cable connecting it to the board.  I looked at all the connections with a magnifying glass and all looked good.  I have yet to get a multimeter to check.  In the mean time I’ve contacted the company I purchased the unit from on Amazon, looking for a replacement or refund.

I ordered this unit at the end of October 2013.  It took weeks to come from China.  It is now January 2, 2014 and I still don’t have a working gimbal.

I ordered a different unit with three axes, as opposed to two.  If I get a replacement for this one, it will be a backup or I’ll sell it.  Otherwise just hoping for a refund.

 


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