After a recent road trip which I brought my Phantom and my hexacopter, I found that the Arris CM3000 3-axis camera gimbal on the Phantom became stuck. The pitch motor would only move about 1/16 of an inch. Something was blocking it. I didn’t want to give it too much force for fear of breaking it.
I found a replacement for the motor online for about $18. But before I ordered one from China and had to wait 17 million weeks for it to arrive, I thought I’d tear apart the broken brushless motor and see if I could fix it.
I’ve never torn apart a brushless motor before. It was not hard. I popped the clip on the drive shaft and unscrewed the shaft screw. Then the outer cover came off with a little force. It did not want to come out because of how strong the magnets were.
The problem was visibly obvious as soon as I had the cover off. A couple of the magnets had broken and a piece of them came off, lodging between two other magnets (above). I’m guessing the magnets were cracked during a Phantom crash, and eventually the piece broke loose. You can see the loose chunk below:
I cleaned out the debris, put it back together and it appears to be working again. I just hand tested it though. A real flight test is up next.