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E90 Camera - Little bird whispering in my ear says it is cooked

Mar 9, 2017
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Burlington VT
Some of you may have read my recent thread where I discussed a "test" I conducted wherein I allowed an automatic initiation of a RTH command at about 1 foot of altitude when the battery reached a critical battery level. The test failed as I had a misunderstanding as to how to abort a RTH command, believing any control input would terminate the command. Don't bother trying it - it doesn't work. The result was when I gave the 520 an immediate descent command it stopped its ascent but then would not allow me to accurately control the flight, resulting in the 520 making an unplanned landing on the roof of my house whereupon it rolled down the valley on the roof and hit the ground. I have since repaired the 2 broken arms and one landing strut and landing gear. At the time the camera still appeared to function normally, for awhile. I was not able to calibrate the compass and there were as few other things that didn't seem right so I opted to erase and reload all the software. My current belief is that the 520 is airworthy, with a couple of nagging questions that I'll share in another posting. The issue now is the camera. Every time I turned on the 520 the camera would act differently. It would seem to be functioning as it should, until I turned off the drone and switched out a battery (I think the issue here was turning off the 520 as opposed to swapping the battery.) When I powered up the 520 the camera was "dead - would not connect to the drone. One time I reloaded the camera firmware and it seemed to correct the issue,. but not for long. I noticed on Yuneec's download page there is a file for E90 firmware and E90 gimbal firmware. Somewhere I read not to use the gimbal file as it will screw things up. I wasn't, and still am not, sure if I was supposed to download both or just one, but which just one? Testing after each reloading revealed that sometimes the camera would rotate completely down but only go up to horizontal. Other times it would go up as it is supposed to but only rotate down to about 45 degrees below horizontal. Yesterday the camera appeared to be behaving (although only still elevating to horizontal) so I opted to take a test flight. The 520 flew nominally but initially the camera was tilted so the horizon was not level. It corrected itself before I got to the point of taking off. In the air I noticed the screen was "jittery."

Today I thought I would do some trouble shooting. I think I would feel better if I did some target shooting and this 6 armed orange creature I have would be the target! I did not get very far as it's back to doing crazy things. With the pan toggle in the forward position and the rotation knob centered the camera would rotate so far in one directing with the camera tilting to some degree and then rotate in the other direction. When I panned 360 degrees the camera would be level when pointing to the front (0 degrees) and rear (180 degrees). As it rotated from front to rear it would tilt in one direction until the camera had rotated 90 degrees. It would then begin to level out until it was level at 180 degrees and continue to roll in the same direction until it was tipped when the camera got to 270 degrees where it would start to level out and be level when it got back to zero degrees. In one instance with the pan toggle in the forward position and the rotation knob centered the camera would shake, tilt to one side and rotate 180 degrees where it would get hung up, shake, rattle and roll for awhile and then return to the forward position. In a bit it would repeat itself. Initially I thought it was a software issue since I was getting an image on the controller screen. I have since concluded that only means you are getting an image on the controller screen.

So, I shut down the 520, left the controller on and took both outside for a short test flight. Turned on the 520. Picture on the controller but camera tilted off to the side and not reacting to any inputs. Tried reconnecting links. Asked for camera password but still did nothing. Shut down controller and drone and restarted. Nothing. I brought both inside and just to be sure, started up controller and 520. Nothing. At this point I believe I would have to reload the firmware in the camera to get it to function to any degree.

You all probably have more info than you need to tell me what I suspect - the camera is toast. Question is whether or not anyone thinks it is worth repairing.
Thanks in advance for your assistance. I have some video files but don't know how to upload them.
That is a very long and detailed description of events.

What I am going to address is your mention of firmware/updates - in particular, as in relates to the very first event you described.

What is missing from your post is; how the camera acted before the crash.

Simply put; IF the camera was working before the crash - then a firmware update is not where you should start looking to fix a set of problems brought on by a crash. So I think I do agree that the problem is going to be in the camera or in the drone itself.
Simply put: (C23 or E90) + crash = probable damaged ribbon.
See E90 non-stop shaking for more discussion about the vulnerability, but your description sure sounds like this is in the ballpark.
By the way, the "rolling horizon" you described of different tilts as you moved around the compass is a classic IMU issue. And the IMU signals are one particularly vulnerable set of the conductors in the ribbon.
Thanks for the responses. Initially I thought the camera was functioning normally after the crash. Now think it was temporary similar to what happens now when for a bit it might behave before again not functioning properly. Question now is where to send it for evaluation, repair or replacement. One place I have dealt with in the past may not be dealing with Yuneec anymore. The other place that still does deal with Yuneec - I wouldn’t send them a flashlight to change the batteries for me.
Sorry for the delay. Somehow I missed your post. It was cooked. I sent it in to John at Yuneec Skins. He sent it off to a very talented member of the Forum (Not sure John wants his name exposed) who was able to repair what John described as the most challenging damaged camera he had seen. The cost was quite reasonable. I have had it back for while and it is performing nominally. I am happy that I have it for the Vermont foliage season.
I been told that I have used the word "nonimal" incorrectly and it suggests that the camera was/is functioning at less than as optimally expected. I would like all to know that a Herculean effort was expended over several days to return the camera to a perfect working order. It is as good as new, less a few cosmetic scuff marks. I could not be more satisfied with the work that was done and again thank the gentleman whose expertise is greatly appreciated.

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