Welcome to InspirePilots.com

Join the leading DJI Inspire community for free!

Warning to all X5 owners

Discussion in 'Zenmuse X5' started by Ruckusman, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. Ruckusman

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    19
    Hi All,

    We've just had a customer bring back an X5 for inspection after an emergency landing from approximately 70 centimetres up.
    He had to throttle down quickly as nesting birds were about to attack the drone.

    Anyway as result of the landing he inspected the gimbal and noticed the components on the yaw axis motor weren't parallel.

    Now keep in mind that this wasn't a crash, it was an emergency landing, still operating under power.

    I disassembled the yaw axis motor assembly to determine the cause of the misalignment - suspected bent motor shaft initially...

    I was astonished to discover the ridiculously small amount of material used to support the entire assembly below the yaw axis motor attachment point to the bayonet assembly plate.

    The pictures tell the whole story, but here's the measured numbers for reference.


    The weight of the X3 camera is 215 Grams
    The weight of the X5 camera is 532 Grams
    The weight increase from the X3 to the X5 is 317 Grams or 247% heavier.

    The plate which forms the upper part of the motor shaft assembly on the X3 camera is 1.4mm thick - this is cast magnesium, not renowned for it's strength, but used appropriately it should be fit for purpose.

    Astonishingly the thickness of the material on the X5 camera gimbal yaw axis motor is 1.1mm

    That's a reduction of 30% in actual material thickness - that is supposed to carry an increased load of 247%.
    You don't need to be an engineer or qualified in material science to know that the arithmetic just doesn't compute.

    Now if the owner hadn't noticed the misalignment, which was very slight indeed, and kept flying this unit, there's every chance that the entire gimbal below the yaw axis plate could have detached in flight.

    That's a 500 Gram rock coming down from altitude.

    My take on the design of this component of the gimbal makes this unit completely unfit for purpose.

    Such a serious design flaw should never have been put into production, in fact it should not have made it past the first prototype.

    From DJI's own site: Zenmuse X5 | DJI

    BUILT TO LAST

    The Zenmuse X5 is precisely manufactured with high-grade magnesium alloys and aluminium alloys, enabling it to withstand heavy field use.
    Compact and lightweight to allow easy transportation and long flight times, the Zenmuse X5 is built to last.

    Nothing could be further from the truth, and the above is tantamount to false and misleading advertising.

    I'm also sending this to support@dji.com, however I have received no responses to any support requests for customer units for several weeks.

    I don't anticipate a response from them on this matter.

    DJI can ignore this at their peril, because if one of these units falls from the sky as a result of this design flaw and goes through a vehicle windscreen or strikes a person, there will be casualties or even fatalities.

    I'd recommend all owners inspect their gimbals as a matter of urgency and contact DJI to demand a strengthened assembly be supplied as soon as humanly possible.

    Please feel free to copy and paste this message anywhere that you feel is appropriate

    peace out

    Glenn 20151206_152812.jpg 20151209_110739.jpg 20151209_110754.jpg 20151209_110808.jpg 20151209_110832.jpg
     
    #1 Ruckusman, Dec 8, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
    Chrono72000 and RDTech like this.
  2. SanCap

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,336
    Likes Received:
    399
    Location:
    South West Florida
    "We've just had a customer bring back an X5 for inspection after an emergency landing from approximately 70 centimetres up.
    He had to throttle down quickly as nesting birds were about to attack the drone."

    An emergency landing from 70 centimeters? Isn't that about 2.3 feet? Maybe that is your point, a fall from such a short height that produced a significant amount of damage. Was the landing gear up or down? At 70 centimeters I would think the landing gear was still down?
     
  3. Ruckusman

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    19
    Landing gear was down - the gimbal never impacted the ground and yes that's ~2.3 feet - below waist height

    these gimbals are unfit for purpose with this kind of fragility
     
    RDTech and SanCap like this.
  4. SanCap

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,336
    Likes Received:
    399
    Location:
    South West Florida
    Thanks for the clarification, that does suck!
     
  5. johnmont250

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2014
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    100
    unless you are a mechanical engineer I will take your analysis with a grain of salt.
     
    kcobello and CO_Mark like this.
  6. Ruckusman

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    19
    that's your prerogative, and my measurements may be off to the tune of 1-2 hundreths of a millimetre also, but I don't need to be a mechanical engineer to make those measurements with accurate instruments then do basic arithmetic and arrive at correct results.

    Fact: More weight supported by less material, I provided the numbers, you're welcome to make your own measurements to confirm.
    If you can find fault with my reasoning feel free to do so, my qualifications bear no significance whatsoever
     
    Chrono72000 and rovboy like this.
  7. Cyclops

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    34
    I've noticed you posting this analysis on other forums and wonder what you hope to achieve.

    I would disagree with your statement that 'I don't need to be a mechanical engineer' - surely that is exactly what you would need to be to make any valid comments about the materials DJI have used in the X5. And again '. . .my qualifications bear no significance whatsoever' - of course they do, if you are not qualified your findings have zero substance.

    This is just scaremongering with no scientific backup apart from a few calculations you've made on the back of a coaster.
     
    RuneWold likes this.
  8. Ruckusman

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    19
    So your basic argument is ad hominem - only mechanical engineers are capable of making accurate measurements and have any effective reliable knowledge of materials.

    Don't let all of the other people in the world doing anything vaguely related to making accurate measurements or applying materials knowledge know, because they're not qualified and as a consequence their work and results are in your view totally worthless.

    If you want to make your own measurements feel free, fault the basic arithmetic calculations if you can.
    Those elements are factual, as to whether or not 30% less material being sufficient to carry 247% more weight, draw your own conclusions.

    Better still equip your Inspire with an X5, land it hard from say three feet up and see the result, gimbal in one bit or two, check that yaw axis fixture afterwards.
    That's called a true scientific test, I look forward to your results.

    What am I hoping to achieve...DJI taking responsibility for their products and not making the repair of fragile products, not fit for purpose, into an income stream at the expense of their customers.

    This is the original Vision Plus roll axis gimbal detaching all over again, I've repaired dozens of those things, they were an appalling design and atrocious selection of materials. A 1.6mm hard steel motor shaft press fit into cast, soft i.e not heat treated weak aluminium arm. That design was, by the way, modified with later versions, so there was a flaw originally.

    Only difference is that this these units are damned expensive, however the quality just isn't there...
     
    #8 Ruckusman, Dec 9, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015
    zoltanh and Chnjab like this.
  9. Richard Hurst

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Messages:
    416
    Likes Received:
    105
    I have to say I agree with you. You do not need to be a mechanical engineer to figure these things out. Again it is down to maximising profit over cost at the buyers expense
     
    Chnjab likes this.
  10. Cyclops

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    34
    I think that if you are trying to present a scientific analysis of the strength of the materials in the X5 it would certainly help if you were a qualified metalologist. Otherwise any opinion has to be taken as purely anecdotal and I've not heard any other complaints about the materials used in the X5.

    With just 4 props anything you attach to an Inspire 1 is basically very vulnerable.
     
  11. Ruckusman

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    19
  12. burlbark

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2014
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    11
    Yep its looks pathetic... And now I find that the landing gear where down and that it really could not bare its own weight under a couple g-loading. Supposedly this is an isolated defect, but this is a mass produced item with injection molding. If there was an error with only your unit it would show imperfections in the surface that would be obvious and the fit would not be correct between the various pieces. Come on DJI please get it right for the x5r...... I need it.

    I am a professional and do this for a living repairing them daily. Its very safe to say to wait on purchasing this camera/gimbal until DJI irons out the design flaws. We saw it in all the renditions of the Vision+ gimbal. I have repaired over 500 of them now and I think that should be some form of qualification behind my statements. The Phantom 4 is out next month according to a couple distributors.

    Jeremy
     
    zoltanh likes this.
  13. x5yo

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    71
    An emergency landing at 70cm due to a bird attack?

    Sorry, but it sounds to me like your man brought the thing down too hard at the final stage, because why would you even mention such a landing at such a low altitude. If it was less than 2-3 meters, I think its safe to say its as good as in control and there is no need to panic.99.9% of the time the birds will fly away at the last second anyway, just as they fly away when you get too close in person.

    I don't doubt these things are delicate, but if I land badly or roughly, I accept the consequences because this is delicate, expensive stuff. An emergency landing due to avoidance does not mean you have to land any harder than you normally would-which is smoothly.

    IMO at 70cm high the threat had been mitigated enough to land as normal. I.E. nice and smooth.

    My guess is that thing hit the ground harder than it should and someone is looking to blame before acknowledging they could have landed better

    When I built my first PC, I was clueless, it came with this grey paste at the bottom of the fan, so I scraped it off, as I thought the heat shrink would be enough, of course I fried the CPU, phoned a friend and he told me what I did. First thing I did was take it back and said it did not work, knowing it was my fault.
    Until they looked at it and saw the paste had gone and I walked out very red faced.

    That was for £100 CPU, I can well imagine what people would do when £1500 is at stake and they know the company is a multi billion dollar entity.
     
    Djalma Ribeiro likes this.
  14. x5yo

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    71
    Good luck with that, from what i hear DJI are not fixing these atm, so be prepared to sell it for scrap and buy a new one if you want to continue.
     
  15. Kelvin Hughes

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    I just got my Inpire1 and X5 back from repair at DJI after a similar low hanging branch incident. Bird fell less than 10 feet into soft underbrush....not a scratch on it except that the X5 gimbal isolation plate broke in 3 places, the Gimbal totally detached and bent the top plate and one of the carbon fiber arms broke and the center screw for raising the arms got completely bent so the whole bird was bent out of shape. I was stunned at the amount of damage sustained by this incident given that if my F550 had a similar incident i would have picked it up, dusted it off, replaced a blade or 2 and been back in the air in 10 minutes. I know it was cold ...34 degrees but as I said before it was shocking the damage done...lesson learnt... these are very fragile devices and I am not sure they are strong enough to carry the additional weight of the X5 without some design changes.
     
    zoltanh likes this.
  16. burlbark

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2014
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    11
    Tin foil indeed..... I am now officially waiting on version 2 before I buy anything from DJI again. These Phantom 3's have been a joy.
     
  17. rovboy

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    4
    to anyone thinking, as I did, that dji could undertake gimbal repairs, especially to the X5, I was astonished to receive this back from dji, Netherlands, after I sent them pictures of damage and was told to courier the unit to them :-

    support.eu7 <support.eu7@dji.com>
    8 Dec (4 days ago)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    to me
    [​IMG]

    Dear Keith,


    So far, we only do swap for gimbal camera not repair in case of damage of gimbal and camera. of course we will return defective one back to you as well if you agree with such deal.


    B.RGDS

    Support.eu7

    Dji Europe BV

    so, with all the negative observations with regards to the X5 design, be prepared to chuck away £1400 for even minor impact damage. Not good enough.
     
  18. rovboy

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    4
    dji will NOT repair gimbal and cameras, worst of all is they wont even try......
     
  19. Casey Preston

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    30
    I keep looking at the pictures at the top and I can't figure out what I'm supposed to be judging. Are you talking about the silver washer like disc? Is that the part you feel is too thin?
     
  20. johnmont250

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2014
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    100

    pretty hard to imagine breaking a carbon fiber arm from a fall " less than 10 ft into soft underbrush"

    you need a pretty hard to crash to snap a carbon fiber arm and bend the worm drive, so im guessing it was a pretty severe impact your now downplaying. i call bs on your story.
     
    DennisR likes this.