The DJI gimbal is used to control your camera’s tilt and is a vital part of your entire flying experience. However, since it is located at the bottom of your drone, it often is the primary part subjected to crashes and damages. This often leads to your gimbal being stuck, which begs the question, how do you fix a stuck DJI gimbal?
To fix a stuck DJI gimbal, assess the damage on the gimbal itself, inspect for dust and foreign objects and then carefully clean the gimbal with a microfibre cloth and toothpicks.
In this article, we’re going to go over all the different ways you can fix a stuck DJI drone gimbal alongside the methods I’ve utilized myself to get my gimbal up and running.
How to Fix a Stuck DJI Gimbal
As mentioned above, here are some foolproof ways to get your DJI Gimbal up and running again.
Turn It Off And On Again
Ah, yes, the solution to any problem from an IT tech whiz. But trust me, it works!
Sometimes, your drone might throw down error 40002, citing your gimbal has been stuck with it, not even operating due to a slight disconnection during the bootup process.
So, to fix those, just turn your drone off and boot it back up again. If it fixes the error, great. If it doesn’t, I recommend investigating whether you receive the same error code every time. If you do, it means that your error is genuine and isn’t a software bug or glitch.
However, if you see your errors constantly changing, it might mean that your drone has multiple issues. But, in most cases, this is an indication of a minor software hiccup or a disconnected cable rather than anything hardware related.
Let The Drone Take Off And Land On Your Palm
If you have a stuck gimbal, start your flight from your hand and land the drone on it too. What does this achieve? Well, when a drone takes off, it produces a lot of thrust and wind turbulence. The lower portion of the drone, which contains its GPS module and other sensors, are often clogged with dust particulates.
Due to the wind turbulence, your drone can sway the particles out of the drone itself, which is often the reason why your DJI gimbal gets stuck in the first place. If you aren’t in the mood to land the drone on your hand, you can always do the landing on a landing pad instead.
Use Your Propellor And Pen Caps
If your drone has gone through a crash and your DJI gimbal is stuck due to it being laid up against the frame, then, you might be able to repair the drone by following these steps. Before you start, though, this fix is subjective to the nature of the crash for your own drone.
So, there’s a high chance that this might not work on your drone, depending on how badly your gimbal has been damaged.
- Use the propellor screwdrivers that come out of the box to remove the front cover of your gimbal.
- After doing so, gently move the gimbal upwards and downwards and in all its axes
- Now, use your pen caps to pop your gimbal back into place from either side giving it a slight push
- You should hear a clipping sound if your drone’s gimbal is fixed afterward
Note: After performing this fix, I recommend calibrating your drone’s gimbal and also going on a safe maiden voyage to ensure the issue doesn’t come up again. If you see more damage in your gimbal, I recommend not disassembling it further and taking it to a professional instead.
Recalibrate Your Stuck Drone
If your DJI gimbal is stuck, you may notice that your camera is crooked. For that, you’ll need to recalibrate your drone in order to get that crispy clear video back to its normal vertical and horizontal axes.
You can recalibrate your drone by heading to Mavic’s application on your phone. But, after doing so, your camera may still look crooked. If that’s the case with you, your gimbal now is free but isn’t exactly lined up as it was prior.
To fix this, you’ll need to head to a repair shop or try and adjust the gimbal’s positioning yourself. Either way, it takes a lot of time. A quicker and easier way to do this is by heading to Gimbal Roll Adjustment on the application.
Once you are in there, you can adjust the roll according to your crooked viewfinder. Your adjustment may vary depending on how much damage your gimbal has incurred and what the actual physical deformity is. In any case, once you save the option, you will not have to constantly adjust your drone’s gimbal. Instead, it’ll be done automatically after.
Check For Dust, Debris, and Foreign Objects
Drones tend to remain sky-high. However, when they land, drones can be littered with foreign objects, dust, and debris.
Even if you haven’t crashed your drone, dust is often found in the atmosphere which can damage your drone.
Now, your gimbal is a rather sensitive instrument in your drone. Therefore, even a very minute foreign object or residual dust buildup can cause it to not move properly in one axis or both. I recommend rotating your drone camera gently with your own hand and sensing for any grinding or points where the gimbal isn’t moving very freely.
Once you find that point, I recommend taking a piece of microfiber cloth damped with isopropyl alcohol (99%) and gently dabbing your entire gimbal. This will help remove all the dust and grime that might have built up over time.
For foreign objects, you’ll have to resort to your eyesight. This is because you can’t risk moving the gimbal while a foreign object is stuck inside it. Chances are, that object might damage your gimbal even further or recede to an even deeper point where it’ll be harder to take out.
If you locate a foreign object, I recommend plucking it out or slightly moving the gimbal toward the direction where the object will be freed and will fall off. Once again, do not move the gimbal in such a way that the object ends up going deeper inside the groove.
Going For A Deeper Clean
Not all dust is coarse enough for you to be able to clean it so easily. And not all foreign objects are large enough for you to be able to just shake them away. In those cases, here are two methods that I employ when I want a deeper clean:
- Compressed Air: Compressed air or a leaf blower even helps get rid of all the dust that might be present inside your gimbal even if it is too fine to be seen by the naked eye. Do not place the can of air right on your gimbal. Instead, do it from a safe distance to ensure you don’t accidentally damage your gimbal instead.
- Toothpicks: Yes, you heard me right; toothpicks are an excellent way to clear foreign objects out of your gimbal. Run it along the edges of your gimbal until you feel something. Once you do, pluck it out and give your gimbal a shake.
Why Is My DJI Camera Not Tilting?
If your DJI camera is not tilting, chances are that the gimbal is stuck. So, assess your drone and look for any damages while also cleaning up any dust or foreign objects that may have stuck inside. After doing so, head to your drone’s settings and adjust your gimbal settings before you start flying it again.
Why Is My Gimbal Swinging?
Your DJI gimbal is supposed to swing under normal operations. If it is swinging erratically, then, it needs to be reseated or checked out by a professional. But, the gimbal is meant to move around and swing in order to tilt your camera accordingly.
Why Has My DJI Gimbal Stopped Working?
There can be a plethora of reasons ranging from software to hardware, that can lead to your gimbal not operating properly. The first step you should do is to reset your gimbal and perform an RC calibration to rule out any bugs or glitches. After doing so, check whether your gimbal is physically stuck or has gone through some sort of damage for it to not work randomly.
The DJI gimbal is sturdy and often does not get stuck. However, I recommend always putting on your gimbal guard when transferring your drone and removing it when you end up flying. In any case, if your gimbal does get stuck, try all the fixes I’ve mentioned above and then take them to your drone repair shop. Unless the damage isn’t very significant, your drone should be up and running in no time!