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Mavic 2 front leg replacement problems.

Former Member

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I have done a bunch of repairs and part outs on Mavic 2's, and have replaced several front and rear arms but have not yet tried to replace a lone front leg until this morning.

I sold a LF leg to a member here, and while removing it, discovered that DJI has moved the front LED from the arm to the leg. Big problem for the DIY people. You cant just slide the old leg off and slide on a new one because the LED fixture is too big for the hole in the arm to get it out.

Now, instead of just removing 3 screws and pulling the leg off, you still have the 3 screws, but you have to pop off the LED cover, which is a pain. Then you need to unscrew 1 tiny screw, then unsolder 3 microsolders that connect the LEDs to the ESC board. The LED fixture wont fit through the hole in the leg, so that you can just slide it out and on to the new leg. You have to unsolder it, and resolder the new one. They slap so much insulation on there, it's hard to break the insulation free from the solder joint.

For me, this is a real step back in engineering since so many people break off the flimsy front legs on a regular basis. Of course, you can epoxy it back on if the LED is still making contact. However, I have found that glue and drones dont mix well, especially with the leg being so close to the motor.



M2 leg LED problem.jpg
 
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Here is a zoomed pinout of the FL led. I already compressed the connections as much as I could with a pliers and stripped off all the insulation and it still won't fit through the hole. Last resort is to desolder the leads. I will do it as cleanly as possible so that the customer will have an easier job reattaching them.

20181010_111441.jpeg
 
Finished product. I cleaned the terminals and left the OEM DJI solder on there so my customer can just heat and apply.

M2 leg LED board.jpg
 
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One warning when doing this. Dont be tempted to snip and then splice/solder the wires behind the LED. DJI coats their wires with insulation inside the outer plastic coating, and soldering the cut wires can prove very challenging. They have done this in all their wiring since their first drone was made.
 
Could it be their intention is to disconnect the wire from the other end and fish it back thru? Just asking.
 
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Could it be their intention is to disconnect the wire from the other end and fish it back thru? Just asking.

If you are a good fisherman, maybe. ;)

I have tried to do that on the MP, and it's almost impossible because the tightly bound wiring harness already has so many wires going through it, that pulling the wire out is possible, but getting back in is a nightmare.

I have found that DJI doesnt design their aircraft to be repaired by the owner. They prefer you send it to them, even if you only break a leg. Thats why they never sell replacement parts for their drones. I have been ranting about this for years. I can buy a single screw from the manufacturer for any of my RC cars, trucks, boats, helis, and airplanes. Try to buy a replacement arm from DJI? Gotta buy if from DJI and let them install it.. Need a new gimbal? Gotta buy if from DJI and let them install it. Thank goodness for the aftermarket. Rant over. :rolleyes:
 
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If you are a good fisherman, maybe. ;)

I have tried to do that on the MP, and it's almost impossible because the tightly bound wiring harness already has so many wires going through it, that pulling the wire out is possible, but getting back in is a nightmare.

I have found that DJI doesnt design their aircraft to be repaired by the owner. They prefer you send it to them, even if you only break a leg. Thats why they never sell replacement parts for their drones. I have been ranting about this for years. I can buy a single screw from the manufacturer for any of my RC cars, trucks, boats, helis, and airplanes. Try to buy a replacement arm from DJI? Gotta buy if from DJI and let them install it.. Need a new gimbal? Gotta buy if from DJI and let them install it. Thank goodness for the aftermarket. Rant over. :rolleyes:

Seems like most stuff anymore is made to be sold but not repaired. I wonder if they teach "engineers" in college how to design stuff nonrepairable or do they come by that talent naturally.
 
Seems like most stuff anymore is made to be sold but not repaired. I wonder if they teach "engineers" in college how to design stuff nonrepairable or do they come by that talent naturally.

I agree with you when it comes to consumer electronics. In the USA, we live in a disposable society. If it doesnt work, and theres no warranty left, we throw it out.

As for self repairing hobby class equipment, I am an avid (rabid) RC hobbyist. Included with every RC car kit I buy, is a parts list. When you break a part, they give you a part # and you can order a new one. Screw, motor, belt, etc.

Some of us owners just like to work on our own stuff, especially after a crash. We dont want to send it to DJI, we want to fix it ourselves, and many are capable of it. DJI just doesnt give us a chance.

Heres a parts list for one of my RC racing cars.

TC 72 parts list.jpg
 
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Would a better approach be to replace the whole arm/leg assembly. Or, is that just as difficult? It doesn't concern me much since I can just leave the LED disconnected..
 
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Would a better approach be to replace the whole arm/leg assembly. Or, is that just as difficult? It doesn't concern me much since I can just leave the LED disconnected..

if it's only the leg that is broken, I think replacing just the leg and 3 solders is the least cumbersome way.

Replacing the entire arm requires

  1. Partial disassembly of the Mavic 2.
  2. You would need to remove and reinstall the arm hinge pin, which is sprung under pressure. I feel like Im tensioning a garage door spring when I have to do it.
  3. Then unsolder and resolder 6 connections instead of just 3
  4. Then you have to snake the coax antenna connector though the fuselage to the core board.
Not fun.
 
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if it's only the leg that is broken, I think replacing just the leg and 3 solders is the least cumbersome way.

Replacing the entire arm requires

  1. Partial disassembly of the Mavic 2.
  2. You would need to remove and reinstall the arm hinge pin, which is sprung under pressure. I feel like Im tensioning a garage door spring when I have to do it.
  3. Then unsolder and resolder 6 connections instead of just 3
  4. Then you have to snake the coax antenna connector though the fuselage to the core board.
Not fun.
My eyes and fingers are 70 years old but I'll give it a go. If I can't get it soldered I'll just leave the LED disconnected.
 
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My eyes and fingers are 70 years old but I'll give it a go. If I can't get it soldered I'll just leave the LED disconnected.

You could always buy aftermarket red LEDs if you cant solder the existing LED leads.

Clip On LED Body and Balloon Lights (Steady)

Here are some that you can turn on and off via handheld remote. You can also change the color of the LED by remote and make them strobe or solid. All for $8.99.

10pcs Remote Control Waterproof LED Tea Light - $8.99 Free Shipping|GearBest.com
 
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I have to do this myself. Got a new arm on ebay to pull the parts from. Im thinking Is it possible to modify the hole making it a bit wider so the LED can be slid through? How is the LED attached to the plastic leg from the factory? is it glued to the leg or dose it pop out? I plan to attempt to modify the the new leg so I can just slip the led through a slit I cut/melt into the old and new leg so the LEd may be slid back into place. Any insight on this plan would be appreciated. NEW HOLE.jpg
 
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Im thinking Is it possible to modify the hole making it a bit wider so the LED can be slid through? How is the LED attached to the plastic leg from the factory?

Thats what I did in a few repairs, if I wanted to spend an had an hour to devote to it. Otherwise I just desoldered the LED, and resoldered it after the new leg install.

How is the LED attached to the plastic leg from the factory? is it glued to the leg or dose it pop out?

Pops out, but remember which side is up. The top of the Christmas tree is the top.

I plan to attempt to modify the the new leg so I can just slip the led through a slit I cut/melt into the old and new leg so the LEd may be slid back into place. Any insight on this plan would be appreciated.

Take a Xanax and aspirin before you start. Works for me lol

The LED can slip through a slot that you cut, and then sorta snaps in to where it came from. The LED wires are gonna get in your way if you cut the slot at the bottom. Better in the middle. Depends how patient you are and how agile your are with a dremel.

It's unbeleiveable to me that we have to mod the OEM equipment to get it back to OEM lol

It would have been so nice if the brains at DJI made the LED connectors slip-on.
 
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Thanks for the tips. I had some ebay bucks on my account so I got the new parts arm for 23 bucks. I really appreciate your time and insight on this. Now i want to find a better antenna to stuff inside that arm to extend the range lol.
 
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Im thinking Is it possible to modify the hole making it a bit wider so the LED can be slid through?
Here's a video showing how that can be done:

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Here's a video showing how that can be done:

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Just a few observations.

  1. 3m50s NEVER use a screwdriver to pry up to antennna wires. If you nick one, youre going to be replacing the whole arm.Most times, the glue goes all the way down the antenna, and the antenna wont come out. Dont ask me how I know
  2. 4m45s NEVER use a pliers to get the antenna out of the leg, If you crack it, youre going to be replacing the whole arm.
  3. 6m9s if you make the hole where he did, the LED will not sit back where it came from.
  4. 7m39s "bending the LED into an L shape" yes you will probably break one of the LED power wires. Bad idea.
  5. 8m35s DO NOT put hot glue "back in there"
Did he test the LED before he put it all back together? Thats the #1 repair tip. Never put it all back together until you know if it works first.

Anyone know my Youtube story? I was watching a guy on Youtube finish his deck, and he had it done in 2 hours. 2 months later, I was still sanding mine.

My thoughts about "easy repairs" on Youtube.
  1. Never believe everything you see on Youtube.
  2. Expect it to take 3-10 times as long as the video you watched.
  3. Use the right tools or you will cause more damage than you had before the repair.
  4. Buy 2 extra parts so that when you break the replacement part, you can start all over with the 2nd replacement part.
  5. Dont get frustrated or upset when your result doesnt turn out the way the Youtube one did. They are in it for view counts and are click bait, so they want you to watch it and they dont necessarily care if you break it in the process.
It's easy for someone to recommend a Youtube video, but if they have never done the repair themselves, take it with a grain of salt.
 
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YouTube is a fantastic resource for people who enjoy repairing their own drones. There are some very talented repairmen (and women) there sharing their expertise with the masses. It's certainly not a resource that one should just brush to the side and discount.
 
YouTube is a fantastic resource for people who enjoy repairing their own drones. There are some very talented repairmen (and women) there sharing their expertise with the masses. It's certainly not a resource that one should just brush to the side and discount.

Nope not brush it to the side, but I have learned to take anything I see there with a grain of salt. Or maybe 2 grains....
 
Hi all, my name is Jon, I just wanted to say that I am the person who made the video on replacing the two front legs, and I thought it would be beneficial to provide an update after the repair, I have been getting a lot of traffic to the video and assumed this forum may be the reason why.... in answer to wether I tested the LED, no I didn’t, while it was “broken” I turned It on, the LED’s performed as they should, I turned it off, repaired it, and then turned it back on and they worked the same, so assumed all was good.

thunderdrones is obviously a mountain of information and knowledge, and I read many of his posts and information before even tackling my repair, so obviously take his warnings seriously, and I will confirm I am not a repair specialist and this is not my field of expertise, but I have repaired many phones, iPads and other technology in the past so felt confident enough to do this.

I wanted to address the points he made...

using the small screw driver to pop those wires didn’t nic anything, the wires are abit more robust than people think, go easy and you’ll be fine.

I used almost no pressure at all the when using the pliers, and in all fairness I’m sure I could have used a pair of tweezers instead, but he is right, pliers should probably be avoided.

I replaced both front landing legs, and made the holes in the same place on both sides for the LED’s, and had no problems at all with the LED sitting back down flush, exactly where is was originally positioned, and the cover clipped back into place perfectly fine.

Moving the wires to make manovering the leds through the hole caused me no issues at all, if your gentle and don’t approach it like a bull in a china shop then you shouldn’t have any issues snapping wires.

And finally the hot glue I used was all I had, I figured securing the pieces again was more important than the stuff I used to secure them, I used a tiny tiny amount simply to secure the antenna and wires back into place as they were originally.

Since the repair, I have flow the drone around 30 times and have had no issues what so ever, so I can confirm that my repair was not only successful but I would say simple enough for almost anyone to carry out with abit of care, this is not intended by any way to replace having your drone fixed by a professional, but not everyone can afford to do so and some people like to do it them selfs, and this is a method i made to do so.

I hope it’s helped a few people. ????
 
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