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Yaw & Roll Motor Arm replacement for Mavic 2 Pro

CodaDiLupo

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Hello all,
I am new to the forum and writing this post with the hope that someone experienced with repair parts can give me some good recommendations. In an attempt to repair the gimbal of my Mavic 2 Pro, I overlooked the challenge of reconnecting the electrical ribbon cables through their minuscule connectors and ended up damaging the connector of the cable attached to the yaw motor.
The two pics below show the connector position in the yaw/roll arm and the damaged connector.
Screenshot 2022-09-09 160756.png IMG_9635.jpg

My two questions are
1) Is it easy to replace just the yaw motor or is it better to replace the whole arm with both motors and respective cables? While there are many instructional videos that show how to disassemble and reassemble the gimbal system, I have not found any showing how to replace just the yaw motor, which makes me suspect it might not be an easy task.

2) If I have to replace the whole yaw/roll arm, does anyone know whether this part is the same for Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom? Looking at the pics posted on different sites I do not see any immediately recognizable difference in this part between the two models. What made me suspect this specific part might be the same for both models is that some part vendors seem to implicitly indicate so by showing just a single part under the name Pro/Zoom, and the curious coincidence that almost all the vendors on Aliexpress show them as two different parts, but always have the Pro part out of stock. So one has to assume that either the part for the Pro version is unilaterally affected by some weird shortage or that, being the same part, the vendors do not bother to differentiate them in their inventory. What seems to throw a wrench into my assumption is my recent discovery of this vendor, who carries both parts for a very different price: $60 for the Zoom part and $107 for the Pro part. However, once again I can't see any difference in the pics. Can the vendor be just playing with the perceived unavailability of the Pro part in an attempt to sell the same part at a higher price?

I appreciate anyone who could help me shed some light on the subject. Thanks
 

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Fizzbang

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CodaDiLupo​

Commiserations; I have been there and done just that, though in my case, it was the connector from the pitch motor to roll motor within the roll arms.
The connectors are not really made for repeated disconnect and reconnection.

I have just compared an assembled Zoom and an assembled Hasselblad Pro.
I can see differences in the Yaw Arm.
The Pro yaw arm has bevelled edges, to the sides of the yaw arm, whereas the Zoom has square edges to the inside edges of the Yaw arm.
I also think (although it is difficult to tell for sure) that the roll arms of the Zoom hang higher than the roll arms of the Pro when both drones are placed on a level surface and observed from the side. Which means that the Pro yaw arm is longer than the Zoom Yaw arm.

Also there are things that you cannot see (like the routing through the ribbon cables of the zoom in and out data lines). The only way the yaw arms could be identical is if the Zoom data lines were direct replacement for the aperture data lines of the pro.

The yaw arm in your illustration is a Pro yaw arm. See the three parallel lines on the outer edges of the arm. The two outer lines are the bevelled edge and the inner line is the shoulder to support the cover plate.

Since the connector you broke attaches to the back of the control board, are you sure that you have not damaged the board?
See the image below.
The top yaw arm is for the Zoom.
The lower yaw arm is for the Mavic 2 Pro.

Note that the zoom arm (left) has a thicker roll motor housing than the Pro arm(right).
There is also a short straight section on the Pro arm(right), which does not exist or is much shorter on the Zoom arm (left)
2.jpg
 
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Fizzbang

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Since most of the online illustrations are just for sales it's difficult to be sure if the labelling is correct and they are not necessarily trying to illustrate the differences.

Photo below is of the Mavic 2 Zoom.✔️
IMG_20220928_153643_1[1].jpg
Above Zoom (no bevelled edge)⬆️
Below ⬇️Pro (bevelled edge to yaw arm).
Photo below is of the Hasselblad Mavic 2 Pro✔️
IMG_20220928_153756_1[1].jpg
 

Fizzbang

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When you attach the yaw motor to the vibration board with the three screws.
1. Make sure you have the correct screws.
2. Do not over tighten the three screws.
3. Check that the yaw arm moves freely from stop left, to stop right, without any binding.
The reason for my warning notes are that it is possible for the ends of the screws to extend into the yaw motor space beneath (something to avoid).
 

CodaDiLupo

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When you attach the yaw motor to the vibration board with the three screws.
1. Make sure you have the correct screws.
2. Do not over tighten the three screws.
3. Check that the yaw arm moves freely from stop left, to stop right, without any binding.
The reason for my warning notes are that it is possible for the ends of the screws to extend into the yaw motor space beneath (something to avoid).
Hi Fizzbang, I am at loss of words to thank you for the time and effort you put in giving me such a detailed and well-organized answer. You really made my day.
After I wrote my message, and after a more accurate study of the available pics I had almost persuaded myself that the yaw/roll arm is different for the two models, so thank you for giving me the certainty of that.

I have been thinking about the best way to complete my repair. The vibration absorbing board was indeed the damaged part that I had to replace. Had I known that from the beginning I would have spared myself a lot of time and a huge headache, because I would not have needed to take apart the camera and the two arms. We live and we learn.
Anyway, while I haven't found the mechanical part too hard, I have had a really hard time with the connectors. I am not sure whether I correctly re-established the other two connections (those made inside the arm that brackets the camera), as I did not get to test them and I have even had problems in keeping the camera connector plugged to the control board as the tension produced on the electrical wire by rotating the yaw arm easily displaces it.
It seems that these connectors tend to lose their grip after getting disconnected and reconnected a couple of times. Do you use anything to keep them in place or just assume it is done by the assembly itself (in this case the yellow plate that gets screwed on top of the control board)?

After some more research I have been able to find what I did not even suspect was available, that is a replacement of the flex cable of the yaw motor by itself. Since it's rather inexpensive, I decided to order it and see if I can fix the issue with it, even though I have no idea of how hard it is to swap if for the existing one, as I have not found any video describing this specific repair. Do you have any experience with that?
Honestly, though, I am not too optimistic about my chances of success, especially because the pic below seems to suggest that, as you pointed out, also the connector on the side of the control board was somewhat damaged by my insertion attempts. Would you concur with this visual assessment?
Screenshot 2022-09-28 174851res.png
In the worst case, if this leads me nowhere, I will bite the bullet and purchase a replacement for the whole gimbal assembly, insert my camera in it and screw it to the vibration absorption board. which has the great advantage that almost all the electrical connections are pre-made. Considering the crazy costs of these replacement parts I could even end up not deeply into the red, by reselling the salvageable parts of my replaced assembly lol.

A final question: do you have a method to test the electrical connections as you make them, on a partial assembly or is it really necessary to do what I currently do, i.e., reassemble the whole gimbal, attach it to the drone and see if it starts up ok? It would seem that not having the ability to do partial testing until the final assembly would make the manufacturing process a big headache complicating any attempt of failure analysis.
 
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Fizzbang

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Hi Fizzbang, I am at loss of words to thank you for the time and effort you put in giving me such a detailed and well-organized answer. You really made my day.
After I wrote my message, and after a more accurate study of the available pics I had almost persuaded myself that the yaw/roll arm is different for the two models, so thank you for giving me the certainty of that.

I have been thinking about the best way to complete my repair. The vibration absorbing board was indeed the damaged part that I had to replace. Had I known that from the beginning I would have spared myself a lot of time and a huge headache, because I would not have needed to take apart the camera and the two arms. We live and we learn.
Anyway, while I haven't found the mechanical part too hard, I have had a really hard time with the connectors. I am not sure whether I correctly re-established the other two connections (those made inside the arm that brackets the camera), as I did not get to test them and I have even had problems in keeping the camera connector plugged to the control board as the tension produced on the electrical wire by rotating the yaw arm easily displaces it.
It seems that these connectors tend to lose their grip after getting disconnected and reconnected a couple of times. Do you use anything to keep them in place or just assume it is done by the assembly itself (in this case the yellow plate that gets screwed on top of the control board)?

After some more research I have been able to find what I did not even suspect was available, that is a replacement of the flex cable of the yaw motor by itself. Since it's rather inexpensive, I decided to order it and see if I can fix the issue with it, even though I have no idea of how hard it is to swap if for the existing one, as I have not found any video describing this specific repair. Do you have any experience with that?
Honestly, though, I am not too optimistic about my chances of success, especially because the pic below seems to suggest that, as you pointed out, also the connector on the side of the control board was somewhat damaged by my insertion attempts. Would you concur with this visual assessment?
View attachment 155258
In the worst case, if this leads me nowhere, I will bite the bullet and purchase a replacement for the whole gimbal assembly, insert my camera in it and screw it to the vibration absorption board. which has the great advantage that almost all the electrical connections are pre-made. Considering the crazy costs of these replacement parts I could even end up not deeply into the red, by reselling the salvageable parts of my replaced assembly lol.

A final question: do you have a method to test the electrical connections as you make them, on a partial assembly or is it really necessary to do what I currently do, i.e., reassemble the whole gimbal, attach it to the drone and see if it starts up ok? It would seem that not having the ability to do partial testing until the final assembly would make the manufacturing process a big headache complicating any attempt of failure analysis.
"We live and we learn."
If we do nothing, then we learn nothing.
I am a septuagenarian, and I am still learning things such as (How to spell septuagenarian).

"I have had a really hard time with the connectors."
Yes enormous fingers and tiny delicate connectors do not really mix, but I am always amazed at the sense of touch in these situations.

"I am not sure whether I correctly re-established the other two connections"
If they are in, then they are in, and you will not know how well till latter. (There should have been a slight click in making the connection but it's very difficult to tell.)

"to test them"
My testing method is to suck it and see after total reassembly but there are some things to check on the way.

"I have even had problems in keeping the camera connector plugged to the control board"
The PTZ cable connector to the gimbal control board has two pinch pieces (one at each end).
I have also had trouble in the past. My best advice is to say 'make sure that each end (see image below) is pushed home' I think from memory that the ends should not sit proud of the connector and should form a flat surface at the ends transverse to the connector. I hope this makes sense, but as you have said the cover plate also ensures that the connector stays put.
1664443286647.png 1664443348368.png


"It seems that these connectors tend to lose their grip after getting disconnected and reconnected a couple of times. Do you use anything to keep them in place or just assume it is done by the assembly itself (in this case the yellow plate that gets screwed on top of the control board)?"
Trial and error.

"I have been able to find" "a replacement of the flex cable of the yaw motor by itself."
That looks tricky to me (micro soldering of six or more motor wires). I would not attempt that but go for it if you wish.

"Would you concur with this visual assessment?" Gimbal board connector does look damaged. which leaves you with three choices.
1. Try it and see (Cheap if it works but might damage the Yaw Ribbon connector)
2. Replace the gimbal board and then try it. (Expensive and might also allow a better PTZ connection)
3. There are no other choices you will not know how well the repair is until final assembly and testing.

No matter which way you go you will eventually (even with a full replacement) have to calibrate the gimbal to get correct alignment. (Thats another topic but it's just using freely available software)
 

CodaDiLupo

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Thanks again for another thoughtful and informative reply! Septuagenarian? That only means 70+ years of rich life experiences that only make you better than many of us at navigating life's tortuous paths. If we live a healthy life, never losing our curiosity to learn, age is just a measure of knowledge and wisdom.

And a propos of learning, a few hours were enough to discover that my delusional shortcut was blocked by a high wall. Besides the microsoldering issue that you mention, it appears that even extracting the yaw motor from the arm is not a trivial task, as it requires this special tool.
At the end, what makes the most sense is to get a replacement for this whole part
Screenshot 2022-09-30 000927.png
(which for a few bucks more than the simple yaw/roll arm takes care of a couple of electrical connections) and for the gimbal control board, for a cost of approx $230 for which my fat fingers are fully responsible. As tempted as I am to punish them by chopping them off, I believe in forgiveness so I'll magnanimously pardon them.

I feel I am still taking a gamble and possibly throwing good money after bad, as the gimbal might not be the only casualty of the accident, but the dollar figure still makes attempting a repair a more sensible choice than a full drone replacement. Now I just have to wait a month or so to receive the parts lol.
 
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