Can Phantom 3 Std Be Calibrated Without Controller?

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Hello! I'm completely new here and to drones. I found a used Phantom 3 Standard on Craigslist. However, it's only the aircraft (i.e., no controller). The seller found it stranded in the woods. It's in great shape and has no obvious visual damage. I charged the battery and powered the aircraft on. The gimbal just whips around frantically in all directions, non stop. I checked online for some tips. One video said to check for a loose set screw in the yaw axis. I did and found it to be tight. Another video said to check the roll axis for its correct orientation to the camera. I did and found it to be correct. I inspected the black ribbon cable and saw no obvious damage. All axes move freely when powered off, so I don't think there is grime anywhere in the mechanism. I wonder if the drone needs an IMU calibration or a gimbal calibration. I've not yet bought a controller but intend to do so, once I have assurance this drone is worth dumping a little more money into. Is it possible to calibrate the aircraft without the controller?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Is it possible to calibrate the aircraft without the controller?
Short answer....No.

The gimbal just whips around frantically in all directions, non stop.
Also, this sounds like a gimbal problem. It should only do the "Startup Dance" for approximately 3 seconds, then level off. If it continues to bounce around...that is a problem.
 
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Short answer....No.

The gimbal just whips around frantically in all directions, non stop.
Also, this sounds like a gimbal problem. It should only do the "Startup Dance" for approximately 3 seconds, then level off. If it continues to bounce around...that is a problem.
Yes, it continually bounces around, as if it might be trying find its "home base," but never getting there. Do you think it might be due to needing IMU calibration, or possibly a firmware update?
 
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Yes, it continually bounces around, as if it might be trying find its "home base," but never getting there. Do you think it might be due to needing IMU calibration, or possibly a firmware update?
IMU has nothing to do with the gimbal startup. I doubt any calibration will help and probably not a firmware issue either. You most likely have a hardware problem that would need to be fixed.
 
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I attached a zip file with a short video of its behavior. Do I need to take it to a drone repair shop or is this something I can DIY troubleshoot? If the latter, what tips can you provide?

Thanks in advance!
 

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You cannot do anything without the Controller ....

To calibrate needs the controller AND the display with GO app loaded ... ALL calibrations are accessed via GO App ...

No other way.
 
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You cannot do anything without the Controller ....

To calibrate needs the controller AND the display with GO app loaded ... ALL calibrations are accessed via GO App ...

No other way.
Right. Yes, I get that. Someone previously mentioned it in the thread. However, the convo has evolved a little further, to wondering whether the crazy gimbal behavior will settle once it's paired with a controller, or if something else is wrong. And if something else is wrong, what DIY troubleshooting can I do to narrow it down?
 
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Right. Yes, I get that. Someone previously mentioned it in the thread. However, the convo has evolved a little further, to wondering whether the crazy gimbal behavior will settle once it's paired with a controller, or if something else is wrong. And if something else is wrong, what DIY troubleshooting can I do to narrow it down?
The first thing you need to di is get that Controller and display / GO sorted BEFORE messing with it.

I cannot stress highly enough the need to sort controller etc. first.

Think of it like a car with no steering wheel ... you cannot see out .... and engine is just doing anything it wants.

Where are you ? I have a Standard Controller with Argtek antenna system fitted sitting doing nothing ... all good condition.
 

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wondering whether the crazy gimbal behavior will settle once it's paired with a controller,
Again, short answer ..No. The controller has nothing to do with the "gimbal dance" at startup. It will do its initialization routine with or without the controller. As mentioned above, you can't do anything else.
 
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It is possible that seller having found it in the woods - that it has damage ... it doesn't actually take much to damage gimbal system.
 
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Sorry but I do not agree ...

Generally YES - if you power up a P3 - the gimbal will do its dance and the steady whether controller or not ... BUT I have also seen my own P3 not steady when powered up without controller ... sometimes the camera just creeping in side motion ... another time it seemed the dance just continued.
Powering up with controller never had any problem ...

BUT as I just posted - if seller 'found' it in the woods .. its possible that it is damaged.
 
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The first thing you need to di is get that Controller and display / GO sorted BEFORE messing with it.

I cannot stress highly enough the need to sort controller etc. first.

Think of it like a car with no steering wheel ... you cannot see out .... and engine is just doing anything it wants.

Where are you ? I have a Standard Controller with Argtek antenna system fitted sitting doing nothing ... all good condition.
I'm in Ohio, USA. I messaged you on your profile.
 
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Fly Dawg

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BUT I have also seen my own P3 not steady when powered up without controller ... sometimes the camera just creeping in side motion
Have never seen that myself, but I suppose a slight gimbal drift is possible. But nothing like the OP is describing...
 
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Have never seen that myself, but I suppose a slight gimbal drift is possible. But nothing like the OP is describing...
Hmm, I suppose some may not have experienced it. But in my little bit of internet research, I have found a dozen or more sites/videos talking about the gimbal "crazy dance." So evidently, it's somewhat common, probably from crashes though.
 
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The crazy dance is usually referring to the initialisation dance it does ...

It is unusual for it to continue more than the 10 secs or so but as I posted - I have had it happen ... rare but it can.

But the odds are on that there is a problem with it ... hope its on its way back to seller ?
 
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hope its on its way back to seller ?
Nope. The sale was "as-is" and I understood that risk. And the price was discounted accordingly. So now, I'm working to salvage it for a gift to my son soon. I'm going to check a few other things tonight on the gimbal. If I can't make headway, I'm going to take it to a local repair shop.
 
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you can purchase a used P3S RC.
Yes, thank you, that's my plan. I'm in the market for one, but was hoping to get assurance the aircraft itself was salvageable before dumping too much $$ into it.
 
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I checked the roll potentiometer per this video HERE. Mine was in specs with his, so that's apparently not the issue. I suppose I'm going to have to send this off to a local repair shop.
 

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