P3A - Unresponsive Gimbal & Camera, Won't upgrade firmware.

Jul 14, 2023
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Hello, I've scoured the internet searching to the solution to two problems, maybe three problems that I've had.

  • Gimbal is unresponsive at startup
  • No Video Feed
  • Firmware on drone will not upgrade

I got a free P3A with a broken Yaw arm and cable. The PO said he crashed it and let it sit for about 5 years. I repaired the Yaw arm and cable, bought a new battery and was able to update the RC firmware. The drone flies without issue. I replace the cable with this one, I know, not OEM, but it has good reviews: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0751B15LB?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

I've got a few questions:

  1. When I turn off the drone, after the battery lights are out, I hear this spinning sound coming from inside that makes about a .5-1 second spool up and seems to pulse every 3 seconds. Is this normal? I'm sure it's from inside the drone body as I had the gimbal assembly removed at the time.
  2. When I try and upgrade the firmware to the latest, even after an hour+ it never completes or generates any type of log. It does generate a DMCI and MISC folder. Yes I've checked hidden files. The light on the gimbal does a fast green blinking sequence for maybe 20-30 seconds, pauses, then an alternating red and green sequence for another 20-30 seconds. One internet resource said this could be something motherboard related due to it sitting unpowered for so long and losing something that was stored in memory that would allow it to upgrade. Am I doing the firmware upgrade right? I find the DMCI and MISC folder creation a bit odd. Would you expect to see those folders during an upgrade attempt?
  3. On the DJI go app, I have a roll and yaw hardware error on the gimbal. This would make sense considering the broken cable, but now that it's mended, I suspect those are old stuck errors and the gimbal may have a fault flag that's not allowing it to reassess it's current repaired state. Is there a way to get the gimbal to self check? I've tried the gimbal calibration in the DJI go app, but it just hangs at the starting calibration dialog.

Thanks for the lengthy read and any help you may provide!
Last edited:
  • Gimbal is unresponsive at startup
Then it isn't powered (STM microcontroller gets no power) on it can't read its IMU state.
(could be different kind of damage as well, the above are most usual cases)

  • No Video Feed
Then video processor (Ambarella chip) is not powered, or cannot boot, or is not properly connected to OFDM board.
  • Firmware on drone will not upgrade
There are logs to check to tell more. With that general statement, the answer is the same as previous point.

any help you may provide

Disconnect camera. Check cables with multimeter. reconnect. Disconnect everything except power from the Gimbal Top Board. Check if the Gimbal Top Board is powered. Do visual inspection of the board. Check if it generates lower voltages with multimeter. If Ambarella is powered, ask it to write any log on SD-card to see if it booted.

The standard stuff.

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