My delve in to the world of the DJI Inspire


I can sort of understand for the SUAV itself but would the controller not be classed as ground equipmemt or similar?

Technically your not modifying the drone in any way.



True, that’s why a call to an insurer is a must I think eh!

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If you haven’t already DON’T upgrade the firmware to the latest. It cripples the video transmission strength and range. Upto 1.08 is fine but above is a pain in the arse.
The remote should stay as is as well ,if you upgrade to latest it wont work with old firmware



Come on Chris you should know me by now…

I’m running custom firmware on the Inspire too :wink:

That said, you’re perfectly safe on 1.09.x as the restrictions weren’t present there either. I’m running v1.09.01.30 as it supports the Zenmuse Z3 camera that I run.

Confirmed though, as soon as you go to v1.10 or higher it all goes to shit :roll_eyes:

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Well, I took the Titan Atlas out for a quick test flight on the Inspire today.

Hooollyyyyy shit what a difference :scream:

The increased signal quality is far more noticeable on the Inspire (older tech, perhaps?) than it is on the Mavic Pro.

I flew over Wigan Flashes and flew a route that I know well, and know where the signal starts to drop out. Not so much as a spec of interference, zero pixellation, full signal throughout, I was blown away. Granted I didn’t push it to the limits as I was pressed for time, but I’ll try again soon.

Thankfully the VLOS for the Inspire is about 10x greater than the Mavic. You can see this thing a bloody mile off. Even more so with the Strobon CREEs on a grey cloudy day. Thankfully…

We need to coin a word for that time when you are watching your drone in the sky, look down at the screen, look up and BANG! The bloody thing has vanished?! :man_shrugging: I’ll fire up a new thread for that one…

Anyway, bottom line, first impressions of this latest mod? What a difference!! :bowing_man:

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Does that mean that 500m feels just like … 500m? :wink:

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I know ,I know preaching to the converted. Saying that I’m stuck on 1.13 ? . As part of the repairs I replaced the camera (which was on 1.13) So I had no picture until the rest was brought into line, which I did ,bird controller etc. Now it refuses to downgrade full stop , the controller will but bird and camera nope .Tried 3 different versions and just says no .
Any ideas how to play ball



I am on the lookout for inspire 2 x5 camera, but not holding my breath, if the price is right?



I’m literally just about to mod my Inspire 1 to take an X5 camera!

Parts should be here tomorrow… detailed post to follow (along with one on how to replace the Vision Positioning module - but that’s another story).

You after an Inspire 2 with an X5, or just the Zenmuse X5 camera itself there @jimvfrmoto750 mate?



We need a “Serial Accessoryitis” badge for you! :rofl:



Rich is patient zero :rofl:



I fucking live for this shit I tell ya :smiley:



Would love for the Phantom 5 to come out, but I keep looking at inspire 2’s , my mate says they to big to carry , but I still keep a look out for someone selling cheap?



When hovering, my Mavic Pro is absolutely nailed to the sky, doesn’t budge. The Inspire on the other hand has a slight tendency to wander. Not a lot, but compared to the MP it doesn’t feel as ‘nailed’. Maybe they all do this? I’ve never seen another Inspire 1 to compare it with.

Anyway, two possible causes for the instability (for want of a less-powerful word):

  1. Old technology
    – By this I mean the hardware (the VPS camera itself) and/or the firmware, which hasn’t been updated by DJI since July 2017 don’t forget. The firmware will be using (dated?) software algorithms to stabilise the drone, based on what it interprets in the downward facing camera.

  2. A faulty VPS module
    – Unlikely, as it’s not throwing any errors or warnings, but it’s a sensitive component at the best of times, so you never know.

Well, as I can’t do anything about the stuff in # 1, I thought I’d try swapping out the VPS module for a new one, again because they’re only 1/4 the price they should be these days.

Here’s what the VPS module looks like on an Inspire 1, it’s mounted dead centre on the belly of the airframe.

Sideways on, you can see a small air vent here too.

Here’s the new one, it’s not much bigger than a matchbox.

DJI Spare Part No 39, ‘Vision Positioning Module’.

DJI definitely took some cues from Apple on their packaging :+1:t2:

Inside the box is the module itself and a silver foil pack containing a spare ribbon cable and three torx screws.

Interestingly, there is a ribbon cable already attached to the module in the box, so the one in the foil packet genuinely is a spare.

Off topic, I splashed out on some Draper precision torx screwdrivers. I’m fed up using cheap one-shot tools that disintegrate at the first sign of pressure.

For this job you only need a T6 driver:

Before doing anything you should disconnect the existing ribbon cable from the airframe. It’s the higher of the two connectors in this shot.

Which typically is buried deep inside the most awkward part of the airframe to access. You can see here I’ve actually removed the side frame-bracing arm to give me a bit more access:

Anyway, with the cable disconnected, you simply remove the three T6 screws holding the module in place and it all comes away in one unit.

Once removed, you can see a small rectangle shaped hole on the bottom, which your new cable will pass up through.

No more photos beyond this point as there’s nothing else to show really, it’s a very easy job to do.

The hardest part was plugging the ribbon cable connector back in to the airframe. You need some right angled needle nose pliers, or fingers the size of a 1 year old :roll_eyes:

Still, it wouldn’t be a DJI product if it wasn’t bloody impossible to work on eh :smiley:



And if you’re wondering why I’m doing all this on a kitchen tea towel… you’d be shit scared of scratches too if your bird was hydrodipped :blush:

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Here’s another nifty gadget that I picked up on eBay for a song.

It’s an adaptor which you connect to an Inspire battery and it gives you two USB ports (1x 1amp and 1x 2amp) which you can use for charging, well, anything really.

My Mavic Pro came with something similar, the Inspire 1 does not.

As you’ll see, this is actually for the P4 but the connector this adaptor uses is identical to that of the Inspire.

Inside the box is nothing, except the trusty gadget. The port on the left is 1A and the right is labeled 2A.

Output Specs.

This barrel connector is the same as the one on the Inspire remote controller and also the same as the one used on the CrystalSky Charging Hub (and on various P4 stuff no doubt?). DJI obviously favour it.

Two USB ports on the other end.

Not sure of the name of this cable, it came with the Inspire. The cable connects to the battery and has a barrel plug on the other end. It’s primary purpose is to allow you to charge the Inspire remote from an Inspire battery, but in this configuration I can now charge any USB device (tested on my iPad Mini) from a spare Inspire battery while out in the field if need be :+1:t2:

Back later, I’m off in search of more bargain gadgets :blush:

Will do a write up on the Zenmuse X5 gimbal plate upgrade tomorrow.



My Inspire mods continue… :grimacing:

The ‘regular’ Inspire ships with the Zenmuse X3 camera (which I’ve since replaced with the Zenmuse Z3) and in case you haven’t been following the story thus far, most of the mods I’ve done are edging my originally-base-spec’d Inspire ever nearer to the spec of the Inspire 1 PRO or RAW.

This mod sees the original X3 gimbal mounting plate on the bottom of the Inspire removed, and replaced with a gimbal plate that will take not only the X3 but also the Zenmuse X5 and the X5R (RAW) cameras too.

I’ve mentioned elsewhere that since going end of life, parts are being sold at rock bottom prices as suppliers don’t want old new-stock on their shelves that they can’t shift.

As per, I picked this up for a song on eBay.

Using it’s full title, this is a “Zenmuse X5 Spare Part No 2 - Vibration Absorbing Board”.

Inside the box are three bags.

The bag on the left contains some leg extensions (I’ll come back to that at the end of this post), the middle bag contains the main gimbal mounting plate itself and the bag on the right contains the two vibration absorption mounts.

This is the top-side of the mounting plate, pay close attention to it as you’ll never see this side of it again once it’s mounted.

At the bottom of the mount are to lugs on a hinge arrangement. Lots of people seem totally baffled as to what these are for. These are specifically for the X5R camera (not the standard X5). The RAW camera has an additional plate on the back of it which the X3 range don’t have. So unless you have the X5R, these lugs are redundant.

At the top of this plate are two ribbon-cable connectors which pass through the underneath, for the gimbal.

On the flip side then is the familiar quick-release connector, with dust cap in place here.

Dust cap removed to reveal the bayonet fitting and connectors.

These two brackets get screwed on to the airframe itself, the plate in the above photo then mounts over the rubber vibration absorbing points shown here.

There’s also a bag of screws in the box too, and some concealed threaded nuts.

The bag containing the feet.

So that’s everything in the box :+1:t2:

Right then, on with the mod!

The first step is to remove the existing gimbal plate.

This just pulls up off the rubber bungs. Remove the rear first as the front is hiding some connected cables.

These two connectors need removing, use a small flat screwdriver to press in the release pin first.

The old gimbal plate now removed,

Next up, pull out the old rubber vibration bungs, you won’t need these any more.

Now the tricky part, assembling the new gimbal plate.

Why is that tricky? :thinking:

Because this kit comes with NO instructions.

It’s was like the bloody Krypton Factor tying to work out which way up these parts went :roll_eyes:

So for your benefit, some close ups of the correct orientation of each part, should anyone else wish to do this mod.

Top view.

Bottom view.

Sideways front.

Sideways rear.

By the way, you’ll need a small allen-key bit for this next part.

But before we get to that, I also picked up two sets of replacement ribbon cables for a couple of quid on eBay too.

These are officially known as “Spare Part No 17 - Fast Mounting Gimbal Port Cable”.

Interestingly, the replacement cables (bottom) are wrapped in a protective sheath, the original cable (top) is not. I wonder if there was some fraying being reported :thinking:

These next steps are of course optional, if you’re careful removing the old plate and connectors you don’t need to do this part.

Anyway, strip the Inspire down to the bare airframe so you can get to the other end of the connectors.

The cables connect low down.

While stripped, I also noticed another connector which I’d not paid any attention to before.

Any idea what this might be for?

@Gadgerman any ideas, Chris?

Anyway, new cables connected, you can see here why I think there may have been fraying reported as the unprotected cabled would rub against the metal of the airframe as they exit here.

Ok, cables replaced - onward with the mounting!

Connect the cables to the new gimbal plate.

Then this little metal plate needs to slot in to these two holes.

You can then screw the front of the plate to the airframe.

Now for another bloody fiddly part…

These little captive nuts need placing INSIDE the airframe…

You can see here I removed one of the side braces to give me more access.

These can then be screwed in place too.

Here’s the end result :smiley:

So that’s it, job done.

It’s not an overly complicated mod, quite straight forward with no gotchas :+1:t2:

With the Z3 camera attached.

Shiny :sunglasses:

Now then, on to the leg extensions!

I mentioned very early on in this thread that the Z3 camera is quite a bit bigger than the X3 and because of that it sits dangerously close to the floor. I’m guessing the X5 does the same as this kit includes some leg extensions and sticky pads to attach them with.

They look like shoes when attached :blush:

I didn’t have tape measure to hand to show the height difference, so you’ll have to judge it against this box.



Depending on which case you have, those leg extensions might cause you troubles - heads up :wink:



I’m also hoping you find these posts of use or interest…

As it often takes me longer to type up the details of these mods than it does to do the mod itself :rofl:



Nice tea towel does the wife know your using it

No the modifications are very interesting and well documented it makes a good read and ale me want to have a go at something

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Sorry not been on for a while. Not the right weather and other projects took over.
Not sure about that port. I will have a look tomorrow as the inspire is kept at work, due to wifey complaining about it being constantly in her way (what’s a kitchen for if not storing drones)