Drone sales topped $ 1 billion in recent sales, soaring to $ 13 billion in total value.
As the industry experiences record growth, drone owners are discovering creative and business possibilities with their drones.
For example, a wedding videographer may charge extra for drone footage. Realtors can optimize their marketing strategy with enhanced virtual tours. Climate change nonprofits can produce compelling, action-inspiring aerial content.
Drones with cameras cost anywhere from $ 300 to over $ 2,000. Prices are rising with features like 4K video, 60fps, HD streaming, and more.
Investing in a quality drone from the start reduces drone repair costs. However, routine maintenance is just as essential for saving money (and preserving your drone.)
Stay one step ahead of repairs with this comprehensive guide.
What to do when you plant your drone
Drone crashes are incredibly common, especially with new owners. Accidents do not always result in repairs and replacements. However, poor quality drones can be more susceptible to damage.
Drones are not like typical devices or toys. When you crash into a remote control car, you don’t have to report the incident to an agency. However, drones have posed interesting security challenges.
Most drone crashes don’t injure people or property, but it is possible. Thus, all drone crashes with damage over $ 500 must be reported to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Drone accident repairs
Can you get your drone back after a crash?
You can if you act quickly.
First, assess the damage to find out. Also take photos along the way. If you have a warranty, you will need a lot of documentation.
Common damage in the event of an accident includes:
Inspect your drone’s propellers for nicks, chips, and breakage.
Propellers are more likely to break in an accident. Unbalanced propellers produce too much vibration, making the craft difficult to maneuver.
Even small imperfections warrant replacement.
Hardware, engines and landing gear
Next, take a look at the drone’s motor and accessories. Loose parts create excessive vibration, causing aerodynamic instability. Also listen to the clicking, rolling and shaking noises.
Tighten all loose parts, as they are not broken.
If you have a DJI drone, it probably came with its own landing gear. However, retractable landing gears can be damaged in a collision. Check the retraction and extension characteristics for any damage, then test them to be sure.
Damage over the drone
The wiring of your drone can also move or be damaged during a crash.
First, inspect the drone’s main wires located in the craft’s harness. Look for any loose connectors in the wire bundle. Look closely for burnt, severed, and frayed wires.
How to repair your DJI drone
Now the real challenge begins.
You can replace the batteries, perform minor troubleshooting, and upgrade the parts on your own. However, drones are not just electronic devices or household appliances. Even experienced hobbyists find it difficult to repair drones.
Fortunately, there are many repair services that are specific to DJI drones. Best of all, you can find drone repair companies certified by DJI itself, ensuring lasting results.
Repair processes vary, but most follow the steps outlined on the following page: https://www.drdrone.ca/pages/repairs.
- Detail the damage of your drone to the service provider
- Transfer the drone in person or by mail
- The company will inspect the damage and diagnose the problem
- You will receive a repair estimate
- The company will test and fly your drone to ensure your satisfaction
- You pay when the job is done and verified.
Professional services also repair minor repairs, a necessity for beginners. You can also buy maintenance plans to keep your drone in top condition.
DIY drone troubleshooting and tune-ups
You can perform your own troubleshooting and tune-ups whether you are a new or experienced operator. In fact, troubleshooting is great training for novice operators. Plus, you can better identify the repairs you need, reducing your chances of overpaying for services.
If you’re new to tune-ups, start with minor projects like new stickers, controller upgrades, or propellers. Over time, you can move forward to complete upgrades, including new GPS modules, drone rewiring, and gimbal repairs.
Drone repair tips for frame upgrades
For example, if you want to install a new drone frame, mark the following steps:
- Turn off the vehicle
- Remove the battery from the drone
- Gently remove the propellers
- Remove all the parts that are not fixed in the case
- Unscrew all the screws from the frame
- Detach any unwelded wiring from the frame
- Transfer the detachable parts to the new frame
- Connect the wires to the new drone frame
Some parts cannot be removed from the drone frame, such as soldered wiring. If your old frame is in good condition, you can still sell it online. Selling your used drone parts is a great way to fund your upgrades.
How to replace your drone’s motor
Over time, you can replace your own motor. You also don’t have to wait for the drone to crash. Upgrade your engine to increase its speed, performance, range and stability.
As in the previous example, turn off the drone and remove its batteries first. Then follow these simple troubleshooting tips:
- Make sure no motor is running
- Detach the propellers without damaging them
- Carefully disassemble the drone chassis
- Disconnect the wires from the old motor
- Remove the old motor (remember its direction of rotation)
- Install the new engine
- Reassemble the frame
As a general rule, check the engine every 200 flights. The same rule applies to your propellers, your GPS unit, and your wiring.
At that point, your drone will start to fail with wear and tear. It is therefore recommended that you perform troubleshooting in advance.
Upgrading your drone’s propellers
The propellers keep your drone at high speeds. You can improve the flight of your vehicle by upgrading it before its maintenance dates.
As with all drone repairs, turn off the drone unit before troubleshooting. Wait a few minutes for the propellers and engine to shut off as well. Disconnect the drone’s battery when you are ready.
You don’t need to remove any other parts or wiring. However, you must correctly identify the orientation of rotation of the propellers. Most drone propellers also have printed indicators.
Make sure you have the correct replacement part and the correct orientation before installing the propellers.
How to replace your drone camera
If you are a content creator, you understand the value of a high quality drone camera. Fortunately, a new 4K camera is just an upgrade!
Follow these tips to get started:
- Turn off the drone
- Let the motors and propellers shut down completely
- Remove the screws from the drone gimbal frame
- Socket of gimbal panels
- Remove the old camera from the drone
- Install the new camera
- Configure yaw and roll functionality
If you are installing a GoPro camera, you will need to align the new gear with the gimbal. You may need to press down firmly on the camera to snap it into place.
Once everything is installed, you can calibrate your new camera with the included controller app!
Rewiring your drone
This next troubleshooting tip is for experienced operators or homeowners with experience in welding. You will need a replacement wire and wire solder kit. Fortunately, only minor soldering is required.
Be careful not to make mistakes. You could ruin the drone frame. Thus, sending your drone to a professional is always recommended.
First, remove the propellers and the battery. The motor can remain in place.
Then turn the frame face down. Gently place the craft on a table or flat surface.
Unscrew the screws from the drone housing and disconnect the wiring inside. Carefully open the vehicle frame and identify the connectors.
Identify loose wires and strip their ends to solder them. Solder the salvageable wires and replace any dead wiring.
How to prevent repairs
Learning to repair is a good experience, but too many problems shorten the life of the drone.
Routine maintenance is one way to avoid early replacements. Watch for signs of problems, like worn propellers, loose parts, and poor performance.
Avoiding drone crashes also helps.
Unfortunately, accidents are inevitable when you first learn to fly a drone.
You can reduce your risk of an accident with the following tips:
Accident prevention tips
First, gain experience with a drone simulator before testing your drone in the real world. Spend a lot of time studying your orders. Immerse yourself in YouTube videos and tutorials to avoid rookie mistakes.
Avoid flying too high during your first attempts. Stay below 100 feet if you can.
Learn about the drone’s GPS modules and collision detection functions. Understand your drone’s feedback functions to avoid flying out of range or crashing into power lines. For example, you can set a fixed altitude limit for your drone.
Avoid flying around treetops, power lines, roofs, and other structures. Large, open spaces are the best. You can also test your drone on empty grounds.
If you want aerial footage of the city or an urban exploration video, wait until the city is less crowded. Early in the morning before travel is better.
This next tip is often overlooked.
Don’t take off just yet. Let your drone hover for a few minutes. This trick also heats up your drone while avoiding crashes on takeoff.
Fly to new heights
Enjoy all that your DJI drone has to offer. Keep this drone repair guide handy as you explore your new vehicle. Remember to take advance of expert repairs and DIY troubleshooting techniques.
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