When it comes to aerial photography and videography, the drone’s gimbal is what makes the magic happen. But there are several issues users can experience with some DJI drones’ gimbal. One such error is the gimbal stuck error (code 40002). If you’re getting this code, don’t worry—we’re here to help you troubleshoot, and it is applicable for all DJI drones including DJI Mavic Mini, DJI Mini 2, DJI Mini 3 Pro, DJI Air 2S, and DJI Mavic 3 series.
What is Gimbal Stuck Error 40002?
The DJI gimbal stuck error code 40002 appears when something is hindering the gimbal’s movement. The obstruction is typically some kind of small debris that has become lodged somewhere in the gimbal/gimbal housing.
Drones are most susceptible to debris-induced gimbal issues when they take off and/or land from sandy, dusty, or grassy areas. During takeoff and landing, any small particles underneath/around the drone will be blown around, which means debris can easily become lodged in the gimbal housing.
Now, without further ado, let’s get into the troubleshooting steps for the gimbal stuck error so you can get your drone back up in the air and functioning as it should.
Troubleshooting DJI Gimbal Stuck Error: Code 40002
It can be disheartening to see that there is an issue with your drone’s gimbal after you power it on hoping to get some great photos or aerial footage. But luckily, this error code isn’t difficult to troubleshoot. To do so, simply follow these steps:
1. Ensure the Gimbal Cover is Removed
If you’re a more experienced drone operator, this might sound silly, but if you’re new to drones, you might have left the plastic gimbal cover on when you turned your drone on. If you did, the gimbal stuck error will appear, as the gimbal cover will prevent the gimbal from moving.
This cover is meant to protect the gimbal while the drone isn’t being used. As such, it should be removed prior to initializing the drone before each flight. Failing to do so will prevent the gimbal from moving through its initial start sequence, and the error code will be triggered. What’s more, doing this repeatedly could damage the gimbal’s motor.
2. Ensure Firmware is Up to Date
Before continuing with the troubleshooting process, be sure your drone’s firmware is up to date. Since this error is due to a mechanical blockage, it’s unlikely that firmware is the source of the problem, but in the interest of thoroughly troubleshooting every potential culprit, it’s worth a shot.
Once you’ve confirmed that your drone is operating on the latest firmware version, you’re ready to continue.
3. Remove ND Filter (if Applicable)
If you’ve ensured that the gimbal cover is removed and that the drone has the latest firmware and the error persists, it’s time to proceed with troubleshooting. If you have an ND filter on your drone’s camera, remove it, and observe whether or not the error persists. An aftermarket ND filter could potentially impede the gimbal’s movement, triggering this error.
4. Perform a Gimbal Calibration
Performing a gimbal calibration could potentially resolve this issue. Before performing a gimbal calibration, ensure that your drone is placed on a flat surface. Then, follow the on-screen prompts for the gimbal calibration procedure for your particular drone.
5. Check for Lodged Debris
If you still see the error code after performing a gimbal calibration, the next step is to visually and manually check for lodged debris. But first, ensure the drone is powered off.
First, start with a visual inspection of the gimbal/gimbal housing. Check for any visible debris—dust, sand, or any other small particles—that might be lodged in the components. If you have one handy, a flashlight can help.
If you’re able to visibly identify debris, proceed to step 6.
If you’re unable to visibly identify any debris, the next step is to manually inspect the components. Hold the drone with one hand, and with the other hand, gently and slowly move the gimbal throughout its full range of motion in all of its different axes.
The key is to do this slowly so that you can identify the location of the blockage.
6. Blow Air into the Gimbal Housing
The next step in the troubleshooting process is to blow air into the gimbal housing in order to dislodge the debris causing the blockage.
If you were able to identify the location of the blockage in the previous step, then this step is easy. Simply blow a concentrated stream of air toward the location of the blockage. If you weren’t able to identify the location of the blockage, simply blow air toward all the crevices and joints in the gimbal housing.
Take care to ensure that no saliva makes it into the gimbal’s components, as it could cause damage.
You can also use a can of compressed air to try to dislodge the debris. But if you opt for this method, be sure to monitor the strength of the air stream to avoid damaging the components in the gimbal housing.
7. Contact DJI for Service
If you’ve followed all of the aforementioned troubleshooting steps but the issue persists, the next course of action is to contact DJI for further troubleshooting and repair.
Now that you’ve followed the recommended troubleshooting steps, the next thing to do is test it. Simply power your drone back on, and observe whether or not the error appears. If you followed these instructions carefully, your drone’s gimbal should now function properly. Fly safe!
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