MoVI Controller Hardware Failure

Discussion in 'MōVI M10' started by Ben Ruffell, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. Ben Ruffell

    Ben Ruffell Active Member

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    Hello,

    Thought I would share this, as it may happen to another user and this could help them.

    Day one. Brand new Controller arrived. Set it up, it was awesome, Tested perfectly.

    Day two. Prepping for a big shoot, went to turn on the MoVI Controller, nothing.

    Tried batteries, power cycling and so on. Nothing,

    Had my electrical engineer have a look. Established that there is power at the barrel connector. Opened it up, established that the switch has failed.

    Sent support email to Freefly.

    Started to rebuild the original Spektrum controller.

    But, every time we switched from Magestic to Manual mode the Movi would go into Kill Mode. (Quite violently).

    Checked that connectors were in the correct way on the Spektrum receiver.

    Looked in the "Emergency Repair Pouch" for a replacement cable. There was none…. seriously, what is the point of this overpriced, get you out of trouble package?!?! First, not Jumper reset cable, now, no spare Spektrum cable. Total waste of time, and money… why are these cables not in this pouch?!!? Useless.

    Heard back from Freefly, which was good, as we were starting to freak out.

    Freefly support offered to call, and did, which was great. (and to be honest, expected, with the premium that we paid for this product).

    Worked through a bunch of stuff. When we got to 'Reset to default settings' that fixed it.

    Just a heads up. This is not documented anywhere.

    When you switch between controllers, you need to do this reset.

    Great, we are back in business for the big shoot, and can sleep easy.

    Freefly support promised to get a replacement controller out first thing in the morning. They took a credit card authorisation to do so. (I guess they don't trust me to return a faulty product).

    Back from the shoot, check email, no replacement controller dispatched.

    This is 30 hours after the phone call.

    Sent another email.

    32 hours later….
    (time zone arguments will not hold water here).

    Big shoot in a few days, client had been promised the controller and bought into the concept. Freefly have now missed any chance of this Fedex making it in time.

    Useless.

    (end of rant).
     
  2. Jason Comparetto

    Jason Comparetto Active Member

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    Good tip. 'Reset to default settings'

    Thanks for posting
     
  3. Hi Ben,

    I wanted to take a moment and publicly apologize that you had the issue in the first place but also to thank you for all the great feedback you have provided. I am so happy we were able to make an exception to our current email only support policy and call you and help you resolve the issue with the Spektrum right away. I am also happy that we were able to make an exception to our warranty policy and ship you out a replacement unit instead of repairing the one you have. And wow, I am also happy that we were also able to send you your replacement, before you sent yours back. An exception we are only able to make in rare cases. Thank you again for acknowledging all the ways we have gone above and beyond to help you when something went wrong.

    I show that we spoke to you Wednesday evening (PST - in this case, Time Zone matters as it was long after Fedex accepts shipments) and that we were able to ship your replacement first thing the next morning (yesterday). We did mention that we would send it first thing in the morning and I apologize that you do not feel comfortable trusting us to send that out. It does sound like the Fedex tracking system didn't send you a tracking number (it is automated for them) so I sincerely apologize and I will definitely send that over in your ticket. Regarding your suggestion about the default settings, we will make sure that is included in all of our product manuals as that is something that one should commonly try if there is an issue. Thank you again for all your feedback, it is always appreciated and we will definitely use it to grow.

    Best Regards,
    Denise
     
  4. Michael Elsegood

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    Hi Mate,

    I also had some weird stuff going on with mine - Set up and worked fine on prep day, out on shoot, first setup all good... Then after losing power to the controller via a flat V Lock (my bad) it all turned pear-shaped. After powering up again, majestic would be fine, but going into Remote (Now called 'D') made the Movi tilt 90 degrees straight downward (or upward if I flicked Tilt Direction)

    I also had some pretty bad range issues with mine (doing UAV aerials) It was only good for ~ 200 feet line of sight. It seems to behave differently when it loses signal than the DX7 does - It goes into all kinds of strange positions.

    I'm not sure if this controller is designed for aerial use or handheld only - I had assumed it was OK for both?

    Have gone back to the DX7 as my jobs this week are all paying gigs and not for R&D (also had some major headaches changing back to DX7 until I did the restore factory settings)

    Looking forward to spending some more time testing with it when I get some time off. At this stage, I can't trust it on a shoot.

    The concept of this controller is amazing, it just needs to be refined.

    My only really harsh criticism would be it shipping without any Run/Stop capability! Remote run stop is probably the most basic function required when operating any remote head. Making this a proprietary digital signal on the new controller also makes it near impossible to come up with a temporary solution.
     
  5. Ben Ruffell

    Ben Ruffell Active Member

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    Sorry to hear that you are having similar problems Michael. Like you, I use this equipment to make a living on large, professional film sets. This is not a hobby.

    The range sounds terrible, we never had the chance to test ours. But, if it's only 200 feet, we will be returning the replacement controller.

    Is there really no Run / Stop? We use the Axis 1 for Focus, and did not have a chance to wire it in before equipment failure. There is a big red button on the controller, if it is not connected through to the Axis 1 add on I will be shocked. Maybe someone from Freefly can advise?

    Our biggest surprise was the shitty barrel connector on a cable for the power from the V-Mount. Why was this power not connected through the back of the v-mount directly into the internals of the controller? I know someone will jump on and say 'but it gives you the option to run mains power'… that's bullshit, just put in another plug for the rear occasions when you want to do that and switch through the sources automatically. Quite a surprise to have consumer standards that will fail on-set mixed in with proper connectors.
     
  6. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Michael: I'd like to gather a little more data about the problems you're experiencing -- and bear in mind I'm a volunteer moderator, not a FF employee, so don't construe any of my questions as anything other than basic enquiries.

    1. Could you post an image of how you have the MōVI Controller set up please? I'm particularly interested in how you have the antenna on the controller oriented.

    2. Have you noticed whether or not there is some directional sensitivity on the MōVI MR? I was wondering whether in some orientations whether or not the carbon fiber of the MōVI MR might be "shielding" the receiver antenna on the MōVI MR?

    3. If it's not to much of a pain, could you do a ground range test? Do you see the same reduced range on the ground?

    EDIT: 4. When you were flying and experienced this reduced range, did you happen to notice whether you were near any power lines, cell phone towers, any other antennae that might be radiating radio signals?

    Thanks
    Andy.
     
  7. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    As Brad just pointed out to me, you're in the EU aren't you, Michael?
    In which case, the radiated RF power of the MōVI is +10 dBm compared to the +18 dBm elsewhere -- but the documentation does say "Range : Power Level 0 (EU), Outdoor line of sight: 1200 feet, 300 meters."

    What Power Level do you have the MōVI set to? See Radio Config, page 21 of the MōVI Controller manual (I added the page numbers to my PDF file, so yours may be different).

    Andy.
     
  8. Adam Paugh

    Adam Paugh Distributor

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    Hello Michael,

    We are currently looking to relocate the MoVI Controller receiver on the gimbal as we are experiencing reduced range when used in conjunction with our 1.2gHz video downlink. With the downlink removed the control range returns to manufacturer's spec.

    Greetings,
    Adam
     
  9. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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  10. Adam Paugh

    Adam Paugh Distributor

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    Andy--we have a notch filter en route, thanks for the tip. Will report back on a more appropriate thread.

    Greetings,
    Adam
     
  11. Ben Ruffell

    Ben Ruffell Active Member

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    Just an update.

    The replacement controller arrived, tested well, and performed well on it's first shoot day.

    It really is the best way to control the movi. The joystick is far better than the spectrum, and is similar in feel and response to the shotover system.

    One of the best features is being able to monitor the battery, and motor positions at a glance.

    This controller is very professional, and I wouldn't want to go back to the old system of DX8 and tablet.

    (Still working through some incorrect customs charges on the replacement unit, but hopefully we can get that resolved soon).
     

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