The Autel Evo II is one of the best non-DJI enterprise drones capable of high-quality photography, videography, and mapping tasks, rivaling drones like the DJI Mavic 2 Pro or even the Mavic 3.
However, like most drones, it has some minor issues that, if you don’t figure out how to fix, you may not get to fly as much as you’d want. And one of these issues is gimbal failure.
So, what causes the Autel Evo II gimbal to fail?
Gimbal failure in the Autel EVO II may be caused by taking off from an uneven surface, outdated firmware, or poor gimbal calibration. Sometimes, the gimbal needs a bit of extra time to stabilize.
Please keep reading to learn more about Autel’s gimbal issues, how to deal with them, and other issues this drone may have.
Gimbal failure – should you be worried?
Gimbals play a crucial role in a drone by stabilizing the footage. Wind turbulence, sudden turns or stops, or just regular drone movement is enough to cause shaky footage, which may not be usable.
But a gimbal cancels out all this movement, allowing you to get smooth footage despite the movements. However, for the gimbal to work as it should, it needs to be balanced since it operates on an axis.
If the gimbal is not working or balanced, you will not only get bad footage, but you will also drain the drone’s battery faster since an unbalanced gimbal causes strain on the motors.
This also hastens the wear-and-tear rate of the motors, and you may have to replace them sooner than expected. Resolving your gimbal issues is important.
The most common issues people face with the Autel Evo II gimbal include:
- Getting an error – “Gimbal not ready, do not fly.”
- Getting the error – “Gimbal motor close will work again after restarting the aircraft.”
- Failed to calibrate the gimbal.
Autel EVO II gimbal failure – How to fix it
Now let’s look at why your drone may be experiencing a gimbal failure and how to fix it.
You need to give it more time
If you fire up your drone to fly and get the error “Gimbal not ready,” sometimes it’s because it just needs a bit more time.
Some users attested that if they gave the drone a few seconds or even up to 2 minutes before attempting to fly, the error disappeared, and they were able to fly.
You’re taking off from an uneven surface
Another reason you may be experiencing this issue is that you are taking off from an uneven surface. This could be when you attempt to take off from your hand, or if the ground where you are attempting to take off is not level.
As I mentioned earlier, the gimbal must be balanced to function correctly. In such a case, try using a landing pad or look for a flat surface and attempt to take off.
Pro Tip: If you travel a lot and often find yourself taking off from your hand, try using Boat Mode, designed for flying drones on a boat.
One thing you should not do is keep trying to take off when you get the error. Doing that only delays the process of the drone stabilizing the gimbal. Instead, give the drone some time, place it on a flat surface, then attempt to take off again.
You’re not using the latest firmware
Using outdated firmware may cause bugs and malfunctions, including gimbal failures.
In firmware 2.5.11, Autel also fixed the “Gimbal Not Ready” bug, making it necessary to update the latest firmware.
Therefore, check if you are using the latest firmware. If not, update accordingly using the following steps:
- First, remove the propellers.
- Make sure the drone and controller have a 25% charge or more.
- Access the Autel Explorer app on your mobile device.
- You will get a prompt to update the firmware if there’s a pending firmware update.
If this doesn’t work, below is how you can update the firmware using an SD card:
- Insert an SD card on your laptop and access the Autel Robotics website.
- Download the latest firmware appropriate for your drone.
- Save it in the Root Directory of your SD card.
- Unfold the drone’s arms and insert the SD card.
- Power on the drone and the controller.
- The drone will automatically detect and install the firmware on the SD card.
Note: If you have several batteries, you must conduct a firmware update with each. After updating the firmware, also recalibrate the IMU and the compass.
Your drone needs to be calibrated correctly
Calibration is another vital process you should consider to avoid gimbal failures, horizon tilts, and other issues associated with a malfunctioning gimbal.
The three main components to calibrate include the gimbal, IMU, and compass.
Below is how to do it correctly:
- Make sure the drone is on a flat surface.
- Avoid areas with electromagnetic interference, such as overhead powerlines, watches, or Wi-Fi routers, when calibrating the gimbal.
- Remove the gimbal guard and propellers.
- Tilt the gimbal slightly.
- Power on the drone and the controller by pressing the power button and holding it for 3 seconds.
- Access the Autel Explorer app.
- Go to Camera > Settings > Gimbal.
- Click on Gimbal auto-calibration then Start Calibration.
- The gimbal calibration will start and take a few seconds before you get a confirmation message.
Note: Do not move or switch off the drone or the controller during the calibration process. If you move the drone accidentally, you may have to redo the calibration.
If you get the error “Failed to calibrate gimbal,” try disconnecting it and reconnecting it again, as the video below shows. It may not work, but it’s still worth a try. But if you’re unsure about disassembling the gimbal, don’t risk it.
Use the following process to calibrate your Autel Evo 2 compass:
- Make sure you are outdoors to access GPS satellites.
- Avoid areas with electromagnetic interference, such as overhead powerlines, watches, or Wi-Fi routers, when calibrating the compass.
- Open the Autel Explorer app and select Camera.
- In the top right section, click on Settings.
- While in Flight Control, scroll down to Compass Calibration and Start Calibration.
- Follow the on-screen prompts to calibrate the compass.
Below is how you can calibrate using the remote controller:
- Power on the drone and controller.
- Press the RTH and the Auto-takeoff and land buttons simultaneously.
- You will get a pop-up to begin the calibration.
- Hold the drone with the camera facing you and complete a 360-degree turn horizontally.
- Hold the drone with the camera facing up and complete a 360-degree horizontal turn.
- Turn the drone so the camera faces left and complete a 360-degree turn.
Note: If you get an error of failed calibration, move several feet to another location and try again.
Below is the step-by-step process to complete an IMU calibration:
- Remove the propellers.
- Place the drone on a flat surface.
- Switch on the drone and the controller.
- Access the Autel Explorer app and select Camera.
- Access Settings in the top right corner.
- In Flight Control, scroll down to IMU Calibrate and select it.
- Click Start Calibration.
- The process is automatic. You just have to position the drone as instructed in the prompts.
- Flashing green lights is a confirmation that the calibration is successful.
- The positions include placing it flat on the surface, placing it upside down, on its side with the arms out and the camera facing left and then right, folding the rear arms and placing the drone upright with the nose facing down and then turning it, so the nose is facing up.
Send the drone back to Autel Robotics
If everything else fails, the drone may have other internal issues you can’t fix. In such a case, send the drone back to the manufacturer, and they can help with the repairs or replacements.