In this tutorial I will show you how to replace the DJI O3 camera and MIPI cable. Note that when you replace the camera you will have to perform a calibration which isn’t very straight-forward, but I will show you step by step how to do it.
Check out my DJI O3 Review for more tips and tricks using the system: https://oscarliang.com/dji-o3-air-unit-fpv-goggles-2/
Getting Spare O3 Camera Modules
When it comes to camera compatibility, there’s currently only one camera compatible with the O3 system which is linked below.
O3 Camera Replacement
O3 Transmitter Module (air unit)
Replacing the O3 Camera
To replace the O3 camera, the process is straightforward, involving the removal of two small screws, one on each side. After the screws are removed, the back shell of the camera can be carefully released, revealing the main camera board inside and the wire connection.
Gently pulling up from below on the wiring harness, allows you to release the camera module.
Replacing MIPI Cable
The ribbon cable that connects between the transmitter module (as known as Air Unit) and the camera module is called a MIPI cable.
If your goal is to change the MIPI cable then you should unplug the connector on the transmitter side too. If you are just replacing the camera, then you don’t need to do this. You might want to do this if you want to use a longer or shorter cable.
Note that the connectors may look similar to the previous generation, but the connectors are actually different. The video transmitter side has a 40-pin connector, while the camera module side has a 30-pin connector. In the previous Air Unit and Vista, both sides use 30-pin connectors.
As a result, all cables, camera modules, and video transmitters are incompatible between the new and old generations. When replacing a MIPI cable, make sure it’s designed for the O3 Air Unit!
Refitting the Camera
Refitting the camera is the reverse process of removing it.
After placing the cable in the new camera and gently pressing down, the back shell can be placed back, and the screws reinstalled.
After refitting the camera, you’ll notice an error message in your goggles’ bottom right-hand corner, indicating the need to connect your system to the DJI Assistant 2 for consumer drones for calibration.
You could use a brand new camera module, or an existing camera module from another air unit. But when using any non-original camera module with the air unit will require you to calibrate it before use.
For calibration, you need the latest version of DJI’s Assistant 2 for consumer drones.
Important: the O3 air unit must be powered when connected to Assistant 2 for calibration.
After connecting the air unit to your PC via the USB-C port, a calibration prompt appears. Depending on the camera and air unit you’re using, you may be asked to activate your camera air unit or directly proceed with the calibration.
Once calibration is complete, manually reboot the air unit. When you reconnect your goggles, the calibration message should be gone, indicating the calibration process is successfully completed.
Overall, replacing and calibrating the O3 camera isn’t excessively complicated, but it’s more involved than most other FPV systems. There might be occasional failures in the calibration process, in which case, trying it on a different computer or replacing the camera module again might help.