Upgrading your DJI Phantom 3 Controller: Part 2

This is the second and final part of my “how to upgrade your DJI Phantom 3 Controller”. Looking for part 1?

The DJI Phantom 3 advanced & Professional controller is great. It has amazing build quality, good controls, long battery life and much more. However there are a couple of ways to upgrade your existing controller to make it even better.

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This how to focusses on upgrades with official DJI products. Today I won’t be upgrading the antennas or other things. Consequently this means that the upgrades in this blogpost will not void your warranty.

Disclaimer: I can not be held responsible for any damage to your controller/drone or iPad/tablet during or after following this guide. If you follow every step in the how to there should be no issue what so ever. Ultimately you are responsible for your own upgrades.

What upgrades are there?

Currently there are two official upgrades you can do to your DJI Phantom 3 Advanced or Professional controller.

  1. Upgrade of the plastic mobile device holder to an aluminium one.
  2. Upgrade the output module to an HDMI output model.

Today we will be looking into upgrading the Output Module to a HDMI Output Module.

Why use this upgrade?

The main reason for doing this upgrade is it will give you a HDMI output on the back of your controller. You can use this for a variety of things. From plugging it into a tv unit to using the HDMI out to plug straight into a live show (which is what we do).

It can also be used to hook up a First Person View Goggle (FPV) to your phantom, which will give you a very immersive view while flying.

The DJI Inspire features the HDMI module out of the box, so Inspire owners will not have to do this upgrade.

Difficulty: Easy (Patients is required)

Doing the upgrade

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When you purchase the HDMI Output module you receive the upgraded circuit board, the shell with the HMDI module build in and a new set of hexa and phillips screws to secure the module in place. You do not need these screws as you can reuse the old screws. Therefore I suggest leaving them packaged, They can be useful as spares.

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Unlike the Mobile Device Holder the HDMI Output module does not come with the necessary screwdrivers to do the modification. You will need a small phillips screw driver and a .8 hexa screw driver to do the upgrade.

It’s also handy to get a small flathead screwdriver or plastic wedge if you have one. This makes it easier to open the clamps and shut them again.

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Start by loosening all four of the screws that hold the module in place. Once loose the white shell of the module should come off easily.

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Now the Output Module is exposed and is held in place by three screws.

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However before you take out the screws, We first need to open the connector clamps that hold the cables in place that connect the output module to the rest of the controller. You can take out the screws first, but I found it easier (and safer) to remove the connectors first. This way there is minimal chance of damaging the cables.

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@JoeyN pointed out to me that not all boards have the black clips on them. So make sure to examine the board and if you don’t have the black clips you can simply pull the cables out.

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Use a flathead screwdriver to “flick up” the 3 black clamps that hold the connectors. As you can see on the picture the cables have a little handle you can pull to take out the cable. Remove both cables on the left and right side of the output module. Leave the big cable in the middle connected as it is hard to disconnect it with your hands. You can do it when you lift out the board.

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Now that the board is loose you can easily lift it up and disconnect the big connector in the middle.

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Time to put in the new HDMI Output module!

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Start by connecting the big middle cable before you put the Module into the controller, it is quite difficult to connect the big cable without snapping it once the module has been screwed into the controller. Once that is done you can screw the output module with the same three screws from the old module.

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Reconnect the left and right side connectors and push the black clamps back down in the lock position.

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When the new module is in place and connected it will look like this, the HDMI module is still missing, but we can see there is now a pin connector on the lower left of the output module board.

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It’s time to put the HDMI module on the controller. I found that I needed to put quite a bit of pressure on the lower left of the shell to make sure the connector of the HDMI Module would fully insert in the connector on the output module we just installed.

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Make sure it sits firmly in place and all the screw holes line up. Now continue by putting the .8 hex screws back and secure them firmly.

*Another important note from @JoeyN, Because the firmware for the controller is stored on the module itself it is necessary to re-do the latest update to make sure the whole controller is up to date on the latest firmware.

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Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a DJI Phantom 3 controller with HDMI Output module!

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I hope this how to was useful and you’ve managed to upgrade your Phantom 3 controller. As always if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments below, or on twitter via @rroukens

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Written by Rik Roukens
Rik created his personal blog to help people prevent the mistakes he made in the 5+ years he has been flying. His other passions are Photography & videography. Email him anytime @ rik[at]sesh[.]tv or tweet him at @rroukens