Transcript: WGAN-TV Top 10 Matterport Pro1/Pro2/Pro2 Lite Repairs-Revisited15977
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|WGAN-TV | Top 10 Matterport Pro1, Pro2 and Pro2 Lite Camera Repairs (Revisited) | Guest: MatterFix (@MatterFix) Founder Mike Vorce | Thursday, 18 November 2021 | Episode #126
Transcript: WGAN-TV | Top 10 Matterport Pro1, Pro2 & Pro2 Lite Camera Repair (Revisited)
Transcript below ...
After that sinking feeling when you drop your Matterport Pro1, Pro2 or Pro2 Lite 3D Camera, then what?
On WGAN-TV Live at 5 on Thursday, 18 November 2021, Gainesville, Florida-based MatterFix Founder Mike Vorce (@MatterFix) – a Matterport Authorized Repair Service Provider - will show and tell us:
✓ Top 10 Matterport Pro1, Pro2 & Pro2 Lite Camera Repairs (Revisited)
-- Which repairs can you DIY (with one of these MatterFix repair kits?
==> Matterport Camera WiFi Antenna Replacement Kit
==> Matterport Camera Housing Repair Kit
==> Matterport Camera Charger Port Replacement Kit
-- How can you avoid some of these repairs?
-- How do you recognize the problem (and the likely repair needed)?
-- How much does each repair typically cost?
-- What if you are outside the United States? Including MatterFix UK
1 - WiFi Antenna
✓ Camera was dropped
✓ Other connection problems
2 - Camera Top or Bottom Plate(s) Dislodged / Housing Not Fitted Together Properly
✓ Camera was dropped
3 - Batteries
✓ Camera will not charge or only charges to 50%
4 - Charger, Charger Port or OLED Panel
✓ No reading on display when charger is plugged in
5 - Pro2 Lite Battery Life
✓ Upgrade Pro2 Lite by adding second battery
6 - Unstable Error
✓ Capture device shows “unstable” error after a scan
7 - Sensor Errors
✓ Pro2 & Pro2 Lite
8 - Failure to Align Error
✓ Capture device displays “failure to align” error when camera moved to new scan position
9 - Blurry Images (in models), Stitching Errors in Capture App, Noisy or Erratic Rotation
✓ Usually related to the Clutch Assembly and/or Stepper Motor
10 - Excessive Fan Noise
In addition to covering these Top 10 Matterport Pro Camera Repairs (Revisited), topics, I also ask Mike:
1. Chat about: MatterFix is now an officially authorized repair partner for Matterport cameras!
2. How and why he decided to offer repairs of Matterport Pro1, Pro2 and Pro2 Lite Cameras
3. Repair Pricing
4. One-year MatterFix Warrantee
5. Free! 12 months of WGAN-TV Training U (in Matterport) with a MatterFix Repair of $250+ for WGAN Forum Members
About MatterFix (from the MatterFix Website)
MatterFix.io is a Matterport Authorized Repair Partner to provide repair services for all Matterport cameras.
At MatterFix, we provide out-of-warranty repair services for Pro1, Pro2 & Pro Lite Matterport cameras. We pride ourselves on providing a quick turn-around time (typically next-day service), reasonable pricing, and a one-year warranty on all of our repairs. Having owned a small chain of mobile device repair shops for eight years, we have extensive experience repairing electronic devices. MatterFix is an independent repair service company not affiliated with the Matterport company.
Being Matterport Service Providers ourselves, we know how important it is for you to keep your camera operating properly. We provide repairs for a wide range of issues, from physical camera damage & WiFi antenna replacement to board level micro-soldering & component replacement. We do not charge for estimates or evaluations, and there is never a charge if we cannot repair your camera.
While we can fix most Matterport camera problems, certain repairs can only be resolved by Matterport directly. Whether we repair your camera or the camera should be sent to Matterport for service, we will always advise you of all of the repair options available.
1-Year Warranty included on all repairs.
Video: Matterport Camera - Complete Camera Assembly Video | Video courtesy of MatterFix YouTube Channel | 30 May 2021
Special Offer for WGAN Forum Members
Free! 12 months of WGAN-TV Training U (in Matterport) Membership with a MatterFix repair of $250 or more.
Transcript (Video Above)
Dan Smigrod: Hi all. I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum. Today is Thursday, November 18th, 2021, and you're watching WGAN-TV live at 5. We have an awesome show for you today, Top 10 Matterport Pro1, Pro2, and Pro2 Lite Camera Repairs (Revisited) and here to talk to us about that is Mike Vorce. Mike is Founder MatterFix, based in Gainesville, Florida,
Dan Smigrod: and Mike's company, MatterFix, is a Matterport Authorized Repair Partner, and an express Matterport repair service. Mike, good to see you again.
Mike Vorce: Good to see you, Dan. Thanks for having me. I'm looking forward to talking about all these repairs.
Dan Smigrod: Awesome. Mike, I feel like we just did this show. ;-)
Mike Vorce: Yeah, we did, but we've picked up a lot of knowledge since the last time and some things have happened since then, us getting officially authorized for Matterport for the repairs service and that's why it felt like it'd be a good time to update everything.
Dan Smigrod: Awesome. I think probably the list of top 10 repairs has probably changed some, and what the solutions are. We did this show in November of 2020, and we're doing it again today because so much literally has changed in a year's time. Mike, before we jump into this topic: Top 10 Matterport Pro1, Pro2, and Pro2 Lite Camera Repairs (Revisited), tell us about MatterFix.
Mike Vorce: Well, MatterFix was an outgrowth of another business I had. We had a chain of computer and phone repair shops, and tech support shops. A sideline to that, we got into 360 imagery, originally Google Street View. I think I met you at the Google Street View Summit in London a couple of years ago, and we realized that Matterport was a pretty important part of that virtual tour,
Mike Vorce: 360 imagery collection platform, and we got into Matterport and being in the repair business, when we dropped our camera and saw that it was going to be a little more expensive and take a little bit longer to fix than what we thought it should, we went ahead and fixed it ourselves. Shortly after that I had some acquaintances, other Matterport Service Providers who would call and say, "Hey, this happened to my camera." We fixed multiple cameras and then I approached Matterport about
Mike Vorce: being able to buy parts and on a more official basis be able to repair their cameras. Over the course of a few months we worked out an agreement. We've been fixing Matterport cameras for a year now and we've got the official designation now and we're real happy with how things are going. We take care of the out of warranty cameras or emergency issues we can usually turn a repair around in a day. We get a camera and we're usually shipping it back to customers the next day.
Mike Vorce: Our prices are very competitive and in fact, we're trying to offer our services in other geographic areas and we recently signed on a repair center operator in the UK, his name is Owen Weightman. A lot of you probably know him. He's pretty active on the forums, but he's operating a MatterFix license location in the UK. So we're spreading out and being able to help some of those people across the pond a little bit easier too.
Dan Smigrod: That's awesome. MatterFix is based in Gainesville, Florida. You service the United States or frankly anyone that wants to ship you a camera from anywhere?
Mike Vorce: Yeah, pretty much anywhere. In the US and Canada, we get quite a few. It's just when you go out of the country there's the obvious logistics with customs and the cost of shipping sometimes can make it a little bit prohibitive, but I've sent cameras to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, different places in Europe, obviously Canada, Mexico, South America. We service cameras from anywhere, and we can help with the customs paperwork,
Mike Vorce: getting the camera, advising you how to prepare the paperwork to send the camera to us, and getting it back to you. Our primary business and the bulk of our business comes from within the continent of the US.
Dan Smigrod: Who would have thought that dropping a Matterport camera would be a good thing? But it actually sparked your new business and in addition to being a Matterport Service Provider, you have obviously turned dropping a Matterport camera into a positive.
Mike Vorce: Yeah. It's just Matterport's a great company, but they're really big and they're not as nimble on especially the basic repairs, a lot of what we do. Like I said, our thing is that we can turn the camera around quick and get it back to you. That's the niche that we're in and so everything from Wi-Fi replacements to battery replacements, lots of different issues we can handle.
Dan Smigrod: Well, that's a good segue into the Top 10 Matterport Pro1, Pro2, Pro2 Lite Camera Repairs. Let's start off with number 1: Wi-Fi antenna.
Mike Vorce: Yeah. The Wi-Fi antenna is, and I'm sure almost anybody that's been an MSP for any length of time has probably dropped their camera and had the top pop off, and the Wi-Fi antenna cable gets broken, that's typically what happens. Here is your top plate for a camera and if you look underneath the top plate in this corner over here, this is the actual Wi-Fi antenna module for the Pro2 that works on the 5 gigahertz spectrum,
Mike Vorce: This is from a Pro2. Then this is the cable that runs along the top of the plate and then this end actually goes down between the chassis and the outside housing and connects to the Wi-Fi chip on the motherboard. Invariably what happens when the camera falls, the top pops off, and then it pulls. Usually what happens is this end of this cable just pulls off, and it's still connected to the board and what you have is a bare wire here. Now, sometimes it can pull off at the Wi-Fi antenna,
Mike Vorce: but in either case, typically your camera has fallen over, the top's off, the case may be slightly out of alignment, and the Wi-Fi antenna needs to be replaced. You know that because when you're scanning it takes forever for a scan to transfer from the camera over to your iPad. If you're on a job and it happens, you can stand behind the camera, hold your Capture device as close as you can to the back of the camera, and walk around as it scans, and that will make it scan as fast as possible.
Mike Vorce: Similar to that. You want to hold it near the top of your device parallel level to the top of the camera, and walk around behind and that'll get you through a job if you're in a pinch and then you can deal with getting the repair done. If it's just the Wi-Fi antenna broken and maybe the case is apart a little bit and the tops off, maybe the bottoms come off, but the camera otherwise is fully functional, we have a repair kit that you can order that has all the tools,
Mike Vorce: it has the part, and we have a walk-through video that we provide you access to and you can do that repair yourself. It's fairly simple. We've sent out a number of the kits and we haven't had anybody that wasn't able to do it and it takes about 20 minutes. But if you have other issues with your camera or you want it checked out or you think there might be something else wrong with it, we don't recommend the kit. We may recommend you send us the camera and we'll take it all apart, take the housing apart, check all the components inside. When we put it back together,
Mike Vorce: make sure everything's lined up correctly, make sure the Wi-Fi signals are the way it should be, and then make sure there's no other issues because when you drop a camera, you may think it's only the Wi-Fi antenna, but there can be other issues with alignment, and rotation that can pop up.
Dan Smigrod: For the Wi-Fi antenna, you've identified two ways to know that you have a problem. One is that you dropped the camera and the top pops off and you actually see the antenna, and maybe it's not connected the way you just showed. Second is experiencing connectivity issues. I presume that's transferring the captured model to, let's say my iPad.
Mike Vorce: Yeah because typically with a Matterport with a Pro2 camera, it should take about 17 seconds for the camera to complete its rotation. Then once it says, okay to move the camera, then it starts transferring and the transferring process, if your antenna is normal, is working as it should, the transfer process should only take between 4 and 7 seconds. When that transfer process takes longer than that, that's a pretty good indicator that there's a problem with the Wi-Fi antenna.
Mike Vorce: The camera may look fine, but we've also seen cameras that had been dropped or had an impact and the cable that connects the Wi-Fi antenna to the camera gets pinched or crimped. There's a place in there where the cable runs between the outside housing and the chassis of the camera and if it gets dropped it can pinch that cable, and partially cut it off. It may degrade the Wi-Fi signal but not totally, it may not be really bad, but there's different degrees of it.
Mike Vorce: But if you notice that 4-7 seconds if you're varying much outside of that in the time, standing 6 feet away from the camera, 4-7 seconds is what it should take when it gets done spinning for that image to transfer. If it's taking longer than that then they probably have a problem.
Dan Smigrod: Could there be any other reason that would account for 6 feet away, taking longer than 4-7 seconds?
Mike Vorce: Yeah. Another thing that can happen is if you're in a Wi-Fi congested environment or if you happen to be in an area where somebody has a defect of Wi-Fi device that's broadcasting a stronger signal than it should. I was at a trade show for a business associate of mine scanning some booths for him down in Orlando and it was the InfoComm. You can imagine at InfoComm [www.infocommshow.org/], when I looked at my iPad at the Capture app,
Mike Vorce: there were 150+ Wi-Fi networks available in that area. When I tried to scan, normally, it was taking anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute for each scan to transfer or sometimes it would just disconnect and you'd have to scan again. You can be in an area where there's problems with the actual Wi-Fi signal itself.
Dan Smigrod: That might be called a false positive. You think there's a problem with your antenna. But it's really that there are so many Wi-Fi networks where you're scanning or there's one that's perhaps not operating at spec.
Mike Vorce: Correct. I had somebody contact me that was scanning some condominiums and he was having that problem and he ended up having to go around and ask everybody to unplug all their Wi-Fi devices, which isn't really an ideal solution, but he did and then he was able to scan fine. One of those devices was probably transmitting a signal defectively too strong.
Dan Smigrod: Mike, excuse me. I remember when one of our Members, Paolo @Tosolini, in the We Get Around Network Forum (www.WGANForum.com), I seem to recall a long time ago he posted about that he had some connectivity issues and he started to set up some aluminum foil or something, is that just wishful thinking ...?
Mike Vorce: When I went down to that trade show in Orlando, part of the reason was I wanted to research what can be done to eliminate that problem. What I came up with is you can reposition the Wi-Fi antenna in a different place where it's already on the back of the camera in a certain location, and then with one of the newer iPhones – 11, 12, 13 – you can basically put it in a certain position with Velcro on the back of the camera and the phone's antenna and the camera's antenna will
Mike Vorce: line up so close that you create the ability to almost directly transfer the signal and you totally eliminate that interference problem. We were doing some more testing. Now it's a service we're going to offer where we would reposition the Wi-Fi antenna correctly, show them exactly how to position their camera, then as an extra thing, put some metal, a Faraday shielding right across the top there. But if you're a little kit that you could use a camera normally,
Mike Vorce: but it would have the ability if you get into one of those situations, you'd be able to then switch and use your iPhone and keep on capturing and not have any problems.
Dan Smigrod: The candidate for using that is someone that is scanning in a Wi-Fi intensive space, like a trade show for communications people?
Mike Vorce: That's going to be the most obvious case, but if you scan a lot and you scan a lot in buildings that are occupied, you can run into that problem at anytime.
Dan Smigrod: You'll know that you have a problem because it's taking longer than 4 to 7 seconds to transfer, and the day before you didn't have any problem with your camera and you didn't drop it between yesterday and today?
Mike Vorce: Yeah. Maybe it even gives you disconnects if you get too far away. Sometimes it won't transfer. Sometimes it can take a minute or more to transfer a scan. It's pretty obvious when that's happening as long as you haven't dropped your camera and it's been working fine and then you have that happen, then you'll know that the cause of the problem is some type of Wi-Fi congestion.
Dan Smigrod: Anything else on Wi-Fi antenna issues?
Mike Vorce: No. I think we covered it all; the kit, what we do and then some of the other causes that can cause you to have a Wi-Fi signal problem.
Dan Smigrod: I know you mentioned this kit, the Matterport Camera Wi-Fi Antenna Replacement Kit from MatterFix. I actually wouldn't know what end to use on a screwdriver. The thought of actually opening up the Matterport camera and touching something is actually frightening to me. I would be a candidate to send my Matterport camera to you.
Mike Vorce: Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: Have you repair it?
Mike Vorce: Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: What's the gray area? I'm at the extreme where it's clear to me that I would need to send off my Matterport camera to MatterFix to have it fixed. I'm sure that there's people who are watching the show, who will say, "Easy-peasy. I open stuff all the time. Not a big deal. Yes. Send me the kit, send me a video, send me your instructions and I'll do it." What's the gray area? If I go hiking, They tell me that the trail is easy or moderate or super-hard.
Dan Smigrod: How hard is it?
Mike Vorce: If you don't know which end of a screwdriver to use, then that might be a little bit of an issue, but we have a really detailed walk-through video that goes step-by-step, and you can watch the video, pause it, do the step, and then go on to the next step. We haven't had anybody yet – that we send a kit to – who wasn't able to complete it. Most people I send the kit out to and I never hear anything back, so I check back with them and they're like, "Oh yeah. I did it in 20 minutes, no problem." or, "I did it in 15 minutes. It was easy."
Dan Smigrod: Great. Maybe we need to do a separate show: have three contestants. We will drop each of their Matterport cameras, we'll give them a kit and your video and we'll see how long it takes.
Mike Vorce: We're going to have you do the repaired Dan, if you can do it, then we pass the test.
Dan Smigrod: That sounds frightening to me. Top 10 Matterport Pro1, Pro2, Pro2 Lite Camera Repairs: Number 2: camera top or the bottom plates, dislodge; the housing is not fitting together properly.
Mike Vorce: Yeah. This is a lot of times combined. Most commonly it's when it's combined with number 1 with the Wi-Fi antenna, you drop the camera. It's come apart. But sometimes people drop the camera and everything stays together. It was working fine but the case doesn't fit back together correctly or the bottom has popped off or the top is partially off. Some people say, "Oh well. I just try and pull it apart and force it in." You can do that sometimes, but those parts fit together in a certain way,
Mike Vorce: and if you don't take it apart partially and reinsert them correctly and then put it back together, a lot of times it's just not going to be right. We can send out a kit if you've even severely damaged the front housing or the back housing, we can send out a kit with a new housing replacement part in the video and it'll show you how to just do it, you're not going inside and taking the inside out of the camera. You're basically taking the housing off, replacing whatever part needs to be replaced, and then reassembling the camera correctly.
Mike Vorce: We'll show you how to fit everything back together.
Dan Smigrod: Excuse me Mike, can you hold up what the housing looks like? What's the bottom? I got the top. I understand the top is this thin plate.
Mike Vorce: I don't have a regular camera here. I've got my custom white camera, but everybody can recognize that. It's on the bottom where the mount is. There's a hole in the center where the clutch assembly goes through and then there's vents at the top and the bottom for airflow. Then your serial number plate is generally right here and it's just a single piece. It's the exact same shape as the top housing.
Dan Smigrod: I don't know if this helps. Because yours doesn't have all that information on the bottom.
Mike Vorce: Yes. There you go.
Dan Smigrod: With the serial number, etc.
Mike Vorce: Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: Okay. Is this a plate that's fitting into this side of thing?
Mike Vorce: Yeah. You're holding up a Pro1. In the Pro1, the housings are built differently. Then the Pro1, the top, the front and the bottom are one piece and the back is a separate piece. Typically, those don't come apart when you drop them.
Dan Smigrod: Okay. Not to confuse our audience, but that there is not yet another Matterport camera and you haven't just shown us a Matterport Pro3 because .. You are experimenting with tricking out the Matterport camera with racing stripes ;-)
Mike Vorce: Yeah. That's a Pro2 with just a custom paint job on the housing.
Dan Smigrod: MatterFix has the Matterport Camera Housing Repair Kit and it sounds like what comes in that kit will vary based on a phone call or an email exchange.
Mike Vorce: Yeah. We typically do a phone call, email, or even a little Zoom call, and I'll look at the camera and we'll figure out what parts that camera needs so we can put together a kit for them if they want to do that as a self-repair.
Dan Smigrod: Would it be safe to say if you drop your camera and the bottom or top comes loose, and it looks like the antenna is still connected and it snaps together and it feels okay when it snaps together and it's still scans, then you might be okay?
Mike Vorce: Yeah. Just be careful on snapping together because in order to get them to snap together, a lot of times you have to force the pieces apart and force it in, and you can do some damage to the parts. You can break some of the plastic parts in that. I always advise somebody if the tops off, but the antenna is still connected and you need to scan some more, take some duct tape and put a couple of pieces of duct tape so you securely attach the top onto the camera so it doesn't fall off and tear the Wi-Fi antenna and the bottom piece, you can leave it off while you're scanning until you send it in.
Mike Vorce: It's not necessary.
Dan Smigrod: Funny because I always carry duct tape with me. I don't know why, but apparently there's a use for that duct tape?
Mike Vorce: Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: Other than maybe taping the curtains that are fluttering because there's wind coming more from the air conditioning or something.
Mike Vorce: Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: But there's actually a use case for the duct tape related to the camera in order to finish your scan before perhaps you either order a Matterport Camera Housing Repair Kit for MatterFix or send MatterFix the camera.
Mike Vorce: Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: Anything else on the camera, top or bottom plates dislodging?
Mike Vorce: No. That pretty much covers it.
Dan Smigrod: Top 10 Matterport Pro1, Pro2, Pro2 Lite Camera Repairs. Number 3: batteries.
Mike Vorce: Batteries. Well that could almost be number 1. That was a toss up.
Mike Vorce: The Pro1 and the Pro2 have two batteries in them. This is the newer version of the Matterport camera battery. The Pro2 and the Pro1 have two of these batteries in. The Pro2 Lite has one battery. The Pro2 Lite is essentially the same as a Pro2. It just has one battery instead of two. The battery, just to give you an idea of the capacity, this single battery is about the same capacity as what
Mike Vorce: an iPad Pro 12.9 inch has in it. You actually have twice the battery capacity that's in one of the big iPad Pros inside of the Matterport camera.
Mike Vorce: The batteries that Matterport puts in the cameras are very good quality, very seldom have I seen batteries come in where they were weak and needed to be replaced because they were at the end of life. Most all the time what happens is a battery, for some reason, goes defective and just goes out, or somebody doesn't charge their camera for an extended period of time and the battery packs are lithium-ion cells, and with lithium-ion cells,
Mike Vorce: you want to maintain a certain amount of voltage in there for safety reasons because if they get too low, they can become unstable. What's built into the battery packs is a kill switch. If the voltage level gets too low, it'll cut it off and you can't charge the battery or anything like that, but it leaves enough voltage in there so that the battery remains safe. The most common thing is somebody buys a secondhand camera that they didn't know about, know there was something wrong with it or they put their camera in the closet,
Mike Vorce: it's an extra camera, they forget about it, and six months later they decide they want to scan with it. They get it out and plug it in and either it doesn't charge, so it gives you all the lights come on and says, okay, I'm going charge, but then it just goes to zero and doesn't charge, or a camera might charge up to 50 percent.
Mike Vorce: You've got a full battery signal there. The LED is telling you your batteries are fully charged.
Dan Smigrod: How do I know I have a problem? What are the different indicators to know that I have a battery problem?
Mike Vorce: The most common problem is, you plug it in and it won't charge, or it only charges up to around 50 percent and then it stops. You plug it in and the lights come on, on the LED panel, and for a few seconds, it says charging and then it goes back to zero and it doesn't charge, or it goes up to 50 percent and it won't charge anymore. That means one or two of your batteries are bad and you'll know. The other way to know if it's charging is if it does
Mike Vorce: a slow pulsing blue light if it's charging. If it's not charging or if it's fully charged or not taking a charge, it's a rapid double blink. It goes blink-blink, blink-blink. That means that it's not taking a charge.
Dan Smigrod: I'm sorry, what is the sound that it makes? ;-)
Mike Vorce: It doesn't make a sound. ;-) Blinking lights.
Dan Smigrod: Blinking lights. I feel like I'm watching Car Talk.
Mike Vorce: Yeah, exactly. You have two things. One is you plug it in and it acts like it wants to charge. It's at zero percent and it starts for a second, but then it doesn't ever charge and it does that quick blink, that pattern. That means your batteries aren't going to take a charge most likely and they need to be replaced, or it charges, but then it stops at 50 or 60 percent somewhere around there. It won't charge anymore. That means one of the batteries is bad.
Dan Smigrod: Does it ever show 100 percent, but when you go to scan, nothing happens?
Mike Vorce: I guess theoretically it could. I don't know that I've run into that.
Dan Smigrod: That's not an issue. You clearly know from the battery indicator about whether you have 100 percent, 50 percent or zero, presumably it doesn't light up at all.
Mike Vorce: Yeah. The one thing I always advise is if you think there's a problem with your batteries, plug the camera into a charger and leave it charging overnight. If you come back the next morning and you still have that same issue, then you know, 100 percent the batteries are bad or whatever it is. Sometimes if a camera sits for quite awhile, it needs to be plugged in for a couple of hours and then the batteries will gradually take a little charge and then eventually they'll come online and charge. The safest thing to do is let it charge overnight to be
Mike Vorce: 100 percent sure whether or not the batteries are going to take a charge.
Dan Smigrod: Mike, are these batteries off-the-shelf? I could just order a battery from Amazon and open up the case, and put the battery in.
Mike Vorce: They are a proprietary battery pack that Matterport had designed for them and they're very high-quality. They use really good cells. They aren't available anywhere, Matterport, is the only one that has them. They don't allow anyone besides themselves or us to install the batteries. Because if you don't do it correctly, there can be a serious safety issue. There's some screws that go into the side of the housing.
Mike Vorce: If you put the wrong one in the wrong place, you can damage the battery. Just in general, lithium-ion batteries are something that typically somebody that has experience with dealing with them should be doing the installs on those.
Dan Smigrod: Okay. This is not a MatterFix, do it yourself kit. You can have a battery problem. You really either need to send it to Matterport or send it to MatterFix.
Mike Vorce: Correct. Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: I think I heard one other thing … the Matterport Pro2 and the Matterport Pro2 Lite, that the difference between the two cameras, is the Lite has one battery and the Pro2 has two batteries?
Mike Vorce: That's correct.
Dan Smigrod: If I bought a Matterport Pro2 Lite camera, is there room for me to send you that camera and have you put a second battery in it?
Mike Vorce: Yeah, that's a fairly popular upgrade that we do. We can add a second battery into it. It'll operate exactly like a Pro2 at that point. The only thing is your battery time left when you're scanning, it says you have three hours left or two hours left or whatever. It'll indicate two hours, but you actually have double that because it still thinks there's only one battery in there, although it's using both of them. But otherwise it's 100 percent. It works like the Pro2. If it says you have three hours left,
Mike Vorce: you actually have six hours. When fully charged, you'll get about nine hours. When we add the second battery into a Pro2 Lite. We've done a number of those upgrades.
Dan Smigrod: I heard this awesome massive tip. I want to repeat this because it was such a great tip that you mentioned, Mike, which is if you buy a second Matterport camera as a backup and you never use it and you never charge it, you may find yourself on site where you think it's been charged and you've actually discharge the battery so much so that the battery now fails and you can't charge it.
Dan Smigrod: I guess that the tip there is if you have a second camera, make sure to periodically charge it, whether you're using it or not.
Mike Vorce: Yeah, we recommend charging it up to 80 percent or so. Then every three or four months, bring it out, plug it back in, and charge it back up to 80 percent.
Dan Smigrod: Can my camera last longer, if I always charge up to 80 percent rather than 100 percent?
Mike Vorce: I've heard mixed [results] on that. There are some people that swear that if you charge lithium-ion batteries to 100 percent all the time, that it can shorten their life. Matterport cameras – most everyone that operates a Matterport camera – charges it to 100 percent and uses it every day.
Dan Smigrod: Okay. I think that this might be a little bit of irony here is that the person that might need this WGAN-TV show the most to get the advice to take the camera out of the closet and charge it periodically – may not be the one who's actually watching the show because they haven't dropped the camera to go, "Oh. I dropped the camera. I'm going to have a problem." The key thing here is so that you don't have to send the camera back to Matterport or to MatterFix for a battery replacement.
Dan Smigrod: Charge the camera. One month? Three months? Is there a certain amount of time? We're like, you definitely are going to have a problem if you don't charge it for a year. Is there a time frame?
Mike Vorce: I'd say two to three months, charge it up 80 percent. You could even charge at 100 percent and probably won't hurt it, but check it every two to three months.
Dan Smigrod: Okay. Anything else on batteries?
Mike Vorce: No, I think that covers it.
Dan Smigrod: Top 10, Matterport Pro1, Pro2, and Pro2 Lite Camera Repairs. Number 4: charger, charger port, or OLED panel. What's all that mean?
Mike Vorce: Well. The charger port is obvious on the back of the camera. That's where you plug your charger in.
Dan Smigrod: Yeah.
Mike Vorce: Then the OLED panel is just your display panel on the back of the camera there.
Dan Smigrod: Okay, let's take those as separate pieces. I could imagine if it doesn't connect and I don't see any charging, what happens? Does that little piece recede in there sometimes? Is that what's happening?
Mike Vorce: Yeah. They can go out. There can be a couple of different problems and just step-by-step, say you plug your camera in, plug the charger in and nothing happens. There's no display on the OLED panel, nothing changes, anything like that. If you plug it in and nothing happens, then it could be that your charger is bad. Occasionally the chargers themselves would be defective.
Dan Smigrod: This piece here occasionally fails?
Mike Vorce: Yeah, Not very often, but it can.
Dan Smigrod: Okay.
Mike Vorce: Then the other thing is that then if you confirm that your charger is good and you're still not getting anything, the next possibility is that the charge port itself has gone out. It's not very common, but we do a few of those.
Dan Smigrod: Is this mostly related to dropping the camera. It falls on that corner, that piece pops.
Mike Vorce: I haven't seen any theme to that. It's just maybe they've gotten treated roughly when they're plugged in or something like that. But, we've had a few of them where the charge port is out. But if you've confirmed that the charger is good and the charger port is good, and you can still have your OLED panel itself can be out and it gets a little trickier.
Dan Smigrod: The question is, where's the problem? Is the problem actually with where I plugged my cable in or is it the LED?
Mike Vorce: Right. Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: Why would the LED fail?
Mike Vorce: Pardon me?
Dan Smigrod: Why would this LED panel fail?
Mike Vorce: It could be dropped, you don't know. Theoretically, it could be disconnected. Someone could come and disconnect it inside.
Dan Smigrod: Is there a wire that connects to some kind of circuit board?
Mike Vorce: Yeah, the power comes in from the charger into the mainboard and then there's a ribbon cable and then some cables from the buttons that connect to the mainboard. But the way you'll know, typically if it's your LED panel that's out, is if you push a button on the camera and nothing happens. You know that there should be ... The batteries aren't dead,
Mike Vorce: but you push it and for some reason, nothing comes up. That's a good sign that the OLED panel is out.
Dan Smigrod: I know this one is for power. What's this button?
Mike Vorce: Nothing happens.
Dan Smigrod: Mike, I know this button is to turn power on and off. What's this button for?
Mike Vorce: Yeah, that's just your battery level indicator. You can push it to check the status of your battery.
Dan Smigrod: That's it, nothing else?
Mike Vorce: Nothing else, yeah.
Dan Smigrod: Okay. It's possible that this could fail or this could fail which is probably mechanical related, meaning that the piece gets pushed in and it has to be re-attached to the housing.
Mike Vorce: It's attached from the inside by two screws. It's a part that just needs to be replaced. To recap it, if you know your charger is good, you plug it in and nothing happens. But if you push the battery indicator button you still have power to the camera and that the cameras has power in it, you'll know that probably the charge port itself is bad.
Dan Smigrod: Okay.
Mike Vorce: But if nothing happens on the LED panel when you plug a good charger in, and nothing happens when you push the button, then it's the OLED panel, which could possibly need to be replaced.
Dan Smigrod: Is one of the options to replace this before you send off the camera for repair?
Mike Vorce: The first option would be to check it. If it's pretty simple. If you have a voltmeter, you just touch it across the two ends of that plug into the camera and it should read something. It should read 15 volts, but if it reads anything at all, then it's probably good.
Dan Smigrod: Where does the voltmeter get plugged in?
Mike Vorce: On the end of the charger. The tip.
Dan Smigrod: Okay. I told you I have no idea. Like what to plug in. I love that you say, Oh, well, if you have a voltmeter, but I'll presume some of our viewers are way more sophisticated and I have a voltmeter. If they do, then there's the inside and the outside of that in order to check?
Mike Vorce: You put the negative to the outside and put the positive make contact with the inside and you should read 15 volts.
Dan Smigrod: Am I at my risk of electrocuting myself with that voltmeter in this?
Mike Vorce: No, not with 15 volts.
Mike Vorce: -The amperage is pretty low. Nothing's going to happen there.
Dan Smigrod: -Okay. MatterFix has a Matterport Camera Charger Port Replacement Kit. What's in that kit?
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Mike Vorce: -Similar to a MatterFix Wi-Fi Kit, we give you all the tools you need. We give you the replacement part, and then we also give you access to a detailed walk-through video where you can basically just follow step-by-step and do the replacement. I think we sent one to Australia a couple of weeks ago and I believe, the good guy followed up, everything went fine with that. It's a little bit more advanced than the antenna replacement, but it's not that bad, but the ideal customer for the MatterFix Kit is somebody who is outside of the US,
Mike Vorce: where the logistics and the cost of getting a camera sent to the US and then back is just prohibitive. If it's one of the simpler things, the Kits are ideal for that type of customer or for that situation.
Dan Smigrod: -Okay. Cool. Top 10 Matterport Pro1, Pro2, Pro2 Lite Camera Repairs. Number 5: Pro2 Lite battery... Matterport Pro2 Lite upgrade to two batteries. I'm going to say, "See idea Number 3" which we already covered. Top 10, Matterport, Pro1, Pro2, Pro2 Lite Camera Repairs. Number 6: unstable error.
Dan Smigrod: What is that error? Is it an error message?
Mike Vorce: -Yeah, it's an error message. It happens while you're scanning. You complete a scan, the camera seems to be running, operating fine, the scan transfers over, okay. Then when it's trying to align it or right after it aligns it, it'll give you a message. It says camera unstable or unstable error. It gives you the option to keep the scan or to re-scan. Typically I think what that error was designed for it detects if
Mike Vorce: the tripod itself is not maybe one of the legs for some reason it's rocking a little bit. Somewhere in your camera mount, something's worked its way loose or something like that. It's designed that it's detecting some instability in the camera that it thinks has to do with the mount there. What we found though is that that can be the cause of it.
Mike Vorce: Quite often now what's happened is somebody has dropped their camera at some point in time, and the chassis or the clutch or something has gotten bad. Here's a chassis for a Pro2 camera. You can see the bottom, the black, there's where the clutch where the mount us, so it sits like this. The camera falls and if it takes a real hard hit, this aluminum frame can get bent.
Mike Vorce: We see a lot in the corners. It takes a real hard hit and it gets bent in the corner. At times, it may not even appear to be bent. You look at it visually, it looks fine, but it's just shifted the alignment of the sensor array or something inside the camera, and the camera is detecting that, it thinks, oh, unstable where in fact maybe it's out of alignment or something.
Dan Smigrod: -Based on what you said, I would like to offer a tip because I know this happened to me. I did get an unstable error, and thank heavens what I didn't realize when this thing had been rotating and rotating and rotating, I guess it managed to loosen the piece that it was connected to and that I was lucky I didn't drop my camera, because I guess the turning going this way versus the plate that was on there, something got loose.
Dan Smigrod: I mean when I started the job everything was nice and tight and that error actually saved me from losing the camera. It wasn't that I had dropped the camera and the plate got misaligned, it was truly telling me there was something going on related to the tripod.
Mike Vorce: Yeah. That's the way you know. If you check your tripod, check your mount, base plate, and then check them out where it goes to the camera. If all of that is tied and you continue to get that error, then that's an indication that something else is going on in the camera. It can be the chassis, it can be bent. It can be the clutch assembly on the bottom. This is what the clutch assembly looks like. If you see, you'll recognize this piece. This is the mount here and then the chassis sits here, and this sits inside of it,
Mike Vorce: and this is what rotates the camera here. This can actually get bent. The stepper motor which is the thing that it's an electric motor that actually turns that clutch assembly, that can get bent or the way it aligns it can get bent. Most of the time what it is though is the chassis itself or the metal frame or some component of the frame gets bent.
Dan Smigrod: Okay.
Mike Vorce: If the unstable error persists, then that's telling you that there's something else going wrong. Another thing that can happen sometimes is the collection nut can come loose a little bit. There's a main bolt that goes up from the mount through the clutch assembly. Occasionally sometimes this loosen up and put a little bit of slack in there and that can cause that error.
Dan Smigrod: Okay.
Mike Vorce: If it goes away, you're fine. If it just happens once or twice and it goes away, it's fine. If it persists, it indicates that something needs to be looked at.
Dan Smigrod: Top 10 Matterport Pro1, Pro2, Pro2 Lite Camera Repairs. Number 7: Sensor Errors. What's a sensor and what kind of errors do you get?
Mike Vorce: Well, all the cameras have what they call a sensor array. This is one from a Pro1 and it's similar to Pro2. You have your three sets of sensors here, and they have USB cables that connect them down to the motherboard. The sensor errors can be the most problematic or serious indicators. A lot of times at MatterFix we can fix pretty much anything that's wrong with the camera except we cannot
Mike Vorce: repair main board damage if you rip one of the components totally off of the main board or if one of the sensors in the sensor array goes out, we can't fix that. In that case, it needs to go back to Matterport. There are some sensor errors, the messages that you can get that especially with the Pro1 that simply mean one of the cables that connects the sensor array to the main board has come loose.
Dan Smigrod: What are the error messages saying?
Mike Vorce: I believe it's 03 up, 01 up, 02 up telling you which sensor. There's a number of different error messages, but most often it would be those and say in the Pro1 it is very likely that one of the cables has come loose. Now if you have a Pro2 or Pro2 Lite and you get a sensor error and it persists, then it's possible that it has something to do with the alignment. Something's bad or something's out of alignment,
Mike Vorce: but it's also just as likely that one of the parts of the sensor array has gotten broken and if it's physically damaging or it isn't operating then the camera has to go back to Matterport for that.
Dan Smigrod: Do you have a list of the sensor errors?
Mike Vorce: There's quite an extensive list, but there's only a few that we see. I would say the sensor Error 1, Error 3 are probably the most common ones.
Dan Smigrod: Could you post that to our discussion in the Forum and maybe the most common ones?
Mike Vorce: Yeah, I could do that. They don't necessarily equate to a specific.
Dan Smigrod: Okay.
Mike Vorce: It's better on a sensor error, somebody messages me and I can ask him a couple of follow-up questions because a lot of times it's not just that it's something else in combination.
Dan Smigrod: Okay. While we're on the topic of the sensors, what's the middle row for?
Mike Vorce: Well, it's the same. You have three rows. The top row catches the lower 1/3 of your image when you're scanning around. The middle one captures the middle, and the bottom one is pointing up so it captures the top.
Dan Smigrod: Well, which ones are putting out infrared and which ones are the actual photography?
Mike Vorce: I believe the infrared one is the one on the left, and then I believe the camera one is the one on the right there.
Mike Vorce: Another way to tell indication of a sensor problem is you can look at a model and you can see that either imagery or mash is missing out of the bottom, one-third of the image, the middle or the top, an indicator that there's a problem with that particular sensor array.
Dan Smigrod: The camera may still rotate. It may still transfer to the iPad, for example. It may still upload fine. It may process fine, but when you look at the imagery, if you see something that's a third, it's out of whack, then that actually could be related to the positioning of the sensors or the attachments, maybe something that's not attached to the sensors.
Mike Vorce: Yeah, it's really indicating that there's a problem. There's something wrong with one of the sensors. The color may be missing or the 3D data may be missing. You don't see that very often, but I have seen a few instances of that.
Dan Smigrod: Do you ever need to replace the physical sensors, or is it really a matter of just connecting the wires in the back?
Mike Vorce: Well, if the physical sensors needed to be replaced, the camera has to go back to Matterport because it has to be calibrated when you put a new sensor in. If you change the sensor or repair a sensor or replace a component in the sensor, the camera needs to be recalibrated and that's something we can't do. Matterport does that. We can replace the lenses. Occasionally people will crack the lens. They'll drop something on the camera or something like that and crack a lens. What we saw, we can replace the glass lenses on the sensors.
Dan Smigrod: Do you take pictures of all of these cameras that are dropped, broken, cracked?
Mike Vorce: Yeah, I've got quite a collection.
Dan Smigrod: Maybe we'll get the "Oops Photo of the Week" ;-)
Mike Vorce: Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: We Get Around Network Forum: www.WGANForum.com "Oops. I Dropped my Camera Picture of the Week." ;-) Top 10 Matterport Pro1 Pro2 and Pro2 light camera repairs. Number 8: failure to align error. Is that on my iPad that I'm seeing that error?
Mike Vorce: That's on your iPad. Typically what we advise when you get that, if you're out in the field and you get that happening, is to go ahead and delete that scan. That one won't align, so there's nothing to delete, but go back to your previous scan and delete it and try re-scanning there and see if it goes away, see if it's something related to that particular site that you're scanning at. It can be mirrors and glass and shiny surfaces and things like that,
Mike Vorce: but if you continue to have that issue, it usually indicates that there's a problem in the drive mechanism of the camera and it's not rotating correctly. Instead of doing a sweep, going all the way around and stopping at the exact position where it started, it'll be slightly over rotating or under rotating. We typically put a laser on top of the cameras when we're doing as part of our testing and let it do a sweep and see how close it
Mike Vorce: is at the end of the sweep to where it was at the start. There's a certain tolerance there. If it's out of that, then that can cause that failure to align.
Dan Smigrod: Will I hear a sound that's different?
Mike Vorce: No.
Dan Smigrod: Not sure this is related or unrelated, but every once in a while in the We Get Around Network Forum, someone posts, "I hear this grinding sound."
Mike Vorce: That's number 9. We'll wait on that one.
Dan Smigrod: Sounds great. Anything else on failure to align error?
Mike Vorce: Like I said, just recapping if you're in the field, delete some scans back up, see if you can eliminate the problem that can be related to the surfaces in the area that you're scanning, but if it continues to happen, it can indicate a problem in the camera. Usually, it's related to the drive mechanism in that. It's usually fairly easy to repair.
Dan Smigrod: Would it be fair to say 90 percent of the time you get an alignment error it really is something related to the space because it's all mirrors, it's all glass, it's all the same pattern the camera's been moved too far from the previous scan? There's some other issue. It's not really a camera failing. It's just something as you're doing your scanning that you run into occasionally that mirrors,
Dan Smigrod: lights, windows, glass, repetitive patterns, or moving the camera too far could all contribute to getting that alignment error.
Mike Vorce: Yeah, maybe you can have the thing where the camera tells you, you're too far apart, move closer. The failure to align is just failing to align. That's it. Then that's a little bit different message than some of the other alignments, but you're right though. It can be related to the environment that you're scanning in.
Dan Smigrod: But if you totally get stuck, it actually could be a hardware problem?
Mike Vorce: Yes. If it doesn't go away and you can't clean it up by deleting and re-scanning in that, if it continues then it can very well be a hardware problem.
Dan Smigrod: Top 10 Matterport Pro1, Pro2, Pro2 light camera repairs. Number 9: blurry images in the models, stitching errors in Capture app, noisy or erratic rotation.
Dan Smigrod: Unpack that. There's a lot going on.
Mike Vorce: That's a catch all. One of the things you want to look at is when your camera rotates, you press the button and it stops six times, as it rotates, it should be very smooth. It should accelerate smoothly. Then when it gets ready to stop, it should stop smoothly. It shouldn't vibrate or jerk or jump, anything like that. The rotation should be very smooth. If you're seeing something odd in the rotation or if it's making noise,
Mike Vorce: That usually indicates a problem with some of the drive mechanism in the camera.
Mike Vorce: The erratic rotation if it's not stopping correctly or if it's bouncing a little bit when it stops, that can cause a little bit of blurriness that you'll notice in the process models. I've had a few cameras come in where everything seemed fine, but when you look at the models, you would notice some blurriness in it, and it was because of the rotation.
Dan Smigrod: That sound good?
Mike Vorce: I can't really hear it, but I'm looking at it. It looks like it's rotating smoothly.
Mike Vorce: If it was bouncing or jumping or anything when it's doing the rotation, that's a sign that there could be a problem.
Mike Vorce: The camera scan sometimes make some odd noises when they're scanning, but if it's significantly louder, if it persists, then that can be an indication that there's a problem in the stepper motor, generally, somewhere in the drive train.
Dan Smigrod: For the We Get Around Network Forum Members who have posted in the Forum in the last seven years, I want to say this has happened maybe four times where somebody has posted, where we said could you please take a video of what you're hearing and then what you hear it's like this grinding sound. It's frightening. That's the clutch assembly stepper motor?
Mike Vorce: Well, not necessarily because we have found out that if you're scanning in colder temperatures, I've seen some cameras do it even below 50 degrees, but if you get down to in the 40s or the 30s, cameras can do that. I've had them before where they were making horrible noise, but as soon as you warmed them up in a normal scanning environment, the noise went away. It can't be temperature related, but if it's doing it at normal temperatures,
Mike Vorce: and it's noticeably louder, then that typically means there's something wrong in the drive mechanism. Something needs to be adjusted or such.
Dan Smigrod: Anything else on this topic?
Mike Vorce: If you notice when you look at your scans in the Capture app, if the seams are out of alignment, it's not uncommon to notice a little bit of alignment issues, maybe a quarter of an inch or something where the seams come together, but if you have a couple inches or noticeable alignment errors in the vertical seams, where the six pictures it takes where they're stitched together, if you have noticeable misalignment there,
Mike Vorce: then that typically means that there's something wrong with the housing in the camera or the chassis is bad or there can be some component that's out of whack that's causing that.
Dan Smigrod: Anything else on that topic?
Mike Vorce: No. I think that pretty well. It's kind of a catch-all topic.
Dan Smigrod: Okay.
Mike Vorce: I think we covered most of it.
Dan Smigrod: Top 10 Matterport Pro1, Pro2 and Pro2 Lite Camera Repairs. Number 10: excessive fan noise.
Mike Vorce: Yeah, this can typically happen if you drop a camera. You'll notice that the cameras should be very quiet. Now it's not unusual for a fan to make a little bit more of a noise. But if it's noticeably louder then that usually indicates a problem, typically as long as it's still spinning and you feel the airflow coming out. You're okay to keep on scanning. But if it's making a lot of noise or
Mike Vorce: even kind of a grinding or sound like it's rubbing against something, then that's something that you'll want to get repaired. There's two fans. There's the noticeable one that's under the grid on the back, the larger fan and then there's an internal fan that's mounted closer – I believe it's mounted on the GPU.
Dan Smigrod: It's inside. I can't see that way?
Mike Vorce: You can't see it.
Dan Smigrod: I guess maybe this is related because we probably start to have more and more Matterport Pros that are using the camera either for insurance claim documentation being onsite – fire, flood damage; maybe for AEC in the construction space. Are you starting to see more cameras that just have a lot of dust and dirt or soot and stuff when you open them up?
Mike Vorce: It's not as bad as you would think. I've had people send me their cameras that are, in particular, doing insurance work. When I took it apart, it was very minor. I did have a camera come in that was doing a lot of construction scanning and I think it was related to demolition and that and there was a lot of dust in there and there was a fair amount of dust inside the camera. But I didn't see anything that was like it was going to make it stop working or overheat or anything like that.
Mike Vorce: Maybe over time it could happen. The cameras are pretty efficient as far as not getting plugged up or not accumulating dust inside them.
Dan Smigrod: Even for someone that's doing insurance claim documentation and you're shooting a house that's burned down,
Dan Smigrod: the air is dirty or maybe you've showed up and there's just lots of dust in the air so that the camera will do pretty good and you really don't have to be all that concerned. I mean do you blow it out with a can of air or anything to do?
Mike Vorce: You could try but you're pretty much probably going to be blowing it back into the camera. If you try and do that.
Dan Smigrod: Yeah.
Mike Vorce: I would just look at the fan. If it really starts to accumulate a lot of dust on it, then that might be an indicator that okay, there could be more dust inside. It doesn't hurt to send it in if you do a lot of that work, maybe once a year, send it in and get it cleaned out. But like I say, I haven't come across any cameras yet that when I took it apart I go, "wow, this was on the verge of failing or something."
Dan Smigrod: Well. If I have some concern because I do that all the time, is this one of those I should do preventative maintenance and send it to you once a year or just waiting for this to be a problem. "When you have a problem, then come talk to me?"
Mike Vorce: Yeah. If you're doing a lot of it and it's definitely intensive dust and that it might be a good idea to send it in once a year and just get it cleaned out and we can check everything else while we have it. I'd probably be more concerned about accumulations of dust, maybe getting around the clutch assembly and that type of the gear parts of the camera as opposed to getting accumulating on the fan or on the motherboard or that.
Dan Smigrod: Is there any grease inside the camera and that it needs to be greased every once in a while in the gear?
Mike Vorce: No. That clutch assembly is designed real well, they greased the bearings when they put the clutch assembly together at the factory. I have yet to repair a camera that the bearings have dried out, they need to be re-greased or something like that. It's pretty well set. These cameras have been operating for years. I haven't run into an instance that needed to be done.
Dan Smigrod: Okay, Mike, we've covered Top 10
Dan Smigrod: Matterport Pro1, Pro2, Pro2 Lite Camera Repairs. Are there questions that you get asked frequently but don't show up on this list that we just covered?
Mike Vorce: We've pretty much covered.
Dan Smigrod: I'll ask you a different question. I watched the show, I've identified that I've dropped my camera and there's a likelihood that it could be Wi-Fi, batteries, charger whatever. I've just triaged and I'm either going to order a kit from you. I presume I go to: www.Matterfix.io There's a shopping cart and buy one of the three repair kits: MatterFix Matterport Camera
Dan Smigrod: Wi-Fi Antenna Replacement Kit; the MatterFix Matterport Camera Housing Repair Kit; the MatterFix Matterport Camera Charger Port Replacement Kit. I think I said four but there's actually three.
Mike Vorce: Three, yeah.
Dan Smigrod: Three kits. Or I really need to send you the camera. Could you walk us through – because if my cameras failed – I need to send it in. But if it's almost like my smartphone, I'm going to go through withdrawal if it's not within four feet of me at all times. What's the process of sending MatterFix the camera in Gainesville, Florida and how quickly am I going to get it back?
Mike Vorce: Yeah. The typical transaction works is such that if it's somebody that's done a repair with us before they know the routine and that. But if it's somebody new, what typically happens is they'll reach out on a lot of times Facebook Messenger, or they'll call or fill out the email form and give me an idea what's going on and I'll tell them what I think and give them an estimate of what I think the cost is going to be and they have questions about the shipping and the turnaround time. Then I'll send them the shipping instructions.
Mike Vorce: What we advise typically is if you have your original Matterport camera box, put the camera inside there. We don't need the charger unless you wanted us to look at it for some reason, put the camera in there. That box is great for shipping cameras in and tape it up, go to the UPS Store, send it to us. We give you all the instructions in that. We confirm when we receive the camera that we've received it. If we've discussed it ahead of time and we know exactly what it is, we're just going to go ahead and repair it and be done with it.
Mike Vorce: But if it involves us going in and evaluating it and we've given you an estimate, but we need to finalize that based on looking at the camera. The day we get it, we typically will evaluate it and reach out to you and say, "hey, it needs this and this, and it's going to cost this much." You give us the okay. We're completing the repair usually by the middle of the next day and shipping the camera back to you. You pay for the cost of the repair and you pay for the cost of the shipping both ways.
Mike Vorce: If you're in a hurry and you want to do next day or something, it's fairly pricey. But if you're not in a hurry and you can do UPS Ground, it's relatively inexpensive. We get the camera you've already paid for the shipping to get it to us. We do the repair, we put that on the invoice, we calculate the return shipping based on what you've said. We add that to the invoice. We don't mark the shipping up. We have ShipStation, whatever it is, we email you the invoice and we ship the camera back out to you.
Mike Vorce: Usually the day after we get a camera, it's on its way back to you the next day.
Dan Smigrod: Do I typically know? I've just watched the entire show. I know what the Top 10 issues are and if it's one of those 10 on the list, are those pretty much; you receive the camera, you repair the camera that day or by the next morning and it gets shipped the next day? Is that pretty much...
Mike Vorce: The time that can get a little bit trickier if the camera, if the chassis is bent or some kind of alignment error or something like that sometimes we may need the camera for an extra day just because we need to do a lot of testing to make sure we've identified – Because it could be one of five different components in the camera or could be all five or three of the five. So we may need to camera for an extra day, but most of the Wi-Fi antenna replacement, the battery placement,
Mike Vorce: the charger port, a lot of the repairs, anything to do with the housing, anything like that. It's definitely it's going back to you the next day. Sometimes if a customer is in a real bind and it's not a complicated repair a lot of times we'll ship a camera back the same day we receive it. We don't like to promise that because we can't always do that, but we try and work with if somebody's in a real bind and they need the camera back, and we can even complete the repair and send it back the same day.
Dan Smigrod: I'll mention that if the repair charge is $250 or more with MatterFix, you get free 12 months of WGAN-TV Training U (in Matterport). In the event that it is more than $250, there is at least a little concession that you get something that Mike and I have worked that out.
Mike Vorce: I guess we haven't discussed prices yet and I'd like to generally talk about it.
Dan Smigrod: That'd be awesome. Tell me about Matterport camera repair pricing.
Mike Vorce: Okay. The typical repairs run from $200-$300 and at the lower end, it's the Wi-Fi replacement. Maybe your camera just needs an adjustment. It doesn't need any parts. It's pretty straightforward. Batteries, if it's one battery we replace in a camera is $250. If we have to replace both batteries, it's $400. Then if you get into replacing the charger port is $200 repair, but if the OLED panel,
Mike Vorce: I think it is $250. If there's multiple repairs though we're not going to charge you $200 for the Wi-Fi and then another $200 for the charger port, we're going to discount that. You probably would pay $250 if you were doing both of those items. The ones that get a little bit more expensive, obviously, if you need both batteries done, that's $400. If you have to have the chassis replaced or the clutch assembly or the stepper motor replaced, those get up in the $300 to as high as
Mike Vorce: $400 range depending on what all needs to be done, because in those cases, the camera has to be totally disassembled completely and then put back together and it's just more time-consuming.
Dan Smigrod: I sent you the camera, let's just say, I did a really good job dropping the camera and I got a lot of repairs and you come back and you tell me it's x and I go, well, I think I'd just rather buy a new camera. Do you buy broken Matterport cameras?
Mike Vorce: Yeah. First of all too, when you send us a camera, you're not obligated to get it repaired. We will let you know what the price is, what we think it's going to be before you send it in, we'll give you a firm estimate when you send it in if you decide that it's not worth it or at some point it might make more sense to send it back to Matterport and do the RMA process and get one of their refurbished cameras. We're always going to let you know that. We do buy cameras for parts or if somebody's getting out of the business or they just,
Mike Vorce: I don't really want to invest that and the camera is good enough. It's in good condition, but just needs a repair, we'll buy it for resale. We also take trades too if you've got an old Pro1 laying around and you've got a Matterport Pro2 that you need to get a repair on, we'll give you a trade-in value that you can get your repair down in your Pro2 for free and maybe even get a couple of $100 back depending on the condition of your Pro1. We take cameras in on trade. We do the repairs. We also sell refurbished cameras or cameras and we call them certified pre-owned.
Mike Vorce: If we have an opportunity to buy a camera that we think is in good condition, we'll buy it and go through it and test everything and tune it up and make sure all the components are right and then we'll sell it typically with a six month warranty.
Dan Smigrod: Cool. If I have a Matterport camera and I want to sell it, I can talk to MatterFix. If I have a broken camera and I want to sell it, I can talk to MatterFix. If I want to buy a used one, forgive me, was it pre-owned?
Mike Vorce: It's a pre-owned used. We call it certified pre-owned.
Dan Smigrod: Certified pre-owned with a six month MatterFix warranty, I can talk to you about buying a used camera?
Mike Vorce: Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: I can to talk to you about buying a used Pro1, Pro2, Pro2 Lite, Pro2 Lite with two batteries in it?
Mike Vorce: Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: Maybe one with racing stripes because you're starting to show us a case that you're working on in terms of.
Mike Vorce: Yeah, we're doing some hydro dipping of some cases and it comes out and it looks really sharp. We have to test to make sure that.
Dan Smigrod: Do you want to hold up your camera?
Mike Vorce: I don't know if it's going to show up well. This is a Pro2 and it has, you might be able to see it has a carbon fiber pattern. Maybe you can see it now.
Dan Smigrod: Yes.
Mike Vorce: It really looks good and we can do this in different colors. It's been painted – automotive painted – hydro-dipped, and then an automotive clear coat put on it. We can do this in different colors, and we're testing though to see and make sure that there's no problems with the reflectivity and when you're scanning, does it change any of it? Does it do anything to the images in the model?
Dan Smigrod: I want the We Get Around Network blue. That's a possibility.
Mike Vorce: Though, yeah.
Dan Smigrod: If I want it wrapped with some logos, that's a possibility too?
Mike Vorce: Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: Trick out our Matterport camera. ;-)
Mike Vorce: Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: If I'm in the UK or I'm in Europe or I'm in Asia, do I still go to www.MatterFix.io but I'm sending the camera to a different location?
Mike Vorce: Yeah, you can message us through www.MatterFix.io and we'll suggest that you can contact us in the US. In the US, it's myself and Dylan and then in the UK it's Owen and we try and work with people to see what logistically would be the best place that they want to send their camera. For obviously in the UK and then some of the other European countries, it's reasonable to send your camera to the UK. I mean, with the Brexit, it's not quite as good as it used to be,
Mike Vorce: but it's still better than coming all the way to the US for a lot of people.
Dan Smigrod: Of course, you have your three do-it-yourself kits as well that may take care of the problem.
Mike Vorce: Exactly.
Dan Smigrod: Mike, is there a topic we haven't discussed? Before we say bye? Is there something else that we should be talking about?
Mike Vorce: I don't know if I mentioned it or not, but we warranty all the repairs. We do it for one year. You get a Wi-Fi antenna replacement or a battery replacement or do anything done if something goes wrong with that, we're going to replace it or fix it or whatever we have to do for you now. If you drop your camera and it breaks again, our warranty doesn't cover that, but we hope you'll send it to us so we can fix it again for you.
Dan Smigrod: If my camera is still within a Matterport warranty?
Mike Vorce: Well, typically if it's a warranty issue and you still have the Matterport warranty, we would suggest reaching out to them and discussing getting taken care of by them because they're pretty good. They're warranties though. They'll typically take care of stuff and not charge you. Now if you've abused your camera or dropped it in a swimming pool, there might be an up charge or something like that.
Dan Smigrod: Have you seen that?
Mike Vorce: Oh yeah, twice. Once in the swimming pool and once in the ocean. When that happens to your camera, It's toast. There's no fixing it. You better go call Matterport and hope that they'll work with you and get you a replacement.
Dan Smigrod: Wow! Any other wacky things that have happened to Matterport Pro cameras?
Mike Vorce: I mean that the fairly common thing is basically a camera falling down a flight of stairs or fallen out of a truck. I think we had one that fell out of a truck and it was definitely messed up, but believe it or not, the one that fell out of the truck, we took it apart and replaced the stuff that was bent and put it back together and it was working fine.
Dan Smigrod: I could see the camera tumbling down the steps. I'm not sure I could understand how the camera ended up in the ocean.
Mike Vorce: [LAUGHTER] Yeah. Well, I think they were probably scanning and it fell overboard. I think they were scanning on a ship and it fell overboard.
Dan Smigrod: Oh my gosh!
Mike Vorce: Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: That's unbelievable.
Mike Vorce: That would be a sinking feeling when that happened, I'm sure.
Dan Smigrod: Yes. Pun intended. ;-)
Mike Vorce: Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: Mike, thanks so much for being on the show today.
Mike Vorce: Great. Glad to do it. Good to talk with you, Dan.
Dan Smigrod: Thank you, Mike. We've been visiting with Mike Vorce. Mike is the Founder of MatterFix. MatterFix is based in Gainesville, Florida with a sister company, MatterFix UK outside of London. You can visit www.MatterFix.io for all your follow-up questions, shipping information. Mike is active in the We Get Around Network forum: www.WGANForum.com His WGAN Forum Member name is: @MatterFix
Dan Smigrod: Thankfully Mike answers all the questions that people have about something's happened to the camera and chimes in there.
Mike Vorce: That's what we're here for.
Dan Smigrod: Yeah, thanks again for being on the show. For Mike in Gainesville. I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum and you've been watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.
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Video: DIY Matterport Repair Kits Explained | Video courtesy of MatterFix YouTube Channel | 26 July 2022
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Transcript (video above)
Mike Vorce: - Hello, this is Mike with MatterFix.io, and this is one in our series of pro tips videos that we're doing for the Matterport Service Provider Community. In these videos, we try and go through common problems that you might have with your camera that may require repair.
What we do is we talk about the problem, how you diagnose it, and then go through your options for getting repairs done. In this particular video, we're going to cover our Fast-Fix or DIY kits. We offer a couple of kits for very basic repairs that can be sent through the mail and you can complete the repair yourself.
Now, first of all, you want to think about, if your camera needs repair, you do have several different options. If your camera is under warranty, quite often, Matterport will do the repair for you and covered under warranty. If it's not under warranty, you can send it to Matterport or send it to us at MatterFix.
Currently, we are not able to do in-warranty repairs. This is the middle of July, but we expect within the next few weeks or so to be able to offer some basic warranty repairs on Matterport cameras. But for right now, Matterport is in-warranty repairs, matter of fixes out-of-warranty repairs. We typically complete our repairs and send cameras back to customers the day after we receive them.
It talks about the repairs in general. Now on the DIY or Fast-Fix kits, like I said, it's a very limited number of things that we offer the kits for. You can't go too far into the camera without having the chance of causing some serious damage.
We offer the kits primarily for the Wi-Fi antenna replacement, which usually that is the camera is dropped, and this is the top plate. The top plate goes like this. It has popped off and the Wi-Fi cable is broken. That's the basic symptom you can see from the outside.
There's a little bit more to that which we'll discuss. That's the Wi-Fi antenna replacement. Then also if you have dropped the camera, but everything seems to be functioning fine, you don't need a new Wi-Fi antenna, but the case isn't fitting back together correctly, the bottom is popped off, you've lost the bottom, we have a kit for that.
We'll walk you through putting it putting it all back together. One of the other kits that we offer, not too common, but we have done it a few times, is a replacement of the charger port.
That's when you plug your charger, you know you have a good charge, you know your charger is good, you know your camera is good, you plug it in and nothing happens, we have a kit for that.
Then last this is primarily for people that are out of the country where it's very difficult for them to send their camera to us, there are a few error messages and some other issues that you might encounter that we can make up a custom kit for and then walk you through the repair process.
The kits typically, the basic kits are $200 plus shipping. The custom kits can be a little bit more if we have to make a video or something specifically for you for that particular issue. The kits are really good.
If you determine that you dropped your camera or the Wi-Fi antenna is torn and easily replaced, but everything else is fine, you're a do-it-yourself person or you're comfortable repairing electronics, the Wi-Fi kit is a good choice there.
The charge report kit if you're certain that it's just the charge report, there's nothing else going on, that's a pretty easy one and we can recommend that kit. Then for people that are out of the country specifically where it's really difficult because of time and money to send your camera through customs to US and we fix it and send it back through customs and that,
Mike Vorce: if you're in that situation, you're a good candidate for one of our DIY kits or Fast-Fix kits as we like to call it. What are the kits? Here's a Wi-Fi antenna replacement kit. Comes in a package like this. We can ship internationally. It usually costs about $50 international. Domestic, two days shipping is usually about $20 or so. The kit comes with a tray to organize all the screws in.
It comes with nut driver handle for taking it apart as pressure for removing certain items. It comes with a new replacement antenna, some capped on tape to put it back in place, and then all of the bits that you need to properly disassemble the camera, do what you need to do and put it back together.
We also include access to a detailed walk-through video that'll guide you through step-by-step how to complete the repair and were available to do a Zoom call or consult through email if you run into an issue or something like that.
That's what's involved in the kit. The charger port kit would be the same thing except for obviously, we'd have a charge report instead of a Wi-Fi antenna. The custom kits, that would depend a lot on the particular situation as to what would be involved in putting one of those together.
Then probably the as far as the Wi-Fi kits go, or if you drop your camera and the top or the bottom popped off, you need to be aware that when a Matterport camera drops, this is a pro light, it has the top, the bottom, and the front, and the sensor array removes this so you can see inside. This is the camera's chassis, this metal frame here.
The mount is here, and then the sensor array goes in like this, sits into the camera., and it has two rods, two aluminum rods to go through and hold the sensor array in place. If you can imagine if your camera drops from 4 or 5 feet or tips over on the tripod, it could suffer a pretty hard impact.
Although you may just think, Oh, the top popped off, I just need an antennae and it'll be fine, there's a pretty good chance that you could have some other damage inside the camera that you can't see, and that damage primarily is bending of some of the internal components from the shock of falling over.
It's very common for these sensors support rods to bend, and if you can imagine if they're bent, that distorts your sensor array in the camera and can cause visual things that you can't see, but it definitely can cause your 3D data to be off.
That's something that can happen. The frame itself or the chassis, you hit on a corner, we see that get bent, that can cause error message, isn't that? If you're thinking about ordering the Wi-Fi kit, there's a few steps that we suggest that you take to test your camera out, and we're going to walk you through those right now.
Mike Vorce: The testing would be to see, okay, if I replace the Wi-Fi antenna and I go ahead and start using the camera, is it going to perform okay? Because when you fix the antenna, that's all your fixed, so you put it back together, there may be other issues.
To see if you might have some of those other issues, of course, the first thing you want to do is turn the camera on, make sure you don't get an error message. You can get a sensor error or something like that if the camera has been dropped. You can rotate the mount by hand. It should be a nice, steady, firm resistance all the way around.
No clicking, no looses, no play in it. If you have any of those issues there, that means possibly the clutch assembly has been damaged. Go ahead, power the camera up, put it on the tripod, connect your Capture app to it, and initiate a scan.
When it scans, it should move very nice and smoothly. If you're familiar with the camera, you used it, you're really familiar with how it's supposed to do. It should move very smoothly from one position to the next and stop, move, stop.
If you see any stuttering, jittering, jumpiness, anything like that here in a clicking when it's moving, then that's a sign that something inside the camera, most likely something in the drive mechanism that is messed up and there again, replacing the Wi-Fi antenna is not going to help that. The next thing you want to do is, say you've dropped the camera and the Wi-Fi antenna doesn't appear to be broke.
The top is on, but cable could still be pinched and it may need to be replaced. The way you test for that is, as soon as it completes to sleep, you're going to get the message on your iPad. It's going to say, okay, to move tripod or move camera from when you see that message to when the image fully transfers from the camera to your iPad, if you're standing 5, 8 feet away, should only be from four to seven seconds.
If it takes longer than that, or you get a disconnection, then that's a sign that, even though it appears fine, the Wi-Fi antenna cable has probably been pinched in there and it's not letting all of the signal goes through. But if that test fine, then you go ahead. The next thing you want do is, do a scan, move the camera, do a scan, move the camera, do a scan.
Make sure you get alignment. Make sure it's not having any problem aligning from one setup to the next. Then open the Capture app and look at one of the scans inside the Capture app. That's the blurry preprocessed image preview. But what you really want to look at is the stitching lines, the vertical stitching lines.
Each time the cameras stops, you got six positions. It creates an image and then those images where they meet, there's a vertical line and you want to be sure that there's not any significant offset. If it's at 10 feet, if it's a quarter-inch off or just slightly off, that's no problem. But if you see a noticeable offset in any of those verticals stitching lines, then that's a sign that again, that something in the camera is bent, most likely that sensor or support rods, but it could be the chassis.
The next thing you can do is just go ahead and if you want to be really sure, just go ahead and upload a model. Just needs four or five scans at a fairly small model and look at the process model, go through it and look at all of the horizontal lines, base boards,
Mike Vorce: the top crown molding, window, seals, over top the window, over top of doorways, any horizontal lines, go around and inspect them and see if you see any offsets. If you see any offsets, then that's another sign that your camera, there's something out of alignment and if something has gotten bent or whatever.
Like I said, the Wi-Fi replacement kits are great, but you just want to be sure that replacing the antenna is going to solve your problem. If you're having any of those other problems, the camera probably needs to be sent in for repair.
That wraps up the Fast-Fix where you do it yourself repair kits. To review, we offer them for very limited, easy repairs, Wi-Fi antenna replacement, the housing ground alignment something's missing, possibly a charger port replacement, those are what we offer them for.
They are pretty easy to do. You get all the parts, everything you need, and a video to follow through to guide you through repair process.
Then we're available to help you if you get stuck. If it doesn't work for you, you can send the kit in with your camera and we will refund your money on that.
The other thing to consider though, it's pretty important, is is just replacing the Wi-Fi antenna going to fix your issues? It's important to go ahead and do those tests to your camera.
Make sure your models look good. Make sure you're not having any other issues. Like I said, at MatterFix we're authorized by Matterport to do Matterport camera repairs.
We typically complete the repairs and send the cameras back to customers the day after we receive them. We warranty our work for one year and we're available to help you with anything that comes up. Thank you.
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