What’s inside a Cine SSD DJI? Can you use a simple SSD instead?

Always wondering what’s inside a DJI cine SSD and if you could get you way around it?

Not sure you can do that!

After opening it, you will find a Samsung SSD, connected to a sub board with a proprietary board to restrain from using your own system


source .. FCC

For now, this is what you can find online. Here is real life experience.

If you take out only the SSD, you will find very close aspect of a Samsung EVO series SSD, it’s exact ref is MZ-VPV-1280 for the 128G version
Here is my finding with the exact drive. as you can see, they both looks 100% identical.

To my surprise; the connector is not soldered to the SSD, so you could think of just exchange the SSD and close back the enclosure. They are kept in place as a burger between layers of thermal past and a little tiny screw a bit hard to see if you don’t look very closely. I actually strongly suggest you to purchase this tools set if you like hacking some electronic device as this precision screwdrivers set contains everything you will ever need.

Here is the way it looks when you open it.

But the main idea is to save few buck as the price of a 960 M2 EVO is half the price of the DJI one .
The exact EOM denomination is PM961 at Samsung and the potential 960 EVO retail counterpart.

The best is to be able to use the Cine SSD as a support for your cheaper SSD.
For example, you buy only one CineSSD, and switch SSD drive in between flight inside.
It will save you a lot of time as you don’t need the station anymore to read it, you just need a very cheap M key SSD reader to any standard you like (ref: Sata M SSD PCI-E M key NVMe M.2).
There is a USB 3.0 version NVMe M.3 SSD to plug this directly to your computer.

In order to test it, I bought 2 extension M.2 cable and it’s look like this.
You just slide the old DJI memory into.
It fits perfectly and I can now start some extensive testing.

Of course, I’m checking if this is working well with the original drive on the DJI cineStation
DJI SSD reader hack
YES, Great, I can read my footage like this, no data drop, the drive is working fine.

Here is the setup on the Inspire side.
I just taped it for the picture purpose, no way it’s safe to fly like this.
and… YES, working too, every data rate I have choose working just fine. The extension cable do not bring data drop.

But, I’m using the original SSD from my CineSSD.. Switching to another drive is just showing some funny text after starting “SSD identification fail”, same thing if you try to format it…
Another person tested the upgrade from 240 GB to samsung NMVe SSD 960 EVO 500gb, but the same warning appeared too. He tried to swap the drive BEFORE putting it on the first initialization.

If you look closely to the board from DJI,
CineSSD back view dji inside video uav in china chipyou will notice a small chip, it’s a Atmel At88SC3216.
So it may store the exact SSD serial number. Either on the first initialization or with copy of the SSD serial number. Maybe one way should be to read this one. It’s a cryptomemory, so I guess a bit hard to get all out.

I guess the next step will be to follow a software mod since it’s now hacked and few altitude mod have been used. Only few weeks before the original SSD check can be bypassed!

Also, this chip has been used before for other DJI product and there are another team looking for details about it. Please follow what they are doing with the NAZA M.

If you like to support this project, you can pick up few options from this list. You can also choose any google ad. on this page and click one, it will send me a little bit of money from them! Thanks either way for your support

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