My Brushless Gimbal Conversion + Flying Footage!

Discussion in 'Camera Mount Misc' started by Josh Lambeth, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    I have been keeping pretty quiet about this because I wanted to ensure it was working before posting.

    This is currently only a 2 axis conversion but my 3rd motor is on it's way. I already have the 3rd axis board waiting to go.

    I have been working on my own brushless gimbal setup and did my first flights with it this last weekend. I am impressed with how well it has done already just with very minimal tuning and I don't have my final mounting parts (current ones are acrylic and brittle so I can't tighten them down really tight). The final parts will be out of light weight, aircraft grade aluminum. Because of this there is some small movements that I am not wanting to see but I will admit that this footage looks better RAW then any other footage I have gotten with the Radian setup.

    This setup should be able to handle the RED Epic but I have yet to mount an epic to see if it works. I want to make sure the 5d is working perfect first.

    These two videos are full RAW videos from takeoff to landing. The only post work was chopping the beginning and ends of the footage and overlaying the gopro footage in the first video.

    This is with a 5dMKII and the 24mm F2.8 lens with the IS turned OFF! I wanted a pure video, no stabilization at all. The second video is the 5dMKII with an 85mm lens. I have NEVER gotten usable footage with this lens in the air before. This video I could probably use almost all of it with a bit of post. Again I need some more tuning and I am pretty sure I can make it look a lot better.

    I should also mention that this is not my normal camera operator. She was busy so this was a local flying field guy who was helping me out. With my normal camera op the movements are much smoother. :D





    Josh
     
  2. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Congratulations! That's awesome. So you basically converted a Freefly 3-axis gimbal? How extensive are your mods to the structural bits? And what controller are you using for the stabilization stuff? Alexmos? Any estimate as to what this project will cost you by the time you're "done"?
     
  3. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    Yes this was a 3 axis Radian/Servo/Belt drive gimbal originally. I am still using a Radian and servo on the PAN axis but I have a new pan brushless motor on it's way. It's using the AlexMos board. I also have the new 3rd axis extension board to control the pan axis once that motor shows up. This way I don't need 2 full AlexMos boards to control the gimbal.

    Mods were just the new mounting gear. All the final parts will be machined so there is some cost there. Ill need to tally it all up.

    I am thinking about selling the conversion kit once I have mine finished. If people are interested let me know and I can start getting a price list together.

    Hardest part is going to be sourcing the boards. They are not easy to find. The 3rd axis extension board sold out in 10 min once they posted on RC groups that it was available.

    Oh and this gimbal (other then the Pan servo currently) is completely silent. Just like MoVI and can be used on a set. I will be posting and testing hand-held stuff with it this week.

    Josh
     
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  4. Chris Babiana

    Chris Babiana Member

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    Looks great Josh! I'm definitely interested in a price/parts list when you have the opportunity.
     
  5. Brad McGiveron

    Brad McGiveron Active Member

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    Nice one Josh!

    I have my own project from scratch going but in between waiting for new stuff to arrive I have been converting a CS mount and pushing the alexmos boards as far as they can go with 5208's and a few different wound motors... yes they can fly a Red if you balance it perfectly. I ran some yesterday with a smaller canon on the Scarlet and it works very nicely. only $400 in parts.

    btw I took your idea and heat sinked the chips on the alexmos... worked nicely
     
  6. Bill Collydas

    Bill Collydas Active Member

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    Congrats Josh, you beat me to the aerial test, Well done. Believe me when you convert the pan from servo to brushless you will see the difference. I've been trying to get the ext. board for the 3rd axis but no luck.
    Again nicely done.
    Bill
     
  7. Scott Stemm

    Scott Stemm Member

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    Josh does it add any weight in comparison to the radian set-up?

    Also interested in the conversion kit
     
  8. Sam Slape

    Sam Slape Member

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    Nice work Josh. Very impressed, even with the 85mm it is very good for a first flight. Do you have some detailed shots of the setup?

    What motors did you use? I assume it's silent because of the frequency you are using?
     
  9. Chakradhar Raju

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    Good work...btw what would be the cost...I am keen to buy one.. 3 axis..
     
  10. kjetil tønnesen

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  11. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    I will be getting pricing soon for you guys. I still need to find out from my manufacturer what he would charge to have the parts made.

    Josh
     
  12. Tommy - KnightDesignDev

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    I'm very interested in the conversion kit as well. I was looking to design my own kit...
    Let talk about the parts you need, because I have a huge resource list from my years as an automotive / consumer product designer.
    Allied Drones would also be a great resource.
     
  13. MIke Magee

    MIke Magee Active Member

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    Very cool and well done Josh. Please keep us all posted!
     
  14. kjetil tønnesen

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    i am also interested in the kit
     
  15. Bill Collydas

    Bill Collydas Active Member

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    Josh are you using the Nem Hobby motors?
    would you mind sharing a photo of your setup?
    I have two of them but I don't know if they would be strong enough to handle DSLR's?
    Bill
     
  16. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    If you were building a gimbal from scratch (which we've always done) it's a 1000x easier to fab up some BL gimbal brackets with bearing support to hold DD BLG motors than it is to construct all the components needed to support a belt driven servo gimbal. My point, it's not rocket science...just give it a whirl guys.
     
  17. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    So after more testing I am still pretty darn happy with how this is working. I haven't gotten the 3rd axis going yet (hoping to this week) but we just finished a job on a very windy location. During part of the shoot we were flying in 18mph, gusting 25mph, winds. We were getting good footage out of the 24mm lens WITHOUT the IS on. We then decided to try out a 50mm lens and also got some good footage. This footage however needed a little post work to be usable to our standards but it's still 100x better then anything we have had in the past. One thing we did notice is the copter has to be flying extremely smooth for us to get good/smooth footage from the gimbal. In these stronger winds the copter wasn't flying as smooth as I would like so this caused some issues. One issue was the roll lost it's holding ability due to the bouncy-ness of the copter. Once it lost hold it slowly came back to center and we continued on. It did this a couple other times but I think with a bit more tuning I may be able to fix that issue. Our big copter still doesn't do really well in the stronger winds. I need to get my co-axiel setup going!

    Oh and I finally have the metal parts made for the gimbal. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

    Josh
     
  18. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    What camera were you flying?
     
  19. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    5dMKII.

    We also just completed this commercial shoot which also used the brushless gimbal.



    Josh
     
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  20. Chakradhar Raju

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    Very Impressive which camera did you use?and when would the kit come out?
    Cheers
     

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