RCTimer Brushless Gimbal and Controller

It's amazing how quickly BLGs went from a novelty and costing thousands (zenmuse) to something you can get for $172 shipped!

I received my RCTimer Brushless Gimbal (BLG) and controller (Martinez v1) yesterday and of course had to try it immediately. Mark came over and helped with the build and documentation. The kit does not come with any instructions, so the RCGroups thread is the best source for build info.

Overall the quality of the RCTimer kit is not bad. There was one missing screw and a few things we had to alter to make it fit (see the build log link below for details). But the material is easy to work with. The default firmware and settings on the board seem to be pretty decent for a start. We initially had the IMU orientation and motor connections different, the result of that was shaking in the pitch axis. Once positioned and connected as shown above, it started to work fine without any parameter changes.

Build log with many detailed pictures:

http://eastbay-rc.blogspot.com/2013/05/rc-timer-brushless-gimbal-bu...

Video showing connections, start-up sequence and motion test:

Time lapse build video:

Next up: Connect to the GUI (no luck so far), connect the RC, fly...

Views: 31966

Tags: BLG, Brushless, Gimbal, GoPro, Martinez

Comment by Hugues on May 9, 2013 at 1:44pm
Great post but unacceptable product quality. Most people Do not have the tools and skills you have to correct the screws,bolts,plates design/build faults. Hope rc timer listens to correct this beta version and bring it to a finished product quality.

Moderator
Comment by Mark Harrison on May 9, 2013 at 2:02pm

@Hugues, that's a great point.  They are about 98% of where they need to be, and that last 2% can be a show stopper for a lot of people.  And it would be great if rctimer included the 1.25mm hex wrench, since the entire build would have been sunk if Andreas had not had one sitting around.

Comment by Sean Skirvin on May 9, 2013 at 3:44pm

it is a little off topic, but I liked watching the food disappear in the last vid

Comment by Mike T on May 9, 2013 at 7:28pm

how long did yours take to come? i ordered mine a few weeks ago and it hasnt shipped yet...

Comment by Andreas on May 9, 2013 at 8:37pm

@Mike  -  I placed the order on 4/22, it shipped on 5/4 and arrived on 5/8. All this with standard shipping. When ordering from HobbyKing or RCTimer it's best to forget about the order once you place it and be surprised when it arrives ;)

@Sean - And you can count the beers that went into the project!

@Hugues - Just a month ago the alternative was to take BL motors apart and re-wind them by hand. Compared to this effort the gimbal was almost no effort to assemble. Many people fixed the short comings by buying longer screws. But having the necessary tools certainly helps. It's not perfect, but for the price I can accept some minor deficiencies. This first generation BLGs are not ready for the non-tinkerers yet (this does not only go for RcTimer).

Comment by Eric Lewis on May 9, 2013 at 8:56pm

So would anyone recommend this RCtimer controller to be good substitute for the Alex Mos controller?

Less that half the price and its available 

Comment by Mike T on May 9, 2013 at 9:07pm

i ordered the rctimer controller but am yet to receive it. will let you know how it goes. to be honest i'm struggling to find ANY information on the RCTimer version... I read somewhere that it doesn't come with the ardiuno bootloader & firmware so will see how it goes.

I hope that i get in on a second batch of gimbals with the screw length and missing screws issue fixed

Comment by Andreas on May 9, 2013 at 10:15pm

The RCTimer controller is a Martinez v1 board. A bit tricky to get the drivers to work. Driver instructions:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1872416

AlexMos vs. Martinez thread:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1858354

Comment by Magnus von Rosen on May 9, 2013 at 11:26pm

Thank you very much for this, I also have a Gopro one and the same package as yours is shipped from RCtimer. This will save me lots of time and beer!

/Magnus

Comment by Mike T on May 24, 2013 at 7:55am

FYI. received and assembled mine. and its all working! Gimbal & Controller from RCtimer

Typical of RCtimer i was missing a screw, and had to use several of my own as the packaged ones were far too short. apart from that, a pretty solid gimbal.

the controller was a bit of a nightmare.but now i know which way the imu goes, the servo cables, and to use the old ftdi firmware for the GUI tool. very little information on getting these going.

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