I am interested in buying and Cinestar 2 Axis Gimbal.

Does anybody have experience in using this gimbal with APM2 or APM2.5?


Without using the Radian Stabilization modules?




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I looked at it for a little bit before going with a different gimbal but it should work with the APM just fine. Do you have specific concerns about it?

Hi Luke,

Thanks for the reply.  I am just interested because if you buy the gimbal on its own it will cost about $950, yet if you are buying also 2x Radian stabilization modules its an additional $770, which makes this exercise a bit more expensive.  I just wanted to know if somebody is using it with his APM and using the APM camera stabilization setup.


What gimbal did you go for?  and why?

The APM can stabilize a gimbal if it uses standard servos and the servos are on the X, Y, or Z axis. The CineStar gimbals fall into this category. The belt drive made me question if it would work but after looking into it more it'll be fine because the servos have an external potentiometer which makes the process transparent to the electronics that are controlling the gimbal.


Note they have two leads, one for the signal and power and the other for an external potentiometer. Instead of knowing where the head of the servo is it just knows where the gimbal is since that's what the potentiometer is attached to, so the servo can turn multiple times for the belt drive. The servo they use looks like a rebranded MKS (questionable quality from what I've read).


If using digital servos you'll want to use channels 9 and 10 on the APM. If you use channel 8 or lower it will cause digital servos to freak out a little (channels 1-8 are higher frequency for motor ESC). I ended up going with a gimbal kit from Rusty (AGL Hobbies). Compared to the CineStar gimbal it costs less, is more flexible, can be setup with better servos, and I can learn a lot more about it if I build it myself. Also I use the UAP1 frame from Rusty and mounts are available for it.


I went with Hitec HS-7945TH servos to control it which will require modification to use the external potentiometer. It requires some soldering and cutting with a rotary tool to make work. Or there are already modified servos available from Servo City (extra $20 charge) if you're not comfortable with modifying the servos. They have great sales and support, I highly recommend them!




To power the servos I setup a dedicated CC BEC Pro since they need higher voltage than the rest of the electronics and can draw quite a lot of current. In a lot fewer words, I'm sure the Radian gimbal control modules are nice but you don't really need them because the APM does the same thing. Hopefully this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. If you get a gimbal I'd love to see it and know about your setup.

Awesome thanks for the link to Rusty's gimbal. That's exactly what I was looking for. FYI, there is a $750 clone of the Cinestar available at RCTimer.


Hard to imagine spending that much at RCT, but it does look legit from the photos.

I wasn't aware there was a clone of the CineStar gimbal. The devil is in the details. Something as simple as a little backlash on the CNC router cutting the pieces could make it a wobbly piece of crap (stuff like that could slip past with a clone but probably not with the original since they have a reputation to uphold). It might be just as good as the original CineStar gimbal but I wouldn't want to be the first to try it out. Also that's kind of wrong to the original designers. I know they make clones of the APM and other products but those are open source designs. As far as I know the CineStar products are not open source. Thanks for the link because it's interesting to see what's out there!

Thanks Luke for the links. 


Did you already build this gimbal?  Do you have some photos to share or even better some Video Footage to show how it looks and how the video shoot results looks.




Apparently those images are actually of a real CineStar that someone stuck a different mounting plate on. They removed the bigger labels but you can still see the Freefly logos on top of the servos.

They are not the only ones producing clones of this gimbal there are photos of a Tarot product floating around the web that looks awfully familiar.

I have this same gimbal from Rusty.  I sized it to for a Canon T2i, but it could probably take a bit bigger camera (my end goal is a GH3 - but that's not going to be for a while).  I use the 7940TH servos on both roll and tilt.  I liked there mix of speed and torque.

As others already pointed out, Rusty's gimbal is scalable, cheaper, and overall more DIY friendly.  Plus, I use a frame from rusty already that I have added his isolation to.  This gimbal mounts nicely to it.

Here is a recent video that I shot with this gimbal on my Y6.  About half of shots have a very small amount of stabilization added to smooth out my movements a bit.  At that point gimbal wasn't as tuned as I have it now.  It's quite a bit better now.


I'm in the process of building the gimbal right now. Just finished modifying the servo yesterday. There are a lot of example videos and discussion on a thread dedicated to the gimbal (over 100 pages of discussion).


If you get the gimbal, start with 3/8th inch square wood dowels to get the dimensions right. Then cut the aluminum when you know you have the size you want. It will save some money and time (the 10mm aluminum tubing is hard to come by, not sure why he didn't use something more common).

I have the Cinestar 2x, and it's great. The simplicity is what makes it so good. And properly setup it is totally slop free. But the mechanical setup is the easy part. Tuning the stabilization to get it just so, can be A LOT of work.

And regarding price, before I got the Cinestar I probably spent more money trying to save money buying cheap gimbals that never did the job. And now with the RCTimer clone at half the price, it's a no brainer.

Ryan, where are the pics of the Tarot gimbal?  I'm very interested in it.  I've seen images of the alloy pan pulley, but not much else.

Tarot don't always clone.  They very often take a design and make quite significant improvements to it.  Sometimes a clean-sheet design, that only fits in the place of the OEM part.

Ah Luke, you're in on that too?  Good job.  It's a fantastic design.  Still working on my all-welded design.   Too many projects!

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