Connecting Pixhawk to DYS Smart3 Gimbal

Hi, guys.  I need your help.  I have been trying to connect my DYS Smart 3 gimbal to the pixhawk so that the pixhawk can control the pitch and therefor, keep me in the shot while in follow me mode.  I found the link here to connect the pixhawk to AlexMos software, and I also refered to the wiki here to try and get it to work as well as the ardupilot forum here, but it seems not to work for me.

  • This is what I have so far done (with no positive results):
  • Connected RC9 (signal and ground only) from the Pixhawk to the RC_ROLL connector (theoretically, this is the one that accepts SUM PPM)
  • Tried connecting the cable into RC_PITCH and FC_PITCH as well...  No results.
  • Programmed the gimbal so that the input from there controls the pitch (tried it with SUM PPM, PWM and analog, but not results)
  • I programmed in MP Initial Setup/Optional Hardware/Camera Gimbal tilt to be controlled by the proper channel (CH6 or CH8, depending on what I was doing), unchecked stabilize tilt, and set the servo limits and angle limits.
  • Tried using both CH6 and CH8 on the receiver (assigning the channel in both the gimbal and the pixhawk accordingly).

To be honest, I have not yet tested the RC9 with a regular servo to be sure signal is actually going out from Pixhawk (will do it tonight), but theoretically, it should be working..  

Also, before someone suggest to connect the gimbal directly to the receiver, this does not work for me because (1) the FC would not control the pitch to keep me in the frame in follow me mode, and (2) I am using a FrSky TFR4 Receiver, which means that CH3 and CH4 have a jumper between them for the receiver to act as Sum PPM, and CH2 (the only slot left open in this 4 CH receiver) is now used to send the RSSI signal.

Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated!

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  • Any news on this? Having a hell of a time just trying to control pitch with my receiver.  I had it working on previous versions of Arducopter. Now running 3.3. I guess I'll have to go back to 3.2 and see if it makes any difference.  So frustrating.

    • I did fix it.  I used the RCx_FUNCTION (where x is the channel number, 9 to 14) to bypass the RC signal through the Pixhawk connected to the RC9 pin.  To test that the connection was correct, I first connected a servo.  Once I knew the RC signal was passing through, I connected a modified (removed the red middle wire) servo wire from the PIxhawk to the DYS Smart3 to the RC?PITCH port.  Be careful with the polarity; although it will not toast anything, it will not work if plugged in backwards.  Then I went into the BCG software for the gimbal and programmed RC_PITCH as the input for pitch, and then used the Tx servo travel function to fine tune the travel rate of the gimbal (from 0 to 90* down).  That worked for some time (although not perfectly; sometimes, the rate would need to be adjusted).

      Now, as a final solution, I decided to scratch the whole AlexMos 8-bit controller and swap in a STorM32 controller, which I am in the process of implementing.  The good thing is that the new controller offers a LOT more possibilities for controling the gimbal (even programing moves and using MavLink to communicate with the gimbal by using PPM from the Pixhawk to the STorM32.  COnsidering the cost of the new controller and the advantages, it was a no brainer for me...  This is where I am at at the moment regarding that conversion.

      • Thanks.  May go down the storm route myself. Although if I'm not getting a signal out of pixhawk there may be not much point. Just to confirm.

        RC9_Function set to 1 (for pass through) I think mines currently set to 7 for mount_tilt.

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