DJI S900 alternative???

I am confused with a few things. I am wanting to purchase a copter capable of carrying a GH4 camera but using a Pixhawk. Here are the things my googling has failed to answer for me:

1. Is there a Pixhawk-based platform equivellant to the DJI S900? I have pretty much determined that is the predominate solution for what I want to do but I do not want to run A2.

2. What Gimbal works with the Pixhawk that is built for the GH4?

3. The Zenmuse Z15-GH4 seems to be the dominate gimbal but only works with the DJI flight controller(s). What exactly does the flight controller do for the gimbal? Isn't the gimbal independently controlled or can you tie it into your flight planning somehow?

Any guidance would be appreciated, thanks!


You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


  • Matt-

    You can build the S900 frame up with any flight controller you like.  We just finished a project with S1000 powered by Pixhawk and I juts built myself a 900 with Pixhawk.  They fly very well and to be honest, the DJI frames are the best bang for the buck out there now.

  • Moderator

    I built a Kraken 130 last year with a pixhawk and it flew pretty well.  With two 16000 ma batteries it got more than 22 minutes flight time carrying a Canon 5D.  

    It also had a second receiver just for the gimbal, and a Teradek clip for live HD FPV to the ground. The teradek didn't perform as well as we had hoped.

  • We setup a S900, with Pixhawk and an Align gimbal.

    It flies perfectly, and it's able to carry the GH4.

  • Cinestar octo with A-2 or pixhawk. would never run my gimble thru a flight controller, run it independently with its own power and receiver/radio...2 man set up. Arris 3 axis gimbles rock! cheap and doesnt hurt the wallet as much when it comes down un expectedly! You dont need the flight controller to stabilize your gimble! the alex moss gimble control board on the Arris works great for stabilization!

    Works for me!

  • Dear Matt,

    in my case I'm going to build Kongcopter FH800 + GS4 2axis gimbal (Alexmos 32bit controller) equipped with Pixhawk. I think that could be a good and cheaper alternative to S900 frame. I've chosen DYS 4215-650kv motors and 40A esc so I should have plenty of power for various cameras on that gimbal. If you are looking for GH4 camera rig, this might be a tip.


    • Had a kong copter frame and it sucked. The motor pods kept loosening up and the motors would go out of level totally screwing up the flight characteristics. The Tarot 960 or the smaller tarot hex frame is much better. Collapsable arms for ease of transporting. Parts are readily available also on the tarot stuff.

      Go to hobby wing and check out the Arris gimbles. You will need and adapter plate to attach to the tarot, but really well made durable gimbles. I crashed a s900 with the arris 2 axis survived but the 900 didnt.

  • I haven't seen an out of box pixhawk solution comparable to the s900. But you can build an s900 alternative using pixhawk. i have built several Tarot X8s using pixhawk for a few people.

    For the Pana GH4, the following gimbals work: RCTimer Legacy, CopterFrames Aura, Align G3-GH, Altigator MikroKopter.

    In DJI's case, the FC actually provides inputs the Gimbal to assist with its stabilization. Pixhawk has the same thing, but the gimbal controller has to support it. In most non-dji gimbals, the gimbal is totally separated from the FC. With these gimbals, the FC provides RC pan and tilt or you can run a 2nd receiver dedicated to the gimbal (2-man operation).

    • You dont need the flight controller to stabilize the gimble. The Arris uses a Alex Moss gimble control board that independently does all the stabilization. Works great!

  • Interesting read on a 3DR Pixhawk powered DJI S1000 with Ronin Gimbal
This reply was deleted.