I have made a test of a NEX5 brushless gimbal used on my X8 Arducopter platform.

The video is raw and has not been post-processed.


For the more technical among you:

-Arducopter APM2.5 platform, firmware V3.0.1

-2-axis (tilt/roll) Brushless gimbal for Sony NEX5 from (it is in fact a (re)labeled RC timer aluminium gimbal), using white labeled GBM5010 brushless motors (150 turns, able to hold 500gr cameras) 

-Sony NEX5R with 16-50mm objective. This big sensor compact camera delivers 50 frames/sec video and 16 mios pixels pictures. It can be radio remote controlled through APM and a IR trigger (i used stratosnapper)

It is a second episode of the X8 series of Summer Flights in France and will soon be continued with a third...

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  • MR60

    The carbon plate is isolated from the frame of the craft by these silicon dampers:

    In my current version, I use one of these silicon dampers per 500 grams of weight. They work under compression.

  • @hugues

    I use those exact same style of dampners, they seem to work MUCH better for heavier cameras than the little rubber balls that people sell. Do you have rubber washers around the plate there? 

  • MR60

    Hi M, My frame is a home made one, not the 3DR one. So I do not think my setup will help you on a different setup. Anyway here is a picture of my base plate on which the gimbal is fixed:


  • Hi Hugues!

    I've bought a 3DR X8 and the gimbal you suggested...can you post a pic to let me understand how you manage to fix it on the X8?

    I have some problems.

    Thank you so much!


  • MR60

    @benybee, developers have already reached the processing power limit of APM with version 3.1 (still to be released). I am afraid we will have to wait for a future pixhawk release to get more features.

  • Any development about integrating pitch roll yaw of 3-axis brushless gimbal with APM? So, the APM can give a comment to point the camera to certain location..

  • Look I don't mean to be argumentative, but the analogy does hold.  

    And if you do connect two buckets "in parallel" with say a 13mm pipe connected between them, the holes size between them would make no difference accept in the rate of equalization.  The smaller hole determine the rate.  In this case "the pipe" would be the 12 gauge wire making up the Y cable.  If the batteries are both charged to the same voltage then the "water levels are the same" voltage is pressure.  I don't want to extend this analogy too far because the battery performance does vary especially output of current/unit of time.  But they should still work and the equalization holds true.  There overall voltage should drop together.

    Anyway I can empirically prove the point with a few simple tests, so why bother, since for weight distribution and practically speaking, two matched batteries make more sense.

  • Moderator
    Your own analogy of two water buckets is apt! But since the two batteries are so different, it would be like the buckets each have different water levels and different sized holes as well.
    Even if they are both charged, They are outputting the contents at different rates.
    This would allow them to auto-level by one discharging into the other.
  • Ok, why if both batteries were freshly charged would that it make any difference? They would seek the same electrical potential and then discharge together. After all no two batteries are ever identical. It's like two different sized water buckets, if you connect them the level in both equalizes. My RV has different sized batteries connected as well, same voltage of course, no problem there.

    Anyway I was running the X8 originally with some 3s 4000mah batteries, brand new that shiiped with the X8 from 3D robotics RTF.  I killed the first one easily by over discharging the cells way below 3 volts.  Later I realized I need to set the Mission Planner to raise the failover up above 9.4 volts to prevent a total discharge.  I then flew two 3s 4000 mah in parallel with pretty good success without the gimbal & camera payload.  Once I attach more payload then the amps to hover jumps from 45a to 65a plus.  So I figured a 4s would run at lower amps for the same current output, which it does.

    My next plan is to run with two 40C 4S 5000mah, which I just ordered. I might like to try more volts like a 6s, but I would have to replace the power distribution board, I think.

    Clearly I need to optimize the PID tuning. But also I need more headroom for electrical capacity either by increasing capacity or increasing efficiency with better motors and/or props.   Right now I am working off a stock configuration.

    Sorry still on a long learning curve, I got cocky after flying Phantoms. Now I am confronting reality.

  • MR60

    Strange you would mix two different batteries in parallel. This is really not a good idea. You can only use batteries in parallel if they are identical, same history and all of the cells balanced. Because if you mix batteries with different history/charge levels/capacity there will be significant current flowing from the higher cells (voltage) to the lower cells and it will destroy your batteries.

    Either buy one single higher capacity battery, either buy two smaller identical batteries to use in parallel. See this post for batteries discussion on my X8 :


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