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:


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...

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  • That's the thing i am not having problems with. Windows 7 works fine for me. 

    And what is this "Martinez" software? I am looking at a youtube of how to do everything for the blg, but is martinez :S Don't know what this is. And how can you see witch kind of board you have to use then? 

    Old XP computers sometimes works the best for this kind of experimental do it yourself stuff, i become gray by now :D

  • I agree, not so simple. :-)

    For me I set it as the Arduino Pro.  I also had to use an old Windows XP to finally make the connection.  I normally use a Windows 7 computer but I couldn't ever get the drivers to load properly.  Once I dug out my old XP laptop the connection was instant! :-)



  • Hey thanks Andreas, but still, in other documentation as on rctimer pdf for this shizzle, there i see i have to correct some line in the code. From HIGH to LOW and then upload to the board. I cannot see this in the manual you send. So see what i mean that these things are not so simple? :)

  • EVERYTHING is in the award winning documentation ;)


  • Ok guys, help me out :D I think i am doing things wrong here. At first, in the IMU software from arduino i have to choose the correct board. So witch one is that? There are like 30 different boards. In the discription they give the example for the arduini pro or pro mini (5V,16MHz) w/ATmega328. And in the list from rctimer it says it has a ATmega328p micro controller. *help* :( Not so clever yet, sorry.

  • With the new code the roll is perfect. Now the pitch is acting strange. It flies all over the place. I assume i have to make a study out of the PID settings... and stuff haha. Or someone can give me a nice one. As John said, the 161 i tried now but thats not good for me without doing any PID tuning i guess.

  • Thanks Ron - I will be looking for the Mac version.

  • i have seen there's also a version available for mac. But don't know how it's reacting if you assign a com port.

  • I'm still putting mine together and haven't got to the software part yet. I read through John McGrath's manual and I saw mention of Windows. Is there going to be a problem using a Mac?

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