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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  • Everyone is looking for the right settings. Please add your settings if the gimbal is working well. My gimbal is shaking a little and drifts during flight.

    kindly regards

    Dick Gerritsen

    dutch mountains

  • Just a few points about the Martinez boards to watch out for.

    Firstly the min USB socket on both boards I bought were not properly soldered on. Both actually came off very easily and I had to re-solder them back on. So if your having trouble connecting via the USB cable, check the solder joints to the board.

    Second issue is the socket on the smaller sensor board is a 5 pin female socket yet the male plug on the wire end is only a four pin plug. You have to make sure the male plug is fitted to the left side if the female sensor board socket for ti to work. If it is plugged in on the right side it simply wont work.

    I think I still have one board not working properly via the USB socket, so I want to try using the FTDI cable. Has anyone got this working and can advise how and where to plug it in?

  • Well isn't that the irony of it all!. I have watch the BGLs development and it all happened mostly within the last 12 months or so. Like you said, It went from novelty (DIYs open source builds, etc) then to 3-5 thousand dollar gimbals and now back to 100-200 gimbals all in less than 18 months.

    Companies like Zenmuse must have made massive profits on what would have cost them very little at all. It use to be in the olden days you were mostly paying for the R&D which made the cost of new release product very high, however most of this R&D for the BLGs would have been borrowed/copied or stolen from the DIY and Opensource community by companies like Zenmuse . 

    So this is  really justice in its own making that becasue it was originally a  DIY and Opensource development that the price to now buy a BLG off the shelf is now much more realistic and that it happened all within an 6-8 month time frame.  We can now sit happily blowing raspberries at these companies in the case that they might still have a warehouse full of $4000 gimbals gathering dust that they cant sell now.

    A main developer of another Opensource project I follow wouldn't divulge all the hardware designs (eg gerber files , BOM etc) and said to me once he wanted to restrict some of the design information in case some people would start mass producing them and then market them at extremely high  profits.


    At the time I thought that's a fair enough comment, however now going by this example of the rapid development of the BLG, it now seem that this "pirating" could actually accelerate and  help improve the further development of the original DIY/Opensource  project that it came from.

    The irony is it use to be the big companies hording and protecting their precious designs and technology with the threat of prosecuting of the public if they "pirated" their copy right.   But now its the other way round and they are the pirates, yet rather than it really befitting them, it seems to often have more of  a detrimental kick back against them massively devaluing their products in a very short time frame. (....sitting here blowing more raspberries !! )

  • Help Needed

    Just managed to burn out My Alexmoss board by plugging in the 3 axis board one pin to the left rather than right !!!. The result is it has blown a small mossfet just above the USB port titled Q1 on the board.

    Since I no longer have any chance of reading the numbers on the fet can anybody tell me what the spec is on this component? Many thanks

  • My Phantom quadcopter should arrive in a few days, my brushless gimbal is complete. I want to give the gimbal a tilt function. Has anyone here done this with the Phantom/ RCTimer set up?

  • I did not like how low it was so I removed the board and put it elsewhere now I have lots of room. FYI wrap the board in foam as to protect it.

  • Is it possible to make the move camera and gimbal so its in front and more or less level with the control board ? I would prefer it didnt hang so much .

  • Help
    Does anybody knows how to reflash The boot leader on a Martínez board using an ftdi cable , because I have tried everything directly using the USB with no luck.
  • T3

    I've been going around and around trying to the tune my RC Timer Gimbal.  I can get it to shake, rattle and roll, but not level out.  I've tried all kinds of combinations of default settings with no success.  I tried starting with "P" and increasing it, but nothing, then I tried increasing "D", but nothing, then I gave it some "I" and I got motion.  Nothing I seem to do gives me a level gimbal that moves when I move the gimbal.  Anyone have any suggestions?  I'm using 3S battery and a GoPro2. I start level, plug in the battery, then the usb cable and then I connect via the GUI.


  • For what kind of thing? If you mean the connector you just go to: 


    And buy yourself a 2 cell lipo for powering the gimbal. Or maybe you got some small airplanes/helicopter, and there you can grab what you need. The point is you don't reverse the polarity. The way you do it doesn't matter. As long as it works.

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