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Bought a FC200 China gimbal from ebay and need some help

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Help' started by bernek, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. bernek

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    Hello guys,

    I've bought this specific gimbal from ebay: DJI Phantom 2 Vision FC200 gopro 3/4 2-axis Brushless Gimbal FPV Ready for use

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is a China gimbal made specially for P2V egg camera. I'm soon going on vacation and believed its a nice upgrade for my aerial recordings (family type).

    It is one of the few gimbals available at this lower price and sadly it doesn't come with a manual for installing it.

    I really appreciate any help regarding the basic connections/settings needed to be done. The gimbal itself will arrive as a kit so I should receive all the cables to make it work ! I've payed the fastest shipping 2-5 days so I will be able to mount it before I leave on vacation !

    Thanks in advance,

    Bernek
     
  2. Mark The Droner

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  3. bernek

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    I hope that I have the plug and play one :( don't want to burn any small electronic part ... The add for the gimball said its ready for use ! I hope it will be :)

    I will try to ask the seller for a PDF or atleast a simple diagram so I don't destroy anything in the process of installing it.

    From what I've seen on JDOT thread I need to connect the following:

    - egg camera extension cable (which also takes power from it)

    - existing gimbal servo cable to the china gimbal (allows movement from remote/app ?)

    Do you think I can get power from the existing wires in the P2V (the ones left in there if you want to power up something) I will measure the voltage from egg camera (with the kit cables) and compare it to the original wires inside (left free for use). I hope the voltage will be the same so I wont have to use the extension cable for the egg camera. I would honestly prefer to leave it with the original cable ... maybe its not long enough :D

    Is there a way to setup/adjust the gimbal ? I see it has an micro ubs port on it and I think its settings can be tweaked.

    I really hope to have JDOT on this thread one day to give me some hints after I receive the gimbal itself (should be here in a couple of days).

    Thanks Mark for helping me out !

    P.S. the gimbal I've bought seem to have some additional wires in the package I hope I wont need them :p
     
  4. bernek

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    I also expect to lose some range due to the fact that the gimbal motor is positioned too close to one of the egg camera internal 2.4 ghz antennas... at least when I will do a turn and the motor would be facing me the signal would be lost maybe ... I think I will have to learn to turn one direction only :D or change the egg camera antennas also with some external ones. Any recommendations ?
     
  5. Mark The Droner

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    What you do with those antennas depends on the kind of flying you do.

    Re the gimbal, Jdot will sell you some wires he made that will make it plug and play. I suggest you post in his thread and try to enlist his help. I never did this mod. Maybe some day...
     
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  6. bernek

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    I really hope he can tell me what to do since I don't want to wait for 1-2 wires :) since I'm going on vacation soon. I have good soldering skills and bit of electronic knowledge and I can find connectors and wires here in my country with no problems. I can make them myself easily but I have to know the diagram or how thing thing is supposed to work.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. J Dot

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    Hello Bernek,
    I'm here, and glad to help.
    This is the only wire you need:
    image.jpeg
    Plugs from existing wire from phantom belly ( White end ( servo wire )), then Black end plugs to pitch pin on gimbal mainboard. No need to open phantom!

    I'd be glad to help with install, sent you a few pointers to your pm, things to look out for, and a bit of prep before install, with that particular gimbal, it requires a bit of alteration, but nothing crazy!

    Let me know?
    J Dot
    :cool:

    Take Care, Fly Safe!
     
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  8. J Dot

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    Wanted to add,
    I can supply part numbers, and tool part numbers, required to build that wire yourself. No problem!

    J Dot
    :cool:

    Take care, Fly safe!
     
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  9. bernek

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    Hello J Dot !

    I would like to thank you for joining my thread and helping me out ! Regarding the gimbal I will receive I want to ask some questions.

    I would honestly prefer to power the gimbal from the cable inside the Phantom 2 Vision and not from the camera cable itself. I guess the voltage is the same have to measure myself and check polarity. (is there a lenght problem with existing cable and not allow 100% motion ?)

    Regarding the gimbal (China one) what is actually needs connected ? These are the points that I think it needs to be connected...

    1. Power - from egg camera cable or from the Phantom spare power inside
    2. Control - one pin connection to the Naza M - F2 port (bottom pin) to the gimbal itself (I don't know where it should go on the gimabal yet I hope to clarify with pictures).
    3. Existing gimbal cable under the P2 - one connector with more pins (forgot how many they are) from the gimbal (China) to the existing gimbal cable that comes out form the Phantom belly that is attached to the egg "gimbal" now. Here I've understood I need to make the hole a little bigger so I can stick out the original connector in order to make the connection.

    For point 1. I can figure that out easily so power will be ok.
    For point 2. I can make that cable no problem I have access to a lot of electronic stores and maybe I have some connectors like that around. Just need to find the exact place where to connect it on the China gimbal. (for the Phantom I've understood its location)
    For point 3. I don't know what connection should be made but I think the cable will be supplied (still I will have problems attaching it to the China gimbal since it can be inverted easily due to the fact that the male pins on the China gimbal don't have a lock/connector so you can plug it both ways). I don't understand why it needs connection to the existing gimbal cable on the belly of the Phantom... isn't power and the control enough ? it uses data from the compass and gyros from the Phantom ? I believed those were on the gimbal...

    My questions are noobish but it's my first aftermarket gimbal so please understand me. I'm sure with some nice detailed pictures you can give me some guidance for connecting it. I'm just trying to be prepared since it will arrive on my last few days before I leave on vacation !

    Thanks,

    Bernek
     
  10. J Dot

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    Hello Bernek,
    First:
    I would use supplied power wire/camera wire, problem here is this ( gimbal motors are SUPER sensitive, the lightest touch causes the gimbal to go limp, then come back up level, as it thinks it hit something, and tries to recalibrate. )
    The supplied power/camera wire UTILIZES, a VERY SOFT, silicone wire set to power camera, as stock white wire is too rigid, and will cause gimbal to fail. So I WOULD DEFINATELY USE THE SUPPLIED POWER WIRE/camera wire ( I call it the MAGIC WIRE )
    That is how I run both of mine, and have NEVER had an issue. It is a nice setup.

    Ok
    Only other connection you will need will be the NAZA-M to gimbal connection.
    ( you'll need to open phantom, REMOVE, the servo pitch wire completely ( wire in belly of phantom ), then plug supplied wire in its place ( REMOVING, Pos, and NEG legs from connector ( only need bottom wire )) plug into naza ( F2 BOTTOM PIN ), then snake wire out belly where old wire was, install gimbal and hook other end to PITCH PIN ( it will be a TOP PIN, just not sure which one yet? Usually top left? But all are different? So I'll need to see a closeup of the gimbal board pins to figure out which is which? But no biggie!

    Ok
    Part 3
    The wire in the belly of phantom is the PITCH WIRE, on the vision non plus it uses a servo not a brushless motor, so they CALL it a servo wire, but both are the same. Ok that being said, if you swap it for a supplied wire ( comes with 2, but you only need one, since it is only 2axis, if it were 3 axis, second wire would be hooked to naza F1 bottom pin ( ROLL PIN )) but that is another story.

    Ok
    The gimbal takes no commands from phantom except pitch function, gyro, compass and accelerometer readings come from naza to camera EGG! Gimbal is stand alone, has its own gyros, and accelerometer built into the mainboard. So to sum it up!

    First
    Remove old stock camera and gimbal plates, screws ( set screws aside we will need them again. )
    Next
    Open phantom, unhook wire from F2 port on naza, and remove that wire completely, take one of the 2 new wires, cut 2 of the 3 wires away from the connectors BOTH SIDES ( so you'll have a 3 pin plug at each end but only 1 of 3 wires traveling between connectors ( this will insure no burnout ))
    Next
    Feed the wire out the belly of phantom, put phantom back together.
    Next
    Drill out top plate, sinew connector can pass through, then mount top plate to phantom belly with screws above.
    Now
    Install gimbal with camera alread attached, plug MAGIC WIRE, into stock WHITE camera wire ( the headphone jack looking wire ), then plug opposite end to camera ( MAKE SURE IT IS FULLY INSERTED ) then plug power ends together,
    Last
    Feed the wire out belly of phantom to PITCH PIN on gimbal.

    That is it,
    Turn it all on and give her a try!

    Also
    DO NOT UPDATE OR UPGRADE GIMBAL, as it uses a GENERIC, version of alexmos simpleBGC software/firmware, if you attempt an update, you will brick the gimbal.
    If you download alexmos software, you will have HINDREDS of setting to choose from, but it is too in depth to try to explain! But you can get to that point later.

    Hope this helps

    Also if you hook supplied wires up then no need to try to find matching connectors! Lol

    Take care, Fly safe.
    J Dot
    :cool:
     
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  11. bernek

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    It's way more simple that I've believed. Thanks a lot for clarification !!! I also watched this video:

    and this one:

    I basicaly need power and gimbal control from China gimbal top left pin to the Naza M F2 port on the bottom left pin (if you look from the pin side). I believed its more complicated but since the gimbal itself has all the gyroscopes and accelerometers on board its really simple.

    I was looking into the alemos BGC GUI interface to calibrate and set the gimbal and I've noticed the 8 bit model it quite outdated (they were selling 32 bit ones) but I hope I can tweak it in the future to make it work as I want it to.

    Do you think I can achieve similar results to a P2V+ using this gimbal ? I hope so :)

    I've already bought wider and taller legs but I wasn't thinking the Phantom will not fit into my backpack. (it's made in China also). Will have to make some 3d printed leg raisers that would be detachable so I can use them only when needed. I think the gimball will hit the ground with the default landing gear.

    Thank you for your time ! If I go into any trouble when I receive it I hope I can ask you a few more questions !

    Bernek.

    L.E. the servo on the stock gimbal uses the aditional wires for the command to move up and down (from the application itself ?). I'm using the touchscreen from the phone to control the gimbal. I have a lever (china) mounted on the potentiometer on the RC (PVT581 - the one with batteries) but I had to change the RC model to upgrade one (in Phantom Assistant) in order to have functionality on the 7th chanel and the movement from the egg camera was continuous relative to to the lever position so I had to manually bring it back to "neutral" so the up or down movement stopped. I hope with this gimbal the movement will be active only when there is movement on the lever ! I will have to see about this ... but if it will work from the touchscreen will be ok also.

    Its my first gimbal on P2V so I realy hope
     
    #11 bernek, Jun 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  12. bernek

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    I've read about a small button on the gimbal that its settings can be altered using BGM GUI as follows:

    1 click calibrate gimbal position by holding it
    2 clicks calibrate accelerometer
    3 clicks calibrate gyroscope
    long press reset defaults

    I will have to look into these also :)
     
  13. J Dot

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    Hey Bernek,
    Yes 7th channel mod works well, I've upgraded all mine to dial wheel Tx's, but used to have them with lever on rear. Ok, next use phantom plus legs they are a bit taller and work well to get height you need, plus they screw right on and fit in backpack. As for quality, not as good as plus models ( they are 3 axis ) but HUGE improvement over stock 1 axis gimbal.
    Lastly,
    You can place a plus gimbal on your phantom vision,
    You need
    1) camera / gimbal
    2) wifi module w/antennas
    3) cable set with RF board
    4) USB w/ wire organizer on it ( white square plastic piece on USB port )
    5) plus landing gear ( for height )

    Then you'll have a vision plus, other than those few things, they are the same! Just in case you did not know, so use that gimbal for a while, when you need better, upgrade to plus!

    Last words of wisdom
    Unfortunately on these gimbals, and the camera egg attached, the mounts on the top of the camera ( that used to mount to servo gimbal ) the 2 wings ( if you will ), on a left pitching /banking turn you are ok, BUT, in a banking RIGHT turn, the left camera mount will hit the belly of phantom, causing a shutter, if you fly level and steady should not be a problem, but if you hotdog, will be an issue! I cut the tabs off my camera like this:
    ( then covered with White electrical tape to keep debris out )
    image.jpeg

    The holes were for external antennas
    ( was a no go my friend ) wires too stiff, causes gimbal to fail, so went back to stock antennas! Bummer!

    Yes
    The button can be customized, I use 1 click ( gimbal angle calibrate ) only
    But you can set it how ever you want.
    Gimbal angle calibrate, is when gimbal gets off center, simply hold gimbal level then press button to set to level you want, pretty cool.

    Take care

    J Dot
    :cool:
     
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  14. bernek

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    Thanks for the tip with vision plus landing gear ! I didn't know it is taller :)

    Regarding the vision plus mod I decided to go with the china gimbal because I don't have enough to invest in a vision plus gimbal + camera + etc. (they are quite expensive - the p2v+ cameras)

    I was thinking about cutting off the "ears" from the egg camera but that means no way of going back ... now after I hear they might hit the phantom I'm thinking about doing it ... but I still have to wait and see how reliable the gimball can be and how much will the weight difference will be (lower flight times). If the flight time is impacted more than 3 minutes I really have to think if I will leave it on. The servo from the FC200 is lighter I'm pretty sure ! will weight everything before and after.

    Will I lose a big amount of range due to the fact that one of the antennas is blocked by the gimbal motor ?

    Cutting down those ears from the egg camera will make it look more pleasing also and give it a bit more factory look. I could fill up the holes with some fiberglas and resin and paint it mate white.

    P.S. I just looked at a comparison between 2 axis gimbal vs 3 axis gimbal and the difference is quite noticeable :( I will have to live with that I guess. The 2 axis misses the yaw motor and if you yaw or even fly with wind there will be lower stabilization quality. I wonder how good it reacts to small vibrations. Will have to test it with 9443 props and 9450. With the egg camera the video I shoot with 9443 is smoother compared to 9450.
     
    #14 bernek, Jun 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  15. J Dot

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    Yeah,
    If you do cut off the ears, I have MANY friends who repair them, and have outer cases for free or really cheap, you'll only need a TOP half of the shell casing. The part with the ears, so you can revert later if you need. I doubt the gimbal will cause substantial power drain, the WEIGHT might play a factor, but I did not notice much difference with it on or off. But you can run your own tests, as each I'm sure, will read differently.
    I hear you on the plus stuff, very pricey, I've been collecting pieces here and there for good deals, now have a spare everything, wifi module I picked up for $45 shipped ( v2 ), camera and gimbal got for $80 w/bad board ( board was $60 ( got lucky here ) wiring was $20-$25? Can't remember ( eBay buy )? And antennas came with wifi module was a version 2, but I swapped out casings with a dead version 3 I had, now has all the vent holes! So for around $250, I have a complete setup. Not too awful bad!

    Just start collecting my friend, before you know it, you'll have everything you need.

    As for the 2 verses 3axis, you'll still be amazed.
    Here was the first short I did with new gimbal, unfortunately while filming had battery failure, so forced to land!


    Here is another of a job I did with that gimbal attached


    And lastly
    Just for fun with camera straight down.


    J Dot
    :cool:
     
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  16. bernek

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    Amazing! I didn't believe a cheap gimbal can help this much !

    For collecting part for a P2V+ transformation would be a good idea if I was located in USA. The shipping and prices for me in Romania are quite different...

    Paying 250-300 for a P2V+ gimbal for me is quite some money and I rather start saving for a P3A. They will get cheaper down the road and maybe in 1 year I can get one used woth some minor cosmetic or easy to fix damage for 400-500. (like a shell replacement)

    This gimbal if I will get it to perform similar to what I've seen in the videos you've shared will be great !

    Please advise what props you recommend for steady shots ? 9443 vs 9450 ?

    Thanks for all the help and input !

    P.S. if I cut the ears down and need one top part you think there will be a possibility to send me one ? (of course I pay for everything including shipping).
     
    #16 bernek, Jun 30, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
  17. bernek

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    I watched this video:



    and this guy is connecting a second cable for roll input along the pitch input so he can adjust the roll axis from DJI assistant. Looks cool and I'm thinking about doing that myself so I can adjust roll better and from the Assistant itself.

    What do you guys think ?
     
  18. bernek

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    The gimbal arrived today and I've installed it ! It works !!! but not as expected since from my opinion is slow and doesn't adjust fast enough and sometimes it loses the horizont line - meaning if I tilt it slowly left or right (roll movement axis) sometimes it remains in a not horizontal position (no wires are blocked etc double checked).

    I also installed the pitch and roll to naza F1 F2 pins (1 cable for each) so I can adjust both pitch and roll from Assistant software (Naza).

    I pressed the button on it 1 time, 2 times, 3 times but it doesn't seems to help in any way. The automatic gains in naza for gimbal are 20 but I don't think they can have any effect on this separate one since only pitch and roll commands are connected. I succeded in making it perfectly straight from Assistant but haven't tried the BGC GUI yet ... I think I might give it a try but no sure what to mess with ... I think motors current but what about the horizont line ?

    Here are some pictures with the successful assembly:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If anyone can help me adjust/calibrate it a bit would be awesome !

    Thanks.
     
  19. bernek

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  20. J Dot

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    Ok
    First off GAIN SET TO ( 0 ).
    Next you will need the BGC software, unfortunately there are a BUNCH, so you'll have to download each one ( one at a time ) try it, if it does not work, delete and try a different one.
    Until you find the right one, but you are on the right track.
    Next order yourself a CUBE level, it will help in the 6 position gyro calibration, this will help with horizontal plane.

    WARNING:
    When you do link to simple BGC for the first time, SAVE YOUR CURRENT PROFILE. ( this saves all your stock gimbal settings, so if you get tinkering, and really get something screwed up, just reload original profile, and start over.

    Hope this helps

    J Dot
     
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