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H3-2D -vs- All The Rest

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dollerprod, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. dollerprod

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    TL;DR What specifically does the H3-2D offer that other gimbals do not offer in terms of features, compatibility?

    Continuing on with my crash course into the world of RC [anything]. I am going to get going on FPV, but also I really would like to have the benefits of having a gimbal for filming/flying.

    Of course the obvious one that you immediately come across for the Phantom is the Zenmuse H3-2D Gimbal. It looks like a great piece of equipment! But, the price is a bit steep compared to some other gimbals @ ~$370!

    So, what is it that makes this gimbal so much more expensive? Is it worth it vs something like the Tarot T-2D?

    What features or advantages does the H3-2D have over all the others?
    • I realize it charges the GoPro... not really in big need of that.
    • It has a video tx(?) But, if you have a, say.. FatShark system with it's own video tx, wouldn't that be just the same/ just as good?
    • You can remotely change the pitch of the camera with the stock controller. Cool! But do other gimbals allow that also? My controller does have what appears to be the lever used for this on the underside of the controller already.

    If the Zenmuse H3-2D really is worth the extra expense I would surely do it, but I am just looking for clarification that it's not basically the same thing as the other cheaper ones. Also are there going to be any other surprise updates I will need, aside from the additional purchase of the PMU?

    Thanks guys, I really feel like it would just be impossible for me to be able to make an informed decision on my own with no real background. I am willing to learn. And appreciative of your adivce. Explaining like I am 5 is a plus :)
     
  2. vrso2

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    oook, its simple.

    You can drive BMW or Chevy ;)

    I picked BMW. No wires hanging all around, small compact design, yes, charges and video transmitting thru same ribbon cable and, works great ;)
     
  3. Peter Patricelli

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    The single and most obvious advantage of the Zenmuse vrs "all the rest" of the 2D stabilized gimbals is that the ZM is about 40 gms lighter....which translates roughly into more than 40 seconds MORE flight time with whichever camera is mounted on it. Generally speaking ALL the DJI products, right down to the nuts and bolts, ARE designed and constructed for maximum weight savings. That long bolt which attaches the OEM generic GoPro cage to the bottom of the bird....is MUCH lighter than the interchangeable GoPro bolt.....for example. On the other hand, there have been some problems in early versions with touchiness in balance....if filters etc. are added...and motor burnout. Haven't heard much about that lately.

    Given how much you will spend on batteries, props, motors, etc. trying to extend flight time once you weight the bird down.....that is a very significant 40 gms....and worth some $$.

    When the ZM was $600 (and on my V1 I would need additional upgrade units) I got a Tarot. For the issues and what I have spent on it since, I could have bought the ZM.
     
  4. LeoS

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    $370 is a STEAL considering it was $699 (and selling) just a couple of months ago.
     
  5. EMCSQUAR

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    Plus' I've noticed:

    As mention charges GoPro3 battery which is a plus in itself - you'll know what I mean when your into a great shot and camera goes dead mid flight.
    You DON'T have to remove camera to access files
    You don't have to buy external video cable or worry about it grinding against gimble motor
    You don't have to calibrate every time temp changes (Yes those BGCs need to be calibrated & often & it's a pain)
    It doesn't shake when flying agressively

    It's smooth as silk

    Overall it's pretty rugged

    just my opinion since I've had a GLB and an Airy from Helipal.
     
  6. dollerprod

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    The weight thing is definitely a plus. Although 40 seconds of additional flight time might not be a deal breaker, if I am understanding you all right it also seems very dependable and compatible with the Phantom- more so than other options. And I don't want to have to get into some really confusing install either using "work-around" methods because it is not as compatible with the Phantom.

    If I understand this right, with the H3-2D I would also need to either (1) purchase the separate PMU, or (2) purchase the upgrade board, correct? It seems they are both about the same price ($70). I suppose if I am understanding this right that would be a no brainer, why try to cram two additional modules into the shell.

    Do I have this right?
     
  7. Gizmo3000

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    If the upgrade board offers the same features as the PMU, it would make a very logical choice.
    especially if you wanted to put the iOSD and/or possibly the BTU unit under the hood. (BTU plugs into the iOSD)

    Not so sure where the 140g weight comes from tho, DJI's site says it's 230g!
    http://www.dji.com/tech-spec/zenmuse-h3-2d-gimbal-spec/
    but one can assume that includes the GoPro (which weighs about 70g I believe). that would make the gimbal closer to 160g
     
  8. Peter Patricelli

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    Gizmo,
    You have it about right. That 230 gm wt is WITH the GPH3 (which weighs less than the H1 or H2) attached. The Tarot and all the others start at about 200 gm without camera attached....yielding the 40 gm weight savings.

    The Tarot has a really robust, unbreakable, unbendable metal (aluminum I presume) arm from which the servos and cradle hang. That looks and seems good in case of a crash BUT.......in fact there would be less damage to the CAMERA AND THE UPPER FRAME if the arm were to bend or break. I would MUCH rather replace a damaged arm than have to replace an H3. One could easily get 40 gms reduction out of a re-design of that arm. Anyone with a 3D printer?
     
  9. Bunger

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    I have 2 questions regarding the Zenmuse:

    1. Documentation refers to it having video capabilities, but how does this relate to FPV? Does it have a built in 5.8G transmitter?

    2. I have the Phantom v1.1.1 with the Naza 2. Do I need anything extra, or does everything come with the gimbal when purchased?

    Tia!
     
  10. Peter Patricelli

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    "That speculation is not indicative of what happens in real world crashes with the Tarot based upon my experience."

    You are absolutely correct that I was speculating. But you reference only ONE crash.....not crashES...and that is not a scientific sample of any real significance. In general, the legs of a stock Ph were, I assume, designed as they were....which is actually quite problematic in terms of stability and needless weight....to provide a significant protective cage around whatever is hanging below the bird....the intent being at least a reasonably fragile GoPro. That part is fine, and in most cases that leg-cage will do a really excellent job and prevent direct contact of wide-flat things...like the ground, cement sidewalks, building sides. It takes the corner of something, or something narrower that the leg width, to get direct contact with the camera/gimbal.

    Here is my BACK-HOE versus Phantom "commonality in the time-space continuum".
    http://flyfishingfotography.smugmug.com ... &k=ZzTFB9p
    The edge of the bucket hit between the legs and the result was a significant dent in the GP case. But that also only one case and is statistically irrelevant.

    There are well established general principles of managing impact damage and those principles involve where protective strength can be useful and where strength just maximizes the damage to the most precious components. Racecars, these days, are MORE safe because they are designed to some apart maximally, shedding un-protective mass and momentum from connection with the small, internal protective driver cage. So.....parts maximally go flying all over the place so THEIR momentum and rigid connection to the cage will not cause unneeded crushing forces when the cage-driver hit something.

    My analysis was and is that the Tarot arm itself provides ZERO to minimum protection to the GPH camera. But IF there is a direct impact reaching the camera itself, and IF the Tarot arm is rigid and unflexible then the entire momentum and kinetic energy of the full mass of the WHOLE bird will transmit directly to the camera....until SOMETHING breaks. One doesn't want the camera to break or be damaged unnecessarily, and one doesn't want the mount/base/connection to the Phantom to be damaged, NOR the IC circuit board, NOR the servo motors. The mounting arm itself is clearly the cheapest, most easily replaceable component. A designed failure point there would, seems to me, prevent the camera from being crushed by the transmitted mass/momentum/weight of the entire bird. But, given the protective cage of the legs and the reality that the most common impact/crash of a Ph is with flat ground.....it would be the rare and unusual crash to actually get directly AT the camera.

    The only reason to speculate about this AT ALL is that significant weight savings, with the attendant increase in flight times, would make the Tarot that much more attractive. If one could get 40 seconds (40 grams) more flight time every flight and maybe some improved outcome in some rare crash scenarios....then it is a win-win, in my mind anyway.

    Overall, the Phantom is a VERY TOUGH BIRD that can and does survive some amazing impact situations with minimal damage and that landing gear cage in general does a very good job of protecting the camera and gimbal. Since stronger and rigid is not always automatically better...as in race car crashes.....why not speculate on the possible advantages of weight savings and possible increased safety in components in the gimbal.
     
  11. ericty

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    That is for sure!!
     
  12. ElGuano

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    I've had a pretty bad spill on the Tarot. Absolutley no damage to the frame or to the gopro. I haven't run a finite element analysis on a Tarot so I can't say what is more ideal, but I'm glad the gimbal survived (mostly) unharmed rather than break and fly off in pieces. And I've shaved off almost 20g of weight from my Tarot as well so it's not as beefy as stock.

    I could see the shock absorption plate did cause the arm to hit the gyro cable connector and almost sever one of the wires, and inexplicably one of the electrical components came off the control board, but that's fairly minor(a $50 part). Striking a gimbal isn't a hard point collision because of the isolation mount, and at least in my case that was more than enough to protect the gopro.
     
  13. Fdnyfish

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    Hands down.... H3-2d is the best
     
  14. Peter Patricelli

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    ElGuano,
    Mind sharing how you shaved 20 gms off??
     
  15. ElGuano

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    I cut off excess carbon fiber from the isolation plates (it's still extremely stiff), minimized the third party mounting plate so I could attach directly to the bottom shell of the Phantom, and shaved a bit of aluminum off the arm and GoPro tray. I could really go to town on that tray if I wanted to, but I didn't want to upset the balance too much.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    In the end, it was a lot of work to get the Tarot to maybe close to the H3-2D...from 180g to ~160g. Was it worth it? Meh. But it works, and still survived a crash that left all four of my props in pieces.
     
  16. Peter Patricelli

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    Good Job! Thanks for sharing that. Looks as though you too looked at that arm on the Tarot, especially the upper base, and said to yourself....."this looks a lot beefier and heavy than it needs to be."

    It also looks as though you ditched the metal camera retainer and allen-bolts, ground off the threaded receivers.....in favor of.....the strap?. That saves a couple of grams over the metal and moves the camera/mount COG back marginally...might allow more metal removal from the camera cradle.

    Inspiring. I have some work to do.
     
  17. ElGuano

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    Yeah, I use a velcro strap because I remove the gopro after nearly every flight (FPV takes up a lot of juice and my GoPro does a lot of off-Phantom work). I only shaved the tray piece because the receivers got in the way of the velcro. It saves almost no weight and dremeling aluminum is not fun--the stuff gets too hot to touch within seconds. Most of the weight savings is from the carbon fiber plates and going from 4 to 3 standoffs. The arm is good for about 5-7g.

    My notes from the mod are a bit confusing, but I think compared to the H3-2D:

    Tarot T-2D stock + GoPro: 271g
    Tarot T-2D shaved + GoPro: 245g
    H3-2D without upgrade board: 285g
    H3-2D with upgrade board: 226g

    With my shaved flight board, I'm within 10g of the lightest H3-2D config, but of course I don't have a hidden CANbus I can take advantage of :)