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Inexpensive (cheap) gimbals--any good?

Discussion in 'Photos and Video' started by npalen, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. npalen

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  2. Mandrake

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    Same one I got .. works well and with pitch control cable..

    Sent from the thing that does everything.
     
  3. Gizmo3000

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    they seldom come with decent documentation, tho people have made them work out ok. - but it can be a challenge for some.
    -and they can indeed be a bit heavier as well.
     
  4. npalen

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    How are you getting along with your Ali Express camera? Is the WIFI working?
     
  5. Mandrake

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    WiFi is working but range is limited .. using the FC40 for FPV now...

    Sent from the thing that does everything.
     
  6. brandondrums

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    I have that same exact gimbal. It works very very well but it's a tad heavy. W/ a gopro, it's a full 3.5 ounces heavier than the Zenmuse which makes a big difference in flight times. I can still get a good 12-15 min flight with 9443 props and two 2200 mah Turnigy batteries though but it just feels like it's struggling to haul all of it.

    The board and firmware is great and can 100% be tuned using the NAZA software. With mine, I found the pitch gain to be a tad high and it ended up being perfect turning it down to 1. The servo travel will be best with a min of around -900, it's actually tilting further than straight down with -1000. For now, I have my max set to 200 because I don't have an FPV feed from the gopro so that just allows me to slide the lever completely up and have the camera re-center rather than look up at a bad angle.

    Supposedly the output frequency is best at 200mhz and out of the box it's set to 50mhz. I don't know the difference but other people claim that 200mhz is needed to reduce the noise of the gimbal and make it work correctly from a NAZA board.

    My complaint is the weight as I said and I'm actually looking to mod mine by using my dremel to cut out some additional metal around the motors, on the 'hanger' supports (which have 3 rods, I'll cut the middle one out) and potentially replace the top plates with carbon fiber ones If I can find some.

    This install video is great. You'll want to get the plugs and stuff for it like in the video because you'll certainly want to be able to quickly take this thing off in the field. It's great for getting some special shots but so heavy you'll not want to fly with it all of the time.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTem0m9klZk

    Enjoy!
     
  7. jasperthayer

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    redacted

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  8. npalen

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    So what does a $300 gimbal do that these cheap ones do not?

    Edit: All the info in the above posts is very much appreciated and should be very helpful.
     
  9. jasperthayer

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    redacted

    redacted
     
  10. npalen

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    I understand the documentation and weight issues but wondering about performance. What will a $300 gimbal do in regard to performance that these cheap ones do not?
     
  11. ChristianGeek

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    If it's tuned and balanced properly, nothing.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. brandondrums

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    The higher end gimbals aren't more stable or anything vs. a properly tuned cheapo. They just weigh a LOT less, use a LOT less power and in cases where the cheap gimbal comes with ESC's that are noisy, the inexpensive models will be whisper quiet. At least that's what I found with mine although my cheapo gimbal is nearly perfectly silent.

    My board did end up frying over the weekend when I was at a big subaru meet, there were so many people around asking me what I was doing and what stuff did and how far it flew that I think I ended up damaging the board when trying to get the marshmallow mounts through their holes. I was disappointed but ended up getting better shots without it because we were just grabbing clips for a video about the whole thing with in-car shots and handheld footage mixed in. The lighter copter w/ longer flight times allowed me to keep it in the air longer and get more unplanned moments that I would have with a gimbal because I'd be worried about the flight time and having something go wrong.

    I will NOT spend $300 bucks for a gimbal as I will only occasionally fly with it anyway even if it didn't affect the handling and flight times at all. I found that I actually prefer flying without a gimbal when in new places for the reasons listed above. Even if the flight time wasn't affected nor the handling, I'm still worried about using it in new places because it's still 100 bucks and it's still added complexity.

    I fail to understand the argument some people make when it comes to hobby quads that you want to buy the best equipment you can afford to 'avoid issues'. I say unless you're a professional cinematographer or just have a lot of money to spend, get stuff that works but is affordable and can be replaced for cheap because you will crash it at some point. They might say a more expensive gimbal might be more survivable in a crash but I can simply take the $300 bucks I would spend on a more expensive gimbal and buy 10 extra batteries AND another gimbal and be able to fly 5x more overall than the other guy.

    I recommend getting the cheapest BCG 2.0 gimbal you can find on eBay and spend a couple more bucks for some dean's plugs and good shrinkwrap.

    Just my opinion.
     
  13. skywise

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    Thanks for the info (and video), I *just* bought a phantom to play around with and take some video around the house and am trying to sort out what I need.
    If I get what the video is saying, All I need to strap a camera onto my phantom and get pitch control is the gimbal (already bought from Ebay) and the little lever for the transmitter.
    No need to do anything with the built-in receiver in the Phantom? (other than calibrate)

    Now, for a camera I can do wifi with...
    I'm not planning on making the next Jurassic park or anything, just play around.
    I'd like to see what I'm taking video of while I'm doing it, so a wifi camera would be nice.

    Suggestions?