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What's the best Zenmuse alternative gimbal for under $300?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by Kubelwagen, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. Kubelwagen

    Kubelwagen Guest

    My H3-3D has about a 3-degree horizontal tilt and from all the research I've done, it seems there's nothing I can do to fix it. It's a great gimbal otherwise but given this issue and those so many others seem to have with them I'm probably going to move to a platform with software adjustable setup and calibration.

    Whether user configurable or not, the ones I've considered so far are-

    Feiyu Tech Mini-3D

    Tarot T4-3D (this one uses a retainer that goes around the lens so modifying a different securing bar would be necessary in order to use a Backbone or filters such as Polar Pro.

    Walkera G-3D (this one has the tilt motor on the right side where the GoPro connections are which seems pretty inconvenient)

    MC6500GoPro-BLG V2 3 Axis Gimbal from CNC Helicopter for $238. Apparently it uses a pre-calibrated Alexmos controller board.

    Used Master G

    Currently I'm using a P2 but keep threatening to build a 680 Pro so while some of these gimbals are actually designed for a larger aerial platform, they should work on the P2 with some modifications. However, for transporting reasons it would be inconvenient for the gimbal to hang below the P2 landing gear.

    So what other gimbals are you using?
     
    #1 Kubelwagen, Dec 15, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2015
  2. jason

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    You said under $300 and it's then all the others.
     
  3. Kubelwagen

    Kubelwagen Guest

    Jason, I don't understand your post.

    I rolled the dice and ordered a new Zenmuse H3-3D since I found a company selling them for under $170 shipped. While I'd really like to try out a more user-configurable gimbal, I think doing that on a bigger platform would be a better option since the P2 is pretty small and is specifically designed to use the Zenmuse anyway. Plug-n-Play is fine as long as it actually works correctly. Crossing my fingers.

    Watched a video of the Tarot T4-3D on a 680 and it was super stable. Apparently that gimbal is all plastic, though. I prefer aluminum frames but results are what counts.

    Something interesting. Most of the mainstream suppliers for the H3-3D show it as "No Longer Available." It appears DJI is moving on so in the future if we keep using the P2 we might be adapting different gimbals anyway.

    By the way, GoPro never got back to me on the USB live video out issue so I guess we're screwed on that one.
     
  4. Qoncussion

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    There's a small allen screw hidden behind one of the arms on the gimbal that will allow you to straighten the horizontal tilt. Been there... Done that.
     
  5. Kubelwagen

    Kubelwagen Guest

    That was actually the first thing I attempted to do. You're talking about this screw, right?

    [​IMG]

    I loosened it, rotated the shaft slightly and retightened the screw. As it went down, the shaft rotated back into the same position as if the screw was in a detent on the shaft.

    Please share some details of what you did exactly because the tilt issue plagues a lot of H3-3D owners.
     
  6. Qoncussion

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    Yep - that's the right screw. I found that by making tiny little micro adjustments, and re-tightening the screw, by holding the motor and the gimbal arm tightly, I was able to slowly get the screw to set into a new position. It takes patience and a lot of tightening and loosening of the screw to get it to set in its new location.

    How far off of horizontal are you? If just a little, try loosening the screw, tilting the gimbal arm in the proper direction to fix your horizon issue, then re-tighten it. Again, hold the motor and gimbal arm firmly while tightening and don't let it slip back into its original position. Also, don't over-tighten it :)
     
    Kubelwagen likes this.
  7. Kubelwagen

    Kubelwagen Guest

    Got it. I took one of these puppies completely apart one time but couldn't recall if that was one of the shafts the set screw threaded into the shaft or just pressed against the outside of the shaft. If you successfully moved and resecured the arm in a different position then the set screw must just press against the shaft. I'll definitely give that a try. If it works then I'll have a back up gimbal. Always good to have spares.

    I found that I was having to rotate pictures about 3 degrees to straighten them so it's out quite a bit. I got the whole setup used and it was on a P2 that had a goofy mix of components before I rebuilt the whole thing so I suspect it's taken some abuse.

    A recent accidental foray of my own at high speed into some tree tops didn't help anything. Luckily (if you can call it that) the impact knocked the gimbal completely off and it landed in some soft overgrowth after falling about 25 feet. Nothing was even bent. Not having retainers installed probably kept it from getting all bent up as the P2 fell through the trees then rolled about 40 feet down an embankment. Total pilot error this time. Got great in-flight video of the whole thing. The P2 was flying again after replacing a prop and prop guard. Tough little buggers.
     
  8. Kubelwagen

    Kubelwagen Guest

    It worked! I had to move the arm far enough that the set screw wouldn't slip back into the original detent then kept working the screw on and off the shaft while slowly moving the arm back closer to the original position. Eventually enough of the shaft was ground off that the arm would stay in it's new position when secured. Well done.

    It's funny because even though I'm an accomplished engineer and have designed, built and rebuilt hundreds of complex projects, for some reason I had told myself the tilt issue wasn't fixable and didn't experiment beyond the one attempt at moving the arm. Just goes to show that even those with a lot of experience can still benefit from the experience of others. Thank you.
     
  9. Qoncussion

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    Glad you got it fixed! I had the same issue about a year ago, and also thought the gimbal was dust. Had a guy on FB walk me through the same process.
     
  10. kenjancef

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    Glad you were able to "spread the joy"... lol... My H4-3D seems a few degrees off, will have to try this. No crashes or anything, just decided to tilt ever so slightly, enough to have to rotate a skootch...