-Th3oRy-FX V2 full size DSLR Gimbal
  • Hi all, this is my second gimbal I built last winter.
    So for everyone who is interested in my first build. You can find it here:

    First of all I built this gimbal because I had some issues with my smaller first build.
    My construction wasn´t strong enough to take all the weight. Also I had some problems with the limeted working angle caused by the cables.
    So my plan was to build motor cages where I can add bearrings and use motors with hollow shafts at the same time.
    In the hollow shafts I will ad slip rings which allows 360 degree working angle.
    Also I wanted to have a second joystick to control YAW, PITCH and ROLL.
    I want to use this gimbal for myself, so I don´t need to do adjustments on the frame all the time. I only want to change lenses on my camera.

    My first build was done by Google Sketchup. But this time I used a new CAD programm. This gave me some nice renderings:
    Wives and Flowers photoshoot
    Wives and Flowers photoshoot

    First I build all the parts by hand. Later I asked a friend to mill-cut them.
    Wives and Flowers photoshoot
    Wives and Flowers photoshoot
    Wallpaper incoming!
    Wives and Flowers photoshoot
    This time I wanted to use some more precious parts. So I used real carbon tubes.
    You can also see the motor axis with installed bearrings. I didn´t installed these parts until now because I wanted to build a new Gimbal and sell my prototype later.

    So lets switch to my prototype I built by hand:
    Wives and Flowers photoshoot

    Here you can see the installed mechanics.
    Some parts are 3D printed. This was also done by a friend. I was surprised how stable these parts are.
    Wives and Flowers photoshoot
    Wives and Flowers photoshoot
    Wives and Flowers photoshoot
    I choosed motors from DYS with 24 poles.

    Wives and Flowers photoshoot
    The brain. 32 bit alex mos controller with dual sensor.

    So this is the current state of the build.
    Wives and Flowers photoshoot

    I added a FPV transmitter to the gimbal. This allows me to stream the AV-video signal on my monitor.
    My plan was to built a bluetooth remote. Here you can see the result.
    I´m thinking of making an own thread about the remote so you can rebuild it.
    Wives and Flowers photoshoot

    The handle can be unmounted to place the gimbal on top on a tripod. This makes pan&tilt moves really good.
    Wives and Flowers photoshoot

    Surprisingly I got no I2C Errors because of the slip rings. Only cables which where in one cable sleeve with motor cables caused some problems. I managed to solve this problem by seperating the cables and adding some ferrite rings.
    I´m surprised how good these sliprings work. They have a diameter of 12.2 mm and have 12 circuits. I used 6 cables for 3 phases of the PITCH motor in the ROLL slip ring because of the small diameter of the cables.
    2 circuits are used to transmit video signal and IR remote for starting the recording.
    On the handle i installed two joystick modules. The right one controls YAW and PITCH. The button controlls the menu of the alexmos.
    The left thumb button controls ROLL and the button for iR remote. I programmed the IR code on an arduino wich reads the button input
    and controls the IR-Led. Also one digital input can be used to connect to AUX1 pin on alexmos.

    The controller box carrys the controller, videotransmitter and the arduino pro mini. I also added a second menu button in case the handle is unmounted. Later I will add two switches. With them I want to switch on and off the whole system. So I don´t have to unplug the battery all the time.
    In case I want to use the gimbal without any operator I can switch off the FPV transmitter. This will increase battery life.

    As expected the PID´s are way much higher than in my first gimbal. I adjusted the PITCH and ROLL axis very well but I got some problems on YAW. I think this is caused by the heavy wheigt of the gimbal. Maybe I have to try some other PID values.
    For high power I use a 4s 1300mAh Lipo. I got them really cheap. Maybe I will switch them with batterys with a higher capacity.
    2200mAh 4s will do.

    You can find these and other projects on my website: http://www.th3ory.de
    Until now I haven´t done any video footage with this gimbal. I´m currently at testing and optimizing the system.

  • Nice and a bit different. Couple of suggestions if you do not mind.

    - The Roll joint might be a bit dangerous for gingers.
    - If you minimize the size of the gimbal for the camera it is used with, you get much better performing gimbal.
  • hi, I designed the gimbal for if I want to upgrade my camera. Maybe 5D mkiii.
    The size is similar to DJI Ronin. (oh, I said the bad word ^^)
    I can´t afford a new gimbal every time I change my camera setup!

    The ROLL Joint isn´t dangerous at all. I polished all aluminium parts to give it a nice an clean look.
    There aren´t any sharp edges. The motors haven´t that much torque to cut off fingers :D
  • Love this gimbal so much, best DIY I've managed to find so far in both looks and functionality. It's beautiful.

    How are you liking the milled aluminum parts after having some time to use it now? Too heavy? Or does it work well?

    I'm scheming my own from-the-ground-up 3 axis gimbal and I'm getting a great deal of inspiration from your build, it reminds me of something I'd make.

    Question: where did you buy your joysticks with the Xbee pins and board?
  • Thanks :)
    I have some updates.
    My prototype as you can see in this post is working awesome.
    I managed to get perfect PID settings. Had some trouble with wrong sensor position. I programmed it upside down. - oops!
    Now its working great. Turned out the weight isn´t any problem at all. Using aluminium was a great deal instead of working with messy carbonfibre.
    With 1300mAh I have 3 hours of use!

    Please have a look at these videos I made with the prototype.

    The bluetooth remote and AV transmitter does a nice job. I am able to control it while mounting the gimbal on JIB/Crane, slider or on a car.

    Also turning the gimbal 360° degrees without ripping any cable is nice to have.
    By dismounting the handle, the Alexmos turns wild because of the open pins.
    Adding some profiles for different applications does the trick.

    Currently I´m working on my gimbal with cnc parts.
    The prototype will be sold.

    I also changed the design of some parts.

    Beside this I built a vibration damper for car mount with suction plates.

    keep going for your diy build! Would love to see it.
    I orderd the joysticks on ebay, 2,50€ each. But I changed the thumbsticks to aluminium. You can buy it as Arduino accessories.
  • Wonderful update! Your results speak for themselves.

    As tempted as I am to be one of those people who ask, "Can you post the plans?" but I think half of the fun will be designing it.

    Have you upgraded the motor mounts at all on your prototype? I notice you did not have any cages but still utilized additional ball bearings. Did you add those for additional structural support, or purely to reduce friction?

    I'm thinking about building (relatively) deep cages to mount the BLDC's that will allow swapping out for different motors should I ever find myself in a place where I buy heavier body/lenses and/or need to replace a motor with one of a different brand.

    Do you have a quick release plate on your gimbal? Or are you still using the milled aluminum?
  • @mcooi77
    You should check out this Youtube channel. I used his gimbal design as reference.

    I designed the parts with PTC Creo. Then I exported them into .dxf files for cnc milling.
    You´re right, 3D designing is really fun.
    Some parts like the motor axes are now made of aluminium. I added bearrings on roll and yaw because the motors are only secured by one M2.5 screw. Now the weight can´t pull apart the motors.
    It took a while to find these bearrings. The measures are 37x30x4mm! They are used in some Rc Helicopters.

    I didn´t closed the motor mounts because of weight reduction. Maybe closed motors would be better but in case of heat reduction this is optimal.

    At the moment my prototype gimbal has 3D printed parts for the quick release plate. I´m pretty amazed with this PLA material. I tried to break them but I wasn´t able to. The only thing this material isn´t heat resistant up to 60°C.
    For my milled gimbal I try to swap all 3D printed parts like the motor axes and quick relase plate for the camera. On the handle i used a normal tripod quick release plate. It´s placed upside down.