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Old Feb 21, 2012, 09:02 AM
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cgraf's Avatar
Geneva, Switzerland
Joined Jun 2004
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Looking for a source for transmitter Gimbals

Good morning,

I am looking for a source for gimbals for a diy transmitter project (single stick, but without the "turning/knob" feature). I already have the electronics, but would like to add a new gimbal... and install everything in a nice small aluminium enclosure. As I might make more than the prototype piece, I would like to avoid "salvaged" parts...

Also possible: when surfing last week I saw a post, but do not remember anymore the url) where somebody made a gimbal out of cnc cut fiberglass pieces)...

Thanks a lot and best regards

Christoph
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 11:52 AM
"MAYONNAISE"
Acetronics's Avatar
Le Treport, France
Joined Jun 2004
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Hi, Christof

Possible to get Gimbals from Graupner aft sales ... I think Robbe/Futaba too, some years ago Multiplex sold it too ...

Ahhh ... cheap ones ??? not a good idea !

Also have a look to SELECTRONIC in France.

Alain
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 03:43 PM
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Tel Aviv, Israel
Joined Jul 2004
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don't bother with the industrial units, they are all very expensive yet even the best aren't really suitable for our use. they all use a yoke arrangement for one of the axis and this introduces too much slop. the centering mechanisms are also usually sub par even compared to a cheapo RC TX.

as stated above at least futaba used to sell the gimbals of their higher end radios as replacement parts. don't remember the price but it was very reasonable when compared to even the cheapest of industrial controls.

and for your enjoyment here's my last radio build: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=825773
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 05:38 PM
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Canada, BC, Vancouver
Joined Sep 2006
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You can get Hitec Aurora-9 gimbals from Lynxmotion:
http://www.lynxmotion.com/p-839-aurora-9-gimbal.aspx
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZAGNUT View Post
and for your enjoyment here's my last radio build:http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=825773
Thought I looked enough DIY radios before start mine.
Wow I admire your work and like that clean neat silver look.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 10:26 AM
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Bangkok
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coriolan View Post
You can get Hitec Aurora-9 gimbals from Lynxmotion:
http://www.lynxmotion.com/p-839-aurora-9-gimbal.aspx
Thanks for the link, I've also been looking for something like this. Specially interested in the 3 axis gimbal they also have, I'd like to build a single gimbal radio one of this days.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 11:59 AM
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I have details on that 3 axis gimbal, in short be prepared to buy new pots and cut the shafts to fit which is not as easy as it seems.
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by village_idiot View Post
I have details on that 3 axis gimbal, in short be prepared to buy new pots and cut the shafts to fit which is not as easy as it seems.
Would you say its easier to modify a gimbal like the Aurora one for 3 axis than replacing the potentiometers?

Besides that, the mechanics of the gimbal are good?
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 04:55 PM
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You would need to make the knob for the A9 style, and probably replace the shaft with a tube to run the wires through.

Making the pots wasn't so bad once I wasted enough of them to get the procedure straight and make sure they were in the jig properly. The problem is that these sticks come with 0 to 5K that is supposed to go over the entire range of the stick mechanism (50degrees). Mine did not and no attempt to get replacement 330 degree pots would provide them. So I was left getting the closest 330 degree 6mm high quality conductive plastic pots (couple $ each) and finding a way to cut the shaft down to the smaller 1/8 inch D shape. The stock pots are really cheap carbon and your centering will go to garbage shortly. A milling machine with DRO is almost required to cut the shafts, a CNC would make it an EASY job, if you have a CNC I might be interested in trading some replacement pots for the machine work since I have another of these sticks that needs pots (bought two and only fixed one of them).

The plastic parts of the mechanism are not totally junk and are giving me decent performance in the above TX. It would be MUCH better if the mechanism was made out of aluminum or even Acetal/Delrin plastic. There is a little work that could be done to get centering a little better but so far it hasn't been worth the effort.

I'll see if I can hunt up some pictures of the stock pots this weekend for you. I think after replacing the pots it is decent for a low end single stick radio and seems to work fine with the Microstar2000 encoder. But the stock pots were killing me.
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Old Feb 25, 2012, 07:56 AM
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Bangkok
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Thanks a lot for the info, very appreciated.

I don't have a CNC machine, although I've already bought most of the hardware to build one.
The custom radio would probably come after I get around building the 3 axis router.

Quote:
Originally Posted by village_idiot View Post
You would need to make the knob for the A9 style, and probably replace the shaft with a tube to run the wires through.

Making the pots wasn't so bad once I wasted enough of them to get the procedure straight and make sure they were in the jig properly. The problem is that these sticks come with 0 to 5K that is supposed to go over the entire range of the stick mechanism (50degrees). Mine did not and no attempt to get replacement 330 degree pots would provide them. So I was left getting the closest 330 degree 6mm high quality conductive plastic pots (couple $ each) and finding a way to cut the shaft down to the smaller 1/8 inch D shape. The stock pots are really cheap carbon and your centering will go to garbage shortly. A milling machine with DRO is almost required to cut the shafts, a CNC would make it an EASY job, if you have a CNC I might be interested in trading some replacement pots for the machine work since I have another of these sticks that needs pots (bought two and only fixed one of them).

The plastic parts of the mechanism are not totally junk and are giving me decent performance in the above TX. It would be MUCH better if the mechanism was made out of aluminum or even Acetal/Delrin plastic. There is a little work that could be done to get centering a little better but so far it hasn't been worth the effort.

I'll see if I can hunt up some pictures of the stock pots this weekend for you. I think after replacing the pots it is decent for a low end single stick radio and seems to work fine with the Microstar2000 encoder. But the stock pots were killing me.
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Old Feb 25, 2012, 10:55 AM
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OK, here are some pictures of what I believe is the same stick that Servo City and Lynxmotion sell. Other users did not report the problem with electrical rotation not matching mechanical rotation but you'll see in one picture just how far off mine was for the rudder function, and the other two axis were very similar. Apparently I never took pictures of the jig I used to cut the new pots, and will need to dig up the part number for the pots I used. Pretty sure they were long life conductive plastic pots.
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Old Feb 25, 2012, 07:38 PM
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Bangkok
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Excellent, thanks a lot again.

From what I see I'm thinking if it wouldn't be better just to make an adapter shaft for the pots, it would be a less compact installation but then it wouldn't be necessary to modify the pots.
Also, something I couldn't discern in any of the photos, it looks like there's a rubber what-you-call-it? sleeve? glove? at the base of the gimbal. Is that right? That would be awesome since I fly on the beach all the time and sand and salt are an issue. All the screws in my radio are rusted...

Quote:
Originally Posted by village_idiot View Post
OK, here are some pictures of what I believe is the same stick that Servo City and Lynxmotion sell. Other users did not report the problem with electrical rotation not matching mechanical rotation but you'll see in one picture just how far off mine was for the rudder function, and the other two axis were very similar. Apparently I never took pictures of the jig I used to cut the new pots, and will need to dig up the part number for the pots I used. Pretty sure they were long life conductive plastic pots.
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Old Feb 25, 2012, 08:49 PM
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Yes there is a rubber cover that goes over the top, a lot of guys will remove it because it might cause centering errors but I have not had any difficulties yet. I'm willing to bet you can track a source closer to you that might be really cheap, I know they come from over on your side of the world so I would expect that the fewer miles of shipping should make a big difference in the price. The worst part of this stick is that there is a bit of slop where the center shaft hits the hoops. Cutting a larger piece (seen in the disassembled image on the right side of the stick) would fix this or cutting new hoops with slightly smaller slot will also do it.

You might want to get the same type of covers for all the switches, not sure what you can do for the throttle unless you use a rotary pot with a rubber shaft seal.

I go a step farther than most people building these transmitters, the LCD is behind a piece of machined acrylic to protect it from scratches. It's a nice touch that finishes things off.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 02:05 PM
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United States, CA, Los Angeles
Joined Aug 2006
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Originally Posted by coriolan View Post
You can get Hitec Aurora-9 gimbals from Lynxmotion:
http://www.lynxmotion.com/p-839-aurora-9-gimbal.aspx
Forget www.lynxmotion.com.
They took my order and my money and removed the product from their site. I keep getting email's saying to wait with no future date of product mentioned!
CAUTION!!
Update 1/10/13
They refunded my money quickly and apologized for not being able to fill my order.
I would purchase from them in the future because of their good customer service on this.
I may contact a real person to verify stock but I'm ok with that.
Their replacement sticks in stock are not usable for tx replacement now so I guess the search in on. I don't see any other suppliers with anything usable right now?
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 12:11 AM
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Sunnyvale, CA, USA
Joined Apr 2000
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SLM model engineers in the UK used to make pretty good two and three axis sticks. I believe they are still around and may be able to help.
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