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Old Sep 26, 2012, 04:09 AM
UAS Test Pilot
SpeedMaster's Avatar
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Rusty: Put me on the order list!!!!
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 01:31 PM
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Ya, would love to see one in Nex5n size range.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 03:38 PM
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Looks like Rusty may have another winner here.. I am definitely going to get one. The nice thing about this design is it can be scaled to fit almost any camera you would want to carry.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 06:56 PM
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To all you guys just can't wait to make one yourself, hold on to your horses!

Rusty thinks I am using too many boom blocks on the gimbal. That makes it heavy. He tried to convince me to use some 1/2" square aluminum tubes. The only 1/2" square aluminum tubes I have are the ones I bought to use as arms for a quad. They have pretty thick wall and IMHO very heavy. So I was not very keen to the idea. Then I thought about it some more last night and decided what the heck. I am only using a small amount so let's give it a try.

I made up a yoke this morning and weighed it. It weighs 102 grams. Then I took apart my DIY carbon tube gimbal and weigh the yoke portion. I got 186 grams.

So Rusty is right, the square aluminum tube is better. It is very rigid and according to the scale, not very heavy at all. It is also a lot easier to mount the bearings. I drilled the holes directly into the square tube. I can also eliminate the inner roll cage but pressing the roll axis bearings into the tube. The outer cage can be smaller and lighter. So when I finish I am hoping to wind up with a lighter gimbal.

Rusty is considering cutting the corner plates for the square tubes. I made my own by recycling my plates here. This will wind up even less expensive for you DIY people. I am thinking about drilling and tapping the aluminum tube for the external pot so you don't need a special bushing.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 07:33 PM
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Navarre, FL
Joined Mar 2002
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Nice work. You'll have my new gimbal done in no time

Rusty (sleep deprived)
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 07:55 PM
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United States, TX, Seguin
Joined Mar 2005
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Rusty, you don't need sleep! You need to create, cut, stock, and sell more stuff!

Seismic, awesome work on the gimbal. I am satisfied with my current gimbal but am always looking for the next best thing, and really love it when that next best thing is affordable! I hope Rusty gets a little sleep so he can add the parts to his site in the near future (damn...didn't I just order a bunch of parts for like the 10th time?!)
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 09:01 PM
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United States, CA, San Diego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeismicCWave View Post
To all you guys just can't wait to make one yourself, hold on to your horses!

Rusty thinks I am using too many boom blocks on the gimbal. That makes it heavy. He tried to convince me to use some 1/2" square aluminum tubes. The only 1/2" square aluminum tubes I have are the ones I bought to use as arms for a quad. They have pretty thick wall and IMHO very heavy. So I was not very keen to the idea. Then I thought about it some more last night and decided what the heck. I am only using a small amount so let's give it a try.

I made up a yoke this morning and weighed it. It weighs 102 grams. Then I took apart my DIY carbon tube gimbal and weigh the yoke portion. I got 186 grams.

So Rusty is right, the square aluminum tube is better. It is very rigid and according to the scale, not very heavy at all. It is also a lot easier to mount the bearings. I drilled the holes directly into the square tube. I can also eliminate the inner roll cage but pressing the roll axis bearings into the tube. The outer cage can be smaller and lighter. So when I finish I am hoping to wind up with a lighter gimbal.

Rusty is considering cutting the corner plates for the square tubes. I made my own by recycling my plates here. This will wind up even less expensive for you DIY people. I am thinking about drilling and tapping the aluminum tube for the external pot so you don't need a special bushing.
Cool stuff. Where did you get your square tubes? I am also wondering how much weight you could save with a carbon fiber weave layup over balsa core? More expensive and complicated, but could be a lighter and stiffer in the plys were set up right.

Another question: why do you have the roll pivot point off-center?
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeismicCWave View Post
To all you guys just can't wait to make one yourself, hold on to your horses!

Rusty thinks I am using too many boom blocks on the gimbal. That makes it heavy. He tried to convince me to use some 1/2" square aluminum tubes. The only 1/2" square aluminum tubes I have are the ones I bought to use as arms for a quad. They have pretty thick wall and IMHO very heavy. So I was not very keen to the idea. Then I thought about it some more last night and decided what the heck. I am only using a small amount so let's give it a try.

I made up a yoke this morning and weighed it. It weighs 102 grams. Then I took apart my DIY carbon tube gimbal and weigh the yoke portion. I got 186 grams.

So Rusty is right, the square aluminum tube is better. It is very rigid and according to the scale, not very heavy at all. It is also a lot easier to mount the bearings. I drilled the holes directly into the square tube. I can also eliminate the inner roll cage but pressing the roll axis bearings into the tube. The outer cage can be smaller and lighter. So when I finish I am hoping to wind up with a lighter gimbal.

Rusty is considering cutting the corner plates for the square tubes. I made my own by recycling my plates here. This will wind up even less expensive for you DIY people. I am thinking about drilling and tapping the aluminum tube for the external pot so you don't need a special bushing.
Hmmm . . . I'm not sure about this. That is, I'm sure the weights you listed are correct and that it is lighter and cheaper. But it seems that the 'magic' of the Cstar (and this) gimbal was the combination of excellent rigidity and also excellent scale ability.

Doesn't switching to these aluminum arms detract from both of those advantages?

The other cool thing about the tubes is that it is easy to adjust the vertical location of the camera tray such that the center of the camera's lens is on the center of the roll axis. (I know I'll have to find a drawing or picture to explain what I am talking about.)

Anyway - just adding to the conversation. My vote, I think, is still on the tube/clamp idea.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 10:19 PM
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>> Where did you get your square tubes?<<

I believe it was eBay. I also saw them in local hardware stores. They are just the run of the mill square tube.

>> I am also wondering how much weight you could save with a carbon fiber weave layup over balsa core? More expensive and complicated, but could be a lighter and stiffer in the plys were set up right.<<

That's what I meant by unibody in my first post. It is way more complicated. A lot more expensive plus not adjustable.

>>Another question: why do you have the roll pivot point off-center?<<

Most camera (NEX 5N, Panasonic GX1 etc.) have their lens off set to one side. The tilt servo on the right side (looking from the front) makes the right side of the gimbal heavier.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 10:26 PM
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>>Hmmm . . . I'm not sure about this. That is, I'm sure the weights you listed are correct and that it is lighter and cheaper. But it seems that the 'magic' of the Cstar (and this) gimbal was the combination of excellent rigidity and also excellent scale ability.<<

I agree until I built both.

1) the aluminum version right now is more rigid.
2) I lost the scalability on the carbon tube version. I could only shrink it so much and I ran out of room to mount the tilt servo.
3) You have scalability with the aluminum tube version also. While I am drilling holes direction on the tube, Rusty is thinking about using bolt on plates for roll and tilt. That is actually a more elegant idea because now you have scalability again by simply using different length square tubes. What happen is that we lose the boom clamps and therefore the weight.

>>The other cool thing about the tubes is that it is easy to adjust the vertical location of the camera tray such that the center of the camera's lens is on the center of the roll axis. (I know I'll have to find a drawing or picture to explain what I am talking about.)<<

If you use plates without boom clamps you can adjust the center of roll by sliding the roll cage on the back tube. Yes you gain back two plates but they are not that heavy without the blocks.

Rusty is trying to eliminate drilling on the aluminum tube by the user. That makes sense because a slightly off center hole will make the gimbal crooked. His plate will have grooves for the square tube to sit in. The plate will be tightened by bolts on the outside. I am trying to convince him to also put holes in the middle. That way the user can assemble the gimbal with bolts on the outside. Then drill holes using the plates as template and putting through bolts. Then the user can choose if he wants to have the side bolts or not. I personally will take them off for less weight.

>>Anyway - just adding to the conversation. My vote, I think, is still on the tube/clamp idea.<<

I still love the round tube idea. I will keep the gimbal and try it out when my servos show up.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 11:15 PM
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Potage, MI
Joined Dec 2003
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I keep looking at gimbals and they are either beyond my budget not very usable. This is something I can build and expect to work well.

I do have a question about aluminum versus carbon. Do the carbon tubes and blocks have any benefit in absorbing or transmitting vibration?

I'm looking forward to developments.

Thanks,
Vince
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 12:11 AM
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>>I do have a question about aluminum versus carbon. Do the carbon tubes and blocks have any benefit in absorbing or transmitting vibration?<<

Good point. I can't tell you. However so far from my experiment with Andrey I have found that flexing on the cradle is not a good idea. We have been doing our best to reduce flex. The reason is that flexing actually create these "micro bounces" in the video footage. The Sony Balanced Optic Stabilization when active will take care of these micro bounces. However cameras like the Sony NEX 5N and such will show the micro bounces in the footage.

So you really want to keep all the parts as rigid as possible and let the vibration isolators to absorb vibration only.
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeismicCWave View Post
>> Where did you get your square tubes?<<

I believe it was eBay. I also saw them in local hardware stores. They are just the run of the mill square tube.

>> I am also wondering how much weight you could save with a carbon fiber weave layup over balsa core? More expensive and complicated, but could be a lighter and stiffer in the plys were set up right.<<

That's what I meant by unibody in my first post. It is way more complicated. A lot more expensive plus not adjustable.

>>Another question: why do you have the roll pivot point off-center?<<

Most camera (NEX 5N, Panasonic GX1 etc.) have their lens off set to one side. The tilt servo on the right side (looking from the front) makes the right side of the gimbal heavier.
Gotcah. Thought you were talking about a monocoque or semi-monocoque structure (think PH Hero series of gimbals).

thanks for the explanation
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by jcmonty View Post
Gotcah. Thought you were talking about a monocoque or semi-monocoque structure (think PH Hero series of gimbals).

thanks for the explanation
You can make it into a monocoque structure if you lay up over foam. You have the option of melting the foam out or just leave it there. Foam doesn't add much weight. Carbon cloth over balsa core will be light and strong but not so easy to produce the balsa core. Pretty labor intensive also. Another option for custom gimbal will be to use one of those carbon weave sock they use for sailplane fuselages and pull a couple of them over a balsa core.

Lots of ways to skin the cat. It is just a matter of how involved we want to get. This is also the part that intrigues me. I am a hobbyist in my soul. I love to tinker. In the meantime I have to think about what other hobbyists can do. What kinds of tools are available to them.

So it is a lot more enjoyable to share with others that can actually make a simpler gimbal that can have good performance over a highly specialized gimbal only for the people that can afford it.
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeismicCWave View Post
You can make it into a monocoque structure if you lay up over foam. You have the option of melting the foam out or just leave it there. Foam doesn't add much weight. Carbon cloth over balsa core will be light and strong but not so easy to produce the balsa core. Pretty labor intensive also. Another option for custom gimbal will be to use one of those carbon weave sock they use for sailplane fuselages and pull a couple of them over a balsa core.

Lots of ways to skin the cat. It is just a matter of how involved we want to get. This is also the part that intrigues me. I am a hobbyist in my soul. I love to tinker. In the meantime I have to think about what other hobbyists can do. What kinds of tools are available to them.

So it is a lot more enjoyable to share with others that can actually make a simpler gimbal that can have good performance over a highly specialized gimbal only for the people that can afford it.
Yes but I would like to see some videos.. building a gimbal is one thing. Having it perform correctly is another. Looking forward to some flight reports. Also it would be nice to have a running count on part cost.. servos alone will be $200 , correct?
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