Alpha Gel Source for GoPro Anti Vibe Mount - RC Groups
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Apr 04, 2012, 07:37 PM
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Magnumb's Avatar

Alpha Gel Source for GoPro Anti Vibe Mount

I have been looking for Alpha Gel sources and there appears to be only one that I can find. This makes it rather expensive for the project I want to use it on.

What do I want Alpha Gel for?:

Mounting a GoPro or other camera (FPV for instance) to a rigid frame and using Alpha Gel as an insulator.

Why I would want to do this:

I am building up an FPV Quadcopter using a larger version of the following spider frame:

The design and build thread for this quad and it's designers can be found here.

The DiAlFoNzo BlackWidow spider I am buying is a 600mm round boom version.

I am mounting a WK-M for an FC as well as a 1.3 FPV setup so this will be close enough to as heavy as I would want to fly it. Add an FPV and GoPro camera and things are tight. Now the GoPro mount that will be coming with the frame will work well and mounts in a sensible location between and just below the front arms. I can't afford nor do I want the complexity of a gimble mount at this point.

The GoPro mount is rigidly attached which is fine provided you can find a suitable material to dampen vibration (mid to high frequency) and mount it between the camera and the mount itself. This should give good results since I would consider an imbalanced prop, for instance, to be a source of higher frequency vibration.

The material I want to use is pictured below:

The material is expensive, not because each piece is, but because your forced to buy a sheet of 25 Gel chips (that's what they call them)

I know Alpha Gel and more recently Beta Gel is used in many products, so consider the above image a picture of raw blocks of material that are suitable for use as you see them. An example of the gel in use would be insoles or gel pen grips, often the use of Alpha Gel is advertised on the package, as can be seen here.

I like the idea of using the raw blocks as they are uniform, there is almost non product that I can find using Alpha Gel that uses it in a uniform piece that would be suitable for my purposes. It's usually misshapen, odly molded or integrated with other materials.

So Why this thread:

I know I am not alone in wanting an affordable solution to cut down on vibration with a rigid mount, even with well balanced props there are other variables that contribute to vibration on a frame. My purpose is to find a readily available source and use it to test the results of it's use. My quads completion is a couple weeks away yet, so in the mean time I will look for easy to find sources. I want to then test them and see what gives me the best results.

Why would I bother with a rigid mount:

I think rigid mounts are ideal for the style of flying I want to do. Close in, exploritory, high speed and aerobatic flight. Flight close to, around and within objects. A rigid mount is close to the frame, this means you primarily need to concern yourself with width not height.

What I want help for:

I am hoping others out there are interested in a solution like this. I have searched the forums and have found some information, there are very complex scheems to reduce vibration but I think the goal with this project is to find a material that does exactly what we need it to do, to cut down on complexity, part count and time from build to flight. I am hoping to find a wildly good solution that can be executed quicly. I am sure there are other bits of info. But hey, it's nice to search for your own solution.

See if you can find any quality sources of Alpha Gel in any form and adapt it to your purposes. There is a Beta Gel, I don't know enough about it's properties, but back in 2007 they posted this rather amazing video of an egg drop. Check it out:

Further uses:

On some Flight control boards that are exposed (not encased) these materials can provide a 3 fold benifit. 1) Vibration isolation 2) Thermal conductivity (some isolation materials provide this) 3) Shock absorbtion in the case of a significant impact. The point is we don't want FC's wobbely and bouncing around in flight, this is why we rigid mount them, however, isolation can improve the function of some of those sensitive electronics, and the shock protection can provide crash survivability. I want to find something that will function well in these setups as well.
Last edited by Magnumb; Apr 04, 2012 at 07:51 PM.
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Apr 04, 2012, 08:19 PM
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Not sure if this is similar or not but I can order some in if you want to try it.
Apr 05, 2012, 12:03 AM
Registered User
Magnumb's Avatar
Originally Posted by flitelab
Not sure if this is similar or not but I can order some in if you want to try it.
Mark, you just take the fun out of everything....when I can just go to you what's the point in making long posts and including lots of links and pictures....

I will take a look at the link and let you know!

Update: Just took a look. I don't think it's thick enough. There needs to be enough mass to act on. I was thinking 10 to 20 mm
Apr 05, 2012, 06:09 AM
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The fear I would have with it being really thick is that it might actually add vibration allowing the camera to giggle around on so much material. I think you want a happy medium between being fixed solid to the frame but dampening the vibrations.

I'd also take a look at Moon Gel and Sorbothane -
Last edited by flitelab; Apr 05, 2012 at 06:23 AM.
Apr 05, 2012, 06:43 AM
Drone operator & Photographer
Remember that you have to compress the material 30% for it to work properly.
Apr 05, 2012, 07:54 AM
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Think I'll order in some Sorbothane and also the Align gel pad to test out...
Apr 05, 2012, 10:10 AM
Registered User
Magnumb's Avatar
Originally Posted by wizprod
Remember that you have to compress the material 30% for it to work properly.
I am curious are you referring to the Alpha Gel Chips or Sorbothane?

If that's the case then perhaps multiple layers of the Align gel Mark mentioned would work.

Mark, I say order it up *for you* let me know what works

As far as it being too thick, With that material, you do need to hold it firm against a mounting surface, there would be tension there, but if it's soft enough it should atenuate vibration nicely. It's like a reverse version of putting those gel pads on drum skins to reduce resonance and atenuate vibration for a "shorter sound".

Update, I looked at the Sorbothane, looks interesting. I have a feeling it won't do well with high frequency. Not because I am a scientist and actually know what I am talking about, but rather because it's viscoelastic. I think it's an amazing shock absorber, but it may not be fast acting enough to be a good high frequency damper. Now, this is all a gut feeling here, so I am more than open to discussion on this point.
Last edited by Magnumb; Apr 05, 2012 at 10:25 AM.
Apr 05, 2012, 10:15 AM
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Ya the only way to know what works is to test it out. I'll see if I can get some in for review.
There are a number of threads on RCG with people using the Moon Gel and Sorbothane, some seem to like it nad others have mixed results but i think a lot of the issue is making things as vibration free as possible before you start throwing these products at the problem.
Apr 14, 2012, 09:06 PM
Registered User
Magnumb's Avatar
Thought I would bump this again. Anyone here have some alpha gel and willing to part with a little for a few bucks? I just don't want to buy 25pcs
Apr 14, 2012, 09:19 PM
manual flying apologist
Adidas4275's Avatar
the zeal tape is much better than moon gel
Apr 14, 2012, 09:35 PM
Registered User
Get 1/4" sheet of sorbothane durometer 30 off ebay and cut to shape what you want. If you use a 4 post tier mount like this it will absorb a great deal of vibration when preloaded with some weight. Like said best to get rid of most vibration at source first.
Apr 15, 2012, 08:31 AM
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Got a sample piece of Sorbothane 1/4" D230 in on Friday that I will be testing.
It is heavier than I would have expected and even the D30 seens fairly dense.

Some more pictures here:

Align Gel Pads should be in early next week.
Apr 15, 2012, 11:46 AM
Registered User
I have been testing it for nearly two years
May 24, 2012, 09:19 AM
Climbing the learning curve!
Any updates on the test results flitelab? I'm pretty keen to know how it went for my new Tricopter build.

May 24, 2012, 09:28 AM
Suspended Account
Not yet, been too tied up on other things so far unfortunately. I'll see ifI can get back to this in the next week or two.

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