3-axis camera gimbal for GoPro (back cage)

3-axis camera gimbal for GoPro (back cage) 3d printed All the parts for the 3-axis gimbal shown - this page is only the back cage (camera not included)
All the parts for the 3-axis gimbal shown - this page is only the back cage (camera not included)
3-axis camera gimbal for GoPro (back cage) 3d printed All the parts for the 3-axis gimbal shown - this page is only the back cage (camera not included)
3-axis camera gimbal for GoPro (back cage) 3d printed All the parts for the 3-axis gimbal shown - this page is only the back cage (camera not included)
3-axis camera gimbal for GoPro (back cage) 3d printed
3-axis camera gimbal for GoPro (back cage) 3d printed
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3-axis camera gimbal for GoPro (back cage) 3d printed
3-axis camera gimbal for GoPro (back cage) 3d printed
Digital Preview

Not a Photo

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About this Product

Update: I am currently working on an updated version, which is more robust and uses a more conventional 3-axis design (one servo per axis). I will leave this model available for spare parts. The new model is currently being tested and should be available soon.

 This is a 3-axis gyro-stabilsation gimbal for the GoPro HD Hero camera. Intended use is for aerial video and first-person view (FPV) flying.  
(Picture shows all the parts - camera is not included, and this is model here is only the back cage. Check the 3D model to see it. For the complete kit you have to order the back cage, the front lid, the servo cage and the mounting arm.  You will also need 3x MKS470 servos, and a 16mm x 8mm ball bearing, not shown)

Video demonstration:

Assembly and servo test

Preliminary Gyro stabilisation test 




Current status: 
This is still work in progress
- the current version has been slightly improved from the version in the video (I strengthened some of the elastic parts and improved the balancing). The gyro control board is my own design and currently not available yet. I will post an update once it is. The IMU is my design as well, and is available here.

You are welcome to order this design now, but be aware that it's still somewhat "beta". Whatever you do with it is entirely your own risk and responsibility, I unfortunately cannot make any claims towards its usefulness, stability or safety...

I would recommend, before you put this on a flying contraption, consider using a safety string to attach the camera to the plane somehow. GoPro cameras are very robust inside their waterproof case, but not quite so robust without that protection. They don't like crashing into the ground (and trust me, I know - as is probably obvious from the picture of my camera... in all fairness, it did mostly survive...)

Assembly instructions

For the complete kit you have to order the back cage, the front lid, the servo cage and the mounting arm.  The bearing at the top is a 16mm outer, 8mm inner diameter ball bearing, available from many places. Hobbyking sells those as well.
I will possibly modify the mounting bracket in the future and also offer one with a smaller bearing... this one is total overkill! :)

The servos that will fit are the MKS DS470 (available e.g. from Hobbyking). They do have a little play, but they are very smooth and by far the fastest servo I've seen in that size and price class. I'm still on the lookout for different servos that might be a bit smoother.

Assembly:

1) Press the servos onto the mounting bracket and the flexible arms of the back cage.  What works quite well is to carefully push it on just a little (best to put the printed piece onto a flat surface, and gently push the servo in just a bit to align). Then use a screw (maybe with a washer to spread the force), and slowly pull the arm onto the crown. You only have to do that once, it'll be a tight, smooth fit afterwards.
Remove the servos again after this step.

2) Mount the 3 servos on the servo mounting frame.  Start with the yaw servo (the vertical one in the middle).The yaw servo crown has to face downwards (might be a bit fiddly). Make sure the crown of the yaw servo is aligned with the little stub axle on the opposite side. The two roll/pitch servos have to be inserted so that the crown faces the camera (towards the flat side of the mounting arm).

3) Press the mounting bracket onto the yaw servo crown, and put in the screw to hold it in place. On the opposite side, press in the 16mm/8mm ball bearing.

4) Carefully push the disk-shaped closure knob into the cylinder at the top of the camera back cage. You might need to rotate it a bit to ease it into place

5) Push the flexible arms of the back cage onto the two roll/pitch servos, and fix with screws.




-- Update: Seems the MKS has too much gain for the yaw axis, and tends to oscillate a bit with all that weight swinging around. They are fine for the Pitch/Roll arms. I'm still looking for a small servo with high speed, smoothness and no (or little) play... Suggestions are of course welcome!!

-- The servos are still a very tight fit into the control arms and the bracket. I already made it a bit larger, but still not enough. What works quite well is to carefully push it on just a little (best to put the arms onto a flat surface, and gently push the servo in just a bit to align). Then use a screw (maybe with a washer to spread the force), and slowly pull the arm onto the crown. You only have to do that once, it'll be a tight, smooth fit afterwards.



What's in the Box
INCM

All the parts for the 3-axis gimbal shown - this page is only the back cage (camera not included)
3-axis camera gimbal for GoPro (back cage) in White Strong & Flexible
Width Height Depth
7.28 cm 3.644 cm 4.88 cm
This model is 3D Printed in White Strong & Flexible: White nylon plastic with a matte finish and slight grainy feel.
Model version 4 | Last updated on 01/12/2013

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