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Phantom 2 vision gimbal
3499 31 2015-1-17
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talk2t_c
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I'm getting a bit fed up with shaky videos and looking the upgrade the gimbal to this one - I've bought it now so I'll review it when it comes and I've fixed it on, operated it and seen the results :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/produ ... _detailpage_o04_s00

Has anyone got this one and are they pleased with the results?

I saw two others one from Rotorpixel, but cost $389 + postage and then import duty would likely be added of about 40% (France).  The other was, I thought, going to be coming from Drone expert in the Netherlands at a similar price, but they don't have any left, not going the produce any more and are going to concentrate on bits for the Inspire 1????  Good luck with that one.
2015-1-17
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Riff Raff
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Has anyone installed one of these eBay 2 axis gimbals on your Phantom 2 Vision?  

Does the gimbal perform as expected?

How did the gimbal affected the flight characteristic.   Did you notice a reduction in the length of your flights with the gimbal?

Is ground clearance a problem?  Did you have to changing the landing gear?

2015-5-28
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talk2t_c
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The people I got the China gimbal from told me that it would come with full instructions.  It didn't come with any.  I got back to them and they gave me some links to download some - they were in Chinese English and I couldn't understand what the hell it was all about.  So I went for the Rotorpixel in the end.  Fitted it with little trouble see post link:
http://forum.dji.com/forum.php?m ... 998&page=1#pid71958
I now have battery troubles after a bit of swelling on the batteries and wants to land at 68%.  Ongoing.............
2015-5-28
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crash1sttime
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i did fit one of these and so did a friend of mine, they are a bit of a pain to fit, one of them meant opening the quad up to connect power and pitch, however the one i bought came with the same pitch cable connector that the original gimbal had and the power was cleverly drawn from the cameras white cable via a JTS connector, the extension cable for the camera was thin and flexible and it works fine, took some tuning using simpleBGC software and a couple of cable ties but the results are really good

the one i bought

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/400908 ... =STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

the one my mate boought

http://www.banggood.com/Refit-DJ ... oller-p-961974.html

here is a video of the gimbal in use



There is a video coming soon of the unit and how it was fitted


Flight time is reduced, i get about 14 minutes from a full battery but when you consider they cost one fifth the price of a RPG its not bad

for the one that you have to open the quad up, you do need to extend the landing gear but the one i got it sits neatly with no extension needed.

BUT THE ONE I HAVE YOU HAVE TO TRIM THE EAR ON ONE SIDE OF THE CAMERA OR IT CATCHES ON THE GIMBAL PLATE.

Small price to pay
2015-5-29
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Riff Raff
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crash1sttime Posted at 2015-5-30 01:25
i did fit one of these and so did a friend of mine, they are a bit of a pain to fit, one of them mea ...

Thanks for posting, Crash.  This looks like a solution I'd be interested in.  While I would like smoother video, as a casual flyer, it is hard to justify spending $400 - $500 to add a gimbal to my  P2 Vision.  I'd rather save those funds and apply them to a Phantom 3 or similar.

My interest in quads is more for the flying experience vs having a platform to shoot video.  The video just enables me to record the flying experience and sights.  If I am going to spend a lot of money, I'd rather invest in a Phantom 3 or similar instead of modding my P2 Vision....  With the result being a quad that is difficult to maintain and is hacked up like a science experiment.

But less than a $100 for a gimbal that is essentially a bolt on, no soldering to the P2 Vision or opening up the quad, sounds great.  Thanks again..
2015-5-30
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crash1sttime
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Riff Raff Posted at 2015-5-31 07:45
Thanks for posting, Crash.  This looks like a solution I'd be interested in.  While I would like s ...

Here s a vid  threw together about the gimbal

2015-5-31
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talk2t_c
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crash1sttime Posted at 2015-6-1 04:12
Here s a vid  threw together about the gimbal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6HZPVZoQkk

Looks like it works and at a fraction of the cost.  My china gimbal looked great, but I didn't want to risk messing too much with the wiring.
Hope to see some good vids from you then.
2015-6-1
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Riff Raff
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crash1sttime Posted at 2015-6-1 04:12
Here s a vid  threw together about the gimbal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6HZPVZoQkk

Thanks for the video Crash.  You confirmed that the installation is relatively easy.  I like the part where they take power from the original camera wire, that means I won't have to open up the Phantom 2 to get power.  My assumption is that it's best not to disturb the original build/configuration when possible.

So, Crash, you inspired me (no pun...)  I ordered a gimbal from eBay. All the sources I've found for these are in Asia, and eBay says I should receive my gimbal between June 9 and June 23.  I hope that estimate is accurate.  

I also ordered some simple landing gear extensions.  Again, though I like the looks of the nifty carbon fiber landing gear replacements, or the slick retracting landing gear, I did not want to disturb the engineering that went into placement of the compass, GPS antenna, etc.  It looks like 1/2" - 1" will be plenty of clearance when I snap these extensions onto the existing landing gear.  Nothing changes on the Phantom 2, and I can easily remove the extensions when the Phantom 2 is put in its case.

  
2015-6-1
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crash1sttime
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No worries Riff, just one thing I will point out, I used the blocks to extend the legs (they go in between the body and the legs) and I found that the down draft caused the legs to vibrate a lot, and the whole thing shook like a washing machine, can you  tell me where you got your snap on versions please as i may order some.

I hope your gimbal is the same and that you dont have to do anymore than I pointed out in the video
2015-6-1
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crash1sttime Posted at 2015-6-2 04:52
No worries Riff, just one thing I will point out, I used the blocks to extend the legs (they go in b ...

Crash, I can't endorse these landing gear extensions yet, as I just ordered them.  When they come in and I have had a chance to test and evaluate them I will share the results.  Here is the link to the item I purchased on the US ebay:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/25187665 ... =STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

My reasoning was I did not want to alter the original mounting of the compass and GPS, I did not want to add any more mass than necessary.  Weight is an obvious disadvantage, and being out on the end of these levers (legs), vibration could be magnified.

I've also seen the dowels or popsicles stick taped or zip tied to each corner of the landing gear as miniature stilts to gain a bit of clearance.  Not sure how this will all work out, yet.
2015-6-2
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crash1sttime
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I only need clearance if my camera is pointing down, providing i remember to level it before landing im good.
2015-6-2
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Riff Raff
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crash1sttime Posted at 2015-6-3 02:36
I only need clearance if my camera is pointing down, providing i remember to level it before landing ...

Crash,

I received my landing gear extensions.  I'm not sure what to think.  

They seem sturdy enough when snapped on, but there are a couple problems,  they do not add stability to prevent a tip towards the front or rear.  I am also concerned that they may peel off the rubber pads on the Phantom landing gear after repeated applications.  And, of course, they are too tall to use them while in the carrying case.
Here’s a few pics:
https://drive.google.com/open?id ... ucHc&authuser=0
https://drive.google.com/open?id ... fOTg&authuser=0
https://drive.google.com/open?id ... MdUk&authuser=0

I kind of like where they are going with this:
Forum thread:  http://forum.dji.com/thread-7674-1-1.html
Picture:    http://forum.dji.com/data/attach ... n0zk1nee9900qi8.jpg

I may use a smaller diameter pcv pipe, make it a little longer, and put the cut at an angle.  The result would be extensions that come out as an “X” pattern.  Increase height, length, and width of the extensions, and something I can snap on/off without damaging the existing landing gear.

\      /
|     |
/      \

I would prefer something I can snap on and off easily, that doesn’t add much weight or drag, adds to the stability front/back/side to side, and gives me ½” or more of additional clearance.   Like you said, this gimbal doesn’t hit the ground if the camera is not pointed down and if the ground is smooth.  We don’t need a lot of clearance.

Off to the hardware store…
2015-6-9
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crash1sttime
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Riff Raff Posted at 2015-6-9 22:19
Crash,

I received my landing gear extensions.  I'm not sure what to think.  


I take it you received the gimbal and have fitted it ok, hows it working out for you ?

i cant access the third google pic mate, but the other two seem ok as for the PVC pipe idea, ive had a similar thing before but found it made the quad unsteady when I landed and nearly resulted in a tipover, like you said it needs to come out at an angle that gives stability when you land.
2015-6-10
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Riff Raff
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crash1sttime Posted at 2015-6-11 04:42
I take it you received the gimbal and have fitted it ok, hows it working out for you ?

i cant acc ...

No, I haven’t received the gimbal yet.  I assume it’s on a slow boat from China, I expect to get it in the next week or two now.  

Sorry about the pic of my eBay landing gear, here is a good link:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/ ... jg/view?usp=sharing

In the meantime, I gave myself an excuse of buying a Dremel tool (can’t believe I didn’t own one until now!) and hacked on some PVC pipe to come up with a rough draft of PVC extensions.

I bet I wandered in the plumbing aisle at the hardware store for ½ hour trying to imagine what I could come up with using the pieces I saw.  I finally decided on some PVC 1” diameter and about 3” long with a  45deg bend.  PVC is much heavier than I anticipated.  Something like a ping pong ball would work better, if you could get the shape and stability worked worked out.

Here are a couple of pics of the pvc gear:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/ ... lE/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/ ... 2M/view?usp=sharing

I think 1 inch PVC will supply enough clearance for the gimbal, since you mentioned you don’t really need more clearance when you have the camera level.  The angled foot on the bottom really adds to the stability of the Phantom 2.  I think you’ll be happy with something similar.

Mine aren’t finished, they’re very rough yet.   I was just cutting free hand and improvising as I went, but the basic idea works. Like the other post, the ring is about ½ inch where it snaps onto the Phantom 2.

They snap on and off.
They stay on.
They’re fairly stable, much better than the eBay pieces front to back.
I can close the cover of my aluminum case with these attached!  I didn’t think that would be possible, it must be very, very close, but it does work.
They weigh about 11 grams each – post hacking.   That’s 44 grams for four compared to 34 grams for the two eBay extensions.

So, other than being embarrassed by the awful hacking, the gist of seems to work.  

Thanks to Capt. Bill, whose idea I copied.
2015-6-11
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crash1sttime
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Riff Raff Posted at 2015-6-12 03:56
No, I haven’t received the gimbal yet.  I assume it’s on a slow boat from China, I expect to get ...

Sand them down and make them tidy and they are bang on mate, nice job and with the added foot they make the quad look more stable, time fr me to get down to B&Q I think and grab some pieces of pipe.
2015-6-14
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Riff Raff
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crash1sttime Posted at 2015-6-15 02:30
Sand them down and make them tidy and they are bang on mate, nice job and with the added foot they ...

Did you make any progress on the landing gear extensions?

My gimbal arrived, from Hong Kong, actually.  I purchase it from the same retailer that you did on eBay.  I wanted to be sure to get the same piece, I liked the way they did the power take off spliced into the camera’s power wire.

I have my gimbal mounted, but I have some questions, so I sent the seller a note.   But if you have any input I’d appreciate it.  

First, the gimbal control does not work any longer from the Vision app, is that right?  We used to be able to move the camera up/down with the original gimbal.

Second, the screws are not long enough to reach through the tubes on the cradle to secure the Phantom 2.  Is the camera supposed to just sit on the tubes in the cradle?  If so, I think I’ll add a rubber band or something to secure the camera a bit.

I have no idea of what the values mean for the gimbal settings.  I don’t know what to set, what to unset, or what any of these values mean.  Is there a legend somewhere that documents this ?  I haven’t find one…  I want to limit the camera rolling and interfering with the remaining mounting flange(s).

I had a scare when I first powered everything on, no network, no camera.  I had forgotten that when I plug the power cord into my camera, I have to push extra hard/far to get the very last “snap” to be sure it is fully seated.  After that, it powered up and is basically working.  I haven’t flown with it yet, I’d like to get the gimbal tuning a little better under control.
2015-6-15
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crash1sttime
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Riff Raff Posted at 2015-6-16 07:26
Did you make any progress on the landing gear extensions?

My gimbal arrived, from Hong Kong, actu ...


The app only works with the standard controller, once you switch to the upgraded version or activate the 7th channel lever on the rear of the original controller it stops the app working
this is normal

!) the small thin screws should pass through the tubes and replace the original 4 screws (screws supplied in the pack)

My video explains what settings to change for the software

I had to take a dremmel to the ear of the quad and trimmed it down so that it didn't catch when the craft pitched to the right

I pop in here most days if not I will catch up
2015-6-16
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Riff Raff
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Tip: The post by the administrator or moderators shield
2015-6-19
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crash1sttime
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Whats with this admin shield thing ???
2015-6-23
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Riff Raff
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Tip: The post by the administrator or moderators shield
2015-6-23
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crash1sttime
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ok someone tell me why I cat see posts on this thread

riffraff posts just shows Tip:  The post by the administrator or moderators shield


Don't matter , seems that someone took offence to a name of a competitor or something and blocked his posts

2015-6-25
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Riff Raff
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crash1sttime Posted at 2015-6-25 18:19
ok someone tell me why I cat see posts on this thread

riffraff posts just shows Tip:  The post by t ...

Well, supposedly my ban has been lifted.  Testing...  Cool, no more ban.
In the post that irritated the DJI filter, I had mentioned the name of the retailer from whom I had purchased my gimbal, because this gimbal seems to be unique in that they splice a wire into the existing camera wire. This spliced wire supplies power to the gimbal without having to open up the Phantom 2 shell to fish out the wire for accessory power.  If you want to see the gimbal Crash and I purchased look at the ebay link further up this thread.

A quick update, I have my gimbal installed.  I had a delay in completing the installation because the remote tilt function wasn't working.  The resolution ended up that I had to reseat the yellow wire connected to the Phantom 2's gimbal ribbon cable, and all is well.

The gimbal installation is relatively easy.  There are a few minor "gotchas" I'd be glad to share if anyone is interested.  Crash'es video is extremely helpful as a guide.  My main complaint is a lack of usable and accurate documentation with the gimbal.  However, if you look at the simple bgc web site they do have complete documentation on the use and tuning of the gimbal.  You probably won't have to do much, if any tuning.  But the configuration screen is a bit overwhelming if you don't know what any of these settings mean or what they do.

2015-6-29
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crash1sttime
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My advice on SimpleBGC is leave it well alone, its a rather complicated program that is designed more for Ronin type handheld units than a 2D quad gimbal such as this, however that's just my opinion

As for the wiring, this was first done by DroneWorks and then by Rotorpixel, if you look at their gimbals they just have a socket for the white cable built into the gimbal frame and then a separate softer wire that plugs into the camera, I was totally relieved when I got the gimbal and realised that this was what they had decided on, I had already (after looking at the pictures) added the needed power cable into the phantom, only to find I didn't need it and so removed it.

Riff, what issue did you have in relation to the tilt cable, being the same plug as the original gimbal I found it was just a case of plug it in.?
2015-6-29
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crash1sttime Posted at 2015-6-29 22:19
My advice on SimpleBGC is leave it well alone, its a rather complicated program that is designed mor ...

Wow!  I am impressed after viewing video from my first flight with the cheapo gimbal.  I was able to fly out in front of my house early this evening.  Not the optimal place to fly due to the trees in the yard, and it was about just before 8:00 pm, sun light was fading.  But, still, the video turned out OK.  It looked grainy and jello-ee on the iPad watching the live FPV, but the video playback is OK.

First flight with gimbal and landing gear extensions:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/ ... FE/view?usp=sharing

Similar video from last month before installing the gimbal  and landing gear on the Phantom 2 Vision:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/ ... mM/view?usp=sharing

On the first video with my new gimbal, I was purposely being aggressive on the sticks to rock the Phantom front/back and right/left to observe the performance of the gimbal. In a few parts you can see the landing gear swing into frame when I rock it sideways.

I think there is a bit of jello in the video, but I'm not sure how much of that will go away when I am in better light.  I want to see the performance in better light before I even consider making any changes to the configuration.

I like that i can tilt the camera straight down to view what is beneath the Phantom, the original pitch control could not do that.

The landing gear extensions worked fine,  no problem with the camera hitting the ground, regardless of orientation. I don't know if the extensions are  worth the extra 45 grams of weight., though.
2015-6-29
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crash1sttime
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Riff Raff Posted at 2015-6-30 11:16
Wow!  I am impressed after viewing video from my first flight with the cheapo gimbal.  I was able  ...


Jello ?? what jello ?

That is absolute steady as a rock, not bad for a cheap gimbal eh, the true test is getting out in a large field and really giving it the full beans (speed) with lots of twist and turns.

As for the leg extensions, I didn't bother in the end, I keep the camera level on take off and tilt it once im in the air and then make sure its level before I land, if I want to take off and have the camera down to start with I just use a couple of small boxes to support the quad.

Its a pity the ear of the quad has to be trimmed though in order for it to work properly, however its no big loss as after seeing the difference in video stability I will never be going back to the fixed gimbal.

Im more than happy with mine, im going on holiday in September to Portugal and this was the reason I bought the gimbal, I didn't want the kind of video that looks like someone stuck an Iphone to a quad with sticky tape, which was what you got with the fixed gimbal.

I look back at some of my early videos and wonder why on earth I ever thought I was happy with the video quality.

There is one thing to be watching for and that is that the camera is levelled correctly before taking off, I have built a small frame that I slide under the camera and then press the button to run the calibration,



You do know about the small button on the gimbal board I take it, if not then run the SimpleBGC software that I pointed out in the video, the 5th tab is menu button make sure one click is set to "calibrate", then with the quad powered on press the button (I use a lolly stick) and the camera will go limp, hold it steady, it takes about 4 seconds, the camera will judder in your hand when it has finished calibrating.

Ive flown a lot and forgot to calibrate and ended up with a skyline that wasn't level,

You can set the software to skip calibration at startup, make sure this is ticked, you don't need to always calibrate, but just check it looks level, if not do the above.

Get yourself a YT channel and let me know the link, I look forward to more videos
2015-6-30
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Riff Raff
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crash1sttime Posted at 2015-6-30 23:24
Jello ?? what jello ?

That is absolute steady as a rock, not bad for a cheap gimbal eh, the true  ...

Yep, the results with gimbal are pretty impressive, especially at this price.  The more I think about it, I think the video problems I noticed were probably due to low light versus the gimbal itself.

I am looking forward to getting some quality video of my white German Shepherd.  Chance loves to jump off the dock into the lake to play fetch with a ball, stick, whatever.  He's gotten used to the Phantom so it doesn't bother him.  In fact, he's learned that when I start packing up the Phantom that it means we're going down to the lake to play!

I've set the gimbal using the GUI, where is that dang button?  I've looked around the outside if the gimbal board but didn't see it.

That is a good idea to build a stand to steady the gimbal.  I just rested the nose of the camera on a Phantom battery pack.  That ends up in a slight nose up position, which is OK since I can use the Vision app to adjust the pitch of the camera.

And I really, really like the extra range of pitch with this gimbal.

I am still undecided about the landing gear extensions, only because of the 40 grams of weight.  Otherwise they seem to work out fine.

Crash, thanks again.   If you hadn't started these threads I am not sure I would have proceeded with the gimbal upgrade.  Your advice (and patience)  has been greatly appreciated.
2015-6-30
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crash1sttime Posted at 2015-6-30 23:24
Jello ?? what jello ?

That is absolute steady as a rock, not bad for a cheap gimbal eh, the true  ...

I think I found the button, a little white one on the right side of the board, mounted flat to the board.  I was expecting a button pointing out so we could reach it.

I has to get an LED light to find it, that button is tiny...
2015-6-30
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crash1sttime Posted at 2015-6-30 23:24
Jello ?? what jello ?

That is absolute steady as a rock, not bad for a cheap gimbal eh, the true  ...

I am considering installing a pitch lever control onto my transmitter.  If I understand correctly, the POT is already in the transmitter, it is simply a matter of installing the $10 lever and activating channel 7 with a quick calibration of the lever.

Gimbal pitch control moves from the Vision app to the lever, if I understand correctly.  Do you think it is worth the trouble?
2015-7-1
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crash1sttime
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The lever, the dreaded lever  lol

The trouble with the lever is that the camera is either up or down, to get it to sit at a set point with the lever is dam near impossible, there are other options, do a youtube search on 7th channel for the phantom, some use a potentiometer, some use an Xbox button, if you want a neat tidy job just buy the upgraded controller with the gimbal wheel, I did and I think its worth the cost, as the lever was just to much of a faff.

well done on finding the button by the way, yes it is tiny
2015-7-1
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crash1sttime Posted at 2015-7-2 02:12
The lever, the dreaded lever  lol

The trouble with the lever is that the camera is either up or dow ...

OK, you've convinced me.  No lever.  lol....

I don't mind using the Vision app, really.  I always fly with the app running and I always refer to the FPV video to see if how I need to adjust the camera anyway.  I really like greater degree of pitch this gimbal has over the original P2V setup.  Being able to look straight down is a neat effect.

I need to quit spending on this P2V anyway and start saving my hobby money for a Phantom 3 or equivalent.  I'm intrigued by the capability of the newer technology.
2015-7-2
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crash1sttime
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P3 and Newer technology is like saying an honest lawyer, its not something i hear in one sentence.

If your going to get a P3 then i would wait a long time until its proven reliable, by which time we will no doubt have a P5 lol
2015-7-3
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crash1sttime Posted at 2015-7-4 05:44
P3 and Newer technology is like saying an honest lawyer, its not something i hear in one sentence.

...

lol...   The P3 was announced shortly after I purchased my P2 Vision.  At first I thought perhaps I should have waited a little while for the newer, better Phantom.  Ha ha... After seeing some of the problems folks are having with their new P3's, I am OK with flying my ol' P2V with it's cheap gimbal for a while longer.  

I am glad to see some competition in this marketplace, I hope that some of them get some traction.  Nothing better for quality than a little competition.
2015-7-3
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