I’d love some advice on parts for building a 3-axis gimbal for a GoPro. I’d love to know what motors (I’m assuming brushless) ESCs, and controller boards I would need. My intention is to remotely control it wirelessly via two RPis (one Pi connected to the gimbal, and the other connected to a joystick) a which I have bought from Core Electronics, and these are the only pieces of hardware that I have so far.
I’ll also be using the RPis to transmit the GoPro’s video feed between each other, but that’s a topic for another day. I need to focus on the gimbal for now.
I’m keen to support local business, so hoping that some or all the parts are manufactured locally.
Thanks very much!!
Welcome to the forum
Brushless (and also brushed) DC motors are great when you want to set a motor to spin at a given speed and adjust the speed up and down but they aren’t the best when it comes to controlling their position accurately. The main reason for this is that brushless motors do not provide any inherent feedback on their position, unlike servo motors and stepper motors.
Servo motors come equipped with a built-in encoder that provides feedback on the motor’s position, making them ideal for position control applications. The controller can use this feedback to accurately control the position of the motor shaft, allowing for precise and repeatable motion.
Stepper motors also provide excellent position control, as they move in discrete steps, making it easy to accurately control the position of the motor shaft. They are typically heavier and have higher torque which may be overkill for your gimbal.
I think some sensibly sized servo motors will be your best choice. Do you have a rough idea of how heavy the payload for this gimbal will be so we can have an idea of how beefy the servos need to be?
Is there a specific reason you want to DIY a gimbal instead of buying an existing one?
Also, will the gimbal be stationary and connected to mains power, or will it be moving on some form of vehicle?
Thanks so much for all that info, especially with the differences between the different motor types.
The payload will be 153g, and will hang from a drone. I’ve considered buying off the shelf, but I would rather get exactly the specifications I need for the application, which also hopefully enables me to source at least some of the components locally.
One point to look out for is that some servos vibrate at certain settings, presumably due to backlash in the feedback mechanism or poor hysteresis control. This isn’t a problem when used for control surfaces with RC planes or boats, but would be unacceptable in a camera mount.
Thank you for the point, Jeff.