Sony Mirrorless Gimbal for SOLO Build Project

jxo

Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
163
Reaction score
44
Age
59
Sony Gimbal Project

Thanks to the gentleman at Nikon J5 mirrorless camera on 3Dr Solo - ch7 shutter

You’ve been indispensable in this effort to put decent still photo equipment on these drones. For the last 2+ years, I have been using fixed mounts (not tilting gimbals) for Sony Alpha series cameras. Started with GoPro-like plastic mounts that would not work and various 3d custom printed plastics mounts. In all cases these mounts did not stabilize the weight of the camera enough to keep the Solo from shaking and whining. Fatal to decent images; HDR brackets in particular. Carbon fiber bolted direct to the Solo body is the best solution to lock my Sony cameras down without any wiggle or movement; without doing so, the images are not usable except at extremely high shutter speeds.

The Sonys weigh 385 grams with a 16-50 zoom and 333 grams with a 16mm prime.

Not the purpose of this post, but I use a CamRemote (CR) camera control device. I have a few custom cables and a breakout board that plug into the Solo’s internal gimbal cable. I use one to pull power from the Solo gimbal cable to feed the CamRemote device. The CR device is mounted on the exterior of the Solo bodies. The CR is incredibly versatile and enables me to control shutter, aperture, shutter speed, ISO levels, power zoom, and hot video recording—all in the air. No need for me to go with another tool or Solo integration for triggering or shutter control. Mount and Camera Remote Control Options for Non-GoPro Cameras

The only thing (other than a battery that will last for 60 minutes) missing is a tilt-controlled gimbal. Being cooped up, I have some time and will start the project now. I have most of the materials: 2mm sheets of carbon fiber; glue; screws (for the gimbal and to mount to the drone body); CF cutting tools (Dremel and jigsaw); plastic and aluminum right angle corner braces.

APOLOGIES IN ADVANCE, THIS WILL THE FIRST OF MANY ASKS FOR HELP: I need to go with the necessary camera tilt servo and related cabling and accessories. How do these look?

So that’s it, POST 1. Any advice on the tilt servo choice? The 180 Stretcher? Additional wiring options?

Best,

Jim
 

jxo

Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
163
Reaction score
44
Age
59
looking forward 👍
@jimloss is also on Sony ML setup on his 3DR

p.s. what was your shutter speeds for photo?
How do the linked servo and expander/stretcher look? Will order the parts tomorrow if these will work.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 2, 2017
Messages
412
Reaction score
251
Location
Chicago area
How do the linked servo and expander/stretcher look? Will order the parts tomorrow if these will work.
Interesting that you selected that servo - that's the servo that I purchased for that next gimbal that I was building. Also interested to hear what anyone else thinks of it, but I'm going a different direction now. I've learned to dislike servos because they don't have a fluid motion. I'm looking to use old Solo gimbal boards and one of the gimbal motors to use for stabilizing and tilting. Now if I can just find the time to finish!
 
  • Like
Reactions: makatanav
Joined
Jul 4, 2018
Messages
213
Reaction score
162
Location
Latvia
Interesting that you selected that servo - that's the servo that I purchased for that next gimbal that I was building. Also interested to hear what anyone else thinks of it, but I'm going a different direction now. I've learned to dislike servos because they don't have a fluid motion. I'm looking to use old Solo gimbal boards and one of the gimbal motors to use for stabilizing and tilting. Now if I can just find the time to finish!
the question is will they work with extra weight of Sony ML?
for now I can shoot with servo tilt and get good results if not high winds + can sacrifise higher shutter speeds (1/800sec) doe good light, but...
I`ll be building brushless gimbal to gain stablization, got lower shutter speeds, ISO, increase aperature, but not for now - just finished power module and buttery mode - need to setle down a litle bit and smoothen up curent setup :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: jimloss
Joined
Mar 2, 2017
Messages
412
Reaction score
251
Location
Chicago area
the question is will they work with extra weight of Sony ML?
for now I can shoot with servo tilt and get good results if not high winds + can sacrifise higher shutter speeds (1/800sec) doe good light, but...
I`ll be building brushless gimbal to gain stablization, got lower shutter speeds, ISO, increase aperature, but not for now - just finished power module and buttery mode - need to setle down a litle bit and smoothen up curent setup :)
The servo that I use today is smaller (MG90D), yet works and has held up. It did not require any adjustment to get over 90 degrees of travel. My hope in using the JX PDI-2504MG was to smooth out the movement a little more. @jxo - I can test travel of this servo later this week if you would like.

By careful placement of the pivot point with lens fully extended the amount of force on the servo is minimal. @jxo - make sure to test your pivot point so that the camera is balanced, whether pointing straight ahead or down, before you mount the servo. With the stock lens, the bottom of the camera will be about 1 1/16" below the hinge point and the camera's tripod mount socket 25/32" behind the pivot point.

Keeping weight to a minimum, centering below, and as close to the Solo body as possible is important to keep the Solo stable to improve flight and picture quality.

I like low ISO and shutter speeds, but this is very difficult with all the movement and small vibrations of the Solo plus any vibrations introduced by a servo.

I agree that brushless is the way to go, but this can introduce more weight and size. I am considering brushless for pitch, and just using a hinge point for roll.
 

jxo

Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
163
Reaction score
44
Age
59
...- I can test travel of this servo later this week if you would like.

By careful placement of the pivot point with lens fully extended the amount of force on the servo is minimal.
...
Thanks, please do test and let me know what you conclude.

It may make sense to stick with the 16mm prime pancake lens with the gimbal and leave the zoom for a fixed mount. I rarely use the zoom on the 16-50 lens anyway and shoot at 16mm most of the time with the Sony. The pancake lens is well suited for this.

I may need some further design input before designing and cutting the carbon fiber frame.
 

jxo

Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
163
Reaction score
44
Age
59
...
] - I can test travel of this servo later this week if you would like.
Jimloss: any feedback on this servo? If you give it a thumbs up, I will place an order.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2017
Messages
412
Reaction score
251
Location
Chicago area
Good news Jim. The 2504MG servo can travel 145 degrees on it's own. This gives you 90 degrees for tilt plus up to 27.5 degrees of travel at each end for stabilization without any modifications or additions to the servo. In addition, this servo has much more fluid movement than the smaller MG90D that I was using previously.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jxo

jxo

Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
163
Reaction score
44
Age
59
Good news Jim. The 2504MG servo can travel 145 degrees on it's own. This gives you 90 degrees for tilt plus up to 27.5 degrees of travel at each end for stabilization without any modifications or additions to the servo. In addition, this servo has much more fluid movement than the smaller MG90D that I was using previously.
awesome. the order will be placed soon.
 

New Threads

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
12,492
Messages
144,217
Members
14,561
Latest member
22chalparyaar85