Updated: September 14, 2014 (EST)
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To Buy Came-7000 or the Came-7500 or the Came-8000 click here (comes with the 32bit controller board) Hello everyone, I’ve decided to arrange the page a bit again and concentrate more on the latest release of the Alexmos Controller Board and make this page easier to read.
This is a page about the Came-TV’s Came-7000, Came-7500, Came-7500 and maybe the Came-8000 (or any 3-Axis Brushless Gimbal of the similar build) with the Alexmos 32bit controller board (for 8bit controller board, please click here), I will try my best to put all the information on one page and will be updating this page constantly so this would be a great place to start with your journey into these gimbals. If you are still using the 8bit controller board, it’s time to move to the 32bit bit. (For information on the 8bit controller board, please click here)
I’ve now changed my Came-7000′s 8bit controller into the 32bit version, I’ve also recorded myself of my process, see video how I did it (unedited)
My current setup to be used with the Gimbal will be using the GH4 + 12-35mm F2.8 lens + cheap quick release plate (not recommended after a few trial runs) to total the weight to be around 2.6lbs. The Gimbal process is 3 parts:
- Build the gimbal or assemble it all together
- Balance the camera+lens+sdcard (without the lens cap)
- Tune the software to make it 100% or close to it.
PLEASE READ IT A FEW TIMES THE WHOLE THING BEFORE STARTING, ALL YOUR QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED HERE.
First thing first: My Review on the Came-7000 which is look the same as the Came-7500 except that all the wires are already pre-assebled by Came-TV, you still need to tightens the screws using a tool kit set which I have listed at bottom of this page.
For my test running with the Came-7000 8bit gimbal, see here:
For my test running with the Came-7500 32bit gimbal using the GH4 and 12-35mm F.28 lens:
For our fun video about The Evolution of Stabilizers:
For our current project: A Fan Film Teaser that included the usage of a gimbal, to watch the finished Episode 1, click here.
We recently was hired to do a series of videos for Confucius Institute of Cleveland State University, here’s one shot done using the 8bit gimbal and the Atlas Camera Support System.
9-20-2014, took our Came-7500 for a test run at the Cleveland Dragon Boat Festival:
Background: Why I started to learn about 3-Axis Brushless Gimbal and how to build your own Came-7000. Please click here.
PROCESS: Here’s a quick glance on how to get it going:
- Get a tool kit set instead using the L shaped key
- Charge the battery
- Get a Gimbal Stand or two light stand or build your own
- Assemble your Came-7000 or other similar typed gimbals. (click here for more info)
- Balance your camera (Camera, Lens, and everything that needs to be on the camera for the shoot, except lens cap or microphone)
- Use a quick release plate if need to (for Came-7000 or Came-7500, it would be harder to balance though and you may need to take out the top horizontal bar above the camera)
- Adjust each axis to balance the camera+lens (so it can stay on whatever direction you have it place).
- Install the driver to your mac or pic (you can find it here)
- Download and install the GUI software (to tune the gimbal – 32bit controller), click here for the info.
- Read the GUI manual (if you are confused don’t worry)
- Plug the gimbal to the computer vis USB to MicroUSB cable
- Tune the gimbal to your most satisfactory (this is the hardest part)
- Re-read the GUI manual (now you should understand it a bit more)
- Retune if need to
- Go do some running and testing
Accessories I would recommend:
- Don’t throw away the box that came with your gimbal, it can be useful, as the foam can be used to build your own box that so you can carry the complete set. I used to use a Pelican Cube but now I switched it to this: A Pelican 1600 case with the original packaging foam. I do have to take one of the horizontal handle bar off and the top part of it, but with the tool kit, it was a breeze. (about 5-10 mins setup time on location)
- Get a Tool Kit set like this: 45 in 1 Precision Screwdriver Tools set makes working with the gimbal really easy. http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A740VQM/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1
- If the Gimbal gets heavy and you need something to support it (like a Stabilizer vest), you can either spend for about $2k for an EasyRig or a ReadyRic, or you can consider this: The Atlas Camera Support System. http://www.atlascamerasupport.com/
- Consider to get this 5″ framing used monitor (since it is the cheapest at $127), I’ve used MushHD and the SmallHD DP4 and there isn’t much of a difference. http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GJK57V2/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
- And a monitor mount bracket: CARBON FIBER MONITOR FIXING BRACKET
- Now you need a really thin cable… I am using this one, perfect length too. Click here to find out more (this is Micro-HDMI to HDMI), if you need Mini-HDMI to HDMI – like Canon or other DSLRs, it’s a bit short but works, click here.
Please have a lot of patient, it takes a bit of a time to balance it right, once you have the camera+lens balanced, you should be able to swing on any angle with the camera and it would stay there.
Many people keep asking what sort of lens you need, the answer is SIMPLE: use a lens that provide you a wide angle (a prime or a wide angled lens – several suggested something from 11mm to 35mm) simple because you are using a stabilizing system and would need to be ‘close to the subject’, while using zoom lens are not suggested, you can, just may have problem maneuver it.
Also, before buying a gimbal, find out what camera and lens you plan to use it with and stick with it, otherwise you will have to deal with balancing it every time and it can take a LONG time.
Find out the TOTAL weight you plan to have on the gimbal, the Came-7000/Came-7500/Came-7800 can hold up to 6.6lbs (about 3kg), that means, for example: My Canon 70D with battery is 1.7lbs + my Rokinon 14mm is 1.2lbs, my total would be 2.9lbs, or the Panasonic GH4 + 12-35mm lens for a total about 2.6lbs.
Now, mount the camera/lens to your gimbal, make sure anything else you want on the camera is there and anything else should set the lens to IS ON if it has one. Take out the lens covers, since you need to balance the camera on the gimbal system, anything extra will throw it off. I used these videos from Youtube user TonyTypes.
They are really good to understand how to balance a Gimbal. it’s in three parts, see below
You basically need to adjust the camera bracket (top and bottom part) and then the horizontal bar behind the camera (where ROLL is attached to), be VERY careful because you have the camera mounted, it can ‘slide’ and throw you off balance. Here’s a video how the camera should stay when it is balanced:
It took me about 45 minutes to get it balanced. When you got it all balanced out, tightens the screws! I kept forgetting to do so and every time I store it away on a Pelican 0340 cube case (btw, fits 100% snugged but since then I’ve moved to a Pelican 1600 with the original packing foam that came with my gimbal), it gets unbalanced and I have to ‘turn the screws again’… Learned! The 32bit version of Came-7000 comes with a joystick and the you MUST install the joystick with the controller.
For the 32bit Alexmos Controller, it comes with 2 IMU sensors, Came-TV has offered these pictures where they should be placed, click on the pictures to enlarge them:
For 32bit Came-7000 gimbal build and setup:
CheesyCam’s Emm just released this good tip video for those who has a Came-7000/Came-7500 (8bit or 32bit) that make it much more stable. Also, he has a PID Profile settings available for anyone with the 32bit version), Click here to download CheesyCam’s 32bit Came-7000 PID Profile Settings. He also created an entire page with several how-to videos, click here for more.
OK! You are ½ way there! The next step is software tuning. Before you do that, you need to make sure your computer (PC preferred but the new 32bit version can also work on Mac system.) can communicate with the Alexmos controller board, so you first need to download the driver for your computer, then the Alexmos controller board’s firmware and the GUI software to run it. (Make sure to turn the power on as well on the gimbal when doing tuning)
NOTE: MicroCenter.com sells a Winbook TW100 10.1″ Windows 8.1 tablet (full 32bit version of the OS) for $199, and it comes with a USB3 port, I’ve tested with my gimbal (after installing the driver and the GUI software for tuning), it works!
You can find all the download at Alexmos website or the quick glace part of this page. I am using GUI and firmware version 2.42b6. If you hear a high pitch sound when first plug in the battery to the gimbal, that’s normal, you just have to go to the advance tab and under PWM frequency changed it to (HIGH (silent)). If you plug the battery to the gimbal and it shakes uncontrollable, do not panic, that is normal, it is because the controller board on the gimbal do not know what to do yet, so you need to follow the tuning instruction below.
ALSO, please KEEP the camera without the lens cap on the gimbal while doing software tuning, without the camera it will move/jerk like crazy. A few users had expressed problem installing the driver and such, here’s a good video that would help:
You will also need the Java run time installed, as the SimpleBGC GUI is Java application. It can be downloaded here here’s a video about GUI and a quick tuning explained (this is old but good reference point):
Here’s a good PID explanation to get you started, thank Timo:
I watched this video to give myself an idea:
Once connected, first thing I did was to update the firmware, the new GUI has an option to upgrade the firmware, and if it doesn’t work at your satisfactory, you can always use it to downgrade.
Remember to make sure to use the latest GUI software so you can upgrade or downgrade firmware.
Your next step is to do a detailed IMU Calibration (ACC Calibration), which is called a six-point calibration (you do NOT have to do this now, as I didn’t with the Came-7500 and the current GUI is very intuitive to make sure it works well).
WHEN YOU HAVE THE GIMBAL PLUGGED TO THE COMPUTER and after ACC Calibration, your gimbal/motors will start vibrating or moving all other the places, DO NOT PANIC, this is because the gimbal is yet to be tuned and so the motors do not know what to do, you can do this: use my profiles (and other users’ profiles available for download below) load the profile and then WRITE. that will help ‘stop’ the vibrations or erradict behavior a bit. AND you can start FINE TUNE IT since the weight may not be the same for your camera than theirs or you can do AUTO-TUNE option (a cool feature now included on the 2.42 GUI) Here’s another good tuning tutorial
Tony Vo, a talented gimbal builder has graciously offered his PID settings below, he is using a 32bit controller card. Here’s what he has to say: PID settings for the Came-7000 gimbal sing a 3s lipo battery. This setting is for a 5Dmk3 16-35mm lens and will also work with lighter cams like a Canon T3i. This is my sweet spot and you guys may need to slightly change the values as not all gimbals are the same. Please click on each image to view larger size.
Second sensor is mounted below the yaw motor just like how Came has it mounted. (See pictures above) Tip: Make sure you properly set your sensor orientation or his settings will not work for you. Here are some pictures (you can click each picture to enlarge it)
Here’s a short video of me changing the controller board from 8bit to 32bit. Use this a reference, I may have to adjust a few things later:
And here’s how I balanced the Gh4 with 12-35mm lens on the gimbal:
And finally, you need to balance the YAW which I didn’t realized until just now. lol So, check out this video by Tony Vo!
I still need to adjust my settings but after adjusting the YAW, I can now almost go extreme with mine. (my final profiles for Came-7000 and Came-7500 is available below)
Some of my observations when changing the 8bit controller to the 32bit:
- Carbon fiber conduce electricity so put an electric black tape between with the imu sensors
- If you base your setup with came-tv videos, make sure you re-adjust the joystick, have the connectors to the joystick points upward or you will have to reconfigure the settings in GUI under RC.
- Emm’s profile works the best compared to what Came-TV provided, I’ve modified it to make it works better with the Gh4. (coming soon)
- before starting, only plug the usb to gimbal first then to PC (doesn’t work well with mac) and then turn the gimbal on.
- run the program and do an erase eprom to have a clean start
- go to upgrade tab and upgrade to the latest firmware
- Do the calibration:
- keep the gimbal on the perfect position you want first
- once it is steady and the way you want it
- select camera imu and click CALIB Acc (you do not need to do the 6-point IMU ACC Calibration)
- then select Frame IMU then click calib acc
- now WRITE
- make sure camera is positioned the way you wanted it then press Calib Gyro
- load a profile (use Emm’s for example) and then write to gimbal
- if you plan to use multiple profiles, you can have different cameras set for each profiles and so you will have to do calibration per profile.
- Gyro calibration helps stabilize the gimbal
AUTO-TUNING: Here’s a good starting video about auto tuning:
Here’s Emm from CheesyCam made this video that would explain how to do it:
Cinematographer Tom Antos uses a 7D with 24mm lens that is about 3.233lbs or 1466.46g (Click here for direct download link)
Came-TV also provided me a rar file with 3 PID profiles for the 32bit controller board, once the joystick is installed, you just need to load these profiles and you should be able to easily run with any cameras (according to them from GH2, GH3, Gh4, 5D2 or 5D3) 500g – 2000g , click here for the rar file.Update: July 1, 2014: Came-TV just sent me another set of profiles in English, Came-7000 and Came-7500 profiles English.
My observations and my GH4 profiles (9/14/2014):
I’ve learned a bit more recently, thanks to Tony Vo’s suggestions via chat, this is what I learned:
- make sure you have full power on the battery
- turn the gimbal on and then plug it to GUI
- use the latest version of software and firmware if you can
- go to Service tab and on Calibrate for voltage, put in the right info, for 3s 11.1v use 12.6 (make sure the battery is fully charge) so it can provide accurate battery info
- Double check your motors power and poles info, you can do auto, but most of time use what is already there. For Came-7000 the poles are 22, 22, 14, for came-7500 I have 22, 22, 22.
- uncheck gyro calibration on startup, this would help stabilize the gimbal when you turn it on.
- You do not need to do 6point calibration if your IMU is already enclosed and boxed up, all you do is make sure it is level/balanced and acc calibrate both the Sensor IMU and Fame IMU.
- Autotune works if you have patient and let it does the job, ONE by ONE, and when that is done, you may see something that said “motor is missing steps” don’t panic.
- Once it is tuned, unplug and test it around, if you hear motor making noises, find out which axis and lower the pid info.
- make sure the joystick work, you may need to play with it a bit, for came-7000 and came-7500, it is an analog joystick.
- if one axis is drifting slightly, check under RC tab, scroll all the way to the bottom and do an AUTO (this was something I didn’t realize it exist until today)
- once the first profile is done without follow mode, then create one with it. Here are two of my profiles I’m using now, pending testing
A little break: Came-TV will be releasing the Came-8000 shortly. The Came-8000 is made for BMCC or the RED Epic, here’s a video demonstration:
That’s it! I hope these are helpful, and if you need other supports, here are some recommended links:
For anyone need help, check out this great Facebook Group.
http://www.foxtechfpv.com/product/falcongimbal/FOXTECH%20FALCON%20BRUSHLESS%20GIMBAL%20OPERATION%20MANUAL.pdf http://jodagimbal.com/?paged=3 http://www.dronetrest.com/t/balancing-your-brushless-gimbal/55/2
ADD additional accessories for your gimbal, here are a few links where I buy stuff at :) If you live in the USA, you can buy parts for your gimbal here (I got a stand with them, a joystick with button to control profiles, a monitor tray): http://www.aerialpixels.com
NOTE: Came-TV.com also now have Gimbal stand available for sale, you can probably find cheaper ones via aliexpress.com as well (many RC hobbyist buys from this site from all the forums I’ve read)
For other accessories, I shop via Amazon (as I have Prime) – I use http://smile.amazon.com as it will allow you to give some $ back to charity of your choice.
For a basic controller enclosure, I’ve gotten this (if you use the basic shipping it will get to you in 20 days or so, also I didn’t use the swith, I was lazy): http://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/6031343305.html to avoid shorting out the controller board with the box (it seems to pass through electricities), I used a 3M double sided tape. I’ve seen pictures of people using plastic screws
Emm of Cheesycam.com also did a video on using a project box to cover up the controller, check it out!
You may add this to the support system so you can easily attach/detaache from the gimbal. A cube Pelican 0340 or 0350 (2″ wider all around) case that can fit the gimbal straight down: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B004AICE5C/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (Note: I’ve now using the Pelican 1600 with original packing foam – see at top)
Want to do wireless hdmi out monitoring? Try this: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B009E6R89C/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and you will need a battery backpack for the wireless transmitter: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B009USAJCC/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1
NOTE: with the Panasonic GH4, you just need a quad core android tablet or an Ipad Air and you are set to go, since the camera can connect via wifi and with the Panasonic Image App, you can actually control everything via the tablet. Great and easy way to do remote control
Need a 5” monitor with video out loop? Either SmallHD DP4 (about $500), or MustHD (about $205) http://www.musthd.com/products/5-inch-musthd-lcd-hdmi-field-monitor-with-focus-assist-marker-false-color-41.html
To connect the monitor to the DSLR, you may need a cable that is about 3ft long, after a while of searching, I finally found one that has the 90degrees angle turn the right way (upside for Canon DSLRs at least), http://www.ebay.com/itm/260984380154?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649 or you can use the ribbon one I have posted above for the Gh4 to the Monitor. I didn’t go with curly cables because they usually may restrict the gimbal to move. Wanna have wireless control to an Android phone or tablet? http://www.dslrfilmnoob.com/2013/12/11/tp-link-tl-mr3040-wireless-field-monitor-dslr-controller/ Another monitor or mic holder: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00585CLVS/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (this is what I am using right now, it’s ok, I am looking for something that I can move around a bit more to adjust monitor view.
Need another 3s 11v battery? Consider this: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FMYY2OE/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1
NEED MORE HELP OR RESOURCES? USE GOOGLE SEARCH or FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME via EMAIL (It’s much easier) Also, some issues may need you to videotape the problem so it can be easier to explain.
For more pictures of my Came-7000, click here. I wanted to give a shout out thanks to the following: Frank from Came-TV, Emm from Cheesycam.com, Tom Antos from TOmAntosFilms.com, Deejay from DSLRFilmnoob.com, Caleb from DSLRvideoshooter.com, Mike Bacanu, Jason Wang, Joe Insana, Michael from Atlas Camera Support System, and the Dragon Dance costume.