01/07/2017

MechaBits GimBal - Sony a6300


Time to rework & upgrade one of the gimbal designs from a few years back,


While everyone else was making carbon fiber gimbals which seemed to have far too many parts and looked a little cumbersome, great for drones but not so good for single handed op.
I Decided I needed something more compact, handheld, mostly metal & modular if possible

 At the time I tried out a number of gimbal configurations, and slowly reduced the part count, a simple idea using cheap Metal L-brackets, even though they are a little springy they can be doubled up(though a new design option to replace with more Arca's has more advantages), dovetails for adjustments, the new round arca clamps are ideal to fix to motor, Arca's are stronger & look much better, the nodal arca's a bit pricey but better than getting a part machined.

Soon after designing this, other similarly arranged handheld gimbals started appearing, now all have motors with encoders, some have a better load capability with relatively small motors compared to the 8017, some even now come with an iso arm or 2 like my other early design, the things you can do when you have the machines to cut metal :(

I was never sure the printed parts would be up to the job, as the camera load is at the limits of some other gimbals, the first part for this gimbal I had printed by Shapeways, I was quite happy with it, strong and still in use, it's on the back of the 8017 motor, but the latest part I printed in PLA to attach the L-Brackets to the motor seems strong enough for the job. I was hoping the part would need no further mods but soon after printing I found an article on modding the 8017, so if I want to mod the 8017 to take magnet & encoder, or the wider arca plate instead of the L-Brackets I will have to design another part, though I havent loaded the camera & roll cage on there yet. Mulling over a few options of motors with encoders, and mounting options, probably round arca clamps but there 2 sizes & other variations, though the one with slots is almost twice the price of another with 2 holes.I might just be able to finish this gimbal without printing anymore parts.



one of those projects that had to wait while the printer was built, , remove the old Plastic 3D Printed Cage for the smaller, lighter Eos-M and replace it with a Metal Cage & Sony a6300, I needed to shift the COG so added a couple of other parts, with ability to support camera in either in under or overslung, Now need another motor or 2, perhaps with encoders though not sure if I can use two with encoders and the ipower / iflight 8017 without the new ipower motors look like the only contender for the job, maybe upgrade the 8017 with the encoder http://www.iflight-rc.com/as5048a-magnetic-encoder-for-gbm5208-gbm6208-gbm8017-gbm8108-gbm110-gmotor.html, which may act like a custom machined motor mount, but from the examble of it fitted to the motor, I think I would need a major rethink in the design to enable encoder to be in correct position, more research needed. Ideally I'd like to have the camera not supported both ends but also want to give the motors a little support, so balancing the rig makes it easier on the motors & power draw,so the option is there to add the bearing & L-\plate on one side.

I need to drill some motor mounting holes on the Arca Clamp or find alternative, as some have holes, but it might be easier to use a back to back arca clamp and another arca plate on the motor, then I could adjust COG in 2 directions at one point. and a 3rd adjustment point under camera as plate can move, so should have enough movement to adjust for other lens & camera configurations. Need to replace motor mounts with custom CNC parts or modded Arca QR Clamps??? hmm. Additional Arca plates can be used where the other motors & handle attach. Setup is quite light ideally the angle brackets would also be custom items but the initial idea was to make a passive gimbal with camera in center more minimal than first steadycams and lighter on the wallet.


Still need to install motor, will flip the arca plate and use a double arca clamp to attach motor, so that I can slide motor for balance, in the same way handle can move, and be upgraded for 3rd axis
Waiting for more parts to arrive, I have a little time to test out a few ideas, different bearing arrangements for axis if I decided to support axis alternate ways, and playing with the idea of belt driven arrangements, I doubt any will make it to final design, maybe one will, but they might be useful for other things in the future.

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