I was inspired by recent articles in Make magazine about FPV racing and the local Minnesota Autonomous Vehicle meetup to do some more quadcopter flying and building. My main quadcopter is a Hobbyking Q450- which I originally bolted together a year or two ago with a crude FPV camera mount made from a Home Depot low voltage electrical box bandsawed and bent into something usable. These days there are many, many better options for mounting FPV cameras- ranging from simple servo stabilized mounts through very sophisticated 3-axis brushless gimbals that yield professional video smoothness.
I was looking for a cheap and simple solution, and I ended up buying the "ActionCam Inline Gimbal GOPRO and FPV" kit from Hobbyking. I'm planning on using it to mount and stabilize both a GoPro and my small FPV camera. It uses two standard servos, and the Hobbyking KK2.0 flight controller I have will be able to control the servos without any software updates or hardware.
The kit comes with decent hardware, although it doesn't include the screws that join the upper and lower plates together.
|I used a larger, standard sized analog servo for the roll axis|
|I originally tried a smaller Hextronik HXT500 5g servo for the pitch axis, but it was a little too small.|
|A Turnigy TG9e 9g servo was a good fit for the pitch axis|
|Unpacked hardware kit. The camera mount pivot is pretty nice, it seems to have some rotary damping|
|I originally tried pressing the camera tray on to the servo directly. It wasn't quite the correct width- a tad too narrow.|
|Servo mounted to the camera tray using 2x 2-56 SHCS + 4x washers. I used washers under both the nut and the screw head to allow for maximum clamping of components.|
|Second view of mounted pitch servo|
|Mounting the roll servo. My first try placed the servo horn on the "inside" of the frame, but there wasn't enough clearance for the mounting screws- they hit the servo. So I moved the servo horn on the "outside" of the frame.|
|Roll servo showing 2x 2-56 SHCS, washers and nuts|
|Roll servo attached to the upper plate- first try with the kit hardware. The threaded ends of the screws extended too far past the upper plate and interfered with the lower plate.|
|. Now with the 2-56 screws attaching the servo to the upper plate. Vibration damping balls (blue) installed|
|Note the head of the screws securing the roll servo are under the upper plate, double-nutted on the top.|
|Bolting the lower plate onto the Q450 quadcopter frame|
|I had to dremmel the slots on the Q450 quad copter frame slightly wider to allow the lower mounting plate to fit.|
|Ready for plugging in the servos and setting up the KK2.1 flight controller.|
The setup that worked for me for plugging in the camera gimbal servos was the Roll servo in the KK2.1 output #7, and the Pitch servo in KK2.1 output #8.
|KK2.1 Setup- first go to "Camera Stab Settings"|
- Adjust servo arm position on both servos to try and get the offset to zero. This will get a larger range of motion in one direction in both axis.
- run servo cables
- attach both gopro and FPV camera to gimbal