Cablecam and Ronin gimbal with one Futaba14SG

Recently A friend of mine bought a cablecam in order to use it with Ronin MX and he called me to complain about a problem that as I have learned most of the people using cablecams and Ronin gimbals have, they have to use two remotes, one for the cablecam and another one for the Ronin gimbal and they have to either use the cablecam with two operators or they need a table to lay down the remotes and work simultaneously on both of them like some sort of DJ 🙂

I have tried searching on google for solution but only found forum posts of users complaining that it is impossible task.

He bought the cable cam from ROTTOR TEAM website and received a FlySky FS-I6S transmitter with it, he had the RoninMX and a Connex full HD video downlink. Also, he owns a Futaba 14SG that he uses on a big X8 heavy lifter quadcopter. So I had three different remotes to work with and find a way to use only one transmitter.

Futaba 14sg transmitter with R7008SB receiver

I have started with the one that comes with the Ronin MX gimbal, I thought that it will be easier to add the two channels from the cablecam to the remote since there were plenty of spare channels. I was hoping that DJI may have done something similar to the  feature on the A2 flight controller where you can have multifunction PWM output channels F1-F4. Unfortunately, there are none (DJI please) and there is no way to map the spare channels on the remote to something useful.

I have continued reading the Ronin manual and there was part explaining that you may use custom remote that supports SBUS, so I said to myself, OK, fine I can try with the Futaba and R70008SB and maybe pair 2 similar receivers with the remote, one for the Ronin and another one for the cablecam, but I had only one receiver and there was no time to order and wait for the other one.
I have managed to connect the R70008SB on the D Bus port on the gimbal and control the gimbal with the Futaba on 12CH Mode but I had to find another solution.

Connex HD video linkThen I have remembered reading that you may use the Connex along with the Futaba to control the gimbal, without the need of an additional receiver. Here is a tutorial that explains how to connect and use the Futaba to control the Ronin gimbal.

I have gone trough the steps on the video and I had the Futaba control the Ronin in no time by using the training port, so one part of the problem was solved. Now I have had one R70008SB that was bound to the Futaba in 14CH Mode and I have plugged in the two channels from the cablecam into it taking care that I use the throttle channel 3 for cablecam movement and channel 5 for the cablecam limits since the only the throttle channel wasn’t used for gimbal control. After that I have powered the cablecam and voila, everything was working.

As I’m writing this article the cablecam is used on a local pop star concert, I have been there for a while in order to make sure that everything is working as it should.

Let me know if this article had helped you in any way and if you have any additional questions.

 

Revo F4 from BangGood.com – firmware update, wiring and configuration

Yesterday I have received the long awaited Revo F4 flight controller board from BangGood, also known as Flip32 F4 and Flip F4. I have ordered it to replace the old Naze32 board that I was using for the past 2 years.

Bang Good revo f4 review ratingIt is the cheapest board on the market and judging by the reviews on Bang Good it seems that there are no complaints about the quality, so I have decided to order it and give it a try.

There is no wiring diagram or manual, only small relatively understandable lettering on the back side and it, so I have done some searching and found that Ready to Fly Quads offers the same board for the same price, the only difference is that they have better description and more pictures of the board and also a detailed wiring description.

My board came with Betaflight 3.0.0 so before starting to configure it I have updated it to 3.0.1
The firmware flashing procedure is relatively simple, hold boot button, connect the board to usb and it should display DFU instead of COM port on the right corner of the Betaflight configurator, if not you should use Zadig in order to update the STM32 drivers. Please refer to this youtube video for the whole process of updating the firmware.

revo f4 wiringI have created the layout diagram on the right for anyone having problems understanding the existing diagrams that could be found on other websites. This is a bare minimum for my setup, no led control or current sensing only SBUS, motor connections, buzzer, VBAT, telemetry and powering the board from the motors rail (PWR).
I’m using X4R SB receiver that is soldered directly to the SBUS, no need for hacking into the receiver in order to get an uninverted signal. The board is powered with 5v from my PDB. VBAT gets the voltage directly from the main battery connector cables.
And I’m using UART3 TX port to send telemetry data to my X4R SB receiver, one important thing to note is that you cannot just plug the telemetry wire from X4R on to the UART3 TX port since it will not work. You should follow the instructions found here (X4R-SB solution is at the bottom of the page) and solder the wire on the SOT23 transistor leg. If you need the technical aspects there is a really good explanation on the link above or you can just find the transistor and solder the wire on the specified leg.

My board came with MSP enabled on UART1, you should disable that and enable Serial RX in order to enable SBUS working  with X4R.
And if you feel lazy and if you aren’t sure if you are setting the board right, here is a dump of all settings that should work with the wiring diagram that I have provided. Stock pids, stock filtering, nothing changed except the rates but you can reset them to defaults.

Let me know if you need any further help or if this blog post had helped you.

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The lucky owner of the Revo F4 flight controller is my modified QAV-R that had the top and bottom plates broken in a crash so I have had to convert it to nearly true X. Hardly waiting to have some more time to take it out on a test flight.