We have just completed a quick guide on how to setup and configure your 3 axis brushless gimbal controller, including connection, and also basic software configuration.
Its important to not connect the motors without battery power, as the USB port does not provide enough power and this could damage your board!
During the first setup and configuration please only connect the IMU and USB, not the motors! Once you have done the initial setup, then you should connect the motors and battery before connecting the USB cable.
Connecting the IMU and extension board
Our current version of the brushless gimbal board that we sell now allows you to mount the Yaw axis board directly ontop of the main board as shown below
If you are using one of the older yaw extension boards, the connection diagram is below
If you are not using the official kit sold by us (or another version of the board) the diagram will show you how to connect everything together.
Solder the battery connector
its not included in the kit, but you can buy one here. You dont need to use the JST type connector, choose whatever type of connector is best for you.
Download the configuration software
You will first need to download the latest SimpleBGC software from here - http://www.basecamelectronics.com/downloads/
- You will need to download the SimpleBGC_GUI zip file which contains the software to configure and update the firmware on the board
- You will posibly also need to download the SimpleBGC.hex file which is the firmware that runs on the board if you need to update the firmware to the latest version.
- You can also find a PDF file for each version which has some useful information.
Download the Drivers
If using Windows you might find that it will automatically install the drivers for you, but if not, you can always download the USB driver here - http://www.silabs.com/products/mcu/Pages/USBtoUARTBridgeVCPDrivers.aspx
If you connect to your board via the GUI and get a board mismatch error, then you will need to either download the correct version of your GUI. Dont try to use one of the other firmware update tools like Xloader/AVRdude unless you know what you are doing, as it could corrupt the firmware/bootloader. Please make sure to disconnect the motors/battery before trying to update the firmware.
Or the best option is to download the latest version of the GUI and firmware and update your boards firmware via the GUI. To do this download the latest firmware.hex file and the latest GUI tool. Open the latest SimpleBGC GUI tool and go to the firmware upgrade tab as shown below. Browse for the latest firmware.hex file and click on the FLASH button.
Once complete you will get the message below and you can now connect and configure your board.
Enable Yaw axis extension board
Change other settings
- If you motors are noisy, then you should change the PWM frequency to
High (advanced tab)
- You will need to complete the motor configuration page (best to start by trying the auto config (click auto button), also set the number of poles according to the motors you are using.
If you are getting lots of I2C errors please ensure your board has enough power connected to it (dont only power it via USB)
Adjust PID values, this is abit tricky and I will probably release a separate guide on this later.
I am gettings lots of I2C errors
If you are gettings lots of I2C errors with your brushless gimbal controller here are some tips
- Sensor cable cannot be longer than 40 cm
- Motor interference cause i2c error. More power, more error. Make sure your sensor cable is not close to the motors too
- Ferrite rings can help reduce I2C errors
- For best performance make sure the voltage is between 10.8v~11.3v (3 cell Lipo battery) Many users have reported an increase in I2C errors when powering the board via USB only, and also with a 4 cell lipo battery.
Yaw Extension board is not working, (lots of i2c errors)
If the 2 axis alexmos board works fine, but as soon as you connect the Yaw axis extension board, nothing seems to work (you get lots of i2c errors, or a message saying that the sensor is not connected) then this is most likely due the the fact that the board does not have enough power. Most users find this error when they are testing the board under USB power only.
To resolve this error simply make sure that you connect up the battery while setting up the Yaw extension board and once you enable the YAW extension board it should all work fine. This is mainly to to the shared i2c bus between the Yaw Extension board and the IMU not having enough power under USB only.
Balance your gimbal
Its also very important to properly balance your gimbal, you can find otu some more information in the topic below.
Connecting the motors
As for the motor connections, it does not matter which order you connect the 3 wires in, just make everything consistent. (and make the middle wire from motor go to the middle pin on the board).
Will add some more information here with photos at some point
Found this great video showing you how to setup everything on your Alexmos brushless gimbal controller
Here are some PID settings to get you started with our 3 axis handheld gimbal.
- Motors - GBM5208-150T
- Camera - Canon 5D
- Battery - 3S Lipo