[Silk Gimbal User Manual]

[Silk Gimbal User Manual]
TheAppTimes
User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
[Silk Gimbal User Manual]
This user manual provides information on the specifications, installation and functions of
the XProHeli Silk Gimbal system.
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
Page i
User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Revision History
Version
1.0
Silk Gimbal
Date
7/21/2014
Revision Description
Manual Creation
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
Page ii
User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Table of Contents
Revision History ....................................................................................................................................... ii
1.
Welcome.............................................................................................................................. 1
Warning & Disclaimer! ............................................................................................................ 2
2.
Overview .............................................................................................................................. 4
3.
Silk Setup ............................................................................................................................ 11
FPV Video ............................................................................................................................................... 5
Opertating Modes ................................................................................................................................ 5
Remote Operation................................................................................................................................ 6
Supported Cameras ............................................................................................................................. 7
Silk Specifications .................................................................................................................................. 8
Silk Setup Videos:................................................................................................................................... 9
Unpacking your SILK ........................................................................................................................... 10
Overview ................................................................................................................................ 11
Landing Gear / Stand ........................................................................................................... 12
Assembly............................................................................................................................................... 13
Mount Silk to Landing Gear/Stand ................................................................................................... 15
Mounting and Balancing Your Camera ............................................................................. 17
Overview .............................................................................................................................................. 17
Mounting Camera .............................................................................................................................. 17
Adjusting Balance ............................................................................................................................... 19
Mounting Battery ................................................................................................................................ 23
Powering On Silk .................................................................................................................................. 25
4.
XPX/XP2 Installation.......................................................................................................... 26
Overview ................................................................................................................................ 26
Mounting to your XPX: .......................................................................................................... 26
Single Operator: .................................................................................................................................. 27
Dual Operator: .................................................................................................................................... 29
Mounting XPX Flight Pack: ................................................................................................... 31
5.
SILK SOFTWARE................................................................................................................... 32
Overview ................................................................................................................................ 32
Connecting Silk to Your Computer .................................................................................................. 32
Silk Gimbal
©2013 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
Page 0
User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
1.
Welcome
Message from CEO:
On behalf of XProHeli I would like to thank you for your support
and purchase of the new Silk 3 Axis gimbal system. Countless
hours of in shop R&D and flight testing have gone into the Silk.
With over 8 prototypes and countless iterations tested and
reviewed we finally feel we have created a light weight reliable
gimbal system that will give the end user the ability to capture
amazing, awesome footage that has never been seen before.
Our team at XProHeli respectfully requests that you take the time
to read this manual to the fullest extent before using your new
Silk for the first time.
We look forward to taking handheld and aerial video to the next
level in the future and hope that you will continue the journey with
us.
If you have any questions, concerns or need help please do not
hesitate to email or call us:
[email protected]
Phone: 541-639-8828
Mailing Address:
XProHeli
20810 Sockeye Place
Suite #110
Bend, OR 97701
Thanks,
Hans Skjersaa
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
Page 1
User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Warning & Disclaimer!
The SILK gimbal is capable of capturing incredible footage, and as
exciting as it is we at XProHeli want to remind customers that
operating RC aircraft (multirotors, drones, quadcopters etc…) with
the SILK should be done with great care and precaution.
There have been several incidences of people throughout the
world seriously injured by RC Helicopters (even some deaths!)
Multi-rotors are not a toy. People under the age of 18 years old
should not operate any multi-rotor unless supervised by an
experienced adult. The props on the XP2 like other multi-rotors are
sharp and can cause serious damage to people and property.
Never fly around people who are unaware of the damage these
devices can cause. It is your responsibility to know the laws and
regulations in your area that you are flying and it is your
responsibility as a pilot to make sure you are not trespassing on
other people’s property. You as the owner/operator are responsibly
for all liability of your setup. Never fly around crowds and never fly
around livestock/animals. Use common sense.
Liability Disclaimer
XProHeli shall not be responsible for any special, incidental, or
consequential damages, including but not limited to personal
injuries, damage to property, injury to others, including that to life
and health, resulting from any application and use of any XProHeli
products, including but not limited to camera stabilization systems,
multi-rotors, quadcopters, hexcopers or octocopters. The Purchaser
and any Pilot in Command (PIC) assumes full and unlimited
responsibility for all applications and uses of any products sold by
XProHeli.
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
Page 2
User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
INDEMNITY
XPROHELI AGENTS, REPRESENTATIVES AND EMPLOYEES ARE TO BE
HELD HARMLESS FROM ANY AND ALL CLAIMS, LIABILITIES, DAMAGES,
AND EXPENSES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES ACTUALLY INCURRED)
ON ACCOUNT OF DEATH OR INJURY TO ANY PERSON OR DAMAGE
TO ANY PROPERTY ARISING FROM OR IN CONNECTION WITH ANY
PRODUCTS SOLD OR SUPPLIED BY XPROHELI.
THIS INDEMNITY SHALL APPLY WITHOUT REGARD TO WHETHER THE
CLAIM, DAMAGE, LIABILITY OR EXPENSE IS BASED ON BREACH OF
CONTRACT, BREACH OF WARRANTY, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY,
OR OTHER TORT.
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
Page 3
User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
2.
IMPORTANT!
Be sure to take the time to
read this manual and watch
the setup videos! There is lots
of great information in this
manual and in our videos
that will help make you
successful in capturing
amazingly smooth footage.
Overview
The SILK 3 axis camera stabilization system is designed specifically
for lightweight - mirrorless DSLR cameras such as the Sony NEX,
Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera and the Panasonic Lumix
GH4. The SILK frame is built from light yet strong-vibration resistant
CNC aluminum. The Silk’s lightweight design allows for relatively
comfortable handheld use and is less load demanding on multirotor platforms resulting in longer flight times and extremely
smooth/stable video performance.
The SILK is a handheld or aerial ‘plug and play’ gimbal requiring
very little setup to operate. For almost all mirrorless DSLR cameras in
the 350g-850g weight range the Silk requires no changes to the
settings to operate incredibly well.
The SILK’s controller utilizes the latest stabilization algorithms from
Basecam Electronics (Alexmos) in conjunction with the latest 32 bit
ARM processor. Each Silk includes a licensed bootloader which will
allow you to upgrade the controller’s firmware at a later date
when any software improvements are made. The Silk’s electronics
are mounted to the back of the frame allowing users to detach the
SILK from their multi-rotor for handheld use.
The SILK typically comes in two primary configurations:
Silk Basic Pack
Silk Pro Pack
Powering the Silk is a 3S Lipo 4200mAh battery pack – providing
enough power for 2-2.5 hours of continuous run time. The Silk is
powered on by a LED rocker switch mounted on the top rear frame
tube:
POWER
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
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User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
FPV Video
The Silk’s control box has a built in HDMI to AV composite converter
for down converting the video signal of the camera to be
transmitted over a standard 5.8ghz (or lower) FPV transmission
system. The AV output wire of the converter located on the back of
the box comes through a standard 3 pin Molex connector
compatible with almost all FPV transmitters.
FPV
OUTPUT
HDMI
INPUT
Opertating Modes
The Silk has a mode function button on the bottom of the controller
that allows you to access multiple handheld operating features on
the fly. Each Silk is setup by us with the following functions:





Mode 1 - Follow Pan only
Mode 2 - Follow Pan + Pitch
Mode 3 - Set Camera angles by hand (motors turn OFF for 2
seconds, hold camera at desired angle - gimbal now holds
this angle)
Mode 4 - Lock Mode (camera remains pointed forward at
all times - does not follow hands)
Mode 5 - Customized by user in Software package
RC Control
Inputs
(Sig, +5v, Gnd)
Operation
Modes
Mode Button
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
Page 5
User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Remote Operation
When filming aerials on a multirotor it is recommended to operate
the Silk in Mode 1 for single operator use. For dual operator use (2nd
radio) Mode 1 or Mode 4 is recommended.
To set the Silk up for a 2nd operator an additional radio is required. It
is typical to mount the radio receiver to the back of the control
box. The Silk’s RC control input pins (picture above) have the
center +5v rail activated, which provides power to your receiver of
choice.
Separate
Reciever
For Dual operator
use or remote
operation of Silk
Multirotor Requirements for Silk:


XPX Heavy Lift Quadcopter (Reccomended), or
Any multirotor with a suitable payload capacity:
o Gross Multirotor Payload = Silk (967g) + Camera/Lens
weight (< 900g) + Landing Gear Weight (Silk Stand
330g)
If you are flying a custom multirotor system or other non-XProHeli
platform, make sure that your multirotor is cable of lifting the
payload of the Silk. The Silk is not compatible with DJI Phantoms!
Be confident in the capabilities of your machine and understand
the expected draw and current of your electrical system given the
estimated payload before flying the Silk. While the Silk is one of the
lightest 3 Axis gimbals available, failure to understand your
equipments capabilities can result in a crashed multirotor, a
damaged gimbal, damaged camera and a not so happy pilot. Be
a happy pilot and do your research 
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
Page 6
User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Supported Cameras
The Silk gimbal is capable of supporting any small DSLR camera in
the 300g to 850g weight range with a wide variety of lens
combinations.
When making a choice in lens size XProHeli recommends a wider
size lens to use with the Silk. Lens sizes from 12-14mm (pancake
style) up to a 20mm work very good with the Silk.
If you plan on running a camera with an adjustable zoom lens
make sure that you keep the zoom settings static while you
balance the camera and while you operate it on the Silk. The
movement of an auto zoom lens will alter the center of gravity of
the camera – so make sure you have it locked in place or set to
where you want it before setup. Making the proper adjustments to
the Silk to balance the camera is vital to good video capture
performance.
The preset power settings for the Silk work extremely well out of the
box for cameras in the 450-750 gram range. The software settings
for the Silk can be fine-tuned later, increasing the performance
even further. It is recommended to start with the provided settings
and work from there. The most common settings that people tend
to adjust is the follow mode speed values to either speed up or slow
down the reaction of the operating mode.
If desired, the Silk can even be setup to run lighter cameras such as
the GoPro Hero3 or Garmin Virb Elite. Note that these sub 100g
cameras require some counter weights (we typically use peel &
stick rim weights) to balance the roll and pitch axis.
Popular cameras compatible with Silk:




Silk Gimbal
Sony NEX 5/7
Panasonic/Lumix GH4
Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera
Sony A7
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
Page 7
User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Silk Specifications
Supported Cameras:
300-850g (with lens)
Max Camera Body Dim:
5.5” x 4” x 3.5” (WxHxD)
Silk Weight:
967g (gimbal only, landing gear + 330g)
Working Rotation Range:
Yaw Axis: +- 360 o
Tilt Axis: +-90o
Roll Axis: +- 45o
Input Power:
3 S (11.1V)*
System Requirements:
GUI (Mac OS, Windows, Linux)
Motors:
Brushless, rewound 14/22 poles
Battery:
4200mAh Li-Po 11.1V (used handheld)
Battery Weight:
333g
Run-Time:
2-2.5hrs (4200mAh)
Materials:
Aluminum & 3K Carbon Fiber
100% Designed and Assembled in Bend, OR USA
*compatible up to 5S input power, not recommended
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
Page 8
User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Silk Setup Videos:
In addition to this manual several SILK setup videos are available
(below). The videos include information on installation, setup,
balancing and how to program the remote control functions of
your radio or 2nd operator radio with the SILK.
Intro to Silk:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5aqBqFnDB4
Silk Care:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_dfyVp0p3M
Battery Charging:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10sI2esiEjk
In the Box:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S048rT5TTrg
Balancing your Silk:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSfPxMQeWxA
Mounting Handles & Rods:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxPSZ31L_hI
Mounting to Multirotor:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS71Bh3DtIA
Software Configuration:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjdlhiBAxFc
6-Point IMU Calibration:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xb64-QisyvE&feature=youtu.be
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
Page 9
User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Unpacking your SILK
Silk Base Package (no case):








Silk – Assembled Ready to Film
(1) Set Multi-Function Landing Gear Stand
(2) Basic Handles 15mm
(2) 10" Rods 15mm w/coupler
(2) Adapter Clamps 15mm w/ Mount Screws
(1) D-Ring Screw for Camera Mount
(2) 4200mah 3S LiPo Batteries
(1) Basic E4 LiPo Charger
Silk Pro-Pack (with Case):









Silk Gimbal
Silk – Assembled Ready to Film
Custom water jet foam transport case
(1) Set Multi-Function Landing Gear Stand
(2) Basic Handles 15mm
(2) 10" Rods 15mm w/coupler
(2) Adapter Clamps 15mm w/ Mount Screws
(1) D-Ring Screw for Camera Mount
(2) 4200mah 3S LiPo Batteries
(1) Basic E4 LiPo Charger
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
Page 10
User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
3.
Quick Tip!
For best
performance always
make sure your
gimbal is properly
balanced for your
camera setup!
Important!
Never power up
your SILK gimbal
without your
camera mounted!
Doing so can
cause damage to
the motors or the
IMU sensor cable!
Overview
This section outlines the setup of the Silk and mounting of your
camera. In general the first time you set up your Silk for your
camera you should anticipate about 15-20 minutes of time to
properly balance and complete the setup. After this is done the first
time any subsequent adjustments needed for alternative camera
setups should be able to be done in a shorter amount of time (5-10
mins max).
If you are planning to run several different camera configurations
we recommend balancing and testing each setup before you film.
Once you find your adjustment points for your each of your setups
you can make index markings on the adjustment points using a fine
tip marker, this will allow for much quicker adjustments later when
you are switching gear.
Setup Steps in order:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Silk Gimbal
Silk Setup
Unboxing
Landing Gear / Stand Setup
Mount gimbal to landing gear stand
Mount Camera
Adjust Pitch Balance
Adjust Roll Balance
Adjust Yaw Balance
Mount Handles
Power up
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
Page 11
User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Landing Gear / Stand
The Silk stand is designed to be used as both a stand and as a
functioning landing gear for your multirotor. The upper stand slot
allows you to park your gimbal and temporarily set it on the stand.
This is really useful for balancing your camera and is also a nice
feature to use when the Silk is in handheld operation as you can
use the stand to set the gimbal on while it is not in use.
Silk set on stand
The two upper plates of the Silk allow two different landing gear
configurations when mounting to a multirotor:
Silk Gimbal
#1 Locked to Airframe
#2 Locked to Stand
Landing gear
fixed to Airframe
Landing gear rotates
With gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
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User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Assembly
The landing gear stand for the Silk ships in 3 main parts:



Upper Silk Stand
Left/Right Legs
Rear cross brace (optional, but recommended)
Upper stand
Left
Leg
Right
Leg
Rear cross brace
On flat surface begin assembling Upper Silk Stand vertical tubes to
left and right leg tube clamps:
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
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User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
With clamps loose, adjust angle of legs so top plate of Silk stand is
level and left and right legs are even distance apart. Line up the
rear of the legs with the cross brace to help align.
Insert ends of cross brace clamps onto left/right legs. Make sure
legs and stand symmetry are even and then tighten end cross
brace clamp in place (2.5mm hex).
You can now tighten the left/right leg tube clamps to the upper silk
stand (7/64” hex). The stand is now assembled and ready to use.
Yours should look like this:
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
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User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Mount Silk to Landing Gear/Stand
Remove the Silk from the case and cut any zip ties holding the
frame in place from shipment.
Rest the top plate of the Silk on top of the stand so the two center
holes align.
Fasten the top plate with (2) ¼-20 x ½” long stainless fasteners
provided (5/32” hex tool) through the top plate of the Silk and
screw into the pressed in pem nuts of the Silk stand.
Built in
¼-20 Pem Nuts
Mount Gimbal
with provided ¼20 5/32” Hex
Note Forward
direction of Plate
Depending on your mounting preference or mode of operation
with the Silk (i.e. 2nd operator) you also have the option of mounting
the gimbal to the stand using the lower plate as shown below. This
plate is also used to ‘rest’ the gimbal on the stand when used for
handheld operation.
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
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User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Use lower plate
for 2nd operator
use or handheld
stand
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
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User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Mounting and Balancing Your Camera
Overview
IMPORTANT TIP!
As a supplement to
this guide it is HIGHLY
recommended to
watch the Silk
balancing setup
video on our XProHeli
youtube channel!
The main goal for properly mounting your camera to the Silk is to
achieve good center of gravity alignment (balance) on the Pitch,
Roll and Yaw axis of the gimbal. This is vital to the Silk’s
performance!
A gimbal that is out of balance on one axis will lean to the heavy
side of the axis putting unnecessary strain on the brushless motors
and cause them to oscillate. The better balanced your setup the
better your video stabilization will be.
Mounting Camera
IMPORTANT TIP!
Before balancing your
camera, make sure you
have the lens cap
removed and all
needed accessories
mounted to your
camera – don’t forget
the batteries!
Silk Gimbal
The SILK comes with (1) wide base CNC D-Ring (standard 1/4-20
thread) to mount your camera. The Camera is mounted through
the camera tray slot. The front to back position of the camera can
be adjusted to help balance the camera’s center of gravity front
to back.
To account for the true center of gravity of the camera, make sure
all the necessary batteries and flash cards are loaded in the
camera. Also make sure that you have the lens cap removed. If
you choose to run a filter/sunshade hood make sure you have that
installed too. Basically you need to make sure your camera is in the
same configuration as it would be when you film.
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
Page 17
User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Camera Tray
Mount Camera
using provided
D-Ring
Camea
Mounted
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
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User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Adjusting Roll & Pitch Balance
The Silk has several adjustments for the Pitch and Roll Axis:
Begin by test fitting your camera to the gimbal:
Adjust your cameras center of gravity on the pitch and roll axis by
loosening the set screws so that you can slide the assembly in the
opposite direction of the weighted side to balance the camera.
Be cautious when adjusting the left and right side pitch height
adjustment plates. The left and right side of the camera tray tube
should remain parallel and square with the back roll frame to
prevent binding of the pitch axis. If either side is uneven to one
another this can cause alignment issues.
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
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XProHeli Silk Gimbal
The height of the camera tray can be adjusted two ways. First the
primary adjustment slots on the left and right pitch arms can raise
and lower the camera tray. Second the camera tray height can
be fine-tuned by slightly loosening the clamps on the camera tray
and rotating the main tray forward or backwards about the tube.
The slot on the camera tray can then be used to fine tune the front
to back camera position helping to balance both Pitch Axis –
depending on your camera you may need to further adjust the
height of the camera to also align the center of gravity with the Roll
axis. The goal is to get both the Roll and Pitch axis in line so both are
evenly balanced.
Hint: The Silk is considered balanced when the camera remains
static in all positions and cannot fall to either side of any axis axis. If
the camera is not perfectly balance the gimbal will still work very
well, but it will cause the motors to work harder. Best stabilization
performance is achieved when you have a perfectly balanced
gimbal.
For wider cameras or cameras that are weighted heavier to one
side you can fine tune the roll adjustment using the 4 set screws at
the back of the roll frame:
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
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XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Adjust Pan Balance
To adjust the pan axis you will need to slightly loosen the 2 clamps
at the bottom of the pan axis motor. The pan axis adjustment is
made by sliding the top carbon fiber tube front/back and by
rotating it to the left or right.
Slightly Loosen upper
clamps to adjust pan
axis
ADJUST PAN BALANCE
Front/Back
Adjust the pan axis similar to the roll and pitch axis by holding up
the top pan axis plate at a 90 degree angle. If the pan axis is
weighted to far to the left or right side or weighted to far forward or
too far back it will fall to the weighted side. Adjust this by sliding the
tube inward or outward for front to back balance and rotating the
tube left to right for side to side balance. A perfectly balance pan
axis will hold position by its self in all 360 degrees of motion.
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
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XProHeli Silk Gimbal
ADJUST PAN BALANCE
Left / Right
If you find that the pan axis seems to be balanced in some
positions but in others it tends to fall to the left or right side of the
camera then you need to make a further adjustment by rotating
the top carbon fiber tube either left or right to counter balance the
heavy side.
Once your assembly is balanced, it is recommended to make a
reference mark on the camera tray by using a marker or a piece of
tape so that you can quickly align your camera to the proper
position when you dismount and remount the camera.
Also if you are running multiple lenses or cameras now would be a
good time to make index marks for this balanced position. Using
different color markers works well.
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
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User Manual
XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Mount Handles
The Silk utilizes standard 15mm small rig components, clamps and
handles for adapting the Silk for handheld use. Multiple
configurations can be achieved for various shooting styles. The
versatility and popularity the 15mm rod system gives you a wide
range of additional accessories to run with your gimbal (i.e. cold
shoes, monitor mounts) and also allows you to run any 15mm rod
components that you may already have.
Mounting the handles begins with assembling the (2) 10” 15mm
rods with the male to male threaded rod adapter:
Mount the (2) 15mm rod clamps to the top plate of the Silk. There
are several sets of through holes to choose from, it is most common
to mount the rail clamps to the holes aligned at the center of the
motor.
With the 2 clamps aligned and loose carefully slide the rod through
the clamps and center the rod so it is even. You can now tighten
the inner clamps and install the handles. If you have any accessory
clamps you can of course put those on prior to the handles.
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
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XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Mounting Battery
The provided 4200mah battery pack can be mounted directly to
the back of the 15mm rod clamps. Using the provided Velcro
squares, cut the Velcro to size and then peel and stick the short
side of the Velcro to the rear of the rod clamp:
Your battery pack (4200mah XPH 3S) comes with a strip of long
sided Velcro. Mount the battery pack horizontally to the back of
the clamps as shown:
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
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XProHeli Silk Gimbal
Connect the provided banana to 3-way male JST adapter harness
to the battery. One of the 3 male leads will be used to provide
power to the Silk. The other two leads can be used to power a light
set or a on board monitor (12v out).
Powering On Silk
Prior to powering on your Silk for the first time you should have
already gone through the process of mounting and balancing your
camera and your camera should be mounted and ready to go.
Your power source (battery or flight pack from your multirotor)
should be hooked up.
It is preferred to power the Silk while stationary on the stand,
however you can power the gimbal on while holding it too.
To power on, simply switch the rocker switch to the on position. The
LED on the rocker switch will illuminate indicating that it is in the ON
position:
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
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XProHeli Silk Gimbal
4.
XPX/XP2 Installation
WARNING!
POWER YOUR SILK
FROM A 3S-5S(1118.5V) POWER
SOURCE ONLY! NEVER
PLUG IN A 6S POWER
SOURCE AS THIS WILL
FRY YOUR
CONTROLLER!!
Overview
Mounting the Silk to your XPX or XP2 Monster quadcopter for the
first time requires approximately 10 minutes of time. You want to
make sure you have a clean flat area to work in. If you are in the
field assembling your quad you want to be consciences of not
setting your quad upside down where there is dirt or foreign debris
– as you do not want any unwanted items to enter the motors of
the quad or the gimbal. It is preferred to use a table or even the
top side of your transport case to stage the assembly.
If you plan to supply power to the Silk from your flight battery make
sure that you are using a 3S power source. Failure to do so will FRY
your controller. You can use up to a 5S power source (18.5v) but be
warned that this will require you to adjust the PID power settings in
the software. Since the XPX uses a 6S power source, a BEC or DC to
DC down-converter must be used – otherwise you can use a
separate 3S battery pack.
Mounting to your XPX:
Before mounting your Silk to your XPX you should have already
gone through the Silk setup instructions above. You should know
how to fly your quadcopter and your Silk should be operational
and working good. Before your first flight be sure that all the active
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remote tilt functions are operating correctly – be sure to add this to
your pre-flight checks before take off!
To Begin find a flat clean area to do the assembly:
Single Operator:
If you want the landing gear to be locked to the airframe while in
flight (preferred for single operation) mount your yaw motor top
plate to the Silk Stand as shown:
Mount Gimbal
with provided ¼20 5/32” Hex
Note Forward
direction of Plate
You can mount your XPX airframe to the Silk in an upright
configuration, however we recommend mounting the Silk to the
airframe upside down to help align the Silk centered on the XPX.
Line up the two through slots on the front of the top plate and
fasten the mounting plate using the ¼-20 toggle screws to the left
and right lander pem nuts on your XPX:
Silk Gimbal
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Connect your power wiring from your DC to DC down-converter
(BEC) or 3S power source and connect any desired remote tilt wires
to the control box from your receiver – This is typically setup on AUX
3 output port of your AR8000 receiver and controlled on the FLAP
switch of your DX8 radio.
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Dual Operator:
If you want the landing gear to rotate with the gimbal while in flight
(preferred for 2nd operator) mount your yaw motor top plate to the
Silk Stand as shown:
Use lower plate
for 2nd operator
use
To begin find a flat clean area for the assembly:
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You can mount your XPX airframe to the Silk in an upright
configuration, however we recommend mounting the Silk to the
airframe upside down to help align the Silk centered on the XPX.
Line up the two through slots on the front of the top plate and
fasten the mounting plate using the ¼-20 toggle screws to the left
and right lander pem nuts on your XPX:
Connect your power wiring from your DC to DC down-converter
(BEC) or 3S power source and connect any desired remote tilt wires
to the control box from your receiver – This is typically setup on AUX
3 output port of your AR8000 receiver and controlled on the FLAP
switch of your DX8 radio.
Your XPX should now look like this:
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Mounting XPX Flight Pack:
The flight pack for the XPX is mounted on top of the frame. The
standard size 6S pack for the XPX is 8000mah. Your flight pack
should be centered on the quad and secured with the Velcro
strap.
NOTE: The SILK MUST HAVE A 3S POWER SOURCE TO OPERATE.
Plugging in a 6S (22.2V) pack will fry your gimbal! If you ordered a
RTF XPX with the Silk we will provide a DC to DC down converter
(BEC) which can be used to power the Silk and any other 3S FPV
accessories.
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5.
IMPORTANT!
Your Silk comes
preconfigured with a
basic tune that works
very well with
cameras from 400750g. Don’t make
changes to the
software unless you
know what you are
doing.
Make sure you
backup your Profile
settings prior to
making any changes!
DO NOT LOAD ‘USE
DEFAULTS’ and
overwrite the
controller!! Doing this
will reset your gimbal
controller completely
and you will have to
perform the setup
recovery procedures.
SILK SOFTWARE & TUNING
Overview
This section provides information and instructions on the SimpleBGC
Software and how to make specific changes to your software
settings to help with getting the best performance from your Silk.
The 32 bit controller in each Silk comes with a licensed bootloader
from Basecam Electronics (Alexmos). This license allows you to
download and flash your controller with the latest firmware when
new releases are available. Please note that any upgrades or
downgrades to the firmware on your Silk are will most likely require
you to reconfigure all the settings on the controller. Unless you are
an advanced user and are comfortable configuring the sensor and
making the proper adjustments, we do not recommend you
change the firmware.
Future firmware releases will be carefully monitored and test at
XProHeli before making a recommendation to upgrade. If there is a
firmware version that we feel is superior to the original shipped
version we will put together a step by step video on the firmware
upgrade process and necessary adjustments.
Connecting Silk to Your Computer
Connect the board to your computer with a mini USB cable.
The first time you connect the board to your computer, it may
install the drivers automatically. If not, you can download the
latest drivers from the following link:
www.silabs.com/products/mcu/pages/
usbtouartbridgevcpdrivers.aspx
After you install the driver, a new virtual COM port will be
created. You need to choose this COM port in the SimpleBGC
GUI software application to initiate the connection.
Caution: It is safe to connect both USB and the battery
simultaneously, but be very careful not to reverse
the polarity of the battery, because it will burn out the
controller and may damage your PC!
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Download the SimpleBGC GUI & User Manual
SimpleBGC GUI 2_40b8.zip
SimpleBGC 32bit 2_40b8 GUI User Manual
The SimpleBGC GUI software application enables you to do the
following:




Update the firmware
Make changes to the settings of your controller
Tune settings for optimal performance
Adjust settings for various modes of operation
USING SimpleBGC GUI
After you start the software and select the correct COM port from
the list, click “Connect." When the connection is established, all
board settings and profiles will be loaded into the software. You
can re-load the current board parameters anytime by clicking the
“READ” button.
After adjusting parameters in the software, you should write them
to the controller board by clicking the “WRITE” button. Only the
current profile parameters will be saved to the board. To return to
the default settings, select the “USE DEFAULTS” button.
To choose a different profile, select it from the list of profiles located
in the upper right corner of the window. You can store different
settings as five different profiles onto the controller board. You can
switch profiles saved on the board by choosing the profile in the
software or by pressing the MENU button, if configured on your
controller board.
Remember that some settings are common for all profiles and can
not be saved on a per profile basis. Parameters such as sensor
orientation, hardware configuration, RC inputs, and motor outs are
the same across all profiles. The software starts in English. To change
the interface language, choose one in the “language” menu and
restart the program.
SAVE BACKUPS OF YOUR PROFILE SETTINGS!
The first thing you should do prior to making any adjustments or
changes to the the software is save a backup of your gimbals
Profile settings to your computer. To do this connect the gimbal to
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the GUI and Select Profile 1 -> Save As, then save the profile to a
specified backup folder on your computer. Do this fro Profiles 1, 2
and 4.
SimpleBGC GUI Layout
SimpleBGC GUI has a fairly intuitive layout with several sections:
1. Connection – COM-port selection and connection status.
2. Profile – Select, rename, load, and save different profiles. The
Silk Profiles are configured as follows:
a. Profile 1 – Follow Mode (Pan only)
b. Profile 2 – Follow Mode (Pan + Pitch)
c. Profile 3 – Unused (3 clicks set manual tilt angles defined
in service tab)
d. Profile 4 – Lock Mode (follow modes off)
Note: to switch modes on the Silk while connected to the
GUI simply select Profile 1,2 or 4 and click write.
3. Configuration – Central part of the window, organized into seven
tabs:
i. Basic Tab – Basic gimbal stabilization settings. Do not
change these settings unless you are familiar with their
functions. See performance tuning section for more details.
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ii. Advanced Tab – More precise tuning options – for fine
tuning you should not need to adjust any of these
parameters.
iii. RC Settings – Settings to control the gimbal roll/pitch/yaw
orientation with RC inputs.
iv. Service – Specify the behavior of the MENU button
(located on the bottom of the control box) and tune the
battery monitoring service.
v. Follow Mode – Settings related to this special mode of
camera control.
vi. Realtime Data – Realtime sensor data monitoring. This
screen is helpful in tuning your gimbal performance.
vii. Firmware Upgrade – Firmware and SimpleBGC GUI
software versions and update options. Upgrade firmware at
your own risk!
4. Control Panel – Graphic visualization of gimbal orientation angles
for all three axes.
• Black arrows display the angles.
• Blue arrows are a 10x time magnification to provide higher
precision.
• Red marks show target angles that the gimbal should hold.
• Thin blue lines show the peak deflection from the central,
neutral point. Blue digits show peak deflection amplitude,
which provides an estimation of stabilization quality.
• Vertical red bars to the right of the scales show actual
power level from 0 to 100%.
5. READ, WRITE, USE DEFAULTS buttons are used to transfer settings
to/from the controller board.
*NOTE: USE DEFAULTS BUTTON WILL OVERWRITE ALL SILK
SETTINGS*
6. MOTORS ON/OFF button – manually turn on/off power to motors.
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7. Tips, status or error messages (in red color) are displayed at the
bottom of the screen. Overall cycle time and I²C error count is also
displayed.
8. Battery voltage indicator with warning sector. (Bottom right of
screen)
Performance Tuning
Overview
The Silk comes preconfigured with PID settings that perform
exceptionally well with cameras ranging from 400-750g. These
settings are regularly used by us for various camera configurations
and net excellent stabilization results.
Depending on your filming style for handheld or aerial use you may
find the need to tune a few parameters in the software such as the
reaction speed or the start and stop points of the follow-mode
features.
If you are doing very high speed moves or are running a camera
payload in the upper range you may find even better stabilization
quality by adjusting some of the PID motor power parameters.
Recommended PID settings for specific cameras are available
from our training/downloads page – these will be updated on a
regular basis.
Optionally manual PID tuning can be done as well with reference
to the Realtime Data tab. See Manual PID tuning section.
Tuning Follow Modes
Both Profiles 1 and 2 have active follow mode features:



Profile 1 – Follow YAW active
Profile 2 – Follow YAW / Follow PITCH, ROLL active
Profile 4 – Disabled
Note that if you make adjustments to Profile 1 and want those
changes to carry over to Profile 2 you must make sure to copy
those values from Profile 1 to Profile 2 and write them to the
controller as both profiles are independent of each other.
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Follow mode stabilization is determines the angles of the gimbal
frame by estimating the angle values from each motors magnetic
field. If the motor accidently skips steps from bumping into the
gimbal the position estimation will be off and you will have to
correct the camera position by hand. If the gimbal begins acting
erratic simply power off the gimbal and power back on to restart
the synchronization. In rare cases you may have to perform a Gyro
calibration (long 5 second hold of mode button)
Follow YAW: This mode is activated on Profile 1. This mode only
enables the follow mode feature for the YAW axis and keeps the
PITCH/ROLL axis in ‘lock’ mode level to the horizon. This mode is the
most popular for handheld use and multirotor use.
Follow PITCH, ROLL: This mode is activated on Profile 2. This mode
will allow both the PITCH and ROLL axis to follow the frame of the
gimbal with the following parameters:

Follow ROLL start degrees: Set the PITCH angle (in degrees)
where the ROLL axis enters Follow mode. Below this angle,
ROLL remains locked to the horizon. The purpose of this
setting is so the ROLL does not remain locked at high degree
pitch angles.

Follow ROLL mix degrees: Set the PITCH range (in degrees)
where the ROLL axis gradually transitions from ‘lock’ mode to
‘follow’ mode. To disable ROLL follow completely set the Roll
start/mix values to (0,90). To permanently enable the ROLL
follow mode set start/mix values to (0,0)
Note: The Silk is preconfigured in Profile 2 to only activate the
follow PITCH feature.
Tuning Follow mode features (Profile 1/2)
There are a few primary variables that can be adjusted to change
the reaction speed and settings of the YAW (pan) axis.

Dead band, degrees: Increasing this value will adjust the
starting point (+/- degrees from center) that the camera
begins to follow your hands left to write. A smaller value here
will ‘tighten’ the reaction zone from the zero point and
begin to follow to the left or right sooner.
A larger value here will give your hands more freedom of
movement to the left and right before the camera begins to
follow. You can set this range where your preference suites
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your needs. The rotation of an outer frame or handles does
not
affect the camera within this degree band. This setting helps
to skip small pan jerks when you operate gimbal by hands
during fast or dynamic movements.

Expo curve: you can specify the strength of the follow mode
when the outer frame moves left/right or up/down from a
neutral position. For example: when the expo curve is
enabled (i.e. is not flat), small or medium declination of an
outer frame will cause very fine control even if I-term is
configured high. But the strength of control exponentially
grows when angles of declination becomes close to 60
degrees. It gives a big freedom in camera operation: from
fine and smooth control to very fast movements.
•
OFFSET: it is a very important to properly configure the initial
position of the motor's magnetic poles, because all further
calculations use this information.
For YAW axis you can adjust the zero point heading relative
to the frame heading – so if you notice that the camera is
offset just slightly from center to the left or right and is not
straight in line you can raise or lower this value to adjust the
camera angle.
For PITCH and ROLL axis there is an option to calibrate offset
automatically. To do this, power on system, hold frame
leveled, and press AUTO button. Don't forget to write setting
when finished. If the camera after power on is not leveled,
you need to adjust the offset setting. (This is preconfigured
when shipped)

Silk Gimbal
Speed: This value allows you to adjust the speed of the
camera rotation for a specific axis. A higher value nets a
faster camera movement, a lower values nets a slower
camera movement. Don’t set too high of values that the
motors can’t handle (MAX 10). If the value is too high the
motors will skip steps and the stabilization synchronization will
be off – causing the gimbal to act erratic. If a high value is
desired make sure to have the acceleration limiter set so
that it will help to set a larger speed value without causing
the motors to skip or miss steps.
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Manual PID Tuning
For novice Silk users we do not recommend immediately diving into
motor and PID tuning. This section is for advanced users who are
familiar with all the parameters of the software. Always remember
to make a backup of your profile settings so you can easily reload
and have record of your original PID settings!
Prerequisites:
To start with fine tuning your PIDs you should have your original Silk
Profile settings loaded. Your motor polarity should be correct and
your IMU sensor should be calibrated and configured properly.
Tuning is achieved by referencing the Real Time Data tab in the
GUI. You should have the gimbal on a table mounted and locked
to the Silk stand. The battery should be fully charged for the tuning
process.
Tuning Process:
Set gimbal to Profile 4 (LOCK MODE) Start with the PITCH axis, then
ROLL then YAW. Begin by deflecting the camera with your hand on
each axis and watch the speed and smoothness of the return
action of the GYRO data on the Real Time Data graph. Your goal in
tuning is to raise the P and D value for each axis as high as possible
without causing high frequency feedback or unwanted vibrations.
i.
Set “I” to a small value of 0.04 or less.
ii. Slowly increase “P” until the motor starts to oscillate.
iii. Increase “D” in small increments until the oscillations stop.
iv. Repeat steps ii and iii until high-frequency vibration
occurs. You may feel the vibration by hand and see a noisy
line on the gyro graph. At this point, you have identified the
maximum values for “P” and “D” for PITCH for your setup.
Decrease each slightly and proceed to step v.
v. Repeat steps i through iv for ROLL. Stabilization of ROLL
may cause instability in PITCH. If so, reduce P and D slightly
for PITCH. Cross-axis interference is most pronounced when
the gimbal construction is less rigid.
vi. Repeat steps i through v for YAW.
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vii. Increase “I” for PITCH until low-frequency oscillation
appears. Then, decrease “I” slightly to keep the gimbal
stable. You can reduce “I” as much as 20%, if needed.
viii. Repeat step vii for ROLL and YAW.
ix. When all axes are tuned, test the gimbal. While tuning you
can reference the gyro data in the Realtime Data graph to
estimate stabilization quality. The picture below is an
example of 3 manual deflections of the camera on the pitch
axis with the orange line representing the stabilization back
to level.
Each axis should have a smooth return in the Realtime Data
tab as shown:
Camera
Deflection
Smooth/Quick
Return
In general a well tuned configuration will net less than 1
degree of error on ROLL, PITCH and YAW axis in normal
operation.
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Setup for 2nd Operator / RC Control
Connecting a RC system to the Silk is optional. Operation
with a 2nd operator using a RC system will allow control and
aiming of the gimbal independently from the direct physical
movements of the gimbal unit.
Several different RC protocols including standard PWM, SumPWM and Futaba S-Bus are supported. Setup for each of
these control systems is slightly different in the software (for
Futaba and Sum-PWM refer to online Basecam Manual for
proper setup).
Typical 2nd operator setup using Normal PWM receiver:
Tilt (RC_PITCH)
Roll (RC_ROLL)
Pan (RC_YAW)
Pinout:
Signal/+5v/Gnd
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RC Settings in GUI
i. ROLL, PITCH, YAW – Controls the position of the camera.
ii. CMD – Allows you to execute specified actions. Configure
your 2- or 3-position switch on your RC transmitter for a
specified channel and assign it to the CMD channel. Its
range is split into 3 sections : LOW, MID, HIGH. When
changing the position of your RC transmitter switch, the
signal jumps from one section to another, and the assigned
command is executed.
iii. FC_ROLL, FC_PITCH – Used to mark any PWM input to be a
signal from the external flight controller. (This is an advanced
feature that we do not recommend)
RC MIX – You can mix 2 inputs together before applying
them to the ROLL, PITCH or YAW axis. This feature enables
you to control the camera from two sources, a joystick and
RC transmitter, for example. You can adjust the proportion of
the mix from 0 to 100%.
ANGLE MODE – The RC transmitter will control the camera
angle directly. The full RC range will move the camera from
min to max angles, as specified above. If the RC transmitter
stick does not move, the camera stands still. The speed of
rotation depends on the “SPEED” and acceleration limiter
settings.
SPEED MODE – The RC transmitter will control the rotation
speed. If the stick is centered, the camera stands still. If the
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stick is deflected, the camera starts to rotate but does not
exceed the min-max range specified. Speed is slightly
decreased near the minmax borders to yield steady
accelerations. The speed of rotation is proportional to stick
angle and the SPEED setting. RC control inversion is allowed
in both control modes.
MIN.ANGLE, MAX.ANGLE – Sets the range of angles
controlled from an RC transmitter or in Follow Mode. To
reverse the control, set the higher value first and lower value
second. For example, if you want to configure a camera to
go from leveled position to down position, set 0-90 (or 90-0 to
reverse movement).
LPF – Sets control signal filtering. The higher the value, the
smoother the reaction to stick commands. This filter avoids
fast stick movements but add commands. This filter avoids
fast stick movements but adds some reaction delay to stick
movement.
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Silk Recovery Procedures
Overview
This section provides instructional steps to bring your Silk back
to the original pre-configured settings. In the rare event that
you have to reflash your controller due to a corrupt file or
erased memory bank you can also use this section as a
recovery guide.
Prior to performing the recovery steps your camera should
be mounted and balanced and your gimbal should be
mounted to the Silk stand so that the gimbal can move
about freely on the Roll, Pitch and Yaw axis.
Recovery Steps:
1. Load / Write 2.40B8 Firmware (this can be done using the
2.41B4 GUI in the Upgrade tab)
2. With Motors OFF in GUI, Load and write Backup Profiles 1,
2 & 4.
Note: IF you did not backup your Profiles please email
support and we will send you a copy of each.
3. Connect Battery – Motors Turned OFF in GUI
4. Perform GYRO Cal (Press Cal Gyro)
5. Perform 6-Point IMU Calibration
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xb64QisyvE&feature=youtu.be
6. Set Motor Polarity by powering Motors ON and click
AUTO (under Motor Configuration Basic Tab)
a. Gimbal should rotate each axis and identify
direction of movement. When complete the
INVERT boxes will be checked or unchecked for
proper motor direction.
b. Click Write
7. Copy INVERT values and make sure they are the same for
Profiles 2 & 4.
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8. Select Profile 1 click write
9. With motors ON and gimbal frame level, go to
Followmode tab and Click AUTO in OFFSET section –
When finish click write. Make sure these values are the
same through Profiles 1, 2 & 4
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Troubleshooting
PROBLEM
Possible Causes


Motors Don’t Spin



Camera trys to
stabilize but falls to
side

During fast YAW
rotations, camera
horizon deflects on
Roll and slowly comes
back level


Solutions
Power Supply is
not connected
Power supply
polarity is inverted
POWER value set
to 0
Camera not
balanced
There is a broken
motor winding or
one phase of
motor has failed
POWER not set
high enough
Bad Accelerometer
Calibration
Sensor is mounted
crooked / not parallel
to motor axis


Check all connections
Double check POWER
settings


Balance the Camera
Check Motor windings
o Roll/Pitch ABC phase
resistance = 14.5-16
ohms
o Pan ABC phase
resistance = 11.5-12.5
ohms
Increase Power Value



Perform 6 Point IMU calibration
Align Sensor Square with Axis
During Fast motion
with acceleration,
camera deflects and
then slowly comes
back level
This is normal affects of
acceleration
Camera slowly drifts
by any or all axes just
after power on
This is from BAD gyro
calibration.
Recalibrate Gyro (5 second press of
menu button or through GUI)
High Frequency
Oscillations
Sensor Feedback as
result of too high D
parameter
Check the Realtime Data graphs to
determine which axis is problem
and lower D value
Low Frequency
Oscillations
Sensor feedback as result
of too high D or P
parameter
GUI cannot connect
to board
Wrong COM port
selected. GUI and
firmware version
mistmatch
Silk Gimbal
©2014 XPROHELI. All Rights Reserved.
Try to increase Gyro Trust value in
Advance tab (default Silk values
should not cause this)
Lower P Value, Increase D value
Try different COM port – check
driver installation. Check Firmware
and GUI version
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