3 axis KAP gimbal progress

The 5 control wires for the video relay and shutter release require cable fine enough to pass through the 3 hollow core motors to reach the RC receiver and video transmitter. They have to be flexible and strong enough to take the inevitable tug of war to get them to pass through the yaw motor core where the 9 wires of the OEM loom meet.


The ‘rat’s nest’ appearance is disappointing but it all works, if only briefly before the battery flakes out.

After trying various wires from the scrap bin (iPod headphone leads-poor conductance, cat 5 LAN cable  cores-too thick) a discarded USB cable proved to be a good source of fine wire and, with patience the control wires are connected and JR terminals fitted. Stripping the USB multi core takes a bit of care as it’s easy to puncture the insulation with the stripping knife.

Now all 3 systems (gimbal, video and RC) are connected I hit a new problem. I’m draining the battery in minutes. To initialise the gimbal needs full 3s power: 1400mA is required. Powering the video transmitter dents the peak current very quickly and the initialisation can’t complete its routine. I’m going to have to run 2 batteries to manage the demand, a separate source for the gimbal is recommended to avoid Voltage drop caused by RC and VTx demand so the system should be more stable in the long run even though the weight budget is running high.




About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
Gallery | This entry was posted in KAP and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to 3 axis KAP gimbal progress

  1. Ramon says:

    Hi Bill,

    Hat off for the new contraption.

    Maybe you should consider having a look at so-called ‘nuclear batteries’, Bill. In our monthly VERON magazine ‘Electron’, the former technical manager of the company I worked for for 10 years, describes the principle of this kind of batteries. It has a core of Americium 241 and is running at a voltage close to 11 Volts. The model is BLC-2, so most probably a Nokia code.


  2. Ramon says:

    Furthermore, maybe you should/could have a look at this:


    You made a comment on Tom’s topic and I remembered the last sentence of it (and I even referred to it in my own comment that followed after yours, I just read)…

    “So get your kit as light as you can, fly as often as you can and let the worry slip away with the kite line!”

    Back to basics, maybe…?

    • Yes, while the weather is bad I’ll tinker away but as soon as I get the chance I have some shots I want that don’t need a fancy rig.

      As I get closer I can see the KAV potential, and there are shots I can imagine but its only going to happen when the wind is ‘just right’ and when does that happen eh?

      The gimbal is not so difficult but needs patience and because it’s different to anything I’ve done before I’m learning as I go. Today I got the RC control for tilt, then pan working…and then not.

      The nearer I get the more exciting it is: KAV will be fun!

  3. Ramon says:

    The weather here isn’t any better today – stormy, to say the least. The sun is doing a great job, but the wind…

    I worked on a Mk II version of my HF Go Box which is ready for new field outings with a modern HF rig, the Icom IC-7200. The KAP rig hasn’t changed a single bit since… many, many years. This tells you a bit where the focus is, lately :0)

    Still thinking about the purchase of the KAP foil 3 which will also be a great antenna lifter.

    Yeah, the gimbal… The more wind, the more it will kick in, the faster the battery will be drained. So you really need a second power source on board. I think it’s best to use a dedicated battery, only to feed the gimbal.

    Nevertheless I am looking forward to watch your KAV results!

    • KAV will be special, there are specific subjects I’m after so it’s not going to be an everyday thing. 2 batteries definitely works, just need to refine how hefty they have to be. The Icom kit is the bees knees, I expect I’ll have one live again in August, let’s hope for better results in 2016.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.