GoPro Pan-N-Tilt RC




First off: 
1) This is my first instructable so if i leave something out just ask.
2) I suck at spelling and grammar.
3) Im going to assume that you kinda know how to use tools, and a measuring devise.
4) If I jump around some its because this is just what was done, the order in witch it is done doesn't matter, and I put a part on then took   it off to make it easer to add other parts and holes then put it all back together once all the holes are in.

That being said this is my GoPro Pan-N-Tilt radio controlled head, I put it on my EMT conduit jib crane or my track dolly I made(that i hope to integrate in to the RC realm soon)

Where I got my parts: 

The aluminum and screws where purchased at Low's 
The Servos, ServoBlocks, and Servo Stands where purchased from (a kickass web sight for cool stuff)
The Stepper motor case I had laying around
The RC Heli...Well I had a hard time trying to fly it and thought it would be better put to use in some other form... That can't crash


Step 1: Parts

1/16" X 1 1/2' Angle aluminum
1/16" X 1/2" Angle aluminum
1/16" X 1 1/2" Flat aluminum
1/8" X 1 1/2" Flat aluminum
6 X 32 screws about 1/2"
8 X 32 Screws short about 1/4"
Stepper Motor case, bearings, screws
8 X 32 screw, 3 washers, 2 nylock nuts
Crashed RC helicopter RC parts, radio and battery
One (1) Vertical Aluminum Mount
Two (2) ServoBlocks
Two (2) Servos

Step 2: Tools

The tools are basic:

Hack saw, to cut stuff that needs to be cut
Miter box, to cut straight
File, to file off any sharp edges or to fit bad measurements
Tap and Die minus the Die, to tape screw holes
Dikes, to cut different things then the hack saw
Multi tool, just cause its handy sometimes
4-N-1 screw driver, to drive screws
Drill, to put drill bits in
7/8" flat drill bit, to make a 7/8" hole
The measurer-square-bubble-slidie thing, to measure things
Vise grips (that I forgot to put in the pic), to hold things together 

Step 3: Lay-Out

So I made this a few months ago thinking I'd make an instructable out of it, then ran out of time. So now I have taken it apart to take pics, and put it all back together. This is all the aluminum cut, drilled, and marked.

You'll need 4 of the little angle cut to 1 1/2" long for the corners

Step 4: The Base

Cut 1- 4" long peace of the 1/8" X 1 1/2" flat stock, put 1- 1/4" hole on the middle to mount the camera 
Cut 2- 1 1/2" long peaces of the small angle stock

Put the small angle stock on the end of the flat stock for the corner leaving space for the other smaller peace of flat stock,
Use the vice grip to hold the bottom and the corner together so you can drill, tap and screw then together 

Step 5: Servo Blocks

Servo Block
Servo Block are cool little things found at they come in a little baggy and you put them together your self and add what ever kind of serve you want it took me about 2 min to put one together 

Once you have the servo block put together mount it to the lower side peace that base the 4 mounting holes.

Step 6: The Lower Sides

2 - 1/16" X 1 1/2" cut to be 2 3/4"

I made a line 1/2" from the top for my center mark on the side that has the Serve Block then marked the center of that line and made an "X" to get me holes lined up correctly then just measured the distance between holes on the serve block and marked that distance on the "X" 

the other side was easier I just made my line 1/2" from the top and found the center of that line and put my hole there that is shown that is shown later

Step 7: Bearing Side

This side was easier I just made my line 1/2" from the top and found the center of that line and put my hole there. Next I used the 7/8" paddle bit to make a hole for the back side of the motor housing that is razed so it can sit flush. once that was don't I lined up the motor housing on the aluminum and marked out the 4 holes for the motor screws to go through. Then sandwiched the 2 motor peaces and the aluminum all together. Then put the 2 parts together and done with that side.

Step 8: Drive Side

I hope the pics and notes explain this enough.

Step 9: The Top

i measured the the top pice of aluminum once the to sides where on  (I eyed the a some of the peaces i cut and my center lines)

Step 10: Mount

So now what are you going to mount it onto? I put mine on my DIY 3/4" EMT jib crane with a quick little arm I made to hang it from. What you put your on is up to you, a Jib, a dolly, an old skate board... 

Step 11: Radio

So the RC stuff I took my crashed RC helicopter,  took it apart to get the radio stuff and just zip-tied it to the arm i made for the mount. then I just guessed a few times to get the right channels 

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    21 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    if you used a crashed chopper, then jabawalter's point is moot.

    I would want to use servos. when I go to mount my gopro, if I can't afford a real gimble, I'm gonna try making this. Great 'able


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hey there Wallaby13,
    What a great Instructable and if it's your first I can't wait to see your future ones. And as for Grammar don't be too concerned, you are doing ok, as in we get what you are talking about just fine.
    And yes while it is good for someone to let us know that there are laws etc.. that we could be breaking, there is a way of doing it also. I am sure that you never meant any harm to anyone and others have given ways to get around it, but I have to say as you did, if you don't need a lic. to buy the machine and you don't have to read any particular literature then HOW are you supposed to know it's against the Law.
    And the answer is easy, YOU aren't.
    Anyway once again Thanks for a great Project and if you get those movies uploaded please let us know it would be great to see.
    Take Care


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is a nice how2 and shows real ingenuity.

    However, I thought you might like to know that using ANY AIRBORNE transmitter or receiver for a SURFACE object is AGAINST THE LAW.

    This law is in place to protect the expensive and obviously catastrophic consequences of airborne equipment being interfered with. How would you feel if your helicopter had crashed because someone was experimenting?

    FCC Part 95

    (a) Your R/C station may transmit only on the following channels (frequencies):

    (1) The following channels may be used to operate any kind of device, including a model aircraft device (any small imitation of an aircraft) or a model surface craft device (any small imitation of a boat, car, or other vehicle for carrying people or objects, except aircraft):

    26.995 MHz .... ....27.255MHz

    (2) The following channels may only be used to operate a model aircraft device: 72.01 MHz... ...72.99 MHz

    (3) The following channels may only be used to operate a model surface craft devices:

    75.41 MHz
    75.53 MHz
    75.43 MHz
    75.55 MHz
    75.45 MHz
    75.57 MHz
    75.47 MHz
    75.59 MHz
    75.49 MHz
    75.61 MHz
    75.51 MHz
    75.63 MHz
    75.65 MHz
    75.83 MHz
    75.67 MHz
    75.85 MHz
    75.69 MHz
    75.87 MHz
    75.71 MHz
    75.89 MHz
    75.73 MHz
    75.91 MHz
    75.75 MHz
    75.93 MHz
    75.77 MHz
    75.95 MHz
    75.79 MHz
    75.97 MHz
    75.81 MHz
    75.99 MHz

    7 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    good freq info, but I've wonder since first reading the FCC rules on this." how does one aircraft know not to be interfered with by another aircraft? yet that same freq used by an earth bound machine will interfere with your helicopter or plane? How is that? Seems to me that isn't the real reason and the only safe thing is freq. coordination by users, and limiting power to only what is needed. To the creator of this instructable "I say rock on you scraper and reuser!"


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Great question :)

    There many more ground vehicles than aircraft. If a ground vehicle is struck with a frequency clash there usually is no money lost. However, aircraft probably average $200-300 in price, and helicopters are at least double that. It is not uncommon for a model jet to cost $5000-$10000 dollars. Also, a boat or car going awry is not likely to injure or kill someone. If an average sized .60 aircraft strikes a person or car serious injury or death is a distinct possibility. (A friend of mine had another modeler accidentally turn his transmitter on and his plane hit a car's grill, hood and windshield. The vehicle repair was about $1800 + $300 for the plane)

    By keeping the two sports separated, the chance for airborne failure is greatly reduced. It is also a lot easier for an aircraft hobbyist to scan the sky for a few minutes and assume a reasonable amount of safety. If ground operated vehicles are on the air frequency, an aircraft may not know their is a problem until it is too late. Thanks for your question :)



    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    And now with 2.4Ghz, your whole point is *almost* moot. 2.4ghz is used for both surface and air. Besides, FCC is only relevant in America... jm2c...


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Agreed, go 2.4 Ghz or HAM band, then it dont matter. 72 Mhz is a North American freq that is getting less and less crowded as time goes on.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Dang you don't have to go all cap-ie yell-ie, cut and past.

    After I made this instructable I switched to one of the binding TX RX things.
    I also have never heard of felony RC operating, I also did not know of the hole FCC thing seeing as i did not need to get a license to buy any RC stuff,( tho I need a license for lots of other things I do so ill know the rules and laws pertaining to what I'm doing) also is it a world FCC Part 95 law or just in U.S.?

    And thanks to everyone with nice comments. Its nice to know some people like your ideas



    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Just a quick crystal swap and he'll be good to go! No need to shout. I liked that he repurposed the Heli transmitter and receiver.


    well done kill-joy.

    Thanks for the info but as @zwild1 said, a quick crystal swap fixes that. No need to be cranky about it. (or yell)


    6 years ago on Step 11

    This is quite freaky. I just spent my last weekend building an almost identical rig for my gopro! The main difference between mine and yours is in the electronics. I used one of the gimbals from an old/cheap TX i had and hooked it to an Arduino to control the servos. The defining difference here is that the servos will stay where you move them to, and they move faster with greater movement of the stick. i.e, they do not automatically re-center when you let go of the stick (i have a button for that). Happy to share if you or anyone else is interested.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I orignal used an arduino to control this but it was too jittrey for me,(and Im bad with code) so I rumaged around and came up with the RC stuff, I do have plans for some of the other chanels on the transmiter. the servos Im using now are cheep so Im thinking of geting some digatal ones to see if i can get it a bit smoother and mabby quieter

    Id like to see what you did with your rig as well!



    6 years ago on Introduction

    Another good point. Living in Detroit with Canada just across the river I had never given that any thought.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Very valid points. I'm not against freq. allocations, just very pro freq. coordination.
    No one wants to cause injury either personal or property. Check and re-check is my motto!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    This does not necessarily work.

    Aircraft are usually operated on either a high or low band, with the high band being preferred. His receiver will only work on the band assigned to it even with a crystal change.



    Thanks Dude! Great one!

    I'm a grammar nazi but I overlooked it to totally enjoy your idea, ingenuity and design.

    You have inspired me to go and make one. I love your work.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice job - thanks for sharing. Oh - and your grammer's just fine!