Control 3 Axis Gimbal via Bluetooth with Basecam Android App

The bluetooth module for controlling and configuring Basecam Control boards has been available for a while, but something not highly discussed is that the Varavon Birdycam Stabilizer actually ships with a BT module. This was not heavily advertised since the Android Apps (at the time) may not have been stable due to the latest firmware that was installed on the Birdycam2. Today I decided to test things out, and I have to say it's working quite well.

Anyone who has worked with the computer version of the SBGC app will feel at home on the Android App version. The wireless joystick app is perfect for dual operator mode (or when operating the gimbal mounted to a Crane/Jib) without having to invest in expensive RC Transmitters. Keep in mind that this is not limited to just the Varavon Birdycam.

varavon birdycam pre-order
find-price-button Varavon BirdyCam 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

The bluetooth module can be purchased separately and installed with any gimbal Alexmos boards such as the ones in the inexpensive CAME-TV 7000 3 Axis Gimbal.


DIY 3 Axis Gimbal CAME 7000 Calibrate Alexmos
find-price-button CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

All you'll need is the Bluetooth module which can be found for around $16 US dollars (found here).

Alexmos Bluetooth CAM-TV 32 Bit wiring diagram how to
find-price-button Bluetooth Module for Alexmos Basecam Controllers



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16 thoughts on “Control 3 Axis Gimbal via Bluetooth with Basecam Android App

  1. hi.
    We are using quite a long heavy lense with GH4 its good but not perfect, judders sometimes.

    quick question. have i understood from your articles that we should both balance the camera and change pid settings because of weight?

    cheers
    s

  2. procter

    just quick note of thanks for these hands on reviews.
    They really are the best. (this bluetooth article saved my life.)

    I bought the Varavon birdycam based on your review (have also the came 5000). Amazing piece of EQ getting great results. Soft case and foldable arms actually really important in real world.

    For users in europe its important to note it arrive s within a few days unlike chinese EQ.

    Also i recommend buying 2 http://www.vifocam.com/plate-1/ base plates , this way you can move camera directly to a tripod or slider.

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Kevin Conder - Yes you would need to increase the PID settings to support the heavier camera. From their forum, they suggested that you try the following.

    Roll: P55 I0.11 D55
    Pitch P59 I0,09 D56
    Yaw P54 I0.07 D51

    Motor Config:
    Roll 170 +50
    Pitch 160 +50
    Yaw 185 +50

    Just remember that when you make these changes you have to hit the 'Write' button to save the changes. Also if you plan to use the different profiles, you should edit each profile so that those settings match. As you change profiles using the button on the joystick you need to have the same PID settings.

  4. Kevin Conder

    I have just recved my birdycam. I am trying to work with a bmcc with a tokina 11-16 lens. I contacted varavon and they said it would work. I have balanced it twice now and each time it boots it does this terrible judder in the y axis, upt and down a half inch rapidly. Might need a new profile. I have all software, just don't know what to change. Can you help?

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @Arthur7 - Yes there is auto tuning option in the software. I have another video showing that feature.

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @Patrick - Interesting point, but the app on the computer has to be designed to communicate through the bluetooth port. I haven't tried that, but it might work. Still it's a pain to have to bring a laptop around, i'd rather buy a really cheap android phone or tablet.

  7. Patrick

    Actually even if you don't use the app you can connect the computer through Bluetooth (guess most computer have bluetooth now). No cable this way :)

  8. Emm

    Post author

    @Alex - Sounds like you would need to tune up the PID settings as I think your setup is pretty light. The original profiles are made for DSLR weighted setups and you may be a bit high on the 'P' and 'D' settings.

    I would try dropping those settings a bit lower and see what differences is makes, but don't change anything else. Once you figure out a good P & D setting, make sure to replicate that on any other profile you use. This video shows how I lowered my settings on the Birdycam: http://cheesycam.com/tuning-pid-settings-for-varvon-birdycam-gh4-camera/

  9. Alex

    I've got the Came-TV 7500 and using the BM Pocket + Rokinon 16mm or 35mm lenses. Results are OK, but still a bit jittery - Is it worth going through and calibrating using the PID settings,etc - or better to focus on fine tuning the balancing?

  10. Pops

    @ Emm - I setup my bluetooth module last night. As described it works quite well. With that said, the only thing I've found not to work is the auto PID calibration. Could you confirm yours is the same? This seems to be the only feature missing for me that I've found so far. Thanks!

  11. I had the chance to test all the gimbals (briefly) at IBC last weekend. The Birdycam was easily my favorite. It felt solid but pretty light. The ronin was nice but as everyone said HEAVY, and the came 7500 was extremely light but also felt way too cheap. You could feel the metal handles through the thin foam. The frame was also not very sturdy.

    They all performed well with 7D's on them.

    Emm, have you noticed the fragility of the 7500? If so have you done anything to stiffen it up?

  12. Emm

    Post author

    @dan - Those three gimbals you've mentioned are great, but gor a GH4 I don't know if you would like the Ronin. It is pretty large, much heavier, and travels with a large case. Any of the other two would work fine. The Birdycam2 offers an easier way to balance and fold up.

  13. dan

    What is the range on a typical bluetooth module when you are using it with the wireless joystick app? 20 feet or so? Sounds like a pretty rad feature.

    I'm shooting on a gh4 currently, if money were no object, what gimbal would you prefer for a gh4 - 7500, birdycam, or ronin?

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