Xaircraft x650 v4 (XAircraft CMGOPRO-TP Gimbal)

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I could not resist in testing out another gimbal because I wanted to see how my $70 2 axis gimbal compares to something more expenciver. Since I just purchased a Xaircraft frame I thought I should give there gimbal a try. Instead of paid $259 from an online store I found a brand new unassembled XAircraft CMGOPRO-TP gimbal on RCG (http://www.rcgroups.com) classifieds for $180 shipped.

The picture below is the image of gimbal take by the seller. As you can see, everything is still in the original bags. To make a long story short, there were a few missing and defective parts. It was obvious that he tried to assemble it but stopped because he ran in to some problems like stripped threads and broken flanged bearings. Then I also found that there are a few parts that was missing like the carbon fiber plate the gimbal mounts on and some support braces. After emailing the seller the problems I encounter, he informs me that was use to be a Xaircraft distributor and can send me the replacement parts. As you can see in the pictures below I got all the parts I need and then some.

The replacement flanged bearing was a piece of junk. The quality of it was terrible, so I ended up buying my own bearing from FastEddyBearings.com. And for some reason the 2.5mm screw are a bit smaller than the 2.5mm screws I have. So when I try to use the XA screws on the hardware it would not bit on to the threads. So I ended up using a lot of my own screws and use a nut on the parts that had stripped threads. And most importantly I loctite everything with metal to metal contact.

Xaircarft x650 v4 with XAircraft CMGOPRO-TP - Camera Gimbal

Xaircarft x650 v4 with XAircraft CMGOPRO-TP - Camera Gimbal

Xaircarft x650 v4 with XAircraft CMGOPRO-TP - Camera Gimbal

 

If you do not want to use the GoPro Case you can just take it off. All you have to do is remove the one screw on the bottom.

Xaircarft x650 v4 with XAircraft CMGOPRO-TP - Camera Gimbal

 

This is how it looks with out the GoPro mounted. You can mount other cameras on it too.

Xaircarft x650 v4 with XAircraft CMGOPRO-TP - Camera Gimbal

 

Here is the gimbal with the GoPro Hero 2 mounted.

Xaircarft x650 v4 with XAircraft CMGOPRO-TP - Camera Gimbal

 

Compared to my original gimbal which is more than half the weight of this one. The CM102 Carbon Fiber 2-Axis Camera Gimbal weighs only 103g where as the XA gimbal weighs 221g.

Xaircarft x650 v4 with XAircraft CMGOPRO-TP - Camera Gimbal

 

The good thing about this gimbal is that the GoPro case only weighs 28g. And the GoPro waterproof clear case weighs 100g, so that would save me about 72g.

Xaircarft x650 v4 with XAircraft CMGOPRO-TP - Camera Gimbal

 

Final thoughts:

The gimbal feels a lot stronger and has very little so no slop. Unlike the CM102 2-Axis Carbon Fiber Camera Gimbal Mount I had to replace all the linkages because it had a lot of slop where the servo horn met the wire linkages. Whereas the XA gimgal use a gear mesh so there is not slop at all. The carbon fiber used in the XA is by far a lot thicker so there is very little flex. But there is still some twisting of the low plate where the camera mounts on. But not nearly as much at the  CM102 gimbal. I really like the ideal of the dampeners they use on both axis so the movement is smoother. The overall movements are better than the CM102 and there is still lots of room for improvement. I also read that upgrading the roll axis servo to a Savox 1258TG would make a big difference.

Is it worth the price tag of $259…. I do not think so. I did not see a night and day difference between the two gimbals. So if you can get one use or under $200 I think it is worth it because I had to modify and upgrade some parts to get the CM102 to a useable state. Whereas the XA gimbal should be fine as is without any mods or upgrades.

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