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Centerpiece Manual (FW 1334)

Table Of Contents

Phobotic Centerpiece User Manual

Product Overview

Centerpiece

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Centerpiece HV

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Component List

  1. MicroUSB connector

  2. Pushbutton 1

  3. LEDs

  4. Pushbutton 2

  5. Mounting hole

  6. Header pins 1-8

    Bidirectional PWM (Input / Output)

  7. Mounting hole

  8. Battery positive terminal

  9. Battery negative terminal

  10. Motor #3 (YAW)

  11. Motor #2 (ROLL)

  12. Motor #1 (PITCH)

  13. Mounting hole

  14. Spektrum Satellite Receiver #2

  15. IMU Port #2

  16. IMU Port #1

  17. Expansion port

  18. Buzzer

  19. Serial

  20. Spektrum Satellite Receiver #1

In The Box

Centerpiece  
Centerpiece x1
Spectar IMU x1
IMU cable x1
IMU mounting hardware x1
Centerpiece HV  
Centerpiece HV x1
Spectar IMU x2
IMU cable x1
IMU mounting hardware x1

Installation

Mounting

Caution

Before mounting, you may want to solder the battery terminals (Centerpiece, Centerpiece HV) and the motor wires (Centerpiece HV only)

IMU

  1. A set of screws and standoffs are supplied by Phobotic for the purpose of IMU mounting.
  2. Make sure the IMU is mounted in one of the supported orientations.
  3. It is preferable to mount the IMU where it is not exposed to propeller downwash. You can use some tape to protect it from moving air.
  4. Make sure the IMU wire has enough slack to support the full motion range of the gimbal.
  5. Mount the IMU as close as possible to the rotation center point.

Caution

Never mount the IMU using tape. Always use the supplied bolts.

Always use all provided four bolts to mount the IMU.

Caution

The IMU cable is made of ultra-flexible silicon wire which has delicate isolation. Make sure it’s not chafing against any sharp edges of the gimbal.

Never mount the IMU without using a spacer as it has components on both sides.

_images/mounting1.png

At the front of the camera, pointing down.

_images/mounting2.png

At the back of the camera, pointing down.

_images/mounting3.png

At the top of the camera, pointing backwards

_images/mounting4.png

At the bottom of the camera, pointing backwards

Centerpiece

  1. You can mount the Centerpiece in any orientation desirable.
  2. Make sure the back of the Centerpiece is not touching any metal parts. Take particular care around solder holes (such as the battery terminals and the Centerpiece HV motor connectors).

Connecting

IMU

  1. In the case of a single IMU system, you may connect the IMU to either of the ports on the Centerpiece.
  2. In the case of dual IMU systems, you can still connect each of the IMUs to either of the ports; however, for the first time the Centerpiece is powered and Autotune is performed, you must have only the Camera IMU connected (leave the Chassis IMU disconnected for the first power up).

Caution

If using two IMUs, run Autotune for the first time with just the camera IMU connected.

R/C Receiver

Caution

Turn off all power to both the R/C and the Centerpiece while connecting.

The yellow wire (signal) on the connectors must face up.

Make sure you don’t misalign the R/C connectors (connecting only one or two pins out of the three), as this may cause damage to both the Centerpiece and your receiver. Inspect the connections, and only then reapply power to the system.

S-Bus receivers may only be connected to the SBUS_IN port.

PWM receivers may be connected to any of the first 4 PWM ports.

Please refer to the diagrams in Product Overview.

It is sufficient to connect Singal and Ground.

_images/rc1.png

DO NOT misalign the R/C connectors

_images/rc2.png

Make sure the R/C connectors are aligned correctly

_images/rc3.png

The yellow wire (signal) on the connectors must face up

Gimbal Setup

The Centerpiece is a high precision, sensitive controller. To realize the full potential of the controller, your gimbal mechanics must be up to the task. Please take special care in following the listed steps.

  1. Check that the IMU is securely bolted down to the gimbal
  2. Make sure the motor bearings have no slop. Slop will confuse the autotuning algorithms of the Centerpiece, causing low gains.
  3. Make sure the gimbal parts have no binding (take special care around the pitch axis counterbearing).
  4. Remove or tie down all loose wires, especially HDMI cables and other semi-rigid cables. Ensure nothing is left rattling or loose on the gimbal.

Caution

Take special care to ensure the camera is balanced on all three axes.

Dampers

Check the damping setup for play.

Caution

From our experience, the Centerpiece prefers harder damping as this provides a more stable platform for the gimbal to work against. We generally advise against using multiple damping layers or soft damping, although this can vary between gimbals.

Make sure your damping setup can not easily “bottom out”, causing contact between hard surfaces, under loads, which will translate to violent shakes in the video under high accelerative loads.

Installing the Application

Please follow the instructions at http://phobotic.com/start

Once the application is installed, it can be launched from the Chrome Apps Launcher which appears on the taskbar or in Chrome’s bookmarks bar.

If you can’t find the launcher, please follow the following steps:

  1. In Chrome, browse to the following address: chrome://apps
  2. Right-click the Phobotic icon and pick “Create shortcuts”
  3. Choose where to create a shortcut to the application and click “Create”.

Caution

For the software to work, an IMU has to be connected to the Centerpiece.

You must have an internet connection the first time you connect a Centerpiece to your computer in order for the drivers to be installed.

After connecting the device, please wait 10-15 seconds before connecting the application

When the application is started, you’ll be presented with a list of available serial devices to choose from. If you are not sure which port is correct, you can just try them out one by one (once you see an error message, go to the next).

Alternatively, you can connect the Centerpiece after launching the application, and see which device is added after pressing Refresh (it will take a few seconds to show up, and it is required to wait 6-8 seconds after the device appears before connecting).

Instructions for Mac Users

If you are on a Mac, you may need to install drivers manually. If you are getting timeout errors when connecting the application to the Centerpiece, please follow the instructions here.

Autotuning

Preparations

Caution

Before you start, please follow the “Gimbal Setup” section closely. Any deficiencies in the construction of the gimbal will interfere with the correct operation of the autotuning process.

Make sure the gimbal is free to move at least 30° in all directions.

For tuning of an aerial gimbal, the gimbal has to be mounted on the multirotor, with the multirotor resting firmly on a flat floor.

For tuning of handheld gimbals, the gimbal has to be held by a rigid clamp. We advise to use a bicycle mechanic stand (such as the Park Tools PCS-9) to hold your gimbal securely. Many of these mounts have no trouble clamping the 25mm Carbon tubes used in many handheld gimbals. The heavier the stand is, the better the autotuning will perform.

CAUTIONS

Do not simply rest the gimbal on anything while autotuning. The gimbal has to be mounted or clamped to a solid object

Any slop in the mounting of the gimbal will adversely affect autotuning results

During the autotune process, the camera may violently jerk in various directions. If your gimbal configuration is one that allows the lens or camera to contact parts of the gimbal or frame, please pay attention to the autotune process and manually prevent the camera from hitting any hard parts.

Starting the Autotune Function

On startup, please wait until hearing a beep before starting Autotune

The autotuning function can be started in two ways:

  1. Using a 5-second press on pushbutton 2
  2. Using the Autotune button in the application

Caution

On startup, please wait until hearing a beep before starting Autotune.

It is normal for the the camera to momentarily vibrate during autotuning.

Troubleshooting Autotune Failures

Power climbs to > 80 and Autotune fails

Common causes:

  1. IMU installed in an unsupported orientation, causing the IMU to misread Pitch as Roll or Yaw, and so on.
  2. Motor outputs have been incorrectly connected, causing the Centerpiece to move the wrong motor.
  3. Faulty motor / cable

Power > 50 or motors getting very hot

Usually indicates that the motors are too small for the payload.

Gains too low (< 100K)

Note that this is possibly a valid result on a small gimbal with low pole-count motors. Always test the gimbal before making changes.

Common causes:

  1. Gimbal is not stiff enough mechanically
  2. There’s play in the gimbal bearings
  3. IMU mounted incorrectly. Do not use two-sided tape for the mounting of the IMU. It has to be rigidly bolted to the gimbal.

Gains too high (> 2M)

Note that this is possibly a valid result on a very high pole-count motor (> 28 poles).

Common causes:

  1. Axis binding (axis can’t move freely): check gimbal bearings and tube alignment (usually a problem with the pitch axis)
  2. Autotuned power setting is not high enough. You can increase the power by up to 10 points and retry gain tuning.
  3. Motors are too small for the payload. Usually an autotuned power value of over 50 indicates that the motor is too small.

Vibrations after Autotune

See Overdamped Axis.

Vibrations at specific angles

See Vibrations While Pitching Up Or Down.

Help and Support

Application Help

Instructions for the application are embedded in the application itself. Detailed instructions as well as explanations of the various parameters in each section of the application are accessible by clicking the info button.

_images/app_help_btn.png

In-app help button

_images/app_help_modal.png

Example of in-app help window

Requesting Support

In case you need assistance with the tuning or operation of your Centerpiece controller, please send us a support request through the application by pressing the “Send support request” button. You are also invited to use the Technical Support section of our forums at http://forums.phobotic.com.

_images/app_support_btn.png

Support request button

_images/app_support_modal.png

Support request form

Operation

Starting Up

Caution

The startup procedure should be performed with the gimbal as upright as possible. On an aerial platform, the multirotor should be on level ground.

Do not move the gimbal until initialization is complete.

Startup procedure

  1. Blue LED 1 will turn on. This means the Centerpiece is running normally
  2. All Orange LEDs will flash. The IMU is now heating up. The IMU LED should be purple, indicating normal operation
  3. The Centerpiece will beep. The gimbal is now powering up and beginning the homing process. The LEDs will change into the Stabilization Mode scheme.
  4. The gimbal will move to the home position. During this process, the gimbal may detect a change in the direction of the motors, which is indicated by all LEDs flashing blue as well as a tone notification
  5. The gimbal will now perform the last calibration. This is indicated by the IMU LED becoming blue for several seconds, after which it will return to purple
  6. The Centerpiece will now beep again, meaning it has entered the High Performance stabilization mode. The gimbal is now operational.

High Performance Mode

In High Performance stabilization mode, the gimbal is fully operational. When entering this mode, Blue LED 5 will turn on and the Centerpiece will beep.

Any interference with the gimbal (such as manually moving the camera by hand, resisting the gimbal) will cause the Centerpiece to change into Stabilization Recovery mode.

Stabilization Recovery Mode

Stabilization Recovery mode allows the user to manually alter the position of the camera on the yaw axis and the pitch axis. When interrupted or manually moved, the gimbal will not attempt to return to the home position, but instead enter this mode.

When entering this mode, Orange LED 5 will turn on and the Centerpiece will beep.

To exit recovery mode, place the gimbal in an upright position and simply let go of the camera and allow the gimbal to assume stabilization. After several seconds without interference, the gimbal will try to home again into the new position on yaw and pitch, while leveling the roll.

Under normal operation, as long as the gimbal is unperturbed, the gimbal is not supposed to enter Recovery mode. If your gimbal often enters Recovery mode on its own, it is most likely a sign that one or more of the axes are mistuned. Please consult the Performance Tuning chapter, or submit a support request through the application.

LVC (Low Voltage Cutoff) Mode

If the battery goes below a set cell voltage, the Centerpiece goes into LVC mode, immediately stopping the motors to prevent any damage to the battery.

The only way to get out of LVC mode is by changing the battery and starting the Centerpiece again.

Caution

If the Centerpiece is connected by both USB and battery, and the battery is removed, the Centerpiece will enter LVC mode.

Status LEDs

The Centerpiece and the Centerpiece HV have 5 LEDs. Each LED can have one of the following states:

Off Turned off
Orange Orange light
Blue Blue light
Purple Purple light
Blinking orange Blinking orange
Alternating blue/orange Alternating blue/orange

LEDs During Startup

Blue Off Off Off Off Board startup
Blinking orange Blinking orange Blinking orange Blinking orange Blinking orange IMU heating up

Alternating blue/orange Off Off Off Off

Alternating blue/orange Alternating blue/orange Alternating blue/orange Alternating blue/orange Alternating blue/orange

Software update in progress

(every LED represents 20% progress)

In Stabilization Mode

When the gimbal is operational, LEDs 1-3 display the battery status as follows:

Purple Purple Purple Off Off Full battery
Purple Purple Orange Off Off  
Purple Orange Orange Off Off  
Orange Orange Orange Off Off  
Orange Orange Off Off Off  
Orange Off Off Off Off  
Blinking orange Blinking orange Blinking orange Off Off Battery is almost empty

LED 5 displays the stabilization mode:

Off Off Off Off Blue High Performance mode
Off Off Off Off Orange Recovery mode

IMU LED

Alternating blue/orange Starting up or update in progress
Blue Calibration in progress
Purple Normal operation

Tone Notifications

Entered High Performance stabilization mode
Entered Recovery stabilization mode
Gimbal is off
Autotune started
Autotune finished successfully
Autotune failed
Detected motor direction change

On-Board Buttons

The on-board buttons provide an easy way to trigger a few common actions. As can be seen in Product Overview, the button next to the USB port is named Pushbutton 1, and the one near the corner is named Pushbutton 2.

Presses of over 2 seconds are recognized as long presses.

Short press on pushbutton 1 Start/stop gimbal
Long press on pushbutton 1 Gimbal long-start; slower and performs extra calibrations: motor reversing check and gyro calibration
Short press on pushbutton 2 Enter Setup menu (see below)
Long press on pushbutton 2 Start autotune on all axes

The Gimbal Setup Menu

The setup menu lets you modify a few parameters without connecting to the application. It can be activated using a short press on pushbutton 2.

While using the menu, a single LED will be turned on, showing the currently selected option, with the LED next to the USB port being option 1. Use pushbutton 2 to switch to another option, and pushbutton 1 to select.

If no action is performed for 10 seconds, the menu will quit by itself.

These are the options currently available from the menu:

Option 1: Changing the current bank (see Configuration Banks)

  1. Press pushbutton 2 to enter the setup menu
  2. Press pushbutton 1 to select “Bank switch”
  3. Press pushbutton 2 repeatedly to highlight the desired bank number, counting from the LED next to pushbutton 1
  4. Press pushbutton 1 to switch and reboot

Option 2: Changing the user gain parameter

  1. Press pushbutton 2 to enter the setup menu

  2. Press pushbutton 2 to highlight the second menu item (“User gain”)

  3. Press pushbutton 1 to select

  4. You’ll see one LED blinking blue: this is the axis selection menu. Use pushbutton 2 to navigate and pushbutton 1 to select. The options are Pitch, Roll and Yaw, counting from the side of the USB port

  5. You will now enter the value selection mode. The options are -20%, -10%, 0, 10% and 20%, counting from the side of the USB port. Again, use pusbutton 2 to navigate and pushbutton 1 to select.

    Note: when entering this mode, if the current user gain value is not one of the presets above, no option will be selected initially (all LEDs will be off). You can still use pusbutton 2 to navigate to one of the presets, or pushbutton 1 to keep the current value.

Updating the Firmware

A firmware update can be done in two ways: using the application, or by starting the Centerpiece in USB Drive mode and directly copying the firmware file to it.

Using the application

  1. Select the Update Firmware tab on the left menu in the application
  2. Select the file and press the Upload button

Using USB Drive mode

  1. Remove all power from the Centerpiece (both USB and battery have to be disconnected)
  2. Press and hold pushbutton 2 while connecting USB. Do not leave the button until Orange LED 1 turns on
  3. After about 10 seconds, a new drive will appear on your computer with the name “CENTERPIECE”
  4. Copy the new firmware file into the “CENTERPIECE” drive on your PC. This will take about a minute, during which the process might appear frozen (but it’s working).

After either of these processes are performed, the Centerpiece will

  1. Display an alternating orange/blue LED pattern. The pattern starts at a single LED alternating orange/blue, and advances by a LED every 20% done (up to 5 LEDs alternating orange/blue)
  2. Reboot at the end of the process, and perform the update. At this point, all LEDs will be remain off until the update is done.
  3. After an additional minute, start normally and go back to showing Blue LED 1.

Caution

Do not unplug the Centerpiece while an update is in process (until Blue LED 1 is on again).

Configuration

Static Leveling

In most installations, there would be a slight static horizon error, which can be caused by a mounting error of either the camera or the IMU. This error is very simple to fix:

  1. Activate the gimbal with the camera recording
  2. Place a transparent glass of water in front of the camera
  3. Use the Home Position +/- controls on the dashboard to adjust the camera until the water in the glass appear level in the video.
_images/home_position.png

Home position buttons in the application dashboard

User Gain

The user gain parameter provides a way to fine-tune the results of the autotune process. Increasing the user gain will make the stabilization more aggressive. Reducing it may help reduce vibrations.

The user gain parameter is accessible in the application dashboard as well as in the setup menu.

Follow Mode

When follow mode is enabled for an axis, that axis will follow movements of the frame. The Centerpiece allows turning Follow on or off separately for each axis.

Follow mode is enabled by default on the Yaw axis after Autotune has been performed.

In order to modify the follow mode behavior for an axis:

  1. Connect to the application
  2. On the left, choose the axis you’d like to configure
  3. Look for the “Follow settings” section.

The Centerpiece can hold up to 5 Follow mode configurable behaviors for each axis, called Follow Profiles. The current profile can be changed from a drop-down in the application, or edited by clicking Edit.

The Follow mode behavior can be configured manually by setting the individual parameters, or automatically by choosing a configuration preset from a list.

For more information, see the instructions inside the application (info).

R/C

R/C can be set up using the application.

The Centerpiece holds a list of 15 R/C channels. Each channel can be attached to a physical R/C control, and assigned a function.

To set up a new R/C control:

  1. Connect your receiver as per the instructions in the R/C Receiver section.
  2. Go to the RC tab in the application
  3. Pick an unused channel from the list and click Edit
  4. Click the “Detect / Calibrate” button and follow the instructions
  5. Under “Assign function” pick the function you’d like to assign to the control.
  6. Modify the parameters to obtain the desired behavior. Click the info buttons in the application to see a description of each parameter.

A description of the available R/C functions follows.

Position Control

The Position function controls the position of the axis. There are two modes of position control:

Speed mode - the R/C controls the speed of the axis. The camera moves as long as the stick is not at center.

Angle mode - the R/C controls the absolute position of the axis. As long as the axis is held in place, the camera doesn’t move.

By default, position control operates in Speed mode. To switch to Angle mode, select “Angle” from the Mode dropdown.

The max. travel of the axis under R/C control can be limited by enabling the Position limiter in the R/C settings screen. The allowed position range is displayed graphically on a circle:

_images/position_limiter.png

The orange-filled arc marks the allowed positions of the axis. A black dot shows the current position of the axis, so you can move the camera in real-time and see how its position is reflected on the circle. Note that the Centerpiece has no sense of direction: “up” and “down” on the circle might be the reverse of what you’d expect, so using the black dot to understand this representation is recommended.

The recommended way to set the endpoints is as follows:

  1. Make sure the battery is connected. The gimbal doesn’t have to be turned on
  2. With your hand, move the camera to one endpoint and click the set_current button for Endpoint #1
  3. Move the camera to the other endpoint and click the set_current button for Endpoint #2
  4. If the circle diagram shows the inverse region in orange (the desired position range is in gray), click “Flip range”

Follow Control

The Follow function controls the Follow speed of the axis. It can also be used to turn Follow off and back on.

When the Follow function is selected, the R/C settings panel shows the current follow rigidity value. To get a meaningful follow behavior, click the Setup button and follow the instructions. You can move the R/C control around to see how it is interpreted. The higher the rigidity, the faster the follow.

You can also modify the travel parameter to make the follow control softer / more aggressive.

Resetting Axis Position

R/C Follow control can also be used to reset the position of an axis using the R/C. This can be configured as follows:

  1. Enable Follow mode on the axis
  2. Set up R/C Follow control
  3. When the gimbal is started, set the R/C stick at zero (Follow mode off)
  4. To reset the axis position, enable Follow using the R/C. Once the axis is back at its home position, you can turn Follow back off.

Moving the axis using the R/C while Follow mode is enabled will move its “home” position.

Configuration Banks

Configuration banks provide the option to store several sets of the Centerpiece configuration on the device itself. The Centerpiece allows for up to 5 banks to be configured.

When modifying the Centerpiece parameters, only the active bank will be modified. To configure another bank, you must switch to it first.

The current bank can be switched from the application’s dashboard, or using the on-board buttons (see here for instructions).

Caution

When switching to another bank, the Centerpiece will reboot.

In the application, you can also save/load the current bank from a file, reset a bank to factory defaults, and copy the configuration from one bank to another.

It is often easier to copy a working bank to an unused one using the application, and only then tweak the latter, instead of starting from a clean bank.

Performance Tuning

Before Tuning

Always start with an Autotune (gains and power). Tuning manually from zero is not advised.

Always test your gimbal before attempting manual tuning. It is advised to back up your configuration before making changes (see Configuration Banks).

Also keep in mind that low gains (< 100K) could also indicate mechanical problems, which cannot be solved by manual tuning.

Gimbal Analyzer

The Gimbal Analyzer section in the application is a tool for running performance tests on the gimbal and inspecting their results. The tests are performed by injecting an artificial disturbance (“impact”) and measuring how well the gimbal corrects the error. Specific explanations of the different options and parameters of the Analyzer are available in the in-app help.

Here’s an example of an Analyzer graph.

_images/graph1.png

Impact graphs often have these parts:

  • Impact: the performance test introduces an error of 0.1° (adjustable), as seen at the beginning of the graph.
  • Zero-crossing: the first time that the axis crosses the zero-error position after impact
  • Overshoot: the distance the axis travels past the zero-error point
  • Ringing: the axis going back and forth trying to reach zero
  • Convergence: the axis gradually reaches the zero-error position
  • Static noise: small (usually < 0.01°) fluctuations when the axis is close to the zero-error position

The following image shows a graph of the same axis, this time with no initial impact. This is just a recording of the position error during stabilization. When looking at Analyzer graphs, always pay attention to the y-axis scale. In the following graph, the error range is -0.002° to 0.003°.

_images/graph_noise.png

Common Analyzer Results

This section shows a few of the common problems that can be detected using the Gimbal Analyzer.




Reference Graph

The following graph shows a well-tuned axis. The following characterstics make it a good graph:

  1. Crosses the zero-error point very quickly (< 30 samples). This graph is from a small, lightweight gimbal. On heavier gimbals, slower zero-crossing should be expected (up to 150 is OK)
  2. Hardly any ringing
  3. Converges to zero quickly
_images/graph_good.png

Well-tuned axis.

Some amount of overshoot should be expected in a well-tuned axis.

Underdamped Axis

An underdamped axis is often characterized by a low-frequency (< 100 Hz), long ringing phase. This can be seen in the following impact graph, and its FFT.

_images/graph_underdamped.png

0.1° impact on an underdamped axis

_images/graph_underdamped_fft.png

FFT of previous graph

Note that in some case, such graphs indicate flex in the gimbal. One particular case, where this problem appears on the yaw axis, is caused by dampers that are too soft.

Actions:

  1. Increase User Gain in steps of 0.05.
  2. Increase power by 5-8 points, but no more than that. Check that the motor does not overheat.

Overdamped Axis

An overdamped axis is often characterized by a high-frequency (> 100 Hz), high amplitude, short-duration ringing phase. This can be seen in the following impact graph, and its FFT.

_images/graph_overdamped.png

0.1° impact on an overdamped axis

_images/graph_overdamped_fft.png

FFT of previous graph

Actions:

  1. Reduce User Gain in steps of 0.05.
  2. Reduce PID P in steps of 5%
  3. Decrease power in increments of 2-4 points

Vibrating Axis

In most cases this level of vibrations means that the Centerpiece can’t control the axis due to incorrect settings or a mechanical problem. Usually these vibrations will be audible.

_images/graph_vib.png

Impact graph of a vibrating axis

This is an extreme case of an overdamped axis, and should be handled the same.

Non-Converging Axis

In the following graph you can see that the axis is properly restrained, but the absolute error never actually reaches zero.

_images/graph_no_i.png

Graph of a non-converging axis: error doesn’t reach zero.

Actions:

  1. Increase PID I in steps of 5%
  2. If it doesn’t help, try increase the “I gain limiter” at the end of the Advanced section by 10,000 points at a time.

Vibrations While Pitching Up Or Down

Vibrations during R/C movement of the Pitch axis are caused by the lens mass becoming perpendicular to the roll axis (instead of axial), changing the moment of inertia of the camera about the roll axis. The yaw is also affected, but to a lesser extent.

Actions:

  1. Reduce User Gain on the Roll axis in steps of 5%
  2. If that didn’t help, reduce User Gain on the Yaw axis in steps of 5%

Horizon Holding

Static Error

A static horizon error, where the horizon is constantly off by a few degrees in a certain direction, is usually caused by small mounting errors. To fix this, please follow the procedure in Static Leveling.

Developing Drift While Hovering

Horizon that is visibly shifting during a simple hover and staying shifted (usually seen immediately after take-off) indicates that the IMU is experiencing severe vibrations. This would be accompanied by an unstable image showing shaking and/or vibrations. It’s important to understand that the horizon problem seen in this case is a symptom of stabilization problems, either mechanical or tuning-related. This is not a problem in itself. The only way to solve this condition is to troubleshoot the stabilization of the gimbal.

Troubleshooting

Problem Possible cause
Board not starting (no lights) Board not powered
IMU not getting up to temperature (Orange LEDs flashing for over 30 seconds)

Environment too cold

IMU might be damaged

Gimbal drifting on startup

Gimbal moving around violently on startup

Gimbal moved before entering High Performance mode
Gimbal shaking

Requires autotuning

User gains should be lowered

Camera unbalanced

Loose rigid wires or slop in gimbal parts

Autotuning does not end Please submit a support request
Gimbal enters Recovery mode on its own during stabilization

Some axis is not properly tuned.

Consult the Performance Tuning section or submit a support request

Centerpiece is not entering High Performance mode, or repeatedly enters Recovery mode on its own The Centerpiece is mistuned.
Gimbal doesn’t start and LEDs show Blue Orange Off Off Off IMU not detected. Faulty cable / IMU.
IMU LED not purple after start IMU problem.

Glossary

Angle mode
An R/C channel mode where the stick position determines the absolute position of the axis. cf. Speed mode
Application
Chrome application
GUI
The PC software for the Centerpiece. The application runs inside Google Chrome.
Autotune
The automatic process by which the Centerpiece determines the stabilization parameters.
Bank
A configuration profile. The Centerpiece can hold up to 5 sets of parameters that can be configured separately and switch through the application or using the on-board buttons.
CP
Short for Centerpiece
Follow mode
A feature that allows an axis to follow movements of the frame.
Follow profile
The Centerpiece can hold up to 5 separate Follow mode configurations per axis called follow profiles.
HP mode
High Performance mode
The normal operation mode of the gimbal. See the relevant section
LVC
Low Volatge Cutoff
A mechanism that protects the battery by stopping the motors when voltage drops too low. See the relevant section
Pushbuttons
The on-board buttons. Pushbutton 1 is the one next to the USB port.
Recovery mode
Limited stabilization mode triggered when the position of the camera is changed manually. See the relevant section
Spectar IMU
The IMU manufactured by Phobotic and used with the Centerpiece and Centerpiece HV.
Speed mode
An R/C channel mode where the stick position determines the speed of the axis. cf. Angle mode.

Need help? Come chat with us in the Phobotic Forums GO