Mini Control Board X3 Doubts

Hi all,

Sorry if my questions are very basic. I want to build a PAN / Tilt system that is controlled from a mobile phone using bluetooth.

  1. Do I need an additional board for this job?
  2. Can I control 2 servos from this board? Can you suggest a brand / model to support the weight of a mobile phone itself with heavy and high speed usage?
  3. I see a battery is included, but I doubt its capacity will be enough to provide enough for 2h of heavy usage. Can you suggest an alternative with more capacity?
  4. Do you provide the source code to control the servos from my own app? (SDK, whatever)

Thank you very much

Hi Jaime, welcome!
From what i remember the X3 does indeed have input for two servos, however Im not too sure what options you have for controlling it outside the app.
The X4 board has that and also is really flexible in terms of control; you can operate it via the totem app or program it yourself using the Arduino IDE.

I cant recommend a partocular servo, but as long as it is 5v you’re good to go.
Battery wise i havent really hammered my battery in my Totem spider too much so not sure how much continuois performance youre looking at, but its certainly a good starting point.

Hi Craig,

I want to control the servos from a mobile phone placed on the PAN/TIlt element itself. Thus, it will instruct the device to move based on what it sees on the camera.
To do so, I would like to keep the “system” as simple as possible. This is why I need to send the commands through bluetooth, and why they need to be sent from my own app, no a third party app.
I understood the X3 was perfect for this usecase, but for sure, could consider more complex X4 if needed.
One thing that has surprised me so far, is that X3 provides 3.7V servo power and the servos I find all require at least 5V
As for the X4, seems it doesn’t have Bluetooth itself, adding to the cost

Ive just checked the app and you can certainly create your own models to give you control over the two servos.
The X4 does in fact have bluetooth, as it connects to the app just like the X3.

I found the issue. The product page says nothing about the bluetooth.
You need to enter the wiki to discover it does indeed have bluetooth :smiley:
One question as for X4 board, how many servos can I attach to it?

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Moved topic to Questions

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Theres three servo channels on there, in addition to some extra GPIO pins for use with sensors and stuff.

Hi Arnas,

Indeed, X3 seems better fit as my intention is to control the servos solenly from the mobile app but at the same time, it seems only capable of providing 3.7V and the servos I find require all of them almost 5V.

The X4 has a more powerful batery pack, as the intention is to be able to function for at least 2h moving the servos.

Initially, most provably it will be just 1 servo for panning, but potentially, i would like to consider the option for tilt part too in the future.

The best PAN kit I have found so far is this: DDP125 Standard Pan - ServoCity which could be “upgraded” in the future to SPT200 Pan & Tilt Kit - ServoCity in case I consider tilt movement is needed too.

The weight to be moved is the mobile phone itself

  1. We have two motor control boards:
X3 X4
3.7V battery 11.1V battery
2 servo channels 3 servo channels
Bluetooth Low Energy Bluetooth Low Energy
Arduino programmable
  1. It mostly depends on structure that will be holding a phone. All weight should be supported by joints, and servos are used only to hold and change position. In that case they won’t need a lot of power, only precision.
    5 Volt sevos actually works in range between 3 - 6 Volts. Keep in mind that output torque and speed depends on that. Mostly it’s specified by manufacturer.

  2. X3 included battery is LiPo, 3.7V, 250 mAh. If you need more capacity, you can use 18650 batteries. I have seen holders with JST connector, or entire battery with JST connector. Recommended to use protected batteries only. Just make sure connector polarity is correct.
    In case of X4 - it has more powerful battery that will be plenty.

  3. TLDR - no, we don’t have SDK for your own app.
    Long answer: There was and Arduino library to use with ESP32 processors. It allowed to scan and connect X3 boards and control them. This is a bit outdated at the moment -
    Also there was one topic to get it working with PlatformIO - VScode -> Platformio -> ESP32 -> Build failed : assembly debendencies?
    There definitely is a plan to work on third party integrations (as I see demand is growing), but can’t estimate when it will be available.
    In case of X4 board - with Arduino you can implement your own communication protocol over Bluetooth Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy or Wi-Fi.

Overall - I would suggest to use X4, because it has more power, bigger battery, programmable and has MEMS (Gyro, Acc) sensor in case you need it.

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Thank you very much for the reply, very clear.
I will use the X4 then. Bluetooth control is mandatory, and thus X3 is discarded as well as other similar products I have found.
As for the Pan / Til, as said, DDP125 or even DDP155 Base Pan - ServoCity are great starting points just for PAN. The weight is small, just the mobile itself, a clip to hold it into the PAN and thats about it.
Of course, I will have to find a way to fit and hold in place the servo itself (the kit already covers that), but also the X4 controller and the battery.
The DDP155 is quite nice for that, I would just need to find a way to bring the power connector and the ON/OFF button in there.
Also, as this is to be mounted in a photography tripod, I will need to add some way a place to screw the tripod and also, expose on the top a 1/4 screw so to make it easy to place there standard mobile phone holder

These servo pan base look solid. Not even serves the purpose but good looking.
X4 could probably fit inside the base. From the video it looks quite big.
X4 dimensions: 7x5x1.4 cm (L x W x H). Battery: 7x5.5x2.9 cm (L x W x H).
If placing everything inside - probably would need to drill a hole in the side to add external power switch and split battery wire. Or somehow make X4 power switch accessible from outside.