Updated on juni 3, 2015 in Get started
3 on juni 30, 2014

Get started with NEWTON 8bit

To get your NEWTON 8bit up and running and to get the knowledge to keep it running you need to learn about the system.
Please take some time and go through the steps 1 to 6 before you start using your NEWTON 8bit for the first time.

We are always here to help you if your NEWTON isn’t performing as expected BUT we can’t help you if you havn’t read the manual. The first thing we will ask you to do is to through steps 1-6 of our manual and also to go through the manual from Basecam Electronics (in English, French, Spanish, Italiano or Chineese ).

If you still have problems after going through the manuals then contact:
#1 Your place of purchase, and if they can’t help then
#2 The SC team

1. What’s in the case?

Please check so that everything that should be included is there at unboxing.

In the hard plastic case you should find:

1x NEWTON gimbal (with motors and electronics)

Sealed bag containing:
2x 2200mAh 11.1v Li-Po batteries
1x Charger
1x Power cord
1x Li-Po safe bag

Sealed bag with:
1x NEWTON handles unit.

Sealed bag with:
1x NEWTON camera dove-tail plate
2x 1/4″ allen head screws with washers (for camera mounting)
1x Allen key for the camera screws.

If something is missing or if any of the sealed bags have been opened, please contact your place of purchase.

2. What is extra vulnerable

To guarantee a long life for your SC:NEWTON you must take good care of it. It can’t be handled as a tripod or rig but must be given some extra care.The most important things to think about are:

Be careful when handling the NEWTON so that you don’t stretch the cables, especially when you have a camera mounted. All cables on the NEWTON have been designed to handle everyday use, but to work smooth they had to be kept rather thin and are therefore sensitive to stretching.

The walls of the motor houses are as thin as possible to lower weight. They easilly get damaged if you drop your gimbal, so please try not to ;)

Clamps and locks
All locking mechanics on the NEWTON needs just a little force, don’t over tighten or you may damage the construction if you do.

The controller board box is the one part of the NEWTON that is sensitive to water, it’s not designed to handle rain etc. but can easily be covered with anything you have in reach. All other parts of the NEWTON handles rain, snow or humidity well.  Keep in mind that sea-water (salt) can/will cause problem so keep it away from that.

The included batteries are Li-Po batteries, the advantage of Li-Po is size/weight vs power. The down side is that they are very sensitive to over charging, shorting etc. so you have to take extra caution to this matter and only charge with Li-Po charger and always guard your batteries when charging (read more about Li-Po batteries here)

3. Assemble your NEWTON 8bit

NEWTON 8bit is almost fully assembled as it is, just a few parts need to be assembled.

Handles unit.
The handles unit easily slides onto the top motor (the motor with manfrotto compatible dove tail) and then you adjust the handles the way you want them, usually pointing 90° down. Be careful to secure the dove tail lock on the handles unit!
If you want to be extra sure the handles unit wont slide of you can just crew 2x M4 screws in the threaded holes in each side of the dove tail. The handles unit wont just slide of if it’s secured but if you will hang your NEWTON 8bit out of a car or over the heads of people ( or animals ) you may want to take this extra precautions.

The IMU (Inertial measurement unit) is the finger tips of the system, it xx the accelerometer and gyroscope.
Just slide the IMU in to the slot on the camera quick release adapter and secure with the thumb screw on the side.
Make sure that the text ”THIS SIDE UP” is facing up (up to where the camera is)

Just fasten the battery on the back of the controller box with its velcro (you can mount the battery wherever you want but this is a good place) and use the provided power cable adapter to plug it in to the DC 5.5×2.5 connector jack. If you are using larger (more mAh) batteries we suggest you wear them in a belt or back-pack to reduce weight on your arms.

4. Mount your camera

To get a solid camera mount you should always use 2x camera screw to mount the NEWTON camera plate to your camera. The NEWTON camera pate only allow for 1/4″ screws so if you have 3/8″ mounting holes on you camera you will need to get a 1/4″ to 3/8″ adapter (We will soon have this adapter in stock but for now we suggest you have a look at ebay just make sure the adapter is or it wont work.

If you will use a DSLR, BMCC or other camera with only one mounting hole, we highly suggest you use a good cage or our SC:DSLR FIXATION PLATE to get a solid mount. A solid mount is very important because if the camera is not 100% fixed to the plate there might be moements that the gimbal cant compensate,because the IMU is fixed to the Quick release adapter, or if the camera  rotates around its fixing screw your analog calibration will be ruined.

Make sure to mount the NEWTON camera plate with the engraved ruler to the right (if you look from behind the camera) then you will get a clear view of the ruler and the fine-adjustment slots underneath the plate will be in the correct position.

Now slide the camera with camera mounted in to the NEWTON quick release adapter, the safety / adjustment pin will go past the first section of the plate without releasing it so just press. then release the safety / adjustment pin by pulling the ring underneath the adapter to slide the camera to some where in center of camera gravity.

Now move the tilt and roll motor so the camera can rotate freely, without anything hitting the frame.


5. Analog calibration of frame and camera

Analog calibration is in simple words: moving the cameras center of gravitation and is the key part of good stabilization. NEWTONs motors is not ment to hold the camera in place, they should only prevent the camera from moving out of center of gravity so this is important, not as important as on a fully analog stabilizer like the steadicam, flycam etc. but its important and takes a little practice to learn.

The best way of doing this analog calibration is to first mount the NEWTON upside-down in a manfrotto compatible tripod, so you can work with it without having to hold it. Make sure the tripod head is perfectly leveled. Be careful when you turn it upside-down so you don’t stretch any cable.

Before you start calibrating make sure the power is off and that every part and / or accessory you want on the setup it mounted and is mounted firmly, if anything hang loose it can interfere with the calibration.

The 3 axis TILT – ROLL – PAN are calibrated separately. when you are done you can fineadjust all axis to get the result you like.

ROLL – Pre calibration
Just to make the tilt calibration a little easier you first make a rough calibration of the roll axis. do this by turning the knob until you get an ok result, this will need some fine tuning later.

Calibrating the tilt axis (front of camera – center – back of camera) also includes finding and adjust for the cameras vertical center (top of camera – center – bottom of camera) to be able to calibrate the tilt we need to calibrate this a little offhand, so just turn the knob that moves the camera up / down until it the camera bottom always go down when swinging it. Now release the safety / calibration pin by pulling the ring underneath the quick release adapter and move the camera back and forth untill you find a position that is ok, then let go of the ring so the safety / adjustment pin enters the nearest adjustment slot in the camera plate. Now you can fineadjust by turning the knob at the end of the quick release adapter rods. The fine adjustment knob moves the camera forth if you turn left and back if you turn right it will give you 6mm travel. If 6mm was not enough you have to release the pin and move the camera to the next possible slot, when doing this you will have to turn the knob in the opposite direction to get closer to your last position (the slots overlapping so there is not ”dead” positions). During this process, swing the camera to see that it comes back to position. When the camera remains horizontal (if you look at it from the side) you are done. Due to the resistance in the motors you wont get it to go back to perfect position every time you swing it but you will feel when you got it right…

Now its time to fineadjust the vertical center. You do this by facing the camera up/down and adjust the camera up/down by turning the know untill it stay in up/down position then to this in 45° steps untill the camera stay in any tilt direction.

Adjust the roll axis by turning the knob, when you find the correct position the camera should always stop in leveled position.

TILT - Pendulum
To eliminate the need of 100% calibration lover the camera 1 to 10mm so you get a slight pendulum effect. The heavier the camera the less you can lover it.

To find the right position for the pan motor simply lean the tripod about 20° and slide the rods back / forth through the pan motor untill you can set it in any angle and it stay. now turn the NEWTON back and attach the handles unit, angle and rotate to see if it remain stable, if it’s not move back /  forth untill it does, it takes less the a mm to get out of balance so be gentle.

When you are done with the analog calibration its recommended that you tighten the allen screws on tilt and roll axis for a more solid setup, not needed when used with lighter cameras but a must with heavy cameras.


6. Power ON

Position the camera facing forward and as leveled and still as possible, turn power on.
If it behaves strangely it’s probably the analog calibration that is not good enough.

The default mode is free, you move the NEWTON the camera is fixed.
To change mode push the mode button on the controller board box (on the top left)

1 click = FREE, you move the NEWTON the camera is fixed.
2 clicks = FOLLOW, you move the NEWTON the camera will follow pan and tilt, smooth.
3 clicks = FOLLOW TRIPOD, you move the NEWTON/tripod  the camera will follow pan and tilt, smooth. (same as FOLLOW but pan axis is reversed for upside down mount, you can also use this with handles unit)
4 clicks = Set tilt zero angle by hand.
Long press = Re calibrate gyro.

Make sure to turn NEWTON off as soon as the take is over, to save battery ;)


7. Gyro / Accelerometer calibration, software settings and profiles

The default presets should work fine with most cameras and situations but if you like to explore the software possibilities and features you can download the manual and software from basecamelectronics to change the software settings. Be sure to use the same version of the GUI as Firmware. NEWTON 8bit has firmware 2.3b5 / 2.4b7 / 2.4.b8  pre installed (version depends on date of build), download the latest version here and if your firmware and latest gui dont match, upgrade to latest firmware.
To connect to the controller board you can use a USB cable (connector behind the lid on the left side of the controller board box) or by the built-in Bluetooth unit, just turn bluetooth on (in the bottom of the controller board box)

If you connect by USB, the CP210x USB to UART Bridge Virtual COM Port (VCP) drivers are required for device operation as a Virtual COM Port to facilitate host communication with the board. CP210x USB to UART – WIN / CP210x USB to UART – OSX

To connect by Bluetooth:

Windows 7 / 8 user: Look for ”NEWTON” among the bluetooth devices, connect to it with password 1234 and a new COM port is created.
Choose this port when connecting to the board from the software.

MAC user: Use the Bluetooth setup assistant, connect to ”NEWTON” with password 1234 and a new COM port is created.
Choose this port when connecting to the board from the software.

ANDROID user: Download the APP from Basecamelectronics from GooglePlay here. and connect to ”NEWTON” with password 1234

In case you need to re-calibrate Gyro or ACC this is how its done:

Calibrating Gyro:

The option “Skip gyro calibration at startup” is activated in all NEWTON profiles so the gyro is not calibrated every time and controller start working immediately after powering up, the makes it start fast. But this makes need for manual calibration of gyro if you will notice something wrong with IMU angles and is done by long press on the mode button, make sure the camera and gimbal is perfectly still and leveled!


Calibrating Accelerometer

You must perform ACC calibration only once, but it’s recommended to recalibrate it from time to time or when the temperature significantly changes.


Simple accelerometer calibration:

Set sensor horizontally, and press CALIB.ACC in the GUI (or menu button, if it’s assigned). LED will blink for 3 seconds. Try not to move sensor during calibration. At this step no matter how camera is leveled. You are calibrating the sensor, not the camera!


Advanced accelerometer calibration (recommended):

Perform calibration in simple mode as above.


Then turn sensor in order that each side of sensor looks up (6 positions at all, including base one). Fix the sensor in each position, press CALIB.ACC button in the GUI, and wait about 3-4 seconds, while LED if flashing.


The order does not matter, but the base position always goes first (because the simple calibration cancels a result of advanced calibration). You have not to press WRITE button, calibration data is written automatically after each step.


If you get lost, here are the presets that NEWTON 8bit comes pre-loaded with

NEWTON8bit-DEFAULT-PRESETS for Firm ware 2.3

NEWTON8bit-DEFAULT-PRESETS for Firm ware 2.4

  • Liked by
1 on oktober 11, 2014

Hey Newton,

I’m currently having a Newton Gimbal with me which I got from my University for a couple of days.

It says, Board Version 1, Firmware Version 2.40b7.

Is this a 8bit Version of the Gimbal? Do I understand correctly that the 2.42b7 Firmware is 32bit only?

We’d like to use the Gimbal with a 5D, BMCC and FS700.
Right now we’re trying to finde the best settings for the 5D. Slow movements look very good (yaw still judders a bit) but while running with the gimbal you can see disturbances on all axis.

We went through the manual found on here, but had no luck so far. Going higher with P starts to vibrate and upping D can’t get rid of it.

The gimbal is totally silent with P Values around 20-25 and D Values in the same region. Going higher makes the vibrations visible and audible as well.

I’m thankful for any suggestions

on oktober 22, 2014

Here are some tips.

To start with make 100% sure Everything is fixed:

1. Tap the camera lens with you finger and see if you have any play in the camera mount, if you have this is nothing the gimbal can reduce, you must have a 100% solid mount of the cam.

2. Make sure all Allen screws in pitch and roll are tighthen well, also check the 2 screws holding the camera QR adapter (in the bottom of the QR adapter).

3. Make sure the IMU is 100% fixed in Place and dont move if you drag the IMU Cable.

When this is done and you have a good analog calibration, re-calibrate IMU Gyro and Acc.
After this, try raise the PIDs to good stabilization.

pls let me know how things work out for you!

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  • Liked by
0 on juni 3, 2015

Halo, I purchased the newton 8 bit. I miss the the manuals after I alredy done all steps almost described in the GET STARTED. Is there any video on youtube that shows how to calibrate the Newton 8bit.

  • Liked by