Check Out This Crane 2S Gimbal Rear Roll Motor Hack

We tend to throw the word ‘Hack’ around a lot. If you look up the definition, you’ll see there are dozens of uses for the word. And whether it’s a horse, a cabby, a prison guard, or a guy who writes articles for a blog  (like me,I consider myself a hack) you are talking about, it generally refers to some act that is taken on haphazardly with some grandiose goal in mind.

I submit to you that Josh Morgan of Momentum Productions‘ change for the Zhiyun Crane 2S is less of a hack job and more of a precision modification that shouldn’t be taken on by the faint of heart. If you’re not careful, you could end up breaking this fantastic, portable stabilizer – ending up with nothing but a $600 paper weight. But if you’re like me, and enjoy taking everything apart first and asking questions later, join me while we dive right in!

Zhiyun Crane 2S Key Features

  •  9th Instune High Axis Response Algorithm
  • Large Camera Support: BMPCC 6K, S1H, 1DX
  • Dedicated TransMount Transmitter Mounts
  • Standard & Vertical Camera Mounts
  • Carbon Fiber Handle
  • Low Servo Delay Handwheel Performance
  • 0.96″ OLED Screen
  • Panorama & Multiple Time-Lapse Functions
  • Up to 12-Hour Runtime
  • Price: $599

The Hack Precision Modification

The Zhiyun Crane 2S is a new 3-axis gimbal that seems to cover all of the bases accept for one, rear screen visibility.  Though this stabilizer may support cameras like the BMPCC6K and the 1DX, the designers placed the roll motor smack dab in the center, blocking the view of our built in monitors.

More than likely, they did this intentionally to allow the 2S to work with a wider range of cameras and offer greater flexibility.  This isn’t a deal breaker though, because Zhiyun also gave you a way to modify it, and drop that rear motor down a few inches to clear the monitor if you need.

To complete this alteration you will need:

  • Small phillips head screwdriver
  • 5/64 allen key
  • Steady hands
  • Guts

Step One

Remove the small Phillips head screws on the rear arm, above the pan motor. These screws hold the wire cover in place.

Step Two

Lay the gimbal down on a flat surface, supporting the roll motor at all times.

Step Three

Using the 5/64 allen key, remove the four screws below the roll motor, then remove the four screws, close to the pan motor at the base of the arm.

Step Four

Gently wiggle the roll motor loose from the extension arm. It is important to practice extreme caution at this time. 

The cable you see here connects the roll motor, tilt motor, and the gimbals sensor. It is extremely thin and could easily break, rendering your gimbal useless. Now, wiggle loose the extension arm.

Step Five

Use extreme caution and care to guide the excess cable length own into the lower portion of the pan arm until you can safely insert the roll motor without unintentionally pinching the cable.

Step Six 

Re-insert the 4 screws that secure the roll motor using the 5/64 allen key.

Once you have completed all 6 of these steps, balance your camera on the gimbal and recalibrate it.

Congratulations! You now have a brand new, amazingly portable and fun gimbal.

Don’t be afraid to take things apart every once in a while to see if you can modify them to suit your needs. Just remember where all the parts and pieces go, and always be careful – you don’t want to hack the thing to pieces, or lose your warranty.

[source: Momentum Productions]

Order Links:

Zhiyun-Tech CRANE 2S (B&H, Amazon)

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