Servo City New ‘Open Loop’ Pan Tilt Head for Video

[Update] This is a new OPEN LOOP system that is not yet available. NOT CLOSED LOOP. Sorry, for the confusion.

New Motorized Pan & Tilt head from Servo City. I used these guys to pick up some parts for the DIY motorized Juicedlink Slider project (here), and at the time they didn't have quite the Pan & Tilt head available for the end of a Jib / Crane. After discussing with them what I was looking for, they mentioned they were working on a new 'Open Loop' system that would allow me to operate the camera through the joystick control.

So here it is. It's a new Pan & Tilt 'Open Loop' system with Joystick control. Construction is top notch, and I don't know of a cheaper system out there. The product is not yet available, but it will be in a few weeks at (Click Here).

45 thoughts on “Servo City New ‘Open Loop’ Pan Tilt Head for Video

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @Craig - I have only some information, and it sounds like this controller is already designed for future upgrades. There's an AUX port on the controller right now that's not being used with the head unit. That's all I know at this point.

  2. @Emm, are you able to tell us any more info about the future upgrades for this system?

    Will they be compatible with the current controller or will you have to buy a new one to get the upgrades?

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Craig - I don't know if wrapping CAT6 cable continuously on a short drum would be a good idea, and I couldn't tell you if 20m of CAT6 cable would work. I would email servo city and ask them. They would know how much power the head requires and if the long cable would cause too much resistance through that length.

  4. Thanks,

    Is there a maximum length of cat6 cable you would recommend?
    I'm looking to use this system on a 15 metre telescopic aerial mast so would need about 20m of cat6 cable.

    I'm not sure if this is an issue, but the cable gets wound onto a 6" diameter drum after every use, so am also a little worried about the cable bending all the time.


  5. Emm

    Post author

    @Craig - It does not need separate power. It all goes through the CAT6 cable from the remote.

  6. With the MPT1100-SS as it is, does the pan/tilt head needs its own separate power supply or does the power come through the cat6 cable from the control unit?


  7. Craig,
    You will actually need the controller that comes with the MPT1100-SS pan and tilt if you would like to run it wirelessly. Your R/C receiver will replace the PWM board inside of the control box and simply plug into the main control board. You will probably want to use a 12V battery inplace of the power supply in order to achieve full wireless control. The main control board will feed 5VDC to your receiver negating any need for a second battery. At that point you will have full control over the pan and tilt via your wireless transmitter.

    The PT785-S is a closed loop, servo driven system. I would not recommend converting it to open loop (by modifying the servos to continuous rotation) as the servo will tend to creep left or right when the joystick is left in the center position. This is due to the very narrow deadband width that is programmed into the servo from the factory.

    Closed loop is referring to the fact that it has positioning feedback. For more information on open vs. closed loop, please follow this link:


  8. Is there an option to purchase the MPT1100-SS system without the controller?
    I'm not sure how easy it would be but I'm wanting to operate it with a standard RC controller wirelessly.

    I'm wanting to use it on a 15m mast so the lighter and smaller the better which is why the PT785-S Pan / Tilt head may be better for me.. Is there a way to convert this to an open looped system? What makes it a closed loop system? has something been done to the servos?


  9. Steven

    @L. Lewis: Thanks! I already "like" & follow servocity on facebook. Have seen you guys offer sales before but was not aware of the "plug" discount. That a good idea for any business!

    @Emm: I am excited to see what you post up once you get it up and running!

  10. Diesel

    @Emm..Can't wait...been checking back on the site for weeks to see this become available...and there's more, nice!

    @Steven...that would be sweet.

  11. Emm

    Post author

    @Steven - Hmm good idea. I wonder if they will! Won't hurt to ask I guess.. LOL.

  12. Steven

    @ L. Lewis: This is an awesome product! Is Servo City going to offer a CheesyCam discount? Please!

  13. Emm

    Post author

    @Diesel - Wait till you see more from this new Open Loop head from Servo City. There's some additional information I received that will surely interest people. It has some features that will integrate with some future upgrades to be able to control Zoom / Focus and more.

  14. How would I mount this to my Zolinger Jib? The reason I ask is because the Zolinger jib has a 75mm/100mm bowl mount I'm wondering if I can screw the remote head to that bowl mount

  15. Emm

    Post author

    @Olphus - I have other news. The design is based on a Bowl Mount most Jib / Cranes support. If you don't have this, then you can get a bowl adapter. This is a prototype and i'll have more information on this soon. They are sending some additional stuff soon.

  16. Olphus

    This is very exciting but how do you mount it to a regular tripod with a 3/8" thread?
    Is there anyway to house the motors to dampen the sound?

    I also checked their shipping information dreading the US/Canada only shipping but thankfully they have international shipping and USPS option too.

  17. Diesel

    Sweet mang! Thanks for the advanced peep. Wanna get one of these. I'm looking forward to your review but I have a feeling it's dope.

  18. I have the closed loop system and it's very good. The build quality of the platform is top notch. I've been using it with a standard R/C remote control for testing with good results. The servos are noisy at full speed but quite quiet for subtle movements. Could be an issue if you're recording audio too close to the head.

    With a proper Arduino based motion controller, I think either could work well for many applications with minimal manual control...the concept of a 3-axis sensor controlled auto-leveling jib head has crossed my mind several times. I bought mine to DIY a Gigapan head but the video applications were obvious as soon as I opened the box.

  19. Just to clarify, the system shown in the video above is our NEW OPEN Loop system that is motor driven. It is not available yet online for purchase, but will be in the next few weeks.

    The PT785-S system that is currently available for purchase on our website is a CLOSED loop system that is driven by HS-785HB servos. It does not come with joystick control. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our tech at [email protected]. Thanks, ServoCity

  20. Tim

    Can anyone tell me what the difference between open and closed loop is?
    And would this work for timelapse photography? would it have very slow speed settings?

  21. The price is really good. It's just too bad that I still would need to buy the remote for $99 more. But..It's a fair price to me.

  22. Why, why, why do I come to this site? So, I can be broke again! Damn... I'm drooling already. So, how would you mount this on a jib, say the Kessler crane? Underslung via the plate with those threaded holes?

  23. Emm

    Post author

    @HD-Tography - My Bad. Correction. This is a new OPEN LOOP system that is not yet available, but will be in a few weeks.

  24. HD-tography

    I don't see that particular controller on their site (link?)... Also, would be interested if they will be coming out with a wireless joystick controller?

  25. Hey Emm, how do I contact ServoCity? Do you have their email contact detail as I couldn't find it anywhere on their website.

    Thanks for the heads up Emm on this. The price is not inclusive the controller right. But the wireless controller seems to be quite reasonable too.

  26. Emm

    Post author

    @Diesel - Correction on my end. THIS IS THE OPEN LOOP SYSTEM they were working on. This is not yet available on their website, but will be in a few weeks. MY BAD!

  27. Diesel

    Emm...I'd been talking to them for a while about an update to the PT785-S System which must uses servos. Is this a replacement? Plus they were supposed to offer it with an open loop system. Any word on that?

  28. Emm

    Post author

    @Brendan - Sorry for the confusion, but this unit I received is a new 'OPEN LOOP' system that is not yet available. Sorry!

  29. Emm

    Post author

    @Pierre - Yeah I need to power these things up with my own batteries. Soon as I do i'll throw something up.

  30. Steven

    1.8lbs isn't bad at all! For $350, this thing will sell very fast! Having this on a jib or slider would be amazing!

  31. Emm

    Post author

    @KC Gonzalez - Yeah I specifically told them what I wanted to do with a jib and a joystick controller. They were working on this for several weeks, so i'm excited to try this out. These guys make some crazy high quality stuff for sure.

  32. KC Gonzalez

    I swear, you're are psychic, Emm.. I was actually looking around for a pan/tilt head for a new DIY jib design that I'm working on. This seems like the perfect size, and that price tag is gorgeous.

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