Motor Play

edited April 2016 in Axis360
Hi All,

[Edit to add all fixes to the first post]

Here are a few ways to make sure your Axis360 motor is operating perfectly. We check each one before shipping, and have improved with each motor we build. If your motor has an issue with too much play, or seizing up during operation. Please try the following tips:

Motor Seizing:
If you experience an issue where your Axis360 motor seizes up, here is the solution...
1) Loosen the four 2.5mm hex screws that hold motor plate to the housing. Shown in attached motorplate.jpg
2) Shift motor plate away from the drive pulley and tighten screws. Shown in attached gearset.jpg
This spaces the worm drive gears enough to prevent binding and enables the smoothest and most quiet operation.

Gear Screws:
If your Axis360 motor has excess motor play, here is the fix...
Remove four screws shown with green arrows in motorplate.jpg below with a 2.5mm allen wrench. This enables you to remove the motor plate and reveals a gold gear attached to the motor shaft (worm.jpg). Use the same allen wrench to tighten the screw holding the gear to the motor shaft. We now use Loctite thread locker to secure this screw.

Pulley Screw:
Also to minimize motor play...
Connect the controller and rotate the motor until the you can see the hex screw in line with the slot that allows access to it (pulleyscrew.jpg). Then you can use a hex key to make sure the screw is tight. If your pulley is silver, the hex screw is 2mm. If your pulley is black, the screw is 2.5mm.

Hope this is helpful!


  • I have done this. Don't worry, it's easy to do! But pay attention, the parts inside the motor-housing are oiled. So keep ready some towels or tissue.
  • edited July 2014
    The Allen wrench is 2.5 mm
  • Done. Thank you for you email.
    Now i can shoot video without wobbling.
    Tilting 360° setting also work perfectly.
  • Will this void the warranty? I'm not getting smooth results even in controlled environments.
  • I tried an HDR timelapse (anyone got any tips for post processing?) But even after I stabalized the shot in After Effects there is still some wobble. So I brought it home and tested it shooting my fire place and there is definetly wobble. Would this be motorplay?

  • Hi Matt, thanks for sharing the videos. Great scene in the first one!

    Ok, no, checking the motor play as described in this thread will not void your warranty. It could help tighten things up, but this was only an issue with early Kickstarter kits.

    It looks like your slider cart may not be tightened up all the way. See this post:
    And always makes sure your camera is balanced:

    Hope this helps! Let us know if that gets you moving smoothly :)
  • Okay thanks for the links. I'll try that out. I was a May backer so my motors might be from the earlier kits so I'll try to fix the motor play as well.
  • Hey guys, one more thing you can check if the original post does not eliminate all the play in your motor... the pulley screw. Connect the controller and rotate the motor until the you can see the hex screw in line with the slot that allows access to it (see photo below). Then you can use a 2.5mm hex key to make sure the screw is tight. This screw shouldn't ever loosen up, but I wanted to add this to this thread to cover everything :)
  • Justin, If there is backlash play even after checking all the previous things mentioned, would shimming the cover with some sort of thin gasket reduce the backlash? Im thinking in terms of eliminating the freeplay between the worm wheel and the worm shaft. I think I am experiencing some freeplay in the worm gear assembly.
  • Hi Gilly, I don't think that would help as it would just shift the worm gear back a touch. With everything tightened up the play should be very minimal. Please keep the suggestions coming though. Thank you!
  • Hi, I have tightened up the screw as shown in the October 8th posting. I still have play, and can tell it is because the point at the end of the set screw is not large enough of a contact point. The shaft that comes out of the motor has a flat spot on it, that the set screw pins against. All screws are tight, but there is still play. Anyone have suggestions on this? BTW, I also tightened the screw inside the motor box, as per the July 28th posting.
  • I have mentioned this too in a KS feedback. The problem is the motor itself. I hope I am using the right terms..:
    The shaft of the motor itself, even if the worm is off can be pushed into the motor housing. if you look on the outside of the motor, on the other sind of the axis, where the 4 silver screws are, you can see through the hole in the middle how the motor in the housing comes closer when it is under force. I tried opening the motor housing (not the worm transmission), but it can't be opened. (or I did not use enough force).
    This effect can't be reproduced by just holding the motor and turning on the wheel. only with an attached L-Bracket you'll experience a 2 cm play at the end of the bracket. tilt and pan direction both, if fully assembled. only with the slider it has no impact, since there the lever is too small.
    you'll also notice that the play is not just loose, but has a bounce effect. there is some force against it, and when you let go, it moves back to the original place. but the weight of the camera already is too much.
    If now you make the camera do a 180 degree move upwards, the weight of the lens becomes smaller and smaller (since the lever does too) and the bounce pushes the motorshaft slowly out. This is, in my opinion, the reason why some experience jumping. The bounce doesn't come in one push, but gradually as the weight and the levereffect of the camera becomes smaller, or bigger for that matter.

    To me this is a clear flaw in the design, or bad choice of motor.
  • @proof_positive, thanks for the feedback on the pulley screw. You say the screw head does not have enough contact point, is the screw lossening up on you? We have not seen this happen, but will certainly look into it. Are you still having issues with this? Let us know, and we'll make sure your gear is running properly.

    @Philipp, it sounds like you may be having an issue with camera balance. This has a big impact on move smoothness. Check this out: The motor should have minimal play with the gear screw and pulley screw mentioned in this thread tightened up. Thank you for your feedback. We'll continue working to improve the motor, and please let us know if we can help with anything.

    Thanks all!!
  • Attaching a video to question if this is normal or excessive motor play. It's really causing problems in video mode.

  • Thanks for attaching the video. It does seem like your motor has more movement than normal. The steps in this thread will help to minimize movement, but there will still be some play. The more weight and leverage you add to the motor, the more it will move. Also, momentum plays into it. So if you ramp a move up slowly, it will move less than suddenly starting a heavy camera at full speed.

    Here is an example of how much a motor moves...

  • edited November 2014
    Justin, it is not a problem with balance. I have everything balanced out very well.
    You say his motor has more movement than normal, but the replacement motors you sent me ("..the best we can do") have exactly (if not more) play like sebrell is showing.
    No excuses about early KS backer!
    What makes me upset is not that there clearly is an issue with your product, but that you keep ignoring it.
  • Philipp, to be fair, I think this thread is evidence that we are not ignoring the issue at all. I just posted a video showing the motor play. Making sure the screws are tight as shown in the first post and the one from 10/8 helps. Balance in crucial. We're working to improve this further now. My apologies for the issue and thank you for your feedback.
  • Hi all, I edited the first post to include three different things to check to ensure your motor is operating properly. We are continuing to work to improve the motor control operation, and we appreciate all of your feedback!
  • It definitely helped mine. However, the Pulley Screw, is not a 2.5mm hex for me.
  • Pulley screw is not 2.5mm
  • Oh... good catch. Sorry! If your pulley is silver, the screw is 2mm. If your pulley is black, the screw is 2.5mm.
  • I recently got a second motor/controller, which made me realize that my original KS motor (black pulley) had way too much play. The good news is that the new motor I ordered has no play at all, so things are improving!

    After checking all the tips in this thread the play was still there. Some testing showed it came from how the gear that was attached to the axle. The axle is flat on one side and both the gear and pulley have set screws that pin the flat side allowing for zero slippage under load.

    Initially I tried tightening the screws on the gear which did not help much. So I removed the bolt on the back of the housing which allowed me to pull out the axle a bit (don't pull it out all the way as they gear will fall down into the housing). With that I could test when and at which angle the set screws were getting tight by moving the axle back and forth until it was fixed in place.

    Result: my KS motor now has zero play!

    Allen wrench sizes:
    - Housing: 2.5mm
    - Pulley (silver): 2mm
    - Pulley (black): something (imperial?) between 2 and 2.5mm. 2mm will work.
    - Set screw for gear: 1.5mm
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  • I have been through this post many times, trying to find something that will stop the bouncing I keep getting in my time lapse videos. I've taken the motors apart and tightened everything up, to no avail. This has been happening since I got my slider back in March. I've been patiently tightening this, and balancing that, and going back out to try again. The bounce still plagues me. Please, someone help me out. Here's a short clip that demonstrates the bounce.

  • Hi Steve,

    Sorry to hear you are having trouble, and I'm happy to work with you to nail down the issue. I don't think this is a result of play in the motor, but it is definitely still good to tune up the motor like you did.
    A few things to check:
    Make sure the camera is balanced -
    Make sure the rail cart is tensioned properly and the brake is released -
    Make sure the 8 wheels on the cart are all secure. You can test that they are tight by hand and tighten with a 5mm hex key.

    Let me know if this helps solve your issue.
  • Hi all,

    I have always had the motor play problem and also had my motor jammed. Please refer to the following thread for more details:

    I have sent my motors to Cinetics for repair and they have sent them back to me with a much less play but still not suitable for panning timelapse at all.

    I have decided to switch to another system for panning and give it a try. Now I am using the Syrp Genie mini for panning timelapse and there is no wobbling or play at all. I have mounted the Nikon D810 with battery grip and 24-70mm lens with hood attached directly to the syrp genie mini without balancing the camera and it was fine with that. The final sequence is smooth without any jitters or wobblings at all. A friend of mine has the second shooter bundle from kessler, I have tried the same camera setup on it and also there is no play or wobbling at all. Motor play in panning timelapse really destroys your sequence especially for long exposure shots.

    I am still using the cinetics system for sliding only. There is no problem at all with the sliding as long as you have the slider inclined slightly in one direction to always apply weight and tension on the motor pully and wires. This will eliminate the effect of motor play on the final motion and i am happy with that.

    I am now trying to figure out a way to sync the cinemoco controller with the Syrp Genie mini or other motors in the market (kessler,..etc)

    I hope that a totally new design of the cinetics motors will be available soon.

    Best Regards,
    Mohamed Elkordy
  • Hi Mohamed, sorry you still are having an issue with your Axis360 pan motor. There should be no unintended movement in the motor, and we inspect each motor we build to make sure that is the case. Again, my apologies that a motor with issues got by us. Glad you found a setup that works for you and that your Axis360 slider is working well. Thanks for your business. As always, let us know if we can help with anything.
  • Thanks Justin for your reply. I really would appreciate if you can investigate more on how to connect the Cinemoco controller with the Syrp Genie Mini. They use the same cable to sync with the Syrp Genie big controller and the genie mini acts more or less as a slave to the main controller with all the controlls in the genie menu
  • I would like also to ask if it is possible to connect kessler second shooter pan'tilt head to cinemoco controllers
  • Not sure if this thread is even relevant any longer with the new LYNX stuff. But I figured something out that I dont think was mentioned.

    My problem was when I did tilt and the weight of the camera got to a point when tilting up the slack between the 2 worm gears caused a slip... this of course ruined that part of the time lapse.

    when I looked at my motors (silver hubs) they had play in them. It was not the hub to the axle because the whole axle had play.. not a lot just a little.. but enough to cause a ruined portion of the time lapse due to the weight of the camera. Also Justin, before you tell me about balancing the camera please, I assure you it is balanced :).

    So I took mine apart and nothing was loose... I was wondering why on the motor side the worm gear internal was not flat on one side to match the motor axle seems it would hold better. I am also not sure why there are two holes in the silver hub to attach but only ONE is used. Doesn't seem two would hurt? Maybe you have this design in the new motors for Lynx.

    So I was able to fix mine by an accidental discovery.... When I was putting it back together and getting the four holes lined up after the two gears meshed in place at the same time I felt for play in the silver hub and it was very tight... like VERY tight. If I moved that housing even a tad bit it was loose... if I moved it more and the gears were not meshed well it completely moved.

    So the sweet spot... or tight spot was just a hair out of place of where the threaded sockets for theses screws were pressed in. I am sure when it was first made it was tight and possibly moved out because the threaded (female) part is "pressed' in. THIS IS WHERE THE PROBLEM IS. The gears must MESH tightly or you will have a tiny bit of play that everyone is talking about.

    These part should be a complete bolt through design with lock washers embedded.

    Just my 2 cents. I want to get that controller for the Lynx to work with this set of motors I have.
  • @madtabula lol at ''before you say balance the camera"". Better than ''turn it off then back on''... my go to electronics advice :D

    That is great that you got it dialed in by finding the sweet spot of the plate. If you use your Axis360 often and with heavy cameras, I feel like this play can develop over time, but dialing in that plate seems to cure it.

    We are still building Axis360 kits and want to make sure they are still working great. The Lynx motors are designed to hold the motor gear in place more firmly, so we have not seen them develop play.

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