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Author Topic: Mk 3 PupCam - First results  (Read 7191 times)

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Mk 3 PupCam - First results
« on: April 28, 2007, 16:44:39 PM »
I've just started to build the Mk 3 version of PupCam.   I'm going to include a mod which will hopefully provide an autopan and tilt so that I can get some good imagery when flying alone.  Of course I can't promise it will work but that's half the frustration fun.  Anyone interested in an online build?


This was the Mk 2

Alan B ::cc
« Last Edit: August 30, 2007, 06:43:55 AM by Pup Cam, Reason: Changed title now video posted »
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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2007, 16:47:10 PM »
Absolutely...!  :af  Now we've got this aerial imaging board let's use it..  ::cc

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2007, 00:26:23 AM »
Well here goes then, first the spec:

New direct drive pan system - to improve smoothness and position repeatability
Repositioned tilt pivots - mainly to improve the concealment of the camera in the pilots head
Autopan and tilt - for when a camera operator isn't available
Selectable auto / manual operation
Video Tx disable - so that the system can be demonstrated on the ground without fear of potentially annoying 2.4GHz users

And how:

Direct drive pan
I am replacing the modified multi-turn 148 pan servo which uses an external feedback pot and friction drive with a GWS 1 turn sail winch servo.   This will be mounted beneath and coaxially with the pan mount. 
This will free up a lot of space for the additional items I need and should be a much better drive although it will mean I only get 360 degrees of rotation rather than the 540 degrees of the Mk2.

Repositioned tilt pivots
If you look at the Mk 2 you will notice the tilt pivots are at the front of the camera mount which means the back of the camera swings through a large arc.   Repositioning of the pivots to the centre of the mount and relocating the tilt push rod to the front should reduce the movement of the "Pilot's" head.

Autopan and tilt
I want the camera to "look into" the turns and pitching movements automatically.   The plan is to use a HAL 2000 autopilot to control the camera mount.   The mount servos will be connected to the HAL outputs, the demand signals to the HAL inputs.   As I only have a 3 channel 27MHz radio to control the system and I need the 3rd channel to remotely enable the video Tx and the HAL (just in case I need to turn it off in a hurry) I have decide to use a failsafe module to control the HAL gain and therefore the camera movement.   The failsafe will just be connected to the power supply so it will always be on.   This will enable me to preset the gain by adjusting the failsafe point preset.   The HAL sensor will be mounted separately beneath the Pup fuselage

Selectable Auto / Manual modes
The two servos will be connected via switches that will route the connection either directly from the receiver or via the HAL.   I had thought about doing this remotely but I haven't got a spare channel and I don't want to be fiddling around with this when I am flying anyway.

Disable HAL and video TX output remotely
I always like to be able to turn the Tx off while the aircraft is flying.   It's a "just in case " thing, although I have never experienced video induced interference.  Similarly I have heard that HAL's can sometimes cause interference so being able to turn it off in the air is a nice to have precaution I think :af.   This will also allow me to run the camera on the ground with a wire feed to the monitor so that I can demo the system without transmitting.   I am very wary of the fact that 2.4GHz analogue video TXs are not aware of 2.4GHz R/C systems and could possibly cause interference with the non-frequency hopping systems if they switch on before me.  I have of course no intention of finding out if it would be a problem other than by ground testing.

That's about it for now.  First pictures of bits and pieces soon.....

Alan B
Still distracted by a 1953 AJS 16MS


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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2007, 07:25:54 AM »
Sounds very well thought out Pup Cam, can't wait to see it come together through the online build.  I'm not sure what size / weight your sail servo is but have you also considered using one of these to produce extra movement from a standard servo?  It also offers a control mode where the input signal becomes the rate of movement of the servo, rather than an absolute position.  This should in theory make controlling the camera like using a true broadcast pan tilt mount, where you can nudge the stick to edge the camera left or right, rather than holding in an offset (if that makes sense). 

What camera and wireless video system are you proposing to use with the Mk3 pup cam and are you thinking of adding a mic to catch that engine note?

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2007, 10:09:16 AM »
peevie,

Looks like a useful gadget.  I have found that the sail winch servo is physically capable of more than 360 so I'm not quite sure, without disassembling it, how the feedback is arranged.   It may be just a different value resistor network compared with their 6 turn version.  If, so I might experiment or alternatively just use one of those modules you mentioned which presumably scales the received pulse length.   Of course if I were using a modern computer radio then ATV would give me that bit more, but I'm using a 25 year old 3 channel Futaba set.  I bought for 12 from the long defunct "Design and Hobbies" model shop in Hatfield and it still works a treat.   

Camera used is a single board colour camera from Maplins (although they seem to have a very poor selection in my local shops these days), similarly the video Tx is the the little Maplin module that is about 50mm square and 12mm thick.   By the way, I've just remembered why I put the tilt pivots at the front of the camera mount originally.  The camera I used in the original Mk 1 was a two board design and the boards were too wide to fit between the arms of the supporting yoke (a cut down engine mount).

Probably the best cameras of this type to use are available from http://www.blackwidowav.com/productcameras.html although I have never used these, they are generally well regarded.   The diversity receivers are good too as they reduce dropouts due to changing orientation, which is why diversity is used for the new 2.4GHz control systems.   One thing to watch though is the power output of a lot of the video TXs.  Many of them exceed the output that we are allowed to use in the licence exempt band and so can not be used for legal reasons.

My preferred route though is on-board digital recording and just use the down link for sighting purposes so that, within reason, dropouts are of no consequence.  One of the little Archos recorders looks good but the 250 or more would be better spent in my case on a FF9 to replace my aging FF7.  However, I will be able to easily add on-board recording later if I get the opportunity.  When I did onboard recording before I just strapped the Mustek recorder out of sight to the top surface of the centre section of the top wing.

Sound recording is on the list but to be honest I have never had much luck with the audio channels of the Tx modules I'm using but I will persevere!

Back soon.

Alan B
Still distracted by a 1953 AJS 16MS


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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2007, 11:04:26 AM »
One thing to watch though is the power output of a lot of the video TXs.  Many of them exceed the output that we are allowed to use in the licence exempt band and so can not be used for legal reasons.
AH !  I can use up to 26dBW (400W) at 2.400-2.450Ghz (which includes 2 of the 4 channels)  :)
Peter G0DZB

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2007, 11:29:56 AM »
Peter G0DZB,

Was going to go there and do that, but I think you will find the amateur licence specifically excludes airborne use  :'(.

If I'm wrong let me know and I will have have yet another thing to do!

Alan B
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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2007, 11:53:04 AM »
Yeah I know, it's a real shame :(   
Peter

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2007, 16:17:31 PM »
So here is progress so far .....

The camera mount has been modified so that the pivots are in the centre



Here is the modified pan mount itself.  The modification is 4 slots milled in the bottom that pick up with the pan servo drive arms used to act as the drive to the pan mount.


A new base plate has been made and has the cutouts for the pan mount and switching servo in it.  Still needs to have slots and holes for the switches and LEDS etc put in.  Here you can see the pan servo (sail winch) mounted with the standard Futaba 4 arm horn used as the drive.


Here is a view from underneath with the pan mount and pan servo fitted.  You can (just) see the arms engaging in the pan mount slots.  A small clearance in the slots and the rubber mounted servo take up any small concentricity errors between the mount and the servo shaft.


Also mounted is a 148 servo which will be used to switch the video Tx and HAL200 on.  This will be achieved by forming the sail winch pulley mounted on the servo into a couple of cams that will operate two microswitches.  The cams will be staggered so that the video Tx comes on at about 50% travel and the HAL at about 80% travel.

The final shot for now shows the sub-base mounted on two nylon stand-offs.  This is where the receiver and HAL will be mounted (two more stand-offs will be fitted at the opposite end to provide a rigid mounting).

You will also notice that the tilt yoke is fixed on the pan mount together together with the camera.  The tilt yoke is made from a standard engine mount (15-20 size if I remember correctly) and will have a miniature servo mounted between the prongs at the bottom to provide the tilt drive.

That's it for now.

Alan B
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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2007, 20:51:24 PM »
Right,

The base plates are finished and painted now



And the sail winch drum has been converted into a couple of cams to operate the microswitches used to power the video Tx and the autopan system.  (Drum painted white just so that you can pick out the cams in photograph)



Lets start putting it all together.   First bits on are the pan mont, the cam servo, the master switch and the four LEDs that show "Control System On", "Camera System On",  "Video Tx On" and "Autopan On"



From the bottom and side you can also see the two microswitches and the cams together with the stand offs for the receiver / HAL mounting plate



That's it for now ...

Alan B
Still distracted by a 1953 AJS 16MS

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2007, 21:54:33 PM »
Alan,  It's looking like an amazing piece of engineering - very impressed!  :af

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2007, 08:48:32 AM »
AH !  I can use up to 26dBW (400W) at 2.400-2.450Ghz (which includes 2 of the 4 channels)  :)
Peter G0DZB


I'd like to see the power supply successfully carried in the plane to run the 400watts  :af

PS who's to know the transmitter is in a plane...the range with perhaps 1 or 2 watts would be hard to locate, and the data signal impossible to decode without the right gear....

not that I would suggest such a thing (G3VNT)
Confucious he say "more than one aircraft in the same airspace leads to structural failure"

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2007, 10:14:53 AM »
I'd like to see the power supply successfully carried in the plane to run the 400watts  :af
400W is easy to source...  Most 'leccy models of any size will already have atleast this much avaialbe for the motor.  Of course a second battery would be needed for the TX, but I would think the weight of a 400W transmitter would be the limiting factor.
Quote


PS who's to know the transmitter is in a plane...
  May be the fact it is 100ft above the ground and moving would be a give away :)
Quote
the range with perhaps 1 or 2 watts would be hard to locate, and the data signal impossible to decode without the right gear....
not that I would suggest such a thing (G3VNT)

Let me guess, you used to run 1kW of AM on medium wave in the 1960s when you were a pirate broadcaster  :''
Peter

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2007, 11:24:35 AM »
hmmmm  :)

(a)  I suppose you could blast the ether for a couple of seconds at a time but perhaps moderation in all things..a few watts should suffice  ^-^

(b) you could pretend it was /M going up and down a lot of hills  ;D

(c) Moi ??   actually I used to run a mere 10 watts or so, AM on 160m, (mind you, I might have  helped some of the locals receive Radio Caroline in the Bristol area, which came in a treat on a half-wave 160m dipole and somehow accidentally ended up somewhere around 1.80MHz  :ev)
Confucious he say "more than one aircraft in the same airspace leads to structural failure"

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2007, 23:11:51 PM »
A little bit more progress .....

Mounted the 9 Pin D connector that is used to charge the 4.8V and 12V system batteries and the two miniature slide swiches that select auto or manual operation for the pan and tilt servos (black switches on a black background are a bit tricky to see on the top view!)

There is one hole still to drill on the base plate.  This will be for the video monitor socket that will probably take the form of a 3.5mm stero jack as it will be much more compact than two phonos.   I haven't drilled it yet for the simple reason that I'm not quite sure where the best place will be.  I will wait till I've got some of the basic wiring sorted.  I will of course have to be very careful not to get swarf in the pan bearing and/or the switches etc.



So it's out with the soldering iron next ready for a bit of system wiring.

Alan B
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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2007, 20:53:42 PM »
Wiring next ........

Because I need to switch the input signals for the servos etc and to minimize the number of wires and connectors most of the system will be hard wired.  To that end two pairs of insulated stand-offs have been mounted at the rear end  to provide junction points for the + & - wires for both the 4.8V  Control and 12V Video supply rails.  The pair on the left of this shot are for the for the video system and the ones on the right for the control system.  While we are up this end;  the milled recesses for the pan drive arms have been filled with silicone rubber to remove any slop in the drive due to the clearance between the arms and the mount.



Moving down the port side  you can see the two stand-offs for the control wiring.   A solder tag  is placed on each to enable all of the wires to be joined (the lefthand taller one is the +ve, the shorter one is for the -ve.   Note the temporary labels identifying which supplies are where - it's starting to get complicated! 

There are enough wires in place now to use spiral wrap to keep them tidy but of course additional ones can be easily added as they come along.  On the Mk 2 I used heat shrink rather than spiral wrap which was a real pain as you have to do so much more forward planning!    The 9 pin D connector has been wired up to form the charging socket for the two battery packs.    I have decide that I will use some of the spare pins on this for the video monitor output rather than provide another connector as originally planned.




Up at the front the power On/Off switch has been partially wired along with the LEDs.  For the LEDs I have run the wires up the body, soldered the connections and protected the two terminals with a blob of epoxy to make sure no short is possible.   The wires have then been held in place on the body with a heat shrink tube jacket.   Doing it this way removes any strain from the connections.  3 of the LEDs had built in current limiting resistors so no external resistor was necessary.  The remaining blue one (on the right) did not have the resistor so this has been included under the heat shrink tube.



On the starboard side the wiring to the microswitch that will switch power to the Hal 2000 has been done.  This includes a wire to the "Auto On" LED and the feed to the HAL itself which can be seen emerging from the spiral wrap at the bottom.   This feed has a standard connector on the end as I want to keep the HAL intact.  This will be connected to the secondary aileron channel on the HAL.   All other channels will just have the signal wires connected and won't include the + & - wires otherwise they would bypass the "HAL On"  microswitch.     Also in this shot you can see the modified GWS failsafe module that will be used to set the gain of the HAL.  The mods include removing the signal wire from the input and removing the + & - wires from the output.     The use of the module is for the sake of convenience.  It would have been possible to build a small circuit out of a couple of 555 timers or some standard gates but this module was to hand so saved some messing about.



The last shot for today shows the HAL and the Rx resting in position above the cam servo to give an idea of the final layout.



Until the next time ....

Alan B
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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2007, 21:43:43 PM »
Alan,

I may have mentioned this before, but this is an engineering masterpiece...  I'm very impressed!

What's your day job by the way?  Seems likely to me that you might be in some kind of engineering design role?


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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2007, 22:24:07 PM »
Peevie,

Thanks for the compliment, your right 30 odd years in engineering.  Trouble is there's no money in it!   Oh to be an accountant, a vet, a dentist, anything that makes some money :'(

Alan B
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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2007, 12:17:33 PM »
Alan, just noticed the mention of a HAL unit...have you done any range tests with the HAL on board?  I ask because long ago I bought one in an attempt to get past the one flight-one crash stage of being self-taught, until I saw the light and got instruction on a buddy box!  I found the HAL decimated the useful range (and in the true sense of "decimate")  I'd hate to see all that lovely engineering destroyed by a piece of questionable Russian engineering...I did some EMC tests with a spectrum analyser and found interference spurs all through the 35MHz band.
Confucious he say "more than one aircraft in the same airspace leads to structural failure"

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2007, 00:45:45 AM »
Pooh,

Thanks for that.  Yes I am aware of the reputation although so far have had no experience of actually using the unit.  Presummably as the interference you've detected is in the 35MHz band it is radiated rather than conducted.  That's a bit of a shame because if it was conducted it wouldn't effect the flight control system which is a completely seperate system in this case.  Any thoughts on the efficacy of screening you could offer with regard to removing radiated interference eg  tin or copper enclosure. Maybe physical separation from the 35MHz receiver would work in which case I might be able to mount the HAL remotely say in the cowling although cabling would then be a pain.

Whatever happens I think extensive ground testing is the order of the day.   Maybe I should lash something up before I proceed to far with the final kit.

BTW, the possibility of inteference is the reason for including the capability of switching the HAL power remotely.  I didn't realize the HAL was of Russian origin :o

Alan B
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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2007, 06:54:55 AM »
The problem seemed to be mainly radiated interference, but screening with aluminium foil made very little difference, so the noise was probably being conducted as well. My installation, in a trainer, didn't allow for agreat deal of separaion, and in my case the opportunity for proper instruction removed the need to mess around, so I didn't do a "proper job". Incidentally, the radiated "spurs" covered a very large spectrum, based on the processor clock frequency, IIRC 10MHz, plus a lot of subharmonics, not just 35MHz

The problem was caused by the use of an 8031 processor which uses external RAM and ROM memory, so there is a data bus carrying the address/data traffic. Also the processor is relatively power-hungry, so the switching pulses on the data bus are quite steep and high current, hence the noise generated. More modern processors would use internal buses for internal RAM and ROM, use less current and are physically much smaller. Additionally, the HAL circuitboard has no groundplane or other features for noise suppression.

I say the design is Russian on hearsay (RipMax technical dept) when I phoned them to discus my findings. The chap did not appear surprised at my results.

I should say that I bought the HAL after seeing two guys in Devon, arriving at an MAA holiday, having taught themselves to fly with no tuition, just put the HAL in each of their planes and let it sort out the problems, until they were able to switch it off completely. So it may be that I was unlucky with mine, or perhaps they had never done a range check, and had stayed in relatively close range.

My suggestion would be to make a very good job of screening the HAL, use filters on any leads leaving the HAL and put it as far away as possible from the antenna and receiver. And then do some range checks  :af
Confucious he say "more than one aircraft in the same airspace leads to structural failure"

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2007, 07:32:50 AM »
Thanks for the info Pooh, very useful.  There's no doubt that I will have to do some experiments before I go too much further.   Luckily the HAL has only got to fly the camera but of course it mustn't interfere with aeroplane in anyway.

Alan B
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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2007, 14:53:00 PM »
If you're thinking of using HAL please read this salutary tale;
http://hexhome.blogspot.com/2007/05/axel-lifter-attacks-secret-missile-base.html
all absolutely true, honest :''

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2007, 15:22:44 PM »
it's a good story ... I suspect "story" is correct  ;D

but a trainer fitted with one of these certainly did do a runner a few years ago, last seen disappearing over the English Channel with about 30 minutes fuel supply so it probably made it to France. No doubt it ran out of effective radio contact due to the interference HAL produces, with or without malice towards Dave the pilot.
Confucious he say "more than one aircraft in the same airspace leads to structural failure"

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2007, 15:33:22 PM »
No-one with the name DAVE should use something name HAL..... EVER!  :-\
I used to have planes....

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2007, 18:48:47 PM »
Hi Alan,

Any update on the Pup Cam Mk3 build?

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2007, 21:07:56 PM »
Peevie,

Not much to report as I haven't had the chance to do much in the last week.  I have done quite a bit of the power line wiring but to tell the truth I'm not entirely happy with it so it might get done again!   Must get it done quickly though 'cos this weather can't last indefinitely (can it?) and I'm looking forward to a trip with it up Ashbourne way.

BFN
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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2007, 12:51:49 PM »
Progress update .....

I have got most of the control wiring sorted now.  Just need to wire up the charging socket and the proper battery connections - its got a temporary connector for testing at the moment.  The receiver and Hal are mounted on foam rubber pads with industrial strength double sided tape and held tight with a couple of loops of lacing cord.



General view from the top



View from underneath of the Port side



View from underneath of the Starboard side

I have done the first tests and it seems to work with just a couple of "buts" ....

#1 Pan servo direction is wrong so I will have to swap the direction "like the did in the old days" before computer radios.  (remember the radio is 25 years old!)

#2 The sail winch servo doesn't appear to be at all linear.   OK for sails I suppose, but a real pain for PupCam because I'm only getting about 50% travel in one direction compared to the other.   If it was a computer radio it would be easy .....

The cams switching the video Tx and the HAL seems to make the pan and tilt to move in approximately the right direction when you shield the sensor although its a bit difficult to tell.   I suspect it will only work properly when the sensor is in the air and clear of obstructions.    No sign of the HAL interfering with the 27MHz control system, don't know yet about the 35MHz aircraft system.  Time will tell.     Also, the modified Failsafe module works well as a gain control.

More later ....


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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2007, 22:49:50 PM »
Latest update ...

Camera mount completed and installed.



Wiring pretty much done - not the neatest ever seen, let's just call it functional.



A general view from the top



And from the bottom showing the mount for the receiver and HAL.



I'm going to switch to a newer control system.  As I mentioned before, I need servo reversing and ATV to try and match the clock & anti-clock pan travels.    Initial experiments with the HAL look promising, but only flight testing will prove if it actually does the job I want.  Switching between manual and auto working OK now.  Initially had some trouble with twichy servos. :sm99:  Tracked it down to the inputs to the HAL which, on reflection, I don't need as I don't want it to be overridden in auto mode.   So I left them disconnected and it all worked fine.

Camera & Tx work, and you get 4 LEDs on when Tx on and HAL working.  More lights than a Christmas tree ::cc

Space envelope is a bit bigger than the Mk2 so I'm now "adjusting" the Pup to make it fit.  With a bit of luck I might be trying it out next week (but only in manual mode to start with as the HAL won't be fitted) and I hope to get some good results.

Back soon (hopefully) :af
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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2007, 23:07:52 PM »
Latest update ....

PupCam Mk 3 is now installed in the Pup, although minus the HAL for the time being.   



Not to much surgery required.     Battery packs (12V & 4.8V) are being cycled a few times to try and restore them to their former glory.  System test tomorrow all being well, ready for some of this next week ........



....... weather permitting ;D

Alan B
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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #30 on: August 12, 2007, 15:02:19 PM »
It's a beautiful piece of work Alan, I look forward to seeing the results.  I must admit I'm worried the camera won't be good enough to justify the deluxe mount!

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2007, 22:57:08 PM »
peevie,

It is true the camera I'm using at the moment is not fantastic in the quality stakes but it could easily be replaced by something like a KX131 if necessary.  Main problem would be finding some spare cash :banghead:  Some of the results achieved so far have been pretty good although the lighting conditions on the day determine good, bad or indifferent results.

Alan B
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Re: Mk 3 PupCam
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2007, 17:37:58 PM »
Well I had a day off today and as there was no chance of flying I thought I might as well try the HAL2000 out on PupCam.

Had to install a balsa mounting plate for the sensor which is just aft of the wing.  Then mount the sensor and the HAL, connect it up, re-install the system in the aeroplane and give it a whirl.   I must say it seems to work alright as far as I can tell - it's quite spooky watching the camera move as you roll the fuselage!

Anyway, see for yourself ...

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkcZPKSpnKc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkcZPKSpnKc</a>     

You can just see the HAL sensor behind the video Tx aerial when it rolls to starboard.

Just need to do a set of extensive ground system and range checks at the field and it should be ready to go :af

Roll on some decent weather and here's hoping it will be good for the Fly-In.

Alan B

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam - Works a treat!
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2007, 23:32:35 PM »
Well, the Mk3 got its first flight yesterday.   Checked the C of G and it seemed to have moved rearwards so a slab of church roof was cast and bolted on the front of the Zenoah.   Functional checks on the ground were OK with both radio systems working, the HAL operational, the video on and the engine running on the ground.  No noticable reductuion in range.  No camera operator was available so I took off with the HAL set up for operation but switched off so that the camera was on but fixed for take off and trimming.   All was OK, so the HAL was enabled.   Worked very well with the camera looking into the turns as figure 8s and circuits were flown as planned :af.   At first I thought th gain was too high as there was perhaps too much movement sometimes as it looked straight down the wing.   On reflection I think its my flying, too much bank and yank so I need to perfect more properly coordinated turns with less roll and more yaw.    Video successfully recorded to DVD.

Second outing this evening.  This time in the company of Barry Beech and his rather nice Lancaster for some air to air stuff.   My son was the camera man and what a first class job he made of it.   We got some great shots.  Mind you, this air to air lark is very tricky as the formation flying has to be very good.  The flight plan needs careful thought if the two aeroplanes are to remain in the right place during the tight turns  at the end of the long rectangular circuits we were flying.   Need more practice with that one then! 

I will post some video just as soon as I have sorted the little problem of ripping the .vob files on the DVD to proper mpegs so that they can be edited.   Anyone know of any good cheap (free) utilities to do this.   I found a couple but haven't had much luck with them so far.

So now its pretty much done.  Just need to fix the pilots head round the camera and his shoulders round the pan mount to make the whole lot look a bit more, well, pilot like.  I will have to get back to building aeroplanes now.

Alan B
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Re: Mk 3 PupCam - Works a treat!
« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2007, 06:44:48 AM »
Alan,

I missed your last post in this thread but have caught up now.  Wow, that really looks amazing the way it turns the camera automagically.  I can't wait to see some video of this system in action.

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Re: Mk 3 PupCam - Works a treat!
« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2007, 06:42:19 AM »
So I have sorted out the vob ripping lark (thanks to the forum) and, as a result, here is the first video from the Mk3.   Our first attempt at air to air with Barry's Lancaster.   Camera mans only view was through video goggles, so you will see that when he loses sight of the Lanc he has to start searching.  I think he did very well but, then again, I might be biased!  With a loop and a stall turn at the end thrown in for good measure.   BTW, mute the volume (must remember the audio the next time :laugh:)

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RhBxrtSb6w" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RhBxrtSb6w</a>

Next is a short video from the first test of the autopan function.   Image quality is poor as there was no one around to track the aircraft with the video Rx antenna.  Never mind, I've just found a someone who has built an autotracking Rx antenna system - that could be the next project.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni1VAH4TQSc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni1VAH4TQSc</a>

So that's it, it looks like it's ready to catch up with Idigbo's DH2 again when the opportunity arises and what a sight that will be!

Alan B
« Last Edit: August 30, 2007, 23:38:50 PM by Pup Cam, Reason: Added autopan video »
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