how to switch monitoring between 2 onboard cameras?

Discussion in 'Video Assist & Video Accessories' started by Bryan Harvey, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. Bryan Harvey

    Bryan Harvey Member

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    I'd like to add a small FPV camera to my C8 for pilot ops and then be able to switch back and forth with my Graupner MC-20 transmitter between the FPV camera and the recording camera on my gimbal so that I (as the pilot) may see either picture on a ground-based monitor. Is this possible or difficult to set up? Right now Im using ImmersionRC 5.8ghz to downlink from my Sony CX760 to send a signal for a camera operator monitor. Can that downlink be picked up by two different receivers? If anyone has tried something like this I'd be very interested to know how to set it up.
    Many thanks!
    Bryan
     
  2. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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  3. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Oh, I forgot to answer your "two different receivers" question -- I've not tried it but I cannot imagine why you couldn't use two different receivers tuned to the same channel.

    Andy.
     
  4. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

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    Bryan,

    I have some experience with the multi receiver question. It definitely works without any problem at all. I currently have 3 receivers picking up the 5.8 signal from the camera. No trouble at all. I use Yellow Jackets (2) and a passport. Just set them to the same channel as your transmitter and they all work simultaneously. I routinely have all 3 picking up the camera downlink - sometimes right next to each other and sometimes not so close.

    As for switching between the FPV camera and your video feed, I think the switch Andy mentioned is really cool looking, but when I talked to another forum member about it he reminded me that with the 360 gimbal you would not be able to have a video feed from the #1 boom and from your camera spinning around going into the switch without twisting up the wire pretty good as you pan your gimbal.

    If you are viewing it from a ground station (as opposed to a monitor on your radio) you could have two receivers on the ground and two transmitters in the air (maybe a 1.3 and a 5.8) and just use the monitor to change inputs or put an A-B switch in the ground station.

    I have a 2 axis gimbal so I have not tried to come up with a way to have the CS8 wired to a 3 axis gimbal for anything.

    Michael
     
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  5. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Good point Michael....the 3-Axis gimbal is mechanically and electrically separate from the frame set so that would present a little problem....

    Andy.
     
  6. Bryan Harvey

    Bryan Harvey Member

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    thanks guys! I'll dig into this and see what works best for me. Andy, do you use the switch option yourself? Have you had issues with the cable twisting around? Also curious what people have tried and prefer as pilot - video glasses perched on the end of your nose, or separate monitor attached to your controller. I definitely like moving around when Im flying so I can see whats going on a get different perspectives, so a tripod stand with monitor does not work for me.
     
  7. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Bryan:
    On my 3-axis gimbal, I use two FPV cameras on boom #1: one forward looking (and tilted down slightly), and the other looking straight down. So the DPCAV switch only control those. For a 2-axis gimbal it would certainly be viable to switch between the FPV and the payload camera.

    For the FPV, I've started using the Cinemizer OLEDs -- because I wear eyeglasses I have the perched lower down on my nose and focussed at infinity (for the lower part of the bifocals). That means I can have visual on the copter, and then glance down at the Cinemizers without even needing to refocus my eyes. I wear a brimmed hat to cut down the daylight's glare.

    Works surprisingly well -- and better than the Vusix's -- which are (a) too immersive and (b) not suitable for me/eyeglasses.

    Downside is that I look very dorky (well, I look pretty dork to start with), but with the hat, glasses, Cinemizers, it helps keep the spectators away...."Don't go near the man with the hat, Johny...."

    I've got to solve the mobility aspect too -- it's just that I haven't quite come to terms with having the FPV RX's Bluebeam on top of my hat. I think I'll have to build something that allows me to put the FPV receiver and battery pack onto the MC-32 transmitter. Or stuff the Bluebeam into a toy parrot and wear on my shoulder...or hide it in a silk flower and make it a fashion statement....

    Andy.
     
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  8. sofia huang

    sofia huang New Member

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  9. Laurence Hamilton-Baillie

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    it would be nice for the pilot to be able to switch from gimble to fpv camera with a tx switch while the gimble operator's monitor remains on the gimble.
     
  10. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I agree.

    If you try to solve the problem on the ALTA/MōVI, the issue is how to get the video signal from the gimbal to the ALTA -- they're entirely separate systems.

    Small, radio-controlled, video switches are available. I use them to put two FPV cameras on a Cinestar (one forward-looking, one looking straight down). e.g http://www.getfpv.com/rc-camera-control-rccc-v2.html

    As far as I know, nobody has managed to solve the problem with an ALTA/MōVI combination.

    Of course, the other way of doing it is not to solve it on the aircraft, but on the ground.

    Have the FPV video downlinked on Channel X of a 5.8 Ghz Video Tx, and the gimbal camera on Channel Y of a MōVI-mounted Tx (where X and Y are a couple of channels apart to avoid cross-talk). Then the pilot can switch between cameras either by changing frequencies on a single receiver or by having two receivers set to X and Y respectively and just switching the video monitor from one receiver to another.

    Of course, there's no reason why either video Tx has to be 5.8 Ghz. You could have one or both Tx on 1.3 Ghz for better propagation. However, I'm not sure you could downlink 720p on 1.3 Ghz? @Steve Maller: Have you attempted/managed that?

    Andy
     
  11. Laurence Hamilton-Baillie

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    I have just bought a Gremsy gimbal. It has a slip ring in the pan with a CAN link so it can talk to the wookong to correct for horizon drift, but also has a number of spare pins that you could use to get video signal through the pan motor.
     
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  12. mathewfarrell

    mathewfarrell Member

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    I would absolutely try and solve this from the ground. As mentioned, you've got the mechanical limitation with a 360 gimbal (ignoring slip rings). I can't see why one wouldn't have a simple electrical switch to route Rx1 or Rx2 to the pilot's monitor.
    My setup is pretty frankensteined, but I use a gopro adhesive mount on my Graupner radio, then an appropriate matching gopro mount in the tripod stud of my monitor. video Rx is held atop the monitor with velcro. The monitor/Rx battery was attached off the back of the monitor, but it's too heavy for the gopro mount. Adding a second Rx wouldn't be hard. The fiddliest part would be adding the video routing switch in a position that works whilst flying.
     
  13. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Matthew: If the FPV camera and the payload camera both use 5.8Ghz (but different frequencies), you could just use two receivers and tune them to whichever channel you want to use. Or a single receiver and switch back and forth. I spoke to the folks at Iftron Tech not so long back and they advised ensuring that there was one unused channel between such a setup -- so FPV on channel 1 and payload on channel 3.

    Does that help any?
    Andy

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     
  14. mathewfarrell

    mathewfarrell Member

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    G'day Andy.

    Yes switching frequency on the single Rx would work, and is a cleaner setup. My issue with that solution is that you have to reach the channel button, which is possibly a hands-off-sticks move, and cycle through the channels. A single toggle switch back and forth is better from a user perspective.
    I haven't started playing with digital units yet, so I can't comment how they go RE channel swapping
     
  15. mathewfarrell

    mathewfarrell Member

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    To run off on a tangent - if you have spare slip rings and they work well, perhaps we can do this the other way around, and run the pilot's FPV transmitter down on the gimbal. Thay way the antennae are all behind the camera at all times.
     

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