Single Pilot camera flying and tilt control

Discussion in 'Camera Operating' started by Bryan Harvey, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Bryan Harvey

    Bryan Harvey Member

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    Just wondering if it's possible to pull off smooth camera tilt moves during flight as a single pilot operator. Is this possible to do with standard switch and knob configuration radios like the Graupner or the Spektrum, where you most likely assign tilt control to a twisting knob? I would think you would have to take one of your hands off the sticks (risking flight control) to try to do it. On the other hand, radios like the Futaba FG or the JR XG8 have paddles or sliders on the side that would allow you to tilt the camera with your pointer finger while maintaining full control of the sticks with your thumbs. Im asking because Im getting ready to purchase a new radio and seems like every one is a compromise one way or another.

    thanks!
     
  2. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    What I've seen The Master (aka Jeff Scholl) do, is coil a Velcro strip around a rotatry control on his Transmitter so that it increases the diameter considerably, thus making it easier to reach with his left hand and also making it easier to make smaller movements.

    With a rotary control you could also adjust the servo rates so that a larger movement produces a smaller effect (like expo for the sticks). This would allow more delicate movements.

    On my Futaba 8FG I really doubt I could get subtle movements with the side sliders.
    On the other hand, if you have money to burn and really strong back and shoulders (it's heeeeavy...) the sliders on the Graupner MC-32 look like they would do a good job. Holger (of Mikrokopter fame) uses one and I think has the tilt assigned to one of the big central sliders.

    As for flying the bird while manipulating the camera -- I find I use altitude hold a lot!

    Hope this helps.
    Andy.
     
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  3. Bryan Harvey

    Bryan Harvey Member

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    Thanks Andy, very helpful.


     
  4. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    As I am heading towards this particular configuration, I'd love to hear from others what their Graupner mx-20 switch/pot setup looks like. As for me, I'd like to be able to use...
    1. GPS AH, PH and CH and Orientation-free
    2. Voice telemetry
    3. Radian tilt control
    4. MK Sony LANC zoom (and maybe shutter control)
    Can I get all this? I made a diagram to use for documentation.
     

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  5. Adam Paugh

    Adam Paugh Distributor

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    Hi Steve,

    Our shop config for MX20:

    GPS: CRTL 9
    Alt: SW 8
    Tilt: CTRL 6
    telemetry toggle: SW 1
    zoom: SW2 ( I believe this is the 3pos. switch we use)

    Aside from those you will also need a switch to activate Radian control. These 6 along with 4 stick channels brings you to 10channels total.

    Greetings,
    Adam
     
  6. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Based on what little i know, here's a suggestion...
    Switch 1: Carefree (yeah, it's momentary contact, see Parental Guidance warning below).
    Switch 2: No expo (down/away), 40% Expo on nick/roll (up/towards)
    Switch 8 : AH (down is off, on is up)
    Ctrl 9: (3-position): Free flight (down), GPS PH (middle), CH (up)
    Ctril 6: Keep free for changing screens when you get a Smart On Screen Display for your FPV camera.
    Ctrl 7: Camera tilt/nick control.
    Ctrl 8: Camera zoom control.
    Switch 9: Enable voice response.
    Control 10: Down (off), Lock voice response (I lock in on "input voltage" which I have set for every 15 seconds repeat) (middle setting). (Up position is unassigned).

    Note on the above: The frequently used flight controls are on my left side so that I can be flying with the right stick at all times. I have removed the centering spring for the throttle on the left stick so I can "park" the throttle while I fumble for the switches....

    Parental Warning : Why I Care About Carefree!! (I'm channelling Casey Van Nyhuis at QC here):
    I'd think twice about using Carefree. If you use CH, it brings the C8 back in an arbitrary orientation. There are two schools of thought regarding CF:
    1. The greatest thing since sliced bread.
    2. The most evil thing since sliced bread.

    Those who think it's evil are usually experienced copter pilots who find that their instincts are conflicted by CF.

    I think I'd like CF if it had one simple flight rule: Nose out is always the line that is the bearing from the aircraft to the pilot (aka "home") regardless of any other rules. The current CF modes have the following flight rules:

    Rule 1. If you point the copter's boom #1 away from you, turn on Carefree, and then start the motors, the "flight control nose out direction" remains the direction that boom #1 was pointing regardless of which way boom #1 is physically pointing.

    Rule 2. If the copter is more than 20 meters away from you and you have enabled Teachable CF, if you toggle the CF switch off and then on, the new "flight control nose out direction" becomes the line between you and the copter.

    Rule 3. If the copter is less than 20 meters away from you and you have enabled Teachable CF, if you toggle the CF switch off and then on, the direction Boom #1 is currently pointing becomes the new "flight control nose-out direction." (Restated, this is the same as Rule 1, isn't it? The only difference is that with Teachable enabled you can toggle CF off and on in flight for Rule 3 to apply.)

    NOTE: Why the manual takes five diagrams to illustrate what I can say it in three short sentences makes me deeply suspicious that I am missing something profound about Carefree, and/or Teachable Carefree. Please set me straight if I am.

    Also, Rule 3 above seems perverse in the extreme -- why would you want to use Carefree to set up the weird situation shown in the image below?

    [​IMG]
    The copter's so close you can clearly see the orientation visually (and it's nose right, so you memorize nose right) -- then you turn on carefree and yaw it to be visually nose in -- but the control direction is still nose right? Huh?

    It would seem better to disable Carefree mode when the copter is less than 20 meters away....but that's just my thinking...
    Hope this helps.
    Andy.
     
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  7. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Thank you, Adam.
    Pardon my ignorance, but is there a reason to not just leave the Radians on all the time, or do we need to burn a switch for them to be powered on at all?
     
  8. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    You need to power them off when you're on the ground/landing/taking off otherwise the top part of the C8 rotates.
    Adam's absolutely right -- you do need a three position switch to change the mode: Off, Stabilized (fixed position), Stabilized (where you control position).

    My revised list is therefore:
    Switch 1: Carefree (yeah, it's momentary contact, see Parental Guidance warning below).
    Switch 2: No expo (down/away), 40% Expo on nick/roll (up/towards)
    Switch 3 : Down (off), Lock voice response (I lock in on "input voltage" which I have set for every 15 seconds repeat)
    Switch 8 : AH (down is off, on is up)
    Ctrl 9: (3-position): Free flight (down), GPS PH (middle), CH (up)
    Ctril 6: Keep free for changing screens when you get a Smart On Screen Display for your FPV camera.
    Ctrl 7: Camera tilt/nick control.
    Ctrl 8: Camera zoom control.
    Switch 9: Enable voice response.
    Control 10: Radian mode control. Off (down), Stabilized (fixed) (middle), and Stabilized (you have control) (up).

    I've been meaning to work this out for myself for single operator configuration in 2-Axis mode -- thanks for forcing the issue Steve.
    Hope this helps.
    Andy.
     
  9. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    As usual, I am blown away by the substance and quality of your response. Much to consider. I have a couple questions:
    1. If I do have to dedicate a switch/channel to the Radians, is it a 2- or 3-pos switch?
    2. Can the nick/roll expo control be on a dial, or is that not possible?
    Here's how I would propose setting up my Graupner mx-20. Will this work? I'm using a GR-24 with the standard MK stack and a 2-axis gimbal with Radians on tilt and roll.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Wait, this does not apply to the 2-axis gimbal, right? I mean, if my CS8 is rotating whilst parked, I have a serious problem. :eek:
     
  11. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Ooops. My reply crossed in Cyberspace with yours.
    To answer your questions (and thanks for the compliment on the reply!):

    1. Three position. See my second posting.
    2. Yes. A dial just emits a value of -127 to +127 depending on where you rotate it. The receiver doesn't know whether you're using a switch, a stick or a rotary control....they all do the same thing. (A two position switch goes from -127 to +127, a three position -127, 0, +127).

    That looks like a pretty good layout for your purposes. I find I daren't look down at the controls when I'm flying so it all has to be done by feel.

    Andy.
     
  12. Chris Babiana

    Chris Babiana Member

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    Question: My camera (2-axis, cinsestar8, graupner mx20) tilt is on CTRL 10. Is there any way of softening up the response so it kind of slowly winds up instead of having a sudden movement when you flick the switch.? Or possibly reassigning it to CTRL 8 and control the speed with the knob?

    Thanks.
    Chris
     
  13. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Hi Chris:
    The word you're looking for is "ramping," which is the gradual acceleration from a standstill to "cruise," followed by deceleration to a standstill. Sadly, knowing the word, doesn't help as apparently the Radians don't do ramping.

    If you use Ctrl8 you will be able to get finer control -- I infer you're talking about the tilt axis? If you're not sure how to assign the current channel that you're using for CTRL10, check out page 96 of the manual. On the MX20 screen "Input" really means "Channel." :)

    A tip that Jeff Scholl uses: get some narrow, double-sided Velcro, coil it tightly around Ctrl8 to enlarge it's diameter -- then you have even finer control over the rotation. You can also slow down the slew rate on tilt or lower the rate on the MX20. (Dual Rate/Expo is on page 108 of the manual).

    Andy
     
  14. Chris Babiana

    Chris Babiana Member

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    Hi Andy,
    Yes...the tilt axis is what I was referring to. Thanks for the info and quick reply...Much appreciated!
    Ramping...ramping..........that's the word I was looking for.
    :)

    Regards,
    Chris.
     
  15. Nick Wolcott

    Nick Wolcott Member

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    I don't like taking my hand off the left stick to twist the knob for tilt control. I'd like to set up a foot control for the tilt, something similar to a wahwah pedal that guitarists use. I'm guessing I could get a lot smoother action this way. The problem is I have no idea how to pull this off. I was hoping some of the smart guys in the room might have some suggestions for me.
    I currently have a GR-16 sitting on the gimbal, so I was thinking I could bind the gimbal to it's own tx, maybe purchase the cheapest graupner tx available and tap into one of it's channels and somehow convert the signal from the pedal. Is that a good idea? Any other suggestions?
     
  16. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    That's so funny...I was on a shoot yesterday with a friend (a commercial pilot and musician) and I told him I should get my friend (a guitar tech in San Francisco) to hack me up a wahwah pedal that'd work for Radian tilt (or zooming my CX760). Is it possible to connect an external switch/pot to a Graupner mx20? Are there specs on it? I think it'd solve a lot of problems!
     
  17. Nick Wolcott

    Nick Wolcott Member

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    It's funny how people come up with the same ideas at the same time, it strangely seems to happen a lot.
    Ideally I'd like it to be wireless, that's why I was thinking separate tx/rx.
     
  18. Adam Paugh

    Adam Paugh Distributor

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    Mr. Cedar's simple, elegant solution to single-op tilt control:




    Greetings,
    Adam
     
  19. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    As for me, I'd like to reduce the number of radio connections. I wonder if we could hack the trainer port? Anybody know how the trainer port works?
     
  20. Nick Wolcott

    Nick Wolcott Member

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    Hey Adam- I did see that - and that's a cool solution, but what if I want to keep my head up and eyes on the chopper?
     

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