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Still Picture Vibration:

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Hi there,

I'm sort of new to this (my first and last aircraft, an Aerobird Challenger, crashed last year; and I'm $80 from an Aerobird Extreme).

But I'm also not too bad at electronics and physics.

My questions are:

1) Why not use PICAXE microcontrollers, and 2) with the CAMMAN special projects line (electronic interfaces between RXs and still cameras), why not use re-use one of the redundant shutter pins (either the servo or electronic shutter release) and the auxilary pin on the microcontroller to stop the vibration of the motor affecting pictures?

1) PICAXE microcontrollers (google Revolution Education, and look at the PICAXE name under 'Quick Links' to find out about them) are cheapish (about $10NZ each); their programming circuit consists of two resistors and a 9-pin computer COM port connector; the programming software is free form the 'net; the programming language is the reasonably idiot-proof BASIC (the only language I write in :D) so other people can adapt and improve the coding; and they are PIC microcontrollers (albeit with a boot-strap program) so they can basically be dropped into the other circuits on this site.

2) If you have a camera, mounted on an electric fixed-wing aircraft (not a helicopter or else it'll fall out of the sky much more quickly), why not have a system where the circuit will automatically cut the engine for a while to reduce or stop vibration and improve the resulting images? Obviously this would only work for electric, fixed-wing aircraft that have a separate channel for the camera, but I think there are definitely many such aircraft out there in the world.

All that needs to happen is to hook up a transistor to one of the outputs of the PIC to interrupt the motor signal. The other pin will temporarily replace the motor signal, making the motor stop. After the motor has had time to stop, the camera is triggered, then motor control is surrendered to the RX again.

Or, in the case of the X-Port camera interface, an NPN transistor (or similar) is used to ground the motor interrupt pin, stopping the motor.

I hope this helps and is not all proof that I'm a blithering idiot! :D

Regards, Pyrotechnician.

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PICAXE certainly can be a useful tool for hobbyists. Their chips are pretty cheap too. However, most of those who develop projects on here already have the needed tool suites to use those PICs natively...

BTW, MPLAB is free as well for programming them in assembly, and I've been programming PICs for 2 years with a DIY serial port programmer that also cost me about $2.

Personally, I really prefer having full control on the thing and feel better when there are as few abstraction layers as possible. I admit having recently "fallen into" C programming though ;)

Regarding vibration, I've never had problems on any plane/blimp I've taken photos with...

There might be an even simpler solution too. Set a mix on the TX that cuts the throttle when the shutter switch is activated! That indeed wouldn't let the engine the time to stop before taking the photo though.

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I have my camera switch setup on the throttle channel. When the throttle stick is reduce to very low RPM's (e-motor off) the shutter is activated.

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