Jump to content
rob10000

Another Easystar cameraship

Recommended Posts

I've used the Easystar platform before with a cheap CVS camcorder to record videos, and had great success. You can see some of the videos I made last fall.

HERE.

I knew if I ever graduated to FPV with a downlink it was going to be the airframe I started with. Seeing VRFlyer's work just re-enforced to me what a good platform it really is.

I was fortunate enough to get in on Kilrah's introductory offer on the 640x480 goggles with the integrated headtracker, and finally got everything else I needed rounded up. I went with a set-up from Black Widow, and I'm really happy with the quality of the components.

My new Easystar is powered by an AXI 2208/26 with a 7x5 APC prop trimmed down to 6", and a 3S2000 lipo. The camera/TX has a dedicated 2S800 lipo. Knowing I would have alot of weight up front, I chose to semi-permanently install the speed control and receiver in the aft compartments. This also maximized the distance between the video and radio gear, and left me with plenty of space for the pan/tilt servos and the flight pack.

If all goes well, I hope to do the maiden flight this weekend!

23521542168.jpg

23522180315.jpg

23521590973.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished taking some more pictures of my set-up, and here's a video of the headtracker in operation.

click here for demo

Here's my ground station. I used a 5.6 LCD that was originally intended for a Sony Playstation as a secondary display. Also inside is the Black Widow RX, a 1 to 4 video splitter, and the patch antenna mounted to the lid. I wired the panel with individual switches to control everything, and it has the ability to power the video goggles as well. I plan on using an Aiptek MPVR to record the downlinked video.

23610124652.jpg

23610131149.jpg

23610133359.jpg

23610121786.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks nice!

How did you do your "special" tilt servo? Remove the botton case of one, and put a second top case instead?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow !!!!

My easystar have a brother, a twin :)

Check on the picture I send,on the left, my ESC is at the same location as yours, it turn on the side, so not very visible. I made 4 holes on each side too cool down the ESC.

I suggest to activate only the pan servo for severals flghts until you use to it

It's a perfect plane for someone who never fly FPV, it fly very well.

I love the video you made, very good

Where do you live, in a cold country like mine ?

post-8-1156555304_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How did you do your "special" tilt servo? Remove the botton case of one, and put a second top case instead?

Yes, it look that he add the top of another servo on the bottom , he kept the horn and the gear, and probably remove a little bit of plastic, so the gear sit on the bottom of the sevo. The alignement will be perfect. It look like a standard servo buyed from the store. Simple & easy, I will do this next time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Robe, I forget to say, if you want my Aiptek MPVR, I will sold it to you for $50 + shipping. I received the MPVR without the usb cable, so I buy a card reader for $30 to download the SD card. You will received the MPVR without SD card, no usb cable, no cd and I will kept the tripod for my antenna. It come with the battery, charger, transport case( wear on the pant belt). Still work like new.

If other people are interested, you can also e-mail me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I simply attached the top 1/3 of an old servo to the bottom of another. The intent was to have solid support on each side of the mount. However, after sleepng over on it, I decided I didn't like this design. It had a few shortcomings.

1) The weight of the camera is very high up, and I was afraid in a high-G pull, or a bad landing, the lever arm to the tilt servo would strip the gears.

2) This design has alot of backswing when tilted up. I had to mount it further forward that I liked to have it clear the video transmitter and antenna.

3) I never figured out a better method than double-sided tape to attach the tilt servo to the pan servo.

Today I scrapped the mount, and created a new one. Since the tilt servo has much less stress on it now, I felt I could get away with a smaller, lighter one. This is much more secure and easy to construct, and uses less cockpit real estate.

23623443640.jpg

23623450697.jpg

VRFlyer, I also added holes for airflow to cool the ESC, and plan on using small airscoops to direct the air in and out. I'm just a bit south from you in Massachusetts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1) The weight of the camera is very high up, and I was afraid in a high-G pull, or a bad landing, the lever arm to the tilt servo would strip the gears.

Exact, it's the weak point of this design, I broken a gear on a servo few days ago.

A way to protect the servo, is to remove a little bit of the teeth inside the horn, just enough when it land hard, the horn slip on the servo gear. Also the distance from the cam to servo must be minimal.

I like your new design, you take every thing you have on your hand :)

I glue the tilt servo to the pan servo horn using 5 min. epoxy. I do not put the screw, so in hard landing, the servo horn disconnect, saving the pan servo.

Epoxy glue is very strong, but loose all his proprity when heat with a heat gun at low temperature, it become britlle and very easy to remove, leaving no trace when removed, a very great choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice mount too!

I unfortunately can't do that with my cam as it has no case, so I can't attach it easily from another point than the lens.

I use GWS Naro Std servos, I've never managed to strip the gear, even when trying to by hand on one that had a dead motor. So far I've seen no problem in flight even with the cam higher up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I use GWS Naro Std servos, I've never managed to strip the gear, even when trying to by hand on one that had a dead motor. So far I've seen no problem in flight even with the cam higher up.

Kilrah

I use hitec HS-55 because it have no free play on the horn. When you move your cam by hand, do you see a little movement due to loose gear?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also swapped out the GWS Naro I was using on the pan in exchange for a HS-55. The GWS had rather noticeable (when looking thru the camera) free play at the center as VRFlyer has mentioned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never noticed anything. That's actually the most vibration-proof mount I've had so far... :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, here it is.

Heavily influenced by my previous experience with this aircraft, and VRFlyer's work.

24414051480.jpg

She came out at 723 grams ready to fly with a TP Prolite 3S2000, and a CommonsenseRC 2S800 to run the camera and transmitter. I'm also using the new Castle Creations 7 channel RX, which saved me some weight.

I got about 2 hours of "up" time on my Easystar today, with 99% of the flights by video.

I had the help of another pilot as a safety spotter, and we swapped the goggles back and forth, so I would guess we had about 1 hour each, "under the hood"

I didn't have a recorder at the field, so no videos to post. However, BestBuy had a sale on the PVR, a higher resolution model of the MPVR, so I bought one of them for future use for $100.

BTW, they have this same model with a 2 GB memory card for only $144, which seems like a good deal, too.

I have to say, flying by video was pretty scary at first. And while we knew the "lay of the land" because of hours of recored flights last year, it was easy to get disorientated and unsure of where the field actually was. The safety spotter always had his eyes on the plane, and was able to give directions when needed.

As VRFlyer has noted, to fly by video for the first time AND use the Gyrocontrol is overwhelming; there is just too much to get used to. After a quick attempt full-up, we scaled back by disabling the tilt, and controlling the pan with the rudder stick. We started by using the safety pilot to get to altitude and level, then handing control over to the FPV pilot.

We got used to it pretty quickly, and by the end of day we were hand launching and landing without assistance, but we haven't graduated back to the Gyrocontrol yet.

I wasn't impressed with the light handling abilities of the KX-131 camera, however. When the brightness and contrast was adjusted on the display for a good picture with the scenery as the dominent background, the sky was too bright and washed out. When the adjustments were made with the sky dominent, you couldn't see the ground well at all. VRFlyer's videos, on the other hand, seem to display a nice balance all the time that I could not adjust for....

Also, I accidentally entered the programming mode of the Gyrocontrol while flying, and must have changed some parameter, because it didn't work properly after that. I'll have to get out the instructions and redo it again.

I can't wait to get some more air time in!

Kilrah, I've been posting my experiences in the Ap forum of RCGroups, and they love this stuff! However, as I direct them to the rc-tech.ch website, they have reported trouble with the language. Perhaps you can come on over and introduce yourself and help out?

Edited by rob10000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wasn't impressed with the light handling abilities of the KX-131 camera, however. When the brightness and contrast was adjusted on the display for a good picture with the scenery as the dominent background, the sky was too bright and washed out. When the adjustments were made with the sky dominent, you couldn't see the ground well at all. VRFlyer's videos, on the other hand, seem to display a nice balance all the time that I could not adjust for....

I can't wait to get some more air time in!

I have the same problem as you report. I must choose period of the day when sun can clearly illuminated the ground, no cloud, not even high humidity in the air. I always fly between 10h an 14h. I don't have adjustement outside the headset for brightness, color etc...

With a good tv with no light around, the picture should be a lot better, the headset are not good as tv. Every cam are not identical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's a short video clip of some of the effects I mentioned. I used the Aiptek PVR recorder, which seems to do a pretty good job. Is this typical of all the KX-131 cameras???

The video look to be take under cloudy sky, I see humidity at the horizon. If it was taken under good sunlight, the cam don't look good. If the video was taken under cloudy day, it look similar to mine if I was using a 45 deg. lens like you. I use 90 deg. lens, more light come to the ccd because the f.o.v is greater.

Also, my videos was taken in the best period of the day between 10h to 14h, under full sunlight, very little humidity in the air. When I do video,Ii want the best of the best, normally when I fly, the condition are not so great.

I flied today to test my more powerfull motor and servos, normally I don't fly under cloudy days, so you will se the result uder cloudy day.

http://video.google.fr/videoplay?docid=801...064656028&hl=fr

Edited by Vrflyer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is this typical of all the KX-131 cameras???

Nope. The ground is overexposed when you see it fullscreen, that's not normal. It should stay the same as when you have about 75% ground in view (like at 25 seconds in your video).

Was brightness/contrast changed on the recorder? No adjustment should be needed. What TX/RX set do you use? Some have a pot that will adjust the video level, thus the brightness of the picture. That could be a bit badly set, has already happened to me. Mixing TX and RX that are not of the same brand and not 100% compatible can do that too.

I don't have an edited video of identical conditions at hand, but this one isn't too far.

With about any camera you'll have to choose between having sky or ground correctly exposed, it can be hard when the sun is really low in the end of the day. The key is to mount your camera so that you have 65-75% ground in view when the plane is level. But there still is a problem with your setup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what I was expecting. I don't think it wil lever be perfect, but it does seem overexposed to me, especially when compared to other videos I've seen from KX-131 owners, but it's hard to really make an objective comparison since this is my first CCD camera.

The RX/TX is from BW brown-bag kit, and I did not adjust any brightness/contrast on the recorder.

It's a good thing I was able to make adjustments on your goggles to try and compensate for it. At first, the image was so washed out it was impossible to see much detail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have an o-scope you might want to check the video levels coming from the Rx. If it is grossly incorrect, it will still work, but the video's dynamic range suffers. My last BW system was not adjusted correctly when I got it, so maybe your's isn't either. Info is here: http://www.rc-cam.com/lawmate.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Success!

I wandered over to the Avionics shop at work, and they had a nice Lecroy oscillioscope, and they were able to adjust the transmitter according to the specs RC-Cam provided. I can't believe how much better the video looks even on the bench!

Thank you very much for pointing me in the right direction, Rc-cam!!!

I can't wait to get this thing in the air again!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Rob

I really like your ground station and was wondering what you use to power it? Is a 3s LiPo enough to power the 12v Rx from BW?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

while you could easily use a 3S lipo, I'm using a 12v, 7 amp sealed battery because I'm powering the goggles, the secondary display, and a video splitter besides the RX.

hcap0800.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I put an AXI2212-12 with an APC7x5 thin electric prop onto my Easystar, and this makes a lot of thrust, and the battery's empty pretty soon ;-)

The motor is mounted in the fashion of rob's mounting:

post-8-1185288405_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×