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Mr.RC-Cam

Lightweight Pan and Tilt Mechanism

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Mar-22-2007 Update: Important Rev-C kit Information: <Click Me>

Mar-21-2007 Update: The Rev-C Pandora Kit is now available.

Price is $29.95 USD plus shipping ($4.35 for Con-USA deliveries, PM me with your country for international rate).

Instruction manuals:

REV B Kit: <Click Me!>

REV C Kit: <Click Me!>

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Original Jan-01-2007 Post:

Recently someone had emailed me about my Pan and Tilt project that I casually mention a couple weeks ago. At this point there's not much to tell about it, but at least I can describe what I have done over the Holidays.

The goal was to create the mechanics for a pan and tilt mechanism that was very lightweight and easy to build. And, it needed to look good since I just don't have the heart to plop one of my usual ugly attempts on a nice looking model. I've got two models that needed a pan & tilt: One requires a top side P&T mount, and the other a bottom side mount. So, I needed to be able to flip it over and still have it work without much fuss (not as slam-dunk as it sounds).

I mostly use Panasonic CX-151 board cameras, so it needed to accommodate them. However, since those are obsolete, I also made sure it would easily allow a KX-131 camera too. For strength and low weight, I decided to build it out of fiberglass. I went through a couple dozen paper doll designs, then created the necessary CAD files for the final concept. I got it mostly right and the prototype design was a joy to build. What I learned from this will certainly go into a new version soon.

Directly below is a recent version. But below it are several photos that show the evolution of the pan & tilt design. Enjoy the show!

Are the Rev C kits still available?

If so I would like to purchase one. What is the proceedure to do so?

Thanks

Rick

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They are available. If status changes I will post new information. The purchase procedure is simple; just PM me.

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#1 P&T Head-------------------------

While inventorying the Kit parts I realized that it contained 2 each #5 "top Stringer" and zero #4 "Front Bulkhead". I dry fit the chassis assembly and it seemed to me that using #5 in place of #4 "Front Bulkhead" would work. Decided to use the solder method of building.( easily reversible) This set back caused me to stop and sleep on it before I contacted Mr. RC-Cam. Decided to carry on with build.

Looking at what it would take to connect the pandora to the Transmitter/Vreg that I had been using it struck me that all required were three wires (5V,Ground,Video "Signal"). Now with Vregs at both ends, power source/switch in middle that left me with on wire Video "Signal". Sounds like servo extension to me.

Took 12" servo extension spliced power connection in the middle, put female servo lead on Pandora/Vreg, and a male servo lead on my home brew Vreg/Video board connected to the video transmitter. Plugged it all together. No smoke yet. Turned on my bench test video/monitor set up . To my surprise I had clear and stable picture. This was a first for me!

The picture in my previous post is the current configuration of the "P&T Head"

RC-Cam designed a versatile Pan & Tilt camera mount system.

Advantages:

1. 2 leads exit fuselage with different connectors. Pandora 2 leads different connectors (One female, one male). Mate the four connectors and your done. No more identifying connectors with tags.

2. Maintenance made easier. 1 screw, and 2 connectors and the "P&T Head" is disconnected. Pan servo stays in fuselage and should not require more attention than the flight control system. Inspection, remove & replace if worn or malfunctioning. Tilt mechanism and camera maintenance can be done on the bench, field swap easier. This last fact can lead to other possibilities.

3. Electrical connection using tried and proven servo extensions. Keep it simple and straight forward.

Last but not least it becomes modular and all the possibilities modularity can open up. Hobbyist can roll your own at reasonable price. It will most likely never reach the level of high duty cycle professional systems; however, with a little ingenuity you can achieve the functionality of systems with much higher price tag

Edited by joekadet

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#1 "P&T Head" ------ continued

Thanks to RC-Cam, a simple kit error, and a versatile design I now have a polished system that I have been chasing for years. I applied the short lead from vreg to load that RC-cam used on the Pandora to my Video Transmitter/Vreg combination. I have tested it on the bench with two 36" servo extensions with one between my "Power Module" and Pandora and one between my "Power Module" and my "Transmitter Module" with no ill effects.

Keep in mind that I am not an electrical, computer, nor electronic engineer of any sort. I am a hobbyist. To date I have not encountered any glitches. Only flight testing will bear out the system's performance and we all know how that can be. INMHO it should work.

Total system weight is a tad less than 4 ounces. (Pandora Complete, Power Module, Transmitter Module)

Being able to more easily chase the 2.4 Ghz gremlins is what I'm after.

Thomas, sorry that I never contacted you about the parts mix up.

Joe

post-5-1175581267_thumb.jpg

Edited by joekadet

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#2 Power Module--------- a work in progress

This is a simple 12" Servo extension with a JST female connector spliced in to the power leads. I did not cut the extension at all. This is a splice technique that I used on my boat trailer years ago. Strip the two power leads at different points , rap splice, solder, a little liquid insulation (back then it was silicon), shrink tube while wet, and hit it with heat gun. When cooled and cured you have a durable and water tight connection.

The battery is as received from the vendor.

No switch because I remove it along with the flight batteries for safety concerns.

This is one area that can stand some miniturization ala small PCB with short leads and possibly a switch. The important consideration is to keep the servo extension idea going. That is including the signal lead.

I think of it as a servo extension with an attitude.

Photo is of mock up.

Joe

post-5-1175616502_thumb.jpg

Edited by joekadet

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#2 Power Module -------continued

Here is the above but with heat shrink tube in place.

One more Module to go. This is turning into a mini build thread. Mr RC-Cam thanks for your indulgence with my rambling.

#3 Transmitter Module

Joe

post-5-1175617132_thumb.jpg

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#3 Transmitter Module ---------------------

This board designed by Mr RC-Cam some time ago is the backbone of my Transmitter/Vreg/Video Feed Module. Like most all of Thomas' projects was easily modified for other needs. Not needing the transmitter connector (cut off years ago) I cut board at the line shown in white. Made the appropriate connections, installed male servo connector, and attached to transmitter with Velcro. Instant Transmitter Module.

Observations:

At 200 MW heat from the transmitter is minimal. Outside air temperature here averages 85 F.

Epoxying the heat sync to Vreg dissipates heat effectively. Barley gets warm.

Can be moved around as easily as a servo.

Light and compact.

Joe

post-5-1175627180_thumb.jpg

Edited by joekadet

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#1,#2,#3 ------- Current

This is the current configuration of my system. I will reinstall in my 6' Electro Telemaster after some more bench testing and strain relief work. This came to light while writing this series of posts.

Thanks again Mr RC-Cam for your contributions. Don't know what the Wife will have to say when she sees my next "toy" from RC-Cam.

Joe

post-5-1175628910_thumb.jpg

Edited by joekadet

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Thomas, sorry that I never contacted you about the parts mix up.

I apologize for the duplicate parts error. It's great that the "wrong" part you used fits very well, so it was not a horrible thing to do. :)

Thanks for the review and the photos. It's nice to see how others are using the special rc-cam projects.

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hey mr rc cam this is my complete setup with the pandora pan and tilt right now im using a swtich for tilt and a scroller for panning since i cant find a headtracker t work with my jr 9303 that i have . i really need a headtracker. anybody has found a solution for jr radios yet?

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here is one Nick made ...

Please only post info or videos related to the Pandora pan and tilt. Instead, create a new topic for your project and discuss it outside this one. That way this thread can remain dedicated to the Pandora.

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Hi There,

I obtained my pandora rev C from rangevideo.com and it lacks the VR board, any way I can order that either as a bare pcb or a built up board separately?

let me know in these forums as I am here daily..

thanx in advance

gwen

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I'm very interested with this creative innovation...very nice...

I'm planning to buy this stuff to be put at my telemaster, but...i still confused...how for me to control this stuff....is it using different set of transmitter-receiver set...or how can i control them from ground...

I'm really glad to have clear explanation from all the xpert in here...i'm actually just new one in this field...really hope to hear from you soon as I'm really getting exited too try this stuff on my own...

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You can use two spare proportional channels on your RC system. For fingerless operation you could also use a head tracking device (search the forum for info on those gadgets).

Some users have a dedicated operator that handles the camera movement using a second R/C system. What you do is up to your requirements.

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Mr. RC-Cam...

Has any thought been given to provide different back-plates for camera other than the KX-131?

The reason I ask is because I would like to use my new IF OSC camera (LINK) with my Pandora mount.

This camera demands access to it's back to get at the camera's controls.

OSCntsc.jpg

I know I could probably hack someting up, but it wouldn't be as nice as the rest of the pandora mount

Edited by rob10000

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This might be tricky for (A) the IF OSC camera is considerably larger than the KX131 and (B) like you said Rob, we need to freely access the rear plate to adjust the camera settings to suit the lighting condition of that day.

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I'd be interested in seeing a photo of the IF OSC camera against Pandora's back plate. That would give me an idea of what sort of changes would be needed.

Keep in mind that IF's camera would have to fit in the space that Pandora provides, which is a snug fit with the KX-131. I did not see any camera dimensions on the IF site (which is odd). I agree with JMS's comments, looking at the comparison photos, it's larger than the popular KX-131.

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I'd be interested in seeing a photo of the IF OSC camera against Pandora's back plate. That would give me an idea of what sort of changes would be needed.

Keep in mind that IF's camera would have to fit in the space that Pandora provides, which is a snug fit with the KX-131. I did not see any camera dimensions on the IF site (which is odd). I agree with JMS's comments, looking at the comparison photos, it's larger than the popular KX-131.

Here's the pictures. It seems to fit fine in the available space.

FWIW, the IFOSC is 30.14 high, vs 24.82mm for the KX-131.

However, the IF OSC is not much wider; 30mm vs 28.64

16816484181.jpg

16816484114.jpg

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Thanks for the photos. I'll look into creating a custom back plate for the IFOSC. I'm a bit overloaded with other things, so it might be awhile. Anyone have a broken IFOSD camera they want to unload? :)

But, why not try it yourself? For access to its push buttons, how about making some holes just big enough to allow a pressing them with a Q-tip swab (or something like that). The existing cutouts probably take care of access to most of the push-buttons, so there shouldn't be too much work to finish the job.

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