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JMS: hehe I made it yesterday just for fun,

we still have tons of unused chars in the ascii set in the OSD chip

the pack eat up code in the Main chip, cost 188bytes to implment, so it was funny,

we need the delay anyway to aqure a more accurate start position and start height.

(I dont know if we will keep it in the final release version)


we allready have a pin reserved for servo signal input,

it is connected to a timer function of the main controller,

but the 5-7 lines of code needed to turn on/off the OSD is simply not written yet.

I will do this soon.

Edited by ThomasScherrer
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Actually I think I understand wallaguest's concern for aesthetics. I would personally have been interested in slightly higher resolution fonts. I'm not sure how high the resolution can get with the available memory on the AVR. One of my first impressions was that the resolution was low and the fonts were blocky. Of course it works very well and is very efficient, but then I saw FredericG's OSD which had higher resolution fonts. I'm just saying that I actually understand wallaguest's requests. For me, I ended up rolling my own OSD. I'll try to post some pics once I have them but I have a feeling I know what he's after in terms of screen presentation.


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Mangus well, no obsesion at all, but you prefer ms-dos or something like fluxbox?

better fluxbox right?


then if something can be well done, why don't do it? maybe im a little perfectionist but in few month's more osd's will appear, with better graphics images, options and so on, then i prefer keep first versions for experiments, then relase a very nice stuff.

okey, you think that first versions should be relased in order to win money to make betters ones; well... true, so let's try relase the first one as good as possible then.

imo things should be well done or shouldn't (be done)

Edited by wallaguest1
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Wouldn't that be a revolution in OSD. Re skinning the appearance to add the finishing touches. Then add virtual guages that work with the GPS etc... Would change the whole concept of things, but it's a long ways from here with what we have today at our reach. Nice to day dream though.... VRFlyer told me once he day dreams a lot and ... that is healthy! It sparks creativity and innovation. :rolleyes: It would be nice to see such leap start here. Nice to know where or perhaps be involved with the root of this type of development. I mentioned this before on RCG but got shot down by it. Nice to know others are thinking the same here. :)


Edited by JMS
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bob4 font and resolution is pretty smart, you can try to do something like that,

bcos the "line crossed zeros" of your osd are a littllebit ugly    :unsure: :unsure:  :unsure:  :unsure: (just a little :s )


The font is not a priority in any way shape or form for us right now. Features such as being able to turn the OSD on and off via a switch on your radio, fixing bugs, allowing more sensors to be connected, etc are.

We understand that you do not like the font, however most people are after the information displayed, not how "pretty" it looks. If you do not like it, then nobody is going to force you to buy it :) There is another OSD coming out in coming weeks/months (not sure??) which Anthony is making and looks very good, however it seems to be focused more on navigation than sensor information.

You can feel free to play with the font editor i wrote if you would like to see just how little ability we have to change the look of a font:

http://www.intelligentflight.com.au/FontViewer.zip - extract both files, file-> open, then the font32.inc file. The smallest preview size at the bottom is bigger than it appears on screen.

Eventually it would be nice to have the processing power in such a tiny unit to display dials or analog information that is clean, colourful and stylish, but with todays technology that is difficult. You'll notice most other OSD's are still using a single chip for processing information and displaying text, which means that their fonts are much larger and not as sharp as ours..

okey, you think that first versions should be relased in order to win money to make betters ones; well... true, so let's try relase the first one as good as possible then.

I find that offensive to be honest mate, I have personally invested MANY thousands of dollars in this project, and quite a lot of time, as has Thomas. We are not here to make a quick buck by releasing this as quickly as possible to win some money as you put it. If we wanted to do that we would have just manufactured Thomas' old V1 OSD and software from 7 months ago.

Most of our "free" time goes into working on the OSD and related software. We've had 3 board revisions now in order to make things faster, smaller, and not cause any sort of EMI at all, not sure if you've looked at the cost of getting PCB's made recently.. maybe you should. We've already set the release date back a month later than originally planned so we can add more software features and such. We are going to be releasing the best possible product we can, with both software and hardware.

There is no way we are going to make a return on investment in labour and raw parts costs any time this year on our products, probably not really even next year.

I really have to agree with Magnus about your obsession with fonts. Personally, i'd be FAR more interested in the features and capabilities of the unit as opposed to the font style. But hey, i'm just a software developer, not a graphics designer or anything.

Sorry if i sound like i'm being a hardass or unfriendly, i don't mean to be.

Edited by Mark Harris
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Mangus well, no obsesion at all, but you prefer ms-dos or something like fluxbox?

better fluxbox right?

Of course, but Fluxbox is there, you just need to get it and use it. The OSD needs to be made first.

Now, an OSD's function is to make measurements and calculations and display the info so you can use it when you need it. Do you prefer to buy a cheap and functional unit that has an "ugly font" (from your point of view) now, or do you want to wait one more year and spend 700$ for a high resolution color graphical unit? The complexity of that sort of stuff gets out of the range of hobby projects and would require more than just investing free time in it to be successful.

Maybe you'll choose the second one... but you'll be with the ~1% of people who will, if there are that many. Until there's a technically easy way to do better, nobody will be interested in investing for that few. You could as well make your own, so that you'd be able to make it how you want it :)

Edited by Kilrah
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One thing that does occur to me is whether the two aims could be addressed by superimposing all the sensor data on the first line of video data? This data could be ignored if you're using the airbourne graphics (which, in my view, are WAY pretty, Mark!), or <ahttp://www.rc-cam.com/forum/uploads/emoticons/default_cool.png' alt='B)'> could then be extracted on the ground by either a PIC for those that want a small separate LCD, logging etc, or by a small PC (e.g. http://www.mini-itx.com/2007/06/02/via-epi...pico-itx-review !!!) by those that want a ravishing display based on Linux or whatever. Ludicrous to put the cpu horsepower required for "beauty at any cost" in the aircraft.

This would put to bed the dilemmas:

- "How do I transmit my sensor data to the ground - audio, second Tx etc."

- "Do I buy kit to have a second display, or do I go for OSD?"

The 'Harris+friends OSD module' would work fine out of the box with any video kit, we can all concentrate on the eternal bugbear i.e. maximising the quality of our video downlinks, and worry about exactly how we want our sensor data at out leisure.

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I guess it takes one to actually put the hard work in these units to understand how complicated it is just to make it work, not to mention limited processing power of the unit. (I'm understanding how complicated this is from following Daniel's progress. Really hair pulling stuff! ) So I hope others will understand the fancy stuff is still far from here. So again.. you guys are working hard to make this affordable for ALL of us so we shouldn't expect too much! The fancy stuff could come later. We can't make it to the top of the ladder with out climbing the first step right!

Mark like you said, functional status is a priority. I do hope you and Thomas will get your hours into this back in well deserved cash! ( then we can see a new Mark Harris plane with.... rocket launchers? :D ) Well I know you guys will make a lot of people around the world happy with your invention! Not to mention put your names in the Video Piloting hall of fame along with Kilrah and VRFlyer! :lol::lol::lol: In the mean time I'm having a blast following the growth of the OSD projects from ALL of you guys!

Edited by JMS
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As the screen is completely configurable and the chars are sent via a serial port between both processors, nothing would prevent you from arranging the readings in an ugly way display-wise (like one item per line or so), but that is easy to parse again, discard the overlay processor and use a data modem to send the serial stream to the ground where your PC or so would generate the overlay.

Very flexible actually.

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Mark, Kilrah, good stuff, glad to hear some sense being injected into this thread!

To re-quote something that I wrote in the rcgroups forum:

"when the panic sets in that you're beautiful new FPV ship is a mile away and you don't know how to get home, you would take an arrow drawn out of old socks, or a font created by a 2 year old"

I think its going to be a while before this type of 'skinning' and fancy fonts will be available on low-cost hardware, and to be quite honest, even if it were possible today, it would be of zero interest to me, as a FPV flyer.

What is far more important to me (again, as an FPV flyer, and not a developer), is the right information, available to me at a glance, presented in as simple a form as possible.

As an example, last night I lost radio contact about a mile out, the Berg 7P went in to failsafe mode.

A quick look at the display showed that the altitude was quite low (100m), and the motor had stopped (current indicator at zero). Tx antenna was pointed straight up to regain control, and the first priority was to get the plane heading home, a quick glance at the 'heading to home' showed exactly how to do this.

With the plane gliding home, next priority was to get the motor restarted, looks like the failsafe had reset the ESC. Throttle up, throttle back, then back up, and the current indication starts rising..

All of this happens within a few seconds, and shows the value of these OSDs as not only a 'fun toy', but as a safety device for FPV flight.

The last thing that I was worried about while all this was happening was the font, or the skinning of the controls :-)

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Clarification: Perhaps my language was ambiguous!

I'm suggesting the OSD board, as well as creating a nice graphic display as it presently does, also superimposes all the raw sensor data as a binary string on the first scan line of the composite video signal. In a similar fashion to that employed by 'Teletext' and various other (aging) TV data services.

(Not the first line of notional OSD characters - this would be too obtrusive)

This way, all the data you could need is (all but invisibly) transmitted to the ground, down the one link we all do our damnedest to optimise (and record!) anyway.

This seems like a great idea to me; the basic OSD unit instantly usable with simple kit, but scope for semi-infinite flexibility: ground-based logging, secondary LCD displays, processing onto 'virtual Google Earth' displays, making into ravishing overlays with linux or whatever.

It might even be recoverable from any video recording one might make - again, not obtrusive, but there, and always synched/saved with the video. Software could extract it from each frame, to provide whatever overlay one wanted on the final video.

Perhaps this idea has come up before.... :(

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Perhaps this idea has come up before....  :(

Well not long ago :P

Following those discussions I made some research on what would be needed to make a full-blown color graphical OSD this morning, and I came across an analog video encoder that did support teletext encoding. It didn't strike my mind that way, but I rather thought that by sending info that way you could make a character OSD without anything, as a TV in see-through teletext mode would do it by itself! But meh, too bad goggles don't have teletext decoders :P

But now there would be a bit more data to gather, like what the bandwidth is. But the idea is good indeed to be kept for future reference :)

I don't think that stuff I've been looking about would have much reasonable use for our applications, but there would certainly be other target fields for a nice BOB4-style module with color and graphics capability. Plus it sounds like an interesting development.

Never know, if in a year or 2 I don't know what to do :lol:

Edited by Kilrah
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Mark - yes, I remember the "OSD on the ground" problems. Might this not be a lot simpler, as you're just trying to strip some data off the first line of each frame? If you get it and the CRC checks out, fine, otherwise you've got another 24 frames per second to try again?! Perhaps easier to do post-hoc once the video is on a PC, rather than in realtime.

I guess that the chipset required to generate a graphical overlay is quite different from what you'd need to get binary data onto the first line. A pity - that makes this idea "just another project" :D . Reminds me of the sort of cheap workarounds used by 8-bit computers in the 80's, where you could generate each line of video using 7400-series TTL shift-register chips; I remember building a 'colour graphics add-on' for one called a Jupiter ACE. The colour lagged a couple of pixels behind each character, thanks to the (nanoseconds) of propagation delay between the on-board graphics chips and the off-board add-on chips. Eye-watering...

Kilrah - OSD giving TV listings and weather forecasts (!)... now there's a thought.

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The problem was with the linesyncs messing up the OSD :) Getting the overlay on the ground is no problem, getting one which is stable with poor quality video is a whole different issue ;)

It would be fun to make one that worked using teletex, eventually.. its a pretty cool idea, i'm sure there are IC's out there that do it.

I've updated our website with the OSD page:

http://www.intelligentflight.com.au/solutions_osd.aspx pictures and videos are pending new flights ;)

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or do you want to wait one more year and spend 700$ for a high resolution color graphical unit?

you are right, im in the group of 1% that prefer w8 more time in order to get something more... more.


anthonyrc you are right, doesn't matter if something is ugly or not, if it's usefull,

but as i said (i don't remeber where) :

under my point of view, useful things are not fought with visual comfort.

And even better: Visual comfort is useful for a quike and easy reading.

sometimes little details like font can help to make it more atractive visualy for buyers.

i know you work a lot and that you are not a big company so just take my words as an opinion for that or next versions,

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hello all,

fpvvideo.com website led me to this forum... All I have to say for the folks who are involved with this project, my hat's off to you all... i'm in the process of putting an FPV system on my slowstick and i discovered this forum - thanks to Crash9...

I'll definitely be getting on the band wagon with this...

Mark/Thomas, can you add me to your buyers list?

I know this has been ask many times already in the other folks' posts, but no answer was ever given, how much will this cost us?

I just need to know, so I can start saving up for me... Actually, forget saving up for it, I'll just put it on my credit card... :D


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