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Attention: RC-CAM.com will be closing down August 2021.

The RC-Cam.com forum was the very first online community dedicated to the advancement of wireless video cameras on radio controlled (R/C) models. This is now called "FPV" (First Person View). We are proud of the contributions that our members have made to the FPV hobby.

We've seen significant changes over the last twenty years. Initially there were a lot of eager R/C hobbyist that built their own video systems. Allowing these creative individuals to share their work was the purpose of this site. Now the FPV market is flooded with low cost systems; Sadly DiY FPV video projects are now rarely discussed.

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Got a 'lipstick' color cam from BlackWidow today with its swivel mounting base. Got the 'bright' idea of mounting the base on servo wheel, linked in some fashion to the rudder servo, so that a left turn would pan the camera some degrees left. just as your eyes would tend to move in the intended direction. Before I spend hours reinventing the wheel, wondered if anyone has tried this and/or if it would be disorienting. Of course, an aileron bank would not affect the cam. Any thoughts, or reference to a previous discussion?

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The closest I've seen to what I think you are suggesting would be the pancam project by Mr. RC-CAM.

Otherwise, you could just mechanically couple the camera to the rudder so it looked left when you fed left rudder, or right when you fed right rudder. I haven't seen any projects that described this direct coupled method.

Let us know if you try it and post your results!


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I think it's a good idea.

I would use an "Y-cable" and connect it to rudder channel. I'm working on a camera housing with both tilt and pan, but I will control the camera with another receiver and transmitter, opererated by a helper (Camera Operator :D).

Best Regards,


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Hey Bosse,

I hope you have better results finding a qualified camera operator

than I did, I did the same setup (pan/tilt separate radio) and the only

guy I could get that could halfway keep something in focus uses Mode 1! :D

I just said forget it and put the camera on tilt only connected to slider switch

on my 9C.

Good luck with the rudder pan idea, sounds good!


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I taket it from your username you are a HAM guy. Thats nice, my Uncle is too.

Finding a skilled camera operator could be very hard or very easy. The key is to find someone who is interested in what it is all about.

I am lucky in that respect, I have access to not only one, but two, very skilled camera operators, in my two Sons. They play video/computer games a lot (sigh) and they can manually lock on a target with a joystick just like they never did anything else.

Best Regards,


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  • 1 year later...

This quite an old post so I wonder how the experiments went?

I think what you probably want is camera angle proportional (lets keep it simple) to angle of bank/rate of turn but not directly to the aileron or rudder input. None of the planes I have flown have needed constant aileron or rudder input during a turn (by definition, constant aileron input = roll). What is needed is something that measures on board angle of bank (tricky?) or rate of turn - how about a gyro? Use a spare channel to control the pan via a gyro, setting the neutral point as required then adjust the gain to get the desied offset. Probably a bit tricky to set up the gain - lots of trial and error and of course orientating the gyro correctly would be essential. How would this work? I will have to have a play.

With regard to camera operators. A number of people have had a go at driving the camera on my Sopwith Pup (http://uk.geocities.com/tulyar-AT-btinternet.com/Videos.htm) and by far the best in terms of where to look and what to do unprompted (I've always been too busy flying the aeroplane) is my teenage son (Yep, far too much time spent with flight and racing sims and shoot-um-ups). I am convinced that you have to work out a flight plan with your operator before the flight then the pilot must state the next move continuously to give the operator a fighting chance. Otherwise they just pan around aimlessly and normally in exactly the wrong direction!

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Haha what an idea :lol:

But that's interesting :)

Well there are quite a few possibilities...

- On a 3-axis plane, use a Y-lead on the rudder channel like stated above. Normally when turning you engage your turn with ailerons, but in the turn you release them and hold the rudder, so I think it's better to do it with the rudder.

- Use a standard gyro mounted to sense the turn rate of the plane (like in a heli). You should get an angle that's proportional to the rate of turn, but I'm pretty sure it would be quite shaky unless the plane is really stable, seeing how the gyro behaves on a grounded heli.

- Use a HH gyro, and mount it so that its axis is the same at the fuselage length. You should get an angle proportional to tha plane's bank angle, which I think could be the best one. But with the HH gyro drift problems can appear, along with the stablility like for previous solution...

Well, the last good solution is the head tracker, and it's even more reliable if worn by the pilot as he normally knows what he's doing with his pair of sticks ;)

Some testing needed :rolleyes:

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Just had another thought.

Detecting angle of bank (rather than rate of turn) should be really easy with the Ripmax HAL 2100 'Autopilot'. Unit uses light sensors to balance out light levels around the model - should work fine unless you are flying alonside a cliff! So just connect the pan servo to the roll output of the HAL. I believe they have some form of gain control (not 100% sure as I've never used one) so tune for the right amount of pan for a given bank angle. You could also use the pitch output to control tilt so avoiding the view of the sky as you climb.

I have a friend who has one. I will try and borrow it and see if the theory is correct.

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Hehe good idea, and it should be more stable then a gyro as it is referenced. I also have a FMA co-pilot, could be an idea to try!

I've played with a HH gyro again yesterday on the ground, it will definitely drift after 2-3 turns with the camera being completely offset when flying straight. I only have a cheap gyro here, maybe a high-end one would be more precise but I've never got one at hand. The problem is that the sensitivity is never quite the same in each way. If you turn left 90° and then right again 90°, the servo won't be at the starting point again.

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Hi you lot

I saw a website somewhere where a guy was flying a glider with video goggles on and a pan and tilt arrangement for the camera . the thinjg was he was wearing a helmet with a TX pot mounted at the back of the helmet and another at the side. These were operated by fixed rods which were attached to a yoke around his neck . As he looked left the "rudder" pot was moved and the camera followed, same with the tilt Has anyone else seen this or anything like it

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It's on my list of things to do. My Mk2 pan and tilt unit is up and running (a few examples on my website) but I'm going for something a little more high tech in the head tracking department (I'd feel silly in an almost public place with rods stuck to the back and side of my head plus the Eye-Trek goggles!) I will post details one day when I've done it - but for goodness sake don't hold your breath while you are waiting!


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On a serious note though Groupie I have asked Black Widow to give me a price for a TX "suitable" for use in the UK thanks for the warning

By The By I REALLY like your pan and Tilt unit do you have any drawings??

Edited by ahab
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  • 2 weeks later...

I seem to have got the HAL2100 working on the ground now(with Terry's help) and waggling the sensor seems to drive the servos as expected. I need to see how I can attach the sensor temporarily to the Pup without damage and then I can give it a try in the air.

I will report back if and when I get some results.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Came across this link suggesting a gyro mouse for headtracking.

Could one be adapted to position a camera? Not sure.


More food for thought here.



Edited by mwp
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  • 2 years later...

I'm back! OK so this experiment has been a long time in the making. Built a new version of the camera mount which includes a HAL2000. Did a build thread on my 'local' forum which might be of interest. Video of the first test of the AutoPan and some air-to-air stuff at the end of the thread. Video quality of the AutoPan clip is not great. My excuse? No one to track the aeroplane with the receiver. Still it shows the HAL system works and that I need to improve my flying with better coordinated turns.


Edited by Group Leader
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This VR-Flyer has the best pan/tilt video setup I've seen:



Whatever he looks at on his video display headset remains in the center of the frame through the use of the gyro chip mounted to it.

Lot's of video here: http://video.google.fr/videoplay?docid=-22...453839215&hl=fr

Here's the lowdown:


VR-Flyer and FatShark discussion:


FatShark RV-545BK high resolution video goggles



The future:


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