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Scunge

Aerobird X-Port Interface

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Hi,

I have built the CamMan-XP project and it will not sense the signal from the transmitter. It can be programmed to keep the camera awake in 10 sec steps. That works fine. The LED does not go out when the Tx is turned on. I can see the pulse train frm the X-Port on a CRO and it changes when the button is operated on the Tx but it does not operate the shutter circuit. I have programmed three 12F629 pics and they all do the same thing. Yes, I have made sure the original osc value in 03FFh is still there afterwards. Any suggestions?

Scunge

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It sounds like you have an o-scope. Can you provide the timing info to your model's pulse at high & low stick and during XPort operation?

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Thanks for the response. I was using a sound card scope to look at the x-port pulses. I will have to borrow a proper digital oscilloscope to measure the timing accurately and save the pictures. Stay tuned.

Scunge

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Be sure to get the pulse timing, both on and off periods. Amplitude too. Armed with enough info, we will get to the bottom of this.

By the way, which HobbyZone transmitter are you using? Do you have a link to a catalog photo?

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I have the same problem with the one I built. I am using a Aerobird Challenger on channel 4. It is a replacement transmitter because my orignal one quit working. As for the pulses, here is what I see on my scope. All Pulses are 4 volts p-p.

Plane idle, no motor running, no stick input:

.3mS high, .6mS low, .25mS high, 1.1mS low, .25mS high, 1.1 mS low, .25mS high. pattern repeats after 12.8mS

X-port fire, no other inputs:

.25~.3ms high, .1mS low, .2mS high, .7mS low, .2mS high, 1.2 mS low, .2mS high, 1.2mS low. pattern repeats immediately

Stick forward (down elevator)

.3mS high, .6mS low, .25~.3 mS high, 1.5mS low, .3mS high, 1.1mS low, .25~.3mS high. pattern repeats after 16mS

Stick back (up elevator)

.3mS high, .6mS low, .25~.3mS high, .7mS low, .25~.3mS high, 1.2mS low, .25~.3mS high. pattern repeats in 14~14.5 mS

I hope this will be of help. I would really like to be able to get this working.

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Thanks for the info. Your waveforms are totally different than what I get on my XPort system. It will be a few days before I have anything for you to try.

Which Tx is this? Can you offer a link to it?

Lastly, do you have a PIC programmer?

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Here is a link to where I ordered my replacement transmitter. The picture is similar to what I received, except my transmitter has a push button switch on the top left. http://www.hobby-warehouse.com/hobzonaertra.html

I also have another functional fuselage, will check the waveforms it outputs and advise if they are different.

I do have a PIC programmer, and have been playing around with them for several years. Are you using the timer to detect pulses ?

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I also have another functional fuselage, will check the waveforms it outputs and advise if they are different.

I was wrong about the other fuselage being functional, it isn't. I have decided to build my own circuit using the comparator module to detect when the x-port is triggered. I will let you know when it is finished and provide a link to the schematic and source code.

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Any chance you can provide the waveform info when the other sticks are moved to their extreme positions (with and without X-Port button presses) ? That would provide the full details I need to get it right.

Are you using the timer to detect pulses ?

I use both timers.

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I have created a new firmware version that may fix the problem. This is just a beta release and is not for general public distribution. Until further notice, please send me a PM to request the hex file.

When re-using the PICF675, be sure that you do not overwrite the OSCAL value during programming. Otherwise, the intended fix will be doomed to fail.

Lastly, if the update does not provide a cure, I will need the additional timing information. Or better yet, if someone has a retired HobbyZone Aerobird Challenger Tx for sale please let me know!

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The updated hex file does trigger the camera but there is still a liitle bug. At full throttle and stick full forward or full right, the camera also triggers. Here are descriptions of the observed pulse trains:

Full left stick:

H L H L H L H

.3ms .6ms .3ms 1.1ms .3ms .6ms .3ms <- might be start of pattern repeat

Full right stick:

H L H L H L H

.3ms .6ms .3ms 1.1ms .3ms 1.6ms .3ms <- might be start of pattern repeat

Full throttle:

H L H L H L H

.3ms 1.8ms .3ms 1.1ms .3ms 1.1ms .3ms < possible repeat of pattern

Full throttle & forward stick:

H L H L H L H

.3ms 1.8ms .3ms 1.5ms .3ms 1.1ms .3ms < possible repeat of pattern

Full throttle & Right stick:

H L H L H L H

.3ms 1.8ms .3ms 1.1ms .3ms 1.6ms .3ms < possible repeat of pattern

Full left stick & xport fire:

H L H L H L H L

.3ms .6ms .2ms 1.2ms .25ms 1.7ms .25ms 1.7ms pattern repeats

Full right & xport fire:

H L H L H L

.4ms .6ms .2ms 1.1ms .25ms 1.5ms pattern repeats

You are real close already, maybe this will help to finalize code.

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I have corrected the software issue. This afternoon I sent the new firmware to mikereynolds for a test with his transmitter. I'll wait for his feedback before I formally post the firmware. Until that time, anyone else that wishes to try it out for me then please PM your email address.

I also added a new feature. When a photo is taken, the piezo alert (if installed) will beep. The audio feedback will offer some comfort that the photo was indeed taken. It will also beep during the "keep alive" snapshot so that you will know when that automatic sequence occurs too.

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It will be tomorrow night before I will have a chance to re-program the PIC and test the new firmware, but will post results as soon as operation is confirmed. I am confident it will work though. Once I have confirmed operation, I plan on stripping mine down to just the essential parts for triggering the camera and using a surface mount PIC to reduce size/weight.

Mike

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Mr RC-Cam,

I would also like to try your latest version of the firmware. Please email me the hex file and I will give it a try and get back to you. Thanks

Scunge

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Scunge,

I tried it and had no success but am investigating the possiblity that I

goofed something up. I e-mailed my results to mr. rc-cam and he advises

there is no way I could have gotten those results. Hopefully you will get the firmware and have no problems with it, but if you do see some problems at least

there will be two of us helping to sort them out.

Mike

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Scunge, I need you to send me your email address so that I can forward the hex file.

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With the beyond-the-call-of-duty assistance from mikereynolds, the CamMan-XP problem was solved. I really put him through the ringer too. My hat is off to folks like him that help out in times of need.

I will post the revised V5.1 firmware sometime later today. You will know if it is the correct one if it has a Dec-10-2004 (or higher) date.

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Mr. RC-Cam,

The news is even better. Not only does the CamManXP work perefectly,

but those PICs I thought were dead aren't dead. I had a flaky socket

on my programmer. I had decided to read them one more time before

dumping them in the trash. 2 of three still wouldn't read but 1 would. I actually threw those 2 in the wastebasket, then the 3rd one wouldn't read or program.

Pulled it out of the socket and noticed the leaf looked strangely loose, replaced socket and all of them read and program now. I guess I wore it out working on

this project.

Mike

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I guess I wore it out working on this project.

The project wore me out too. ;)

In addition to the beta changes that you helped validate, I added one last new improvement. The final production code now includes a power up servo initialization that keeps odd-ball servos happy until CamMan-XP's software decoder is fully primed. Although you may not notice a difference in operation, it would probably be best to download the production hex file.

The new firmware is up on the RC-CAM site in the project section.

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Mr RC-CAM

My email address is kenduncanson-AT-bigpond.com. You have already sent me a message there asking for my email address. What gives?

Scunge

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Scunge,

You should now be able to just download the code and use it. Mr. RC-Cam and I spent alot of time adjusting the code and testing it. He worked on the code and I

tested it. As for the request for your email address, he sent me an email requesting

mine as well, I replied back with my email address. I assume he does this to confirm that you used a valid email address when registering.

Mike

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You have already sent me a message there asking for my email address. What gives?

The email I sent you was via the email feature built into this forum. Every member can use it. For privacy concerns, it is a "blind" email feature that does not disclose to the sender the recipient's email address. To prevent others from sending malicious files, attachments are not supported by this private feature. So, I must take the extra step and request your email address from you in order to send you the files.

There were no evil intentions for why I asked for your email address. Frankly, I was surprised I never heard from you. As mentioned, the code has been released on the web site, so please download it from there. And please follow up and let me know if the problem is cured for you.

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