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Mr.RC-Cam

Next Generation A/P Camera Controller

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I think you misunderstand me.

^ means target within 10deg of strait ahead

> means target between 10 and 30deg to the right

>> means target greater than 30deg to the right

<< means target greater than 30deg to the left

< means target between 10 and 30deg to the left

Yes, I was confused. Thanks for clarifying.

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BTW, I ordered the PCB today. Should have a stuffed board in about a month. Then it's time to create a little bit of software. :)

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That sounds like it would work good for targeting air-to-surface missiles too. How about doing a graphic direction system like the MAHI that would help a pilot line up a shot to a target's gps coordinate using trigonometry.

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How about doing a graphic direction system like the MAHI that would help a pilot line up a shot to a target's gps coordinate using trigonometry.

That sounds interesting, but is well beyond what I have planned. I'll leave developing that feature up to the pros. :)

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Thanks, it is a very nice project. I looked over the code and did not see any waypoint bearing functions. There is a moving compass feature, which is nicely displayed on their graphic LCD.

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The juice mixing project looked like fun. Not sure if my wife would like the big contraption on the kitchen counter though. :)

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I too am interested. The waypoint where photo was shot at is a great feature. I would buy a PIC chip and board from you.

Would you concider making the altitude read out in feet instead of meters?

Dan

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I like feet too. But some like meters. So, I was going to make the displayed value user programmable.

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I like feet too. But some like meters. So, I was going to make the displayed value user programmable.

Excellent. Thanks

Dan

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One thing I would like to see, and wish the MAHI had, is the ability to choose to have a black background "box" for the text to appear in. I often fly over light-colored stuff (sand and ocean) and the white text just doesn't show up well against that background. I would like the black background to be a programmable choice.

On the MAHI there is an uncommited I/O line that could have been used to pull the video out low to create the box, but it would require a change both in the circuit and in the programming to do it. Perhaps there will be an available output pin on the PIC for the camera controller that could perform this function.

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The new video design has outlined characters. As simple as it may appear on the surface, there was no way to do this reliably with the MAHI design without substantially impacting the circuit's simple design.

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As simple as it may appear on the surface, there was no way to do this reliably with the MAHI design without substantially impacting the circuit's simple design.

Of course I'm speaking from ignorance, because I do not know if you are using pin 16 as RC5 or as SDO. If it is RC5 and you are setting its value "manually", you could use something like RC1 to generate the black box. RC1 would be tied via a resistor to the junction between R9 and D1. RC1 would normally be tri-stated so it would have no effect on the video signal. When we reach the beginning of the black box, RC1 would be low when RC5 is low, and tri-stated when RC5 is high. At the end of the black box RC1 would be tri-stated again until we reach the beginning of the black box on the next raster line.

The resistor between RC1 and the junction of R9 and D1 would be chosen low enough to give a black video signal, but high enough to avoid being "blacker than black", which could be confused with a sync pulse.

There are several potential problems with this implementation:

1. My interpretation of your use of RC5 may be incorrect,

2. There may not be enough time available in your loops to implement the setting of RC1.

In any case, the MAHI is done and I doubt you want to revisit it any more than I want to continue experimenting with toroid placement to see if I can simplify the system -- there are many much more fun and interesting problems awaiting us!

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What you describe was attempted in the MAHI project design and it did not work well. The problem is that the host video signal's levels are not accurately known because they are usually AC coupled, as well as can vary, depending on the video source. To be reliable, such video manipulation requires establishing the black level's DC value in the video stream, then creating the new pixel amplitudes from that. All the while maintaining the allowed black-to-white composite signal range of the overlayed video.

Because the resistor summing is a simple Kirchoff's law sort of trick, the blackened background's performance will vary among video sources and native video backgrounds. For example, an existing full black pixel, if attenuated as suggested, can fall below the allowed pixel level for black amplitudes.

In a nutshell, without additional circuitry, the described video trickery would work for some situations, and be troublesome for others. It would also have probably required an adj-pot or two (to set the black bias for the camera used). My goal was to create a video solution that was as Muntzed as possible and still offer good performance. MAHI fits that bill quite nicely. :)

I'm not saying that the idea does not work. It just did not work well in the MAHI without fidgeting and compromises. In the end, I decided that the gain was not worth the pain. In the new A/P camera controller text overlay design, the video requirements are handled by the STV5730A chip.

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Update: The custom PCB finally arrived. The next step is to stuff the board and then start on software development.

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The board is stuffed; Thankfully, everything fit just fine, including the plastic case. Below is a photo with some component descriptions. There are some SMT parts on the bottom too. Weight at this point is under 2 oz without the case and GPS antenna.

gecko1.jpg

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WOW !

If it works as good as it looks its sure to be a winner.

Terry

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Cool!

I'll be very interested in this one too! And it's easier here to make a PAL version, as it's just a bit to toggle in one of the STV530A's registers :rolleyes:

BTW, does someone have a source for these ones? I'll need some in the near future... :unsure:

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Thanks for the words of encouragement.

BTW, does someone have a source for these ones?

Due to the STV5730A's on-again-off-again production cycle mess, the mainstream distributors have mostly abandoned carrying the part. The parts brokers have tons of them, but they seem to want a king's ransom for the pleasure of serving you. If you cannot find a chip then I will try to help you out with one of my spares.

Last night I finished the basic video routines and saw my first overlayed text from the new board. That is a relief! Below is a screenshot.

post-6-1119468287_thumb.jpg

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I'm experimenting with the screen layout. Nothing is functional -- I'm just moving the text around to see what looks best. With everything enabled, it will be a busy screen. But the video view is still plenty clear to line up camera shots, which is the application for this design. A screen sample is shown below.

The Long, Lat, mph, and altitude, will come from the GPS. The timekeeper will be programmable -- either elapsed time (good for flight timing) or it can be local clock time.

The photo count is the number of snapshots that have been taken. The glitch counter is normally off. Once the first R/C glitch is recorded, the data will automatically appear.

The e-fight battery current and voltage is shown, as well as the Rx voltage. The odd looking horizontal line is the RSSI (Rx signal level) bargraph. The little tick in the center moves left or right to indicate R/C signal quality. Lastly, in the far lower right corner is a dish antenna icon; It indicates that the R/C signal is present.

Keep in mind that each field will be programmable and can be turned off if it is not wanted. Lastly, the entire text overlay will be remotely controlled too so that it can be turned off from a spare channel. Or at least that is what I have planned.

The STV5730A has its quirks, but overall it is a joy to use. BTW, the background in the photo is from a old recorded flight. The OSD board was simply plugged into my VCR -- the two video sources worked well together and the quality of the OSD text seen on my monitor is very sharp. And as promised, the characters all have dark edges/borders so that they can be seen against light backgrounds.

post-6-1119501998_thumb.jpg

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I am speechless in amazement! That is such an awesome creation, so full of totally usable features! How can you design and build stuff like this? What kind of degrees do you have? This project is the ultimate FPV tool. You amaze me with your knowledge and ability. And sorry if I sound like I'm ranting, but its true! Electronics are the ultimate Legos, and if you know what you're doing, you can build anything, as demonstrated by Mr Rc cam. Someday...

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I have started the search for STV5730, usbid was wanting almost $13 a piece at quantities of 100 units. Sound about right Cam??

Matt Klarich

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philthyy: Your excitement is appreciated.

mklarich: Yes, that is about the going rate. Some brokers have 500 pcs min order qty.

The coding is going well. So far I have finished the voltage and current functions, the tach (30 rpm resolution), and 2-channel servo decoding (with glitch reporting). About half of the 8K code space is used up so far. Still lots to do.

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