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Mr.RC-Cam

Next Generation A/P Camera Controller

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One kit is gone. One remains. So, I'm still looking for a second beta user.

Edited by Mr.RC-Cam

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Hi Mr. Rc-cam,

Not sure if you want feedback directly on the thread, but here goes:

- I was able to fly my Gecko board 3 times over the last two weeks. Each flight was performed with the optional groundplane on the back (I figure, better safe than sorry for initial flights).

-For the first two flights I was too excited to hook anything up properly other than the GPS so the only 'real' data I had was GPS and system voltage. I really liked the feature that allowed me to supress the other data values that, in my initial testing, were displayed as 0's.

- The flights went great, with zero detectable glitching and stable, clean video.

One HUGE disappointment though... I discovered I am terrible at estimating altitude ;) At my highest, the Gecko measured 236 meters, and I thought I was at least 300 meters if not more. The good news is that I made a point of placing my RC receiver antenna 'button' over the plane to get a sense of scale, so now I know what 236 meters looks like. No more fish stories for me :)

My third flight was with Current measurement hooked up. The current module is pretty goof proof... I hooked it up backward initially and the unit reported negative current! I thought I had discovered a free source of power, but logic prevailed and I reversed my connections to discover my prop was much less loaded than I had thought... time to prop up!

Here is a video from the second flight. I want to redo the third flight because I inadvertently set the Gecko to flash the data intermittently which I don't think really shows off the current measurement capability.

Enjoy...

Flight of the Gecko

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Yb2normal, that is beautiful video quality (as always). Thanks for posting your project updates. Keep 'em coming!

BTW, are you still using the Sony Camcorder for recording? Is it the TRV240?

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Thanks for the kind words.

I've actually upgraded my camcorder to the Sony TRV22. It is mini-dv (versus digital 8 of the TRV240), but it still has firewire output.

We expect good weather over the next week, but the wind today was killer! :(

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I've been eyeing the TRV22. A bit too much $ for me at the moment. I keep hoping to run into a used one that meets my budget.

I was amazed by the vastness of your flying site. It looks like a 10 acre sports complex. What is it really?

Also, I plugged your GPS coordinates (seen on the video) into the terraserver satellite map website. The photos there are three years old. My oh my, your area has changed a bit since then. Looks like it use to be all farmer fields, with a hint of civilization. At least it didn't all change into cookie cutter house lots like my town.

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Hi. Nice project.

I'm working in a Portuguese University Project of a video system for an UAV. It will have one fixed camera and another in a dome. And I need a OSD video for displaying information about the position of the dome camera like:

20º U 180º L

U: Up

D: Down

L: Left

R: Right

It would be nice to have one bar, like yours, to identify de UAV principal axis, like:

<------- Have to pan the camera to de left to centrate the camera

----|---- Camera in center position

--------> Hae to pan the camera to the right to center the position

Did you know any free plans to do one OSD video system? Or any cheap one ideal for my project? Please help me. I have only one week to apresentate the information. My system will work in PAL.

Edited by aerodolphin

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I was amazed by the vastness of your flying site. It looks like a 10 acre sports complex. What is it really?

It's a 10 acre sports complex :)

The best part is that it is only half finished. It's hard to tell, but next to the main building is an artificial turf football field. The rest is sown grass... perfect to roll off my larger electric planes.

Our city has been really agressive with buying open space, and with the upswing in retail the last few years, they have been flush with cash to build a lot of really nice public facilities. Our new rec center sports a pretty fancy indoor water park.

And as if that all wasn't enough, we might be getting our own Fry's in the next year or so.

I'm in heaven :)

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My local fields are mostly tight fishbowls with housing all around. Around 98% of the time they are full of 4' tall soccer playing gerbils. On a good day it's just me and unleashed dogs that are interested in eating what I fly. But hey, I get to shop at Fry's -- it's only a 50 mile round trip. I spent several hundred dollars there last week, so maybe it's not such a good thing to have after all. :)

Getting back to the Gecko Project: I have one NTSC beta kit available.

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Wow!

Neat project, I just finished reading the entire thread and actually just signed up for the forum just to see if you still had the last board available. I emailed you with my contact information and would like to buy and set up the last one if it is still available.

Thanks!

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The remaining board set has been taken. I'm looking forward to the feedback from the beta sites (one down, two to go).

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The two remaining beta testers are nearing completion. However, the USA based supplier of the micro-sized GPS module appears to have closed down their office. It was frustrating to finally conclude that they had vaporized.

So, I had to find a suitable replacement GPS module and modify the PIC firmware to support it. Luckily, some good came from this bad situation. The new module is lower weight (perhaps 10 grams) and is very sensitive (it will even work in most indoor settings). The beta testers should soon have the revised PIC and GPS module. Hopefully there will be some feedback reports in two or three weeks.

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Hi Everyone,

I am now in testing phases of the Gecko.

This project is a blast to work on even in spite

of the gps set back.

When I first powered up, and saw the first video

it was exciting,( It's sure shows why I like being

in this hobby :D )!

I acquired gps signal right away indoors, which

was cool :D . As I was going through the system

menus it was very user friendly :D .

Assembling the board went well, the layout of

docucments are good and easily understood.

I am still testing some of the features, I hope

to have some pics soon!

Mr RCCAM, Thanks for the cool gadget to put in my plane :D

Midwest-Flyer

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I am still testing some of the features, I hope to have some pics soon!

It's exciting to hear that you are nearly ready for some flights. I can't wait to see some videos!

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The two remaining beta testers are nearing completion. However, the USA based supplier of the micro-sized GPS module appears to have closed down their office. It was frustrating to finally conclude that they had vaporized.

So, I had to find a suitable replacement GPS module and modify the PIC firmware to support it. Luckily, some good came from this bad situation. The new module is lower weight (perhaps 10 grams) and is very sensitive (it will even work in most indoor settings). The beta testers should soon have the revised PIC and GPS module. Hopefully there will be some feedback reports in two or three weeks.

What GPS module did you end up choosing?

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Still waiting for feedback from the beta testers. One has mysteriously gone AWOL (I hope he is OK), so I'm down to three that I expect to hear from. I'm looking forward to their reports.

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Yep, it sounds like something I would be interested in. Im in so far. Is there any way that you could arrow or something to indicate the direction to the next way point ?

Terry

Hi Terry

I have made power point presentation regarding the arrow pointer. Where do you want me to post it

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Gecko OSD Update: I still need to hear back the concluding remarks from the Gecko beta testers before I finalize the production design. At this point no operational problems have been reported.

I have reluctantly realized that the market for a DiY kit version is too frail for my needs (cost of creating and supporting a kit would not justify the effort). So, Gecko will be offered only as a commercialized product. It will even come with the GPS already configured for use. My goal is to beat the Sky-Spy price and offer more features. PAL video will come later for European users. BTW, Gecko will probably see a name change before it is released.

I also have a simpler On-Screen Display (OSD) product, called Vizion, that will be released before the Gecko. This design started late last year and is in beta test at the moment. My target sales date is late April. FWIW, it began as a basic OSD that offered voltage and Station ID (ham sign) display. It could be connected to Hexpert System's popular ZLog Altimeter board to display altitude too (the Zlog is a very cool data logging device). Long story short, the production version has grown in scope; it will have much more to offer (all to be announced later). The Vizion OSD system will be introduced under $99.

These two nifty video devices mark my entry into the video market. Don't fret -- the rc-cam.com web site will NOT change focus and become yet another web store. An independant web site will be dedicated to the commercial products and rc-cam.com will continue to focus on interesting DiY R/C technology projects.

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The Vizion board is approximately 2 x 1.5 inches and weight is about an ounce. It operates on 6VDC to 15VDC at 30mA. If you wish to utilize the altimeter display feature then Hexpert System's Zlog data logger can be plugged into it. I'll announce all of Vizion's features at product release.

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