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Mr.RC-Cam

Next Generation A/P Camera Controller

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As soon as you get the PAL version on sale for either of these I will be very keen to buy.

Terry

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As soon as you get the PAL version on sale for either of these I will be very keen to buy.

Sounds great! I'm looking forward to adding PAL video support. Gecko will involve hardware and software changes, but Vizion will be all software. PAL will come after the NTSC versions are successfully launched.

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Been watching this for months now - thought I'd better express my intentions by adding to the list of expectant users! Loved the Gecko video. Like Terry, just waiting for the PAL version.

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I was hoping to have heard more input from the beta testers by now, or even some testing videos of it in operation.

Zeek

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I was hoping to have heard more input from the beta testers by now, or even some testing videos of it in operation.

Yb2normal kindly posted a video weeks ago from his beta testing. Did you see that? I also posted a few from my test flights too.

Operational feedback from the beta testers has not gone as I had hoped. The biggest hangup was the GPS module changeover that occurred at the start of the year. For sure, I appreciate the help I have been given, even if it has been a bit slow going. I'm looking forward to finishing this, so hopefully the final comments are heard soon.

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I will be releasing two Gecko OSD systems in the next couple weeks. Cost will be $215, plus shipping, paid via money order. I can accept paypal if the buyer covers the paypal fees. This release is limited to USA based hobby users only.

This price is discounted to compensate the buyer for providing useful feedback. If that does not sound like something that you would want to do, then please wait for the formal release later this summer. For those that do join in, all you have to do is to integrate it with your wireless video gear, install the system in your model, fly it, and then report your impressions back to me. Very simple indeed.

These will be fully assembled beta (pre-production) NTSC video boards and will include the micro sized GPS module. They will not include video or power cables and so some minor soldering will be required. Good soldering skills and general electronics experience is essential!

I'll collect names for a few days. You must be a forum member and not be affiliated in any way with a commercial video supplier (the offer is strictly for a budget minded hobby user). If necessary, I'll randomly pick two winners out of the collection. But, I doubt that will be necessary. In any case, please send your name via the forum's PM feature. Do NOT email me your name.

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Yesterday I received my fully assembled, beta Gecko OSD board from Mr. Rc-Cam. It is nothing short of a work of art. It arrived in a small cardboard box that was shipped Priority Mail. The contents where completely wrapped with bubble wrap and the OSD board was in a sealed antistatic plastic bag. Power, video, tach, and receiver cables were all soldered to the board and labeled. In my opinion this Gecko OSD board is what I would consider APAP (Almost Plug And Play) If I were not aware that this OSD board was handmade, I would swear it was completely machine made. The craftsmanship is truly unbelievable.

Tonight I hooked up my wireless tx and video camera to it on my computer desk for a test run. I used a 2s 1200mah lipo to power it and an Airtronics receiver powered with a standard 4 cell nicad pack for testing of the photo/event counter and the video on/off control. Upon powering up the unit, the on screen information came right up on the TV that I had my video rx hooked up too, followed by the live video feed. The GPS coordinates started to show up with the unit sitting on my desk. (My handheld Magellan GPS wont receive any satellite signals unless it is sitting on my windowsill.)

All the fields show up nicely on the TV screen. I flipped through the menu screens using the small joystick and made a couple of changes, The menus are very user friendly and easy to move through with the joystick. I tested the photo/event counter with my gear retract channel and setup the rudder channel to be able to turn the onscreen display on and off which is a nice feature. All appears to be working well. This is going to be a fun unit to use.

This weekend I will start the process of installing it on my Slow Tabria so when the first opportunity comes around to give it a test flight it will be ready to roll. The weather needs to warm up and the wind needs to cooperate. 19 deg out right now.

Zeek

Edited by Zeek

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Thanks for taking the time to post about your initial impressions. Many thanks for the kind words!

Hopefully you will be able to get the Gecko OSD into the air soon. If at all possible, please post some videos from your test flights.

BTW, there is one more Gecko system that available for this final beta release. The details are discussed two posts up.

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As soon as you get the PAL version on sale for either of these I will be very keen to buy.

The low cost Vizion board supports PAL. There is a pre-sale introductory price offer found here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=494379

Keep in mind that the performance of the Vizion is dwarfed by the Gecko features. But if your needs are minimal, then it should be just the ticket.

I will start a new thread for the Vizion board so that the Gecko discussion remains on topic.

Edit: Here is the new thread for Vizion discussions: http://www.rc-cam.com/forum/index.php?act=...t=ST&f=3&t=1073

Edited by Mr.RC-Cam

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I just sent the money for a Vizion as I can't wait for the PAL Gecko, I want to get flying asap. Maybe I will up grade next year if all goes well :rolleyes:

Terry

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Update

I got the Gecko OSD installed on my Slow Tabria on Sunday. It installed easily with a bit of Velcro and some clear packing tape to hold some of the wires in place. I had to make up a couple of new connectors to hook the board to my wireless video system. The part that did take me a fair amount of time was figuring out how to install the Hall Effect tach sensor and small rare earth magnets. I am using a HiMaxx 2025-4266 brushless motor with a 6.6/1 gear ratio.

The idea I came with was to install the magnets on the inside of the spur gear with a drop od CA and the sensor was placed on a small shim made out of wood on the gearbox frame to line it up with the magnets. I used Goop Household glue to keep them in place. The glue remains flexible so if I should the need to remove it at a later time, it should come off fairly easily. You have to maintain a 1/8 to 1/16 in gap between the two in order for it to work properly. (Picture below)

The only thing left to do is hook up the battery voltage and amperage line to the Gecko OSD. I ordered a set of Deans ultra connectors that were shipped on Monday. I was hoping they would be here today, maybe tomorrow. I am setting it up so that this connection will plug inline with the battery and ESC without having to modify the connectors on either of these items.

If the weather cooperates this weekend I will be sending it aloft for a test flight. I will record a couple of flights and post a link to the videos. I have to revert to recording the flight the old school way with my 9in tv/vcr combo unit that I use to use as I have not yet replaced my Sony trv 33 that gave up the ghost last time I was out..

Zeek

post-6-1143076444_thumb.jpg

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It's great to see that you are close to a test flight. Don't skip the extensive ground range tests before you go into the air.

BTW, some airborne videos would be great!

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If you still need a beta tester, I am ready to help. I have the following test planes available:

Sig Kadet Senior w/Axi 4120/18 w/ Castle HV85 & TP 5s4p 8000mAh

FMA FS8 flight stabilization

Black Widow 1000mW Tx & supplied Rx

Also, for light airplane testing and/or night time use

Herr Cloud Ranger w/ Axi 2212/20 w/ Castle Phoenix 35 & TP 3s1p 2100mAh

Berg Rx

Black Widow 600mW Tx & supplied Rx

On the ground is a Panasonic PVGS400 to record.

-dave

post-6-1143247574_thumb.jpg

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If you still need a beta tester, I am ready to help.

Great! There is one beta board left. EDIT: Sold!

For those that are interested in it, it would be a good idea to re-read this entire thread to be in tune with the requirements of the beta test offer and the cost. Plus, reviewing this stretched out discussion (it's on month 10) will ensure that the candidate is more familiar with OSD board project.

If what you read sounds good then just "PM" me via the Forum's PM feature (do not use email) and we can work out the details.

Edited by Mr.RC-Cam

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This evening I finished up the installation of my beta Gecko OSD board. Tomorrow I will do some range checking and if the weather cooperates will send it skyward. Forecast says partly cloudy with 2 to 4mph winds.

I had a small issue with the little (and I mean little) rare earth magnets. I had one installed backwards. After turning it around everything is fine. I will report back after the test flights are complete. Wish me luck.

Zeek

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The following features are what I have set my Gecko OSD board up for..

Timer set for elapsed flight time.

R/C Control of the OSD information (able to turn all fields off and on for unobstructed video)

R/C Glitch counter

Photo/Event Counter

Altitude and Speed

Tachometer

GPS Heading

GPS Coordinates

Motor battery and amps

Aux Voltages =R/C receiver voltage

At some point I would like to hook up the RSSI to be able to see the signal strength of the receiver.

I did run into some ground range issues this past weekend. I am hoping an electrostatic shield will take care of the problem.

Zeek

Edited by Zeek

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Yesterday I finally got my plane in the air and was able to get a couple of flights recorded with the Gecko OSD board. After a few PM's to RC-Cam Man I was able to work through some of the ground range issues I was having.

I installed a temporary electrostatic shield and was able to increase the ground range. It still is not 100% but better than it was. I also need to shorten up some of my wiring as there is quite a bit of extra length going to some of the components of the video system. I need to take more time to try and isolate what is causing most of the EMI/RFI problem. It can definitely be time consuming to do so as I have already found out. I don't know a lot about electronics but am learning more as I deal with this issue.

My first flight was around 12 minutes in duration with 5 glitches showing on the glitch counter field of the screen. The second flight was 10 minutes in duration and showed 4 glitches. None of which where noticed by me while I was flying. The flights where recorded on VHS tape on a 9in TV/VCR. I have yet to replace my Sony camcorder that died. The videos look great on TV but after they are captured on the computer and compressed they don't look anywhere near as good as the original. I was not going to post the video because of its poor quality but I will anyway. If it is viewed in the 320 x240 size it does not look as bad. Everything around here is still very drab looking and will be for a few more weeks.

It is nice to be able to see all the information on the screen when reviewing the videos. It would be great tool for those that use their video downlink to frame aerial pictures or to fly First Person View with video goggles. Being able to monitor battery status, altitude, speed, prop RPM, heading, glitches, ect. while you are flying via video and having the option of turning the OSD on and off for an unobstructed view would be ideal.

This Gecko OSD board offers many useful functions for any AP pilot. It is relatively small and will add only minimal weight to your AP setup. All set up mine came in under 3oz. with the shield.

Here is the video link, click on OSD-Board-test-flight-2 http://www.putfile.com/zeek

Zeek

Edit: new link

Edited by Zeek

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I will try to upload it again tonight. It will be my last chance to do it for a week as I am heading out in the morning for 1 week.

sorry

Zeek

P.S. It was there really

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I give up.

I get 'connecting to media' then it changes to 'ready', I push play and it goes back to 'connecting to media'

Terry

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Yup, something odd is going on. Last night the new Gecko Video link worked fine for me. Today the video is gone and all that remains is Zeek's "Splashdown" and "Black-box-test" videos. So that there is no confusion, the Black-Box is another OSD device and is not Gecko. It sure is odd that Putfiles keeps deleting the Gecko video!

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