Camera trigger and manual tilt pass-through?

Info and discussion about the original AQ v6 flight controller

Camera trigger and manual tilt pass-through?

Postby hogster » Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:39 pm

Hi everyone :)

I've finally been making some progress with my X8 and AQ. I had a successful test hover this afternoon – there's no zinging and it seems to fly like it's on rails :D

I would like to rig up a servo to test that the manual tilt passthrough and camera trigger passthrough are working correctly, but I've come unstuck ... As you can see from my planned schematic for the avionics:

cortex-schematic-15-12-14.gif
Cortex schematic diagram


I wanted to use channel 7 for the manual tilt and 11 for the camera trigger. However, now that I've actually come to test it, the software won't allow me to assign either of these channels as they are both shared with motor timers!

Am I right in thinking that for this to work I will need to use 13 and 14 for the tilt and trigger pass-through channels, and move the Front Right Bottom ESC connection to either channel 7, 10 or 11?

Why can't ESCs and other PWM-driven devices be run from the same timer? You can run 2 motors from one timer?

Many thanks for your help :)

David
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Re: Camera trigger and manual tilt pass-through?

Postby Max » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:08 pm

Hi David, welcome back :) Glad to hear she's finally flying smooth, like she should!

Actually you can share a timer if the PWM output frequencies match (which is why motors can share timers). Which means 400Hz. Which the Alex board can probably take (guessing!), but probably not the servo.

Both the QGC UI and the AQ firmware will let you share a timer if you set the PWM output frequency to 400Hz. Little-known fact. ;)

Cheers,
-Max
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Re: Camera trigger and manual tilt pass-through?

Postby kinderkram » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:20 pm

Hi David,

Well thought project!
And very nice illustration - can I hire you? :lol:

You extend the good ole AQ6 to the max.
But you should consider to replace the shutter servo. You could use the snapper for your Nex5:
http://alpha.littlesmartthings.com/stratosnapper2/

Less weight, less moving gear - especially on the gimbal - and you could trigger single shots as well as start/stop video.
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Re: Camera trigger and manual tilt pass-through?

Postby hogster » Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:24 pm

Hi Max, kinderkram, thanks very much for your swift replies! :)

That makes sense now. I've moved the shutter trigger to 14, the tilt to 13 and the Front Right Bottom ESC to 10.

By the way, things have moved on a little since I drew that diagram and I'm now using a new camera (Sony Alpha A5100) which can be triggered by shorting together two pins on the USB / multi-pin port. So the shutter trigger channel will be driving a simple R/C switch instead of a servo.

Thanks again for clearing this up so quickly for me!

David :)
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Re: Camera trigger and manual tilt pass-through?

Postby hogster » Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:43 pm

Just digging this up again ... I've just noticed that the manual tilt pass-through doesn't seem to work ...

If I connect a PWM servo reader to port 14 (shutter trigger) it responds fine when I move the shutter switch on my Tx. However, connecting the reader to port 13 which is assigned to 'Manual Tilt' in the 'Gimbal Ports' section of the 'Mixing & Output' tab in the GUI, it doesn't register any PWM at all.

The AQ is reading my tilt demands correctly on port 8, and the 'Gimbal Tilt' bar moves up and down in the 'Radio Values' section in accord with my Tx slider.

Waffle aside, how do I get the 'Gimbal Tilt' demands passed through to Port 13? ;)

Many thanks for your help :)

David
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Re: Camera trigger and manual tilt pass-through?

Postby Max » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:20 am

Hard to say... it should just work. :) What do you see in the AQ startup messages? It should say something about successful Tilt init, or something like that. Maybe post your params.

-Max
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Re: Camera trigger and manual tilt pass-through?

Postby hogster » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:41 pm

Hi Max,

Thanks for your reply.

That's what I thought too – it should just work!

Sorry for the silly question, but where should I be looking for these startup messages? When opening the qgroundcontrol application? Somewhere in that app when connecting to the vehicle?

Many thanks,

David :)
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Re: Camera trigger and manual tilt pass-through?

Postby Max » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:51 pm

In the QGC Communication Console, when you're already connected to AQ and it starts up (boots). There should be a bunch of messages coming through.

-Max
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Re: Camera trigger and manual tilt pass-through?

Postby hogster » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:16 pm

Hi Max,

So I connected to the AQ on the qgroundstation software, pressed the reset button on the AQ board and the following appeared in the Communication Console:

(CORTEX AQ) GCS: UNABLE TO DECODE MESSAGE NUMBER 67
(CORTEX AQ) ADC init
(CORTEX AQ) ADC task started
(CORTEX AQ) Supervisor task started
(CORTEX AQ) filer: created new session [19]
(CORTEX AQ) DIMU: read calibration parameters from EEPROM
(CORTEX AQ) Battery cells: 6
(CORTEX AQ) Radio init
(CORTEX AQ) Futaba on RC port 0
(CORTEX AQ) GPS init
(CORTEX AQ) Nav init
(CORTEX AQ) Command interface init
(CORTEX AQ) GCS: UNABLE TO DECODE MESSAGE NUMBER 23
(CORTEX AQ) Motors init
(CORTEX AQ) Control init
(CORTEX AQ) Control task started
(CORTEX AQ) Gimbal init
(CORTEX AQ) Disarmed
(CORTEX AQ) Initialization complete, READY.

Does that help?

Many thanks :)

David

PS. I've attached two screenshots in case they help debug the problem...
Attachments
mixing_and_output_tab_24-2-15.gif
radio_and_controls_tab_24-2-15.gif
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Re: Camera trigger and manual tilt pass-through?

Postby Max » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:35 pm

I mean post your actual onboard parameters, saved from the Onboard Parameters sidebar after doing a Refresh.

The QGC settings look fine, but that doesn't really mean much. According to the settings shown, you should be seeing "Gimbal TILT control port initialized." after "Gimbal init" in the startup messages, or an error about why the port could not be initialized. I assume you are saving params to permanent/flash memory after making changes, and then restart AQ?

Also, best way to make sure you see all the messages at startup is to be connected via a solid wired connection (which you might be already, but just mentioning it).

-Max
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