best way to operate a 3-Axis gimbal by a second pilot?

AutoQuad AV/AP settings, gimbal & servo choices

best way to operate a 3-Axis gimbal by a second pilot?

Postby Lindbaergh » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:54 pm

I'm working on a video system with two operators, one is flying the copter and the other is operating the camera. an unsolved problem is how to obtain control over the 3rd (yaw) axis for the camera operator. i worked out some ideas but being unsure which is the best way to do, so i would really appreciate your opinions in this case, maybe i overlooked a solution. in the moment i had connected M9 and 10 of aq as gimbal outputs that control pitch and roll of the gimbal. the servos are powered from an extra ubec that is connected to the main battery directly. the camera man has his own tx that is connected as a student to my tx.

1. when i start some month ago, my first hope was a 'headfree / carefree' mode known form other fc systems was implemented in the aq firmware. but it seems that this feature is not needed by enough people so the priority seems very low, and im not sure it will make its way to the code at all. anyhow this would be the perfect solution to me, it saves me from all the disadvantages like weight and missing functionality the other solutions have.

2. was to put a third axis option to the gimbal and install a second receiver (i use jeti on the camera man tx/rx, so the rx clone mode can be used) and drive the third axis directly by this rx, skipping the aq. the disadvantage is more weight of the copter and lot of time to implement the third axis and stuff. also a big disadvantage was that the cables from the aq to the gimbal servos will prevent a real 360 degree yaw operation.
*EDIT-130626*: After trying this i find out that when the gimbal turns, the directions for pitch & roll are changing. So its a nogo solution.

3. so the last solution (and the worst case in my eyes) was to stop using the aq for gimbal stabilisation and separate the pilot/camera tx/rx systems completely. this means putting a separate fc (eg. nanowii board with modified software 'MultiWii_2_1_nanoWiiGimbal') with its own battery and rx to the gimbal. so the gimbal don't use the stabilisation feature of aq anyway, but can be operated on all axis without limitations. anyhow i doubt the quality of stabilisation of nanowii is nearly as good as from the aq.

if i had the time and skills i would code a solution by my self into the aq firmware but im light years away from doing so :(. but maybe some of you have better ideas to share on howto overcome this thing.

Michael
Last edited by Lindbaergh on Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: best way to operate a 3-Axis gimbal by a second pilot?

Postby leopold1 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:21 pm

What about the brushless control boards. These can be used stand alone and controlled by a seperate tx.
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Re: best way to operate a 3-Axis gimbal by a second pilot?

Postby Lindbaergh » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:18 am

i had a look at the Alex MOS project, already. it is similar to my point 3. except that i have to change the hole servo stuff and wind up some motors also. which means a lot of work, but maybe it is the best possible solution.
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Re: best way to operate a 3-Axis gimbal by a second pilot?

Postby leopold1 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:14 am

If you have some patience, everything will available in a RTF kit.
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Re: best way to operate a 3-Axis gimbal by a second pilot?

Postby Lindbaergh » Wed May 01, 2013 11:46 pm

patience... that's a hard word for a 'want it all, right here and now' kid like me :D.
to be honest im pretty satisfied with the cinestar gimbal. But im sure i will change to brushless driven gimbal sooner or later. for now i tend to option 2. i can leave the balancing of roll & pitch to the AQ, which is working like a charm already. only need the 3.rd axis option from freefly and another receiver. this solution will be ok for me, but i still hope that carefree mode is coming to AQ some fine day.
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Re: best way to operate a 3-Axis gimbal by a second pilot?

Postby bn999 » Thu May 02, 2013 2:04 am

I think if you change these line in nav.c around line 357, you should get what you are looking for.

From this:

Code: Select all
   // rotate to earth frame
   navData.holdSpeedN = x * navUkfData.yawCos - y * navUkfData.yawSin;
   navData.holdSpeedE = y * navUkfData.yawCos + x * navUkfData.yawSin;


To this:

Code: Select all
   // don't rotate to earth frame
   navData.holdSpeedN = x;
   navData.holdSpeedE = y;


The pitch & roll stick turns into a N/S & E/W stick. Note, I've not tried this so be careful.
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Re: best way to operate a 3-Axis gimbal by a second pilot?

Postby Max » Thu May 02, 2013 3:40 am

Nice Bill, I was about to look in to this also. With your idea, you'd still have normal control in manual mode, and "carefree" control in PH/DVH mode, which I think is a great solution (as an option, of course).

I might have to stick this on a radio switch and test it out!

Thanks,
-Max
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Re: best way to operate a 3-Axis gimbal by a second pilot?

Postby Jdmagoo » Thu May 02, 2013 5:45 pm

Max wrote:Nice Bill, I was about to look in to this also. With your idea, you'd still have normal control in manual mode, and "carefree" control in PH/DVH mode, which I think is a great solution (as an option, of course).

I might have to stick this on a radio switch and test it out!

Thanks,
-Max


Max I'm very interested to here the results from this. If carefree can be implemented then I for one would be very greatful.

Thanks

James
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Re: best way to operate a 3-Axis gimbal by a second pilot?

Postby Lindbaergh » Thu May 02, 2013 6:50 pm

Wow Bill and Max, that sound's quite promising. the last thing i have coded was something in assembler for the 68xxx cpu 20 years ago i think :). so i wont be much help in programming, but if you need someone who dares to testdrive a new function on a heavy lifter octo, just leave me a message.

Michael
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Re: best way to operate a 3-Axis gimbal by a second pilot?

Postby Max » Wed May 08, 2013 7:05 am

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