I was super-windy… 15-20mph winds and this quad with gimbal is a tad underpowered.
Was still a good flight (read: No Crashes) and no APM Pixhawk issues. At least not this time. That was the reason I had set it aside for a while. APM still has some issues.
So in preparation for FPV, I started building a ‘Dead-Cat’ style quad.
So out of the box, I’ve hot this HK frame, and crappy arms which I replaced with DJI arms. It flies well with Stock DJI (red) 2212 920KV motors with stock DJI 30A opto ESC’s and 10 Inch props.
But when I weight it down with the Gimbal it’s a tad overloaded.
For the most part I’m happy with the video quality, there’s still some Jell-O in the footage though. It’s pretty clear in it’s current state I can’t add the weight of FPV gear. So if this becomes an FPV rig, the Gimbal in it’s current form, has to go.
Perhaps a move to 4S batteries is required. I’ll have to do some more research. It’s not a steady as J’s Team BlackSheep Discovery Pro, which is heavier. But is also using 900kv motors and 10” props which I’ve also only flown with 3S batteries.
I still enjoy and prefer the PixHawk Flight controller to the DJI Naza V2 that’s on the TBS. Even with it’s pre-arm button ridiculousness.
Last weekend was a good multi-rotor weekend. Got to fly my high-performance quad a few times without incident. Also flew my Franken-QX350 a bunch. Each of the kids got a turn too. All without incident.
Finally got spend some time getting the hex to fly right. It would fly great in stabilized mode but loiter was broken, and if loiter is broken, none of the autonomous flight modes are available. Well, they are available but you’ll just crash so it was in my best interest to get that fixed. Turns out, somewhere along the way my compass orientation flag had changed form 8 which is roll-180, to 10, which is roll-180 yaw 90. Honestly the way things are mounted I think they should be roll 180 yaw 270, but since it works just rolled, I’m leaving it that way.
For what it’s worth, my APM is mounted like this.
After a handful of manual flights and confident that loiter was fixed, I launched it a few times and flew it using droid planner. Guiding it to fly here, then over there, and then over there.
Still have some Video Jello-issues to work out. Looks/feels like electrical interference from something, likely with the Gimbal.
Super long video for my own amusement.
More DJI Hex, Gimbal enabled footage. Still working out some bugs.
Today I had an opportunity to pop outside, fly and document the snow. This was the first opportunity I had to fly with the Gimbal that was mounted for the Go Pro in the previous blog post. The Beholder-Lite gimbal.
It seems I never have a completely uneventful flight though. While this one doesn’t contain any crashes, the gyro calibration was off and it wouldn’t position hold at all. Loiter was completely broken, so the majority of the video was flow in stability mode. With the ~12-14 mile per hour winds and the fact that it didn’t really know what level was, it got real interesting when I lost orientation. Thankfully, no broken parts.
I’m mostly happy with the video, it was super bright, sun was out and obviously the snow just amplifies that which alone can cause some Jell-O effect. But the gimbal isn’t tuned 100% right either. I’ll work on that in the future. Also need to balance my blades.
But all in all a very successful day.
DJI F550 Hex, Beholder-Lite Gimbal, v2.
The video is a bit long as it’s really two flights. It’s HD so pop it out to full screen for the best effect. I haven’t found a way to kill the high pitched sound from the motors/electronics in the video so I just kill the sound. Just hum your favorite tune while you watch this.
Installed a Beholder-Lite Gimbal on my Hex this weekend. The Beholder is a simple AlexMoss based gimbal that’s self sustaining. All you need to is give it +5v (or in my case hook it up to power distribution and you’re set).
Once I had it mounted I thought, wow I’d like to be able to control the tilt so I ventured off to search the internets, but my google-fu failed me. Mission planner and what I read said that APM was set up to control servo-based gimbals. This is a brushless gimbal, and I don’t want APM to control it. Only allow me to control the tilt of it so that when I’m filming I can tilt the camera down.
So after a little experimentation here is what I’ve got.
The Gimbal came with a cable and the weak documentation simply showed this:
So I poked around some more and found where I could plug those into the APM and in fact did so on the top. In A10 and A11, now I really don’t care about Roll, but I plugged it in anyway.
Continue reading “Camera gimbal tilt with APM”