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Old Dec 05, 2008, 08:49 PM
zitron is offline
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United States, OH, Columbus
Joined Apr 2007
194 Posts
DIY head tracker from cheap heli gyro (seems to work!)

It looks like I might have enough money to get a cheap pair of goggles , so I've started looking for cheap HT solutions. I've previously tried to build a HT using only an accelerometer, it worked, but was not great:

Since good quality gyros from Analog Devices and such are $60-100 (which explains way HTs are so expensive), I've decided to pull apart a RC rate gyro ($15?) to get the el cheapo analog components and interface it with my own micro-controller.

Well, after messing with it a bit, I got it working! It does drift a bit and doesn't re-centre perfectly, but I'm quite surprised by how well it works for a cheap ass piezo gyro and analog circuit without thermal compensation...

Bill of material:
~$15 gyro
~$12 micro-controller
~$30 HT

Potentially for dual axis I would like to use an accelerometer for pitch since it's much simpler and drift free. So I'm looking at a total cost for a full dual axis HT of $45-50. It probably will drift more than the one's currently sold, but what's the fun in just buying everything .

I have not yet test it through my RC Tx and Rx, right now it's only connected directly to a servo, here's video:

Single axis gyro head tracker testing (0 min 26 sec)

Hopefully this will inspire more people to build their own HTs!

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Last edited by zitron; Dec 05, 2008 at 09:07 PM.
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