|Jul 07, 2005, 10:37 PM|
I made an automated switch for AP
Hi guys, I haven't done any AP for far too long now, so I thought I'd get back into it. I made this switch yesterday to fully automate the process, so I could just go flying, rather than fly and take shots. I also did this so I could use the camera on the slope with my 2 channel models, so I don't have to swap radios etc. I also did it so I can use the camera to get some different non rc photos, like hanging it under the car, or bike and such.
It is simply a 555 timer with some caps and resistors to set timing duration. I needed to use a diode to help get the long off time and short on time as it pulls the switch to V- and I couldn't get it to much less than 50% duty cycle without the diode. I could get it to have a long on time and short off time, but if I reversed the output, it pulled to V+, so I found the diode idea worked well. Some of the more brainier gurus, could have worked it out another way, but it was simple and it works a treat.
It stays "on" (pulls to V-) for about half a second, and stays "off" for about 4 seconds, just enough time for the camera to save the shot to mem before it goes off again. I get about 14 shots per minute at this setting. With the 64 meg card that equates to about 7 minutes, give or take. I can't even find anything less than 128 meg cards nowdays, so if I fire in a 256 card, I should get around 30 minutes of snapping time.
The camera is powered at RX voltage via the switch. The whole setup draws between 160- 190 MA when it's running. This is with the screen on, so I should try it with the screen off and see how that goes. According to the 555 blurb, it will switch 200 ma no probs, and I have had it going repeatedly, about 15 minutes, for about 90 or so shots at a time (only have a 64 meg SD card at the moment).
I put a jumper switch in line so I could power the cam, but not have it take photos, so I can check photos, and to allow the cam to be set to video mode so I can just press the shutter once and have it film the flight without it making fifty 4 second videos! I should have put a switch into the board, but hey, I am a motorcycle mechanic, not a electronic guru
I put a LED in the board, really only so I could see that it was all working ok
before I put the camera in the circuit, and of course, as it flashes when it takes a photo, it only adds to the "cool factor"
Also, I originally used a 7805 regulator, so I could run it at whatever volatge I needed to, (so I could power it off any voltage above 5V for non AP use) but I found it dosen't like converting 4.8V to 5V , So I removed it and the smaller cap on the board was originally put there to smooth out the voltage, as I was getting a funny half bright LED issue just before it turned on properly. The Cap across V+ and V- fixed all that, and it's not affecting it now with the 7805 removed so it can stay. I don't think it will have any affect on the RX??
I realize that most of you guys here now seem to be using much better cameras than my trusty old dophin or pocketcamX, as it's known in the states, but hey, I'm pretty tight at the moment, so this will have to do.
Total cost. $A3.55 or about $2.00 US
555 timer: $1.00
3 resistors: 55c
diode: free from old printer I ripped apart
LED: As above
2 capacitors: As above
wire and connectors: courtesy of old dead servo
All in all, a cheap automatic switch in anyones language
P.S This is only my second circuit board build, so I apologize for all those "extra" wires on the top It's definately an art to get it neat AND small!!
|Jul 07, 2005, 11:02 PM|
I think it's great. Way to go! I'll bet tons of guys are going to pester you to make them and sell them or put out a schematic so they can make one. Nice going!
|Jul 08, 2005, 12:07 AM|
That is great dude...Kudos to you for a great innovation!!!!
I like your avatar too.....my daughter is 15 now.....we are very close.
|Jul 09, 2005, 07:30 AM|
quailbird: I can post a schematic of it if you want to make one, but it's just a typical 555 timer circuit with the values adjusted to suit. This one works fine, but I may make a smaller, better designed one.
Problem is, I don't have an electric plane to fly at the moment , and the slope season is gone 'till spring, and I have this habbit of building one, flying it, then ripping it apart to build another, or crashing it, before I have built the next one. We had 30 knot winds today and forecast tomorrow as well, so I guess I should start building tonight so I have something to fly and take some photos with when it stops!
|Jul 09, 2005, 10:19 AM|
Joined Apr 2005
This thing is addictive.
I started out with a similar circuit to yours for my Easystar and Aiptek Mega SD camera, but much neater
I then built one that only took pictures when the throttle was off using 2 IC's but the PCB was quite large.
For version 3 I started to learn how to program a PIC chip. The board is small and neat but the code inside the PIC is a bit of a mess.
I now want to tighten up the code and add a few other features such as a lost model alarm.
|Jul 09, 2005, 12:21 PM|
I have a hotchip that uses the 8535 atmel micro, and have beeen working on a similar thing, it took photos with the motor off automatically, took a shot every 10 seconds with it on to avoid the cam from going to sleep, but shelved it a while back due to a lack of interest brought on by lack of knowledge The brother in law got me into it, but I need more lessons!
It certainly is addictive and the best thing with electronics and technology is, you can make it as complicated as you like, yet as simple as you like too!
Funny story, well you had to be there!
My brother in law is the programming guru in the family. He programmes some very impressive industrial robotic machinery that blows my mind, but I went to his house the other day, and he was setting up his laptop out the back to get a particular radio station so we could listen to the football game whilst we sat out the back having a "barbie". He must have spent 10 minutes telling me all about his wireless setup, yada yada yada, still no footy, network was fine, the website was having issues So I go in to his kitchen, grab the radio on his table and TURNED IT ON
Fancy stuff is only fancy IF it makes life easier
|Jul 09, 2005, 02:56 PM|
Joined Sep 2003
I did quite a similar circuit using my Medion (which appears to be the same as your dolphin camera) . I 've used a little PIC (12C508) which allows me to have two configurations depending on the channel stick position when you power the circuit. First is a channel controllel show, the other one is "continuous" mode.
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