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Old May 24, 2010, 07:51 PM
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Eddie P's Avatar
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Easy Glider with HD Hero

Hi there -

I've been using my HD Hero for a number of different photo purposes - video plus still imagery. I really love this little camera, it has a thousand uses and is a great supplemental camera for fisheye effects, tight spaces, unusual angles, etc.

I've decided in addition to the HD Hero being my "extreme" camera when I film full scale aircraft (I mount them all over the place from cockpits to exterior) - I will also build a simple RC airborne rig to carry it for some "slow, low and close-in" airborne imagery.

I see several people are using these Easy Gliders with various cameras. I was planning to modify the front of the motorglider to carry the HD Hero and an improvised pan/tilt mechanism. And the motor would go on the top of the glider in a simple motor mount. I'll probably add some gyro stabilization to the roll/pitch and yaw channels as well to settle down the platform side of the video.

Has anyone else out there put in a pan/tilt mount to the HD Hero on a similar platform? Thanks for any thoughts on this. I'm not expecting this to be a hugely ground breaking project, but I have a few photo shoots coming up where I could use some airborne panoramas to supplement what I'm already planning - and this looks like it would be a very easy way for me to get started right away with a "close in" airborne camera rig.

EDIT:

I went with a fixed camera mount on the front of the EGP, using the kit firewall and a wood hard mount for the camera. I added a small set of wheels (undercarriage) for hard surface landing zones like parking lots. I'm making floats for water. I've made the model into a twin motor airplane, motors mounted on the wings. See later posts for details.
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Old May 26, 2010, 02:56 AM
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I ordered three piezo gyros and plan to install them on my powered Easy Glider HD GoPro video platform.

I used to dismiss gyros as for being just for helicopters and people who are looking for a "cheat" on airplanes to make them fly easier. What I have found out over the years is that the more serious about scale competition the pilot is, the more likely they are to use a gyro especially in a scale jet.

The gyro will not make the fixed wing platform any easier to fly, but I hope it will "stabilize" the airframe in a way that makes it look and behave like it is much larger and with a greater wing loading as far as gust penetration goes. (small deviations are rapidly and smoothly corrected for and the platform stays on course with little deviation)

The question I have is will this apply to smaller, lighter aircraft in the way I hope. Will the small attitude corrections, even if made, make much of a difference in the big scheme of things if the aircraft is still being jostled around a lot by the mere wing loading and all up weight issue. I'll see soon. The key will be the setup and the fine tuning of the gyro gain, etc. My hypothesis is on a small fixed wing airframe, a gyro stabilized aircraft might be a better solution than a gyro stabilized camera mount.

When the goods arrive in the mail I'll hopefully be able to get it together quickly and I'll post a few pictures and observations.
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Old May 26, 2010, 10:22 AM
fly it high as possible
Falls Church, VA
Joined Jun 2009
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You're right about gyro. They will help to stab. the shaking plane. And i, actually, use bigger wing from RADIAN installed on EG and even more - Co-Pilot, too. Each gyro is connected between Co-Pilot (output) and ailerons and elevator.
Result is perfect in any wind from 5 -15 mph.
Good Luck.
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Old May 26, 2010, 09:00 PM
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Great to hear about your success. I look forward to a little successful experimentation as well!

What sort of "gain" did you settle on for your gyro control? I know there is an interrelationship between the control effectiveness and gyro gain as it relates to smooth flight, so it's just relative. But I'm curious how much you experimented with the effect of the gyro.
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Old May 26, 2010, 09:34 PM
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Halifax NS Canada
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Eddie

I have had success with the EZ Glider and the Clouds fly both running gyro in three axis. I've experimented with gyro pan and tilt system on my Sony Webbee Camera an many gyro stab system on my heli gimble. I say go for it just make sure you post some pic’s if you get to work. I'm looking to build a tilt and roll gimble for my GoPro that I just added to my hangar.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/b...y/219_0899.jpg
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/b...y/219_0898.jpg
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/b...IMG_0050-2.jpg

Here a little video I shot in 25mph winds
http://www.youtube.com/user/eyeinsky1#p/u/5/_Qk9fGBM4ok

Here's the same plane shooting 720HD at 60p with the new Hero in about 10 to 15 mph.
http://www.youtube.com/user/eyeinsky1#p/u/0/JAouiA5KpzQ

Cheers Jerry
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Old May 26, 2010, 10:18 PM
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Excellent Jerry! I also plan on using 60fps and then slowing it down along with a little post processing to get a nice smooth video sequence. I have about four different transition scenes I plan to film using my HD Hero/EasyGlider rig for a narrative film I'm planning about a regional full size aviation gathering. The scenes I am visualizing require about 20 mph forward movement to get the effect I want. After slowing it I should have 10mph - so if that's too slow I can always speed the airplane up in the live film work.

But I also have many ideas for a ton of stock scenes I plan to film in the local area - scenery, nature, etc. I'm really looking forward to this new way to bring cool scenes via RC into what I've been doing already.
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Old May 27, 2010, 12:26 PM
fly it high as possible
Falls Church, VA
Joined Jun 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie P View Post
Great to hear about your success. I look forward to a little successful experimentation as well!

What sort of "gain" did you settle on for your gyro control? I know there is an interrelationship between the control effectiveness and gyro gain as it relates to smooth flight, so it's just relative. But I'm curious how much you experimented with the effect of the gyro.
It depends of the diffrent things like type of the gyro, type of the plane. Actually, i put something about 80 -90% and checked it out on flight. If there is no shaking (without wind) - it means OK for my glider. If it is shaking
(without wind again) i shoud reduce gain.
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Old Jul 03, 2010, 02:55 PM
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Update

I have finished and test flown my Easy Glider with the Go Pro camera. It's a great combo.

Mods to the photo rig:

*I installed two small outrunner brushless motors, one on each wing. This was a compromise as I wanted the Go Pro in an aerodynamic place, and the nose was the only spot I could imagine the camera not really messing up the airflow. I also liked the vibration and thrust line issues of two small motors on the wings spinning smaller props. Turns out the flying qualities and vibration have resulted in my desired characteristics.
*The 3s 2200 mah lipoly pack has to ride above the wing as I have to have the pack partially behind the wing to balance out the Go Pro camera
*The Go Pro camera is mounted on the nose for the best aerodynamic solution and views

I did one test flight with dead ballast in place of the camera. A quick test of control/performance was successful and a landing followed. Following the camera mounting, the first test flight with the camera was about 5 minutes later.

I will add a link to the videos. One video Raw, and one video with added post production image stabilization.

Since this is very early in the process, my next stapes are to:

1) Add 3 gyros I have waiting in the wings - rudder, aileron, elevator. This will assist in keeping the aircraft more "attitude" stable as it passes through thermals, gusts, etc.
2) Add the FMA Co-Pilot 8 I have, to allow more of a hands off operation for certain video sequences (more time to frame images, etc)
3) Add my micro camera and link for my live image feed to assist in framing shots
4) increase prop sizes. The test flight was working with 110 watts - I should be at around 190-200 for slightly better performance capability in takeoff and climbs into position.
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Old Jul 03, 2010, 03:26 PM
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Video of the test flight. Raw video on my site in a few minutes.

http://vimeo.com/13060924
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Old Jul 03, 2010, 04:22 PM
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Eagle Lake, Minnesota
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Very smooth.... I would like to see your install in the Easyglider. Any pics??


IMO the gyros will be a waste. While they may keep a solid heading, I am not sold that any gyro can be fast enough to smooth out bumps/thermals as you pass through them. They would have to be a step ahead as turbulence comes on so fast the gyros would have to be mind readers to have any effect at all. From what I see...you have a great platform as is great job!


Mike
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Old Jul 03, 2010, 09:03 PM
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Pictures? Sure, the photo rig is half the fun anyhow.

Not shown on these photos are the velcro backup straps that go around the camera to ensure the camera stays snugly against the velcro mount.

The camera mount is removable from the fuselage and is held in position by a nylon screw and bolt that holds snugly against the factory motor firewall mount.

Weights: Airframe ready to fly without camera - 35 ounces. Go Pro in case, 6.0 ounces. It's a relatively light wing loading but heavier than stock so it does have a little more penetration power and stability than a stock Easy Glider Pro.

The thing I like best about the twin engine configuration is the absolute quiet operation. It is a real stealth aircraft. No pusher prop noise, very little vibration, and no unusual thrust line issues to deal with. For now I am leaving the brake off so that I have a built in drag device for landing. It still floats forever but in the future I may enable the motor break and just run at very low power if I want prop disc brake action.

As for the prone position of the camera - nothing risked, nothing gained. I don't want any portion of the airframe in the images, and I want the airframe to fly buffet free without any unusual drag effects. It is what it is - so far so good.
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Old Jul 04, 2010, 01:34 AM
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Israel, Ness Ziona
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Nice video and setup
Guy
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Old Jul 04, 2010, 11:19 AM
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Steamboat Springs Co.
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some vid from my gopro easy glider

http://www.vimeo.com/13074761
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Old Jul 04, 2010, 12:15 PM
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Very nice rig, Eddie! How do you figure out the angle to mount your motors or isn't it necessary to get it spot on?.

Very stable flight, you know you've got it sorted when the view from the plane looks like a camera is hanging there and being zoomed instead of moving through the air.

Whether a gyro can smooth out bumps, I don't know. It is surely better at it than eyeballing from the ground and another benefit is that they certainly are good at keeping a heading and the less you have to turn/adjust that, the smoother the flight in my opinion...
matthew
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Old Jul 04, 2010, 02:20 PM
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Eddie,

Nice idea for keeping the prop out of view. It looks like you are using 6x4 props but which motors are they? Have you had to glue the wings in to stop the motors trying to pull them out in flight?

I have a brand new EG Pro that I want to modify for AP and have been toying with cutting off the tail, making a twin boom tail out of CF tubing, and mounting a pusher prop on the back of the shortened fuse. But your idea has got me re-thinking the project.

Richard
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