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Old Oct 29, 2005, 10:21 AM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jul 2003
2,722 Posts
The saga continues..........

Group,

Had another article appear in the Canyon Lake Friday Flyer on the 28th of October. The link to it is HERE . It is about the relationship that is developing between BoMar Technologies and TRCAP. Was pretty good, and hope to give more info in the future as the relationship developes. I did fly again with Mark Faris of BoMar, and was able to refine how the shots need to be done more fully. Took almost 300 photos that day, but due to the overcast and low lighting conditions, many showed our infamous motion blur. When the sun did try to burn thru though, was able to obtain some nice photos. I have included a few below. I flew a number of times that day, and we also learned how we would be affecting the golfers too, which was an invaluable lesson. It will help us to refine also the communications that we will need to utilize before, during, and after our flights at any of the locations we will be operating at. Overall things went extremely well, the SSV2 flew exceptionally again, and had no mechanical problems. We even drove around with all my gear strapped to the rear of Marks golfcart, and me holding the SSV2 from the passenger seat. What a sight that must have been to the many golfers as we passed them going from one location to another. Will pass on more info as it becomes available, and all comments are welcomed too. Later.......

Joe

These shots are from the area near the clubhouse.






Here is one of the area near the small lakes that shows a number of holes and the Logo too
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 12:59 PM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jul 2003
2,722 Posts
Since the above message, have flown an every growing number of flights at varous golf courses and race tracks. The message is getting out that there is an alternative to using full size aircraft to accomplish the flight missions needed to get meaningful documentation of actual conditions affecting a course or other facility. This info (in the way of photos in particular) has already had some profound effects at several of the locations flown to date. I am proud that in some small way, my effects are proving to be a useful tool that is being used to make other peoples work more productive and profitable too.

Recently (on the 23rd of November) I was invited to attend a meeting/demo at the Oak Valley Golf Club in Beaumont CA. I spent about three hours answering questions, and then did a demo flight before a crowd of about 65 course managers and representatives. Winds were moderate, about 15-20 mph, but the SSV2 handled it without problem, and I made a good landing to the applause of the group. Much interest was show by the people in attendance, and we look forward to obtaining commitments from many of the people for flights at their locations in the future. Below are a few photos taken at various courses in recent flights.

Flying at the Santa Anita location was a bit scary as there was heavy interference which caused some glitching during the flights flown there. All ended well, even though on last approach, a glitch locked up the system and I ended up in a tree about 10' up. Used a lawn tractor bucket to get up to recover the SSV2, and found no damage. Was able to make successful flights later that day at Hollywood Park. Found out also that the failsafe on the Shadow 3 receiver worked perfect during that flight. I had it set to raise elevator slightly, enter a gentle right turn, and kill throttle. When I got gliched on approach at about 15' up, receiver went into failsafe mode as intended. Unfortunately, it put me into a tree just off the fairway. I do suspect that there is a lot of cell tower activity very close that may have contributed to the interference. My scanner would go crazy at times from the radio signals. Anyway, in the end, all went well.

Later......

Joe
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Last edited by Dark Overlord; Dec 02, 2005 at 01:14 PM.
Old Dec 02, 2005, 01:10 PM
Registered User
Joined Sep 2002
2,098 Posts
Joe,

Really nice photos. Glad to hear of your success in the commercial arena.

Could you refresh my mind again on what camera you are using?

Thanks,

SG
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 01:24 PM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jul 2003
2,722 Posts
SG,

Sure, no problem. I am using a Pentax Optio S5z with a PRISM IR switch. I also have one of MX's Zlogs in line with the PRISM to record altitude and triggering info. While the SSV2 has proven to be a workhorse for my operation to date, I do plan on creating a new system that will provide more in the way of operational abilities for us. It will have a BW downlink hooked to the S5z's video output so that framing can be done from the ground by my "ground crew". He will be able to use the recently acquired VR goggles and a switch that will allow him to guide me via voice commands to get proper alignment, and then he can actually snap the photo himself without the delay of telling me to do it. I can also more fully concentrate on the flying aspect and leave the photographic part to him. We guestimate that it will handily speed up our flights and usuable photo output by at least 50% or more. If there is any interest, I might be persuaded to document the switch and stuff here. Later.............

Joe
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 01:50 PM
WHOHH..You See That??
qualcity's Avatar
Aurora, Colorado
Joined Jan 2005
1,761 Posts
Hey Joe,

SUPER picts!! I am curious as to how the flights affected the golfers?? You made mention of it, but not the result.

Allen
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 02:08 PM
Ascended Master
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Palmdale, CA
Joined Oct 2000
13,371 Posts
Dark, I was flying down at Menifee on T'giving at my brother's house.
AnnaNicole YardStick, AIPTEK 1.3SD.
His place is right next to the very large golf course.
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Overlord
SG,

Sure, no problem. I am using a Pentax Optio S5z with a PRISM IR switch. I also have one of MX's Zlogs in line with the PRISM to record altitude and triggering info.
Joe
Soooo, the PC or printed output from MX's Zlog and connected Prism switch, allows you to capture the altitude that each photo was taken from?

The BW downlink capability to frame photos is to me the "magic bullet" for successful commercial AP. The "whoops didn't get what you requested" approach is probably viewed as less than professional by customers. That should help reduce the number of times that happens. Plus, it's a lot less photos to wade through at the end of a shoot.

I have just started doing AP and find I don't often capture what I intended to, or I'm pleasantly surprised at something I did get. The Nikon 3700 in Sports Mode takes three photo bursts, but the photos really aren't much different due to the speed at which it takes the photos. Generally I have 3 photos of the same shot for all practical purposes.

I'm sure practice will help me improve, but the real-time downloaded view is the way to go for commercial in my opinion.

Thanks for the info and keep us updated,

SG
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 04:44 PM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jul 2003
2,722 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by sierra-gold
Soooo, the PC or printed output from MX's Zlog and connected Prism switch, allows you to capture the altitude that each photo was taken from?

The BW downlink capability to frame photos is to me the "magic bullet" for successful commercial AP. The "whoops didn't get what you requested" approach is probably viewed as less than professional by customers. That should help reduce the number of times that happens. Plus, it's a lot less photos to wade through at the end of a shoot.

I have just started doing AP and find I don't often capture what I intended to, or I'm pleasantly surprised at something I did get. The Nikon 3700 in Sports Mode takes three photo bursts, but the photos really aren't much different due to the speed at which it takes the photos. Generally I have 3 photos of the same shot for all practical purposes.

I'm sure practice will help me improve, but the real-time downloaded view is the way to go for commercial in my opinion.

Thanks for the info and keep us updated,

SG
Yes, when the channel (retract, channel 5 for me) is triggered, it is noted by the Zlog and the altitude and time into the flight are captured. Then, when I download the photos, I can note the number of the photo and correlate it to the info from the Zlog. I have also found that the way I have my PRISM setup, that if I flip the retract switch, and leave it in the tripped position, my S5z will take continuous photos at less than a second interval between shots. I used that feature yesterday at a shoot for Rancho California RV Resort, and took a total of 189 photos in three flights. About 1/3 of them framed the areas of particular interest (sprinkler and valve locations, and spray patterns) that the manager wanted documented. Many of the others might be used as "beauty" shots for other purposes as they show much of the RV lots surrounding the golf course. Had a short window of opportunity during the time winds shifted from easterly to westerly (maybe 45 minutes). Once the winds picked up again, we shut down for the day as the wind direction made it very difficult to keep a straight track that was needed to shoot the holes in question. Once we get the downlink in place, will not be so bad as I will be able to concentrate on the flying more fully without having to shoot the photos too. The new aircraft under developement now will address much of the items that I have on my "would be nice to have" list. Tentative name for the new plane is the "Bomar Explorer". Will post photos when completed, but sorry this time, no build thread on this one. Gonna have to keep this one proprietory for business reasons. But, I will provide info on some things about it, just not a how to build it like I did on the SSV2. I do plan on having the built in capability to have forward looking live video, as well as still/movie downlink, pod protected/enclosed electronics, tilt for still/movie camera (don't need pan, the plane does that just fine), pusher outrunner powered, plug in/bolt on purpose built wings (will have different ones for specific mission use), removable fuselage panels for easy access to components, and many other features that I have had on the list. More to come............................

Joe
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Old Dec 02, 2005, 04:55 PM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jul 2003
2,722 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky Paul
Dark, I was flying down at Menifee on T'giving at my brother's house.
AnnaNicole YardStick, AIPTEK 1.3SD.
His place is right next to the very large golf course.
Sparky,

I am a member of the Menifee Flyers myself, but have not been too active due to the workload recently. Nice looking golf course and great photos too. Been ranging a bit farther on most of our sorties of late. May even have a few to do (three or fours days worth) in Arizona after the new year. There has even been talk of many back east, but we are nowhere near ready to expand like that yet. Heck, there are 1300 courses in CA alone...........................and over 17000 in the whole US..............lots of work ahead. The company I have affiliated with, Bomar Technologies, has contacts with virtually all of these courses, and interest is growing in the product and service we can provide.............and I thought I was going to be able to retire soon.........not bloody likely it would seem . Later............

Joe
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Old Dec 13, 2005, 05:41 PM
MX
Embedded Systems Engineer
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Grass Valley, CA
Joined Sep 2001
3,732 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Overlord
...I am using a Pentax Optio S5z with a PRISM IR switch. I also have one of MX's Zlogs in line with the PRISM to record altitude and triggering info. ...It will have a BW downlink hooked to the S5z's video output so that framing can be done from the ground by my "ground crew"...
Joe,

I don't know if it's something you'd need in your application or not, but thought I'd let you know that I have a new ZLog feature that supports a 3rd-party OSD board for overlaying altitude data onto the video downlink. It's still experimental, so I don't have any info on my web site yet, but here's a diagram of the system.

MX
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Old Dec 13, 2005, 07:11 PM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jul 2003
2,722 Posts
MX,

That looks very interesting. Will you have any other features supporting the OSD board? I assume that it will currently take the output of the Zlog, and show the current altitude on the display. Price is not too bad, but size sure has not come down into the surface mount stuff like your Zlog yet. But, I may decide to get one if there is nothing else out there that can match it. Thanks for the info...............Later.....

Joe

P.S.

Wish someone would offer a cutdown version of the AV cable for my S5z, about 4". With an RCA and no balun. I do not look forward to butchering my cable, but will have to if I cannot locate one to use instead............
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Old Dec 13, 2005, 07:33 PM
MX
Embedded Systems Engineer
MX's Avatar
Grass Valley, CA
Joined Sep 2001
3,732 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Overlord
MX,

That looks very interesting. Will you have any other features supporting the OSD board? I assume that it will currently take the output of the Zlog, and show the current altitude on the display. Price is not too bad, but size sure has not come down into the surface mount stuff like your Zlog yet. But, I may decide to get one if there is nothing else out there that can match it. Thanks for the info...............Later.....

Joe

P.S.

Wish someone would offer a cutdown version of the AV cable for my S5z, about 4". With an RCA and no balun. I do not look forward to butchering my cable, but will have to if I cannot locate one to use instead............
I've been talking to the guy that makes the OSD board about a smaller version with edge mounted RCA connectors instead of extra cables. He might have something in the next month or two.

I cut my S4/S5z cable down to about 5" and totally removed the audio cable and ferrite core. It was easy. If I had known, I would have done it long ago.

MX
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Old Dec 13, 2005, 07:45 PM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jul 2003
2,722 Posts
Okay Matt, you talked me into it. I will cut my cable down tomorrow. As for the OSD, I may wait for a slighly smaller version. I have bookmarked their site, and will check it often for new info. If you hear anything, but sure to let me know too. By the way, how much current will the PRISM and Zlog pass? I don't plan on much, but you can never tell. Later..........

Joe
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Old Dec 14, 2005, 12:22 AM
MX
Embedded Systems Engineer
MX's Avatar
Grass Valley, CA
Joined Sep 2001
3,732 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Overlord
...By the way, how much current will the PRISM and Zlog pass? I don't plan on much, but you can never tell. Later..........

Joe
The PRISM has a 34 awg servo cable, so according to my tables, it can carry a conservative 0.33 amps. The ZLog MOD3 has 28 awg cable, so can carry about 1.4 amps. The traces for the passthrough are 10 mil traces of 1 oz copper, so they should carry at least 1 amp.

MX
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Old Aug 10, 2006, 12:50 AM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jul 2003
2,722 Posts
Another thread that has outlived its usefulness. Closed now....

Joe
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