Joined Mar 2009
First FPV application for the iPhone, decode EzOSD Telemetry : Beta Now Available!
The ImmersionRC team has been busy on another innovative way to use the EzOSD telemetry data.
Since the data is sent in audio form, we can decode, in real time, on the popular iPhone (2g/3g/3gs) without additional hardware.
A connection from the video receiver's audio channel to the mic. input on the iPhone is basically all that is required. A couple of resistors in the cable handle level shifting (these parts, and the required connectors, can all be picked up off the shelf of a radio-shack store).
The iPhone contains a nice mapping application, presenting both traditional maps, and google's satellite imagery. On 3g/3gs models it even contains its own GPS, so it makes a very interesting tool for finding FPV models which have landed far from their pilot (or even near to their pilot... in a corn field...).
The position of the plane is updated in real-time on the map, along with the position of the iPhone itself.
For EzUHF systems, the full status of the R/C uplink is present in the telemetry stream, so the iPhone app can show received signal strength data (allowing max. range to be estimated).
The app. is just about ready for beta testing, which we will do via Apple's 'Ad-hoc' distribution method, prior to getting the it up in the App. Store.
If you own an EzOSD, and want to be involved in the beta test, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Note that this method of testing iPhone apps doesn't require a 'hacked' iPhone, it is fully supported by Apple).
Joined Mar 2009
Hey fellow FPVers,
We sent out emails to a few flyers this morning, with the beta version of the iPhone application attached.
As mentioned in the first post here, we will be distributing the application using the 'ad-hoc' method initially (as opposed to the apple App-Store).
If you would like to try out the beta, send us an email with your iPhone ID (find it by clicking on the serial number of your phone in iTunes. This is a 40-digit code.
The documentation contains the recipe for building the interface cable (using readily available parts). This simple cable will be available soon from Zoltan, from NGHobbies.
Some 'success stories' had been mentioned in a related thread 'eating our own dogfood', but this last weekend it again helped us locate a downed plane.
A small group of FPVers got together for a few days of flying in the Alps, beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, and some cool technology to put through its paces.
One flight with an EasyGlider didn't go so well, it was launched without the pilot noticing that a drained battery was used.
By the time the battery voltage was noticed (the 3s pack was at 5.7v), the plane had dropped into a neighboring valley, with the video signal starting to disappear.
A split-second decision to try to fly out of the bottom of the valley was taken, with a goal of putting the plane at the bottom of the slope that we were flying from.
Video was bad, the plane had to be flown between gaps in trees, with no power to climb above treetops.
The plane was finally put down on what appeared to be the bottom of 'our slope', last reported altitude was -100m. Video was lost a few meters from the ground, so the actual landing spot wasn't really known.
A one-hour search started, with a couple of us climbing down the slope, and searching the area where we believed the plane went down.
No sign, the thing had disappeared, with a few hundred $$$ of FPV gear on board (including the only prototype of a new variant of the EzUHF receiver).
(we met one of these guys on the way up... scary moment!: http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/...ns-Eur-001.jpg )
After giving up, and climbing back up to the launch point (Note to self: need more time in the Gym!), we decided to review the recorded video footage. The last few seconds of flight did have a few good video frames (between Camcorder 'blue screens'), but even from that the landing point wasn't very clear.
As a last attempt, the last few seconds were played (from the DV tape) through the iTelemetry app (luckily the interface cable was sitting in the bottom of the flight case).
One of the last received telemetry packets was decoded successfully (amazing considering the state of the video image), and a pushpin appeared on the embedded map.
A second descent down the slope was started, with iPhone in hand. The two pushpins grew closer together, and when they met, in a shallow hollow, a slightly broken EasyGlider was found.
This spot had been just a few tens of meters from the path taken by the first search.
It is important to note that this is not a solution which will recover the plane in all situations. It does assume that you have a relatively decent A/V link until close to the point where the plane goes down.
The longer-range flights with the fully-loaded Cularis used an 'ebay GSM/GPS tracker'.
This is a fairly heavy unit though, and not really suited for smaller models.
(so far this hasn't been tested to recover a lost model, and with a bit of luck it won't be :-)
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