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Old May 09, 2010, 06:54 AM
Begin with end in mind...
power's Avatar
Eagle Lake, Minnesota
Joined Apr 2003
5,613 Posts
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DSLR AP Platform "Exposure"

Hi all,

it has been a while since my last AP design so I thought I would share my latest AP project. The "Exposure". I have been having a great time with my DSLR "Solution" and it has been working very well for me the last couple yrs. That said, I am always looking to improve on existing airframes. The Solution evolved with mods to form a DSLR platform it was never really designed for this payload but ended up working well.

This bird is being designed with DSLR intent from the begining. There are key points that are different in this design. I will go over them in the pics below. I used methods and from my Passive, Double exposure, and Solution to produce this design. I spent time trying to simplify the airframe by reducing parts count, keeping pushrods to equal length, and mounting servos directly across from each other. The weight of the fuse is spot on equal to my DSLR Solution. At the same time, it is stronger,stiffer, has less parts, and packs/components can easily be stored in the cutouts in the fuse to obtain C.G.

I have the fuse pretty much fininshed and the wing will be coming soon with a few minor changes... I am waiting on my AXI 2820-14 to show up and I will get the component install complete. I will post progress as I finish up. As you can see in the pics, I picked up a Nikon D5000 to play with, (I like having a backup) . The D5000 is quite a little camera for the money, it shares the same body size as my D40X. It is close to 3 oz heavier but it has pretty much all D90 features, 12.3 mp sensor, meter, 11 point AF, Live view, 3D tracking AF, and 720p 24fps video.

Anyway...here are a few pics, I will update as time allows.


PLANS POST: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...1&postcount=76

PAYPAL DONATION: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...ton_id=4927955


Mike
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Last edited by power; Jun 17, 2010 at 08:28 PM.
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Old May 09, 2010, 07:52 AM
Crash land!
Joffa_Dan's Avatar
Geelong Vic, Australia
Joined Sep 2009
635 Posts
Awesome Mike, been hanging out to see this one!

Looks great so far, subscribed...
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Old May 09, 2010, 02:08 PM
They call me Maj. Sink!
stoked6.0's Avatar
Paso Robles, Ca
Joined Nov 2008
746 Posts
Been waiting for this one too! I'm thinking of moving into a DSLR and while I have the super solution, I've been waiting to see what you were working on for the DSLR. I was hoping for maybe a little more lens protection, but that's not very easy/practical for the camera setup I know. Can't wait for the rest!
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Old May 09, 2010, 05:12 PM
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machinate's Avatar
Joined Jan 2010
913 Posts
Definitely liking the new design. I look forward to seeing the results, although of course I already know they'll be good.

Have you ever posted a how-to about cutting those EPP wheels? I've got a few planes just begging for tundra tires, and just about everything I can find commercially is too heavy and not very squishy. I'd love to start putting tires like yours on some planes - they're like modern-day, low-maintenance Trexlers.
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Old May 09, 2010, 08:48 PM
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MWCores's Avatar
Moses Lake, Wa.
Joined Apr 2008
480 Posts
Hi Mike,

Looks like another winner, can't wait to see this one fly

Jeff
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Old May 10, 2010, 02:10 AM
Mmmm...balsa dust!
vintagemxr's Avatar
Casa Grande, AZ
Joined Jan 2005
176 Posts
Coming out of lurk mode in this forum: Been reading for some time now and pondering a summer project. Is that EPP foam you're using or generic white insulation styrofoam? I'm still mostly a balsa wood builder, not much on foam except as cores to be sheeted.

BTW, you'll love the D5000. I've been shooting the D90 for two years now for regular photography and the images are fantastic, especially if you shoot in RAW format and process in Nikon Capture NX2.

Looking forward to seeing how this design turns out and the sort of results your get with the 5000.

Doug
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Old May 10, 2010, 08:16 PM
Begin with end in mind...
power's Avatar
Eagle Lake, Minnesota
Joined Apr 2003
5,613 Posts
Thanks guys,


machinate, I will try and go over my wheel cutting process later in this thread, I do use a hot wire table so there is a bit of tooling that is needed. There are other ways to get there but the table works well.

stoked6.0, the lens is actually quite protected with the ply tounge, I have landed in some pretty hairy spots and the cam is still going strong. I even smoked a small tree on site and the plane bounced to the ground and broke in half. The lens and cam were fine.


vintagemxr, The foam is good ol' Menards 2" beaded foam with aircraft ply in the areas that count. I have had the D5000 out several times on the ground and I am impressed, it is a nice upgrade from the D40X for the money


Mike
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Old May 11, 2010, 03:40 AM
Mmmm...balsa dust!
vintagemxr's Avatar
Casa Grande, AZ
Joined Jan 2005
176 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by power View Post
vintagemxr, The foam is good ol' Menards 2" beaded foam with aircraft ply in the areas that count. I have had the D5000 out several times on the ground and I am impressed, it is a nice upgrade from the D40X for the money
Mike
Good to know. Love it when easily available and inexpensive materials are used in a nice model. I may have to search for the light ply though, the local hobby shop knows nothing but ARF and RTF.

Doug
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Old May 11, 2010, 05:13 AM
Begin with end in mind...
power's Avatar
Eagle Lake, Minnesota
Joined Apr 2003
5,613 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagemxr View Post
Good to know. Love it when easily available and inexpensive materials are used in a nice model. I may have to search for the light ply though, the local hobby shop knows nothing but ARF and RTF.

Doug
This is where most of us get our ply, make sure to get the "Aircraft grade" ply when ordering. Great service, great price, and great packing job.

The .4mm is the 1/64 ply and the .8mm is the 1/32. 48" sheets


http://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/wp/plywood.html


Mike
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Old May 11, 2010, 07:43 AM
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Canada, ON, Cambridge
Joined Jan 2007
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Originally Posted by power View Post
I have had the D5000 out several times on the ground and I am impressed, it is a nice upgrade from the D40X for the money.

Mike
Hi Mike,

Just wondering why you picked the D5000 over the D90? I'm considering upgrading my D60 and am weighing the options. One thing that has me looking at the D90 is the "in body" focus motor. I would be able to use the older AF lenses at half the price of the newer "in lens" focus motors. Other then that I can't see much difference between the two. I also have to consider that this is my only SLR camera and have to use it for my ground photography also. (maybe I should pick up a used D40 for aerial?)

- Jeff
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Old May 11, 2010, 10:16 AM
Begin with end in mind...
power's Avatar
Eagle Lake, Minnesota
Joined Apr 2003
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Originally Posted by zirt57 View Post
Hi Mike,

Just wondering why you picked the D5000 over the D90? I'm considering upgrading my D60 and am weighing the options. One thing that has me looking at the D90 is the "in body" focus motor. I would be able to use the older AF lenses at half the price of the newer "in lens" focus motors. Other then that I can't see much difference between the two. I also have to consider that this is my only SLR camera and have to use it for my ground photography also. (maybe I should pick up a used D40 for aerial?)

- Jeff

Hi Jeff,

I actually had planned on getting both the D5000 and the D90. The D5000 was a clear choice for AP as it weighs a lot less and the extra features of the D90 are not needed in flight. The D90 would replace my old D70 and be used for ground shots only ( The D90 is really my wife's camera ) Honestly, IMO you can't beat the D40X or D60 for DSLR AP.


Mike
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Old May 11, 2010, 11:49 AM
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Canadian Geek's Avatar
Canada, ON, Cambridge
Joined Jan 2007
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Originally Posted by power View Post
Hi Jeff,

I actually had planned on getting both the D5000 and the D90. The D5000 was a clear choice for AP as it weighs a lot less and the extra features of the D90 are not needed in flight. The D90 would replace my old D70 and be used for ground shots only ( The D90 is really my wife's camera ) Honestly, IMO you can't beat the D40X or D60 for DSLR AP.


Mike
Yeah, weight of the D90 is why I'm considering a second dSLR. One for ground photography and a second, lighter one, for AP. My wife doesn't do photography (I tell her she's a point and click chick ). If the camera isn't fully automatic, she won't touch it. Any of the dSLRs would be a waste on her. I just let her use my Canon A680IS.

Maybe I'll just keep my D60 as my AP camera.

- Jeff

p.s. Not wanting to get too far off track here, but have you tried the video mode of the D5000 on a plane yet?
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Old May 11, 2010, 01:19 PM
Begin with end in mind...
power's Avatar
Eagle Lake, Minnesota
Joined Apr 2003
5,613 Posts
I have not had a chance to fly the Camera yet, nor have I used the video function. From the samples I have seen and the tutorials I have read, the video is nothing to get excited about. Though I have seen some pretty darn nice footage it seems to take a lot of work to set it up correctly. The cam does not autofocus in video mode and the exposure lock needs to be in use to get more even results. The CMOS sensor is extremely sensitve as well so I don't expect much but jello from this one. I will eventually test it, maybe it will be better than I think



Mike
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Old May 11, 2010, 06:13 PM
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Joined Nov 2007
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D90 airborne - Is it worth?

I'm amazed at the chances you're taking - but hey, no pain, no gain.
I'm using the D90 myself from a 15 ft blimp on a servo head and still worry about landing with such a heavyweight.
For that matter I never dared using the 18-200 mm zoom on it during flight - I use just a good 17-55 VR because it's lighter and the VR is the essential tool needed.
From my exp even from my blimp there is so much movement (drift) up there that only very short exp times and VR would yield any usable picts.
I am attaching here 2 picts at max resolution allowed for upload (resized) - to judge the max resolution I got (sometimes...).
Other times it's unbelievable how crappy even a Nikon can get from the air! About 50% of the crop ends in trash...

Is it worth? I think yes. What do you say? Can you post better resolution?
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Old May 11, 2010, 06:32 PM
Begin with end in mind...
power's Avatar
Eagle Lake, Minnesota
Joined Apr 2003
5,613 Posts
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Originally Posted by pabloantoine View Post
I'm amazed at the chances you're taking - but hey, no pain, no gain.
I'm using the D90 myself from a 15 ft blimp on a servo head and still worry about landing with such a heavyweight.
For that matter I never dared using the 18-200 mm zoom on it during flight - I use just a good 17-55 VR because it's lighter and the VR is the essential tool needed.
From my exp even from my blimp there is so much movement (drift) up there that only very short exp times and VR would yield any usable picts.
I am attaching here 2 picts at max resolution allowed for upload (resized) - to judge the max resolution I got (sometimes...).
Other times it's unbelievable how crappy even a Nikon can get from the air! About 50% of the crop ends in trash...

Is it worth? I think yes. What do you say? Can you post better resolution?

Well...first off my plane is a pussy cat to fly so I don't feel like I am taking to big of chance. I usually get only a few pics that are not usable out of a typical shoot of several hundred images. The images that are not usable are either canted while I hit a turn or blown out a bit from the sun, never usually blur or grain. Your VR lens is one of your problems if you have a motor as even when you turn it off it can cause issues. You may think that VR is essential but it's not it is actually working against you.

Do some searching here on the forum and you will see just how big of a pain VR/OIS can be if you have any high frequency vibes at all. Your camera settings alone may be to blame as well. I would be really dissapointed if I only got 50% good shots.


Here are my a few of my last shots from yesterday, This is with the Nikon D40 and a straight 18-55mm kit lens. No VR..



Remember to click the top banner to expand the image to larger size.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1242402


http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1242414


Mike
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