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Old May 11, 2010, 06:02 PM
I fly with my little eye
Swanlander's Avatar
Lancashire, England
Joined Jul 2005
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Watching this thread with great interest Mike. I am wondering why you are setting her up as a tractor config with all that DSLR weight up front? I guess the aft mass of a pusher motor may give a greater (worse) longitudinal inertia.

Inspiring thread and an exemplary build log as always.

Cheers

Andrew
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Old May 11, 2010, 06:38 PM
Mmmm...balsa dust!
vintagemxr's Avatar
Casa Grande, AZ
Joined Jan 2005
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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
I don't mean to hijack Mike's thread here but I looked at the D5000 not long ago, I thought about getting is as a back up camera to my trusty D90. I found the D5000 to function slower in many ways including internal picture processing and file saving. Since I don't have one in front of me I can't give you a list of all the other small but noticeable differences I found but they were enough to make me decide to look for a used D90 as a back up camera rather than a new D5000.

Some of my D90 shots here on the off chance that you guys like to look at airplane pictures.

And thanks, Mike, for the link to Aircraft Spruce and Specialty. I'd used them long, long ago for some stuff but had forgotten about them.

Doug
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Old May 11, 2010, 07:51 PM
Begin with end in mind...
power's Avatar
Eagle Lake, Minnesota
Joined Apr 2003
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Originally Posted by vintagemxr View Post
I don't mean to hijack Mike's thread here but I looked at the D5000 not long ago, I thought about getting is as a back up camera to my trusty D90. I found the D5000 to function slower in many ways including internal picture processing and file saving. Since I don't have one in front of me I can't give you a list of all the other small but noticeable differences I found but they were enough to make me decide to look for a used D90 as a back up camera rather than a new D5000.

Some of my D90 shots here on the off chance that you guys like to look at airplane pictures.

And thanks, Mike, for the link to Aircraft Spruce and Specialty. I'd used them long, long ago for some stuff but had forgotten about them.

Doug
Not to worry about hijacking, it's all good info I always research things to death before purchase and you are right, if I wanted a solid "ground shots" cam I would definatley go with the D90. For AP however we need the lighter weight. The D90 is 4oz heavier and a lot more money. The D5000 seems to take technically better images than my D40X that I am pretty happy with, so this is the next slot for me in flying DSLR's. The D90 rocks! But in an AP application it will not produce images that you will be able to tell the difference.


Mr "Rockwell's" quote... "The D5000 is the smallest, lightest Nikon that has technical image quality indistinguishable from Nikon's best D3 and D700 in good light."

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d5000.htm

I have taken a lot of Kens info/suggestions and it has been accurate and reliable. I like him Heck, I might be hard pressed to tell the difference from my D40, but we will see.

Mike
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Old May 11, 2010, 08:02 PM
Begin with end in mind...
power's Avatar
Eagle Lake, Minnesota
Joined Apr 2003
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Originally Posted by Swanlander View Post
Watching this thread with great interest Mike. I am wondering why you are setting her up as a tractor config with all that DSLR weight up front? I guess the aft mass of a pusher motor may give a greater (worse) longitudinal inertia.

Inspiring thread and an exemplary build log as always.

Cheers

Andrew
Hi Andrew,

I have pretty much dropped the pusher config since the original Solution. The pushers I have made add too much weight with the extra motor wire, the prop gets blocked by the fuse and cavitation causes a noticable thrust decrease as well as noise. I have found the tractor to be so much more efficient in every way. The weight of the DSLR is a non issue as I place the wing where it needs to be to balance. This is a very good point I should make, the plane is designed to have a DSLR type ballast. If this plane is used for a point and shoot, a LOT of extra weight will be needed to balance.

Mike
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Old May 11, 2010, 11:06 PM
Mmmm...balsa dust!
vintagemxr's Avatar
Casa Grande, AZ
Joined Jan 2005
176 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by power View Post
Not to worry about hijacking, it's all good info I always research things to death before purchase and you are right, if I wanted a solid "ground shots" cam I would definatley go with the D90. For AP however we need the lighter weight. The D90 is 4oz heavier and a lot more money. The D5000 seems to take technically better images than my D40X that I am pretty happy with, so this is the next slot for me in flying DSLR's. The D90 rocks! But in an AP application it will not produce images that you will be able to tell the difference.


Mr "Rockwell's" quote... "The D5000 is the smallest, lightest Nikon that has technical image quality indistinguishable from Nikon's best D3 and D700 in good light."

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d5000.htm

I have taken a lot of Kens info/suggestions and it has been accurate and reliable. I like him Heck, I might be hard pressed to tell the difference from my D40, but we will see.

Mike
Sometimes the real world differences between camera features are slight and of little importance to anyone who isn't a real photo geek or professional. In truth, had the D5000 been out when the D90 came out, I'd have bought the D5000, been happy, and never known the difference.

For what you're doing the D40 may indeed be as good as the D5000 or the D90. I think the principal advantage of the larger images and clarity of the newer cameras is the ability to crop and still have a great looking image.

Your comments about going back to the tractor engine set up with your planes is interesting and makes sense.

Doug
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Old May 24, 2010, 07:26 AM
Crash land!
Joffa_Dan's Avatar
Geelong Vic, Australia
Joined Sep 2009
635 Posts
Hi Mike,

How is the Exposure going? Keen to see some pics from the D5000.

I'm going to be looking for a decent DSLR to fly around in the near future, will be interested to see your results.

Do you know if it has live video out?

Cheers,
Adam
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Old May 24, 2010, 09:16 AM
Begin with end in mind...
power's Avatar
Eagle Lake, Minnesota
Joined Apr 2003
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Originally Posted by Joffa_Dan View Post
Hi Mike,

How is the Exposure going? Keen to see some pics from the D5000.

I'm going to be looking for a decent DSLR to fly around in the near future, will be interested to see your results.

Do you know if it has live video out?

Cheers,
Adam
Hi Adam, I have been working on the wing a bit and I should have some updates soon. The D5000 does have "live view" the drawback is that is not what it seems. It slows the focus way down and slurps battery power. All in all it is pretty useless for me as a downlink tool. I will still be adding a small board cam. Honestly...I don't know if I will see much difference in image quality when comparing my D40X. The images I have been getting lately I am completely satisfied with.

I am still waiting on the mount for my AXI so it will be a little bit before I get it in the air. I have been super busy with house junk/work as well as getting ready for a graduation party. My plane time has been limited a bit . Funny how a graduation paves the way for painting the entire inside of the house, relandscaping, and overhauling the garage


Mike
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Old May 24, 2010, 04:54 PM
Crash land!
Joffa_Dan's Avatar
Geelong Vic, Australia
Joined Sep 2009
635 Posts
Ok mate, best of luck with it. Keen to see what you come up with.

Not sure who you are ordering your AXi gear from, hobby lobby maybe? I ordered my first AXI through them and did not have a great experience.

I bought the last lot from electricwingman.com it arrived from England in 1 week! Will be going with them in the future...
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Old May 24, 2010, 05:00 PM
I fly with my little eye
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Lancashire, England
Joined Jul 2005
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Originally Posted by Joffa_Dan View Post
Ok mate, best of luck with it. Keen to see what you come up with.

Not sure who you are ordering your AXi gear from, hobby lobby maybe? I ordered my first AXI through them and did not have a great experience.

I bought the last lot from electricwingman.com it arrived from England in 1 week! Will be going with them in the future...
I also use electricwingman, really good service and a great motor calculator online too!

Andrew
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Old May 24, 2010, 10:51 PM
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United States, NV, Reno
Joined Mar 2000
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Mike , I like your DSLR AP approach. I was, admittedly, not a fan of the "looks" of the airborne rig at first, but it is simple and straight forward in terms of the purpose and solution. It also goes with your quote on your avatar, "...begin with the end in mind". As this is all about the photography, it really is a great approach. Even the landing gear seems to be a smart way to build in "heavy landing" insurance into the equation, where the camera payload is the prime consideration.

Do you shoot airborne video with DSLR's yet on these rigs?

If you wouldn't mind, could you list your electronics? What AXI motor, battery, ESC and prop are you using? Are you using gyros for stabilization?
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Old May 25, 2010, 09:17 AM
Begin with end in mind...
power's Avatar
Eagle Lake, Minnesota
Joined Apr 2003
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Originally Posted by Eddie P View Post
Mike , I like your DSLR AP approach. I was, admittedly, not a fan of the "looks" of the airborne rig at first, but it is simple and straight forward in terms of the purpose and solution. It also goes with your quote on your avatar, "...begin with the end in mind". As this is all about the photography, it really is a great approach. Even the landing gear seems to be a smart way to build in "heavy landing" insurance into the equation, where the camera payload is the prime consideration.

Do you shoot airborne video with DSLR's yet on these rigs?

If you wouldn't mind, could you list your electronics? What AXI motor, battery, ESC and prop are you using? Are you using gyros for stabilization?
Hi Eddie,

This project will use the same power system as the DSLR Solution. The specs are in the first post in this thread...

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...=dslr+solution

I will list all components in the first post of this thread as I finish the plans.

I have yet to shoot video with a DSLR, honestly they have not developed enough IMO to use on a fixed wing. I have had several different HD camcorders up that do well. The new GoPro HD hero is pretty darn nice for the money. Check out my videos on my site if you missed them.

http://www.whispershots.com/?4c2b48a0

I don't use Gyros at all. I try and keep my systems as simple as possible. I like to eliminate as many points of failure that I can. This gives the camera it's best chance at coming home alive


Mike
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Old May 25, 2010, 10:34 PM
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Hey Mike- Just a thought: the gyros are a very mature technology. They're used all the time on a heli's tails and are very reliable. l've been flying nitro helis for over seven years and have never had a catastrophic failure of the gyro. And no matter how well tuned, nitro helis are rattle traps! The servo is a more worrisome point of potential failure IMHO. I've always used a good brand name gyros, however. It might be worth testing out a clone to see if the photography is either better or easier with the gyro. Some of the clones are supposed to be pretty good (and cheap too).

Rob D.
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Old May 25, 2010, 10:50 PM
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machinate's Avatar
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I doubt reliability is the only reason Mike doesn't use them in his designs.

Helicopters use gyros because they require constant corrections which are very difficult for a human but very easy for a gyro. Airplanes, in contrast, can be designed to self-stabilize aerodynamically. Yes, if you had an aerodynamically neutral - or even unstable - design, you could use gyros to keep it in line. 3D planes can hover themselves with a set of heading lock gyros, and a rate gyro can make a tail-heavy plane flyable.

On the other hand, for a high-wing plane with a forward CG and lots of dihedral, you'd never be able to tell there was a gyro installed. If anything, it would add a bit of vibration or wobble to the flight by overcorrecting for disturbances the plane was capable of riding out without help.
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Old May 25, 2010, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by machinate View Post
I doubt reliability is the only reason Mike doesn't use them in his designs.

Helicopters use gyros because they require constant corrections which are very difficult for a human but very easy for a gyro. Airplanes, in contrast, can be designed to self-stabilize aerodynamically. Yes, if you had an aerodynamically neutral - or even unstable - design, you could use gyros to keep it in line. 3D planes can hover themselves with a set of heading lock gyros, and a rate gyro can make a tail-heavy plane flyable.

On the other hand, for a high-wing plane with a forward CG and lots of dihedral, you'd never be able to tell there was a gyro installed. If anything, it would add a bit of vibration or wobble to the flight by overcorrecting for disturbances the plane was capable of riding out without help.
True, but a gyro might be able to help hold the plane in a desired directioin against a crosswind. I have one of the original Ultra Beasts and a Super Solution. Both are awesome AP planes, but they don't like a crosswind. Just a thought. Oh yeah, my neck of the woods is ALWAYS windy. Your results may vary!

Rob D.
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Old May 26, 2010, 12:23 AM
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I'd be surprised if it changed the crosswind behavior, either. Remember, the plane doesn't know there's wind. It's moving relative to the air, so the only effect of a crosswind is that the ground moves in a funny direction.

Obviously, that's a problem when you're trying to shoot photos of things on the ground, but it's not something the gyro can correct for because the plane isn't actually behaving strangely at all. It's traveling through the air in the direction it's pointed. The wings are level, there's no sideslip, no pitch, no roll. The wind could be blowing 100 MPH and the gyro would still be getting a silky smooth ride, with - critically - no uncommanded rotation. Like the plane, the gyro doesn't notice that the ground is moving a bit sideways.

If you've got a few of these planes, and some gryos sitting around, why don't you give it a try? Even though I'm pretty pessimistic about the whole thing, I'd hate to kill experimentation. It's possible a gyro would help smooth things out if the wind was gusty or there was a lot of turbulence.
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