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Old Aug 06, 2012, 06:56 PM
UAV Dude KF7HYV
johnorama's Avatar
United States, NV, Silver Springs
Joined Mar 2007
1,954 Posts
New Product
Pan, Tilt, Retractable Camera Mount

I have been working on a payload carrier that will allow the camera to be under the aircraft but retract for takeoff and landing. This is a must for belly landers and a good idea for Tricycle landing gear setups since the front wheel might kick up rocks and damage the camera. It should be easy to scale up for larger cameras. The retract servo has been setup so there is no torque on the servo arm when it is fully down or up to prevent the stripping of gears from a bumpy ride or a hard landing.

Any interest?
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 12:57 AM
Chris Anderson
San Francisco/Bay Area
Joined Mar 2007
939 Posts
Looks cool. Please post details on DIY Drones to the community there can comment.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 03:37 AM
Registered User
United States, CA, Chico
Joined Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnorama View Post
I have been working on a payload carrier that will allow the camera to be under the aircraft but retract for takeoff and landing. This is a must for belly landers and a good idea for Tricycle landing gear setups since the front wheel might kick up rocks and damage the camera. It should be easy to scale up for larger cameras. The retract servo has been setup so there is no torque on the servo arm when it is fully down or up to prevent the stripping of gears from a bumpy ride or a hard landing.

Any interest?
Very, very nifty. I am highly interested for my X8.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 10:38 AM
UAV Dude KF7HYV
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United States, NV, Silver Springs
Joined Mar 2007
1,954 Posts
Thanks for the interest posted here and via private message.

I just cut an updated version which addresses a few minor but necessary improvements. It will be assembled this evening and I will post photos and a video shortly after.

I plan on posting here, diydrones.com and fpvlab.com. Any other sites I should post on?
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 04:43 PM
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Canada, NS, Halifax
Joined Dec 2005
279 Posts
It will get lost on DIYDrones

It is "a good thing" to post on all those sites mentioned. Also might consider on the FPV forum of RCG, and certainly on the aerial photography forum. It will be VERY popular there.

I have found that once you post things on DIYdrones, it is very hard to even find the thread or item. The underlying software seems more intended for blogging rather than thread oriented like RCG.

It is what you get used to I suppose. I know I have made posts on DIYDrones, but have not been able to pick up on those threads in a long time. They are there, just not easy enough for me to find again. So posting here at RCG might be more useful, certainly for me.

Jim H
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 01:52 PM
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I agree with small_rcer about diydrones, their format is far from the best. Nice design for the mount though good luck with it.
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 04:55 PM
UAV Dude KF7HYV
johnorama's Avatar
United States, NV, Silver Springs
Joined Mar 2007
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Here is a working version. I am going to add another cable tie hole to pull the video cable back behind the lens and the retract mechanics need to be redesigned. You can see that when the camera is down (deployed) all the weight is carried by the large black pan servo. When the camera is up, I designed it so the retract servo arm is in line with the push rod so there wouldn't be any rotational torque on the servo output, but there is still too much leverage. A hard landing and something will break. I am going to try a scissor lift more forward to handle the weight when it is in the up position.

VIDEO0033 (0 min 34 sec)
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 05:02 PM
David1
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USA
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1,478 Posts
Nice

That's very cool. Way to go.
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 09:30 PM
UAV Dude KF7HYV
johnorama's Avatar
United States, NV, Silver Springs
Joined Mar 2007
1,954 Posts
UPDATE!

I have made a significant redesign to address the fact that there was too much torque on the lift servo when the camera was raised up. One hard landing and something was going to break and the servo was the likely victim. (See photo for new design). Also, the lift servo is being upgraded to an HS-81 and the rotation servo is being reduced to an HS-81. This will reduce weight significantly.

I plan on building this new version tomorrow after work. I am hoping to have these ready for shipping by the end of the week.
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Old Aug 13, 2012, 06:18 PM
UAV Dude KF7HYV
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United States, NV, Silver Springs
Joined Mar 2007
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I am heading out to pick up new servos and cut the latest version for testing the retract system.
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 12:30 PM
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I have a customer who wants me to make something like this for him to fly on a large telemaster and carry a DH1 or NEX. I was thinking of something along the lines of a B24 belly turret which retracts straight up.

This looks like a good idea but I wonder if it could be scaled for bigger cameras. the loads on the lift servo would be very high when retracted.
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 12:41 PM
UAV Dude KF7HYV
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United States, NV, Silver Springs
Joined Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diakatche View Post
I have a customer who wants me to make something like this for him to fly on a large telemaster and carry a DH1 or NEX. I was thinking of something along the lines of a B24 belly turret which retracts straight up.

This looks like a good idea but I wonder if it could be scaled for bigger cameras. the loads on the lift servo would be very high when retracted.
It can be easily scaled up or down. The retract part appears to be the most difficult aspect of this project but I nearly have it licked. One challenge is having enough vertical clearance to allow the retract and then having enough servo power to lift it. The current setup doesn't retract straight up, but the moment is long enough that it will appear to when seen going in and out of the fuselage. The longer the moment the more vertical the retract action is.

I assume you want it to go straight up when it retracts to keep the hole in the fuselage as small as possible.
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnorama View Post
It can be easily scaled up or down. The retract part appears to be the most difficult aspect of this project but I nearly have it licked. One challenge is having enough vertical clearance to allow the retract and then having enough servo power to lift it. The current setup doesn't retract straight up, but the moment is long enough that it will appear to when seen going in and out of the fuselage. The longer the moment the more vertical the retract action is.

I assume you want it to go straight up when it retracts to keep the hole in the fuselage as small as possible.
Yes, and to keep space taken in the fuse a small as possible. Linear servos should work and there are several on the market now I've been looking at. Or, a screw jack with limit switches on a relay (like the APM relay switch)
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 03:54 PM
UAV Dude KF7HYV
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United States, NV, Silver Springs
Joined Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diakatche View Post
Yes, and to keep space taken in the fuse a small as possible. Linear servos should work and there are several on the market now I've been looking at. Or, a screw jack with limit switches on a relay (like the APM relay switch)
I have only been able to find micro or really big linear servos. Which ones are you looking at?
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Old Aug 18, 2012, 12:04 AM
UAV Dude KF7HYV
johnorama's Avatar
United States, NV, Silver Springs
Joined Mar 2007
1,954 Posts
FINALLY! I got all the math and physics worked out and the right servos installed. The retract works flawlessly and without strain. It also appears that it can take a beating when retracted during hard landings. I need to make a few tweaks for cable management and add a brace for when the camera is in the down/deployed position, but these things are minor.

Please chime in and tell me your thoughts. I know there will be feedback on the vertical clearance but unless you have any other ideas, it is what it is.

Pan and Tilt Camera V4 (0 min 27 sec)
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