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Old Oct 22, 2006, 08:06 PM
Live FPV or Die
VRflyer's Avatar
Montreal,Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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Cool
FPV project: Adding an altimeter onboard my Easystar (remake)

I use the ZLOG altimeter (mod3) as a cheap way to know my altitude while flying using video goggle. The ZLOG is light, well made and work very well. I walk from one floor to the other in my house and I see 8-9 feets of denivelation.
I removed the LCD display, add wires and install it on the dashboard of my Easystar, in front of the cam so it look realistic.
The display have it own light soure. A led is install on the ZLOG pcb, I leave the led there and install another one on the display backside. I want to do night flight just to try it, the lightning display will help me to see the nose. I added a plug to be able to disconnect the display from the ZLOG. The display is available from Hexpert system and not expensive.

http://www.hexpertsystems.com/zlog/index.html

My idea is to eventually install another display in a futur planes. The ZLOG alone with the display is very light, ideal for light planes like the Easystar.

I want also to evaluate the Vision video OSD. The Vision is an On Screen Display that plug into the ZLOG and overlay data on the picture. I see altitude, voltage, current draw, lost of radio signal, call sign, timer directly inside my google incrusted on the video. The Vision & ZLOG module will then go in my Cap 232, next summer. For this purpose, no display will be connect, only essential data like altitude, voltage, lost of radio signal will be display.
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 08:12 PM
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Montreal,Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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The first task is to unsolder the display, very easy on this pcb. I added a green led on the back side of the display, a very small led is require. I used a file to remove a little bit of plastic in front of the led to fit it. This led is wire in serial with a 1 kilo ohm multiturn potentiometer. I used this pot because adjustement will be made using a screwdriver dependly for the night or day use. I will take care to not turn the pot to zero ohm, the current will be too high for the led and will burn it. Pin 2 and 3 of the display are the 5 volt regulated coming from the ZLOG pcb. 5 wires are added to the display and the plug, small drop of epoxy at each end to make connection stronger, and heat shink tubing is added.
Also one side will be paint yellow for correct connexion.
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 08:15 PM
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Montreal,Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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I soldered a push button extension for easy calibration. Calibration must be done each time battery is connect. To do so, I must normally push two buttons simultaneously on the ZLOG. I discovered we can wire the two buttons in parralele and use only one button to calibrate the ZLOG. Because it's the only fonction I want to use, I will permanently wire these two buttons togheter, evidently, I will not have acces to the others fonctions of the ZLOG.

I replaced the connector that goes to the radio receiver with a longer one. Relocate the ZLOG plug that goes to the Vision OSD on the other side of the ZLOG pcb.
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Last edited by VRflyer; Oct 22, 2006 at 09:14 PM.
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 08:20 PM
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Montreal,Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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I cut a dashboard in black cardboard and also cut decorative display contour that I painted gray. I glue also on the dashboard my fake tachymeter, hummmmm I will need a real one...
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 08:26 PM
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Montreal,Canada
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The second part of my project is to evaluate the Vision Video OSD for futur use on my Cap 232 planes.
I replaced the video wires with my own pugs. I also put a drop of 5 min epoxy to hold firmly the wire in place.
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 08:27 PM
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Montreal,Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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And now the result...
You can see a short video in my house taken from the cockpit camera: http://video.google.fr/videoplay?doc...27087442&hl=fr

A second video in flight. The Archos AV500 recorder was wrongly setted, upper and lower part of the picture is missing. For the first part, you will not see the display... be patient you will see it. I will make another one when sun will come back !

(link to come later)

My opinion: I'm satisfy of the dashboard altimeter, it work well, I can see it easily in my goggle most of the time. If the glare reflect on the display, I tilt my head to see the display.
The Vision OSD is deceiving, I was barely able to see the data in my goggle. I can relocate data in the bottom of the picture, it's the only places I will see something. Above that, the OSD work well, voltage current data etc are usefull. I will use it in my Cap Maniac, it will work fine.
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 11:20 PM
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PeteSchug's Avatar
Elmhurst, NY (Queens in NYC)
Joined Apr 2004
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Thank you VRflier.

I guess the altimeter is next.

I've had my plane all set up for three weeks or so and have not had a chance to fly, but at least I keep adding things.

Pete
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 12:00 AM
ob1
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Southeast TN
Joined Jan 2006
580 Posts
Yes...absolutely...thx vrflyer. Great pics and construction details. I think I will go with the stock altimeter first, then maybe add the OSD later. At least I will be able to see the stock altimeter by looking down with the camera, and will have an idea of how high I am.
thx again for all the fpv progress you have made so far, and for sharing.
ob1
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 12:05 AM
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Talontsi96's Avatar
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Joined Jun 2004
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Very Cool VRFlyer....
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 01:03 PM
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Montreal,Canada
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Thank You, I hope it will help other. I'm not able to upload my video to Google video, I will try tomorrow
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 06:05 PM
MX
Embedded Systems Engineer
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Grass Valley, CA
Joined Sep 2001
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A couple comments I might add:

Quote:
This led is wire in serial with a 1 kilo ohm multiturn potentiometer. I used this pot because adjustement will be made using a screwdriver dependly for the night or day use. I will take care to not turn the pot to zero ohm, the current will be too high for the led and will burn it.
Keep the current to the LED below about 20 milliamps. The LED is driven through a processor pin whose max safe current is 20 mA.

Quote:
I soldered a push button extension for easy calibration. Calibration must be done each time battery is connect.
You can configure the ZLog to automatically zero the altitude at powerup. No button pushing required.

Quote:
...5 wires are added to the display...
You can do it with just 4 wires. Pins 1 and 2 of the display are tied together on the PCB. Bring pins 2-5 from the board and short pins 1 & 2 of the display together.



MX
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 10:46 PM
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Montreal,Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX

Keep the current to the LED below about 20 milliamps. The LED is driven through a processor pin whose max safe current is 20 mA.
You can configure the ZLog to automatically zero the altitude at powerup. No button pushing required.

You can do it with just 4 wires. Pins 1 and 2 of the display are tied together on the PCB. Bring pins 2-5 from the board and short pins 1 & 2 of the display together.

MX
My led is pug directly on pin 2 and 3 of the display, so the voltage come from the regulator. I burn th original reg. I replace it with a bigger one.

Automaic zero, WOW, I do not read the programmation function because I was thinking I will found nothing for me... I will remove my button.
Yeah I see that, only four wire was neccessary, I will cut one.

Thank for info.
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 01:05 PM
MX
Embedded Systems Engineer
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Grass Valley, CA
Joined Sep 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VRflyer
My led is pug directly on pin 2 and 3 of the display, so the voltage come from the regulator. I burn th original reg. I replace it with a bigger one...
That's probably the better way to do it. That way you don't risk messing up the processor.

MX
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 01:41 PM
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Montreal,Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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I modified my modified ZLOG today
The ZLOG is a piece of electronic art. It's so well design. The only thing I not liked was to need to push button at power up... Now this problem is gone... We can also shut down the led in the pogrammation, kmowing that I would not removed the led resistor...
For the price the ZLOG have a lot to offer and have an amazing accuracy.
This mod is easy to do and it work very well on the planes as dashboard display. I forget to say, I use wide angle lens, 80 deg. If you use 45 deg lens like on most of the cam on the market, the result will not be the same, evidently. You will see the display, but it will out of focus.
I'm still not able to upload to Goggle video, I had no problem to upload to Youtube, but the quality is not good at all. I will try again tonight and try with another video.
http://www.youtube.com/my_videos
(I'm not sure if this link work, can you tell me)
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 03:55 PM
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No the link doesn't work
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