Status of Programmable OSD? - RC Groups
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Jan 03, 2013, 10:16 AM
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Status of Programmable OSD?

I'm brand new to the FPV scene and my goal is to build a FPV system for 1/16 scale tanks that battle using the Tamiya IR system.
The IR system uses an "Apple" that is placed on top of the turret with an IR sensor. The barrel has an IR emitter and the goal is to hunt and kill the opposing tanks by firing at their Apple.
I am designing an Apple that has the IR Senser and a small FPV wide angle cameral mounted on a pan system with the LED "HIT ALARM" located at the top of the Apple.
The Apple is approximately 1 1/3" wide and up to 2" tall.
Mounted next to the barrel will be another FPV cameral (pinhole) that is slaved to the tank's cannon for elevation control.
By using a video switcher, I will be able to view the battlefield from the "Commander's Perspective" (APPLE) and when spotting an enemy tank, switch views to the "Gunner's Perspective" (Barrel).
I am looking for a programmable OSD that I can configure the Gunner's view that would have Reticles on the Scope view along with battery condition, etc. or have an OSD programmed to do so.
The real goal is to be able to insert a video overlay of the battlefield and drop in "virtual" World War II imagery such as burned out buildings, etc. Ah, maybe someday.
Anyone play World of Tanks?
If so, you know what I'm after!
Here's a picture of some of our Tiger's at our last battle at DAK and some of the tanks (see our site at
Thanks for everyone's help!
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Jan 03, 2013, 11:52 AM
Gravity is patient............
You need an open sourced osd or make an agreement with one of the manufacturers to to custom code the graphics for you. I don't think the background overlay would be possible in real time unless you have Universal studios backing your project lol.
Jan 03, 2013, 10:21 PM
Registered User
I know of a few open source OSD's out there. I am not trying to discourage you from your goal of a graphical back drop - but I think it is outside the capabilities of current hardware (I think - but I just don't know). The other stuff though should be well within reach depending on how you are with programming.

So I know of the following options:

This guy is working really hard on getting his into production and working out bugs. I know he responds to user input/feedback really well - but he is not in this to make a bunch of money (probably has a day job). That being said - it is open source and you can probably program the stuff you need.


Now the above would probably do really well for what you are looking for. It is based on arduino mega and uses the same arduino compiler that we are all used to and is totally open source. It also has a companion OSD called minim OSD which is also arduino based and open source.

I am not a programmer but have dabbled a bit with arduino. I have been looking over the code for the ardupilot firmware and also minimOSD... and wow... it blows my mind. So you will have to really know what you are doing.

The nice thing about ardupilot is that it has a bunch (like 13) of unused I/O pins that can somehow be configured for cool stuff. I am not sure if they are digital-in only, or PWM-out or analog-in... I just don't know because I just started looking over it myself about 2 weeks ago and have one on the way.

I think the project is really cool and I hope to see it launch. I would love to play some laser battle tanks! Then port it over to quads and fixed wings too!
Jan 03, 2013, 10:44 PM
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Thanks for the info.
The graphical interface isn't here yet! Maybe someday you will be able run a 3d scan of a field and drop pre built images into it, but the signals would need to go through a central processor for all combatants at a minimum i would think.
But it looks like all the other parts required, except the Apple and custom "gun" OSD interface is available.
I'm starting work on the Apple and in reading up on the open source OSD, I need to find someone to program it. That would be the straw that broke my back....
We use a high intensity flash for the cannon explosion and high quality speakers. It's pretty impressive. The IR shot is good for up to 80 feet. I think this could be the next big combat product.
When a tanks sensor is hit, the controller will actually stagger the tank and after so many hits, they slow down until dead. Heavy tanks can take up to 9 hits but reload times are 9'seconds per.
I'm really excited to use the Commander view and the gunner view for the FPV.
As I start this project, I'll start posting. In just picked up a lathe to turn the apple.
Jan 03, 2013, 11:14 PM
Registered User
Yeah the programming thing is tough - but... there is lots of good info on the web.

There is another good resource for you

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