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Mar 17, 2018, 12:03 PM
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Holy Stone HS-100 Camera Hack - Hat-Cam

The Camera on the HS-100 is quite stable and has potential for many uses beyond just flying around on the drone itself...

Since I had a spare kicking around I thought it might be useful to re-purpose it as a "Hat-Cam".

HS 100 Camera Hack to Hat Cam (2 min 7 sec)

Although the HS-100 cam is just 720 x 1280 res, it does record at a solid 25 fps (frames per second) which is an improvement over the MJX Bugs 2C cam that I had previously used as a hat-cam, as it uses a variable bit rate, and records between 19 to 20 fps, so appears somewhat jagged by comparison.

Beyond the simple stuff like dis-assembly, there were a few things I wanted to note, as this may not be the final version of this project.

I used the original factory cable from the cam to measure the voltages present on the wire.

White 3.7Vdc
Red 2.9Vdc
Blue 0.01V and going to 0V when Picture or Video is initiated via the TX/Controller
Black 0V Ground.

This camera is a bit different from the UDI R/C, Syma and MJX cameras that I've torn-down in the past, in that it is an integral part of the Drone's communications system, without the camera installed the drone can not be released from the factory "Geo-Fence" of 30meter from take-off and 20 m Height.

After trying numerous wiring combinations I have settled on White being Vcc for the camera, and Black being ground. With those lines tied to a 1s 3.7V battery, the camera powers up fine, and can be controlled via Wifi with a phone or tablet.

Though in the past, with the other cameras mentioned, you could easily initiate still images with one of the other wires by drawing it High (3.7V or grounding) it for a short period, and video as well with a long High or Grnd (1.5 to 2 sec).

Nothing seems to work though with this camera... there is always the possibility that there is an alternative wiring scheme that I have not considered that may work, which is why I'm cautious about claiming this is the final word.

Luckily an older version of Holy Stone's android software can control the camera "DeerFPV" that was released for the HS -F183W, recognizes the camera and can take stills and video. While leaving the option open to use the same device for controlling a full HS-100 and it's camera, once video is initiated with the older app.

So in closing, I'll continue looking for options to by-pass the whole "phone to run the cam" hassles, and will post progress if and when it's made
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