Another very cheap head tracker device - Page 5 - RC Groups
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Aug 06, 2008, 08:46 PM
Registered User
any thoughts on mounting a tiny Infared led on the Tx antenna, and have a light-sensing sensor attached to a TX rehostat pot cliped on your hat.

turn head left or right and the sensor follows the LED attached to the top of your antenna. or just sweep Tx antenna left or right.

I see they sell small light sensing robot kits all over the internet for $20. could pilfer it for all the neccessary components.

another idea would be to mount a cheap gyro on the back of your Tx, and you manualy tilt your radio left, right, for or aft?
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Aug 06, 2008, 10:01 PM
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I'm afraid if I put something electrical on my tx antenna it would hinder my range. Actually the pan idea works really well and the spring loaded retractor has very little pull so I don't really feel anything as far as tugging goes. I added a longer arm to the tilt mechanism and did some testing on another channel and it seems to work pretty well also. Now if that danged radio would just get here so I can finish it and fly it.
Aug 09, 2008, 12:50 AM
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I was able to modify an existing transmitter and found out on the ground that the tilt mechanism wasn't such a good idea. Too much wobble up and down. So I've decided to add a pot to the left side of my tx that I can connect with a servo lead. I've got a large knob that I can just roll back and forth with my left hand while I'm cruising. That worked the best imho. I've also got a gymbal with tilt and pan for my gf so she can just sit back in her easy chair and enjoy the scenery.
Aug 09, 2008, 01:50 AM
Registered User
Daemon's Avatar
Shame that my experience in producing a really cheap and simple two axis
HT hasn't been of any use to you, but I'll offer my advice again anyway.
Why not just mount the tilt pot to the end of the arm that's hanging off
your pan pot, and attach the string from the badge reel retractor onto
that? It'll try to pull both straight out as you move your head in either
axis. Of course retaining the original joystick gymbals makes it even easier,
but whatever. I think you'll find that twiddling a knob mounted on the side
of your helmet will still be a problem while you're also turning your
head side to side. If you're determined to use a knob, might as well
as just mount it to the side of the radio where it won't be moving around
and your hand is still close to the throttle.

Also, I'll warn you now that when flying while your GF sight sees that
she'll get lost and sometimes nauseous after you've made a turn or two.
I've had literally dozens of people right "passenger", and what happens is
they fixate on something interesting on the ground, and as you turn
away they keep trying to move the camera to look at it until they can't
any more, then they're looking at the sky or the ground, or whatever
while the plane rotates. Even when I tried to fly *really* smoothly and
called out my turns to warn them so they'll look where I'm going, I still
saw them get disoriented while watching the recorded video later.
A couple uncoordinated turns later, and they're complaining about
being nauseous.
I finally just decided for passengers that
1. If they aren't R/C pilots, I'll keep the camera fixed forward, and fly the
plane toward the things of interest, and sometimes pan it manually for
2. If they are R/C pilots, I set em up with my buddy box and HT
and let em fly both the plane and camera so they can keep the plane
pointed at whatever they want to look at for as long as they want, and
I just take over, if they get into trouble.
Both strategies have worked pretty well so far.

Aug 09, 2008, 10:37 AM
Suspended Account
Daemon, for starters, I'm using an old radio with no epa's so what works for you in your particular setup might not work for everyone. I never said I was putting the tilt pot on the side of my helmet. It's going on the left side of my tx. While the way I have mounted my tilt mechanism won't follow my head up and down it does give me a way to raise and lower the camera much more than if I had mounted it your way. When I originally started this venture I wasn't even going to use tilt anyway. I only started exploring this possibility once I determined that I had a plane that could do both pan and tilt.
I actually tried using an old gymbal the way you described and with the radio I am using I got so little movement that it would have been almost better just to keep the camera in a fixed position. Panning wasn't much of a challenge but tilt was different as the pot on channel six has different resistance values and using a gymbal would only give me about ten degrees up and down. Taking the pot completely out of the gymbal gave me much more camera movement side to side. The knob on the side of my tx gives me over ninety degrees of movement up and down.
As far as getting disoriented goes, since I'll be flying the plane all my gf will have to do is close her eyes if she gets confused and I can level the plane out until she gets her bearings. Military UAV's use this same setup utilizing a pilot to fly the plane and another person operates the pan and tilt of the camera usually via a joystick of some sort.
I also sort of get the idea that you feel you're an expert of sorts and since what you do works for you that you feel the need to tell others that this is the only way to go. You sound almost put out that I didn't do this exactly the way you think I should have.
I've always been the sort that does things my own way and although your input is appreciated that doesn't mean that I'm going to do this only your way. If I had only done the things the "experts" told me were possible there would have been a lot of things in life that I would not have experienced.
At my place of employment we have all these highly educated engineers running around trying to up production with this idea and that and what usually happens is that it actually makes the work harder. The best and longest lasting fixes usually come from the people actually doing the work.
You have no idea how many times I proved the "experts" wrong. Let's face it, if I really wanted to just do a pnp setup all I would have to do is throw some cash at it and get a "real" head tracker and been done with it as I do have the financial means to pretty much buy anything I want but this was an idea to do things on the cheap and have a bit of fun experimenting and finding out things on my own.
Aug 10, 2008, 02:19 AM
Suspended Account
Here's a video of the plane I've got both pan and tilt on and the methods I've come up with to use it for various purposes.
Aug 15, 2008, 02:43 PM
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I actually have wound up preferring this setup and it's not even head tracking The lever is in sync with my tilt servo and I can go a full ninety degrees and using the rudder gymbal to pan is becoming second nature.
Aug 18, 2008, 04:25 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by randall1959
I was going to go back to 3 channel and drop my ailerons but I forgot something. I have this plane on a Hitec Prizm 7 at the moment, and the pan servo is on the flap dial. I'll just mount the receiver and gyro on my FPV helmet, then run a servo lead down to my transmitter and run the servo directly onto that knob somehow. I just hope I don't have the same problem I did on another plane not being able to find center. This is on a different channel so maybe I'll get lucky.
Hi why not try the way I do it I fly a easystar and only use ail and
elevater so this leaves me with the rudder servo free to use as you
wish, just place your camera on the top of the servo make your own fitting,
point the camera down at the angle you like and the best place is on the front of the nose works great for me thanks vince. PS I have moved the motor to the centre of the wing on a pylon gives a better picture in my googles.

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