Tag Archives : FPV devices


Basic Autopilot Setup for DLE-JW02-A2

This is one of the options for basic Autopilot setup using FeiyuTech FY-41AP Autopilot and OSD system for the design platform DLE-JW02-A2.

 

The Autopilot / flight controller and Radio data link devices are obtained from   Aerofly logo

 

 

The FPV system should be included to provide the live aerial feed of the FPV camera which is transmitted to the ground monitoring station. For further FPV setup details, please refer to section DLE-TR01 FPV Projects. Besides providing the aerial video for piloting the model, the flight parameters are transmitted and displayed to the ground monitoring station through the FPV system as the telemetry data called the OSD (On Screen Display). The OSD will overlay the aerial view with various parameters; such as compass / GPS heading, altitude, airspeed, distance from HOME position, travelled distance, current draws, power consumption, battery voltage, etc.

 

JW02-A2 FPV01 OSD

 

Autopilot system 01

The Autopilot system consists of the Autopilot & OSD system modules and the Radio data link. In this case, the system modules being implemented are from FeiyuTech, however some autopilot modules or flight controllers from other manufacturers might have a similar or close to the system being discussed in this article. Metric unit system is used for the measurement. You should select other manufacturers which will provide the measuring system unit (Metric [ m ] or Imperial [ inch ]) to suit your preference.

The FY-41AP Autopilot and OSD system consists of :

  • FY-41AP module with integrated 3-axis gyro, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis magnetometer and a barometric pressure sensor. This will enable the flight modes features such as ABM (Auto Balance mode), ACM (Auto Circle Mode), Fixed Altitude & Heading Lock mode, Waypoint Navigation Mode and RTL/RTH (Return To Launch / Return to Home).
  • Vibration damping pads to mount the module with minimal noise from vibration.
  • Airspeed sensor to calculate the flight speed and to control further function like throttle management.
  • GPS receiver module to calculate flight course and sense the current location of the model.
  • Power manager which consists of the voltage regulator for powering +5V DC for the FY-41AP module and Radio Receiver, +12V DC for the FPV camera and AV Transmitter and receiver, and also has an integrated current sensor to calculate the Battery status ( Voltage [V], Current drained [A] and power drained [ mAh ] ).
  • USB data cable for setting up the Autopilot module’s configuration through GCS (Ground Control Station) laptop. It is also used for connecting the radio data link to the GCS laptop.

 

The FY-602 radio data link consists of :

  • 2 units of the Tx/Rx modules; one is to be connected to the FY-41AP module and another is to be connected to the GCS laptop. These Data link modules will transmit and receive to exchange the telemetry data for both displaying the flight data to the GCS and real-time control of the model flight course, flight modes, change of flight plan mission through waypoints.

This radio data link is yet to be tested and discussed at further development phase.

 

The installation procedure of the Autopilot system starts with the assembly of the vibration damping pads. They provide 2 options; using adhesive foam pads or using the rubber suspended mount pad. The rubber mount pad is better at dampening the vibration which comes from motor, propeller, etc. The vibration noise is to be kept at minimum to achieve the optimum precision in the measuring system and hence a better stabilized flight.

APM 02 Rev0

The following procedure is to prepare the electrical connections to be soldered. The power manager module has the power input and output which are to be connected to the battery and the ESC respectively. When implementing FY-41AP, the FPV camera power is supplied from the power manager through the autopilot module (3-pin header) and the camera has to be +12 V DC for its input voltage. Just like the FPV camera, the AV transmitter is powered by the power manager through the autopilot module through the 3-pin header. The 3-pin header has 3-coloured-cables; the yellow / white is for signal line, red is for +V DC line , and the brown / black is for GND / ground (0V) line.

APM 03 Rev0                               APM 04 Rev0

The following diagram shows the connection to the FY-41AP module. Please refer to the autopilot module’s manual from each respective manufacturer for the proper connection details.

APM 05 Rev0

The pre-assembled autopilot module should be mounted as close as possible to the C.O.G of the model before proceeding to the tuning and calibration phase. The sensor module, such as the GPS receiver module should be mounted at some considerable distance from the radio receiver antennas and the FPV AV transmitter in order to minimize the noise. The Airspeed sensor probe should be mounted in such a way that the airflow in front of the probe is reading the proper airspeed, not blocked or affected by the propeller’s propwash.

After the electronics wiring and mounting installation, the Autopilot module is to be configured / tuned and calibrated. The USB data cable is used to write and save the config data preset from the GCS laptop to the Autopilot module. This tuning and calibration phase involves several software; the USB data cable driver, the autopilot module setting interface, the GCS software, the Google Earth plugins, etc. The procedures are discussed in detail in the manual from the manufacturers.

Please note that you should choose the Autopilot / flight controller platform which will suit you comfortably regarding the required features, the ease in installation, the ease in using the tuning and calibration software, the ease in upgrading the firmware, and finally the comprehension in using the system. Improper and incomplete assembly, installation, tuning and calibration might cause unexpected damage to the model’s system, even the loss of the entire model.

 

Please use the product responsibly and always consult with the retailers before considering integrating the system to your model.

 

 

 

APM 06 Rev0

 

 

During the gyro initialization and record altitude procedures, the model has to be kept at still position with the wing’s chord line at normal flight position; in this case, with a small amount of angle of attack (2° – 4°).

 

 

APM 07 Rev0

 

 

Here is the Flight Test video :

 

 


 

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”

― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Basic FPV Setup Option for DLE-TR01

There are 3 options for basic FPV setup which is possible for the design platform DLE-TR01.

FPV equipment and devices are obtained from Aerofly logo

 

 

[01]

FPV Setup with GoPro Camera as the recording camera.

 

The first FPV setup is to implement GoPro Camera as the recording aerial view camera. An EPP foam block is cut and shaped to fit in the aircraft’s nose and a GoPro flat adhesive mount is mounted and embedded to the EPP foam block. The GoPro camera is mounted to the flat adhesive mount by using the skeleton housing. This skeleton housing is heavy, but provide better protection compared to the frame (please refer to the GoPro accessories).

GoPro 01 Rev0

GoPro 02 Rev0

GoPro 03 Rev0

GoPro 03 Rev0

Note that the EPP foam block is shaped to fit the aircraft’s nose with little/no slip to fasten the camera properly during flight. Double-sided tape or Velcro implementation will secure and fasten the camera even better. The cockpit’s lid is required to be cut and adjusted to the length by which the lid can be closed properly.

GoPro 05 Rev0

Pros :

  • Aerial View is being recorded in high quality and Full HD.

 

Cons:

  • There is no ground monitoring with live aerial view from the camera. You are unable to know what you are recording, until you have landed and view the recordings from the camera’s memory card.

 

 

[02]

FPV Setup with FPV Camera and ground monitoring station.

 

The second option is to mount FPV camera to the aircraft. The live aerial feed of the FPV camera is transmitted to the ground monitoring station. An AV transmitter which is connected to the FPV camera, sends the video signal from the FPV camera to the ground station. An AV receiver at the ground station will receive the video signal and the live aerial feed can be viewed from a monitor. To enhance the system, implement a DVR recorder to record the video; in this case the AV receiver has a built-in DVR. For more advance FPV experience, an OSD (On Screen Display) board can be introduced to the system. The OSD will overlay the aerial view with various parameters; such as compass / GPS heading, altitude, airspeed, distance from HOME position, travelled distance, current draws, power consumption, battery voltage, etc.

FPV EQP Rev0

Please be aware that the antenna of both the transmitter and the receiver must be connected properly before powering up the system. DO NOT swap the antenna; use proper spec antenna for transmitter and receiver respectively. Make sure the frequency of the FPV system does not conflict with your radio transmitter system to minimize noise.

 

The ground monitoring station consists of the monitor, AV receiver, and a Li-Po batt as the power supply. These devices are mounted on a standard camera tripod for your operational convenience. FPV goggles can be used to substitute the monitor (not recommended for the first FPV flight).

FPV 01 Rev0

Pros:

  • Live Aerial View can be monitored from ground. You are able to see what you are recording.
  • Lighter payload compared to the GoPro setup.
  • Provide a real pilot control, FPV (First Person View). This enables you to pilot your aircraft at further distance and height beyond you viewing capability from the ground (providing the AV transmitter and receiver is high-power spec and LRS (Long Range System) for the radio transmitter is being implemented).

 

 

Cons:

  • The Aerial video is being recorded in a low SD quality.

 

 

 

[03]

FPV Setup with GoPro camera as the recording and FPV Camera simultaneously.

 

 

The third option is to mount the GoPro camera, functioning as the recording camera, as well as the FPV camera simultaneously. The GoPro camera is connected to the AV transmitter through a 90° USB to AV conversion cable. By using this setup, the live video signal is transmitted to the ground station, and the GoPro camera still able to record normally to the installed memory card. Make sure that the battery of the GoPro camera is fully charged to prevent the camera from turning off while piloting. This occurs because the AV transmitter is no longer supplying the power to the camera; only the video signal cable is connected.

In this setup, GoPro “The Frame” is being implemented instead of the skeleton housing in order to reduce weight. To further protect the camera’s lens, it is recommended to include the GoPro protective lens.

FPV GoPro 01

Some minor modification is required to be done to the frame in order to install the USB to AV conversion cable properly. The side opening of the frame is required to be enlarged to the dimension which will allow the cable header to be installed.

FPV GoPro 02

FPV GoPro 03

FPV GoPro 04

FPV GoPro 05

Finally, the camera is mounted to the aircraft’s cockpit and plug in the USB to AV conversion cable to the AV transmitter.

 

 

FPV GoPro 06

 

 

Pros : 

  • The best FPV experience and obtaining high quality recording with a moderate payload.

 

 

Cons :

  • The moderate amount of A.U.W (All Up Weight) reduces the battery efficiency and slight maneuverability, as well as the glide ratio.

 

 

 

 

 

[04]

The FPV option setups weight comparison.

 

OPTION Item weight (g) Total weight (g)

1

GoPro HERO3 camera w/ batt
( Skeleton casing)
179
EPP foam block w/ GoPro Flat mount 16 195

2

Aomway AV Transmitter 5.8 GHz, 1W 54
Revox FPV Camera Sony CCD 700 57
Li-Po Batt Revox 3S 900mAh 63 174

3

Aomway AV Transmitter 5.8 GHz, 1W 54
GoPro HERO3 camera w/ batt
(The Frame)
116
EPP foam block w/ GoPro Flat mount 16
Li-Po Batt Revox 3S 900mAh 63 249

Notes : the numerical value in the table may vary and it should have tolerance of ± 2 g

 

Notice that it only needs an extra of 75 g to go from option 2 to option 3.

 

 


 

“Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.”

       ― Bertrand Russell