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HomeAircraftHelicopterAerial Photography and Video › Trex 500 camera ship - unretouched test photos up on P 2
12-16-2009 06:33 AM  8 years agoPost 1
Stet

rrElite Veteran

Key Largo FL

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I've been slowly working on this for a couple years since I originally got the used Askman mount from Dakine.

Given my guerrilla photography style, I need to keep my camera machine small, but wanted a better camera than the Pentax optio on my previous project the Eolo camera ship which paid for itself at least twice given all the shots it took. But it's mount sucked and for every 20 shots I might get one good one that was in frame and was not blurred.

Modified the mount shortening it so the camera would rotate closer to its CG. The camera is my trusty G9, and if it works as hoped I will buy another used one on ebay for permanent use on the heli. Using the Gentled Canon control connector and still need to figure out how to install the CHDK camera software hack.

Using Askman's dimensions and shocks, made my own carbon parts for the top end and added the pan feature. Also made the carbon parts to mount the support tubes. Drilled all the holes in the plates myself, then took it to my waterjet vendor who cut all the parts for $30, much better than machining and they came out really clean.

Unless I wanted to move the battery aft, had to keep the mount close to the heli. For now I get 90 degrees of pan and 90 degrees of tilt which should be fine. I like the idea of the battery well protected between the frames.

Put the tail servo at the end of the boom to help with CG

Found a 6S 3000 pack to fit between the frames.

Upgraded motor to the latest Neu motor and the ESC to a 55-10-32

Chopped the rotor head and installed Vbar4

Using my existing 2.4 downlink, so I am stuck with 72 PCM until I figure out what kind of more modern downlink I should switch to. I'd be interested in your suggestions. The Vbar in there is the new one with the connections for the 2.4 satellites.

Got a vision lock module on the tilt but desperately want to get another one for the pan now that I see how they work. Why Spartan quit making them is beyond me. If you have one, I will buy it in a heartbeat for full price.

Installed a general laser horizon stabilizer, as I had done on the eolo for the rare occasion of hovering really high and far away and with a flat horizon. I have not connected it in yet and am a bit worried about its interaction with the Vbar, but I think it should work. I will try that later, once I get the thing wrung out as is.

A little worried about the weight, but I think it will be fine. If not, I will switch to a lighter camera.

Will make a dead weight to match the camera weight and will take it to the field this weekend. I'm pretty excited about this one.

If it works out as well as I hope, I am considering making up a conversion kit and mount now that Askman is out of the picture.

keepin' it real

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12-16-2009 09:20 AM  8 years agoPost 2
spiacro

rrApprentice

Athens, Greece

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Good job! Nice.


Spiros

Engine is the HEART of an r/c model, but THE PILOT is it's SOUL.

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12-16-2009 03:31 PM  8 years agoPost 3
GWS

rrApprentice

Hermosa Beach,CA

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Nice piece of engineering. When I get back home I look forward to seeing this heli in action. If I flew this in the UAE it would probably get shot down.

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12-16-2009 04:54 PM  8 years agoPost 4
gian

rrVeteran

AZ

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What tail blades are you using on there?

Nice work!

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12-16-2009 05:03 PM  8 years agoPost 5
Stet

rrElite Veteran

Key Largo FL

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They are cut down NHP's, which I use when I want some more tail authority.

Just realized, if I can extend the boom, I can move the mount forward to get more pan. Hmmmm.

keepin' it real

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12-19-2009 12:12 AM  8 years agoPost 6
andrei

rrApprentice

Clovis,NM-USA

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Great job, Stet.
Very neat and pro looking.
Is the Eolo finally retired after a long and glorious service?
Regards,
one happy old Joker owner

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12-19-2009 02:54 AM  8 years agoPost 7
Stet

rrElite Veteran

Key Largo FL

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Yes, I am retiring the eolo camera ship for good. Wondering if I should try to sell it as is on ebay camera and all, or break it down and get another Robbe AS350 fuselage kit for the mechanics (if they are not all gone yet). Flew the completed AS350 the other day and it reminded me how mushy it is without Vbar.

keepin' it real

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12-19-2009 10:18 AM  8 years agoPost 8
Smooth3D

rrApprentice

San Francisco Bay Area

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Stet, Congratulations on the progress. The implementation looks clean.

How is the camera functions coming along?

BTW: I like both the new Snap-On tool chest, and the Extra 540 on the back wall :-)

Cheers!!

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12-19-2009 09:08 PM  8 years agoPost 9
vrwired

rrVeteran

Boulder County, CO

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I dig the way you mounted the side camera boom rails... I am about to convert to that type of rail/mount and have been looking into ways to pull it off.. very clean.. kudos!

Good luck with her!

JR GSR260 - Mark IV Cam Mount
Trex 600NSP
Trex 600 to 700 Stretch
Trex 450SE
Hornet X3D

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12-19-2009 09:13 PM  8 years agoPost 10
Stet

rrElite Veteran

Key Largo FL

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The dual boom setup is easy. I used the boom holder bolt holes, copied those holes to the front of the frame and drilled. Then made the carbon verticals. If you want my autocad file, or pdf version of it for reference let me know.

Tested the heli today. 5.5 minutes on the 3000 6S pack, exceeded all expectations. There was no vibration and the front mount stayed nice and still. No problem climbing fast or doing forward flight. With the vbar, the heli hovered rock solid high up and far away. Got my second vision lock module today and will be ready to test with the camera by next weekend. Today I had a dead weight simulating the camera weight.

I also moved the battery aft and the camera mount to the front of the tubes to give me more pan, now about 120 degrees. I'll put up some more pics later.

keepin' it real

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12-20-2009 03:10 AM  8 years agoPost 11
blbills

rrKey Veteran

Provo, UT

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Very nice setup! Very similar to my 500 camera ship. I haven't seen anyone else put the battery right up the back end like I do. Works perfectly.

Brian

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12-20-2009 06:52 PM  8 years agoPost 12
Stet

rrElite Veteran

Key Largo FL

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Heli drew 24 amps in hover, 36 amps in full pitch climbout. 5.5 minute flight no problem with the 3000 6S pack. So my concerns about weight are thankfully not at issue.

keepin' it real

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12-20-2009 08:03 PM  8 years agoPost 13
rotoryrob

rrVeteran

Auburn WA

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very nice indeed
love the setup. Very clean are you using the laser yet for Stability or is the VBAR enough.

would love to see some shots taken from it.

Rotoryrob

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12-20-2009 10:45 PM  8 years agoPost 14
Stet

rrElite Veteran

Key Largo FL

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The Vbar handles the stability, the idea of the stabilizer is to hold hover at heights or distances beyond where you can hold hover by eye. No so sure that I will follow through and turn it on given most shots do not have to be from that far away.

Got the G9 software hack to work, and got the downlink working so it is ready for action. One more test flight this afternoon with the dead weight and all future flights will be for taking pictures.

keepin' it real

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12-21-2009 03:13 AM  8 years agoPost 15
vrwired

rrVeteran

Boulder County, CO

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Sounds good Stet.. I use Solidworks, but a PDF file or even the cad file would be good for measurement reference.

Looking forward to seeing pics.. do you plan on shootin any vid?

I need to get my mount converted to rails and get some longer gear added to my stretched Trex 600.. I also need to add the Trex 700 Flybar for some more stability..

that Vbar must be sweet!

JR GSR260 - Mark IV Cam Mount
Trex 600NSP
Trex 600 to 700 Stretch
Trex 450SE
Hornet X3D

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12-22-2009 05:44 AM  8 years agoPost 16
juz70

rrNovice

Australia

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mint
Excellent. All that technology on a 500, and it flys! I would love that set up. What headspeed do you run Stet?

Will you shoot video?

my vid using my trex 500, with lame camera mount.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0QJ063A04w

Cant wait for your pix (and vid??)

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12-22-2009 06:14 AM  8 years agoPost 17
Stet

rrElite Veteran

Key Largo FL

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I plan to use it to shoot stills only, but might shoot video with the G9 at 640x480 x 30FPS just to see what happens.

Was surprised that the heli had no problem lifting the extra weight. Now working on the Vbar setup to get the most stability and controlability. Next will be to switch on the horizon stabilizer for high altitude hovering.

It is a good platform. I am specifically wanting to keep the platform small so that it does not attract attention when doing my guerrilla photography her in the highly congested LA area.

keepin' it real

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12-31-2009 02:36 AM  8 years agoPost 18
bassman

rrNovice

Alberta, Canada

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Hi Stet,

How much weight do you have for the mount and camera? I'm on the process of building mine and concern about the weight, so far camera is 395g and mount is 311g haven't test flight it coz I'm waiting for some parts.

Thanks and keep safe!

Jon

"I believe I can FLY"

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12-31-2009 02:52 AM  8 years agoPost 19
Stet

rrElite Veteran

Key Largo FL

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The mount weight is negligible, the camera is the issue.

But the system carried the camera (G9 you can look up the weight) with no problem and it ran 6 minutes on a 6S 3000 pack. I think the camera is 12.7 ounces if I recall correctly.

keepin' it real

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01-01-2010 02:55 AM  8 years agoPost 20
bassman

rrNovice

Alberta, Canada

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Thanks Stet,

I think it's better to abandon this t500 AP project and proceed with the T600.

"I believe I can FLY"

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HomeAircraftHelicopterAerial Photography and Video › Trex 500 camera ship - unretouched test photos up on P 2
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