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help quick last minute advice for fc40 and go pro 4 help

Discussion in 'Phantom FC40 Discussion' started by micah, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. micah

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    Hi, a friend just gave me his FC40 for a last minute Europe trip. He said he used it with the Go Pro 3 but I'd like the best possible quality.

    Will this drone work with a go pro 4? Is there a gimble or something that I can add to help it smooth out? Any advice or thoughts on this setup would be greatly appreciated. I leave in a few days and my other option is to buy the $2500 kit with the phantom 2 and Go Pro 4 gimble setup..so much more $$$ and this is not the main putpose of the Europe trip but more of a backup and addition to my DSLRs
    Thanks,
    M
     
  2. battman2036

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    you can get a few gimbals that will work with the gopro. Not sure how fast, but they're available. The only hang up is without an FPV set up, you're at the mercy of what you capture while flying. To add FPV and a Gimbal you're going to be into it for quite a bit of money. There are a few options for pre-built set ups if you choose to go that route. Check some of the vendors here and the classifieds section if you want to go that route.

    Remember with the FC40 (I had one) you're limited to shorter flights due to the weight etc. I was topping out around 10 minutes with mine with a gopro and Tarot gimbal.
     
  3. micah

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    Hi there,
    thanks so much for the info. I totally understand. I was prepared to go in for the 2.5k kit with go pro and FPV but it's frustrating to realize that you still need to manually set video/photo and do time lapse...such a flaw that I'm sure will be fixed soon. When my friend offered me the fc 40 for free, I couldn't pass up the deal.
    I am doing a shoot in Europe mainly with high end DSLR's but I think some aerial images would be great helpful...it's just not the main focus and not really worth 2.5k I think for something that will be outdated as soon as I return home.
    So I'm trying to get the best setup I can at this point for a low pricepoint and go with the FC 40.
    I realize that it's somewhat luck without FPV but as it is not my main focus and just a few shots here and there of a birds eye view, I think it will work for my needs.

    So is there a link to a gimble that you think would work with the FC 40. I talked to phantom and to an rc shop and they really were not helpful and kind of said it can't be done..obviously it can.
    So i'm just looking for a mount for a Go Pro 4...stabilization would be a huge plus, but I realize that i'm lucky just to be able to mount it and point it in a certain direction.

    Also, this drone was crashed by my friend the last time he flew. It all looks fine and starts up fine, but when I press up, it takes off forward and is kind of all over the place when I try to hold it. Is this normal? Maybe I just need to throttle up fully and it sorts itself out once off the ground? I did calibrate as well. I flew the vision 2+ and it was amazingly hoving in the same place with the simple up push.
     
  4. lake_flyer

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    "The only hang up is without an FPV set up, you're at the mercy of what you capture while flying. To add FPV and a Gimbal you're going to be into it for quite a bit of money."

    True, but what you can do is to keep using the FC40 camera for FPV (with your smartphone). Just use velcro to attach it to the battery door. Remember that you only have about 100m before the Wifi FPV drops out.

    If you use a Gopro Hero3 (not sure about the 4, slightly different footprint) you can get a practically plug and play gimbal from Walkera, the G-2D, which also comes in a very lightweight plastic version. You only have to supply power through the balance port of the battery and if you don't need pitch control or video transmission (you don't if you use the FC40 wifi App), that's all it takes.

    You can use velcro to mount it, that way you're flexible, it's easier to carry around and you can determine the best place for balance versus prop in view.

    If I was on a limited budget and time I would go for this solution. You can always divert to 1.2Ghz, 2.4Ghz or 900Mhz video FPV with pitch control and live gopro view, whenever you want. And you didn't spent time and money on things you didn't need in the end.

    Play with this, use this to its limit, as I did, and you will know what you want ultimately.
     
  5. micah

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    Thank you for this excellent solution. That does seem like it would work well to have both cameras on the drone. I'm not too concerned about that much flight time. I can't seem to find anyone that has used the FC40 and a go pro 4 though. I'm sure they are very similar, but would be nice to find somebody who has used this same setup.
    Heard of anyone doing this with the go pro 4?
    Thhanks,
    M
     
  6. IflyinWY

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    Hello micah, welcome to the forum.
    Looks like good advice so far.

    I understand what you are attempting and that you are dealing with a FC40 which has recently incurred a "Sudden Impact". I would suggest an Advanced IMU Calibration along with a Compass Calibration to eliminate your instability issues before continuing to think about a gimbal and FPV.

    Trying to do too much at one time can make troubleshooting very difficult.
    I think each mod should be completed and test flights made to ensure proper operation, before making any other modifications.

    According to this link at Amazon, the Hero 4 will work. Please confirm this before relying on my word.
    http://www.amazon.com/Walkera-Brushless-Gimbal-iLook-Camera/dp/B00JBPOT4S

    If this gimbal is like most which fit the FC40, you will have about 1/4 inch clearance on a smooth surface. Longer landing gear may be helpful. If the gimbal touches the ground, it will shudder. You could simply put something under the landing gear to elevate the bird a bit.

    Acquiring parts in time may be an issue as well.
    You might want to think about shipping them to your destination.

    Good luck

    You might find the link in my signature helpful... directly below this line of text.
     
  7. micah

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    Hi there..yeah, it's not the best idea to take on too many tasks but I'm getting there. I got the drone flying correctly although it is pretty shaky and does not stay all that still..has a bit much forward momentum so that I can't take off from stand still, but if I hold it and give it an air release, it steadies itself right out. I tried to calibrate and hook up to my computer...not sure I did it correctly, but tried to keep the settings as stock as possible. I'm wondering if different props would also help this? I've heard an upgrade might be a bit smoother flight.
    I did get the go pro 4 and hard mounted it to the drone and good news..it worked! So I'm getting there. I would like to stabilize the video though and am very interested in that walker mount. It does not say much about instillation though. Do you have to glue it on or does it screw right into the old mounting brackets? I heard something about soldering as well, which I don't have. Is this easy to install?
    I saw a video and it doesn't look too bad.
    However, these gimbals seem to have pitch control that is only compatible with the newer controllers. I have the fc40 controller without the pitch dial so I am guessing there is no way to make use of this pitch control anyways?
    I'm not too sure about the gimbal, but is there a less complicated version (like the one with the FC 40 camera) that does not use extra batteries and wires? Not sure how much electronic function is applied in the walker gimbals or if the electronics are mainly for tilt and the little rubber gaskets do most of the stabilization?
    Sorry again for all of the questions, but it looks like I am getting close to an aerial solution without having to spend 2.5k...which I will wait and spend on the next generation of drones!
    Cheers,
    Micah
     
  8. micah

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    Is there a step by step calibration walk through that you can recommend. Thanks for the tip on the Naza being level as well
     
  9. battman2036

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    http://www.dji.com/product/phantom-fc40/download
    http://www.droneflyers.com/2014/12/phantom-fc40-getting-started-guide-beginners/

    Not trying to be funny, just some good start points. The majority of the gimbals out there come with some basic directions but a youtube search will usually result in a very good step by step install. You can also use the pitch control with another modification to the controller. There is a lever you can install and "turn on" the ability in the software. The gimbals (most) draw power from the phantom itself. You have to connect them to the internal controls, but most are plug and play. You should also consider longer landing gear to give clearance for the gimbal.

    As I said before you're going to begin climbing the money ladder very quickly. Consider maybe using the FC40 for flight training and purchasing a used P2. You don't have to go all in at once. For the basic shots, the P2 vision + camera isn't bad. This is another article you might want to look at as well:

    http://myfirstdrone.com/reviews/dji-phantom-2-vision-plus-vs-phantom-2-which-drone-should-you-buy/
     
  10. lake_flyer

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    To raise your landing gear about 1/2 inch you can use anything from wine corks to lego wheels, attached to the skids with a simple tie wrap. For pitch control you can install a pot meter, easy mod to do. Calibration is also very easy in Naza-M. A Walkera G-2D comes pre-calibrated as it is. Without pitch control all you need to do is feed power from the balance port of the main battery.

    There's also a very easy mod to do if you want dual battery. Simply get a split XT60 cable and hook up 2 batteries, which give you 60% more flying time. I mount the batteries on home made sliders, made of trunking for electrical wire. I believe I posted something about that once. Velcro bands secure them, and I can slide them along to get close to the centre of gravity. The sliders themselves are mounted to the legs with tie wraps. Works insanely perfect! And you have the redundancy of 2 batteries, which is the most underestimated drone life saver I can think of.
     
  11. lake_flyer

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    Here's a picture of my FC40 with FC40 cam on nose and Gopro under the body. This was before Igot the gimbal. The battery sliders are also visible
    . DSC_0032.JPG

    DSC_0035.JPG

    Here are my lego wheels! I can take of the rubber tires if weight would be a concern. lego wheel extension 1.jpg Lego wheel extension2.jpg
     
  12. Lonewolf

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    lake_flyer, I noticed you have a slight downward angle on your gopro camera with your gimble setup. After installing my Walkera G-2D White gimble without the pitch control lever installed, my gopro tends to stay in a slight upward position after powerup. Nothing I do will level the cam or provide me that slight downward angle. Is that normal when not using the pitch control lever?
     
  13. micah

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    wow that is a pretty amazing set up that you have there! Thanks so much for sharing all of that!...inspiring me to get creative!
     
    lake_flyer likes this.
  14. lake_flyer

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    If that's the cse you have to adjust the gimbal controller a bit. Turn the V1 or V2 (can't remember which is pitch) until the angle is OK. Same you can do for the roll if it's not 100% horizontal.
     
  15. lake_flyer

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    Thanks Micah, yeah I really like it this way. With the gimbal and 900Mhz FPV it's pretty complete and it flies slightly better than the P2.

    I'll post some pictures of my current setup asap. You might like my flexible gimbal setup.
     
  16. lake_flyer

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    20150411_125257.jpg 20150411_125645.jpg 20150411_125904.jpg 20150411_125737.jpg

    as promised.
    The tie wraps through the dampers are to add compression to prevent vibration.
    Really works very well. I only had the red and blue at hand hence the colours.
     
  17. Lonewolf

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    Interesting and good to know. But, using the tiewraps doesn't that compress only 1 side of the ball instead of overall compression? Using a screw/bolt & nut would accomplish an overall compression.
     
  18. Lonewolf

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    I use the Hero 3 White with my gimble and have wifi to my smartphone from the Hero 3 using the GoPro app. They say you can get close to 600 ft / 188m before any wifi drop off with unobstructed viewing. Seems a heck of a lot cheaper than going with an expensive FPV setup.
     
  19. lake_flyer

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    Exactly.

    As you can see in my other thread.
    I first wanted to try it out with the cable ties.
     
  20. lake_flyer

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    They say? Who?
    If you're getting more than 50 meters you're lucky. After that the lag and wifi drops are very annoying.
    I tried it but couldn't get used to the extreme lag. The FC40 camera at least does a great job in real time, almost latency free viewing. With wifi extenders you should be able to get a couple of hundred meters range.

    I really see no point in using the gopro wifi if you already have a FC40 camera.
    My FPV setup was less than 200$ excluding gimbal and gopro.
    About 80$ for a 800W 900Mhz Tx/Rx combination (including Sony 600TVL FPV camera, which I don't use), and around 110$ for a screen with built in DVR (and 5.8GHz 32ch diversity receiver which I use for my P2/Fatshark).

    In the course of time I have spent about the same money on various wifi extenders, wifi antennae, and other stuff. Never got the range I wanted. And the sudden cut out of wifi, the need to get back into range to connect again, apps that crashed while flying, all very frustrating.
    With the FPV setup everything just works!
    And if you get out of range (you can't, the FC40 itself has only a fraction of the range of the 900Mhz FPV), the image only gradually gets worse but you never completely lose it.