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Please help me build my Phantom

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ddublu, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. ddublu

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    I am a photographer by nature (still) and can't wait to get into aerial photography/videography. I will be picking up a GoPro Hero 3+ Black today or tomorrow. I have also already pitched my golf club for me to provide hole by hole flyovers and aerial photography for them and they have accepted. Looking for some guidance on what I need to purchase based on what I'd like to do.

    - Phantom 2 (the Vision + is touted as having GPS RTH feature....this is available on the Phantom 2 without the cam, right?)
    - Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal
    - GoPro Hero 3+ Black

    .....and here's where I get a little cloudy. I think the waypoint features would be great for golf course photography but not sure I want to pick that up out of the gate. I would like a nice way to view where the Phantom is headed and to be able to control the GoPro. I have seen nothing but good things about the Black Pearl monitor but what else is needed to make that work? Is that overkill? How is viewing on an iPhone...gotta think that would be pretty small viewing area for this. What types of antennas are best suited for longer range?

    I'd also like a Pelican-type case with cutouts (with the internal aspect being of the highest quality)...thanks.

    Any help would be appreciated. Looking forward to the discussion.
     
  2. Deadmeat

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    If you look on YouTube and type in "how to fpv my DJI Phantom" there`s step by step directions on how to. What you`ve mentioned already is a good start if your going down the Phantom 2 non vision route. You`ll need a video sender & ariels to beam the GoPro picture to the Black Pearl receiver. These are cheap to buy on "Banggood.com", a Chinese based website. You`d be wise to get an Iosd module too as it sends information about the Phantom, battery status, heading, height etc back to the Black Pearl superimposed over the GoPro picture. Also if you are out of visual range and you`ve lost your bearings the iosd will show you the direction back to the start point with a diamond shaped screen icon, worth the money for this feature alone. These screen icons don`t appear on your recorded GoPro footage.
    These bits and bobs add up but the major expense is the gimbal to carry the GoPro. This is an expensive piece of kit but the results are for all to see on YouTube or Vimeo. The choice of unit will be up to you with a few companies making similar products. I can only speak on DJI H3-2D and it`s plug & play on the Phantom2.
    There will be a little soldering involved with the video sender and Iosd but rest easy , it`s not rocket science and the YouTube vids are so good, God bless `em, a cack handed idiot like myself managed it easily :D
    With an fpv system you`ll be able to frame your video perfectly, i don`t think you can take photos from the GoPro remotely but maybe some other member could tell you more about it than i can.
    Good Luck to you and check out YouTube, it`s a fantastic resource of info.
     
  3. OI Photography

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    As Deadmeat said you've got a good starting list, and the main 2 things I see it needs immediately are the iOSD mini and some video transmitter to broadcast from the Phantom to your Black Pearl. Note that there are two different versions of the Black Pearl, each with a set of channels compatible with one or more brands of transmitters (channel matching between transmitter + receiver is important), so you'll want to make a decision on the transmitter before ordering the monitor. A basic set of matching cloverleaf or SpiroNet antennae for both ends of the video broadcast will give you some improvement over the stock ones you'll get and are worth the investment, but you don't need to spend on the fancier types available unless you have a need for extreme range.

    I've been putting together plans for shooting some full hole-by-hole flyovers for some golf courses, and while the groundstation might be helpful with that to some degree, if you're patient and have decent flying skills then you should be able to pull off the basic maneuvers and shots that would require just by hand. I have a simple repeatable plan mapped out to use on every hole, I can give you some ideas on that here or in a side convo (and after I've had some sleep lol). But for now I'd suggest holding off on the groundstation until you can better evaluate what the Phantom can/can't do for your needs without it.

    To answer your other question, yes all models of the Phantom have GPS as well as the RTH/failsafe feature.
     
  4. ddublu

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    Thanks for the responses. I am seeing 2.4ghz and 5.8ghz for frequency used in Phantoms...Assuming I'd need to know which one to get to connect to the Black Pearl. Also, how do you control the GoPro while it's in the air?
     
  5. OI Photography

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    The references to 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz you're seeing probably refer to the control frequency the Phantom uses.

    P1, P2 use 2.4GHz
    P2V/P2V+/FC40 use 5.8GHz

    You just need to make sure the frequency used by your FPV equipment is not the same one used by the Phantom's control channel. You should be fine, since your Phantom uses 2.4GHz for control and the Immersion + BlackPearl are on 5.8GHz.

    There's not really a practical way to control the gopro itself from the ground, since the built-in wifi can interfere with the Phantom's control channel (both are 2.4GHz). Your best bet is to just start recording before you launch, or set an interval timer for pictures, e.g. every 5 sec.
     
  6. ddublu

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    Thanks. For all of the gear I am about to purchase should I be aware of any older versions sitting on shelves (i.e. a Black Pearl 1.0 and now there is a 2.0 out)? Of the components I am ordering, are their firmware updates to any of them?
     
  7. OI Photography

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    I know of only one generation of the Black Pearl, there's just two versions with the different channel sets I mentioned earlier (but neither is older than the other). No firmware updates necessary for that or the Immersion Tx.

    Every component you get from DJI may need a firmware update when you get it, that's always the first thing to check when doing your initial inspection/testing. DJI has Assistant software for each of them (the controller, the gimbal, the NAZA in your Phantom) and that's how you update the firmware.
     
  8. ddublu

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    Build complete...

    Picked up:

    P2
    H3-3D
    ImmersionRC 600
    2 extra batteries
    HPRC hard case
    iOSD Mini
    Prop guards with quick release to get into case
    BlueBeam Ultra antennas
    Black Pearl monitor
    3d printed monitor mount

    Had to pick up all of this at 3 different places. The guy at Range Video said the BP had two receivers so I didnt really need an extra antenna on the 2nd receiver unless I was going for some crazy range....Does anyone just leave that spot open?

    Looking forward to getting this bird in the air. Thanks for all of the help!