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Rebuild / Re-configuring a P2V...

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by rwhite692, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. rwhite692

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    Hello, and thank you to all of you that have shared a wealth of great information, in these forums.

    I am not new to R/C, but the knowledge I have is dated (have been away from the hobby for some 15 years) and this is my first quadcopter.

    I recently picked up a slightly used P2V on Ebay... And I'm really in need of help!

    Like many folks, I am interested in using this P2V for aerial videography and eventually, I would also like to be able to fly it using the GoPro for FPV.

    This P2V is missing it's DJI camera/gimbal, and also is missing the DJI range extender unit that mounts on the control Tx.

    I believe that the camera unit on this P2V had failed, and hence, that's why it was sold.

    (Seller has excellent feedback, and confirmed that the P2V has no other functional issues.)

    This P2V (initially) had appealed to me, because I want to use my gopro3+ and a cheap (goodluckbuy) gimbal on it.

    At the time I purchased it, I'm afraid that I did not do enough homework. I did not realize that the P2V's camera unit actually contains the P2V's video downlink Tx.

    SO... here are my questions.

    1. Can I fly the P2V without the DJI camera unit installed, at all? (I will certainly want to practice my flying, a lot, before actually hanging my gopro on this!)

    2. I am thinking that, in order to re-configure this P2V (essentially, to down-convert it to a P2?), I would need:

    A) An OSD module (to get flight data overlaid onto the video feed)

    B) A 5.8Ghz Tx and Rx set, for video downlink

    C) Gimbal and wiring harness

    What am I missing (or failing to understand!) at this point? Will the DJI App for Apple IOS still work? Or, do I need to do something else, in order to make that work?

    Would I need to purchase the DJI range extender unit?

    Boy, things sure have gotten more complex, while I have been away from this hobby!

    Thanks!
    Rob
     
  2. zenoshrdlu

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    You can certainly fly the P2V without the camera though without it you will have no downlink of video or flight info (I've flown mine with a simple point and shoot camera instead of the P2V camera)

    You will need a 5.8Gh TX to control it (the DJI one will do fine) - the P2V uses 2.4GHz for video/flight info and 5.8GHz for aircraft control. You should be able to use the 7th TX channel to control tilt on a gimbal (normally the P2V app does that, but you can't run the app without the camera it talks to).

    Without the P2V camera, range extender and app you won't have access to things like way points.
     
  3. rwhite692

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    Thanks Zeno. I am glad to hear that it is possible to fly without the DJI camera installed.

    I do have the DJI, two-stick 5.8Ghz control transmitter, that originally came with this P2V.

    So, it looks like I won't be able to use the IOS app, and that is OK. I'm not really interested in waypoint-based autonomous flight, so that's no problem.

    For the video/flight info downlink, Should I look for a generic Tx/Rx combo that runs on 2.4GHz (link below), or, should I try to get one that runs on 5.8GHz, and hope that I can avoid any interference with the contol transmitter, by running it on a different channel?

    Which OSD module would I need, to get flight info? (was flight info something that was also integrated in the P2V's original DJI camera unit?)

    http://hobbywireless.com/24-ghz-sys...s-system-lawmate-camera-is-optional-p-21.html
     
  4. ProfessorStein

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    Oooh... yeah... what zeno said. The camera is really the heart of the P2V's VX and FPV. You can get other gimbals, no problem... but without the FC200 camera, it's a lot of work to get a video downlink. And, as zeno said, even if you wanted to get a third-party VX, it'd have to be 2.4GHz (hard to find) instead of the more standard 5.8GHz because DJI inexplicably used 5.8GHz for the control. I don't believe the Goodluckbuy GoPro gimbal has the VX included. Could be wrong.

    Depending on what you paid for your cannibalized P2V, you might be better off buying a replacement FC200. They're a bit pricey... but might actually be cheaper than trying to hack something together. Or, another option is try to sell the P2V you have and buy something else entirely (again, might turn out cheaper for you in the end).

    The first thing I would do is crack open the shell, though. It's not very common for a P2V to be sold without the camera unless the camera was totaled in a crash. If the camera was still in good shape, even if it didn't work, would've likely still been included. The only real reason to take it off is if it's damage showed that it had been in a crash. So you might very well have other damage on the bird that you weren't told about.
     
  5. rwhite692

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    Thanks Professor...Actually, I'm having no trouble to find a 2.4GHz video Tx/Rx pair (link in my post above, as well as this conversion on a P2V that I found):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIekBV6K7SQ

    I certainly will be going through the P2V thoroughly, to check for any damage. I'm not into this P2V too deeply cash-wise, so I have some room in the budget to make these modifications (plus, I thoroughly enjoy the learning aspect of this, as much as anything).

    Would the iOSDmini be the ideal OSD module to use?

    http://www.dji.com/product/iosd-mini
     
  6. ProfessorStein

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    Faiir enuf... I can definitely relate to that.

    I can't help you with the OSD, as I haven't gone there yet. I know I've see the DJI Mini mentioned a number of times in the forums.

    I'll be very interested to hear what you come up with, though!
     
  7. rwhite692

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    Well, I think I'm on my way! Ordered a bunch of parts last night, to do this conversion.

    I have found a few examples of this conversion, as done by others.

    I determined that I need to attach a DJI CAN BUS cable to the P2V mainboard (which it does not normally have).

    The easiest way to get the CAN BUS module/cable is to buy this replacement DJI P2 landing gear ($16):

    [​IMG]

    ...And install it's cable at this location on the P2V mainboard:

    [​IMG]

    I will then simply install (plugs into the CAN bus) an iOSDmini, ($66, Ebay) in order to overlay the flight data onto the video feed.

    Then, I just need to add a Tx/Rx set for my video downlink. I chose the FPV1380 from Hobby Wireless ($129). it is an 800mW, 1.3GHz setup:

    [​IMG]

    http://hobbywireless.com/12-ghz-13-...eless-system-international-version-p-950.html

    I already have a 7" monitor that I will attach to the top of my control transmitter, just need to add a 12V battery to power it...
     
  8. ProfessorStein

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  9. rwhite692

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    Yes, in fact, I spoke to HobbyWireless about it before making my choice.

    I read the RC Group thread you linked...It contains virtually no useful information about the performance of 1.3GHz.
     
  10. ProfessorStein

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    Yeah... being that RCGroups is more "generic RC hobby" and not quad-centric, seems they're more concerned about interference with other pilots/craft than actual performance. I'll be interested to hear how it works out for you!
     
  11. rwhite692

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  12. madxm

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    hello!

    im more or less in the same situation as you, but ive bought my reconfigured p2v already done, at least partially, in that it came with zenmuse 2d and gopro attached, but no fpv or iosd...

    looking forward to see what you do with yours, especially the fpv!
     
  13. rwhite692

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    Hi Madxm, I hope to have all of the parts on hand within the next week or so, I will try to document the work here, once I tear into it.