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REMOTE SWTCHING ACCESSORY LIGHTS

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by lancersdad, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. lancersdad

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    I am wanting to get away from diminishing the flying time on the stock battery... when installing various types of lights on the Phantom 2... who can help me resolve being able to remotely activate various lights installed on the body. I am installing a couple of exterior batteries to power the accessory light... separating landing lights from trim lighting as well as a 3 axis Gimbal... and retracting landing gear. How do I control 4 separate switching contacts... even if I have to run a separate controller for accessories...
     
  2. OI Photography

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    There are a few light kits that can be switched on/off via a spare channel on the receiver, which the Phantom has only one...and that's usually needed for gimbal control. You would need to get a new controller/transmitter/receiver to be able to do that.

    However, I'll warn you that it's a losing battle...the weight you add to put on separate battery (or two!) plus the associated wiring etc will most likely negate any flight time benefit from not using the flight battery to power them. The current that those lights will draw is very very small, less than the amount the motors will add to the draw with that extra weight.
     
  3. lancersdad

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    I have a few concepts I am wanting to engineer... using the phantom to go on patrol so to speak. Creating a separate controller to control :
    1) 3rd Axis of Gimbal
    2) Landing Gear retractors
    3) Front + Rear + Side out facing lights
    4) 4 downward facing landing lights

    This controller will utilize the left and right movement of the Gimbals 3rd Axis... but will need to have more relay activations than servo's. Which is where you referred to lighting kits... does anyone know of such a controller... or the component part numbers for relays to be controlled by a 6 or 8 channel 2nd receiver in the Phantom. For the most part additional battery weight is of little concern... upgrading to the Tiger Motors MN2214 may be the best I can do with this shell. Using the 5200mAh as backup batteries... if anyone had experience specific details on how many of these batteries I can add to the PH2, with the upgraded Tiger Motors... let me know.. I will be posting my results.
    I want to utilize the waypoint Ground Station System... creating a designated patrol path without interrupting the flight pattern. The 3rd axis on the Gimbal allows a 360 pan range, the trim on the Gimbal also allows for the tilt from 0 to 120 degrees. Having the ability to rotate/pan the camera in 360 degrees brings the landing gear into view... hence the need to retract the gear in order have clear view during flight... There are several available and will be detailing my own results...
    The Go Pro although a good camera... lacks the last thing we are missing, which is some form of a digital zoom... working on resolving that as well...
    With the Phantom in the patrol mode leaves me pretty much hands free to control the camera/lighting controller... I'm not looking to gain much altitude... just plot a course.
    Also looking to understand the gyro aspect of the Gimbal a little more...
     
  4. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Why not just use an RX/TX with more channels?

    As for remote controlled lights, an interface between S-Bus and an Arduino Teensy would allow all your lighting needs to run off of one channel. The Teensy also has a CAN bus interface so you could in theory have your lights react to any data on the CAN bus, e.g. landing lights come on when the Phantom vertical height is less than 10m above the take off height. Front lights brighten or change color when you fly forward, side lights brighten or change color when you go sideways.
     
  5. OI Photography

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    So you want a Phantom that can carry:

    -All the original internal components
    +3-axis gimbal
    +Retractable landing gear equipment (incl servos and wiring)
    +A secondary receiver (and wiring)
    +At least 7 different lights...that I presume you need to be bright enough to light up objects more than 6ft away (and wiring)
    +More than one 5200mAh battery (and wiring)
    +Some kind of camera with at least digital zoom, if not exceptional low-light capability as well (and wiring)
    +Data Link
    +Video transmission equipment (...and wiring)

    Correct?

    If that's your goal, the Phantom isn't the platform for this. The Phantom has a very limited and finite lifting capacity, and everything you're talking about would nearly double the total weight of the aircraft. Even if you could get it off the ground, you wouldn't have any usable flight time. Do you have a target weight you're trying to stay under?

    I'm not quite sure what you meant by "For the most part additional battery weight is of little concern" and "Using the 5200mAh as backup batteries" but it doesn't sound like you understand weight limits and other related concerns. You would also need to find a way to connect one of the stock 5200mAh batteries with another in parallel, which as far as I know hasn't been done yet.

    As for the lighting, there are several kits you can get that allow you to switch them on/off manually from a receiver channel, but to get the kind of lighting projection you need, the little LED's in them aren't going to help you at all if you're even 10ft away from what you need to illuminate. I've been testing numerous lighting configurations on a different platform (DJI's FW550), and to achieve what you're after you're going to need to fly with one or more regular full-on flashlights, something with at least 300-500lumens. Anything less than that and you won't be able to see hardly anything in the dark while flying...trust me, I've tested that extensively.

    I do understand the kind of mission you're trying to equip for and the logic behind everything you want to add, but I'm afraid it's a bit too ambitious of a goal to try to use the Phantom for. You'll want to at least look at something like the FW450/FW550, or other options in that size class.

    For the radio setup, it's much more efficient to just get a single package with enough extra channels on it, sounds like you're going to need at least 12 channels, and it's possible to get up to 16 with one Tx/Rx.
     
  6. lancersdad

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    Excellent.... response... thanks... lots to think about, research and develop. Seems the primary concern is solving running the 2 batteries in parallel... Am definitely concerned about weight issue... thanks for reminding me to keep that in mind... that will be the reason I upgrade to the Tiger Motors.. am going to take it step by step... get it fully functional with the 3 axis gimbal... and retractable landing gear. Need to do just what you suggested... upgrading to a 12 channel controller to meet any additional needs... figured to use trim controls for the camera pan and tilt as a I have seen detailed in mfgrs videos. So it seems so far I haven't added any batteries or weight... will need to look into changing the internal receiver to a 12 channel or so... that swap should be pretty equal... in grams... somewhere I was looking at the schematics on hooking the 3 axis
    gimbal and it was referencing to connect it to the 7th and 8th channel on the existing receiver... like the 7th is the dual axis location hook up and the 8th a spare... which they may well be indicating if it is a lighting channel to omit the lights.. they did not say that, but either I will get a schematic or trace down the wires to draw my own... Just getting familiar with the unit before making any changes...
    If I make sure the skids are wide enough to clear the camera when it does a 360 ( it won't do a 360 as there are wires that go to the FPV to consider ) I'm again not in a hurry to add batteries yet... to raise the skids... all the lighting needs/dreams I have concocted are on demand... not on consistently. Awaiting resolve on the controller and receiver acquisition... Parts of the order have been arriving all week long.. will take maybe another 2 weeks for the PH 2 to arrive.. Need to do some research on the other controller they sell with the Ultimate I believe... the one with the on screen display.. have seen it in many of the product endorsements... Have an idea how many channel those controllers are? Thanks for the help man...
     
  7. OI Photography

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    One more tip (from experience)..."upgrading" to the T-motor anti-gravity set isn't really going to net you any useful increase in total lifting capacity. They'll run just a touch smoother than the stock motors, and may give you better life on the bearings (depending on your environment), but they don't magically add any significant amount of thrust. You may need to run carbon-fiber props anyway to give you as much lifting capacity as possible, but since the Phantom can't use anything above a 9" prop that's another brick wall you'll run in to.

    If you're even considering trying to run two stock 5200mAh batteries in parallel, you'll already be at the limit of what you can fly with, even before adding all the other stuff. And that's assuming you can find a way around DJI's proprietary battery and the way the NAZA verifies it.
     
  8. thelostsurfer

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    Quadcopterlightkits.com. I got one there that uses a 9v battery and comes with a remote. I even replaced the 9v with an 11.1v 1000 mah battery and have not seen any decrease in flight time. Also you can remove the battery when not flying at night. If you want video or pics just let me know.
     
  9. lancersdad

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    Hey, thanks guys.. what a friggin brain trust... :) so cool to see the ways we see things can be adapted each knowing a piece of the big puzzle... have a whole list of things to get to research... thanks to that Einsteinium lunatic " Ianwood " Arduino Teensy... ???? Like soaring with eagles boys... I thought " I " was a little out there with my technical dreams and imaginings... It really is about our imagenation and some hands on technical knowledge. Got some can bus, S bus, and Teensy studying to do.. atop the NAZAS influence/verification on the batteries value in the system...
     
  10. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    The sky is the limit! Mwah ah ah ah... This occurred to me when I saw that the Teensy 3.1 weighs in at a lowly 2.5 grams, has a built-in CAN bus interface and costs less than $20. There's a user on rcgroups named pawelsky who has been digging deeply into the CAN bus messages on the NAZA:

    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2071772

    These are the data sets you get access to:

    • GPS lat/lon, altitude, SVN, DOP, fix type, 3 axis velocity, date/time, etc.
    • Raw IMU, accelerometer, barometer, and compass values as well as computed values for things like pitch and roll
    • Speed of each individual motor
    • Voltage
    • Controller values including unused channels
    • Flight mode
    • Home location: lat/lon, altitude (barometric)
    • NAZA computed inputs for yaw, pitch, roll, throttle (e.g. what the Phantom is actually doing to hold GPS position)

    This can be used to program fully addressable lights, motors, a third party OSD, third party telemetry, data logging. I have done a fair bit of Arduino based SPI addressable LED installations so I've got that covered.

    pawelsky was also talking about using FSK modulation to transmit telemetry via the vTX audio channels. Now this would be truly awesome! Someone would need to write an Android or iOS telemetry app. And then you simply run an audio cable between your FPV and your phone. Boom!

    Now if only there were really small form factor 3G shields, you could have one transmit telemetry to a server in near real-time to act as a tracking system.
     
  11. josephstewartp

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    Hi,
    The website link is dead, I'd like to order a LED light kit for my DJI, any feedback is appreciated.

    Best,
    Joe
     
  12. josephstewartp

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    Hello,

    Thanks for sharing, I'm not planing anything as advanced, but I'd like to add LED lighting to my DJI, being able to control them (just ON/OFF) from the RC. I'm learning Arduino so that would be a preferred platform. Since IanWood mentioned working extensively with LED's, would you mind giving me a quick layout/guidance in regards to the parts that worked for you? I might be able to google it, but I was hoping to learn from your experience and avoid beginer's frustration LOL. I don't want to take up your time with a walkthrough, just a simple list of parts and brief description so I can figure out the rest;) After all that will make learning Arduino more engaging.

    I hope that's not too much to ask, any feedback is appreciated.

    Best,
    Joe