Hey gang thought I'd share a bit of holiday hardware hacking I embarked on. I have a go pro 2 and wanted another camera to mess with instead of pulling apart my $250 go pro. The Hobbyking HD Wing II was a good candidate since it it largely uncased and the cheapest full 1080p camera I could find that also takes 12 mp or better pictures.
Once I got the camera from HK I tested to make sure it works and also tested the video out with my 5.8g tx setup and box stock it worked fine (with a quickie RCA adapter I made). After using the monitor to set up my parameters for format and picture size it was time to start surgery.
First order of business was cutting away the shrink wrap partially to expose the three control buttons.
I suspected that the buttons were likely closing simple pull down circuits to send signals to a microprocessor. This was easily confirmed by seeing the battery's voltage (~3v) across the switch contacts.
There are three buttons two of which are useful to be able to toggle or trigger in flight. Button 1 if held on turns the camera on and off. It also toggles through a series of modes (viewable on screen) if pushed momentarily. Button 2 acts like the shutter control and select button. For instance if you wanted to turn on the camera, start recording video, stop recording switch modes to camera, and then snap a picture, these buttons would do it all (long press 1 short press 2 short press 2, short press 1, short press 2).
So now I just need a way to trigger these electronically and come up with a gimbal to put this camera on.