I have a Telemaster PLUS Ive built for aerial observation and general loitering above a target. Ive maidened the plane and have the autopilot/OSD installed. Im planning on using a ball turret gimbal that is designed for the sony block camera (sony fcb-ix11a or similar) and as Im learning more about these cameras, which seem to be the standard for UAV ops in civil and military applications, Im having questions about camera control.
Pan/tilt will be through a separate transmitter and 2-axis stabilization through a picloc 3x Pro, but what about camera zoom? I know the block camera utilizes the Visca rs-232 interface through the TTL serial port on the camera, so is it possible to control it through the outputs of an rc receiver?
Thanks in advance,
Hi, this is not as easy as it sounds, but very doable.
I have developed the code to control Visca on all the FCB range of cams by reading the PWM outputs from an RX.
You would need a Arduino mini 168 and better for this to work.
Controls that we have employed and working now, are pan, tilt, slow zoom, fast zoom, image invert, on, off
Basically it wil do whatever you want it do depending on how many channels you feed to the mini arduino.
The complex bit is the hex code you need to employ and the method of sending it to the fcb(all listed in the manuals for any FCB) fro each command, essentialy once you have one command working the rest are fairly easy.
Reading the PWM and creating the outputs require a bit of timing, but we have it working.
If you want some help with this, let me know.
I have a Sony FCB 780B and would like to implement the PWM to Visca control with the arduino just as you mentioned you have done. Would you be kind enough to send me schematics and code for this project? Thanks.
I was just googling around looking for someone who has done the code for a PWM to Visca conversion and came across this post. I know it is a year old but was wondering if you still had the code and circuit for this? I would like to use the PWM output from one of the Ardupilot outputs to control zoom on my FCB camera? The more ideal solution would be just to use one of the serial outputs on the ardupilot but I would love to leverage anything that is out there. I have a servo controlled gimbal so I don't need any of the pan/tilt functionality but would be interested in the image invert too since that can help see different objects while airborne.
Any help is appreciated,
yes! thats the answer I was hoping for. Thanks so much. Im planning on ordering the camera and gimbal at the end of the month and I will contact you for assistance if you dont mind.
If you want to save yourself some money (depending on where in the world you are) i have an awful lot of brand new FCB480's which would be a good learning camera ( i have buggered a few up learning).
PM me if you are interested, (im not trying to sell you something, but i did destroy £350 worth of FCB780EX, amongst others in the early days), that stuck with me.
By all means get the IX11 for 'best' if you see what i mean,but learn and get the wiring and code sorted on a cheapy, the propensity to make mistakes are very high when learning with these cams
Anyway, let me know.
Are you in the UK?
Im in the states. If the offer stands I would be interested in one. Ill PM you next week (going on vacation here shortly)
No worries Matt,
Just shout when you are ready.
Have a good holiday!
I'm on a bit of a learning curve about the Sony Block cameras and would like to know what the advantages are for using one instead of a compact digital point and shoot, in the context of digital images for aerial mapping.
Is this something that you could advise me about please.
Matt, sorry for cutting in on your post.
Can you please give us more information about how to implement the PWM to Visca control with the arduino just as you mentioned?