First tests with Sony a5100 -- works, but issue with mag interference

It's time to start using the Solo for why we bought it...detailed aerial mapping with a real camera.

So, we bought a GoPro-to-tripod mount and hung a Sony a5100 (with time-lapse app) off the bottom of the Solo:

Was a little nervous about the security of the mount, so I added a nylon safety loop around the Solo (using fishing line in the photo -- didn't work as well). Should catch the camera if the mount fails. We had to tighten both the tripod screw and the GoPro mount screw fairly tight to keep the camera from moving (~250g). But, it works.

While the camera certainly took a toll on flight time as expected, I encountered one unexpected issue -- around 75% of the time, the camera causes a "magnetic interference" error with Solo. If I move the camera around (loosen the GoPro mount screw and swing the camera away and then back), I can mostly get the error to disappear. While flying there are no apparent issues with Solo orientation and flight.

Any thoughts on how to:

  1. Eliminate to interference
  2. Measure/test the impact of interference on flying
  3. Adjust the sensitivity of Solo to avoid the error and subsequent fiddling

Anyone else experimenting with larger (non-GoPro) cameras?

I'll have Pix4d images from the combo to share soon.

Eric

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Replies to This Discussion

Not sure that systems is ideal for aerial mapping. 

No, it's likely not. We're using fixed wing for most of our mapping. But, I'm all for testing and finding out where the real limitations are...

The Solo fills two important niches: 1) mapping where we have limited space for landing a fixed wing, and 2) training students on a system without a steep learning curve. And, the Solo's speed (of setup) and ease of use may mean that we just use it more.

Eric

Eric, I attached a Canon S100 to the expansion bay using a 3D printed mount from Ian Soler.  The camera caused persistent mag interference which was cured by doing a compass calibration.  I don't know if this is related but today I dismounted the Canon and GoPro (I tested SOLO flying with both) and got magnetic interference again... and again cured it with another compass calibration.

By the way, flying both cameras I get 12-13 minutes landing with 15-20% battery.

Hi Eric.

I am working on the same thing you've done in this post! I have 3DR Solo and planning to get rid of the gimbal, then mount my s100 cannon. I have not started it yet but just try to get some fundamental ideas. I am new in this field and try to learn!

1) What kind of frame for camera did you buy for this?

2) Does Solo allow you to connect RC shutter?

3) How did you connect such wires to pixhawk?

Thanks,

Brad

Hello everyone,

Did you find a long term solution for thia issue?
Installing the camera after the gps lock work some time, 30% of the time.

Did you find if, with gps lock, the gps/magneto will create interference or wrong date on flying?

Cheers
Alex

Eric,   I've experimented with a Sony NEX-5N for scanning/mapping (since I had one), and found that any removal or shifting of the camera on the mount would require a redo of the Compass Calibration process. I'm guessing that the metal mass of that camera and 16mm lens, perhaps including some magnetized internal components, causes the problem. I just expect to redo the calibration. I used this mount from Peau/MAPIR, with one of those thin, velcro-like cable-ties (usually sold in a roll) threaded between the Solo and the mount, then loosely over the camera as a safety strap (although so far, no landing has caused the vibration dampening balls to slip out of the mount). Since the neck strap brackets on the ends of the NEX-5N were offset, I used another of those thin velcro-like cable ties on one end, plus a small nylon cable tie on the other, both threaded through the slots on the mount. Once in place, it's easy to access the battery and memory card without removing the camera, although you need to be content with your lens and camera settings before strapping it down. Because the NEX-5N is "old", I had to attach a gentLED to trigger through the camera's IR sensor. More chatter about cameras for aerial imaging (Canon S100, Sony QX1, Sony A5100, Nikon D750, Ricoh GR2) on this thread. BTW, Sony's Image Data Converter software is handy for rotating images, since it's a known problem (with at least the 5N) for images to be rotated as they are recorded during a flight, requiring some image content study and rotations before stitching.

Eric Compas said:

No, it's likely not. We're using fixed wing for most of our mapping. But, I'm all for testing and finding out where the real limitations are...

The Solo fills two important niches: 1) mapping where we have limited space for landing a fixed wing, and 2) training students on a system without a steep learning curve. And, the Solo's speed (of setup) and ease of use may mean that we just use it more.

Eric

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