Hello Everybody,

I've been trying to create a remote camera cable to activate my Canon S100 and SX260 point and shoot cameras (with CHDK scripting program) on my 3DR X-8+ with a Pixhawk autopilot.  I know this topic has been bounced around for some time but for a newbie like me it seems to be an easy solution that’s very difficult to communicate. Ultimately I’d like to have the camera’s shutter released at designated distances and GPS locations as they are entered into a flight plan through the Mission Planner software program using ‘cam_signal_dist’ events.  So with the Pixhawk output of 3.3v needing to be bumped up to 5v, I've tried using a SparkFun step-up board but no luck.  First off, from what I've seen from others, I need to designate an RC output on the Pixhawk for that end of the cable…most suggest RC7. Then in the Mission Planner software under the command ‘RC7_FUNCTION’ in the ‘Full Parameter List’ section of the ‘Config/Tuning’ part I need to set the value to ‘10’ for ‘camera_trigger’. And then in the ‘Initial Setup’ part under the ‘Optional Hardware’ section and within the ‘Camera Gimbal’ entries, I need to select ‘RC7’ in the Shutter drop-down menu.

The questions I have are:

- The RC7 output slot on my 3DR X-8+ is already in use…which one of the AUX OUT ports should I use?  There’s only the RC12 – RC14 available. (RC9 – RC10 are used for the gimbal and RC11 is used for the expansion board, I think.)

- If I set ‘RC12_FUNCTION’ to a value of 10 for the ‘camera_trigger’ option, the ‘Camera Gimbal’ Shutter drop-down menu selections don’t display any options higher than RC11.

- Also, I was wondering if you could explain a bit more on what this statement means:  “You'll need to have an ESC with an BEC or UBEC plugged into any of the open AUX or MAIN OUTs on the Pixhawk.” Seeing as how this is a copter, I don’t think an Electronic Speed Controller is available (correct?).  So where does the Battery Eliminator Circuit plug into and how do all of these connect?  I think one end goes into an open AUX OUT port on the Pixhawk but where does the other end connect to?  Is it soldered onto some connections near where the power comes from the battery to the copter? Any assistance you can give me is greatly appreciated!

*** Here's a photo of my Pixhawk RC ports for reference.

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Cheers!  :-)

- CraigNT55 

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Replies

  • Just some throw in: 

    The board in the foreground can't be connected to the AUX Ports i think as it is a 4-pin board. I would suggest it is an IC2 Splitter with the Compass cable from the GPS Tower plugged in. 

    Your RC11 has to go elsewhere.

    I have a camera trigger for quite a while with my Pixhawk... I use some basic rc switch out of hobbyking. The signal from the pixhawk triggers the switch. the switch passes the voltage from the servo rail which is 5v. Nice trigger of the CHDK script without the workaround with a step up converter to boost the 3.3v

  • Hi Craig,

    I'll go into more detail later but some quick short answers from my set up. I'm using the Pixhawk to fly my Hexacopter and control my Canon SX260. I've built the "Marco's" circuit described in another post. I connect it to RC13. Later I'll show the parameter settings I use. 

    The reason you need a separate UBEC is to provide 5 volts on the the middle pins. Without it there is ground and the signal wires which only output 3.3 volts max. "Marco's" circuit is basically a relay that will provide 5 volts when 3.3 volts it turned on. 5 volts is necessary to get the Canon Camera to trigger using CHDK.

    • Hi Rob,
      Thanks for the reply! Some of my burning questions are:

      Mission Planner...
      1) If you use RC 13 and set the configuration for RC 13 to "10" for 'camera trigger' in the 'Full Parameters' list and plug the trigger cable into the AUX 13 slot in Pixhawk, what do you select in the Shutter drop down under the 'Camera Gimbel' settings in the 'Optional Hardware' section?

      SX260 Canon camera...
      1) What settings do you use in CHDK to receive the USB signal through the trigger cable? Is there a script you are using?

      Thanks again!
      - Craig
      • Hi Rob,

        Did you ever figure this out?  I am working with a similar setup and having the same issue.

        Thanks,

        Thomas

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