Controlling a Xiaomi Yi camera from Solo

Aside from Thanksgiving, I had a fun weekend.

I've been using a Feiyu-Tech gimbal on my Solo (because I wanted to see if I could get it to work), and wanted to be able to control the camera from my Solo's transmitter. The camera is a Xiaomi Yi, which I like. It's a great little camera that does a ton of cool things for an impressive price. 

It turns out it wasn't hard to do at all. All I needed to do was get the camera onto the Solo's wifi network with a static IP address, and then detect when the camera button on the Solo's transmitter was clicked so I could send a command to the camera to start or stop video (or take a still picture).

Some Xiaomi-hacking geniuses have already figured how to set up the camera and what commands to send to it, and I built on that to control the camera. 

It's not the "Solo with 3DR gimbal and GoPro" setup that most people are using, which is kind of the point. "Solo with Feiyu-Tech gimbal and Xiaomi Yi" is harder to pronounce, and harder to implement. But it works pretty well, and putting it together has been fun.

Here's some details about the camera setup, for whoever's interested:

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  • Ive read the articles about the Feiyu gimbal and how to wire it up, where people are soldering the connections directly to the Solo IO board. I was wondering why a pigtail/adapter couldnt be made that allows the Feiyu to just plug in to the Solo gimbal connector? They show soldering onto pin 14 of the main board. Which is ioChan6, tilt control. Do you know what pin on the gimbal connector this would be? (Gimbal RX)?

  • i read this topic but i dont understand ho can i do it .

    Will the QX1 be a good addition

  • Hi Kelly

    do you have any experience to control camera triggering on other brands such as sony ?

    i am going to install sony camera on SOLO but main problem is triggering .

    • Since the wireless connection between the Solo and controller is wi-fi, you're able to put other devices on the same network and control them something else on the network. In my case, I modified ShotManager to send commands to the camera (with a specific IP address) whenever I pressed the record "paddle" on the controller. But you don't have to do that. Since you're on an IP network, you could build a simple web app (or an Android or iOS app) to run on the tablet and send commands to some device on the network. That device, in turn, might be running a small web service that takes your commands and sends something to the camera to trigger it. So the first thing I would want to know is, what does the Sony camera provide in the way of remote triggering? Bluetooth? Wifi? Something else?

  • This is great thanks!

    Anyone getting Xiaomi Yi working with Tower/Solo survey? Other than setting to 1 second intervals it would be great to have it triggered.

    Yi with a vibration dampened rigid mount would decrease payload/increase flight time and AUC (All Up Cost).

  • How is the video quality compared to the go pro hero4 black?

    • Probably not great. I flew with a friend at the same time of day, same conditions, everything. By the time we finished up, it was late dusk. Afterward, we went off and did our post-production. His video looked professional, mine looked decidedly less so. At the time, I didn't have a gimbal, and I've never bothered to adjust anything for low light. I'm not sure what he did to his, but his colors were richer, and things were less grainy. 

    • huh, do you have the two videos?

  • I wonder then what the reason is for complaints about shaking in the Solo gimbal videos?  Is it a mounting issue, location of cables etc.? I was very careful in mounting the cable to make sure no cables were touching the motor inside.

    The videos I made does have some stuttering. Can that be caused by lighting conditions and camera settings? What about using a filter? There is so much I don't know about using a GP with the Solo gimbal, but think a lot of it may be in settings and whether a filter is used.

    Where is a good place to read about getting nice smooth video from Solo? I've seen a number of them, but if it involves modding the Solo I'm not too keen on that.

    • It seems like stuttering/shaking can be caused by the slightest vibration, frames being skipped (if the camera has a low-grade SD card), low frame rate (looks like shaking, actually is just failure to capture movement smoothly), or a combination of the above. My Feiyu-Tech seems to be really smooth now as long as I'm in motion, but as soon as I stop to look at something and hold position, I see some shaking. 

      Yesterday I was experimenting with counterweights on the gimbal to balance it, and took it out for a test. I was flying about 30 mph about 1200' out and the cable that runs between the gimbal and its surrounding frame (which provides power, etc) popped out. The gimbal suddenly went dead. Talk about "shaking"... The gimbal went limp in the air and was flapping in the breeze. I thought for a second the Solo was about to crash because of all the tumbling and random trees and grass whirling around in the video. But no, just a crappy connector that doesn't lock into place. So I had to take it all apart and silicone the connector so it doesn't fall apart again. 

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