First video with the ArduBixler

I've been building a Bixler/Sky Surfer for a few months now, and had ardupilot mega and all in hand, yet no pilot experience.  So i've joined a local AMA club and learned to fly.  Last week i flew with the APM for the first time, and this week (after waiting to get the pan/tilt mount in) flew with the camera, so figured I'd show the results of video recorded with the APM planner :)

I'm using AirScapeRC's EasyGear (designed for Easy Star's, but easily working on the bixler, i posted a blog on it a month back) for takeoffs/landings, as i don't like hand launching something thats worth $1000 :P

Full APM with xbee900mhz

Turnigy9x with ER9x radio (stock receiver, going to upgrade to UHF tx/rx)

Stock outrunner motor the bixler comes with, with a 6.4e prop

5.8ghz video tx/rx, and DIYDrones Store cheap-o CMOS camera

thinking i need some better wiring, for one (its cramped in there!) and some filters, possibly ferrite ring on the camera feed and/or shielded cables.  Let me know if anyone has suggestions for improving video as i'd /eventually/ like to fly fpv, with the current quality that's a definite no. 

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  • how do you get the camera view behind the mission planner OSD ?  thats awesome !!

  • @Zac  Using a 3s 2200mAh battery, getting about 12 mins flight, definitely could go longer as i've never dropped the batteries below 11v, but have limited myself to 12 mins and will extend that likely.

    @Vertcnc @Eric, I wired up a LC filter and some new servo wiring for the camera for a nicer neater fit, ferrite ring with 5 wraps, and a 470µF capacitor, though i probably need more wraps or a bigger cap as i'm still seeing /some/ lines but its not nearly as bad

    Also if anyone knows why Mission Planner's record to avi is messed up i'd like to know, i keep getting corrupted avi files out of it, and the ones i tried uploading from today got really skewed in youtube, squished in from the sides for some reason, and it thought they were 720p, i'll post them up (my xbee wasn't working but video is clearer) to show how much clearer the signal is with just a simple filter! 


  • Out of curiosity what battery pack are you using, and what kind of flight time are you getting with it?

  • Firstly I'm redoing the wiring for the vtx.  I had some spare breadboard jumper wire to get things working/inplace but that stuff is too thick.  Replacing that with some servo wire to save some space.

    I'll stop by radioshack today and see if i can get some capacitors and some ferrite rings (hopefully...), i've been reading something like 450µF capacitor in parallel with the vTX power line for the filter (the camera is powered from the vTX so one filter /should/ do)

  • Apocolipse,

    Looks like a nice setup you have. It appears like the video noise maybe from the motor. You could wrap the wires to the VTX around a ferite core, then use a LC filter on the power wires to the camera and VTX.  

  • Thanks, I'll have a look at some video tx/rx equipment.

  • Yes @Yves as John said thats the APM Mission planner (i don't intend to use any other OSD as i don't want doubled up Heads Up Displays :P)
    @UT I've not done any auto stuff yet, played with FBW and Stab modes, i'm going to reinforce the airframe a bit before i do auto stuff, its a bit wobbly in the air


    @Martin, the cmos camera comes with a 3 wire plug, +5v, ground, and video signal, that goes to any video tx (i'm using a 5.8ghz hobby king tx/rx) 

  • Moderator

    That's Mission Planner's :)  The video is taken from Mission Planner's auto-recording feature.

  • Hi, what is the OSD used? It's nice.

  • I like the landing gear...makes me want to spend time on auto-takeoff and landing.

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