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. 

Views: 1377

Comment by UnmannedTechShop.co.uk on November 4, 2011 at 2:28am

Looks cool, have you done any auto stuff yet? and got any pictures of the your setup to show us?




Comment by Martin Poller on November 4, 2011 at 2:41am

Good first video, at least you're up in the air and catching images, I'm still learning to fly and it's not coming to me naturally!

Some pictures of your setup would be good, in particular can you describe how you've wired up the cmos camera, I've got one but can't find out how to wire it.

Keep up the good work.

Comment by Scott Plunkett on November 4, 2011 at 6:35am

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

Comment by Yves Gohy on November 4, 2011 at 7:14am

Hi, what is the OSD used? It's nice.

Comment by John Church on November 4, 2011 at 8:29am

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

Comment by apocolipse on November 4, 2011 at 8:38am

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) 

Comment by Martin Poller on November 4, 2011 at 8:54am

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

Comment by Vertcnc on November 4, 2011 at 11:33am


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.  

Comment by apocolipse on November 5, 2011 at 5:19am

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)

Comment by Zac on November 6, 2011 at 7:29pm

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


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