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  • This is how it looks mounted on a Bixler 

  • Here is the video of my mini retract stress test simulating some hard landing or mini crashes, I replaced the camera and added 24grams of weight on its place. (some cameras are lighter and some are heavier) I'm using a cheap $2.00 HK servo for retraction I tried to strip the servo gears but it didn't let me. If people want to have it beefier they can always add a metal gear servo. In my opinion I have crashed several planes, I think it will survive mini crashes and hard landings. ;-)

    I can always just redesign it and add the part in yellow and I will have zero stress on the retract servo, but it will make it wider causing a problem for Easy Star or Sky Surfer types of planes. I might do it on my Big version :) thanks for the tip.

    PS: I'm a Coca Cola guy, don't like Pepsi :D


    Stress Test

  • I have the retracts available now
    CXN Designs
  • John, like I told you on rcgroups, my rig weights half of what yours weights plus has a shorter retract arm, the camera and servo weight doesnt put stress on the servo like your first prototype did. The hole for retraction on mine is bigger because I designed the camera mount for a 36mm x36mm x 30mm camera, you are using. 25mm x 25mm camera, let me know if your retraction hole will stay the same size using the camera Im using.

    On mine if you use a smaller camera you dont need to make a larger hole.
  • ...and here is the thread on RCGroups

  • I have been working on a similar project and I have experienced some problems that this designer has not addressed yet.  The first is the stresses put on the retract servo during landing.  A hard landing will likely strip the gears on the retract servo as all the weight of the camera and servos are thrown forward.  A lesser risk is the pan servo being directly connected to the camera carrier is also at risk for breaking the gears during a hard landing.  The last is the tilt servo is positioned by the camera so you need a larger hole in your fuselage to accept the servo and the camera is offset from the rotation point so you need to expand the hole not only forward but in any direction the camera might be pointing when be extended or retracted.  You can say you will only retract when the camera is pointing forward and then there is reality.  And lastly the video does not show a video camera cable and there is no apparent cable management to keep the tilt servo and camera cabling from getting caught on something during extend/retract.

    Here is my design.  It is a little larger, but it requires a smaller hole for the camera because camera is centered on the tilt rotation axis and the servo is above the camera.  There is zero rotational torque on the retract servo when the camera is extended or retracted.  The pan servo is connected to the camera via a chain/sprocket setup.  By changing the sprocket ($2 each) ratio I can get more than 180 degrees rotation without the need for a more expensive servo stretcher or servo. 

    Give me some time and I will update this will continous 360 rotation and stabilized pan and tilt.  But if you want this kit now I can supply them.

  • Developer

    Looking good!

    Any videos of the results after putting it in a plane or multicopter? Sometimes what appears to work on the ground doesn't work so well in the air at least on multicopters (probably due to vibrations that seem to become exaggerated by the camera being suspend out on an arm).

  • Great stuff! Been wokring my way backwards trying to build one of these in a sphere, but it looks like you have the mechanics down pat :) I have been using a transmitter gimbal as the pan and tilt even though it is limited, however  Iwas going have it set up so that an addidional channel canplace the gimbal facing the horizon, or the ground through a switch.


  • I wonder how airflow would affect it. Hanging the camera and servo off the one serveo horn attached to the downward arm looks like a trouble spot. perhaps affixing something to the back of the servo that can pivot and join it to another one of the 90 degree arms on otherside. That could strengthen it.

  • WANT ! 

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