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Author Topic: FPV with a GoPro 3  (Read 6891 times)

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Offline Opto-Mystic

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FPV with a GoPro 3
« on: December 31, 2013, 11:12:41 »
This may be a basic question but not knowing much about FPV ...

F450, 3H-2D gimbal & GoPro3...

Is there any reason why the video out from a GoPro be used as the primary FPV feed? I haven't seen anything about this and most folks seem to have a separate camera dedicated to FPV.

The problem that I am trying to resolve is being able to see in real time, what the camera is pointing at. At the moment, I have to guess the amount of tilt and I am not getting enough sequences of good framing. Often too much or too little tilt! I do not want to mount a second camera to the gimbal!

My thoughts are to get a suitable video TX, Rx & screen - I don't want or need a ground station setup, nor do I want to use BT on to my Android smart phone.

Comments, advice & pointers will be most welcome


Donald

Offline Richlizard

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2013, 11:40:20 »
Ooo, ooo. I may actually be able to answer one of yours Donald!! :o
I will do my best.

I use my Gopro as my FPV camera on both the Phantom and F550.

I think the reason is two-fold...

1) Weight. The second camera is only likely to be used on the heavier builds where weight is not such an issue.

2) 2D gimbal. With the third axis being wherever you point the craft, a second camera won't show much different to your Gopro camera so pretty pointless. With the larger machines utilising a 3D gimbal, the camera will point in a separate direction to the direction of the craft... so you MAY need to see where you are going.

Gawd, I hope that is somewhere near correct!  :laugh:
I may be dumb, but my learning curve is high...

Offline jimbobwr

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2013, 11:44:05 »
Hi Opto,

I use the same gimbal and Hero 3 on my F550. There is a circular video out port looks a little bit like a 3 millimetre headphone jack on the zenmuse pm thing (the part with the Can bus ports on)

The Zenmuse should have come with a little wire with a plug on one end (looks like a 3mm headphone jack) and I think it's 3 wires, yellow, black and red. (Signal, positive and negative) on the other. Just connect these wires up to your video transmitter you are good to go. You can see what the go pro is seeing. I also use the DJI iSOD (on screen display) thingy. This gives you useful flight information like flight battery voltage, altitude, speed etc. Overlaid on the video feed. Cleverly this isn't recorded by the gopro you just get to see it in real time. The other cool feature is you get an artificial horizon so you can see what the body of your multi rotor is doing even though the video image is stable.

Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk


Offline Opto-Mystic

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2013, 12:28:06 »
Thank you Rich & Jim.

I will now pursue this line of thought more. I do not have any disposable income, so I have up graded FPV to be one of life's little essentials.  :smiley:

I had forgotten about the extra wires that came with the H3-2D...
Donald

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2014, 00:56:59 »
Hi donald ... I have been using a gopro as FPV/ recording device for a while and i have to say its not perfect, i have mine running through a minim OSD then a fairly standard tran/recieve system the gopro does seem to give a fairly mediocre signal from the usb and the image from the cam drops away way before the OSD image, i have never been able to resolve this and have to admit there are now better and cheaper option out there than the gopro and i will be changing mine very shortly for something different. Its unfortunate but like another well known item the i thingy the gopro has been just to successful and has stopped us really looking at other alternatives. Oh and the bloomin ultrawide lens on the gopro is not ideal for FPV work as i am sure you will understand being a fellow photographer. Things are either miles away or its to late and you,ve hit it LOL !!!
In an ideal world a lens equivelant to a 50mm would be ideal but it seems most if not all the small sports cams want to see more than the human eye can LOL

All the best rob
life is too short to worry about what others think !!!

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Offline dp106

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2014, 10:31:20 »
I use a separate camera for fpv as it has a wide dynamic range. When using my Gopro1 as the source I found it very unnerving as the ground would go really dark when going higher, not sure if that is still an issue with the newer versions.

If you're Gopro is on a gimbal I would find that very weird as my fpv source. Having my camera hard mounted to the frame I know exactly what the quad is doing.

Offline Biffa

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2014, 10:45:32 »
Is there any reason why the video out from a GoPro be used as the primary FPV feed? I haven't seen anything about this and most folks seem to have a separate camera dedicated to FPV.

There are loads of threads covering this very subject...

http://www.multi-rotor.co.uk/index.php?topic=5671.0
Steve

Offline Opto-Mystic

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2014, 12:48:31 »
Although I used "FPV with a GoPro3" as the title as that was the nearest I could think of at the time...

In reality I don't want to use the GoPro as FPV! I don't even need FPV per se.  What I am wanting to do is to have a video down link so that I can see exactly what the camera is seeing and that is all. I want it so that I can control the camera tilt and take the guess work out of the situation. It will also help me to steer the craft more accurately for the film sequence I am looking to capture.

The real time aspect it the vital issue. Although I haven't used the bluetooth to Android while on the quad (& I have no intention of doing so) when I have off the quad, I have found the delay unacceptable.

Getting a video Tx & Rx system also has other aspects of remote feed back when the camera is in a fixed position for wild life photography and I may be able to use it in conjunction with some of my other camera kit.

Many thanks for the input - most helpful

Happy New Year ...

Donald

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2014, 12:57:26 »
Hi Donald

What you describe really enshrines the essentials of FPV even if you do not use it as such. It is quite common practise for professionals, such as aerial surveyors or film makers, to use a dual control rig, where one person pilots the aircraft and the other controls the 3D gimbal movement to capture the required view. 

So, using any of the available video TX/RX equipment should do for you - displaying the feed on a suitably sized monitor, perhaps on a stand or tripod that you can refer to once you have the multi-rotor positioned where you want it.  Lock it in GPS mode and then use the gimbal control to pan/tilt as required, for instance.

There are cheap VTX/RX around, mostly Chinese import to keep cost down, that would give you the video link. A simple cable for the GoPro and a suitable monitor on the ground and you're done.

HTH
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Offline Opto-Mystic

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2014, 14:01:58 »
Thanks Danny

That is exactly what I want.

If I get some use from it as actual FPV, then that will be the big bonus.

At the age of 74 & 1/4, (Yes, at my age that quarter is important!), I have hung up my 'professional hat' and am now just enjoying taking photos and making videos for my own hobby and entertainment. I always have the GoPro set for Narrow FOV as that gives minimum 'fisheye' effect.



Donald

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2014, 14:21:08 »
So, just by way of an examplen then, cruising around eBay I've picked out a few items that may be of interest and that can be had on a reasonably small budget.  Treat this as a for instance.  I have in fact got the first two items myself, intention being to fit to a "scratch build" or "sacrificial lamb" rather than my best kit.

Hopefully this will give an idea of how a typical budget could be assembled.  Of course, you could spend squillions on more expensive kit - for no real gain in terms of how you want to use it.  It may not suit long spans of true FPV use with goggles and the like (although I kind of think it would ...).

A 5.8GHz VTX/VRX pair with cables - incompatible with Fat Shark/Immersion kit, but that doesn't matter as this is a matched pair in terms of frequenceis: £32.99

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5-8ghz-200mw-RC-Wireless-Audio-Video-RC5808-Receiver-TS58200-Transmitter-for-FPV-/161057429739?pt=UK_ToysGames_RadioControlled_JN&hash=item257fc558eb

[ Guests cannot view attachments ]

GoPro Hero3 FPV cable (looks like this one is ready to go) - £6.99

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Gopro-Hero-3-FPV-Real-time-Video-Cable-for-Fatshark-Sets-or-Any-FPV-Transmitters-/131063112753?pt=UK_ToysGames_RadioControlled_JN&hash=item1e83f86431

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7 inch monitor £35.80 (delivered)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/7-LCD-Color-Monitor-Video-Screen-FPV-Device-for-Rc-Airplane-Multicopter-Car-/150947786140?pt=UK_ToysGames_RadioControlled_JN&hash=item2325306d9c

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Offline Opto-Mystic

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2014, 17:30:44 »
Thanks for your efforts on my behalf, Danny. Very much appreciated.
I am having a look round Internet & eBay etc. at the moment and collecting a list of kit & ideas so that when the funds are available (late Jan/early Feb) I will be able to get the bits that I want. That said, I will more than likely put the list on the forum for everyone to pick to pieces  :smiley:
Donald

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2014, 17:39:10 »
I could go for the higher power Tx - I do have a Ham licence (G3... & ex ZL1...)
Donald

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2014, 17:50:12 »
I could go for the higher power Tx - I do have a Ham licence (G3... & ex ZL1...)

From other conversations on this forum and what has been posted in quote from OFCOM it looks like 25mw is the only legal transmitter power for 5.8GHz in the UK.  The specific wording is around the use of "video" transmission - so although a Ham can use higher power on 5.8GHz, they cannot legally do so for video [specifically].

There was a thread on this during November or December as I recall. 

So my view is that to remain legal 25mw is it. Anything else and you're in the lap of the gods.  200mw seems to be the norm, off the shelf, however.
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Offline simon

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2014, 18:48:01 »
Donald I think I know where you coming from.
I'm currently kitting out for the same purpose.  I dont need fpv to fly from the feed but just to frame shots on the camera currently go pro hero 3+. I'm gonna use a screen not goggles. To fly fpv I would go seperate feed and goggles maybe on another rig lol.
Anyway I've gone immersion tx which also will give out a 5v feed for a camera. Ive also got a seperate lipo to power the tx and gimbal and lights. That way my 4s powers the hex nothing else.
On the ground I'm gonna have a screen with receiver built in then plug into a lipo and job done. Can either stick it on a tripod or may fabricate a mount on my tranny.
BNUC-S Pilot, with PFAW

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2014, 19:57:27 »
... it looks like 25mw is the only legal transmitter power for 5.8GHz in the UK.  The specific wording is around the use of "video" transmission - so although a Ham can use higher power on 5.8GHz, they cannot legally do so for video [specifically].

You are correct, having a HAM licence has no advantage at all.
Steve

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2014, 21:03:09 »
Absolutely right, Steve. I hadn't actually looked closer at the regs until now.

It is forbidden to use "Amateur equipment" (video or otherwise) in any aircraft (model or real)
This is an extract from:

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/spectrum/information/licence-exempt-radio-use/licence-exempt-devices/ofw311
We have received a number enquiries from those (principally non-amateurs) who wish to fly radio-controlled aircraft, such as quad-copters, fitted with video cameras.  The cameras are used to view the ground from the aircraft or to provide First Person View to aid the control of the aircraft.
There is a belief that this use can be authorised by applying for an Amateur Radio licence.  This is wrong.  The Amateur Radio licence expressly prohibits use in any airborne craft, including radio-controlled models, aeroplanes and balloons.


Donald

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2014, 22:36:26 »
The only exception to that being equipment that is within 25mw on 5.8GHz. 
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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2014, 23:25:50 »
Donald, reading this thread, can't help but think that you are almost there with your solution.  You can just take the live out from your gimbal and either route it through the iosd (if you have one) or simply to a vtx.  The great debate is whether or not to rely solely upon the gopro on its own,or incorporate a second dedicated fpv cam in  your  system.
but as you have indicated that you do not need fpv per-se, the gopro and line of sight would be enough would it not?
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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2014, 16:14:42 »
The only exception to that being equipment that is within 25mw on 5.8GHz.

Not so - there is no exception as an 'Ham' operator ! An Amateur Radio Operator is forbidden to use ANY radio transmitting equipment on Any aircraft. Period.

However If I fly with on 5.8gig during a 'ham' event, then I could be seen as infringing the Amateur radio licence, however I very much doubt if any Ofcom officer would take action - it would be seen as being operated as a non licenced ham operator.

As one senior officer once told me on a different but similar situation: "It is a matter of the spirit of the law rather tan the letter of the law." Common sense prevails (most of the time, especially when the 'jobsworth' is on leave!)


Donald

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2014, 16:21:06 »
Donald, reading this thread, can't help but think that you are almost there with your solution.  You can just take the live out from your gimbal and either route it through the iosd (if you have one) or simply to a vtx.  The great debate is whether or not to rely solely upon the gopro on its own,or incorporate a second dedicated fpv cam in  your  system.
but as you have indicated that you do not need fpv per-se, the gopro and line of sight would be enough would it not?

Spot on! As you have gathered, at my age, zipping and zapping about the sky, weaving in & out the trees, under and over footy goal posts is not for me.  Slow, smooth & sedate is more my style. The setup you describe is perfect for my needs.
Donald

Offline Hands0n

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Re: FPV with a GoPro 3
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2014, 16:53:07 »
As one senior officer once told me on a different but similar situation: "It is a matter of the spirit of the law rather tan the letter of the law." Common sense prevails (most of the time, especially when the 'jobsworth' is on leave!)

Blimey  :o  There's hope for Blighty yet  :laugh:

I took my earlier reference and understanding from some of the OFCOM responses that one of our forum members documented on another thread on the subject of allowable VTX transmission power on 5.8GHz.    Thanks for the correction  ~~
--
Danny
"Its better than bad, its good"

Current FCs: Pixhawk, APM 2.6, Naza M V2, Naze32, Flip32+ CC3D, KK2.1.5
Aircraft: miniMax Hex, DJI 550 (clone) TBS Disco, 450 Firefly, 250 Pro, ZMR250, Hubsan X4, Bixler 2