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Multi camera FPV

Todd

New member
#1
I got to thinking as a full scale tailwheel pilot how much peripheral vision is used for landing attitudes. Then I started thinking about using FPV for air to air shots on other aircraft in formation. Is is possible to rig up a platform with three cameras so that you could have a nose view and a right and left offset by say 60 to 90 degrees to give you side views. The ground set up would have three monitors of course to manage the various views.

Not sure how this would work in terms of transmission and antenna placement.

Thanks for a great diversion from reality.

Todd
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#2
Welcome to the forum, Todd!

dunno about mulitple simultanious FPV cameras . . . wouldn't be surprised if someone has tried it, but it's likley not caught on becasue each camera would need it's own transmitter channel -- do-able, but difficult and expensive in both cost and weight.

two things that are regularly done:

-pan/tilt cameras, which can be linked to a headtracker or a pot on the TX. kinda like piloting with blinders on (IFR training glasses, anyone?) but will work.

- wide angle lenses. You loose a lot of detail with these, but it's not hard to find 140+ degree lenses on cameras designed for FPV. With that, you've got a fair view for left/right allignment, assuming you can still make out your landmarks. Downside is most goggles have fairly limited view angle so the wide angle image becomes compressed to the eye. Displays aren't limited in the same ways, but aren't as immersive and have problems of their own.
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#3
A third option might be a video switch onboard to switch the camera input to the transmitter. In such a case I don't think I would be comfortable actually controlling the plane with such a set up. If something went wrong, you might get stuck looking left or right.
Nevermind, it was a dumb idea. I'd stick to the head tracking or wide angle options.:black_eyed:
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#4
A third option might be a video switch onboard to switch the camera input to the transmitter. In such a case I don't think I would be comfortable actually controlling the plane with such a set up. If something went wrong, you might get stuck looking left or right.
Nevermind, it was a dumb idea. I'd stick to the head tracking or wide angle options.:black_eyed:
Actually this is something I've seen implemented on the TBS Discovery 2 -- no idea if this was integrated on the platform or an added feature on that rig.

There was a switch between a low quality/high angle forward fixed camera and a roll/pitch stablized Gopro mount. The "center" on the gimbal could be set by the transmitter, but otherwise it cut out any change in roll or pitch beautifully to give a glacially placid fixed horizon view.

Problem is, while it's pretty to watch, it's really hard to fly from -- no visual cues you're pitched forward 10 degreees and left 50 degrees, since the gimbal cut it out. The video switch would allow the pilot to take a look at what the pretty camera was seeing and adjust it's perspective, then cut back to the piloting camera to keep it in the air. clunky, but worked.

Might have been better to mix in an OSD with an artificial horizon (do those exist in hobby grade OSDs?), and maintained attitude via OSD prompts. Probably would take a lot of getting used to those white tics on the screen being the copter's real attitude.
 

Todd

New member
#5
So then I have another question... ...are there autopilot options for FPV rigs? At least and altitude hold function so you can focus on lateral attitude when maneuvering close to other aircraft?
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#6
depends on the control board (the video is almost always a seperate system).

The features can typicaly be found in the board specs, but you can also connect the feature to the sensors available:

- a basic control board will have to have gyros. it's not really doing anything but mixing your RX input otherwise.

- Autolevel requires both Gyros and Accelerometers.

- Heading hold would require a compass (aka magnatometer)

- Altitude hold would require a barometer *and/or* GPS

- Postition hold or loiter would require a GPS, as would waypoints or return to home/base/launch.

Exact features will depend on the processor running it, and what the OEM took the time to program up. In most cases, (I know of at least one exception) if it has GPS, the OEM has taken the time to implement an RTL mode, in some fasion or another.

Keep in mind, if you're trying to get air-to-air video, even if you're fairly stable in Alt doesn't mean your subject will be.
 
#7
I do seem to remember seeing someone who had a 'pro' video hex that had two video streams, one for the FPV pilot and the large DSLR that was on a gimbal. The cameraman had his own set of controls to run the pan/tilt of the high quality camera while talking the pilot through what path he wanted to capture.