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Old January 18th, 2011, 09:58 PM   #1
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GoPro + Quadcopter = This

This is the maiden voyage of my Gaui 330X Quad. This was an experiment to see if I could build a Quad, that flew, could carry a camera and get reasonably stable video.

For those of you that aren't familiar with RC the Guai 330X is a kit that you build, I used a slightly larger custom built frame for more stability.

This is a lot of fun and although I've only flown once I think there's enough potential in this that I've already started to build a Octocopter to carry a T2i or GH2. When I started using a DSLR for video as a hobby I thought how great is this, then started trying to figure out how to fly a camera, how could it get any better?

By combining them. I think my wife is going to divorce me...

And I thought I was too old to build models...


And if anyone watching this gets so inspired here's a video I posted previously from the same RC airfield.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/show-you...licopters.html
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Old January 18th, 2011, 10:19 PM   #2
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Wow! Looks Like fun!!

I can only imagine the value of shots gotten with this equipment for an outdoor wedding!!
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Old January 20th, 2011, 06:10 AM   #3
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OK, C'mon....

...what did it cost ya Chuck..how long did it take to knock together and is that the first RC you've flown????..and is that a circular polarizer you've adapted for the GoPro?

Al
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Old January 20th, 2011, 11:22 AM   #4
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It cost approximately $450USD, took about two weeks to build, but if you use the stock Gaui 330X kit and have all the parts you can build it in a couple of hours, that is a circular polarizer on the GoPro and [breath] this is not the first RC I've flown.

I have a RC Helicopter that I wanted to use for Aerial Photography but quickly realized it would take a long time to get good enough and was thoroughly discouraged, but then I read about a hexacopter built in Germany and I figured I'd give that a try.

I could tell after one flight that this was the way to go, I've already started building a larger octocopter that will carry a DSLR. I'm not that interested in flying, I'm more interested in flying a camera so slow, stable and safe are my top priorities.

The next steps for this quad is to mod the GoPro, to get rid of the fisheye, design an articulating camera mount, experiment with different accelerometers for better stability and figure out the best video downlink so I can see what I'm shooting and if I can get some usable footage while I'm doing that, all the better.

This is fun.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 11:54 AM   #5
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Do you think the stock quad would fly it well?
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Old January 20th, 2011, 11:21 PM   #6
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The stock quad flies the GoPro but it won't fly a DSLR.

I'm thinking if you can figure out how to get good stability flying a GoPro then mostly what it takes to scale it up is money, if you know how to do it there's hopefully less risk when you have to start spending.

That isn't necessarily the case with RC Helicopters.
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Old January 21st, 2011, 08:45 PM   #7
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I'm not an RC guy at all, but the Quad GoPro seems like a real winner in aerial video! Maybe look at something like an Asus HDMI wifi sender (WiCast) can fill the monitoring bill? The sender part shouldn't weigh that much, and I think it can be powered off AA batteries, and the range, well, it should be Line of sight therefore OK...

Thoughts? It seems if you could monitor while in flight the Quad would be a bit more stable, just through sensory correction ( I just made that up, but it sounds cool).
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 09:51 PM   #8
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Bob,
Quote ".................... just through sensory correction ( I just made that up, but it sounds cool)". unquote

Really made me chuckle.......but you hit the nail on the head!!!

Al
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 09:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding View Post
By combining them. I think my wife is going to divorce me...
On your Vimeo page I've seen a few other "reasons" your wife might get upset with you...

:)
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Old January 26th, 2011, 11:33 PM   #10
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What? That is my wife!


Oh, you mean the Blonde?


Actually, Mandy (the blonde) was very nice to work with and got along well with my wife.

I dodged a bullet from my wife and Mandy would just kick my butt...
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Old February 10th, 2011, 09:55 AM   #11
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Chuck that is really interesting. I guess if there was (no idea what to call it) some kind of gyro/gimble thing for the camera as I guess that any kind of breeze would make the copter thingy bounce around a bit. However what you've made is brilliant. I can't see us using it for a wedding video yet, but my goodness it has horror film or rock concert wriiten all over it. really great
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Old February 10th, 2011, 07:04 PM   #12
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Thanks. You can get gyro controlled camera mounts, but they cost way more than the camera and quadcopter. Part of the fun of doing this is to figure out ways to create a really stable [and safe] platform for as little as possible.

I think I can make this version with the GoPro a lot more stable and then I'll try scaling it up to carry a DSLR.

The other real benefit to one of these over an RC Helicopter is that they are quiet, you probably could use it a for event videography in the right situations.

This is a lot of fun.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 12:42 AM   #13
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Hi Chuck,

Following this with great interest - looks a lot of fun! I read on another thread on DVinfo that the quadcopters are very unstable if there is any breeze/only really suitable for indoor use or when there is no wind at all. That guy was suggesting a RC helicopter was really the only way to go (if I can find the thread again I'll link it). Any comments on how your rig behaves in the breeze from your experience so far?
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Old February 11th, 2011, 01:41 AM   #14
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I'd hate to be the one to pull focus :O
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Old February 11th, 2011, 10:10 AM   #15
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Hi Chuck,

Following this with great interest - looks a lot of fun! I read on another thread on DVinfo that the quadcopters are very unstable if there is any breeze/only really suitable for indoor use or when there is no wind at all. That guy was suggesting a RC helicopter was really the only way to go (if I can find the thread again I'll link it). Any comments on how your rig behaves in the breeze from your experience so far?
That was more true a couple of years ago then it is today. Like all things, the technology [electronics] have improved and many of the same gyros and accelerometers that make RC helicopters more stable make the quads more stable. I have a stabilizer that if I let go of the controls it will hover autonomously which makes in much more stable and safer in windy conditions. That's not to say that I can shoot good aerial video in windy conditions, but its comparable to many RC Helicopters.

Before I get in trouble with the Helifreaks, just as all RC helicopters are not alike, neither are all multicopters the same, how stable an aerial platform is also has a lot to do with the pilots skills. Which brings up an important point, I have an RC Helicopter [Align 600] that I purchased with the aspiration of doing AP, I could fly it fairly well, not nearly well enough to do AP plus the amount of "tweaking" that I had to do to try and reduce the vibration just made it cost prohibitive. I really don't have that great an interest in flying an RC anything, I want to fly a camera.

So after spending about $2K and feeling totally discouraged, but thankful that I hadn't seriously injured anyone, I came across a thread about a Mikrocopter in Germany, I wasn't willing to spend the nearly $8K they were asking but in theory I felt this was more in line with what I was looking for. So after a little research I discovered there are a lot of people interested in building and developing multicopters which has greatly lowered the barrier of complexity and expense.

This video was of the first flight, I was not able to achieve that level of stability and control with my helicopter in almost a year. Obviously I have not reached my goal of flying a DSLR but I know think its attainable.

Here's a video of my second flight with about a 5MPH breeze, unfortunately I had the GoPro angled too far down, but it was very smooth and manageable. Also notice I crashed landed, try doing that with an RC Helicopter. This thing you just turn it back over, make sure everything is where it should be and go again.

So, long story short, can it fly in wind - certainly, would I shoot aerial video in the wind - probably not, is it safe, yes and probably the most fun aspect, is it cost effective - that's totally up to your own imagination and willingness to experiment. Now I know how the Wright Bros. would have felt if they had a GoPro...

YouTube - Gaui 330X - GoPro 2
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