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2014/07/06 Shoving an autopilot and some FPV into my multiplex minimag
π 2014-07-06 00:00 in Rc
After having abused my minimag in so many ways that I stopped counting, I thought I'd try putting an Ardupilot APM 2.6 in it, and add an FPV camera and OSD, because why not? :)

While I have an overpowered 250W motor, taking off with the extra weight is not the problem, but shoving all that extra stuff in the very tight bay was kind of challenging.
I got a few flights out of it, and then had a short circuit which burned the APM, but thankfully that happened on the ground, and it'll be fine with a new APM I already have at home.

The APM happens to fit upside down just above the battery:


All this stuff so barely fits, and you can see the transmitter and antenna on the tail:


The supposedly APM 2.6 chinese clone board I got was actually a 2.5 with built in compass. It took me a while to figure that out, and I had to cut the trace to the compass for my external compass to finally start working. I do not recommend buying from goodluckbuy on ebay or elsewhere, they ship totally untested stuff that wasn't even meant to work together. I found multiple problems in what they shipped and they didn't seem super interested when I told them what was wrong and what they should change. But worse, in my 2nd shipment, I got a GPS board that had no GPS on it, and 3DR clone radios that just didn't work. Lesson learned, don't buy from them.


I put a basic fatshark for FPV, and make a custom mount out of a piece of metal:



The problem is that my gear collapsed on one landing and the plane landed on the camera, breaking off the top. It was a total mess putting the lens back together after the bits fell out, and even more work gluing the thing back on in a way that the picture was shark on all 4 corners (damn that was super hard, I ended up using putty to hold it until the picture looked good, and glued it then, but that took hours).



This is what the circular polarized antennas look like inside:


And I had to do special wiring to send 5V to the camera while sending 12V to the OSD (from the 12V power supply coming out of the transmitter)



I ended up learning the basics of how it all works and doing a few successful test flights on my minimag before the APM died. This let me redo this on my glider much faster with what I learned on the minimag.


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