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Need help switching from 1-man to 2-man config with Taranis and Alexmos

Discussion in 'Aerial Photography and Video Discussion' started by ptaylor999, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. ptaylor999

    ptaylor999 Member

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    Posted by ptaylor999, Jul 6, 2015 #1
    Hi everyone,

    I need help with the following issue:

    I have a T960 hex all set up with a new gimbal flying a GH4 and would like to be able to fly it in both 1-man and 2-man configurations.

    The setup:
    - Both copter and gimbal have their own X8R receiver.
    - Both Rx's are using Sbus
    - The gimbal is utilizing a 32 bit Alexmos board through Sbus. The gimbal uses encoders on the motors. The reason I mention the encoders is because using them requires me to put a second X8R receiver on the gimbal itself as there is no possibility of a slip ring with this setup.
    - The copter also has it's own X8R receiver connected to a Naza-M V2 flight controller though Sbus.

    The problem:
    - I would like to be able to switch between using this copter in 1-man and 2-man configurations. In 1-man configuration I'd like control over the tilt and roll using the pots, and start/stop of camera using a 2-way or 3-way switch. In 2-man configuration I'd like the second Taranis to control the gimbal and camera only, with the sticks controlling gimbal pitch and yaw. I realize that I can bind one Tx to both Rx's. I also realize that, since I cannot bind 2 Txs to one Rx, I will probably need to do a re-bind according to whether I'll be flying 1-man or 2-man, and I'll probably need to switch models on the pilot Tx. I'm Ok with this, but can't figure out how to configure the Tx Models and Mixes on each receiver to make it work, and am unclear as to what binding modes I should use.

    Specific questions:
    - Can the X9D Tx even be bound to 2 X8R's that are both using Sbus at the same time?
    - if so, how would I go about setting this up?

    Am I asking too much of this equipment?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. Johnb80

    Johnb80 Member

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    Posted by Johnb80, Jul 7, 2015 #2
    I don't know the specific Tx's involved BUT with my Tx setup I would do the following.

    Setup the master Tx as you have, all good for 1 man ops.
    Setup a buddy system so that only the gimbal channels go to the buddy box.
    On the buddy box, set up a mix from the sticks to the reed channels.

    Job done.

    J
     
  3. Bartman

    Bartman Welcome to MultiRotorForums.com!!

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    Posted by Bartman, Jul 7, 2015 #3
  4. ptaylor999

    ptaylor999 Member

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    Mar 21, 2014
    Posted by ptaylor999, Jul 7, 2015 #4
    Looks great, unfortunately there can be no connections between the gimbal and the flight controller. The gimbal is an entirely self contained unit. It's even removable via 4 quick releases.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. ptaylor999

    ptaylor999 Member

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    Posted by ptaylor999, Jul 7, 2015 #5
    Johnn80, thanks for the suggestion, but I, as the camera operator, can't be tethered to the pilot. Otherwise that would be an awesome solution.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. Bartman

    Bartman Welcome to MultiRotorForums.com!!

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    Posted by Bartman, Jul 7, 2015 #6
    with the switching unit from Pololu you don't need to have a connection between the flight control and gimbal.

    you need one channel on your main radio to control the switch on the module

    you input your #1 radio channels for the gimbal to the master inputs on the module
    you input your #2 radio channels for the gimbal to the slave inputs on the module

    you run the outputs from the module to your gimbal controller

    when the switch on the 1st radio is set for one-man operation, the module will send the main radio's controls to the gimbal.
    when the switch on the 1st radio is set for two-man operation, the module will send the 2nd radio's controls to the gimbal.

    the flight controller has nothing to do with it.
     
    2 people like this.
  7. ptaylor999

    ptaylor999 Member

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    Posted by ptaylor999, Jul 7, 2015 #7
    This is sounding interesting. Thanks for taking the time to explain it to me, and everyone.

    Question - being that all gimbal-related gear must live directly on my gimbal, as I have no option for slip rings in the yaw motor, I must ask, how big is this module? I would need to find a place to mount it. And also, what type of connection does it use from the module to the controller? And, does the module communicate directly with the X8R receiver? I cannot bind 2 Tx's to one receiver,


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. violetwolf

    violetwolf Member

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    Posted by violetwolf, Jul 9, 2015 #8
    Great conversation, I'm thinking of a similar setup for later this year.

    I wonder about simply re-binding the gimbal rx when we want to add a second operator. Would this work: One tx bound to two rx's.. one on the machine one on the gimbal. This would be for single operator of course.. Then when adding a camera op I would simply re-bind the gimbal rx to his tx..

    It's really fast to bind the radios, and in this scenario we would not be re-binding the flight radios at all so there would be little chance of making a mistake with the flight controls.
     
  9. ptaylor999

    ptaylor999 Member

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    Posted by ptaylor999, Jul 12, 2015 #9
    It's actually not that fast when you have to deal with those dang little jumpers!
     
    2 people like this.
  10. Bartman

    Bartman Welcome to MultiRotorForums.com!!

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    Posted by Bartman, Jul 12, 2015 #10
    now that you mention it, if everything is on the gimbal and moving inside of the pan axis then you'll have issues with wires wrapping up around the gimbal.

    i originally used the unit to let a one man heli w/ 2 axis gimbal operate like a 2 man heli with a 3 axis gimbal (but without the 3 axis gimbal) so wires weren't an issue. sorry about that
     
  11. Posted by Mojave, Jul 12, 2015 #11
    @Bartman@Bartman ... is there a way to work a slip ring into the system?
     
  12. Bartman

    Bartman Welcome to MultiRotorForums.com!!

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    Posted by Bartman, Jul 12, 2015 #12
    if you mount the switching module on the helicopter i think you'd need conductors for power, ground, and signal for two channels (yaw/pan, tilt) from the second receiver so four rings total. it probably wouldn't be too hard to make, just need some copper rings and a conductor to ride the surface of the copper without wearing out or losing contact.
     
  13. ptaylor999

    ptaylor999 Member

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    Posted by ptaylor999, Jul 12, 2015 #13
    Thanks so much for all the info and advise everyone!

    I went with the FrSky XJT module and it works great so far. Easy setup on the Taranis, and an easy bind. And it's simple stupid to just pop it out of one Tx and into the other, with appropriately setup models on each.

    Problem solved!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
  14. ptaylor999

    ptaylor999 Member

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    Posted by ptaylor999, Jul 13, 2015 #14
    Gawd I wish there were! Unfortunately, the encoder-equipped motors this gimbal uses does not have a slip ring on the yaw motor. Someday soon I hope!
     
  15. violetwolf

    violetwolf Member

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    Posted by violetwolf, Jul 13, 2015 #15
    I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how you're using this to swap between 1 man and 2 man setup.

    So for single operator you're using the module in your pilot's TX to control the multirotor and the gimbal bound to two RX's one on the MR and one on the gimbal.. Then what? lol

    Do you have 3 modules: One for the Camera op that is bound to just the gimbal. One for the pilot that is bound to just the MR. And then a third module that is bound to both TX's so you can swap that into the pilot's TX for single-handing?

    My brain is hurting :)
     
  16. ptaylor999

    ptaylor999 Member

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    Posted by ptaylor999, Jul 13, 2015 #16
    Sorry for the confusion.

    For one man operation, I have the internal XJT on the first Taranis bound to the RX on the copter, and external XJT bound to the RX on the gimbal. When I go to a two-man operation, I simply move the external XJT, which is already bound to the RX on the gimbal, to the other Taranis. The internal XJT on the second Taranis is not bound to anything.

    Appropriate models and mixes are setup on each Tx.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
  17. vulcan2go

    vulcan2go Member

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    Posted by vulcan2go, Jul 13, 2015 #17
    Any chance of a short video to explain what you have used and how you set it all up? It would be very much appreciated! :)
     
  18. violetwolf

    violetwolf Member

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    Posted by violetwolf, Jul 13, 2015 #18
    Man that's genius!

    I second the request for any type of breakdown on the details. I have a Taranis but I've never used it as I find it pretty confusing to my Futaba trained brain. BUT I'm pretty sure il be buying a second Taranis soon! :)

    Thanks for sharing your setup ptaylor999 ... brilliant
     
  19. ptaylor999

    ptaylor999 Member

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    Posted by ptaylor999, Jul 14, 2015 #19
    Well, I've managed to get this thing up and working .. almost! Everything I was trying to do with the XJT module is working as it should, but now I'm having an issue with switching Basecam/gimbal profiles from the Tx. When I make the switch my gimbal goes all wackadoodle. And, as you can imagine, switching gimbal profiles is paramount for going from a one-man to a two-man operation as there is a different use of the sticks for each setup. With the one-man setup I need the sticks to control the copter, and on the two-man setup I need the sticks to control the gimbal. Damnit! Sooo close!
     
  20. ptaylor999

    ptaylor999 Member

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    Mar 21, 2014
    Posted by ptaylor999, Jul 14, 2015 #20
    A couple of you have asked for a breakdown of how I managed to get the External XJT module switch, from Tx to Tx, working, so here it is:

    Note 1) The main reason this works is because I have an RX dedicated to the copter only, and a second Rx for the gimbal only.
    Note 2) The main advantage to this type of setup, and the only reason I looked into it in the first place, is to eliminate the need for doing a re-bind of the gimbal Rx every time I want to switch from a one-man (one Tx) to a two-man (two Tx's) setup.
    Note 3) This setup is for the 32bit V3 Basecam (Alexmos) board, and a Taranis X9D Tx, with a FrSky X8R Rx.
    Note 4) I already had both my Transmitter models bound with 16 channels, but just 8 should work as well.
    Note 5) Some of my steps may be wrong, or unnecessary, but they worked for me, so ...

    Here are the steps I eventually used:

    1)Bind the external XJT module to the Gimbal Rx:
    a) Attach the XJT module to the back of your Gimbal Tx
    b) In the GimbalTx, go to the Model Setup page and then to the External RF section.
    c) Set the Mode to XJT and D16
    d) Set the channel range to 17-32
    e) Leave the Receiver Number at 1
    f) Exit out, thus saving the new settings
    g) Turn off the Tx
    h) Hold down the Failsafe button on the XJT module while powering up the Transmitter. The Red LED will blink while the green LED will glow steady. This means it's ready to be bound. Let it sit there, blinking away.
    i) Hold down the Failsafe button on your Gimbal Rx while powering it up. Same thing here, the red LED will blinbk while the green LED will glow steady. It, too, is now ready to be bound.
    j) Back in the Tx, go back into the same model setup page and go to Bind in the External RF section. Hit the ENT button. You'll hear a beep.
    k) Turn off the Tx and the Rx.
    l) Power the Tx and Rx back up. Now you should see a steady green light on the Rx, meaning it's bound.
    M) Setup the mixes you'll want for your gimbal on the mix page for this model, in channels 17-32, or channels 17-24 if you bound you Rx for 8 channels.

    2)Repeat this process for the Pilot Tx
    Note:
    This second part may not even be required since the XJT module really only needs to be bound once. But, my impetus for doing it is that each model needs to be bound as well, and we'll be using different models in each Tx. I haven't tested to see if it is required, I just know that it won't hurt and is working for me. If anyone out there can tell us it's not necessary, please let us know and we can skip this step.

    3)Create 2 different profiles in the BaseCam GUI software, one for the pilot (one-man setup), and one for the Camera Operator (two-man setup). This is necessary due to the fact that you'll need to maintain control of the sticks for piloting your craft with the one-man setup on the Pilot Tx, but will use the stick for gimbal control with the two-man setup on the Cam Op Tx. It will most likely be that the only difference in these profiles is in the RC section, where you'll be defining your gimbal controls. The PID's and such will likely remain the same.

    Note:I'm not going into the specifics of setting up the gimbal controls in the RC section of the GUI software because they will be different for everyone, but I will say this ..
    Note:When setting up your RC controls in the baseCam GUI software - even though your Tx model is setup for channels 17-32 or 17-24, you will want to use virtual channels 1-16 or 1-8 in the GUI, depending on how you bound your Rx, Don't ask me why. So, the control you set up on your Tx for channel 17 will correspond to Virt Ch 1 in the GUI. and so on.

    That's pretty much it. You should now be able to swap the XJT Module from Tx to Tx as desired, with no re-binding necessary.

    One last note, and it's a bit of a downer, though I'm confident i can solve it!
    Note: You will need to switch gimbal profiles in order to make this whole thing work as it's truly supposed to. There are a couple different ways of doing this in the BaseCam GUI using a 3 position switch on your Tx. Unfortunately, I have not been able to make this work properly thus far. While I have no problem setting up the control, and making the switch work, it causes my gimbal to freak out. I can still make the profile switch by doing it in the GUi and writing to the board, but that's no good! The major downer about this is that I am now forced to connect up my BaseCam board to my laptop each time I want to change from a one-man to two-man setup. So, if anyone out there can offer any advice to make this work properly, I, for one, would love to hear it!
     
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