HermannSW
Posts: 699
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:09 pm

Re: Cheap RC airplane with "outboard" Pi Zero and camera

Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:27 pm

I made many more search flights with drone, found airplane on three videos.

Today I copied out the parts of those videos that showed the airplane, did crop top left 700x360 from 1280x720 frames, slowed down framerate of 30 fps to 6 fps, concatenated the videos (all with ffmpeg) and converted to animated .gif (with gifenc.sh).

First airplane enters scene from top right to middle right hidden by leaves, then plane enters frame from middle top and leaves top left, and finally plane enters from middle top and leaves middle top:
Image


Unfortunately Iost the camera drone today as well, it flew very high, I lost sight, then it fell down and I had no idea where to search (I did hear drone hitting some tree, but had no idea of direction). I went into the wood, then smaller wood and finally near horse stable, always turning drone motors on and off. After 10 minutes I did hear the drone in trees near horse stable. I walked around the trees to ensure acoustically that drone really is somewhere in those trees and not somewhere on the ground. The small 5m diameter circle is where the airplane is in tree 20m above ground, the 10m diameter circle is where drone is in trees:
Image


Regarding my plans wrt Pi controlling drone flight I made progress in flying drone without lipo yesterday. Finally (with thick cables) I was able to fly drone tethered with 4.19V and 8.5A, allowing for unlimited indoor flight time (after I have been told repeatedly in that thread that this is not possible). I hope these are not the last pictures of my drone:
https://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topi ... msg3786115
Image


Now I have to wait for FPV drone I did order 9 days ago during banggood super-sale for 20$ with free shipping to arrive.
The E52 will definitely allow for search of lost drone, and hopefully even allow to rescue RC airplane in tree 20m above ground:
https://twitter.com/HermannSW/status/10 ... 2218242049
Image
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scotty101
Posts: 2909
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Re: Cheap RC airplane with "outboard" Pi Zero and camera

Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:41 pm

You are going to buy another drone, to find a drone that was lost while finding an RC aircraft.. Perhaps you need to stop flying near trees? :lol:

I do sympathize. I lost my first RC aircraft after <5 minutes of flight time as it got caught in a sudden gust of wind.
Electronic and Computer Engineer
Pi Interests: Home Automation, IOT, Python and Tkinter

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DougieLawson
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Re: Cheap RC airplane with "outboard" Pi Zero and camera

Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:22 pm

If the trees are deciduous then it's just a case of waiting for Autumn.
Microprocessor, Raspberry Pi & Arduino Hacker
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HermannSW
Posts: 699
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:09 pm

Re: Cheap RC airplane with "outboard" Pi Zero and camera

Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:11 am

Two days ago I did more excercise flights, with now 6 lipos much more flight time. I lost E52 drone two times in distant high grass, found it via drone AP Wifi signal strength shown in Android smartphone, details:
https://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topi ... msg3800878

Yesterday I lost drone again in deep grass, with installed app Wifi Analyzer and enabled sound finding drone was easy (beep interval gets smaller while getting nearer to drone).

Finally I was able to loose drone in a tree :-(
This is frame of video taken from drone after hanging 6m above ground in tree:
Image


Luckily that location was in tree with raised blind below!
I was able to sit 3m above ground on raised blind, and with arm length and a 4m stick I was able to rescue drone:
Image


Today in the morning I did first search flights with E52 drone at group of trees with the other lost drone.
Unfortunately the E52 camera did not work well in the beginning, and finally (after more than 3*4min flight time with 3 lipos) the Android app did not even show a E52 camera video image at all :-(
Hopefully there is a simple way to fix the camera, like pressing on Raspberry v1 camera module Sunny connector ...
--> Raspberry camera / gstreamer / raspivid / raspiraw (bookmark list):
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HermannSW
Posts: 699
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:09 pm

Re: Cheap RC airplane with "outboard" Pi Zero and camera

Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:27 am

I had problems in uploading Eachine E52 .mp4 videos to youtube, youtube refused to take them.
Although .mp4 is a supported video format, youtube complained that I should use a supported format?!?!?

Yesterday I found the reason (there is an audio channel in E52 .mp4 videos) that does confuse youtube.
Since there is no microphone in E52 drone, I found easy solution in just disabling audio with ffmpeg's "-an" option.

This was first video uploaded yesterday, "Eachine E52 FPV drone free fall from more than 40m height into grass":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibJafdBGmcQ

I was able to upload the video where E52 drone ended in tree after 46 seconds using this ffmpeg command:

Code: Select all

ffmpeg -i 20180710191321.mp4 -vcodec copy -an tree_hang.mp4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMmqbc5U3Z8

At the start of the video the tree with raised blind can be seen in detail, I did not know that drone would end up there at that point in time ... I should have let speed at 30% in Android EACHINE_UFO app and not have tried 100%.

P.S:
I did order a backup E52 yesterday, for some reason it was cheaper than even during super sale last time (20$):
https://twitter.com/HermannSW/status/10 ... 0398379008
Unfortunately today it is at 29$ again.
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HermannSW
Posts: 699
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:09 pm

Re: Cheap RC airplane with "outboard" Pi Zero and camera

Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:55 pm

I did this experiment as 2nd backup plan in case I cannot fix E52 drone camera.
I wanted to test whether Pi ZeroW+v1 camera+cable can replace E52 FPV camera board.
As easy test I just added it without removing existing FPV camera and board:
Image


86.3g E52 drone
14.0g PiZeroW+v1 camera+cable
   0.6g rubber band
-------
100.9g in total

And it really worked!
This is first time I did fly a drone in my (small) Motor Test Station (MTS).
I knew that drone is loud outdoor, indoor it feels much louder (hear into Android camera youtube video)!
This drone can carry even more easily ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ohbj72 ... e=youtu.be
Image


P.S:
It seems that there will be another thread 'Cheap FPV drone with "outboard" Pi Zero and camera' later ;-)


P.P.S:
Automatic E52 drone liftoff with Pi backpack, played slowed down by factor of 2:
Image
--> Raspberry camera / gstreamer / raspivid / raspiraw (bookmark list):
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HermannSW
Posts: 699
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:09 pm

Re: Cheap RC airplane with "outboard" Pi Zero and camera

Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:32 am

I did some more small space flights in MTS and drone blades nearly killed the border Raspberry v1 camera cable (I lost a 1m v2 camera cable by an uncontrolled indoor drone flight before). So I taped and secured both camera cables in MTS flat to the borders:
Image


Yesterday I opened the E52 drone to have a look for the camera (problems). Only 5 little screws hold everything together:
Image


There was a small section of plastic avoiding E52 FPV camera to record downwards. Dremmel grinding disk made it go away. Now drone can record vertically downwards as well (good for lost in trees RC airplane/drone search):
Image


Today I skipped the step of finding airplane first and did try to rescue duplicate of RC airplane (airplane pulling). 24.9g+0.7g(cable)+0.6g(rubber band)=26.2g additional load was too much, drone could not lift airplane significantly above meadow:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJIlSS9 ... e=youtu.be
Image

This drone can carry even more easily ...
From previous posting we know that E52 can lift with 14.6g backpack easily, from today we know it cannot lift with more than 25g additional load.

Perhaps a 14g wrecking ball might help rescue airplane from tree ...

P.S:
Camera seems to work better now, The FPV camera antenna was directly near the three cable connector of FPV board -- I moved it away before closing the drone again, hopefully that will have eliminated the camera problems.

P.P.S:
At least a drone with (13.1g) "wrecking ball" hanging at cable is difficult to fly, ended in hedge:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biWrUJk ... e=youtu.be
Image


P.P.P.S:
No-flight time for few weeks, details here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54bKzFrvFTQ
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HermannSW
Posts: 699
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:09 pm

Re: Cheap RC airplane with "outboard" Pi Zero and camera

Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:21 pm

As said in last posting P.P.P.S there is No-flight time until ordered blades will have arrived.

I did connect my Android to the E52 on weekend and found drone AP IP address to be 172.16.10.1.
I did "nmap 172.16.10.1" and found port 8888 open.

Today I googled for "eachine 172.16.10.1" and found this wonderful hackaday.io project:
"Controlling a JJRC H37 Elfie quad from a PC by adriajunyent-ferre"
https://hackaday.io/project/19680-contr ... -from-a-pc

All reverse engineering is done, pull_video.py and watch_video.py play quad video on PC using gstreamer, send_joystick.py controls quad from PC USB gamepad !

I will try whether E52 drone can be controlled the same way when back home on weekend, maybe a different magicword is needed in pull_video.py.

IF this works, then the Pi ZeroW I added as backpack to the E52 could
  • connect to E52 AP
  • control the drone
  • receive the .h264 video stream, and use gstreamer not to play video stream but to analyze and control drone based on video ...
    (Pi ZeroW as onboard drone pilot -- wireless, no soldering needed besides powering the ZeroW)
P.S:
"Logging into an Eachine E50S drone" is interesting as well:
http://yesuserserviceableparts.blogspot ... drone.html
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rodizio
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 2:40 am

Re: Cheap RC airplane with "outboard" Pi Zero and camera

Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:35 pm

You may want to have a look at this before you start re-inventing everything ;)

https://github.com/bortek/EZ-WifiBroadcast/wiki
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthr ... de-easy%21

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfz9F9lOMm8
https://vimeo.com/user47095683/review/2 ... b621cbaf55

Image

Monitor mode works much better than Wifi in AP/Station mode. It uses Ralink and Atheros USB Wifi cards in monitor mode.


Somebody also made some code for the ESP32 connected via SPI to the Pi, but not sure how good that works:
https://github.com/jeanleflambeur/esp32 ... _broadcast

HermannSW
Posts: 699
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:09 pm

Re: Cheap RC airplane with "outboard" Pi Zero and camera

Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:55 pm

Thanks for the links, but they are on Wifi broadcast.

For "Pi ZeroW as E52 drone pilot" wifi broadcast is not needed (in the first place).

I think these are the first three simple Pi Pilot projects.
For all Pi ZeroW connects to E52 AP after some triggering, then:
  1. "Hello World": trigger "lift off" of drone (will leave drone in 1m above ground), wait X seconds and then trigger "landing"
  2. more advanced: trigger "lift off" of drone, fly forward X seconds, fly right X seconds, fly back X seconds, fly left X seconds, trigger "landing"
  3. consume E52 FPV camera .h264 video stream, split frames with help of gstreamer pipeline, analyze frames and let ZeroW make drone fly eg. along a footpath over meadow

For 2) and 3) it is important that emergency landing by triggering that through RTC (One-key down) is always possible since fully autonomous drone flight without emergency stop option is forbidden (at least in Germany).
--> Raspberry camera / gstreamer / raspivid / raspiraw (bookmark list):
https://stamm-wilbrandt.de/en/Raspberry_camera.html

https://github.com/Hermann-SW/fork-raspiraw      https://github.com/Hermann-SW/userland      https://twitter.com/HermannSW

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