New Product: clickPAN-SDM

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  • Way back at the beginning of this discussion I noticed two points that I was really excited about. The ability to control the angles at which shots are taken and the ability to a limit the directions in which shots are taken.

    I currently have an Aurico and those are the two limitations that irk me the most about it. I generally only want at most about 180 degrees of travel. For instance I am often at the beach and am mostly interested in shooting towards shore. Also I dont much like the limited angle at which shots are taken. Maybe because I am mostly a low altitude guy but I get lots of shots I dont want.

    In reading the documentation I think I can figure out how to more or less control the angle but it would be along time before I figure out how to control quadrants if you will. The ability to shoot just the 180 degrees in front of me, the 180 behind me, the 180 to the left or right would be a great start. If I consider the rig pointing towards the kite the 'home' position then the ability to pick a script to shoot the desired quadrant (hemishpere?) would be perfect.

    Anyone made any progress here they would care to share? Although I can usually figure out how to make minor tweaks to something someone smarter than me has come up with to suit my needs I am not much good at starting from scratch.

    Before I spend my limited funds i want to know if i can get both my wants fulfilled.
  • Rick, you can get what you want. Be sure to measure how much the click-pan SDM pans your rig for each of the 10 pulse strengths. Make a table showing the needed settings to get the degrees of arc you want. Because the servos may not move equal amounts in each direction, your table should show the settings for both clockwise and counterclockwise. For tilt, measure the maximum tilt range for your servo and attached the camera mount accordingly.

    My first script was for a pole rig. I tried a bi-directional script so I could just hold the pole and never move. The camera was supposed to just keep panning back and forth. However, this proved to be a waste of time for PAP so I simplified the script. You should be able to develop a similar bi-directional script for KAP without trouble.

    It really is nice to have complete control of the number and size of tilts movements. I only get excessive numbers of vertical shots when I want to or when I set my parameters incorrectly in the field. But it is completely in my control and that is fantastic. I now use the click-pan SDM controller for both PAP and KAP. I have velcro on my battery pack and just pull the whole harness off one rig and slap it onto the other (and then plug the servo wires in).

    Good luck,
    Tom
  • edited July 2010
    Well maybe I have answered my own question just by playing with my Aurico rig. I always thought there was a 'home' position for the pan servo but it appears not. I had never really tried to manually position/rotate the rig but it doesnt seem too stressful after a little practice. Since there is already an oscillation pan script for a 360 servo even I should be able to make it work. Just need a couple versions for different amounts of rotation and or angles I think. Just make sure the rig is pointing to the middle of the desired hemisphere/quadrant, fire things up and launch right? What could go wrong?

    I sorta get the drift thing but most of my flights are relatively short and I am not that exacting usually anyway. And the angle thing is really most important for me anyway.

    Well my birthday isnt too far away so guess what I want!

    Thanks for the confirmation Tom.
  • Okay I have been playing a bit with my new toy. I also find it to be very sensitive to placement, at first it worked, then it didnt. After moving the sensor hear and there in tiny bits I got it working again.

    I do seem to have one bit of odd behaviour though. I seem to be getting extra pulses. For instance, when using 360P script with the defaults I get 2 pulses to turn the servo as expected, then just before taking a picture there is another flash from the LED and there is one more turn of the servo. So the servo (and of course rig) turn three times for each picture.

    With the 360PT script the pan servo only seems to move the expected once. However the tilt servo moves to the ordered tilt position then just before a picture is taken the LED flashes, the servo moves/jerks but returns to the same position, then a picture is taken.

    No scipts have been knowingly altered. Any thoughts?

    Havent tried a flight yet.
  • Rick - it's a mystery to me. I just downloaded the scripts from my website and looked at 360P and 360PT. There seems no way that either script can generate any LED flash immediately before or after the camera takes a picture - there should be (using the default 5 second interval between photos) a 2.5 second 'sleep' before and after each 'shoot'. Is it possible that the flash you see is actually due to the camera flashing the auto-focus LED as part of its preparation for taking the photo?

    You could try increasing the 'g' parameter from 5 (seconds) to 8 say and see whether that has any effect.

    What camera are you using by the way?
  • Well I have had a bit more time to experiment but havent found a fix. I have an A590 with 101b loaded.

    The autofocus doesnt come on in normal mode in my present environment.

    There are no extra pulses in scripts that dont have shoot commands. (I Think)

    I tried reloading everything on the card and starting over, complete with new downloads.

    Just experimenting in the dark I tried to put an af_led_off in the :photo routine before the shoot command and af_led_on after. No Joy.

    I tried to put an af_led_off just before the gosub "photo" and turn back on after. No Joy.

    Now I am way over my head and dont even know if that should have done anything useful.

    i just ordered a backup from E-bay so i guess i am stuck until it comes and i will see if i have the same problem.

    Maybe I just have a unique camera.
  • Whew, after reading this entire post I'm cross-eyed.
    I've ordered a S95 and was wondering if anyone has tried clickPAN with it - there is a CHDK port for it, but maybe the AF led is, like the G11, difficult to work with and calibrate?
  • Richard, the ClickPan needs SDM - it won't work with CHDK (which doesn't provide control of the af led). An SDM port is not likely to appear until the CHDK port is stable (it's still a work in progress).
  • The S95 CHDK build is certainly not suitable for porting to SDM yet.

    When it has been ported, it is essential that I receive feedback about any problems.

    At present and in the past, six people have requested assistance (including two from this KAP forum) and not bothered to respond when I sent them test code.

    They usually say they are busy.

    David
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