In this instructables I'll go over the simple steps I took to attach an FPV camera to a Parrot Rolling Spider mini drone. The Parrot rolling spider is a small 120mm Bluetooth controlled drone that packs quite a punch. It has ample power for carrying a camera and is very stable in flight. Out of the box these do have a camera but it is low resolution and has no FPV capabilities. One issue to be aware of is the limited range of this device and the latency of the touch screen controls but putting a camera on it is fun anyways.
Step 1: What Do You Need?
As far as materials go you will need:
- AIO (all in one) Micro camera, these can be found all over the internet for around $40.
- knife, scissors, or splicing device: your going to need to cut and splice some wire.
- screw driver for removing bottom plate, may be a torx or philips
- Hot glue, or some other method or attaching the camera
- soldering iron(MUST have fine tip) and solder
- and thats it besides the drone itself, however if you don't already have a 5.8ghz video receiver you'll need one of those if you actually want to see the view from your camera. These can be found for around $30
Step 2: Get Inside
First things first, you are going to need to remove the bottom plate. This is held in with four screws. after removing these lift the plastic cover off the frame. This will reveal the circuit board that lies beneath which functions as every part of this quads control system.
Step 3: Cut and Splice the Wires
In order to do this step you are going to need to decide where you want to mount your camera. After you have decided on mounting position measure how long you want the wires to be (see next step for where you will actually need to measure to). Being extraordinarily delicate, splice about 2mm or so off the end.
Step 4: Manipulate the Molten Metal
This is the step where the product really comes to life. Start by setting up everything needed for soldering. Your going to want a wet sponge for cleaning and some tweezers or pliers for holing the wires precisely when soldering can be very helpful. Start by tinning the wires. This means that you put solder on the wire before soldering it to the board. Next locate the pins you will be soldering too. They are the ones that connect directly with the battery and are the largest pins there. The positive pin is the pin closest to the outside (blue wire in picture) and the negative is the farthest pin from the same side (red wire in picture). Hold the wire up against the pin and press the soldering iron against it until the connection liquefies at which point remove the soldering iron while keeping the wire steady for a few seconds as the connection cools and solidifies. Repeat for both connections.
Congratulations! At this point you have added FPV to a Rolling spider, If you plug in the battery the camera should power on, if not check your connections.
Step 5: Camera Mounting
There are many many ways in which you can mount your FPV camera so feel free to get creative! However a simple method is to make a little base to the camera to sit on out of hot glue and then use a small rubber band to fix the camera on top. Alternatively you could just hot glue it directly on, or make a foam pad to replace the hot glue. If you really wanted to you could easily make a radical 3D printed mount as well.
At this point your read to toss in a fresh battery and experience your Rolling Spider like never before: in first person.