Intro: $5 Drone Camera Tilter
I just started to learn how to fly a drone and after first flight I noticed that the biggest probelm with flying with camera (without gimbal) is that you can't set angle of your camera while flying. You can buy gimbal for at least $70 which is not so cheap. You can also land set your camera and fly again but this way is inefficient and takes time. So I started to think about solution for it.
What I come up with is servo fixed to your drone and connected to output signal for gimbal. My drone (Freex mcfx) has that output if your drone also have it you can make my project! If not, then it is complicated because you must add additional battery, reciver and transcivier.
This project is really simple and I think that everybody can make it it should take up to an 1 hour to make including 3D printing. Total cost is about $5 and It is compatible with every camera that has gopro mount.
I also posted instruction in Polish on my website:
Step 1: Parts
For this project you will need:
1. Drone, I have freex drone which you can buy here:
But you can also use any other drone as long as it is prepared for gimbal.
2. 3D printed parts, in next step you can find .stl files that you need to print. If you haven't 3d printer you can ask at school or your friends if they have 3D printer. You can also order them online.
3. Servo, just normal micro servo the cheapest and most popular one. You can buy here:
4. Linear stabilizer with 5V of autput voltage (i.e. L7805CV)
5. Some wires
6. Soldering iron
Step 2: Printing
For some of you this can be the hardest part of this project. I know that not so many people have 3D printer, but it's really possible that you have 3D printer at school or maybe one of your friends have it, just ask. On line you can find places where you can print it or use 3dhubs.com.
Bellow you can find .stl files that you must print. This files are optimized for printing so there are easy to print. Here are my settings for them:
layer height: 0.2 mm
speed: 60 mm/s
number of perimeters: 2
infill: rectinelar 50%
Rest of parameters depends on filament and printer that you used
Printing time of this 2 files is about 40 minutes
Step 3: Assembling
It's hard to explain how to assemble it, so you can see it in the video from intro. Firstly get bigger printed element and screw servo to it using long M2 screws. Then using piece of plastic protect this servo from top and screw it to printed part. then screw arm and smaller printed part (this with big hole to mount camera) to servo. And finnaly screw it to your drone. To tighten it I use screws from the kit which are originaly to fix gopro mount to drone. And thats all of assembling. If you don't understand it just look at the video above.
Step 4: Soldering
We need to solder 4 cables with linear stabilizer. I used breadboard cables which I cut in half I recommend this cables because it is easier to connect them to gimbal output and power from drone. You should solder 2 cables to GND, one to input, and one to output of stabilizer. Be carrefull while soldering and before connecting it to power make sure that you haven't any short (I had one). Check if everything works before connecting to your drone, you don't want to destroy it.
Step 5: Connection
Firstly check if everything is soldered, and works good on a breadboard then connect to drone!
We just need to connect 5 cables. On the image above you can see where to connect which cable.
LS - linear stabilizer
D - drone
LS INPUT -> D VCC
LS GND -> D GND
LS GND -> Servo GND
D signal (white standalone cable) -> servo signal
I also used few pieces of tape and zip tie to organize cables and to fix syabilizer to drone's leg.
Step 6: Camera Settings
Because our camera is mounted upside down we need to change settings of it.
If you have xiaomi yi:
- turn on your camera
- turn on wifi
- go to camera settings
- turn on invert image
And that's all. I haven't gopro so I don't know how to set this on it, but you can also invert it in video editing software.
Step 7: Test It Out!
Now you can test it out. After flight I can say that this simple thing is pretty useful if you haven't gimbal and you can easily point your camera wherever you want. Remember to fly in save areas and be really careful also check out law rules about drone flying in your country! Thanks for reading if you have any questions leave a comment!