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H920Plus with GB603/Sony A7RII

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I recently completed a successful first flight of a H920Plus with a GB603 gimbal/Sony A7RII camera and ST24/ST16 controllers operating in team mode. The ST24 controls the GB603 pitch and yaw and displays the digital camera video from the LK 58 transmitter located on the GB603. The ST16 controls the H920Plus flight controls and displays all ship telemetry.
Although the test flight and ground tests were successful, this system should still be considered experimental. (FAA definition).
The following are some notes on the project:

-Mounting the Sony A7RII in the GB603 required some trimming, notching and shimming even though I used the Sony A7 lens mount frame. Balancing the gimbal (very important) required adding 32 grams laterally to the GB603 frame with a 50 mm lens on the A7.

-The A7 camera is controlled with an Air Commander V2 (airpixel.cz). This unit provides almost complete control of the Sony A7 functions. The unit operates in the 2.4 GHZ ISM band and uses CSMA modulation. It does not appear to interfere with the Yuneec flight control link operation.

-The Air Commander and camera are powered from the 24 volt ship’s batteries converted to 12 volts by a DC/DC converter. The ship’s battery power is accessed via a “Y” harness between the H920Plus JST gimbal connector and the GB603 plug. This arrangement does restrict 360° rotation of the gimbal, but 180° rotation works well. Complete 360° rotation could be enabled if the 24 volt ship power was accessed beneath the GB603 slip ring and inside the GB603 control box. I was reluctant to attempt this since the slip ring is so delicate and any damage to it would be a “show stopper”.

-No firmware mods were required but the binding sequence with the two controllers (ST16 and ST24) is critical.

-Firmware versions are: b30 for the ST16, b94 for the ST24 and 1.19 for the H920Plus.

-The complete GB603 assembly weighs approximately one pound more than the CG04.

-Range testing for the various links has not been completed.

-I plan to try a 24 mm lens which is lighter and will provide a 82° FOV. The current 50 mm lens has a 47° FOV.

-The Sony A7RII is a full frame camera with 42 mega pixels and produces superb still photos. I have not tried video.

-The HDMI cable from the camera to the LK58 transmitter must be very flexible with a small diameter to avoid binding the gimbal movements. I used a 1 foot Smart-HD cable with micro HDMI male connectors. The HDMI cable included with the GB603 has angle connectors with orientation not compatible with the A7.

-Photos of the two controllers in operation and linked to the H920Plus/GB603 and the Sony mounted in the GB603 are attached.

I would certainly like to know what kind of RF link and modulation the ST24 uses to control the gimbal. The GB603 must have a receiver in the control box beneath the slip ring. Certainly the CG04 modified for the H920Plus does have a receiver there because two pigtail antennas are hanging down from the control box.
Does anyone know?

-Compared to the Freefly Alta 6/8 or the Intel Falcon 8+ this project appears to be an economical way to get the Sony A7 onto the air.

I would be glad to provide more details to anyone desiring to duplicate this project.
Just send me a PM

Long live the H920/H920Plus.
 

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I recently completed a successful first flight of a H920Plus with a GB603 gimbal/Sony A7RII camera and ST24/ST16 controllers operating in team mode. The ST24 controls the GB603 pitch and yaw and displays the digital camera video from the LK 58 transmitter located on the GB603. The ST16 controls the H920Plus flight controls and displays all ship telemetry.
Although the test flight and ground tests were successful, this system should still be considered experimental. (FAA definition).
The following are some notes on the project:

-Mounting the Sony A7RII in the GB603 required some trimming, notching and shimming even though I used the Sony A7 lens mount frame. Balancing the gimbal (very important) required adding 32 grams laterally to the GB603 frame with a 50 mm lens on the A7.

-The A7 camera is controlled with an Air Commander V2 (airpixel.cz). This unit provides almost complete control of the Sony A7 functions. The unit operates in the 2.4 GHZ ISM band and uses CSMA modulation. It does not appear to interfere with the Yuneec flight control link operation.

-The Air Commander and camera are powered from the 24 volt ship’s batteries converted to 12 volts by a DC/DC converter. The ship’s battery power is accessed via a “Y” harness between the H920Plus JST gimbal connector and the GB603 plug. This arrangement does restrict 360° rotation of the gimbal, but 180° rotation works well. Complete 360° rotation could be enabled if the 24 volt ship power was accessed beneath the GB603 slip ring and inside the GB603 control box. I was reluctant to attempt this since the slip ring is so delicate and any damage to it would be a “show stopper”.

-No firmware mods were required but the binding sequence with the two controllers (ST16 and ST24) is critical.

-Firmware versions are: b30 for the ST16, b94 for the ST24 and 1.19 for the H920Plus.

-The complete GB603 assembly weighs approximately one pound more than the CG04.

-Range testing for the various links has not been completed.

-I plan to try a 24 mm lens which is lighter and will provide a 82° FOV. The current 50 mm lens has a 47° FOV.

-The Sony A7RII is a full frame camera with 42 mega pixels and produces superb still photos. I have not tried video.

-The HDMI cable from the camera to the LK58 transmitter must be very flexible with a small diameter to avoid binding the gimbal movements. I used a 1 foot Smart-HD cable with micro HDMI male connectors. The HDMI cable included with the GB603 has angle connectors with orientation not compatible with the A7.

-Photos of the two controllers in operation and linked to the H920Plus/GB603 and the Sony mounted in the GB603 are attached.

I would certainly like to know what kind of RF link and modulation the ST24 uses to control the gimbal. The GB603 must have a receiver in the control box beneath the slip ring. Certainly the CG04 modified for the H920Plus does have a receiver there because two pigtail antennas are hanging down from the control box.
Does anyone know?

-Compared to the Freefly Alta 6/8 or the Intel Falcon 8+ this project appears to be an economical way to get the Sony A7 onto the air.

I would be glad to provide more details to anyone desiring to duplicate this project.
Just send me a PM

Long live the H920/H920Plus.
I recently completed a successful first flight of a H920Plus with a GB603 gimbal/Sony A7RII camera and ST24/ST16 controllers operating in team mode. The ST24 controls the GB603 pitch and yaw and displays the digital camera video from the LK 58 transmitter located on the GB603. The ST16 controls the H920Plus flight controls and displays all ship telemetry.
Although the test flight and ground tests were successful, this system should still be considered experimental. (FAA definition).
The following are some notes on the project:

-Mounting the Sony A7RII in the GB603 required some trimming, notching and shimming even though I used the Sony A7 lens mount frame. Balancing the gimbal (very important) required adding 32 grams laterally to the GB603 frame with a 50 mm lens on the A7.

-The A7 camera is controlled with an Air Commander V2 (airpixel.cz). This unit provides almost complete control of the Sony A7 functions. The unit operates in the 2.4 GHZ ISM band and uses CSMA modulation. It does not appear to interfere with the Yuneec flight control link operation.

-The Air Commander and camera are powered from the 24 volt ship’s batteries converted to 12 volts by a DC/DC converter. The ship’s battery power is accessed via a “Y” harness between the H920Plus JST gimbal connector and the GB603 plug. This arrangement does restrict 360° rotation of the gimbal, but 180° rotation works well. Complete 360° rotation could be enabled if the 24 volt ship power was accessed beneath the GB603 slip ring and inside the GB603 control box. I was reluctant to attempt this since the slip ring is so delicate and any damage to it would be a “show stopper”.

-No firmware mods were required but the binding sequence with the two controllers (ST16 and ST24) is critical.

-Firmware versions are: b30 for the ST16, b94 for the ST24 and 1.19 for the H920Plus.

-The complete GB603 assembly weighs approximately one pound more than the CG04.

-Range testing for the various links has not been completed.

-I plan to try a 24 mm lens which is lighter and will provide a 82° FOV. The current 50 mm lens has a 47° FOV.

-The Sony A7RII is a full frame camera with 42 mega pixels and produces superb still photos. I have not tried video.

-The HDMI cable from the camera to the LK58 transmitter must be very flexible with a small diameter to avoid binding the gimbal movements. I used a 1 foot Smart-HD cable with micro HDMI male connectors. The HDMI cable included with the GB603 has angle connectors with orientation not compatible with the A7.

-Photos of the two controllers in operation and linked to the H920Plus/GB603 and the Sony mounted in the GB603 are attached.

I would certainly like to know what kind of RF link and modulation the ST24 uses to control the gimbal. The GB603 must have a receiver in the control box beneath the slip ring. Certainly the CG04 modified for the H920Plus does have a receiver there because two pigtail antennas are hanging down from the control box.
Does anyone know?

-Compared to the Freefly Alta 6/8 or the Intel Falcon 8+ this project appears to be an economical way to get the Sony A7 onto the air.

I would be glad to provide more details to anyone desiring to duplicate this project.
Just send me a PM

Long live the H920/H920Plus.
Hmmm, what a lovely "hack job" ...guess up in the air it does not matter what it looks like :cool:
 
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PatR

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Hmmm, what a lovely "hack job" ...guess up in the air it does not matter what it looks like :cool:
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. In this case the completed package is much less cluttered than a Cinestar 8 fitted with a Radian gimbal and Canon full frame.

With a 42mpx delivered product, I can get along quite well with a few wires.
 
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PatR

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BTW Seabee, thanks for the experimentation and write up. You’ve provided some good reasons to keep eyes open for fire sale prices on used 920 equipment.
 
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