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Modify a GB 203 with mk58 for Thermal Camera

Dec 28, 2021
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Because i use my drones for fawn saving before mowing,
I like the Integrated display of the yuneec groundstation. so i ordered a used ( cheap) q500 and a GB203 with mk58.

My first experiment was with an eachine Pioneer with a HTI USB thermal camera and an FPV Setup.
A heavy setup with the dis of 10 Hz videoframes.
Not usable for fawn saving, too slow and too weak.
The Payload of 358 gramms additionally reduced my flight time down to 10-15 min from 20 min before.

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Than i tried same with a selfmade drone with an dji flamewheel 550 but i had no trust to it.
Flighttime will be 28 min and it flies pretty nice without GPS but with GPS the APM sometimes changes the orientation, even if compass is well calibrated.
This issue is not allway‘s happen and changes while flying.

2B81A879-F9EE-44B3-AD85-20270A0F38A8.jpeg 87475844-5DFC-40A7-AD48-82DB1BA0C9F7.jpeg E3099F50-6875-4CE8-8DC9-13E15EED4E3D.jpeg

Some Deers can be seen at 30 m height and about 80-100m distance

The best was the Video system, because that can be switched via a spare remote channel between 2 cameras, that will be an issue i may missing.

But the failure in orientation looses my trust in that system.

At least i found a good offer for an used Q500, it is ordered but on the Way to me,
So a testflight was today not possible.

Firstly i weight all the required parts to find out how much the overall payload will weights.
Thermalcam ( Coin417) including wire harness weights 48 gramms
Including my 3 D Printed adapter and the GB203 Gimbal i ended up at 217 gramms.
The Thermalcam adapter is printed in 0,4 layers with 17% infill and 0,8mm bottom and Top.
I increased the coolingfan to result in a gently warping i tried for the Design.


This is the thermal camera called Coin 417.
It is a 400x300 px version high resolution with highframe setup at 50Hz. Definitively Not cheap but worth each penny.

Building my own wireharness for the system.


The thermalcam- Adapter is impressive light but also it keeps the Cam very strong in place.
Curious how it will perform, the balance of the gimbal itself is pretty well in centre.

Attached a few picts of what i have done.
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And so looked the final Solution

This is the Thermalcam in its cover mounted onto the GB203 ready for the first flight.

As i heared it should be usable via mk58 with the ST10+ integrated Display.
We will see..
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There is not much needed, it came with an datasheet for the pinout of the integrated cameraconnector, what offers digital video connection, analog video connection, i2c connection, and the datagram of the Camera.
Additionally i got an small setup program, where i can change different setup values in the thermal Camera device, they be stored internally to need just the Camera Device on the Copter.
All was boxed in a well good package highly secured,
It impresses me and give a high quality feeling.

i got the Camera core itself ( the coin 417)
a 25mm lens system allready mounted
a documentation
a email with the required setup software
a digital to cvbs Video converter
And so looked the final Solution

This is the Thermalcam in its cover mounted onto the GB203 ready for the first flight.

As i heared it should be usable via mk58 with the ST10+ integrated Display.
We will see..

Looks great!

Can I ask approximately how much the Coin 417 cost? I'm googling around and I'm not seeing a price, which probably means it is more than I want to spend ( :) ), but I'm curious.

Looks great!

Can I ask approximately how much the Coin 417 cost? I'm googling around and I'm not seeing a price, which probably means it is more than I want to spend ( :) ), but I'm curious.

Hi Dylan,

Sent you a PM.
After i tried few things Dylanfm sents me his Code for the Tx converter.

Yes i knew, it is a little chaotic on my Desk...

I was not able to compile so i tried an older version and get it finally to Work.

After Firmwareupdate on my ST10+ and few restarts the System reconnects again and i was able to see my results onto the Missonplaner Screen.

I could solve few minor Problems in the conversion and now the Firmware works Great at all via an Omnibus F4Pro. Another Wemos is used for a Mavlink wifi connection, i know, not good to have 2systems on the same frequency Band, but i tested it out and my Range goes wider than 100 meters.




Than the Wifi Mavlink interrupts, the ST10 instead be connected the whole Time.
Even the mk58 with the Thermal Cam.


It appears i be faster than a drone from north to south Germany....
After i was 2 Weeks on a Seminar, finally the Q500 arrives.

It was offered as a „slaughterhouse“ and i was Curious what i will get, i was primary interested in the Motors and ESC‘s. So i was aware this can be a strongly damaged Machine.

I opened the Box to have a look, - hey ptretty complete an except the Landing gear not too much destructions.

Cool, time to update the Copter on last versions.
Powered - update - rebind calibrate aaand .......


System works.
Depending on Snowy weather i will delay the flight test.


I do few tests about the video lag.
It appears to be usable but i will see it finally after the first testflights.

Next step is to get more deeper info about the Autopilot and the ST10+ ( Android)

Thinkering if it will be possible to implement QGroundControl on it with an small activation icon.

That Means :
Basic start is the normal Screen but one button more like the small gear, wich starts qgroundcontrol app.

Qgroundcontrol will handle the flightroute and can interact with the pilot via vibration sensor and Touchscreen..

That would be a perfect solution for my needs.

Failsave :
if contact to groundstation interrupts or battery goes low
Copter does RTH
if GPS fails or unusable values copter lands
After several flight tests i have follow resumes.

The Typhoon Q500 is not Bad at all, it is a rock solid Copter that does what it should.

The maximum reachable Distance was hardly limited by the Transmission systems to about 800m in Steering and 300 meters on the Video system, shure can be improved but it still not allows fly by predefined routes.

There is a Android tablet in the transmitter mounted but on Hardwareside it is strictly unsupported by the Manufacturer. An possible solution will not be made, even if it can be extremely helpful i several cases.

All questions ends in empty promises without further reaction. This Type of Support is an absolute NoGo for me with a possible Business Partner - just empty promises without any usable results from Yuneec Germany.
I don‘t need ‘em.

So i stopped my Yuneec side trip at all and go back to other selfmade projects, where i can faster made any Progress.

Remove Wifi fugg out of the Copter


3D print a few parts for the Thermal Cam



Use a basic FPV Set with zero latency in direct compare to mk58 with it‘s 500 msec up to 2 sec. Latency


....and go Fly



Range: 1,5 Km with Stock Transmitter
Video range 850m with 25 mW and zero Latency by an helix Antenna 7 wind.
Airtime 23 min include running Video
Extremely handy because it’s small footprint.

That‘s my final results in yuneec expedition.


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The Fawn saving project - continues..
Yap - with the Yuneec Q500

While flying active for fawn Saving before Mowing i found few issues without using a smoothening gimbal.
The HS720 is a fantastic foldable minicopter no doubt and it becomes also my best friend in this Project - but not only.


First is in higher Altitude the HS720 appears to be a great helper absolute no doubt about it, but if you find a Hotspot in higher Altitude it is extremely hard to keep it in ( place) or better in picture when decreasing the Altitude.
On little windier day‘s it is Hard to keep it in place to investigate a found hotspot.

So the last Day‘s i reworked my Yuneec to have it sensefully in use for my needs.

I begin with the Transmitter.
2 better Antennas and a lhcp helix give me a massive improvement on the Range i can reach but the Lag in video is absolutely inacceptable. So i remove the helix and exchange it with a normal 5,8GHz Antenna.


The sideway‘s mounted FPV Screen was another Feature what help me against the Videolag.

Actually i can fly 1,5 Km in free sight without loosing the connection to the Copter. Also the Telemetry still is here.
That is a Blast and the copter is hard to see with bare eyes, but i be able to see it without any help of Glasses.
Flashlights i can additionally mount help me here.

This Picture is about 300m far in about 80 meters Altitude

The next Step was the rework of the Copter.
I removed the MK58 and mount a runcam TX instead.
With this analog Video TX i have absolutely no videolag or even any timeshift. I use a 5 winding rhcp helix antenna today for my tests that appears to be the best solution in range and directional Angle.

Live video pure.

A found fawn on the Thermal cam shows me we be right, they be here. The crosshair give me the point where it is.
Mowing is in 3 Day‘s so i fly actually each day to know their routes.

As next thing i solved the video Range with several different Turn helicoil Antennas, what give me a Videorange with 25 mW up to 950 meters without interruption or much distortions.
A clear Video without any timelag is here highly recommended and required.


A gently flicker is happen on rev up to full throttle but it does not annoy me.

I can live with it.

I like the delayed and smooth move of the Thermal Cam.
So measured flighttime today was 16 min and 45sec and after landing i have still spare Energy for about further 2 min about.
The Q500 does blink but does not land because of emergency.

It is a great Copter for the fawn Saving at all.
I be proud to tell ya, we saved 4 Fawns this year while mowing.


The Q500 is definitely a pretty cool copter for that Project
IMHO definitively Underestimated in it‘s possibilities

Thanks also to the fantastic guide sainsmart Thermal Camera coin 417 and the smooth reaction of the Gimbal of the MK58 i will keep myQ500 for further Fawn and person Search in future.

I be surprised how great this combo now Works.
Sadly that the support at Yuneec is stopped for that great Copter and here that Bad.

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