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Streaming telemetry without a camera

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Hello,

I just purchased a H520 air frame only (no camera). My primary use will be sampling air into bags at different altitudes. I did not see the necessity for a camera as I only planned to flight straight up horizontally to a specific altitudes and return. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered the telemetry is sent through the camera. without it I can know the altitude of the drone. Is there a way to replace the camera with a 5ghz transmitter in place of the camera so it is available on the ST16 in real time? Perhaps someone knows the 6 pin outs where the gimbal mounts and which is the data? I also noticed a white wire harness in the battery compartment. Anybody know what this is for? Ultimately I'd like build a hack to transmit telemetry without the expense of a camera.
 

DoomMeister

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The cable just beneath the battery compartment is for a RealSense module (for obstacle avoidance). See this post
Post in thread 'Found something during repair'
Found something during repair

This link shows the connections on the camera side of the connector. C23_E90 Contact Plate Wire Color.pdf. Note that only 4 pins are used. The TX and PWM lines are used for serial communication between the drone and camera.
 
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Your idea is not impossible but is hard to realize, more than without a camera for the reverse engineering phase of the project. I have some experience with the H480 and CGO3+ camera and I want to say, the communication protocol between the drone and the camera is not simple at all. After that, you should prepare a two-way WiFi link with an unknown transfer protocol and so on. The best approach for your needs is to attach a standalone device with a radio link on 433 MHz or a similar free band frequency and to watch your altitude with a dedicated sensor.

Would you like to share the concept of the system for air sampling? Something like this one will be useful for my projects.
 
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h-elsner

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There is an existing project to replace the camera by standalone-WiFi module:

Unfortunately it is in german.

Yuo need:
- Voltage step-down converter to +5V (alternativ the 5V output from RealSense)
- ESP8266 module (best with external antenna connector)

The SW for the ESP8266 is here:

Flash the ESP8266 with MavLink version 1.2.2.
Connect Tx with RX and PWM with TX and power to the step-down converter.
That's it in short.

CGO3Plus_Pinlayout1.jpg 8pujfrcl.jpg
br HE
 
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h-elsner

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H520 transmit telemetry via MAVlink messages over 5GHz WiFi. Luckily there is a ESP8266 firmware that supports MAVlink messages that can be used here. It was made for Ardupilot drones.
Because ESP8266 do not support 5GHz it must be connected in Padmode to WiFi, not by camera menu. After that in Datapilot mode it will connect automatically.

br HE
 
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Understood (probably). In this case, where is the reason to use a device with a very short-range communication, noncompliant with the main receiver?

The topic is interesting for me because I'm working on some additional payload devices, but my decision is H480 as a more open platform for hacks This fact doesn't close my interest in other platforms.

BTW, if someone knows how the RealSense holds the drone powered up for some time after the button press off, let's share the information.
 

h-elsner

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What I read - there is another important hint in the german thread:
Just make sure that when you slide off or on the gimbal mounting plate, the drone power must be switched off. Reason is that TX pin slides directly over the power pin. There is full battery voltage 16V on which may burn ESP especially when you use 5V from RealSense port (Ground is already connected then!).

br HE
 
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especially when you use 5V from RealSense port
Schematic, pin description or something else in this german treasure? ;)

If I can hold the power as long as I need, all my devices will work without their battery. Any Linux system is not happy when the power goes out unexpectedly and preparing an additional switch to power down the device before the drone is not good from an engineering state-of-the-art position.
 

h-elsner

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The pinout of RealSense is linkes above. But here it is again
realsense.png
The 5V rail is protected by a SMD fuse as it was done for camera. But it better usable if the WiFi bridge modul has its own 5V converter. They are really cheap.

Connections for the ESP module are explained here:

Connect Tx with ESP-Rx and PWM/Rx with ESP-Tx

br HE
 
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The cable just beneath the battery compartment is for a RealSense module (for obstacle avoidance). See this post
Post in thread 'Found something during repair'
Found something during repair

This link shows the connections on the camera side of the connector. C23_E90 Contact Plate Wire Color.pdf. Note that only 4 pins are used. The TX and PWM lines are used for serial communication between the drone and camera.
Thank you. What I was looking for. This thread providing a lot of useful information.
 
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Your idea is not impossible but is hard to realize, more than without a camera for the reverse engineering phase of the project. I have some experience with the H480 and CGO3+ camera and I want to say, the communication protocol between the drone and the camera is not simple at all. After that, you should prepare a two-way WiFi link with an unknown transfer protocol and so on. The best approach for your needs is to attach a standalone device with a radio link on 433 MHz or a similar free band frequency and to watch your altitude with a dedicated sensor.

Would you like to share the concept of the system for air sampling? Something like this one will be useful for my projects.
Precisely my original thought. We have already bench top prototyped a GPS stand alone in anticipation of using a hobby drone. I was hoping I could avoid this R and D and focus on the payload development.
 
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There is an existing project to replace the camera by standalone-WiFi module:

Unfortunately it is in german.
Thank you. This is most likely the route we will take. Luckily there are few German speaking individuals around here if I've forgotten too much of mine for high school lol.
 
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Would you like to share the concept of the system for air sampling? Something like this one will be useful for my projects.
Of course, we currently monitor landfill gas emissions. There are variety of drone mounted sensors that quantify themgas and they are used on the landfill. I monitor the gas at extremely low levels (sub ppm) down wind (>2 km) with the EPA recognized method using a Cavity Ring Down Spectrometer set up in a vehicle. However, sometimes the roads are not ideally located. Winds, location and topography potential may cause the gas plume to pass overhead undetected.

Proposed Payload: We are building a rotating manifold on a small pump to fill 1 L bag(s) which then can be tested near real time to get vertical profile of the gas concentration. As I write this I see i will have to trigger the pump a stand alone RF trigger. So perhaps the solution is a stand alone and not a hack. The con of course is not being able to fly in Angle mode. I'm a new pilot and Angle seemed safer
 
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From where you get you can't fly in angle mode without a camera attached? You'll lose smart and automated mode only.
 

h-elsner

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BTW, Yuneec has also such a WiFi bridge (for more $ I'm sure ;-).
This and the above ESP bridge are made to carry other payload than a cam with H520 (and Typhoon H plus I think).

br HE
 
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I suggest you stop and take a fresh look at the situation.

For several good reasons, especially orientation and future operations, I believe you'd be better served by buying a camera, even a used one if you are careful to vet the seller. This from several years experience flying the 520 models in all conditions.

Obviously also a time saver.
Good luck!
 
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Thank you. This is most likely the route we will take. Luckily there are few German speaking individuals around here if I've forgotten too much of mine for high school lol.
Here there is description in English

There is an existing project to replace the camera by standalone-WiFi module:

Unfortunately it is in german.

Yuo need:
- Voltage step-down converter to +5V (alternativ the 5V output from RealSense)
- ESP8266 module (best with external antenna connector)

The SW for the ESP8266 is here:

Flash the ESP8266 with MavLink version 1.2.2.
Connect Tx with RX and PWM with TX and power to the step-down converter.
That's it in short.

View attachment 27462 View attachment 27463
br HE


Stand Alone Wifi Module for H520
The Stand Alone Wifi allows you to fly the H520 without a camera, but still with full telemetry.
The Ardupilot based Wifimodule transmits the data from the battery as well as the exact GPS coordinates to your ST16S. Through the module you are also able to upload all mission data to the H520.
Through the practical adapter plates above and optionally below you have the possibility to make suitable attachments for the Stand Alone Wifi, non-manufacturer or own attachments. The two 5V outputs (BEC and USB) can be used as a power source.
The lower carrier plate is additionally secured by a retaining wire.
 
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only if you had the second gen h520 not the first gen h520 EOAS. the h520e will do what you are wanting to do get the telemetery info without camera. I own a h520e and tested the unit over 8 full flights without payload and I was able to obtain all telemetery info. also I am able to do all calibrations minus gimbal as well. the first gen h520 you must use the pesky camera or make or obtain a wifi module.
 

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