The ArduPlane Manual had a good instruction on this subject. I would like to share my own setting base on Sony RX 100 IV and using the Seagull Map2 UAV camera trigger in my Skywalker 1720 UAV power by HK Pilot32 soon to be deploy in Tanzania for ultra high resolution chimpanzee nest survey after the successful Pilot mission using X5 flying wing and Canon S100 GPS camera.

The Seagull map2 act as an interface between the camera and auto pilot. It also has a build in intervalometer features where user can select 1,2,,3,4,5,10,15 and 20 seconds time interval. Another really useful feature is the ability to turn on and off the camera. This can be done via auto pilot or a special assign channel from the radio control, or both. We want the camera in OFF status during take off and landing to avoid lens damage.

We can select any two unused channel to connect with Seagull map2. In my case I use channel 7 ( RC 7 ) for trigger and channel 6 ( RC 6 ) for camera on / off. The detail setting is as below :

Mission Planner > Initial setup > Camera Gimbal
set Shuttle to ” RC 7 “
Servo Limit
Min ” 1000 “
Max ” 2000 ”
Shutter
Pushed ” 1700 ”
Not Pushed ” 1500 ”
Duration ” 10 “

To configure channel 6, go to Config/Tuning > Full Parameter list

RC6_DZ ” 0 “
RC6_FUNCTION ” 1 “
RC6_MAX ” 2000 “
RC6_MIN ” 1000 ”
RC6_REV ” 1 “

In order to add camera on / off control from radio controller, in my case, Futaba T8J, we can assign Channel 6 to Switch A. Please note that Seagull Map2 will turn camera on / off alternately when it receive ” high ” signal ( pwm 1800 – 2000 ) In practice, when you move switch A from top position to bottom position, the camera will turn on, to turn it off, you need to move switch A to top position follow by bottom position.

To take full advantage of the Seagull map2 and Mission Planner build in function, the mission planning logic is : we want the camera in OFF status at the beginning. After take off, about one minutes or so from the first way point, we want to switch on the camera. Once it reach first way point, it’ll start capture images base on distance and continue to do so until it reach the last way point. From there, we want the camera to stop taking images and shut down.

You can plan your mission as normal using Auto WP > Survey ( Grid ). After the mission is build ( accept ), you need to ADD a way point in front of the first way point, Preferably at least 200 meter from the mission first way point. Right after the newly added first way point, add another two way point.

Set way point No 2 to ” DO_SET_SERVO ”
Ser No ” 6 ”
PWM ” 1900 “
This will turn the camera on
Set way point No 3 to ” DO_SET SERVO “
Ser No ” 6 “
PWM ” 1500 “
This will return to neutral
Now way point No 4 is the first mission way point follow by ” DO_SET_CAM_TRIGG_DIST ” which is automatically generated by Mission Planner.
To turn off the camera, add two way point AFTER the last ” DO_SET_CAM_TRIGG_DIST ” command
Set second last way point to ” DO_SET_SERVO ”
Ser No ” 6 ”
PWM ” 1900 “
This will turn the camera off
Set last way point to ” DO_SET SERVO “
Ser No ” 6 “
PWM ” 1500 “
This will return to neutral.

I attach the tlog of test mission. You can extract WP file and also parameter file if interest. Use at your own risk : )

2016-04-02%2015-52-18.tlog

A sample image taken by Sony RX100 IV at 100 meter

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