I’m having a go at changing my Mavic 2 distant controller from two thumbsticks to a extra Plane type controller the place an entire hand joystick controls Pitch, Roll, and Yaw, and the left stick solely controls Throttle/Altitude.
Step one is opening up a second-hand distant I purchased to see if that is attainable.
Appears like I can solder on to the again of the thumbstick connections and entry the photograph set off button contacts. So appears to be like good up to date.
Right here we go…
I managed to get two wires on to the set off change contacts, although the soldering iron melted a little bit of the case. Must be nice.
Soldered wires to the contacts on the again of the thumbsticks. Three to the yaw management on the left stick. And 4 to the Pitch and Roll contacts on the again of the best stick. (They share 3.3v and -v)
Don’t look too carefully. My soldering abilities want work.
Routing the cables and exiting the case.
Discovered this four Axis (fwd/again, left/proper, twist left/twist proper and a button) joystick on AliExpress.
The little bundle of wires is from the highest change (which would be the new photograph set off) and the twist axis which can develop into Yaw. The 2 potentiometers within the base will develop into Pitch and Roll.
Now to the design stage. These are the designs for the 3D printed elements.
The 2 most important elements are a body that matches into the unique controller telephone mount and helps a bracket for my iPad. The second structural half helps the brand new joystick and wiring. I designed a deal with to go on the Joystick to provide a extra strong hand really feel to it and moved the set off button to the entrance for set off finger operation. The little fork-like slide is designed to limit the prevailing left controller stick from with the ability to be moved left and proper however permit it to nonetheless transfer ahead and again because the Throttle / Altitude management.
Inside the brand new joystick deal with, I’ve lengthened the cables and moved the set off button to the highest entrance of the 3D printed extension.
Subsequent is wiring all of it collectively. No images of that I’m afraid. But it surely’s fairly easy, although it could not look it in my wiring diagram.
All fitted collectively and bench testing achieved.
The 3D high plate wanted a redesign to maneuver the iPad assist additional to the left and away from the brand new Joystick.
After the First Area Take a look at
Bugger. It flies superbly, tremendous clean motion and every little thing works completely, aside from one factor I forgot about. The photograph set off button on the OEM distant is two-stage.
The primary stage of the press is focus, and the second stage fires the shutter. I’ve solely wired into the main focus stage.
The subsequent step then is to return in. Set up two new wires to the shutter set off, run them via to, after which via the brand new Joystick and discover a two-stage button or a manner to make use of two buttons. Which can after all require a redesign of the Joystick deal with. Arrrrgggghh, so shut.
Right here is the primary area take a look at…
Transforming the Remote
Diving again in so as to add the second (very important) stage of the digicam set off. I needed to go quite a bit deeper into the distant to get to the second stage connections to the photograph set off button.
I ended up reducing out the mounting construction for the OEM button to determine the way it was put collectively. Less complicated than I thought. The set off button circuit board is double aspect taped to a chunk of the interior framework. I added two new wires and routed them out then reassembled the distant.
I needed to fully dismantle the brand new joystick to route the 2 new cables into the deal with. I was fortunate sufficient to discover a two-stage button in a field of digital bits and items I’ve retrieved from surplus electronics through the years.
A redesign of the deal with to accommodate the brand new, bigger, two-stage set off button.
Took the chance so as to add some ergonomics. Rather more comfy. The bench take a look at went completely. All axes are working, plus focus, plus shutter set off.
A New Mode of Flying
I have now used my new and improved Mavic 2 Pro distant management on a number of industrial jobs and I am loving it.
The big deal with joystick permits me a lot finer granular enter over the three axes it controls. (Pitch, Roll, and Yaw) Small actions of the stick equal small inputs and small reactions.
Whereas with the unique thumbsticks nice actions had been way more troublesome and therefore nice, clean management was tougher to realize. To not point out the contortion required of your hand with a purpose to get your thumb on the stick, index finger on the shutter button, and assist the distant with the opposite three fingers.
I largely use my drone to shoot nonetheless photographs. My main impetus for constructing this modification was that the Mavic 2 Pro interrupts the FPV video feed whereas it takes the photograph. It’s solely about half a second I suspect. Which is ok in case you are hovering over a home taking pictures actual property photographs however is fairly scary if you find yourself flying backward at 70kph a number of meters in entrance of a million-dollar energy boat.
With the unique distant I would get the drone in place, fireplace the set off as I pulled the best stick backward to make sure the yacht didn’t run into the drone, await the video feed to return, sigh with reduction, get again into place and repeat. Now I can way more simply match the yachts velocity and preserve the place between pictures with a a lot increased diploma of confidence.
Some samples of the kind of pictures I use my Mavic for.
Concerning the creator: Chris Cameron is an expert yacht and marine photographer primarily based in Auckland, New Zealand. The opinions expressed on this article are solely these of the creator. You could find extra of Cameron’s work on his website, Facebook, and Instagram. This text was additionally revealed here.