Photography and the Multi-rotor
One of the main features of any multi-rotor flying machine is that it is a very stable platform for
any type of aerial video/photography. They are easy to fly and turn in any direction and will hover
in one spot for any length of time (depending on the batteries). All one needs is a camera gimbal
system such as the Atlanta Hobby SR Pro Micro XL Gimbal and the Naza main controller.
The SR Pro Micro XL Gimbal has a camera cradle that is connected by two servos that allow
control of both the pitch and roll of the camera. These two controls can work with the multi-rotor
copter or independent of it, depending on your needs. The Naza main controller has two ports for
servo plug-ins that allow the camera cradle to have its own independent stabilization. When the
two servos are plugged into the Naza, it will keep the camera level even when the aircraft is rolling
or tilting from side to side.
But if you would like to have a separate camera person to control the aerial camera cradle, just
plug in the two servos to a separate receiver so they can control the camera movement with
another transmitter. In this case, you would need some type of first person view (FPV) device so
they can see what the camera is pointing at during flight. Either way, you will find having a camera
cradle with a gimbal system connected to it to be a great aid to your aerial photography.
Six of these powerful motors, available from Atlanta
Hobbies, provide more than enough power to lift a
the proper orientation so that the front of
it is facing forward and each of the plugs for
the ESC are plugged into it. At this time, I also
plugged in the VU module, the GPS/compass
unit, and three short servo extensions, one
for the Futaba S.Bus receiver and two for the
camera gimbal servos. I mounted the Naza
main controller on the center of the bottom
board with double-sided tape. All of the wires
were tied down neatly and the top cover was
bolted into place. The GPS/compass unit was
mounted on top in the proper direction with
the little tower setup included with the GPS;
again the wires were neatly tied down using a
cable tie. The last thing I needed to add was the
R-6108 Futaba receiver, which was attached
using double-sided tape. The single S. Bus plug
makes connecting the Naza main controller to
the receiver a snap.
My focus now turns to assembling the SR
Pro Micro XL Camera Gimbal System, which is
also a large landing gear for the Flame Wheel.
The assembly is straightforward and the
directions are available at atlantahobby.com.
The key point is to make sure the servos are
centered before mounting them in the camera
cradle—this just makes final adjustments a
little easier. The completed assembly is now
mounted to the bottom of the Flame Wheel
using the included bolts and washers.
The Flame Wheel 550 assembly can be
done in just a few evenings if you have a few
construction projects like this under your belt;
otherwise, just add a couple more evenings and
it will be complete. I would recommend getting
the receiver-ready kits, along with the SR Pro
Micro XL Camera Gimbal System. This way,
everything except the receiver and battery is
included, so you can get into the air quickly.
This is when the fun will really start!
Here is the bottom board with all the ESCs and the main power plug soldered in place. Next, we add the arms and