Rescue Hexacopter Project


Design - Video Systems

There will be four separate video systems on our hexacopter. The first system will be the FPV (First Person View) camera system, it will face front. This system will be the main camera system for hexacopter. The navigation of the craft will be done through this camera with head tracking googles. The second video system is a fixed rear camera. The third video system is a down facing camera and the final video system will be the FLIR camera. The first three we will be including in design. The FLIR camera must be purchased by the Police/Fire department. We will retrofit the FLIR camera with a gimbal and video connection after acquisition.

The FPV system will be designed using mostly FatShark components. FatShark is the leading producer of head tracking googles. Head tracking allows the pilot to pan and tilt the camera merely by moving their head. If the pilot looks right, the camera moves right, if the pilot looks up, the camera moves up. Because of the size of the hexacopter, it is essential that the pilot knows the exact location of the craft at all times. By using a FPV camera to pilot the craft, the pilot has visual verification of the location of the craft.

The rear camera provides a view of the back of the craft and can be used as a backup navigational camera should the FPV system fail. The bottom camera allows the pilot to see the exact location of the craft over the terrain.

Wiring Diagram for onboard video system

A basic FPV system consists of a camera, power source, transmitter, receiver, and display device. The FPV system could be powered by the same batteries as the motors, but the effect would be reduced flight time which really isn't acceptable for the mission of the craft. For that reason, we will include a separate battery for the video system. A separate battery will also reduce the effect of noise or static in the video transmission from the operation of the motors. This battery will be a Turnigy nano-Tech 2200 mAh 3S 25C battery purchased from Hobby King.

Turnigy nano-tech 2200 mAh 25-50C Battery

The negative line of the battery will be connected to the Immersion 600mW Video Transmitter. The positive line of the battery will be connected to an off/on switch (purchased from our local Radio Shack) and then to the Immersion Transmitter. The Immersion is a more powerful transmitter than the stock Fat Shark transmitter which is only 250mW. The Immersion 600mW transmitter will be purchased from Hobby King.

Immersion RC 600mW Video Transmitter


The transmitter and off/on switch will be mounted to a triangular plate supported by three 2" standoffs.

Video Mount Plate with transmitter and Off/On Switch

In addition to upgrading the power of the video transmitter, we will also be upgrading the antenna to a right hand circular polarized (RHCP) antenna instead of the stock whip antenna. We will be using the ImmersionRC 5.8GHz Circular Polarized spiroNet Antenna purchased from ReadyMade RC.

Immersion RC 5.8 GHz SpiroNET Omni SMA Antenna

The FPV camera which we will use to fly the craft is the Fat Shark 600TVL camera. It was purchased at Atlanta Hobby.

It is decent camera which is low voltage and extremely light. Our model came with two attached servos which seem to work well but are plastic. We may decide to replace the servos with all metal servos for better performance. It will be located at the bottom front of the craft mounted on a CF plate. There are three sets of wires coming from the camera, two of them servo connections, the remainder is the power/signal line of the camera. The servos will be connected to the channels 5 and 6 of our Turnigy 9X8C Receiver mounted on the electronics plate. These will be used for our headtracking. The power wires (red and black) from the camera will be connected to the Immersion RC Video Transmitter. The signal (yellow) line from the camera will go to the 3-way Video Splitter for Camera 1.

FPV Camera mounted on the front of hexacopter

Turnigy 9X8C V2 Receiver and 3 channel Video Switcher

The signal and ground from the video switcher will be passed to the iOSD Module which will overlay On Screen Information onto the video signal before passing it back to the video transmitter. The iOSD module was purchased as part of the Guidance system which will be discussed later.

The remaining two cameras will be 12V cameras and will be powered by the 2200 mAh battery. The bottom camera will be a Sony CCD Camera purchased from Hobby King. It will be fixed to the bottom of the craft by four 2 mm x .5 in standoffs and eight 2 x 8 mm Hex Screws and connected to the 3 Way Video Switch on Camera 2.

FPV and Down Cameras

The rear camera will be attached to a vertical plate connected to the Bottom Plate by 1 in Steel Angle. This plate will also serve as the mounting plate for NAZA Led Unit which will be discussed later. The rear camera will be fixed at a 30 degree angle which will allow it to be used as a navigational camera should the main camera fail. It will connected to the 3 way video switch as Camera 3.

Rear and Bottom Camera

We will also connect two microphones, one on the right of the craft, and one on the left. The microphones will be purchased from Ready Made RC and will be mounted to a standoff on each side of the craft.

3-15V Microphone



Video System Component Drawings
Part/Assembly PDF STEP
2 x 8 mm Screw 2 x 8 mm Screw.pdf 2 x 8 mm Screw.stp
2 x 15 mm Screw 2 x 15 mm Screw 2 x 15 mm Screw
2 mm x .5 in Standoff 2 mm x .5 in Standoff.pdf 2 mm x .5 in Standoff.stp
2 mm Nut 2 mm Nut.pdf 2 mm Nut.stp
3-Way Video Switch 3-Way Video Switch.pdf 3-Way Video Switch.stp
Back Camera Plate Back Camera Plate.pdf Back Camera Plate.stp
Fat Shark FPV Camera Fat Shark FPV Camera.pdf Fat Shark FPV Camera.stp
Fat Shark Video Trans Fat Shark Video Trans.pdf Fat Shark Video Trans.stp
FPV Camera Mount FPV Camera Mount.pdf FPV Camera Mount.stp
Microphone Microphone.pdf Microphone.stp
SMA Angle SMA Angle.pdf SMA Angle.stp
Sony CCD Camera Sony CCD Camera.pdf Sony CCD Camera.stp
Spironet Antenna Spironet Antenna.pdf Spironet Antenna.stp
Turnigy 9X8C Receiver Turnigy 9X8C Receiver.pdf Turnigy 9X8C Receiver.stp
Turnigy 2200 mAh Turnigy 2200 mAh.pdf Turnigy 2200 mAh.stp
Video Mount Plate Video Mount Plate.pdf Video Mount Plate.stp