Updating SwellPro 3 Camera System
Over the past few weeks a series of flight tests have been carried out on this waterproof drone.
It’s a great drone and very responsive, it has an analogue system to control the drone and download the video from the camera to the controller screen.
The film and stills are stored on the camera on a micro SD card.
The drone does not suffer from the constant updates and flight restrictions if you have not updated or do not have an account like the DJI systems.
However there is one major issue why this drone is still not good enough to compete with the likes of DJI, the camera does not produce anywhere near the quality and resolution needed.
The camera settings can also only be altered when on the ground and for some annoying reason the microphone is active all the time.
That said the camera is suitable for surveying work or inspections if used taking aerial stills only.
The big advantage again is that the drone can be flown in reasonably high winds in the rain and operate off water.
Despite communicating with the manufacturer with regards to the camera quality nothing has happened yet. It was decided at Skylark Aerial Photography that the only way forward would be to custom update the drone.
Updating SwellPro 3 Camera System Changing the Cameras and Gimbal
Off came the gimbal system and replaced with a bespoke system (fully waterproof), on went a SJCAM to test whether it was feasible to use another system before updating to a GoPro 5 Hero Black edition (fully waterproof) with smoothing software.
Onto the controller goes a mount for iPad Mini to allow communication between the GoPro and Gimbal. Wi-Fi down-link would provide a clear image from the camera as well.
Because we did not want to have a completely blank screen on the SwellPro controller as the 4K camera was no longer communicating to it, a small high quality FPV camera was purchased (also waterproof) and will be mounted by the gimbal system.
This would provide additional video life down-feed. It maybe that the video output will also be used from the GoPro into the SwellPro video transmitter on the drone to provide video to the SwellPro controller.
Where connecting sockets were required, these were sourced from an aviation supplier and were IP68 like the originals.
The legs of the SwellPro have been extended for flight testing reasons.
It has been decided to extend these on a permanent basis using carbon fibre tubing. It allows the drone to operate from boggy ground and wet grass without getting dirt or water droplets on the camera lens.