Drotag.x Manual – Hardware Installation2018-11-30T11:09:44+00:00

Hardware Installation

Below you can find a picture illustrating the installation. We point out that good practices are advised regarding fixation of the board. Boards and cables should be stowed clear of propellers in a vibration resistant manner.

1. Sony Alpha Specifics

There are two camera settings DROTAG.x can’t change automatically, which are important for aerial photography: the tethering setting and the focus mode. In the following instructions you will learn how to make these one-time configurations to your Sony camera. The procedure for each specific Sony camera can be slightly different steps than the exemplified below.

1.1 Tethering Setting

• Turn on the camera;
• Press the Menu button;
• Navigate to the Setup tile;
• Navigate-right, to page 2;
• On the USB Connection select USB Storage.

1.2 Focus Mode Setting (Recommended)

• Turn on the camera;
• Press the Menu button;
• Select Camera Settings;
• Go to page 3 by navigating-right;
• Navigate and select Focus Mode;
• Navigate the options available until you find and select one saying MF;
• Rotate the lens ring until your camera says it is on ?.

2. Setup your TELEM Port Parameters

This step is required to configure the TELEMETRY Port that you are willing to use your DROTAG.x board. It only needs to be done once or any time you reset/refactor your parameters.

In the following instructions SERIAL1 prefix corresponds to TELEM1. If you would like to use TELEM2 the applicable parameters are prefixed by SERIAL2. Accordingly, prefix SERIAL4 corresponds to physical port TELEM4/5.

1. Connect your Flight Controller to Mission Planner (or equivalent);

2. Select the Config/Tuning tab;

3. Select Full Parameter Tree;

4. Find the command node SERIAL1 and set:

(a) SERIAL1_BAUD 57 – For sales or firmware before 2018/04/10.

(b) SERIAL1_BAUD 115 – For sale of firmware after 2018/04/10.


5. Click Write Params;

6. Power Cycle your Flight Controller board in order to the changes take effect.

3. Setup Arming mode (Arduplane specific)

The DROTAG.x needs to know when the Ardupilot is armed so that it starts a new flight session. With Arduplane, it is frequent that operators do not have any arming modes enabled.

These instructions will help you enable the Rudder/Yaw arming settings. The procedure is similar to the TELEM Port Parameters but this time you need to set the Parameters ARMING_RUDDER to 1 and ARMING_REQUIRED to 1 or 2. We highly advise you to read carefully what these parameters do as they may affect your flight operation.

4. Hot shoe configuration – Optional

4.1 Ardupilot Parameters

If your camera has an external flash socket you can use the hot shoe board included with the DROTAG.x. In Mission Planner, go to the CONFIG/TUNNING tab and select Full Parameter Tree. Now search for the CAM_FEEDBACK_PIN parameter.

To select which Pixhawk AUX pin the hot shoe board is connected, choose a number between 50 and 55 where 50 corresponds to to AUX pin 0 and 55 corresponds to AUX pin 5. See the image bellow to better understand. Do not forget to press Write Params otherwise the parameters are not saved.

IMPORTANT: If you enable the hot shoe functionality in the autopilot but do not have the actual hot shoe board installed in the camera the tagging will always fail. This is not a malfunction. When you do not want to use the hot shoe set the CAM_FEEDBACK_PIN to 0 before using DROTAG.x.

4.2 Camera Connection

To physically connect the hot shoe board to the camera you need to have it installed as in the picture. It is very important that the center spring contact is facing the camera otherwise the signal does not reach the autopilot and tagging will fail. See the image bellow to be sure what face needs to be visible when you install the hot shoe on the camera.
Another important aspect is that the camera’s flash doesn’t need to be enabled and it should be set be always off.

Product Specification
Pre-Flight Information