In Flight Capabilities
You can only interact with DROTAG.x in flight by associating an RC channel to Camera trigger. All other interactions are automatically triggered by Ardupilot.
1. Manual triggering from RC (ArduCopter only)
If you want to manually trigger DROTAG.x you can configure an RC channel to do it. For this, follow the instruction taken from Ardupilot documentation page, for example for channel 7:
• Open Mission Planner and then click on CONFIG/TUNING | Full Parameters List;
• Set the value of CH_OPT to 9;
• Write Parameters and reboot;
The camera should now trigger on channel 7 toggle.
2. Flight Behaviour
When DROTAG.x is flying, it behaves like simple trigger to the camera and their interaction is very limited.
When DROTAG.x is ready to take pictures the lens of the camera should be out and, if applicable, the screen should be live as if it were ready to take pictures manually.
In a normal flight the pictures are not tagged until very specific events happen:
• A pre-programmed mission reached it’s last way point;
• A LAND or RTL waypoint is activated;
• LAND or RTL mode are selected;
• The motors are disarmed (Only applicable for ArduCopter).
Before tagging the picturesDROTAG.x always writes a companion text file with the data of the triggers for additional information is available. For special orders this file can contain additional custom information.
When the tagging is being executed the camera is not available for pictures. A clear sign is that the lens is retracted and the screen says it is in USB mode, like in the image bellow. Also most cameras has card activity LED that will be almost permanently ON if DROTAG.x is still working.
It is expected and desirable that the tagging happens in flight but it sometimes can take a while for it to happen. When DROTAG.x finishes tagging, the camera lens is put out, and a new flight session can commence or DROTAG.x can be turned off.
DROTAG.x does not need to be restarted for a new flight.
2.1 Special Note
Do not take pictures while in RTL or LAND mission or mode!
One of the conditions DROTAG is uses to know if it should start tagging is to verify that it is not Return to Launch or Landing mode. This applies also for equivalent mission commands. If you take pictures in this condition DROTAG will take a picture and immediately start tagging after it does so, which may not be what you want. Be aware of this technical detail.