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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wondered about incorporating the now widely available mini drone technology for filming slot car races as if from a press helicopter, also to decorate up a simpler one as a futuristic air ambulance.

Has anyone any experience of these? Could such a thing be controlled precisely enough indoors to achieve this?

Thanks!
 

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That's a nice idea, it's certainly possible to fly a small drone above the track as long as it's not an el cheapo from the supermarket (they are too toy-like to control accurately and aren't large enough for a decent resolution overhead camera).

The problem with using a larger drone that is capable of hovering it'self and taking high-res video and sending it over wireless to say a display tablet on the track is the amount of downdraft they generate, I've hears of stories (there is a thread somewhere), of all the scenery that's not stuck down being literally blown away, whilst this would make a comedy initial video if you captured the footage probably not a long term proposition.

If you really want overhead high res video then I'd look at securely hanging a camera from the roof or a Blimp or mounting camera on some wires above like they do in real life?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited by Moderator)
That's a nice idea, it's certainly possible to fly a small drone above the track as long as it's not an el cheapo from the supermarket (they are too toy-like to control accurately and aren't large enough for a decent resolution overhead camera).

The problem with using a larger drone that is capable of hovering it'self and taking high-res video and sending it over wireless to say a display tablet on the track is the amount of downdraft they generate, I've hears of stories (there is a thread somewhere), of all the scenery that's not stuck down being literally blown away, whilst this would make a comedy initial video if you captured the footage probably not a long term proposition.

If you really want overhead high res video then I'd look at securely hanging a camera from the roof or a Blimp or mounting camera on some wires above like they do in real life?
Thanks very much this offers a good initial insight as I have absolutely no experience of these whatsoever as you can see. I have seen some mini helicopters (no camera) on Amazon etc. Could one of these be controlled accurately enough to land and take off from more or less the same place by the track, and fly without crashing into the walls / ceiling of a moderately sized room? A suitably tarted up toy might make a cool trackside accessory if this were possible.

Edit:
check this one out - (about £25)!

Also, camera suspended by wires along the start straight might be an idea, but I am not all that bothered about the filming aspect.
 

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It's an intriguing idea... micro drones are fairly easy to pilot indoors... pressure sensors to maintain hight work quite well. What of course does not function is the GPS position control. However a different form of localised position control system could be developed for indoor use. Without that the system would be very sensitive to drift and air disturbance - so would certainly need full time piloting.

Also, there are safety rules with drones e.g. no over flight of spectators for example setting a flight line that separates the flying vehicles from operators and spectators.This is important, too, for indoor size models which often have exposed high speed rotors. I wouldnt operate a very small drone in a small internal space shared with unsupervised humans.

c
 

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I have seen some mini helicopters (no camera) on Amazon etc. Could one of these be controlled accurately enough to land and take off from more or less the same place by the track, and fly without crashing into the walls / ceiling of a moderately sized room?
Over the years I've lost count of the number of cheap remote control helicopters/drones the kids have gotten at Christmas etc, some are better than others but unless you spend some cash you will find them hard to control reliably in a small enclosed space (room).

There is a track somewhere on this forum and he has a helicopter that I think goes up when there is a yellow flag (I may well be wrong about this), but he has it on a wire so it can only go up and down and not fly away. Someone else might remember the specific thread.

So yes worth persuing!
 

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does not function is the GPS position control. However a different form of localised position control system could be developed for indoor use. Without that the system would be very sensitive to drift and air disturbance - so would certainly need full time piloting.
A good point to note re GPS, if you're not getting a reliable signal inside then hovering your drone will require skilled manual control/input.

There isn't really a way around this, even the expensive drones that have down LEDs for positioning would drift indoors due to downdraft from the blades.

'Indoor Positioning' tech might be a future solution but not at the moment.
 

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Those small Helicopters are really easy to unbalence but should have enough thrust, I've got a little BlackHawk I used to fly around my house for a laugh, you need to also see how it hovers while the cars are moving as very slight changes in air pressure can upset them too.
 

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How about just a micro camera, similar to what the mini drones have, make a small box, holder, ect for it.

Then suspend it from the ceiling if possible. Have it connected to a trollie like system on some transparent line.

It could slowly travel across the track at a set pace. No air flow issues to worry about.

Similar to what sporting events use for Soccer or Football games. They always have cameras zinging by in all different directions,

and very close to the action.

Enjoy,

Shad
 

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Slot cars simply move too fast to track with drones. A camera filming in slow motion on a rail would give the sort of effects you are after. A hand sweeping a mobile phone across the track in slow motion also works well - the slow motion reduces camera shake if you have a reasonably steady hand.

Micro cameras on a car need to shoot at 240fps (or 120fps for slower cars) and play back at 30fps to avoid audience motion sickness (FPS = frames per second).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Slot cars simply move too fast to track with drones. A camera filming in slow motion on a rail would give the sort of effects you are after. A hand sweeping a mobile phone across the track in slow motion also works well - the slow motion reduces camera shake if you have a reasonably steady hand.
Micro cameras on a car need to shoot at 240fps (or 120fps for slower cars) and play back at 30fps to avoid audience motion sickness (FPS = frames per second).
Yes thanks. My original idea was not to track or follow the cars around but to linger over various parts of the layout, eg the start line. I did say however that I am not all bothered about the filming aspect, more just to have some sort of aerial craft that could rise up and linger, without being tethered, for a brief while over the layout. I will certainly be looking into the helicopter option - the kind I supplied the link to. This won't for a while though as I'm still occupied with the several other projects I've mentioned recently.
 
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