I'm having a go at converting my Mavic 2 remote controller from two thumb sticks to a more Aircraft style controller where a whole hand joystick controls Pitch, Roll and Yaw and the left stick only controls Throttle / Altitude.
First step is opening up a second hand remote I bought to see if this is possible.
Looks like I can solder on to the back of the thumbstick connections and access the photo trigger button contacts. So looks good up so far.
Here we go...
I managed to get two wires on to the trigger switch contacts, though the soldering iron melted a bit of the case. Should be fine.
Soldered wires to the contacts on the back of the thumb sticks.
Three to the yaw control on the left stick. And four to the Pitch and Roll contacts on the back of the right stick. (They share 3.3v and -v)
Don't look too closely. My soldering skills need work.
Routing the cables and exiting the case.
Found this 4 Axis (three and a button) joystick on Aliexpress
The little bundle of wires is from the top switch (which will be the new photo trigger) and the twist axis which will become Yaw.
The two Potentiometers in the base will become Pitch and Roll.
Now to the design stage.
These are the designs for the 3D printed parts.
I have made a handle to go on the Joystick to give a more solid hand feel to it and moved the trigger button to the front for trigger finger operation. The little fork like slide is designed to restrict the existing left controller stick from being able to be moved left and right but allow it to still move forward and back as the Throttle / Altitude control.
Inside the new Joystick handle, I've lengthened the cables and moved the trigger button to the top front of the 3D printed extension.
Next is wiring it all together.
No photos of that I'm afraid. But it's pretty simple, tho it may not look it in my wiring diagram.
All fitted together and bench testing accomplished.
The 3D top plate needed a redesign to move the iPad support further to the left and away from the new Joystick.
Field testing next. But of course the weather has not been playing nice for the last three days.
It flies beautifully, super smooth movement and everything works perfectly, except for one thing I forgot about. The damn photo trigger button on the OEM remote is two stage.
First stage of the press is focus, second stage fires the shutter.
I've only wired into the focus stage.
Next step then is to go back in. See if I can figure out wether the second stage requires one wire or two, get wire(s) installed in remote, run them through to, and then through the new Joystick and find a two stage button or a way to use two buttons. Which will of course require a redesign of the Joystick handle. Arrrrgggghh, so close.
Here is the first field test...
Diving back in to add the second (Vital) stage of the camera trigger.
I had to go a lot deeper into the remote to get to the second stage connections to the photo trigger button.
I ended up cutting out the mounting structure for the OEM button to figure out how it was put together. Simpler than I thought. The trigger button circuit board is double side taped to a piece of the internal frame work. There are two contacts for the trigger so I added two new wires and routed them out then re assembled the remote.
I had to completely dismantle the new joystick to route the two new cables into the handle. I was lucky enough to find a two stage button in a box of electronic bits and pieces I've retrieved from surplus appliances over the years.
A redesign of the handle to accomodate the new, larger, two stage trigger button.
Took the opportunity to add some ergonomics. Much more comfortable.
Bench test went perfectly. All axes are working, plus focus, plus shutter trigger.
Next stage is practicing with this new mode of flying.