So a while back I was brainstorming about how to re-do the camera tilt mechanism, especially in a way that would be simple for people who have existing kits (that would include me) to implement. I noticed that the revision 2.4 kits that shipped out recently have revised endcaps, which only have a single O-ring groove and thus open up some extra space inside the electronics tube. I began to wonder whether there was room inside the tube to turn the tilt servo backwards. It turns out the answer is yes, just barely:
This got me started down the path of having the servo tilt only the camera plate, and not the entire electronics chassis.
I cut down the ends of the camera mounting plate, and used pieces of scrap acrylic to make an arm on either side of the plate. It turns out that the pieces I cut off of each side of the plate are just a bit too short to make the correct size arm, so I needed to raid the scrap bin. One arm has a hole drilled for a pivot, the other arm has a cut-down servo arm hot-glued to it:
On the electronics chassis, the tilt servo is mounted backwards, as mentioned above. I hot-glued 4 nylon nuts to the chassis to mount the Beagle Bone:
Here's how the camera plate arm mounts to the servo:
On the other side, I used a 2-56 nylon screw as a pivot:
If the camera is going to tilt while the electronics chassis is stationary, there's absolutely no room for excess cabling. I removed the back side of the camera, and spliced in the white right-angle USB connector. The two LED modules were wired together as suggested by Kensaku here:
Here's the BeagleBone and Cape mounted on the chassis:
To get the maximum tilt angle, the gusset on the side of the electronics chassis has to be cut back a bit:
The net result of all this is that the camera can tilt from about 10 degrees above the horizon to about 60 degrees below the horizon, or about 70 degrees total of tilt. The RJ-45 connector on the HomePlug adapter blocks the camera from tilting any further up. Removing that connector is a bit of a challenge, as it has some circuitry (transformers and common-mode chokes) embedded in it. So for now I'm going to run with a 70 degree tilt range.
To prevent interference with the servo, I used a Dremel tool to cut back some of the housing on the RJ45 plug where it mates to the BeagleBone, maximizing the clearance:
So here it is in the tube:
Next weekend I'll be hooking up the ESCs and the servo and running the wires for all of that.