Building a panorama picture taker with a gopro camera

Hi, I’ve been looking around for a while, trying to find the right components for a device that will carry a gopro camera, hanging from a multicopter, and will be able to take 5 or 6 sequential pictures in a circle, automatically rotating and stopping the camera horizontally at certain degrees. For example, if I program the device to take 5 pictures, the camera will sequentially point to the vertices of a pentagon, stopping at each vertex and taking a picture. After a predetermined amount of time, the device spins again and the camera stops pointing to the next vertex direction, takes another picture, and so on, until it finishes rotation pointing to the starting direction, the uppermost pentagon vertex.

The purpose of all this stuff is to get sequential pictures that I can stitch together using a panorama stitcher picture. I could simply try to rotate the multicopter with a pan command from my transmitter while the camera automatically takes sequential pictures in timelapse mode, but there will always be some vertical and horizontal drift when a yaw command is applied and lots of undesired pictures are taken.

So, I came to this site and it seems like I have found the right products for that, but I need some help to confirm whether they are applicable to my project or not.

Here they are:

  1. Micro Maestro 6-Channel USB Servo Controller (Assembled)
  2. SpringRC SM-S4303R Continuous Rotation Servo
  3. Pololu RC Switch with Small Low-Side MOSFET

My requirements are:

  1. Trigger the micro maestro 6-channel from a receiver pwm channel, so that it starts the rotation sequence with the continuous rotation servo. I’ll program a switch from my transmitter to start the sequence.

  2. Program the meaestro controller to send a pulse to the continuos rotation servo to move and stop for a predetermined time at the next pentagon(or hexagon) vertex position

  3. After stopping at the vertex position, the maestro controller sends a pulse to the Pololu RC Switch, which then triggers a modified gopro camera to take a single picture

The camera will be hanging from a rounded carbon plate, where the continuous rotation servo is fixed.

I hope I’ve made things clear, and sorry for my English, I’m from Brasil and my native language is Portuguese. :slight_smile:

Andre Soares

Hello, Andre.

The continuous rotation servo is probably not the best choice for that application as it does not offer position control, only speed control. You might consider using a “sail winch servo” or “multi-turn servo” instead. An Internet search for those terms should direct you to something useful. The Maestro cannot accept the RC hobby signals that the RC receiver will send, but you could use a something like our RC Switch with Digital Output to turn the RC signal into a logical high and low signal, which Maestro channels configured as inputs can read.

I do not know how you are intending to use the RC Switch with Small Low-Side MOSFET to trigger your GoPro. If you can describe in more detail how you intend to use it, I might be able to offer some insight to whether it will work.


Hello Derril, thank you for replying.

The rc switch with small low-side mosfet seems to be the right option to implement a camera trigger like this product here: … igicam.htm

When the gopro top button is pressed it closes a circuit and a picture is taken or video record starts. A gopro camera can be modified, soldering the PicoSwitch wires to the leads of the trigger switch and when a receiver pulse reaches the PicoSwitch, a picture is taken.

Can I do that with your rc switch?

It looks like you want to replace a physical switch that just connects two wires where neither of them are necessarily ground, so the switch with MOSFET is probably not appropriate, but you could use our RC Switch with Relay.


Hi Derril, you are right, thank you for helping.

So, you said that I can trigger a maestro 6 channel with a RC switch with a digital output, that’s ok, and I can also trigger a gopro shutter with the RC switch with a relay.
But can I use one maestro output channel to trigger the RC switch with a relay?

I’m not familiar with the maestro controller, but it doesn’t seem difficult to program a sequence. The sequence I’m planning to implement also involves sending a command to a RC switch with a relay, which in turns trigger the gopro shutter. Can I do that? As I could see, those maestro channels simply output pwm signals to servos, like a receiver does.

The entire sequence would be the following:

  1. A switch in my transmitter is activated and a receiver channel sends a command to the RC switch with a digital output, which in turn activate a sequence in the maestro controller.
  2. Following the sequence steps, servos are controlled in a way that I can rotate the gopro camera to predefined degrees
  3. One of these sequence steps I mentioned activates the RC switch with a relay, which in turn triggers the gopro shutter.

Is there any example in this forum or faq page that demonstrates how to activate a maestro controller with the RC switch with a digital output?

Thank you. I’m about to order but have to be sure I’ll not make any mistake…

Andre Soares

Hello, Andre.

You can trigger an RC switch with relay that is in the default configuration by sending it pulses longer than 1700us with one channel on the Maestro.

You can see an example script showing how to control servos with a button or switch (like the digital output of the RC Switch with digital output) under the “Using a button or switch to control servos” heading in the “Example Scripts” section of the Maestro user’s guide.