Wow! What can I say. The interest in this has been phenomenal. I am amazed by it.I'm still working on Super OSD. Everyone can stay updated on progress here, on RCGroups. Bottom line is, an OSD should be ready soon, for about $90 US. Those who donated money will get priority over the first boards and have their discounts honoured. I have no definite date, but I'd love to keep it before Autumn/Winter as more people will be flying it then. I may do a second run on IndieGoGo (pre-orders, same price minus maybe $5) to raise more funds to put this into production. As a student, I'm saving up what I can but obviously I have other expenses to cover.
The design of the OSD has evolved considerably from the initial green shot. The board is smaller, around 53mm x 39mm (about 2.3" x 1.6"). It has an improved OSD generator and improved 2W power supply (capable of outputting up to 1.5W to the external peripherals, around 455mA. Good enough for Xbee+GPS.) A few other things have changed too. The OSD resolution will be 240x208 pixels, and it hopefully won't flicker (or flicker will be significantly reduced.) Hardware hacking is not only permitted but encouraged. The data interface is tricky to access due to the small size, but it's not impossible to solder some wires to the right pins, and for those who don't like soldering the PIC24F UART port will be available to pass-through data to the dsPIC when set up correctly.
Oh, and of course it will always be open source! Schematics, gerbers and code are all published here: http://code.google.com/p/super-osd
It goes back about two years now. I had viewed many videos on the internet about this new hobby called “FPV”. It looked really cool and I really wanted to try it out. Then I saw someone had this cool telemetry overlay (an on screen display), giving things like altitude, battery voltage, and motor speed. I thought that such a module looked awesome and would be quite useful. However, when I came to realise just how expensive these OSDs were – about US$100-200 each – I realised that there was no way I'd see one of these myself – and after inspecting the OSDs, I learned that they were generally limited in features for the price. And I thought that I could do better.
After brainstorming how to do it over a few months I decided to start after ordering some sample components. Within 3 days I managed to get it working with a simple demonstration; I decided initially to go with 256x192 pixels, before deciding on 192x128 pixels, because the lower resolution let me include black and white graphics – that is, a pixel could be transparent (not superimposed), black (0V) or white (2V). It's been about 4 months now in the making, and it's almost ready to go into production. I've been working over the past 4 months with RCgroups and other forum members to refine the design to make it meet what the community wants. For example, it includes a large memory for datalogging and illuminated buttons to make it usable at night.
Prototype runs are being hand-soldered by myself, but this is extremely time consuming and simply not viable for larger orders, so the money will be used to make an order of 20 PCBs, plus expenses.
Hopefully Super OSD will usher in a new era of FPVers! The low cost of the module (from $70 to $90 US) especially compared to competitors makes it affordable for most people. The open source nature allows individuals to modify it and customise it to their needs as well as learn from the design. The augmented reality gaming and community nature of future versions will encourage people to go out more with a physical and very fun hobby instead of playing video games ;).
What I'll Need
The money will be broken down into the following:
- $800: 20 PCB run including manufacture, assembly and component costs from a professional automated assembly line manufacturer
- $50: Testing, calibration, programming and packing
Currently I myself have contributed nearly $350 of my own money towards the project in the prototyping stages and am prepared to contribute much more.
What You Get
If you contribute $10 or more I will reduce the cost of the board to $55+S&H. Contributing $35 or more and you will receive a board for $25+S&H. Contributing $45 or more will get you a FREE board excl. S&H. Shipping and handling (S&H) is typically $10.
Initially, as only 20 boards will be produced, any discounts will be first-come first-serve. For now I'm limiting each perk to 10 of each. However, if and when additional boards are produced you can claim your discount then (there is no time limit.) If you want to claim these perks, please let me know your name when you order so I can check how much of a discount to give you. Please note these only apply if you buy directly from me (Thomas Oldbury) and not through a distributor, if any.
Contributing via PayPalPlease note - all contributions via. PayPal are made through my mum's account (Kristina Hook/Sew Stitchy.) This is because I'm not old enough to use PayPal, I'm only 17 (min age 18.)
Other Ways You Can Help
It would be very helpful if you could tell your friends about it if they are interested in the project.