Drone Zoom

I am no longer selling the Drone Zoom! This page is for your reference and my embarrassment only. Enjoy!

Drone Zoom: An easy to use optical zoom camera system for FPV

The Drone Zoom system is an easy to use platform that adds high-resolution optical zoom to your FPV system.

Drone Zoom is meant to be used for hobbyist applications such as Quadcopters and RC planes; where zooming an FPV camera during flight is practically impossible for modern flight controllers. This board makes it possible by allowing you to treat the camera as if it was just another 5V servo. This makes zooming a camera during flight not only easy to do, but enjoyable, almost like a video game.

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  • 27x optical zoom NTSC camera. (Using our camera.)
  • Automatic servo pulse range calibration.
  • All Serial and camera connection pins broken out for easy hacking and development.
  • Push-button to reverse zoom direction control.
  • With camera: 190 grams Without camera: > 10 grams.
  • Low noise.

Complete Documentations and Instructions (Updated! – 2/23/2015)

Shipping Hardware Version: 1.3
Shipping Software Version: 2.0

18 thoughts on “Drone Zoom”

  1. Hi.
    I am looking for pelco-d controller using normal joystick . Can you recommend one joystick that works with your controller?

    1. Hello Amin,

      Could you tell me a little more about how you are planning to use a joystick with the board? Are you building a security camera system that requires the joystick to be far away from the camera or something completely different?

      More information about your project as a whole would help a great deal.

      Most joysticks are analog devices than require separate IC’s to interpret the analog values and send meaningful output. If you wanted to use a joystick like this one here: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9032 Then you would need a separate device that would be able to take the joystick values and turn it into PWM signals that my board can read.

      The more information about your project the better I can help you.

      Thanks for your interest in my board!

      1. I like the stabilzer board suggestion and have sent a request for more info.
        What would you suggest for a pan/tilt mount non-stabilized. As of now the mounts I used only handle small cameras.
        And thanks for the reply.

        1. The camera system only weighs around 180-190 grams. If you can find a gimbal that works with that weight, that would be optimal. I do however have a friend who knows a bit about gimbals for large cameras. He’s a pro photographer that specializes in aerial shots and has used my system on many occasions. I just asked him how much it would cost for a complete system and he said $350. This would include two brushless motors, an alexmos controller board, tuning, assembly, and shipping. Let me know if that interests you and I can set everything up.

  2. Hi Kyle,
    I have 3 questions:

    1 is the new batch in?

    2. Can the camera’s menu be accessed by your board with modded code?

    3. Can the board be used to access zoom on other cameras? is it putting out a specialized code or just Pelco?

    Thanks for building this!


    1. Hey Jeff,

      1 is the new batch in?
      – Yes it just arrived! I’ll have photos of them in action tonight along with an updated description.

      2. Can the camera’s menu be accessed by your board with modded code?
      – Sorta. I have tried in the past to get the cameras I sell to respond to setting changes from my boards but it never worked reliably… (The key there is reliably.) I was on a deadline when I first wrote the code and since then decided not to tackle that problem because I assumed that most people wouldn’t want to mess with camera settings. That being said, I can link you to a controller board that can modify base settings if you would like. (Change settings -> Save -> remove controller board -> attach Drone Zoom -> etc…)
      (If you have to have the ability to change settings from the same board and need at least 25 units, then let me know and we can set something up.)

      3. Can the board be used to access zoom on other cameras? is it putting out a specialized code or just Pelco?
      – The board is only outputting Pelco-D commands to camera addresses 00 and 01. If your camera uses Pelco-D and has one of those address then it may work. Send me a link to the camera you are thinking about using and I can try to determine if it would work or not.

      Thanks for building this!
      – No problem! (:

    1. Unfortunately they most likely won’t be back in stock for quite some time. I’m discontinuing the product on this website while I prepare for the launch of my other web-store northUAV.com
      I’m going to be offering everything from autonomous parachute systems to thermal FPV cameras.

  3. I purchased the 27x digital zoom cam with the pelco d version 1.1 control board…is there any instruction Vedio I can refer to in setting my system up on my drone…I e watched the v1.2 vedio’s but slightly different and please note I’m not the smartest pelco man in the box!

    All help is appreciated TR Roper

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