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        Discussion Show Us Your Ground Station !!!! FPV Ground Station Design and Idea's found here :)

#1 JettPilot Oct 17, 2009 11:16 AM

Show Us Your Ground Station !!!! FPV Ground Station Design and Idea's found here :)
 
Post pictures of your FPV ground station here !!! There are so many videos and pictures of FPV planes, but people many times neglect to post pictures of thier FPV ground station. Planes crash and are replaced, but a FPV ground station is something you will use for a long time, so its important to make it as nice as possible. The idea of this thread is to give everyone ideas to newbies as well as experienced FPV'er of how to make a great ground station.

Mike

#2 JettPilot Oct 17, 2009 11:17 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Here is my new portable ground station. Flying with Video Goggles is OK, I had flown using video goggles for years, and have tried all the best ones, but video goggles just do not display detail like a large LCD screen. And when talking screens to fly FPV, size matters !!!! My box has a 19 inch LCD screen as well as two sets of video goggles in the compartments for super bright locations with no shade when the sun washes out the screen. I record all my flights using the built in Sony Video camera. I have tried many recording devices for FPV, but nothing compares in quality to a digital video camera. I use an AVT-8710 time base corrector to avoid the " Blue Screen " of death on the LCD screen. I use heavy duty JR servo wire with mini deans plugs to connect the video receivers to the box, with go through an Oracle Diversity video controller. So its just one wire, and two plugs for the antenna, turn on the master switch and I am flying in about 1 minute from getting my system out of the car. I can pack up and leave just as quickly.

The antenna you see is a 900 MHZ yagi antenna, together with a 3 dbi vertical both from www.L-Com.com I can unplug my 900 MHZ receivers switch to my similar 2.4 GHZ video receiver / antenna and be flying using 2.4 GHZ video in under a minute. I have found that directional yagi antennas perform much better than patch antennas for video, and are easy to transport, as they are narrow and shorter than my tripod when its folded. Receivers should always be mounted on the antenna for maximum performance, even the best most expensive coax has huge losses at our video frequencies. That just about covers it, if anyone has questions I will be happy to answer them.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so below are some pictures :D

#3 bogbeagle Oct 17, 2009 11:39 AM

Does someone have to track your model as it flies, when you are using that Yagi antenna?

#4 David22 Oct 17, 2009 11:51 AM

3 Attachment(s)
here are some pictures of mine.
very portable
bringing along the booster and yagi makes it less portable though

I also bring along my back pack

#5 JettPilot Oct 17, 2009 11:55 AM

Nice setup David, its good to see that I am not the only one using a Yagi for 900 MHZ video and also figured out that a screen is better than goggles.

Goggles have the potential to give a more realistic experience to fly by, but the goggles that are avialable just dont have the quality to live up to that promise.

#6 David22 Oct 17, 2009 12:02 PM

I use 1.3 and 2.4
and just rv goggles or headplay
never tried 900 or tv screen yet

I like the full emersion feeling
unfortunately with goggles you have no idea what is going on around you
with one ear bud
i swear my hearing of other people around me improves when I fly fpv
it is almost like I can hear a pin drop

Or a dog in the distance:eek:
my worst night mare

one day or night;) I will try to sit in my car and fly fpv

never done night flying before but for sure on my list of todo

#7 bracky72 Oct 17, 2009 12:13 PM

This is my auto tracker setup. I mount it on a tripod. Setup time is 5 minutes or so. I mainly use 2.4 video and in this case a 14 dBi patch and 2 dBi omni hooked to immersionrc duo diversity receiver.

http://www.bracky.net/images/fpvstryker/4.jpg

#8 Martin Y Oct 17, 2009 02:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JettPilot
Nice setup David, its good to see that I am not the only one using a Yagi for 900 MHZ video and also figured out that a screen is better than goggles.

Goggles have the potential to give a more realistic experience to fly by, but the goggles that are avialable just dont have the quality to live up to that promise.

I too run a 900 mhz yagi. Range is great but i'm still little chicken to go to far yet in the air. My set up isn't as pretty but I'm working on another using a 26" screen in a box. Plus I may add a laptop for google earth and or live wifi.

#9 kist2001 Oct 17, 2009 03:30 PM

Jett. Is that screen daylight readable? Seems like it would be wash out city in the Miami sun. I bought a 10,000 nits screen from a police car and in the sun it is just passable. Perhaps for evening use. Otherwise nice setup.

-Ken

#10 renatoa Oct 17, 2009 03:36 PM

I think there are at least 3 similar threads...

#11 JettPilot Oct 17, 2009 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RENATOA
I think there are at least 3 similar threads...

There are similar threads, but they are more for a specific ground station or project. I looked at them and considered this prior to starting this thread. I think a thread similar to the " Show us your FPV Videos " sticky - Which specifically invites everyone to post and look at ground stations in one place would be very useful to people in this forum.

Mike

#12 SugarLandFlyer Oct 17, 2009 11:03 PM

JettPilot,
Using the yagi antenna do you have to fly out in front of it the whole time or does it give you good reception over a wide flying area? I have always thought that a yagi would need to follow the plane to get good reception.

#13 JettPilot Oct 18, 2009 06:41 PM

Aiming a Yagi is about the same as aiming a patch antenna. It needs to be pointed in the general direction of the plane, but not exactly. Its easy to do while flying, and of course a Diversity system makes it so there is no aiming at all when the plane is close in.

When the plane is far, it moves very little in relation to me, so I rarely have to touch the antenna.

Mike

#14 downeym Oct 19, 2009 10:12 AM

8 Attachment(s)
Since we are sharing, I thought I would post some info about my base station. Its all a self contained unit, so I just need to it put it on the tripod, turn the switch on, connect the camera and goggles and I am ready to fly.


14 Db patch antenna

6db whip antenna

Yellowjacket Diversity Rx

box and other parts
see the digikey attachment

Pan and tilt mechanism
Pan Mechanism
Tilt Mechanism

Screen
taken from an OEM nissan overhead DVD player

Inside is a cheap radio shack video distribution amp for running the screen, goggles, and camera simultaneously.

on the side is a radio shack RCA connector block for breaking out the video and allowing outside devices to plug in like my video goggles and Digital camcorder for recording video.

Inside is a standard BEC and RC receiver for pan and tilt. I am using 2 channels on my Tx for controlling this function. As I am flying if I notice that the display begins to break up, I can tweak the alignment easily to make it better. This allows me to place the receiver far away from me to optimize reception. I noticed that I can see some noise if the RC Tx is too close, so I can raise the entire station to about 6 feet off the ground and put it about 6 feet away from me.

I am anxiously awaiting the release of Eagle eyes for automating this though.

There is also a 4000mAh LiPo for power, but I really only need about half that... There is a deans connector hanging out of the case for charging.

More info about the plane and several videos of the base station in action can be found in the Main Queen Bee thread

Base Station (1 min 16 sec)

#15 JettPilot Oct 19, 2009 10:36 AM

Very nice compact setup downeym !!!! I love the little LCD voltage display, I see it on the invoice, but where did you buy it from ? I really want to add this to my ground station :D

Mike


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