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Old Jun 02, 2011, 07:53 AM
Engineer for Christ
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Amherst, VA
Joined Jun 2006
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Video Aerial Systems customer support thread

Many of you know I'm now running Video Aerial Systems LLC to get you guys the best FPV antennas I can come up with. I get about 30 Emails/PMs per day asking me questions. Many times it is the same 3 or 4 questions asked over and over again. Thus I am creating this thread to help direct these questions to have them answered to give me more time to catch up to the ever losing battle of production.

This also keeps all information public. I figure all of my designs are open source, so why not my business model? As with any business, mine is far from perfect. I make mistakes, I get behind, somtimes things just don't work the way they're supposed to. I do my best, but I'm an engineer, not a marketing guy or a salesman.

So if you have a question or concern, feel free to post here. Chances are you aren't the only one with this problem.

-Alex Greve
Video Aerial Systems LLC
www.videoaerialsystems.com
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Old Jun 02, 2011, 07:53 AM
Engineer for Christ
IBCrazy's Avatar
Amherst, VA
Joined Jun 2006
10,343 Posts
Faq

I'll try to answer the frequently asked questions here:


Business/Shipping Questions:

Q: Can I come and visit?
A: Please do! I'd love to show you my labratory and teach you how to fly better. One day with an experienced FPV pilot is worth more the 3 months surfing these forums.

Q: When is the BluBeam system going to be back in stock?
A: Hopefully by the second week of June... I hope. This is the one product I outsource, so I cannot do anythnig more than ask the guy who's building them how much longer.

Q: What's with the shipping? Your calculator is horrible!
A: Tell me about it! I am doing my best to tweak it, but, yeah it stinks. Not much I can do about it. I got rid of the flat rate shipping as it was causing all sorts of problems as I can't track it. A bunch of the small items such as cables and adapters now ship free.

Q: Why does it take so long to get my stuff when others are getting theirs in 2 or 3 days?
A: Dumb luck. I try to build up an inventory by building in batches. If everything you order is built and ready to go, it'll be at your door in no time. However if I need to build everything, it might take me a week to get it all built for you. It is a custom order shop. Building performance products takes time.

Q: Why don't you back order?
A: To be honest, I'm afraid to. I'm afraid that I'll lose orders. That's also a license to get everyone mad at me. I simply can't expect people to wait 2 months for me to ship after they already paid, but if I allow backordering, this is exactly what will happen.

Q: Is there another vendor/source you can recommend?
A: I work with Tim at www.readymaderc.com He will do back ordering and such, but his selection is more limited. TrueRC will have some products of their own (they won't be made by me, but instead by Hugeone) which look very promising.

Q: Why are your answers so short sometimes?
A: I'd love to help everyone, I really would. But some people just want to be spoon fed everything. It's a technical hobby. Most people can't even be bothered to get a HAM radio license and fly legally. Simply studying 4 hours for the HAM radio test would answer so many questions.



Technical Questions:


Q: What frequency do you recommend?
A: I can't make a recommendation. It's more or less a crap shoot at what has the lowest noise floor. Just try to keep it legal in your country. Generally I find that 900MHz is getting overly congested by cell phone traffic, but my longest flights have been done on 900MHz. 5.8GHz is very low noise and is available world wide for the most part.

Q: What antenna do you recommend?
A: Generally I recommend anything that is circularly polarized. Put a cloverleaf on the plane and any circular antenna on the ground for best results. The Vee/BiQuad is what I recommend for long range linear antenna applications. If you need more information than this, please read the guides on my website. They are there to help you.

Q: What are the BluBeams?
A: The BluBeams are nothing more than a Cloverleaf and Skew-planar wheel pair. If you need additional antennas, you can always buy a cloverleaf or skew-wheel separate. Admittedly, the separate units built with a short feedline (whether base fed or side fed) usually perform a little better as they get a little further away from the VTX metallic casing.

Q: What range can I expect?
A: Please stop asking this question. I don't know. I can barely speculate. All I can say is how far I can get. Your results will vary. Anyone who says they can predict your range is either intimately aquainted with your system and flying area or is flat out lying.

Q: Why do you push circular polarization so hard?
A: Because it's awesome! People are doing 4 miles on omnis with it! To my knowledge there is nobody who has made the switch to circular and has gone back to linear polarization. That is saying something isn't it?

Q: How do I mount the Cloverleaf/ Skew wheel?
A: Flat to the wing or fuselage. So long as the dome is either upright or upsidedown, it will work well. Tyr to keeop it away from your batteries if possible.

Q: My range stinks. Why didn't your products fix the problem?
A: Noise floor. You need to change frequencies. Throwing more antenna at the problem isn't going to fix it.

-Alex
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Old Jun 02, 2011, 07:54 AM
Engineer for Christ
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Amherst, VA
Joined Jun 2006
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Featured products/New releases

I will be releasing some new products in the near future. Here's what you should keep an eye on:

BluBeam whips:
This came as a recommendation from Trappy (who had the first ever BluBeam system). It is apparent that many of you would prefer a small whip antenna on a 90 degree connector as opposed to a direct mount. These will have a short 2" feed line and be very similar to a stock whip. In addition, I will be making these and so will a friend of mine in Ohio who is a meticulous perfectionist. Hopefully we can keep up with demand.


CP Long range system - So many people want long range that this is simply the next step. These will be compatible with the BluBeams.

-Alex
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Old Jun 02, 2011, 09:44 AM
Ikaruswannab
Joined Sep 2009
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For me is an opportunity to thank you for your understanding regarding my misplaced order and the chance to experience (for free) the CP effect on FPV flying.
Thank you.
Teo
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Old Jun 03, 2011, 02:58 AM
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We also carry IBCrazy's excellent CP Antennas now! Check out www.FirstPersonView.co.uk/antennas

Keep up the excellent work Alex!

All the best

Simon
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Old Jun 03, 2011, 07:40 AM
Engineer for Christ
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Umm, Simon... You just got sold out of them. 5.8GHz units disappear from the shelf in a matter of seconds

I'm glad to see your testing proved them to be a good antenna. I was wondering when they'd hit your site.

-Alex
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Old Jun 03, 2011, 07:52 AM
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Make sure to check out the Official Video Aerial Systems Support Forum as well.

Alex glad to see you up and moving around again. Thanx for all of your contributions.
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Old Jun 03, 2011, 06:29 PM
NDw
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I've no doubt that these antennas perform great. The one thing that puts me off buying them or trying to build my own v using stock antennas is

1) they seem like they'll need extra support. I like that with a stock antenna you just screw it on and can generally orientate it however you like without the need to support it in any way.

2) They seem very delicate. I've a feeling even a rough landing might bend them out of shape and then they are useless.
As for landing upside down ect whereas with stock antennas the joint usually just straightens, and you can adjust it back again. I feel with these they'd be ruined.

Relatively, a lot of cash to throw away with each rough landing.
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Old Jun 03, 2011, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDw View Post
I've no doubt that these antennas perform great. The one thing that puts me off buying them or trying to build my own v using stock antennas is

1) they seem like they'll need extra support. I like that with a stock antenna you just screw it on and can generally orientate it however you like without the need to support it in any way.

2) They seem very delicate. I've a feeling even a rough landing might bend them out of shape and then they are useless.
As for landing upside down ect whereas with stock antennas the joint usually just straightens, and you can adjust it back again. I feel with these they'd be ruined.

Relatively, a lot of cash to throw away with each rough landing.
I agree, some sort of protective dome would do a decent job I think.
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Old Jun 03, 2011, 08:04 PM
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i've made antennas out of 12 ga copper romex (which is very soft & pliable), 1/16" er316 stainless filler & 3/32" er4043 and 3/32" er5356 aluminum filler.
the SPW/CL designs are no more or less durable than any other design. they are also tolerant of angle & dimension errors.
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Old Jun 03, 2011, 10:08 PM
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I'll go ahead and subscribe to this thread- I don't know near as much as Alex, but if a question pops up I know the answer to, I'll chime in and try and save Alex some time.

-Kevin
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Old Jun 03, 2011, 11:29 PM
Engineer for Christ
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Amherst, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDw View Post
I've no doubt that these antennas perform great. The one thing that puts me off buying them or trying to build my own v using stock antennas is

1) they seem like they'll need extra support. I like that with a stock antenna you just screw it on and can generally orientate it however you like without the need to support it in any way.

2) They seem very delicate. I've a feeling even a rough landing might bend them out of shape and then they are useless.
As for landing upside down ect whereas with stock antennas the joint usually just straightens, and you can adjust it back again. I feel with these they'd be ruined.

Relatively, a lot of cash to throw away with each rough landing.
THE CLOVERLEAF/SKEW WHEEL NEED NO EXTERNAL SUPPORTS! THEY ARE NOT FRAGILE!

Heck, I have landed ON them and they bend right back. I simply tape them to my wing. 1.3GHz is good for 125mph. 2.4GHz is good for 180mph. 5.8 GHz is good for 300mph.
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Old Jun 04, 2011, 12:11 AM
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USA, NV, Las Vegas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDw View Post
I've no doubt that these antennas perform great. The one thing that puts me off buying them or trying to build my own v using stock antennas is

1) they seem like they'll need extra support. I like that with a stock antenna you just screw it on and can generally orientate it however you like without the need to support it in any way.

2) They seem very delicate. I've a feeling even a rough landing might bend them out of shape and then they are useless.
As for landing upside down ect whereas with stock antennas the joint usually just straightens, and you can adjust it back again. I feel with these they'd be ruined.

Relatively, a lot of cash to throw away with each rough landing.
On the other hand, if something happens and land upside down, the standard dipole won't last. I broke 2 in 2 months. I had 433mhz antennas sticking up thru straws and they survived because the straws are flexible.
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Old Jun 04, 2011, 12:54 AM
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Embed them partly, and its super slick. See my picture in the Zeph thread. I'll post it here tomorrow (on mobile). Less
drag than the stock antenna even.

-Kevin
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Old Jun 04, 2011, 05:36 AM
NDw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCrazy View Post
THE CLOVERLEAF/SKEW WHEEL NEED NO EXTERNAL SUPPORTS! THEY ARE NOT FRAGILE!

Heck, I have landed ON them and they bend right back. I simply tape them to my wing. 1.3GHz is good for 125mph. 2.4GHz is good for 180mph. 5.8 GHz is good for 300mph.

Ok thanks Alex. The one other thing is, the BluBeam antenna omni set have straight sma connectors on the pics on your site. Is it possible to get ones with a right angle sma connector? Or perhaps you could sell a right angle adapter.
As I think most people install their vtx horizontally, and need the antenna to go vertical.

I'm just bringing these things up as I think most people thinking of ordering them prob. have the same things in mind.
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