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Old Jun 12, 2011, 09:08 AM
Specializing in RC since 1972
Temple, GA, USA
Joined Jun 2009
3,135 Posts
What cameras can be used and the best FPV camera

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Originally Posted by Ecibob View Post
Is there any real advantage to using a CCTV camera like the ones that are standard definition (DX-201, etc.) or an HD camera.

I see you can get these keychain cams for like $100... seems pretty reasonable and would be a new world over the others.

Is that true, are HD cams advantageous in practically every way?

Could I use it with a standard lawmate or other TX and RX?
For FPV you must use SD cameras. Some people have HD recording to an on board memory stick.

I have seen many keychain cams and bought a couple for $15 or so each, but they don't have a video output and so cannot be used for FPV, although they are nice to tape on an airplane to record a flight.

FPV does not have nearly the bandwidth to even consider transmitting HD successfully.

I recommend the cheap BestOfferBuy system for the video link and I recommend a configurable camera (called OSD coincidentally). WDR is my second camera recommendation. The best camera for daylight FPV operations in my opinion, even though I don't own one is the Pixim Seawolf WDR OSD for $108 ($97 without case) but make sure it is not too large or heavy for your application.

Cliff
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Old Jun 12, 2011, 09:26 AM
Specializing in RC since 1972
Temple, GA, USA
Joined Jun 2009
3,135 Posts
RC radio frequencies

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Originally Posted by TexasAggie View Post
Very brief question - Of the FM frequencies (for RC control), does 72 MHz for offer the best combination of range and available receivers? I expect 35, 40, or 50 MHz would give better range, but it seems harder to find receivers and crystals.
Only 27mhz, 50mhz, 72mhz and 2.4ghz are legal for RC in the USA. Generally, the lower the frequency the better, but 27mhz is splattered on by CB radios in trucks and 50mhz requires an amateur radio license.

There is nothing wrong with 72mhz as compared to 27, 35, 36, 40, 41.

There are special long range RC radio systems up on 433mhz, but they are better for flying alone. I watched them crash all day when there was more than one in the air at a time when I was at an FPV fly in recently.

If all you will ever need is 4 miles for range, get a good 72mhz system and make the receiver antenna twice as long (say 1.5 to 2 meters) and let it hang out the back of the airplane. I use Futaba PCM (don't use a Futaba R127DF receiver) (There appears to have been interference present during my R127DF test flight. Flying that R127DF a different day gave a better result).

If you are flying helicopters, the length of a 72mhz antenna (especially if you make it twice as long) may be prohibitive. In that case get a good 2.4g RC (not a "park flyer", I recommend Futaba) for the short antennas. It is possible to boost the output of the transmitters for extra range depending on what country you live in. With 2.4g it is more important to do range tests in a controlled way to avoid problems later and don't even think of flying behind anything. On 72mhz RC you can dip down below the tree tops until the video signal gets bad and then just pull up. On 2.4g RC the "pull up" signal won't make it through the trees.

Cliff
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Old Jun 12, 2011, 09:55 AM
Gig 'Em!
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United States, TX, College Station
Joined Nov 2010
647 Posts
Thanks for the tip. I'm looking at getting the Futaba R149DP.
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Old Jun 12, 2011, 10:03 AM
Specializing in RC since 1972
Temple, GA, USA
Joined Jun 2009
3,135 Posts
Battery capacity explained

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Originally Posted by isaacintheclouds View Post
Had a successful first flight today viewing through a t.v. All went well thanks to all the good advice I got here. My VTX battery is a little heavy though, a 3s 910 mah. lipo. Someone here said it would be good for an hour or so. Since I dont need that long yet,could I lose a little weight with a 450mah battery or even less and still get 25 or 30 minutes with it? Thanks all!
450mah should last over an hour. What is the total current draw of your FPV rig? For my non-OSD FPV rig it is about 250mah, so I can get 450/250 = 1.8 hours out of a 450 mah (milli amp hour) battery. Call it one hour of flying plus some ground time plus a battery safety measure.

Another possibility is to use your flight battery to also power your FPV. This works well if your voltages match; i.e. you need 12 volts for everything.

The definition of mah is milli amps that you can pull and have it last one hour. If you pull twice that much (e.g. 900ma) it will last half that long (e.g. 30 minutes). Always allow extra for ground handling and battery safety. Get yourself a LiPo voltmeter for $2.25 shipped and measure your batteries after each flight so you get to know how long you can fly even with a worn out battery pack that is not up to capacity.

"Amps" are a flow rate, exactly like gallons per hour for water. Milli amps are a thousandth of that. "Amp hours" are capacity, exactly like gallons or liters. Think of 450mah as almost a half a gallon and you know that you can drain 0.450 gallons at a rate of 0.450 gallons per hour for exactly one hour.

A car takes 50 to 100 amps to crank. Car head lights may be more like 10 amps. Brake lights about 2 amps per bulb. My RC transmitter pulls about 1/4 amp (250 milli amps) and can be expected to last over 2 hours with it's new 600mah battery pack.

Cliff
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Old Jun 12, 2011, 11:01 AM
Nakelp
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United States, NJ, Union
Joined Sep 2004
6,793 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by theothercliff View Post
What FPV sender/receiver do you have? Have you adjusted it in any way? These systems require amplified audio that puts out standard "line level" audio of about .5 to 1.0 volts.

One of the first FPV systems that I bought was from r2hobbies and although it has a place for audio and comes with audio cables, the text of the ad does not mention audio and the audio does not work. Taking the transmitter apart, there are components missing in the audio section.

Do not adjust your FPV transmitter. Experimentation is tempting, but you will only do it more harm than good. Too much one way and both your bandwidth and harmonics go up past the limit. Too much the other way and your sync level and intensity may become unusable. Also, adjustments to the transmitter should be complimented with opposite adjustments to the receiver.

Cliff
This is the one I use:
http://www.rangevideo.com/index.php?...5cfb6974828957
it has audio out.
No matter how far I place the microphone from Vtx the moment it picks up the sound the interference is severe.
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Old Jun 12, 2011, 12:05 PM
Specializing in RC since 1972
Temple, GA, USA
Joined Jun 2009
3,135 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by nakelp86 View Post
This is the one I use:
http://www.rangevideo.com/index.php?...5cfb6974828957
it has audio out.
No matter how far I place the microphone from Vtx the moment it picks up the sound the interference is severe.
I have no experience with those. I would ask rangevideo. The excuses they may give for not helping you would include:
- possible incompatible receiver
- you have damaged the transmitter

Cliff
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Old Jun 13, 2011, 12:17 AM
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Canada, BC, North Vancouver
Joined Apr 2011
136 Posts
Loking for some component suggestions.

I finished building my Skywalker and it flies great. I'm now ready to add some FPV gear to it and need some suggestions based on where I will be flying and what range I want.

I'll be flying in a mountainous area, something like this:



I would like to be able to do a distance of approximately 10KM.

I don't expect there will be a lot of interference as where I will be flying is a small town of about 10,000 people.

Here's what I have:

Skywalker V3
5800mAh 4s LiPo (For motor and servos)
1050mAh 3s LiPo (For FPV components)
Chainlink LRS


Here's what I was thinking of getting:

- 1280 Mhz 500mW Lawmate Tx
- 1280 Mhz Lawmate Rx
- Some type of Circular Polarized antennas.
- Some OSD which has RTH functionality
- FY20A for stabilization (I mainly wanted this for use in combination with RTH but maybe I don't need it?)
- Some 12V camera. Quality doesn't have to be great as I have a GoPro for recorded video.


I'm really confused about the antenna since there seems to be so many now but it seems everyone is raving about the CP antennas now. Will they likely allow me to do 10KM in the area I'll be flying?

Also, what OSD would you recommend? I'm not too picky about the features as long as it has RTH (Maybe I don't need this but I just think this is really cool) and it's easy to get going with the other components I would get.
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Old Jun 13, 2011, 04:05 AM
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Joined Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theothercliff View Post
For FPV you must use SD cameras. Some people have HD recording to an on board memory stick.

I have seen many keychain cams and bought a couple for $15 or so each, but they don't have a video output and so cannot be used for FPV, although they are nice to tape on an airplane to record a flight.

FPV does not have nearly the bandwidth to even consider transmitting HD successfully.

I recommend the cheap BestOfferBuy system for the video link and I recommend a configurable camera (called OSD coincidentally). WDR is my second camera recommendation. The best camera for daylight FPV operations in my opinion, even though I don't own one is the Pixim Seawolf WDR OSD for $108 ($97 without case) but make sure it is not too large or heavy for your application.

Cliff
Well, i see they have some board pixim cameras. Gonna tried one.
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Old Jun 13, 2011, 07:01 AM
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Amherst, VA
Joined Jun 2006
10,352 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by nakelp86 View Post
This is the one I use:
http://www.rangevideo.com/index.php?...5cfb6974828957
it has audio out.
No matter how far I place the microphone from Vtx the moment it picks up the sound the interference is severe.
The problem is band separation. The carrier frequency for the audio is within the RX video band. Therefore when you pick up audio, it in advertently scrambles the video. This problem is fairly rare. Chances are you have an RX with a 7MHz audio carrier and a tx with a 5MHz carrier.

-Alex
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Old Jun 13, 2011, 07:07 AM
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Amherst, VA
Joined Jun 2006
10,352 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLager View Post
Loking for some component suggestions.

I finished building my Skywalker and it flies great. I'm now ready to add some FPV gear to it and need some suggestions based on where I will be flying and what range I want.

I'll be flying in a mountainous area, something like this:



I would like to be able to do a distance of approximately 10KM.

I don't expect there will be a lot of interference as where I will be flying is a small town of about 10,000 people.

Here's what I have:

Skywalker V3
5800mAh 4s LiPo (For motor and servos)
1050mAh 3s LiPo (For FPV components)
Chainlink LRS


Here's what I was thinking of getting:

- 1280 Mhz 500mW Lawmate Tx
- 1280 Mhz Lawmate Rx
- Some type of Circular Polarized antennas.
- Some OSD which has RTH functionality
- FY20A for stabilization (I mainly wanted this for use in combination with RTH but maybe I don't need it?)
- Some 12V camera. Quality doesn't have to be great as I have a GoPro for recorded video.


I'm really confused about the antenna since there seems to be so many now but it seems everyone is raving about the CP antennas now. Will they likely allow me to do 10KM in the area I'll be flying?

Also, what OSD would you recommend? I'm not too picky about the features as long as it has RTH (Maybe I don't need this but I just think this is really cool) and it's easy to get going with the other components I would get.
With a SkyWalker a Dragon OSD would do RTH with minimal setup. Take it for what it's worth, though. I don't use RTH as my planes are far too aerobatic to use it.

Looking at your flight area, multipathing is going to be an issue. The iron content of the rock will cause unwanted reflections. You *might* be very well suited with a Vee/BiQuad combination. However I would opt for a Cloverleaf/9.5 dbic Helical (5 turn) for clearer video. 10 km is a walk in the park for either of these setups.

For a camera, this is the best I have ever flown. I own 3 of these: http://www.securitycamera2000.com/pr...D%252dWDR.html

-Alex
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Old Jun 13, 2011, 09:55 AM
Registered User
Canada, BC, North Vancouver
Joined Apr 2011
136 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCrazy View Post
With a SkyWalker a Dragon OSD would do RTH with minimal setup. Take it for what it's worth, though. I don't use RTH as my planes are far too aerobatic to use it.

Looking at your flight area, multipathing is going to be an issue. The iron content of the rock will cause unwanted reflections. You *might* be very well suited with a Vee/BiQuad combination. However I would opt for a Cloverleaf/9.5 dbic Helical (5 turn) for clearer video. 10 km is a walk in the park for either of these setups.

For a camera, this is the best I have ever flown. I own 3 of these: http://www.securitycamera2000.com/pr...D%252dWDR.html

-Alex
Thanks Alex! I believe you make those antennas yes? Where can I buy them? Specifically the Cloverleaf/Helical combo.
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Old Jun 13, 2011, 11:12 AM
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Canada, ON, Toronto
Joined Apr 2011
1,518 Posts
What's the best Tx for control in a LRS? I have a DX8 but for LRS I understand the Futaba radio's lend themselves best (headtraking built in through trainer port as an example)...and since you are using the LRS for transmission, I should buy an older used 72mhz for the control sticks like the 7c. That said, any comments?

PS,

I'm a newbie...so please explain your comments....thx
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Old Jun 13, 2011, 06:43 PM
Registered User
United States, MN, Orono
Joined May 2011
568 Posts
Hi
Someone please help!!!
My new system from Range Video has never been flown. This is my first FPV system and I have little idea what I am doing... When I plug in the system I see static on my monitor and hear a weird noise. I think my system might be defective but am not sure. I also do not know if the problem lies in the TX, RX, or antennae.
Thanks!
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Old Jun 13, 2011, 07:03 PM
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Joined Aug 2008
436 Posts
Hi guys, I want to start FPV but don't know what to buy.

I am getting a quad for flying. I have a fy90q.

I saw this google from hobbyking


http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbycity/s...dProduct=16072

I need a cc camera, FPV tx n rx n wat else? Can someone recommend me some good n budget stuffs from hobbyking or where ever. Thxs!
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Old Jun 13, 2011, 11:15 PM
If it's to be, it's up to me.
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Sydney, Australia
Joined Jan 2007
3,060 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCrazy View Post

For a camera, this is the best I have ever flown. I own 3 of these: http://www.securitycamera2000.com/pr...D%252dWDR.html

-Alex
Alex I'm currently flying one of these cameras from security camera 2000 and am looking at upgrading. If given the choice again, would you consider the recent Pixim cameras over your 600TVL Sony's? Like this one
http://www.securitycamera2000.com/pr...-OSD-Menu.html

TIA,

sub
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