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Old Aug 19, 2011, 12:21 PM
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airwolf32's Avatar
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Laptop as display for FPV, EasyCAP and USB-Live2(hauppage)

I know there's some other threads on this, but I wanted to see what other people's setups were for feeding the receiver into a computer to use the computer as a display. Right now I've got an EasyCAP 2.0 on order and a Hauppage USB-Live2 on order (wanted to have some backup if the EC didn't work well). I've got a laptop with vista on it, which I've read the EasyCAP doesn't work so well under vista. I managed to find some drivers that supposedly allow the easycap to work under vista, but I can always put XP on the laptop if I have to.

The laptop is an HP L2000 2.0 Ghz AMD 64 with 512 ram, but it's got vista 32bit on it. The hauppage system requirements are well above that, but I don't know if that's for the hardware or the software that comes with it. The system requirements for the EasyCAP are much much lower, so it seems like that has more of a shot at working.

Does anybody have any experience with the EasyCAP or the Hauppage that might be helpful to me when I go to set this up? Whats the situation on the software? Do they come with their own software or should I get some 3rd party stuff?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 12:30 PM
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PilotKeeg's Avatar
Steamboat Springs, CO
Joined Aug 2010
623 Posts
Just don't do it!!!!

I tried a laptop too, but the problem is there are so many more things to set up to go flying and there are more points of failure.

Just get a Haier tv screen for $50

If you use your laptop, I gurantee it will cause a crash.
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 01:08 PM
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sim_io's Avatar
USA, GA, Savannah
Joined Mar 2008
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If you trust your laptop then why not? It's definitely useful because it's a 15"-17" display you already have. I recommend splitting the video signal and having a backup lcd screen like PilotKeep mentions just in case.

Your AMD laptop will run easycap but may lag recording it. You need aleast a dual core for recording easycap with the preview video.
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 01:20 PM
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PilotKeeg's Avatar
Steamboat Springs, CO
Joined Aug 2010
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Its not a matter of trust in your laptop, its trusting that the program wont crash while you are flying. Plus there is tons of setup to fly FPV without adding the additional factor of having to start up the laptop and open the program and get everything properly set up: selecting the source and etc.

If you forget to charge your laptop, you cant fly, if it runs out of battery while you are flying, there goes your $500 plane.

Using a laptop for a FPV screen is retarded, it is no coincidence people don't use them.
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 01:25 PM
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camship's Avatar
United States, FL, Panama City Beach
Joined Oct 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotKeeg View Post
Its not a matter of trust in your laptop, its trusting that the program wont crash while you are flying. Plus there is tons of setup to fly FPV without adding the additional factor of having to start up the laptop and open the program and get everything properly set up: selecting the source and etc.

If you forget to charge your laptop, you cant fly, if it runs out of battery while you are flying, there goes your $500 plane.

Using a laptop for a FPV screen is retarded, it is no coincidence people don't use them.
I'm a total retard then, I use 2 and sometimes 3 laptops. But like most retards I have a mobile source of power and backups, (2nd machine) and multiple displays on the analog output.

Thanks for the kind words.

Rob
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 01:26 PM
Why is the Rum gone?
sim_io's Avatar
USA, GA, Savannah
Joined Mar 2008
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PilotKeeg you didn't read my post did you. It's a rule of thumb to have at least 2 display in case one fails during a flight.

Laptops are cool because you can stream your flight live through justin.tv like many of the members here or as shown in this video.

Go to minute 4:05

FPV After Dark - UM Mosquito, EPO Falcon, Foamaroo & more :) (7 min 9 sec)
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 01:40 PM
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PilotKeeg's Avatar
Steamboat Springs, CO
Joined Aug 2010
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I was speaking of people using only a laptop for FPV, if you have a backup monitor using a laptop might be a good idea, but really most people wont use them because of the insane setup times.
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 03:23 PM
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Louisiana
Joined Oct 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotKeeg View Post
I was speaking of people using only a laptop for FPV, if you have a backup monitor using a laptop might be a good idea, but really most people wont use them because of the insane setup times.
I use a laptop exclusively with Easycap....guess I'm a tard too. Just messn wit ya !
I can be set up and ready to fly in 5 minutes. Actually takes longer to preflight the plane than to setup the laptop. If I ever loose video, Dragon OSD brings her home to papa.

ETA: I use Ulead Studio on XP with no delay/hysteresis. (Dell Inspiron 1.2ghz w/ 4gb Corsair RAM)
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 08:03 PM
Why is the Rum gone?
sim_io's Avatar
USA, GA, Savannah
Joined Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotKeeg View Post
I was speaking of people using only a laptop for FPV, if you have a backup monitor using a laptop might be a good idea, but really most people wont use them because of the insane setup times.
Who said this hobby was easy?
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 11:59 PM
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Joined Jan 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotKeeg View Post
Its not a matter of trust in your laptop, its trusting that the program wont crash while you are flying. Plus there is tons of setup to fly FPV without adding the additional factor of having to start up the laptop and open the program and get everything properly set up: selecting the source and etc.

If you forget to charge your laptop, you cant fly, if it runs out of battery while you are flying, there goes your $500 plane.

Using a laptop for a FPV screen is retarded, it is no coincidence people don't use them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotKeeg View Post
I was speaking of people using only a laptop for FPV, if you have a backup monitor using a laptop might be a good idea, but really most people wont use them because of the insane setup times.
Thanks for contributing nothing productive to this thread. You wasted 90 seconds (or however long it took you to type your aimless trolling) of your life.

Setup time = booting the computer, and launching the capture software.

Battery issue = most modern laptops give you a real-time readout of the remaining battery life (including all the ones I own). Problem solved.

Program crashing = just as likely for something else to go wrong down the line and lose the video. Can't see this portion of it increasing the percentage of chance of failure all that much.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 12:24 AM
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United States, IA, Mason City
Joined Oct 2008
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airwolf, I generally agree on trolling, but that wasn't it. I have to pop in and restate the opinions you will find from most people on this forum.

I will say this; my primary record device is my laptop. I have an aiptek, but the laptop (with a pinnacle usb capture, and an easycap; I prefer the pinnacle) just records better video. To me, that makes it worth it.

But all the negatives of a laptop still hold true. The setup time is atrocious. First you need a place to put a laptop, which means carrying a card table around that you wouldn't otherwise need (most laptops don't do good on the ground, plus they are really hard to use there). Then you need to set up a box or tent or shade of some sort, as most laptop screens become very pretty mirrors in any sunlight. Then there is the boot time. Plugging in your capture device, and making sure it is actually working (a lot of the time this takes two or three retries; windows wants to reinstall a driver, the capture software doesn't see the device, the system freezes for 2 mins, etc etc; its a computer, the normal expected issues). Setting up to record the correct input, and then running and connecting all the extra cables that with a normal record device would just always stay plugged in at your ground station. Finally click record, and finished. Oh, and remember to correctly end the recording, or you just don't get it at all. All this adds 10 mins to your setup, prep and check time. It nearly doubles it. If you have an hour lunch break, setting up for 20 mins and tearing down for 10 is less attractive than setting up for 10 and tearing down in 2-3.

Compare this to the aiptek, as well:

Set vid receiving station on the ground (have to do this anyway), press the power button, and press record. Adds 10 seconds to setup/prep/check time, and is negligible. Always works.

As to stability.... the chance of a laptop having an issue is 1000x that of a dead simple recorder. Your antivius wants to update, but your wireless is turned off so it sits around popping up errors, which any device (like a vid recorder) that uses overlays hates. Or maybe you forgot to turn off your wireless, which makes your video range crap. Or maybe windows decides now, since you aren't moving the mouse, would be a good time to re-index for searches and brings the whole system to a crawl. Or that trojan your sister installed without knowing it (and your antivirus doesn''t have deffs for yet) starts creating pop up windows, or closing things, etc. Stuff on a PC can and will go wrong. Stuff on a device with a rom very, very rarely does. You can tell that aiptek to record 10000 times and it will fail once (and probably be your fault; battery, rewiring, etc). You can tell a laptop to record 10 times, and it will fail once for a random unpredictable reason. Big difference.

Battery is still an issue. Assuming a new laptop with decent battery, you might get 3 hours yes... in powersave mode. 1.5 in full cpu usage mode, which you will need. Compared to about 10 on the aiptek. And while it does give a realtime readout, are you going to be checking that as you are trying to fly your plane? I try to, and still forget. You can set an alert though, so running out is less of an issue than just not having enough.

Yes, this was long, but I hope you take the time to actually consider if a laptop is the best record device for you; and if you choose to use it as I have, that you get a secondary display to use as a backup.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 12:26 AM
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Steamboat Springs, CO
Joined Aug 2010
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+1 Acorns
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Last edited by PilotKeeg; Aug 20, 2011 at 12:31 AM. Reason: acorns beat me to it
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 06:16 AM
Resistance is Futile
camship's Avatar
United States, FL, Panama City Beach
Joined Oct 2001
2,680 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acorns View Post
airwolf, I generally agree on trolling, but that wasn't it. I have to pop in and restate the opinions you will find from most people on this forum.

I will say this; my primary record device is my laptop. I have an aiptek, but the laptop (with a pinnacle usb capture, and an easycap; I prefer the pinnacle) just records better video. To me, that makes it worth it.

But all the negatives of a laptop still hold true. The setup time is atrocious. First you need a place to put a laptop, which means carrying a card table around that you wouldn't otherwise need (most laptops don't do good on the ground, plus they are really hard to use there). Then you need to set up a box or tent or shade of some sort, as most laptop screens become very pretty mirrors in any sunlight. Then there is the boot time. Plugging in your capture device, and making sure it is actually working (a lot of the time this takes two or three retries; windows wants to reinstall a driver, the capture software doesn't see the device, the system freezes for 2 mins, etc etc; its a computer, the normal expected issues). Setting up to record the correct input, and then running and connecting all the extra cables that with a normal record device would just always stay plugged in at your ground station. Finally click record, and finished. Oh, and remember to correctly end the recording, or you just don't get it at all. All this adds 10 mins to your setup, prep and check time. It nearly doubles it. If you have an hour lunch break, setting up for 20 mins and tearing down for 10 is less attractive than setting up for 10 and tearing down in 2-3.

Compare this to the aiptek, as well:

Set vid receiving station on the ground (have to do this anyway), press the power button, and press record. Adds 10 seconds to setup/prep/check time, and is negligible. Always works.

As to stability.... the chance of a laptop having an issue is 1000x that of a dead simple recorder. Your antivius wants to update, but your wireless is turned off so it sits around popping up errors, which any device (like a vid recorder) that uses overlays hates. Or maybe you forgot to turn off your wireless, which makes your video range crap. Or maybe windows decides now, since you aren't moving the mouse, would be a good time to re-index for searches and brings the whole system to a crawl. Or that trojan your sister installed without knowing it (and your antivirus doesn''t have deffs for yet) starts creating pop up windows, or closing things, etc. Stuff on a PC can and will go wrong. Stuff on a device with a rom very, very rarely does. You can tell that aiptek to record 10000 times and it will fail once (and probably be your fault; battery, rewiring, etc). You can tell a laptop to record 10 times, and it will fail once for a random unpredictable reason. Big difference.

Battery is still an issue. Assuming a new laptop with decent battery, you might get 3 hours yes... in powersave mode. 1.5 in full cpu usage mode, which you will need. Compared to about 10 on the aiptek. And while it does give a realtime readout, are you going to be checking that as you are trying to fly your plane? I try to, and still forget. You can set an alert though, so running out is less of an issue than just not having enough.

Yes, this was long, but I hope you take the time to actually consider if a laptop is the best record device for you; and if you choose to use it as I have, that you get a secondary display to use as a backup.
You are completely forgetting the other end of the spectrum, the complete retard.

Us retards use custom built cases with our computer equipment already installed and connected so setup is opening the case and swing up the main notebook. Lift out the main tray and set it on the extended shelf rail that doubles as the tow handle, (the case has wheels). Flip the main power and since all notebooks are set up to resume from power off they will boot up without even needing to press the buttons.

We also use customized operating systems on dedicated machines. The computers run a customized OS, (accomplished using Nlite) and are running nothing but what is absolutely needed. Stability is not in question because the only things running are the essentials. A dumb-ass sister isn't even in the equation because I doubt very seriously that type of person would even be able to figure out how to use Windows in a command prompt environment, much less Linux.

Booting into a custom OS that is loading only what is needed is really quick on my Dells, 10-12 seconds maybe. Custom OS = ROM device.

Multi-Boot = there is no problem.

Battery run-time on all 3 of my dual processor 2.0GHz D620's with extended run time batteries is 6-7 hours. This is only for back-up since the machines are running on a local power supply in the custom case. The case also has convenient mount points for antenna and tracking PT's.

It would take several pages to completely describe my system but I have been working on this type stuff for 15 years so far.

I am STILL waiting for an apology from PilotKeeg or am I to assume it is OK to go around calling people retarded on this forum. Sure seems like it.

Have a great day,

Rob

Total Nerd and proud of it.
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Last edited by camship; Aug 20, 2011 at 06:45 AM.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 06:44 AM
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sawman's Avatar
Louisiana
Joined Oct 2005
1,177 Posts
Camship. don't worry about it and keep doing what your doing. Some folks just don't understand how to tweak the setup. Running antivirus ??????? REALLY ? LOL ! No wonder.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 06:50 AM
Resistance is Futile
camship's Avatar
United States, FL, Panama City Beach
Joined Oct 2001
2,680 Posts
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Originally Posted by sawman View Post
Camship. don't worry about it and keep doing what your doing. Some folks just don't understand how to tweak the setup. Running antivirus ??????? REALLY ? LOL ! No wonder.
Thanks, I intend to. My main interest is in machine-vision based enhanced flight information systems. The FAA has done some pretty in depth studies of these type systems and they would be a bit more likely to accept remote systems that utilized even in part some of the capabilities they were actually able to demonstrate in real flight systems.

BTW, anyone want's to join the Nerd club cheap, Newegg has Dell Latitude D620's for $250.

Since these are off-lease business class (Trusted Platform 2.1) machines that were mainstays for about 3 years there is a mind boggling range of accessories available for these machines dirt cheap.

Example, Docking stations that add video output and many other benefits are $15, EX runtime batteries new $25. The list goes on.

Have fun and keep 'em AGL!

Rob
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Last edited by camship; Aug 20, 2011 at 07:15 AM.
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