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Old Oct 10, 2011, 06:02 PM
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Video quality questions?

Hey guys, I am a member of a senior design team which will be designing a UAV heli here in the states. My question to you would be a little help with camera selection. I ask you guys because I believe first hand experiences are more reliable than looking at technical specs posted on the Seller's website. So here are a couple things about our setup:
1) will be transmitting on 1280Mhz
2) range will be no more than 1.5 miles
3) camera will be solely facing the ground (no need for quick light adjustments)

Have read allot of posts on this forum and elsewhere about these cameras: 1)600TVL SONY SUPER HAD CCD D-WDR Color Board Camera
2)690TVL Ultra WDR Pixim Seawolf Sensor chip osd camera with 2.8mm
3)Gopro hero (live video out)

and all look promising. What camera would you guys recommend as providing the best video for under $300. Basically these would be the deciding factors in order of importance: resolution, field of view, price


Also, we have chosen the 1280Mhz option over the 900Mhz solely based on advice saying 900Mhz can interfere with servos and GPS... any first hand experiences with that.
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 07:02 PM
OSUFPV - KF7VFT
Corvallis, OR
Joined Apr 2010
1,762 Posts
GPS is on 1.2ghz band so 1280mhz video will be just as bad, if not more than
900 mhz, depending on spacing. But my GPS works just fine with my 1280mhz,
what is more important than the frequency you choose is the spacing of
components and smart filtering.

As to your main question of video quality, a VTx can only transmit so much
information on the band. If what you are wanting is the best realtime video I
would not pick the gopro, however if post-flight video is what you need than
pick the gopro.
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 07:46 PM
Honey Badger
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United States, FL
Joined Oct 2005
1,814 Posts
I run 900mhz out to 5+ miles with no issues.

How you going to fly with the camera only looking down? If straight up and down vertical is what you want - I would go with the GoPro - flying with it is okay at best - but you can record in 1080 Hd - which is great.

What are you trying to do?
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 08:52 PM
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The craft will be piloted via RC before being switched into autopilot where the onboard electronics will take over the flying via GPS waypoints. So we will not need a camera for flying -- basically the camera will only be on board to look around and give a birds eye view of the area. So I would be looking for the best real time camera I could get for this purpose.
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Old Oct 11, 2011, 12:59 AM
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Won't really matter what camera you choose if you're going with a 900Mhz or 1.2Ghz TX/RX set. If you want better image quality image; go with a better frequency. 2.4Ghz or 5.8Ghz have slightly larger bandwidth and newer components that result in substantial image quality over the lower frequencies. Fat Shark
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Old Oct 11, 2011, 03:33 AM
T#0
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Steamboat Springs, CO
Joined Aug 2010
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Hey tmcguire! Is this senior design team for college or high school?

I tried to get a UAV group together at one point at my high school but I eventually gave up on trying to get people to care about it. Now I just do it for myself lol.

Do you or any of your group members have experience with RC?
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Old Oct 11, 2011, 05:35 AM
Resistance is Futile
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United States, FL, Panama City Beach
Joined Oct 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
Won't really matter what camera you choose if you're going with a 900Mhz or 1.2Ghz TX/RX set. If you want better image quality image; go with a better frequency. 2.4Ghz or 5.8Ghz have slightly larger bandwidth and newer components that result in substantial image quality over the lower frequencies. Fat Shark

Really? I call BS! Video quality is entirely based on the equipment you use. There is NO "better frequency" range within the established RF band usage allocations for broadcasting.

tmcguire2008, Good luck with your project.


Rob
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Last edited by camship; Oct 18, 2011 at 03:00 AM.
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Old Oct 17, 2011, 09:44 PM
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Shenzhen, China
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camship View Post
Really? I call BS! Video quality is entirely based on the equipment you use. There is NO "better frequency" range within the established RF band usage allocations for broadcasting.

tmcguire2008, Good luck with our project.

Rob
You are right, it is based on the equipment you use. But we're talking about comparing similarly priced and available amateur systems not high end professional grade equipment.
To demonstrate, I setup a 700TVL CCD camera pointing at a focus chart. The only thing I changed between the 2 photos was the transmitter and receiver - the camera stayed stationary when unplugging the cable from one TX to the other.
The photo shows the clarity difference between an off the shelf Airwaves 5G8 system and a newer model of the popular 1.2Ghz Lawmate system.
For giggles I plugged in my 420TVL CMOS into the 5G8 Airwaves, you can see that the clarity is similar to the 700TVL CCD on 1.2Ghz.
So my point still is: if using lower frequency AV, then spending extra money on a better camera is not money well spent.
Edit: The photos were taken with a stationary camera on tripod focused on a 19" LCD screen.
Fat Shark
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Last edited by fatshark; Oct 17, 2011 at 09:51 PM. Reason: details of setup added
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Old Oct 18, 2011, 03:06 AM
Resistance is Futile
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United States, FL, Panama City Beach
Joined Oct 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
You are right, it is based on the equipment you use. But we're talking about comparing similarly priced and available amateur systems not high end professional grade equipment.
To demonstrate, I setup a 700TVL CCD camera pointing at a focus chart. The only thing I changed between the 2 photos was the transmitter and receiver - the camera stayed stationary when unplugging the cable from one TX to the other.
The photo shows the clarity difference between an off the shelf Airwaves 5G8 system and a newer model of the popular 1.2Ghz Lawmate system.
For giggles I plugged in my 420TVL CMOS into the 5G8 Airwaves, you can see that the clarity is similar to the 700TVL CCD on 1.2Ghz.
So my point still is: if using lower frequency AV, then spending extra money on a better camera is not money well spent.
Edit: The photos were taken with a stationary camera on tripod focused on a 19" LCD screen.
Fat Shark
I was unaware you could generalize that much about these products based solely on the frequency but it is in reality a price/value point issue.

And yes, a cheap poorly made VTX/VRX will make any camera look bad.

Have a great day!

Rob
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