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Old Mar 02, 2012, 08:58 AM
Climbing the learning curve!
Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Jan 2011
310 Posts
Question
FPV newbie, please share your thoughts

Hi all!

I'm still fairly new to all this, been flying a HK 450 clone with a Turnigy 9X for about a year (on and off) and have decided to take the plunge into FPV.

After quite a bit of reading, including some of the sticky threads in this section I'm beginning to finally get a good idea of how I want to start off in taking a camera to the skies. Now I'm not that great at flying, I can hover and do a basic circuit and I'm not really interested in flying like Alan Szabo Jr. and defying the laws of physics with fancy 3D acrobatics! That said, I'm ready to take it a step further.

I live in Brisbane in the outer suburbs and would primarily like to fly on the outskirts of town where there is quite likely to be an existent noise floor of mobile phones (which operate around the 900mhz) and wifi (2.4ghz). That said, I've narrowed down a small list of equipment which I believe will be suitable to get me off the ground within a tight budget. If I can get some opinions and suggestions I'm more than happy to take it on board and hold off on a purchase before learning more, as much I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.. I can resist the urge to splurge just a little longer

5.8Ghz FPV Video TX RX 200mW 2.0Km+2pcs 11db panel antenna - eBay - $97 (incl. delivery)
540TVL Sony CCD Nextchip DSP Mini Hidden Camera 0.01Lux CCTV Security - AUCCTV.com - $45
PL8006 Portable 8" Color LCD Monitor TV - Dealextreme - $73

Total : $215

Just about within my budget but after a fair bit of window shopping I think it'll get me a half decent starting point before I go ahead and upgrade to CP/SPW antennas (possibly diversity/tracking) and a booster for my 2.4ghz Turnigy (and possibly change the tx/rx modules), OSD/GPS (and telemetry), goggles, ground recording etc.

My longer term goal is to fly around some nice country-side or if I can get a reliable enough system, fly around some more populated areas with confidence with a HD cam strapped in..

Can anyone see issues with this sort of setup and/or end-state I wish to achieve? Hopefully this will give me a good foundation with which to expand, crash, fix and learn from

Thanks in advance!

-Richie
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Old Mar 02, 2012, 05:38 PM
I need a bigger shed..
sammyc's Avatar
Australia, TAS, Launceston
Joined Nov 2011
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Hi Richie, I have come here from the Aussie FPV thread
With the 200mW tx/rx, you can get it much cheaper elsewhere (hobbyking, himodel etc) without the patch antennas which aren't very good. You pretty much need circular polarized antennas for 5.8GHz.

Dunno about that camera, but me and plenty of others highly recommend this:
http://www.securitycamera2000.com/pr....8mm-lens.html or you can get it with 3.6mm lens. Both only a few more $ then the camera link you posted

Sam
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Old Mar 02, 2012, 05:57 PM
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Adelaide, Australia
Joined Aug 2010
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I used to live in Brisbane, and 1.2ghz worked great for video with vertical polarized omni antennas. It will tend to penetrate through trees etc. Whereas 5.8 wont in theory. I use bevrc.com tx for video. Goodluck mate. Outskirts of Brisbane is a perfect place for fpv

Justin
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Old Mar 02, 2012, 11:15 PM
Climbing the learning curve!
Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Jan 2011
310 Posts
Just bought that camera Sam, good find!

Justin, are you using 2.4ghz for RC with your 1.2ghz vtx? If so, any problems with harmonic resonance? What sort of range and in what RF environment are you flying in?
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 04:31 AM
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Adelaide, Australia
Joined Aug 2010
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I used and still are using 1.2ghz with dragonlink uhf rc. I have used this in all types of environments, urban and rural. I flew very well around the cricket fields at chermside, no problems. If you were to use this with 2.4rc you may need this http://www.bevrc.com/bev-low-pass-fi...400-p-257.html

When I was using 2.4ghz rc I used 900mhz from rangevideo.com. I mainly flew around chermside. Also no problems.

I cannot see the benefit to 5.8ghz for us aussies. I remember thomas scherrer (rf engineer) once telling me australia does not have noisy rf environment like other parts of the world.

5.8ghz seems expensive and also risky when flying near obstacles. Thats my opinion.
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 05:15 AM
I need a bigger shed..
sammyc's Avatar
Australia, TAS, Launceston
Joined Nov 2011
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A few retaliations from 5.8GHz lol

Don't quote me, but I think 5.8GHz is legal (but output is restricted). Whereas 900MHz and 1.2GHz aren't. Again, don't quote me. Don't think many people are worried about legalities anyway
5.8GHz has better quality video due to a higher bandwidth.
It is readily usable with 2.4GHz RC.
Antennas are smaller, so its well suitable for small and short range aircraft. Although, the cloverleaf and SPW antennas are a bitch to make at this frequency! Gets me frustrated just thinking about it!
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 08:20 AM
Climbing the learning curve!
Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Jan 2011
310 Posts
Hmm, just thinking about boosting signals and using CP/SPW antennas to gain greater range with 5.8ghz vtx; is it also possible to use these antennas for 2.4ghz RC signals with, say a 1W booster?

Couldn't imagine anything worse than being locked out while watching my heli fly off into the distance from afar (because as I understand it, there are no RTH features available for heli's.. only planes?)

Speaking of those funky little cloverleaves, where can I get a DIY kit from? Looking a bit pricey to buy them pre-made and besides, I'm a bit handy with my fingers and a soldering iron!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyc View Post
Dunno about that camera, but me and plenty of others highly recommend this:
http://www.securitycamera2000.com/pr....8mm-lens.html or you can get it with 3.6mm lens. Both only a few more $ then the camera link you posted

Sam
Just wondering mate, where can I get a half-decent lightweight housing for that thing? The same site only has a (heavy) 47g metal one for the 38mm x 38mm camera board. Or do you recommend I just make one up? If so, got any more hot tips?

Cheers,
Richie
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Last edited by Friar Fnord; Mar 03, 2012 at 08:53 AM. Reason: further query regarding camera
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 09:17 AM
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Switzerland
Joined Sep 2008
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Googles are expensive....(I share my thoughts )

Anyway...I am still not doing fpv because of that...
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 04:40 PM
Climbing the learning curve!
Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Jan 2011
310 Posts
Cid, the thought of buying goggles put me off too which is why I chose the 8" screen. Will be a lot safer to use than goggles for take-off and landing while I get used to the transition .. won't get disoriented as easily

Much cheaper too and others can watch easily.
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Old Mar 03, 2012, 05:10 PM
I need a bigger shed..
sammyc's Avatar
Australia, TAS, Launceston
Joined Nov 2011
1,498 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Friar Fnord View Post
Hmm, just thinking about boosting signals and using CP/SPW antennas to gain greater range with 5.8ghz vtx; is it also possible to use these antennas for 2.4ghz RC signals with, say a 1W booster?

Couldn't imagine anything worse than being locked out while watching my heli fly off into the distance from afar (because as I understand it, there are no RTH features available for heli's.. only planes?)

Speaking of those funky little cloverleaves, where can I get a DIY kit from? Looking a bit pricey to buy them pre-made and besides, I'm a bit handy with my fingers and a soldering iron!



Just wondering mate, where can I get a half-decent lightweight housing for that thing? The same site only has a (heavy) 47g metal one for the 38mm x 38mm camera board. Or do you recommend I just make one up? If so, got any more hot tips?

Cheers,
Richie
post #562 http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...396248&page=38 also look through this the thread about cameras if you want. I don't use a case, not really necessary. You may want to buy a 2.8mm lens too, depends on what type of flying you will be doing. Being a helicopter, I spose you will do lower altitude stuff, so I reckon a 2.8mm lens will be good nd give you a wider view.

I don't think circular polarized antennas are of any need for RC signal, remember the signal is going to other direction so multipathing isn't an issue up in the sky. This is only my thoughts, haven't confirmed this.

You don't need a kit for building the CL/CPW antennas, just copper wire (0.6mm for 5.8GHz) and a RG316 coxial cable with connectors on eash end, like this: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/12in-RP-S...#ht_2834wt_905
You also need some patience lol I struggled the first few attempts, very frustrating.
If you build them yourself, they will work but be sure they will never be perfect. But a well made set should be good for an easy 1-2km. I am getting some made by Markus12345 and he actually tunes them to the exact frequency on which channel I choose. I think he charges ~$60 inc shipping for a pair.

Anyway Richie, I hope you find all my rant/info useful lol have a good day
Sam
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Old Mar 04, 2012, 07:46 AM
Climbing the learning curve!
Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Jan 2011
310 Posts
Yeah it looks like the camera you pointed me in the direction of will come with a 2.8m lens which works out well as I think I will find the wider angle good for lower level flight. Am I correct in assuming that the smaller mm the lens, the wider the view? I know there's more to it than that but that's about right?

I've ordered 2x RG316 cables, thanks again for the hot tip! I'm also waiting on some copper wire as it's cheap and will do the job.

Am still keen on getting a case, as I will likely fly this setup on my 450 undercarriage and that's just a bit close to the ground for my liking

BTW, you have some cool video's on your Youtube channel! I subscribed What do you use to record your flights with?

Cheers,
Richie
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Old Mar 04, 2012, 02:22 PM
I need a bigger shed..
sammyc's Avatar
Australia, TAS, Launceston
Joined Nov 2011
1,498 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Friar Fnord View Post
Yeah it looks like the camera you pointed me in the direction of will come with a 2.8m lens which works out well as I think I will find the wider angle good for lower level flight. Am I correct in assuming that the smaller mm the lens, the wider the view? I know there's more to it than that but that's about right?

I've ordered 2x RG316 cables, thanks again for the hot tip! I'm also waiting on some copper wire as it's cheap and will do the job.

Am still keen on getting a case, as I will likely fly this setup on my 450 undercarriage and that's just a bit close to the ground for my liking

BTW, you have some cool video's on your Youtube channel! I subscribed What do you use to record your flights with?

Cheers,
Richie
With the exception of the last fpv video and heli video they have all been recorded from a #11 keychain. Very nice quality for the price
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Old Mar 04, 2012, 04:52 PM
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Australia, NSW, Picnic Point
Joined Aug 2011
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Friar Fnord, is there any reason you are using a heli for your first FPV rig?

If you can, buy yourself a Bixler or AXN clouds fly/floater jet. Very cheap planes but well tried and tested to FPV. If you can only fly circuits with the heli then I strongly recommend you cut the heli away and start out with a plane. It will be tonnes easier and make your FPV learning curve less of a hurdle.

Just some food for thought.
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Old Mar 04, 2012, 05:19 PM
Climbing the learning curve!
Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Jan 2011
310 Posts
I think I may eventually get one of those #11 keychains, in the meantime I have the cheaper, dodgier Turnigy 1MP ones

You're probably right about the heli setup sherman, I seem to be setting myself up for a steep (and potentially painful) learning curve! I do have one of these already on the way though, could be suitable as an FPV platform?
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=6331
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Old Mar 04, 2012, 05:20 PM
I need a bigger shed..
sammyc's Avatar
Australia, TAS, Launceston
Joined Nov 2011
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Look at the newer #16, price is similar, and firmware is getting better and better. If I was rebuying, I would go with that
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