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Old Oct 21, 2002, 12:38 PM
My cat up close
bipeflyer's Avatar
England
Joined Feb 2001
4,021 Posts
Chinese 1.2 GHZ video cam improvements.

Hi,I have one of those systems from Ben in Hong Kong.
I have installed it on my Wattage Mirage with a brushless motor.
Works wonderfully on the ground,please don't get me wrong,this is not a complaint,as for the price,I suspected there were limitations.
As soon as the motor starts,it appears that the aerial is picking up some RF noise from the motor,surprised me a little,as it is a brushless motor!
I can't detect any vibration from the motor,but when it is running,there are some semi invisible lines accross the screen.
Was also getting a lot of picture drop out,particularly when the aircraft is turning sometimes.
The cam is mounted on top of the canopy,looking down about 10 degrees.
I managed to fix the drop out,or improve it at least,buy attaching the receiver to a 7 foot pole,the drop out reduced considerably,although I don't think I can eliminate it completely.
I saw in 'Tigger's' post here some video,(same system) shot from his Zagi,and the results were great,hard to tell if he had a motor on it,as there was no audio on the playback.
A friend is selling me a video capture card this week,so I will attempt to put some of my efforts on line.
I managed to shoot a few pics direct from the tv screen,very poor quality,looks better moving,but gives an idea:
Matt.
First picture after hand launch.
I can see that the system can be improved,but from what I have shot so far,it looks great when executing a very fast pass accross the field! Looks like it is strapped to a real jet,as you can just see the canopy in the lower screen.
Another thing,I was getting,at certain angles some redness at the bottom of the screen,anyone know why?
I'm saving to buy the Black Widow system,but wanted to try this first.I knew the image quality was not going to be perfect,but was wondering how to make it a little better.
I feel I should put it in a parkflyer,more or less mounted looking downwards,to avoid the sky,as the brightness does upset the apeture of the lens,causing the ground to darken.
So,if the cam can only see the ground,the quality must improve some.
Great little camera for the price,I'm looking forward to filming some more.
How have other buyers of this system from Ben got on?
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Old Oct 21, 2002, 12:40 PM
My cat up close
bipeflyer's Avatar
England
Joined Feb 2001
4,021 Posts
In case you hadn't noticed,these pics were taken with the cam pointing back....
Here is the same launch a second or so later.
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Old Oct 21, 2002, 12:44 PM
My cat up close
bipeflyer's Avatar
England
Joined Feb 2001
4,021 Posts
You can see what I mean by the lines in the last pic,here is another,the cam was strapped sideways,this pic. was caught in a roll.

Hope you can help,aerial upgrades would be useful too .Thanks,
Matt.
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Old Oct 21, 2002, 12:46 PM
My cat up close
bipeflyer's Avatar
England
Joined Feb 2001
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Whoops!
This is the pic from the side.......
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Old Oct 21, 2002, 03:45 PM
Supersonic Engineering
GordonTarling's Avatar
UK, Greater London, Uxbridge
Joined Mar 2001
3,135 Posts
Matt - I had very similar problems to yours (maybe worse) the first time I flew my system from Ben. Yes, it does appear that the camera/transmitter is very prone to picking up all sorts of noise - I had very bad strobing lines diagonally across the screen on the first flight. For the next flight, I moved the camera out onto the wing of my models and this improved things no end, but you still can't call the results good.

I'm also rather suspicious that noise is being picked up by the power cable to the camera - keep that as far away from any possible source of interference as you can.

All the interference problems have now gone, but now the limitations of the cheap CMOS camera show up, much as you have described.

Don't know how you have your aerials arranged, but I found that I got fewer dropouts with them both vertical.

Be careful about where you buy a better system from - it needs to be on 2.4gHz AND be PAL TV system compatible - those from the US are normally NTSC systems!

I'm currently looking into feeding the video output from a higher-end digital still camera into a separate transmitter - combined units have their limitations, as you have found out.

It's good fun experimenting though!
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Old Oct 21, 2002, 05:30 PM
My cat up close
bipeflyer's Avatar
England
Joined Feb 2001
4,021 Posts
Thanks for the tips Gordon!
I will try your suggestions,also,with this camera in the powered glider (Fournier) I have,I should only need to suffer the cross interference from my models power system on the climbout,from there it should improve a little on the glide.
Gordon,what are you powering your transmitter with? I made up a 7 cell Twicell 700mAh NiMh,can you tell me what you are using please?
The single cell GP alkaline 12v are great,very light,but only last for about 8 mins. before the picture degrades further.
The receiver aerial is pointing upwards,but I read somewhere that the transmitter aerial should point downwards.However,I'm willing to try anything.

As you say,good fun trying to improve matters!
I have to say,I never thought I'd see the day when I can transmit live pictures to the ground from a small electric model! That more than compensates for the not so wonderful quality.
The other clubbies looked on with astonishment when I pulled a TV and VCR from my car!!!

I think the Black Widow system is available in PAL on request.
Interestingly,I discovered that the Panasonic camera he uses in those systems are discontinued according to the Lawmate website.Another camera has superceded that already!
Maybe that's why he has none in stock on the B.W. site right now!

Look forward to your reply Gordon,and anyone else that has experience using this camera.
Cheers,
Matt.
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Old Oct 22, 2002, 01:15 PM
Supersonic Engineering
GordonTarling's Avatar
UK, Greater London, Uxbridge
Joined Mar 2001
3,135 Posts
Matt - there seems to be an issue with Ben's cameras over the correct voltage for them. Found mine got too warm on a 9 Volt PP3 battery and then found a sticker on the camera which said '5 Volt' !!! Since then I have run it on a 4 cell 270mAh nicad pack that I had kicking around.

With the camera mounted on my 'STOL' model, I found the pictures MUCH improved when I stopped the motor. However, that model doesn't much like the gliding mode of flight!

Aerial orientation certainly seems to be a matter of experimentation in order to get the best results.
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Old Oct 29, 2002, 03:41 PM
Frequent User
yb2normal's Avatar
Broomfield, CO, USA
Joined Jan 2001
1,172 Posts
I just received a small quantity of the CX161 ccd cameras in PAL format which I can ship on my 100mw ready-to-fly systems.

No fiddling around to get good quality, just plug-n-fly...

Here is an example shot from my electrified Modeltech Magic:


Right click and hit 'save target as' to download the video



Bill
Black Widow A/V
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Last edited by yb2normal; Nov 12, 2002 at 12:30 AM.
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