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Old Jul 18, 2008, 11:24 AM
How do I change this text?
Darth_Elevator's Avatar
The Beautiful Mountains of Utah
Joined Oct 2006
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Yes, you do have the disease. It's incurable, you know.
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 11:25 AM
Plane Insane RC.com
chicken hawk's Avatar
Spanish Fork Utah
Joined Mar 2005
1,327 Posts
So I tried a new AP setup yesterday after having limited luck with my old one. I decided I need to do something new after trying to get a picture of some property in Nephi canyon. The property is owned by my Grandpa and I thought that an aerial picture of it would make a great 80th birthday present so I loaded up the wife and kids and away we went for a wonderful AP experience. It started out the same as it always does, we got a late start, the wind was blowing but I didnít leave anything home so that was nice. I knew the takeoffs and landing were going to be tough. They would need to be done from a rocky dirt road. I got everything setup and ready. Downlink was working and I showed my wife how to record the flight. After 3 failed takeoffs I decided a hand launch was in order (this is where that slinger AP would have come in handy). Iíve never thrown my slow stick before loaded with camera equipment but desperate times call for desperate measures. I gave it a throw and up it went. I got up about 50 feet when my wife told me that there was a lot of static and she couldnít see anything. Yup she was right! Couldnít see a dang thing but I knew why. I cut the motor and everything went clear. My transmitter was vibrating on my camera mount sending a scrambled signal! I had a hard landing the other day and it broke one of the zip ties that were holding the transmitter on. I put on a new one but didnít tighten it down enough. I knew going into this thing I would get only one landing but after fighting the wind trying to glide for a shot I decided I needed to bring it in and fix it. The landing wasnít the best but not the worst. My motor ended up in the dirt as predicted. The fuse bent right behind the landing gear/camera mount so I tried to straighten it and of course it broke the plane clean in half. The only thing holding it together was the rubber bands from the wings. I pulled the wing off and had my wife find some straight sticks to use for splints so we could tape this thing together and get it back up and get the picture before it got dark. After a little tape, a tightened zip tie, and now some sticks I hand launched again. This time the downlink worked and we got the shot but it wasnít easy. I had my wife telling me which way to fly and when to snap the picture. I decided at this point I needed 2 radios. One for camera and one for plane but I tried it yesterday and it didnít work like I hoped. Iím running everything off the same battery but I have a BEC that I use for one of the receivers. I get so much static on 72mhz for the camera radio that I couldnít get it to work so I tried a 35mhz. That worked but the range was limited to about 15 feet. I guess my options now are to run separate batteries on the plane (and itís heavy enough as is) or just run everything off of one radio. I think I could setup the right side of the radio to fly the plane and the left could be used for the camera. If I have time today Iím going to try that option. It should help to keep my weight down and let me take pictures by myself if I need to.

Sorry for the novel.
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 11:41 AM
How do I change this text?
Darth_Elevator's Avatar
The Beautiful Mountains of Utah
Joined Oct 2006
6,232 Posts
I'm glad you perservered and got the shot.

Slow Stick kit......$22
Slow Stick electronics.......$150
Digital Camera.......$200
Scrounging up some sticks to patch your plane back together and having it actually fly AND getting the shot......PRICELESS

I'd love to see the shot!
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 11:50 AM
Plane Insane RC.com
chicken hawk's Avatar
Spanish Fork Utah
Joined Mar 2005
1,327 Posts
I wish I would have taken some pictures of the plane with the sticks in place holding everything together. Iíll post the picture we blew up later today if I remember. Just remember when you do see the picture that Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The landscape is pretty desolate in Nephi canyon.
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 02:44 PM
Fly Smooooooooth
seerspaz's Avatar
Mountains of Utah
Joined Mar 2004
772 Posts
Chicken Hawk and Darth,

Can you guys post some photos of your downlink setups? And any other info you have on your particular setups that you had problems with or ideas for your 'next' one would be great too.

Thanks in advance.
Chris


These are some photos from Park City area around 3 weeks ago. Slide Show should open in a new window if all goes well.
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 03:10 PM
How do I change this text?
Darth_Elevator's Avatar
The Beautiful Mountains of Utah
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Great photos, Chris. Those are a lot better photos than I ever got with my Aiptek. And what a great flying location.

I'll post some pics of my downlink and try to post some specs if I can find them. Someone also sent me a link to a DIY long range patch antenna that you can make for less than $10 bucks. I haven't built it yet but I have all the parts.
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 03:37 PM
Plane Insane RC.com
chicken hawk's Avatar
Spanish Fork Utah
Joined Mar 2005
1,327 Posts
I'll try to post some stuff too. I built one of those antennas for a cheap system I had. It worked great. As a matter a fact I was disappointed when I purchased an expensive 2.4 system with downlink and had less range than my cheap system with a home made antenna did! My range on my 2.4 system is much better now that I have a Patch antenna.

Just a few days ago I got a new 2.4 complete system that I'm testing to see if itís something that I want to sell on my website. So far so good. I like the receiver that it comes with. It looks to be very good quality and can be used with other aftermarket systems. I think the camera may go through batteries quickly. It comes with a 9 volt. I flew for 20min and the picture started to lose color. I think itís from the lack of power from the battery but I put the system away and havenít had a chance to play with it again. Iíll let you know if itís any good. If it works well Iíll slap it on my combat wing and get some good footage. I wonder if Iíll even be able to get any video with everyone on 2.4.
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 04:57 PM
Hit Me! Please!
jwjohnson's Avatar
Provo, UT
Joined Jan 2005
3,997 Posts
I'm a bit concerned with most of the downlink systems being on 2.4. What's that going to do to all of us who fly on 2.4 when you are nearby?
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 05:20 PM
Plane Insane RC.com
chicken hawk's Avatar
Spanish Fork Utah
Joined Mar 2005
1,327 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwjohnson
I'm a bit concerned with most of the downlink systems being on 2.4. What's that going to do to all of us who fly on 2.4 when you are nearby?
I wonder the same thing. I had a slow stick setup with a 2.4 rec and 2.4 downlink. The downlink won. My range on the plane was only about 15 feet and then nothing. Good thing I did a range check first. If I bring a 2.4 system out, I'll make sure everyone knows before it gets turned on. I don't think it will affect your planes. It affected mine because of the close proximity to the transmitter and receiver but I think caution will defiantly need to be used until we find out if it will cause any problems.
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 05:51 PM
Fly Smooooooooth
seerspaz's Avatar
Mountains of Utah
Joined Mar 2004
772 Posts
Thanks for the help with the down link. I have a Nikon S9 that has A/V out so I am hoping to use that as a new AP camera with a down link to get the shots composed. I was curious if you had to solder a bunch of custom connectors or if everything was plug and play so to speak.

have a great weekend flying!

Chris
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 06:15 PM
How do I change this text?
Darth_Elevator's Avatar
The Beautiful Mountains of Utah
Joined Oct 2006
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I did have to solder a power cord for the video tx, and I took the metal housing off that the tx was in, to save weight. But I think that was all I had to do, except soldering a power cord on the rx. Someone suggested that I desolder the RCA connectors and use servo plugs instead, but I haven't gotten around to doing that yet.
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 06:42 PM
How do I change this text?
Darth_Elevator's Avatar
The Beautiful Mountains of Utah
Joined Oct 2006
6,232 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwjohnson
I'm a bit concerned with most of the downlink systems being on 2.4. What's that going to do to all of us who fly on 2.4 when you are nearby?
I think it could be a real problem, that's why I'm thinking of getting a 900mHz system instead of the 2.4Ghz downlink that I have. Here's an analogy from the FPV forum's unofficial FPV FAQ to give you an idea of the potential for interference:

From the FPV FAQ:

Here's a fun experiment to try. Let's pretend you are the FPV airplane (just go with it for a sec.). Get a friend (we'll call him friend A) and tell him to walk 50 feet away from you. Then tell him to talk to you in a normal voice. He will be the "RC transmitter". Now get another friend (friend B). Have him scream at the top of his lungs directly into your ear (I told you this was going to be fun!). He is the onboard "video transmitter". Now could you hear friend A (RC transmitter)?? Yeah, it's kind of like that.

Now, if the two devices are separated quite a bit in frequency (for example: 72MHz and 2.4GHz), you have a MUCH better chance of the two cooperating. Devices are designed to filter out unwanted frequencies. BUT the problem is not only do you have the video transmitter screaming at the Spektrum receiver ( ) but it's on the same frequency band, which makes things much more difficult. The Spektrum will attempt to filter out the "noise" and hop frequencies. It tries to filter out the unwanted frequencies, but it has to be sensitive to the frequencies it works on, which happens to also be the same frequencies as the video transmitter. Also, a video transmitter uses up a lot of bandwidth, effectively swamping the RC receiver. So you can see the difficulty. Separation, not only in frequency, but also in distance is a good thing!
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Old Jul 19, 2008, 03:20 AM
How do I change this text?
Darth_Elevator's Avatar
The Beautiful Mountains of Utah
Joined Oct 2006
6,232 Posts
Here are some pics I shot today of the Bountiful Temple. I also shot video on one of the flights; I'll post a few clips when I get a chance.

Chicken Hawk, I launched out of that park you told me about. The parking lot was smaller than it looked on the map, but there was enough room for a Slow Stick, even one carrying a four-ounce camera.
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Old Jul 19, 2008, 02:01 PM
Plane Insane RC.com
chicken hawk's Avatar
Spanish Fork Utah
Joined Mar 2005
1,327 Posts
I cant wait to see the video and the pictures are great too. Maybe I can just use yours on my site and skip this one?

I've attached some pictures of my downlink and Slow Stick it's not pretty thats for sure. I have also added the picture of my Grandpa's property in Nephi Canyon that broke my plane in half on landing (notice the new splints under the wing cradle).
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Old Jul 19, 2008, 08:18 PM
How do I change this text?
Darth_Elevator's Avatar
The Beautiful Mountains of Utah
Joined Oct 2006
6,232 Posts
Nice pics. Your landing gear is ingenius. I would have never thought of having it wrap around and behind and below the camera like that. When I first looked at it I thought it was retractable, too, but on closer inspection, I'm guessing it's fixed? And I like the raised motor mod. Most people who do that really like being able to shoot straight ahead.

Of course you can use my Bountiful picture on your site, but the quality of your stuff is miles above mine. Yesterday I was looking again at your Provo Temple picture earlier on this thread and was again stunned at how perfectly it was framed, showing all of the sprawling temple grounds as well as the mountains in the background. Fabulous. I can't wait to see your Bountiful shot. It's going to make my shot from yesterday look like it was taken with a cell phone.
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