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Posted by alicecooper | Jul 12, 2021 @ 11:20 AM | 9,965 Views
It has been a long time coming, but finally I created a ground station that ticks nearly all of my boxes.
This is not a new idea, I have been creating these things for nearly a decade, this one being number six, I feel it's the last with current technology.
I decided for this model to just have a few key features, this is in an effort to both simplify its functional performance, and also to minimise setup time, enhance system reliability and condense the amount of overall equipment to a minimum.
From a functional standpoint it is fairly basic, having a diversity receiver that sits up on a tripod running a high performance directional antenna which can be steered to any part of the sky with a single joystick. The other diversity channel just uses an omni antenna for 360 degree performance up to around 4km.
The driver end of the system is a seat positioned console that incorporates the pan tilt joystick itself, an integrated audio system, a preview monitor, and enough battery power to run everything including external devices like my goggles. Really it couldn't be simpler.

I designed the mast head with the same mandate, to have everything fully integrated including the 360 degree pan servo, 90 degree tilt servo, receiver, associated electronics and antennas. A key part of the integration was to simplify connection between the mast head and the console to just a single plug lead.
I did this using a common VGA cable as these provide all the connections necessary for...Continue Reading
Posted by alicecooper | Mar 16, 2021 @ 08:48 AM | 11,421 Views
I had been planning to build a case to carry my RadioMaster transmitter and goggles together with all of the accessories I normally use in the field in a better way than using the regular multiple odd boxes, and yet always somehow needing other bits left behind.

I decided to make it from wood as it is lightweight, strong and easy to customise for various shapes of contents while maximising space efficiency.
I've used this same system for a lot of other cases holding various things, including RC stuff and as it was I really didn't like using the foam holder that came with the TX16s, so it meant a ground up design for something better.
I use the radio with two JR modules, one for 433mHz and the other a 2.4gHz LRS so I wanted to carry both modules onboard as well as their own unique antennas (along with a dummy load for range testing and safety).
For this purpose a friend designed and 3d printed a mountable JR case that I attached inside the upper lid.
I also use two different goggle modules, one for 5.8gHz and the other 1.3gHz, so I made a special holder for the spare module that sits alongside the JR.
As the goggles and radio both use 18650 liion cells, I included a holder for four spare cells, giving quick access if needed during flight.

The goggles needed to fit in a way that allowed me to drop them back into the case or grab them out again without any fiddling about, and I had made a similar goggle transport case before using the technique shown here. It uses...Continue Reading
Posted by alicecooper | Mar 05, 2021 @ 08:03 AM | 6,658 Views
As I am still waiting for several key parts to arrive through the covid curtailed postal system, something I did receive was a new old stock 1.3gHz Nexwave receiver module for my goggles.
I am not planning to be dependent on this alternative to a ground station in any way, but like the idea of having some freedom to fly my 1.3gHz planes and wings in shorter range situations without the hassle of setting up a ground station, which was my only previous option.
I found the early version of the Fatshark/Nexwave modules on AE at a virtual giveaway price, and after doing some research found there were three versions originally released from around six years ago with all of them enjoying a fairly short period of availability. This may have been due the the V1 and V2 versions having some serious image quality problems, and the V3 having sorted these problems out with a complete design overhaul where it then only spent a very short period on the market before getting pulled from sale... very strange as it's just a receiver.
The versions I found on AE were the V1 and V2-(1.6), and after carefully examining some old Youtube footage put up by dismayed users of these modules I deemed the image quality problem to be a termination issue which I was fairly confident I could overcome.

Upon receiving the module and testing it my suspicions were confirmed, the video output signal level was close to double the regular 1V p-p for composite, and only required level correction (matching) to get...Continue Reading
Posted by alicecooper | Feb 11, 2021 @ 09:38 AM | 11,720 Views
After many build break repeats and an alarming range of causes contributing to the losses, I found myself at that familiar point of wanting to leave the hobby for other interests and challenges, and with many irons in the fire I was really not wanting for choices. I have some big projects waiting in the pipe including a new house build, a boat restoration, a classic car resto, a motorcycle resto, a crosskart build, a new workshop (for woodwork) and some other property projects... and a son approaching his teens. ugh
But the quest for conquering all of the challenges of long range fpv with the rewards that only like minded people can get spurred me on to try some new ideas.
I still (and always will) want to kick back for a few hours and venture off to the great unknown.. and known... by air.
This blog will initially cover three different planes, two of which have been started already but were held up for a variety of reasons, the third is just waiting in the box.
The first two include a sub 250g Dart in it's second iteration, and a (now ancient) X-uav Sky Surfer. The third is the much vaunted Finwing Albabird.

With the recent developments in long range RC gear, especially the Siyi and Ghost systems based around Semtech lora chipsets I have taken that opportunity to purchase the SIYI module based system for my TX16s, the Ghost had some worrying issues at the time of purchase, so Siyi it was and it is slightly cheaper so even better having had to wait this long.
The...Continue Reading