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Posted by dalbert02 | Oct 08, 2011 @ 09:27 AM | 155,799 Views
Just a few pics of my tricopter and quad copter. The quad is waiting on a hoverfly pro board. Contrary to some advice, I have had better luck using vibration isolation and dampening than hard mounting. Perhaps it is a delicate balance between too loose and too rigid? One place where no slop is tolerated is the yaw mechanism. I had about 1mm of play around the bearings in the square tube. I filled the gap with Hysol, and the wobbles went away....Continue Reading
Posted by dalbert02 | Dec 10, 2010 @ 11:25 AM | 157,730 Views
Here are some pics from Coco Cay, also known as Little Stirrup Cay, one of the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. I was asked to take some aerial pics and vid as part of a surgical transport team for situational awareness. The event was sponsored by Budwieser, ESPN, and Royal Carribean. This was one of my most difficult missions. I had to pack my equipment to survive international flight, being packed on planes, barges, and under hundreds of pounds of medical equipment on trucks. In addition, the winds were blowing 20-25 knots straight on shore, which required a tail wind landing on a 100 foot beach area with the sun directly in my face as the plane came in. Needless to say on my first landing attempt I stalled about 30 feet out over the water at an altitude of 10 feet. Somehow I recovered but there was some significant pucker going on which made the subsequent flights even more nerve racking. No hobby store around for several hundred miles if anything failed! Special thanks goes out to Dr. Michael Nash as he is also a full scale pilot and offered advice, held equipment and help me launch and recover. I think I have him hooked!

CocoCay (Bud Lite Port Paradise) Bahamas FAST Aerial Recon (3 min 49 sec)

Posted by dalbert02 | Apr 03, 2010 @ 10:20 AM | 157,618 Views
I have finally finished my portable ground station. My goal was to be as portable as possible, yet still able to achieve semi-professional results on the cheap. Installed equipment includes:
Pelican Case
1600 NITS outdoor viewable monitor
Kramer audio/video distribution amp
Pyle composite video distribution amp
Amberly composite to VGA converter
KeyWest VooDoo 10bit Time Base Corrector
Oracle diversity reciever
Black Widow 2.4Ghz diversity reciever
Lawmate 2.4Ghz reciever
(2) 2.4 Ghz Hyperlink 8db circular polarized patches
(1) 2.4Ghz Peak Antennas 6db Colinear Omni

Now that it is finished, I really want to move to 1.2Ghz or 900Mhz. I guess that is what happens when it takes more than 2 years to complete a project! It is made from industrial 3m velcro and pieces of aluminum from Home Depot.
Posted by dalbert02 | Aug 19, 2008 @ 06:35 PM | 158,675 Views
For those of you familar with Del.icio.us and having problems keeping your favorite websites organized, here is my solution. I will use my blog to organize my favorite rcgroups threads.

There is one thread I am searching for and cannot find. It is a thread containing video done from an RC helicopter with incrediable clarity. I know it was a Japanese website. The website that was linked had videos through a field, above a stream and others. Can anyone find that thread?

Here goes, my favorite RCGroups threads (to be updated as I find my links from 6 other computers):

Circular Polarized Antennas

Old Man Mikes long range FPV quadcopter

Wii controller using uhf radio

The long range FPV thread

Long Range

Long range

AP From 80,000 feet

Glider to 80,000 feet

KD7OST pegasus

GPS controlled gimabal mount

Telemaster UAV

Professional Blimps

Balancer Tap Manufacturers

Futaba Rf pinout

RC Transmitter Transistors

Rhino 3D

Big GWS planes

Awesome ground stations

Tx tuning by DEH6

Rubber Duck Antennas

Efficient Engines (gas)

Maxstream vs AeroComm

Simple LC filter

more on filtering

The venerable Clark Y

Zephyr FPV

High Altitude Glider
but now:
Posted by dalbert02 | Oct 23, 2007 @ 09:15 AM | 159,986 Views
On rcgroups, my favorite forums are UAVs, Aerial Photography, DIY Electronics and FPV. Over time, it has become apparent to me, that increased rf power would be desireable to increase range and or boost the signal if some erratic glitching were to occur. JettPilot and Thomas Scherrer both built rf amps and I felt I should consider it. Sadly, I am not as talented as they are in rf design and had to purchase something 'off the shelf'. First, I wanted to see what my current rf levels were out of my Futaba transmitter. I measured very little power indeed! At first I tried using just my oscilloscope and got 3.4v p-p into a 50 ohm load. 3.4/2=1.7v peak. 1.7x.0707=1.2v rms. 1.2vx1.2v/50ohms=28mW rms. That can't be right I said to myself. So then I built an small rf rectifier (just a diode and a cap) and measured 1.7v dc with my fluke dvm. Hmmm, same thing. Ok, how about a Bird meter? Sadly, the bird I had access too does not measure such low wattages accurately. I tried adjusting the rf module myself, but I couldn't muster up that much more power without noticing distortion on the o'scope. Still thinking something must be wrong, I used a service monitor in spectrum analyzer mode and measured 17-19db which is about 50-80mW. I read somewhere that the voltage drop of the diode can effect these low power measurements, so I guess things were correct all along. I just couldn't believe it because everyone says that these transmitters put out 500mW to 1W. So... rf amp time it was.

I settled on a Mitsubishi rf power module from rfparts.com along with a circuit board manufactured by Down East Microwave. A few caps, a voltage regulator, a box with heatsink and I was in business. Measured output was 40db or about 10 watts. Perfect!

My next step it to clean it up a little. I would like a power switch, reverse polarity protection, a power LED, an rf power LED or meter, and a selector know that increase the power gradually. Say, 500mW standard, 1W for long range, and something more for extreme emergency situation.

Posted by dalbert02 | Oct 02, 2007 @ 11:42 PM | 159,770 Views
I bought a F3A shock flyer as I had totally destroyed my Super Star Shock Flyer over the course of a year. I took the F3A and used it as a template to cut some new foam from BPHobbies.com. Next, I painted her up with flourescent paints using a paasche model H airbrush. Finally, I installed some black light UV LEDs. She sure does glow brightly!
Posted by dalbert02 | Aug 30, 2007 @ 07:12 AM | 159,683 Views
For some reason not all my pictures come out well. However, once in a while everything seems to work.
Posted by dalbert02 | Aug 12, 2007 @ 09:45 PM | 159,517 Views
Just some pics of the ground station. Laptop running AGWTracker, AGW Packet Engine, APRSPoint, MapPoint, Garmin MapSource & nRoute.
Posted by dalbert02 | Aug 01, 2007 @ 02:47 PM | 159,439 Views
Here is screen capture of the RC-CAM Inspire board.