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Jul 04, 2001, 04:42 PM
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yb2normal's Avatar
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x10 camera conversion for flight


Based on the excellent questions and feedback I've gotten regarding my website, I've made some changes and additions. Check it out if you are interested in a relatively cheap entry into airborne video.
http://yb2normal.rcplanet.com/aerialvideo1.html
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Jul 05, 2001, 08:23 AM
I'm disoriented!
ChrisD's Avatar
Nice Write-up!

How about some videos in-flight!

Jul 05, 2001, 11:07 AM
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yb2normal's Avatar
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Ask, and you shall receive

The video's on the site below show the evolution of the project, which includes two camera changes. I'll be updating the website with more detail on the new camera's.

Enjoy!
http://www.geocities.com/morevideo2000/

[This message has been edited by yb2normal (edited 07-22-2001).]
Jul 05, 2001, 11:41 AM
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Andy W's Avatar
Nice videos and info on your conversion.
Any clue on the range of the Tx?
..a
Jul 05, 2001, 10:45 PM
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yb2normal's Avatar
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It's so hard to tell while it's in the air. At some point I really need to have someone walk it away from me on a soccer field so I can get a good idea of how big it looks from 300 feet away. If I had to guess, and I'm being very subjective, I'd say between 300 and 500 feet. The wide angle lense on the camera makes it look really high
Jul 08, 2001, 10:55 PM
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The latest revision to my airborne video system, which hasn't been documented yet on my website, is a high resolution color CCD camera with sound.
http://www.geocities.com/morevideo2001/

[This message has been edited by yb2normal (edited 07-22-2001).]
Jul 09, 2001, 01:04 AM
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jas_Qfix's Avatar
Nice video yb2normal,

Those tall dry grass must be hard on your landing gears.

The CCD is Pana-cam I presume. Or did you find a better CCD color cam.

It must be fun,
Charles


Jul 09, 2001, 02:28 AM
Caution:Makes sharp left turns
Troy's Avatar
yb2normal,
Good looking videos on the latest efforts Is that new CCD camera the PC-87XS from Super Circuits?
Also, I haven't been able to find info on how much your stripped down X10.com cheapy 2.4GHZ transmitter weighs. I'm looking to do a very light setup. I'm considering the more expensive alternative of the micro 900MHZ Tx from S-Circuits and the PC-87XS CCD camera just to save weight and space. I might put the setup on an F5D racer for 160mph+ video.
Jul 09, 2001, 10:42 AM
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yb2normal's Avatar
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Hi Charles,
Actually the camera is Supercircuits model PC103XS, $80 and it has 1 lux sensitivity, 350 lines resolution. The price I pay is more weight, they say it is 21g.

Troy, I just looked at the PC-87XS, that is a very small camera! I think comparable to the panasonic camera that Charles uses, and it's only $99, 8 grams, 5 lux, 350 lines resolution. I looked at the supercircuit 900mhz transmitter also. If I really get into this flying video stuff, that is definitely the way I will go. I have to brace myself for the $300+ in equipment costs

I weighed my transmitter. Including the groundplane antenna, but no covering, it weighs .8 ounces, then throw in the voltage converter so I can run it off a 4cell pack and the weight goes up to 1.3 ounces. 4 cell 300mah nicad pack brings us to 2.7 ounces, and then the really heavy camera pushes me to 4.1 ounces. If you substitute the smaller camera and use a smaller battery pack like Charles you could probably shave at least an ounce off that. My ultimate goal is an all up system at 2.5 ounces. The reason? That is the weight difference between my 7 cell nicads and my 7 cell nimh packs. Once I comfortably fly a plane on 7 cell nimh, I know I can fly it on 7 cell nicads plus camera!
Jul 09, 2001, 11:19 AM
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Danny Troy's Avatar
I sit patiently waiting for the UPS man as I type this. I have a 900mhz system about to arrive. I ordered the new AVX900T4 audio/video transmitter. The company says they tested the output and it pinned their test meter at 500ma. Transmitter was 180.00.
Also got the AVX900R1 receiver at 150.00 plus about 15.00 for the antenna, the PC67 CCD camera for 110.00, and a microphone for about 10.00 or 15.00.

I had the X10 system but I made a dipole antenna and used the CMOS camera it came with. However I didn't get nearly as good results as you did with your camera. I especially like your ground plane antenna. I wish I had seen it when I put my system together. The new system is supposed to have great range and should work flawlessly 1+ miles....virtual flying is getting tempting.....But the the system did set me back 480.00.....ouch!!!

I powered my X10 system with a 4-cell CR2 pack. I didn't go the DC/DC converter route. The CR2 pack worked well, and I'm am one of those adventurous types re-charging them. I'll post some video once I get the system up.
So far it looks like my Twinstar will be the main platform, and possible my Soarstar since it's already geared and can probably take the extra weight. I already used the Soarstar with floats.
Jul 09, 2001, 01:20 PM
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jas_Qfix's Avatar
Thanks Danny for sharing the supercircuits experience. The camera PC67 ($110) has quite a big PC board area just like my Pixera ($60) camera. My Pana-cam ($110 from digikey) , I believe, is the same as the PC87 ($99) looking from the pictures of supercircuits. Low lux is good for indoor low light situations but for outdoor, white balance and processor enhanced (DSP) image processing is more useful for us.

Troy, what is your power plant like? At 500mA x 12v = 6watts, you need a big battery pack. Is that transmission power or total transmitter required power? What is CR2 power rating? How long will your CR2 last in minutes? Boy, your video power pack is going to get as big as your prop's power pack.

Thanks for the informations,
Charles
Jul 09, 2001, 01:41 PM
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Danny Troy's Avatar
Oops! I meant to say 500mw output NOT 500ma.
The power draw for the transmitter is 250ma and I believe the camera draws less than that. The CR2 pack should provide enough power for a good long flight without depleting the battery too far.
Jul 09, 2001, 01:50 PM
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jas_Qfix's Avatar
Now, that's better.

Let's know that your investment is the right choice for greater than 500 feet range live video transmission. All our 2.4Ghz Tx specs at 2mW range. At 500mW, it should be a killer machine. Hope your investment pays.

Must be fun,
Charles
Jul 09, 2001, 02:30 PM
BEC
BEC
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BEC's Avatar
You guys who are talking 900 MHz have your Amateur Radio licenses, right?

Not having mine yet is what's keeping me from using the 434 MHz setup I've had for some time (used once to transmit live video to the big screen in the late Seattle Kingdome).

BTW, I managed to run the whole thing, transmitter and camera as well as the motor and radio off of one battery and got away with it.......

Plane is Modelair-Tech Slowmowatt, powered by a geared 280. Video is a Panasonic color (but no sound) camera - I forget - but I think PC87. The transmitter is Supercircuits tiny little 434 MHz unit. The transmitter was driven directly off of the motor battery (8X600 NiMH). The camera was driven off of a spare channel in the FMA receiver, therefore actually by the BEC in the ESC - a Castle Pixie 14. Another speed control couldn't handle the 250mA of the camera along with the controls and shut down - fortunately before I actually flew the thing.

Total weight of the camera and transmitter, after removing the RCA plugs and using a receiver plug as power input to the camera and a Deans to join the coax from the camera to the transmitter, and one for Tx power, was 1.5 ounces.

The only interaction I've noted is a little bit of ESC switching noise visible in the video - you can see the throttle setting change - barely. No radio command problems. But, depending on the receiver and the ESC, this may vary a BUNCH.

Doing what Bill has done with the X10 stuff intrigues me because of the license-free aspect of it - but I realize that it is more limited in capability.

Oh, and Bill, try an APC thin-E 9X6 on your Wingo - should be better performance than the MA prop you show on your site.

[This message has been edited by BCawley (edited 07-09-2001).]
Jul 09, 2001, 03:30 PM
Caution:Makes sharp left turns
Troy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by jas_Qfix:
My Pana-cam ($110 from digikey) , I believe, is the same as the PC87 ($99) looking from the pictures of supercircuits. Low lux is good for indoor low light situations but for outdoor, white balance and processor enhanced (DSP) image processing is more useful for us.
The Super Circuit website says the PC87 camera "Features include auto gain control, auto white balance and 1/60-1/80,000 stepless electronic auto shutter" I would think it will work good in outdoor light.



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