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May 04, 2007, 10:10 PM
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Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum on Plantraco Hardware?


How would you like to combine the small size and light weight of the Plantraco 900 MHz systems with the worry-free convenience of Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum protocols? That possibility may be getting a little closer!

Here are some specs:

Size and weight: Same as Plantraco systems
Number of control channels: 2 actuators and motor or external ESC for BL
Number of simultaneous transmitters allowed: Yet to be determined. Has been tested with 14 simultaneous transmitters.
Frame rate: 32 frames per second (double the Plantraco AirModel 2)
Resolution: 63 each side of neutral, 63 throttle.
Modifications to Plantraco hardware: None
Implemented on: AirModel 2 Transmitter, Monolith transmitter module, Micro9 actuator receiver, Butterfly 3 channel receiver. The Monolith now works with either polarity of PPM signal from the host transmitter.
Interference with standard Plantraco systems: None in either direction

The story so far:

Motivated by some of the frequency control issues at the Indoor Fly-in at NEAT last September, a small group of us set about creating something better. After considering several switch selected systems which would have required hardware modifications, it was decided to implement Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum. I spent about a month coming up with a protocol that I thought would work. Dave Burley, Jean-Marie Piednoir and I discussed ways to implement this idea.

In late December Dave contacted Martin Newell. Martin had already done some work with the Plantraco hardware, so it was decided that Martin would implement a system based on this protocol on the Plantraco hardware, instead of developing new hardware. Martin has spent the last four months and only he knows how many hours getting this to work. He has flown the system at his local indoor area on several occasions with as many as 14 transmitters turned on. I received prototype parts a few days before the Toledo show. At the show, Ken Spencer mounted the system onto my aircraft. Gary Jones also mounted a system onto his aircraft and we flew both airplanes at the PERF Indoor fly in, though nobody else knew what we were flying. We had no glitching or frequency selection problems. I was, and still am, very excited about this breakthrough.

The system works like other Spread Spectrum systems in that you need to bind one or more receivers to a transmitter. This takes about 5 seconds. Once that is done, the operation is just like other systems. Drop the battery onto the receiver and fly, without worrying about frequency conflicts with anyone else.

My local flying group is now flying the system to check for any bugs. Last Monday evening we had 5 aircraft flying simultaneously. I flew for about 20 minutes while the other fellows joined me off and on for the entire time, which provided lots of different combinations of transmitters. No one noticed any problems.

Other fliers:

Ken Spencer
Gary Jones
Jerry Combs
Danny Johnson

The interesting question is what happens next with this system.

Bob
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May 05, 2007, 12:28 AM
is it supposed to smoke??
3dFlyer88's Avatar
how much is all that stuff i wanna get into micro
May 05, 2007, 01:54 AM
Registered User
PietenpolAC's Avatar
Any more details? I'm confused. If it weighs the same and is the same size as the Plantraco equipment, no modification to the Plantraco equipement is required, it works on the Model II TX and the .9gr actuator RX it sounds like one uses the same exact Plantraco equipment they have now, but somehow magically they have a lot more frequencies available? If you received prototype parts and there was no modification to the Plantraco system and no weight or size gain, what were the parts for? I don't really know anything about FHSS so the above could be a really stupid question.

Bruce
May 05, 2007, 05:41 AM
My member is not
Zlatko's Avatar
Its a firmware / software "upgrade" of the Plantraco system

Great work!!

Martin !! I hope it plays the "tune"

Cheers
May 05, 2007, 07:24 AM
Wanton construction
Pouncer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zlatko
Its a firmware / software "upgrade" of the Plantraco system
This is seriously cool.
Any info on the upgrading/modification process?
Send our Tx's and Rx's to Martin Newel for modding or buy them?
May 05, 2007, 07:43 AM
Senior to who? Member
crossup's Avatar
Maybe Im stupid but what happens next should be obvious- this needs to the next gen Plantraco setup. Buying Bud's gear then modding it, whether done by the end user or Bob's crew is just another step, cost and hassle in getting into the air.
Seems to me all it would involve would be Plantraco paying a royalty to those who did the work.. since BUD would be paying royalites as sales occurred, he would not even have the overhead of development so it seems to me the money should work out.
May 05, 2007, 08:11 AM
is it flying time?
Jerry Combs's Avatar
I have had 2 of these systems for the last 2 weeks and have been flying them a lot trying to find any problems including flying in a site that has a LOT of high power RF in the 800 and 900 meg range. Both have been rock solid! This is truely a MAJOR step forward.

Jerry
May 05, 2007, 08:45 AM
Registered User
PietenpolAC's Avatar
>>>Modifications to Plantraco hardware: None<<<

>>>Its a firmware / software "upgrade" of the Plantraco system<<<

>>>Send our Tx's and Rx's to Martin Newel for modding or buy them?<<<

I can understand the software "upgrade" part as not modifying the Plantraco hardware, but I don't understand the firmware upgrade. That would seem to modify the Plantraco hardware. So do we need to send our current Plantraco equipment somewhere for someone to "modify" it in some shape or form? Are the prototype parts that Bob got a modified RX and TX or just some parts to make a change on his existing equipment?

I'm not trying to be picky or argumentative or trying to find out exactly the secret to doing this is. I live in Hungary and shipping stuff back and forth gets expensive and "customed" and lost/stolen. I currently am deciding if I should wait to check out the Kyoshyo 2.4 system, buy into MircroInvent equipment or possibly even get Plantraco again. My Plantraco equipment never functioned correctly (although it functioned ok when Plantraco tested it) so I can only conclude I'm in a bad interference area (airports nearby in both places I would fly it). If the new system is rock solid as far as interference goes, then Plantraco becomes a very attractive alternative. Especially if the Kyosho stuff is heavier.

I'm only asking now as I have several planes sitting waiting for equipment and I need to make an intelligent decision based on as many facts as I can get.

I agree with Crossup. Plantraco really needs to be selling this. If the new Kyosho stuff is light and non-problematic, then the price and functionality sure beats the current Plantraco equipment.

Thanks,
Bruce
May 05, 2007, 09:23 AM
Wanton construction
Pouncer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PietenpolAC
I can understand the software "upgrade" part as not modifying the Plantraco hardware, but I don't understand the firmware upgrade. That would seem to modify the Plantraco hardware. So do we need to send our current Plantraco equipment somewhere for someone to "modify" it in some shape or form? Are the prototype parts that Bob got a modified RX and TX or just some parts to make a change on his existing equipment?
I'm curious about this too even though I realize there's no way I can reprogram the receiver on my own even if given the protocol (the transmitter has a dataport i/o that could theoretically maybe, possibly, be used for a firmware mod):
Quote:
Originally Posted by bselman
I spent about a month coming up with a protocol that I thought would work...it was decided that Martin [Newel] would implement a system based on this protocol on the Plantraco hardware, instead of developing new hardware.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PietenpolAC
If the new system is rock solid as far as interference goes, then Plantraco becomes a very attractive alternative. Especially if the Kyosho stuff is heavier.

I'm only asking now as I have several planes sitting waiting for equipment and I need to make an intelligent decision based on as many facts as I can get.

I agree with Crossup. Plantraco really needs to be selling this. If the new Kyosho stuff is light and non-problematic, then the price and functionality sure beats the current Plantraco equipment.
The Kyosho thing is exciting (I have one on pre-order just in case) but it can't touch the Plantraco in terms of modularity, the current rx+2 servo's block pretty much limits the set-up to T/R/E.
I can get a another Plantraco .9 Rx without hurting my wallet and build a new plane around that.
The Kyosho lists the receiver-servo combo as a spare part but who knows what the availability and price will be?
Ditto for the Lipo's.
May 05, 2007, 09:56 AM
Registered User
Ken Spencer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zlatko
Its a firmware / software "upgrade" of the Plantraco system
Great work!!
Martin !! I hope it plays the "tune"
Cheers
Hi, Zlatko
No, it does not play "music" anymore. When you apply the battery, it is on within a second and ready to fly. I could hardly believe it myself.
This HIP-HOP system was quietly tested and flown at the Toledo P.E.R.F. indoor fly. It was rock solid ! What was funny to me, was is no one there notice we were turning these, Plantraco look a like, new HIP-HOP system on and off at any time we wanted. Why other Plantraco systems were flying and causing them or us absolutely no problems at all. If you have ever flown the original Plantraco system in a group of two or more flyers wanting to fly at one time, you know what I am talking about.
The biggest thing I have noticed while flying with these groups is, now when the battery brakes circuit for a fraction of a second your plane does not lock onto someone else's radio and takes off in another direction. It resets almost instantly to your radio causing no problem at all.
Do to this New HIP-HOP system in these last few weeks, flying for me has just taken a giant step forward in the world of flying micro aircraft.
THANK YOU, Martin & BSD !
Keep Them Flying ! Your good friend, Ken
May 05, 2007, 10:02 AM
Registered User
PietenpolAC's Avatar
>>>the current rx+2 servo's block pretty much limits the set-up to T/R/E.<<<

oops. I forgot about that. But that is pretty much all I'm using now anyway. At the price difference (if Kyosho's prices will stay as currently advertised) I'd figure out a way to add aileron linkage.

>>>The Kyosho lists the receiver-servo combo as a spare part but who knows what the availability and price will be<<<

Yeh, that's the big question. In another thread I think a vendor weighed in but when asked about availablity of spare parts there was no reply.

>>>Ditto for the Lipo's.<<<

But Lipo's are available elsewhere.

Assuming all systems function as advertised and prices too, and availabilty is not an issue then for $150 for a Plantraco TX and RX, I could buy a Kyosho TX, two RX's and have four actuators to boot. Plus 2.4 GHz capability. Even if the Kyosho block weighs more than a Plantraco's .9gm RX and two .7 gm actuators (which it probably does) the price difference would move me to Kyosho. I'm not stuck on building the world's smallest RC. I'm happy with anything in the 13-16" WS category.

Bruce
May 05, 2007, 01:54 PM
Wanton construction
Pouncer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PietenpolAC
>>>Ditto for the Lipo's.<<<

But Lipo's are available elsewhere.
Yes but Kyosho are using a proprietary connector, so unless you're prepared to unsolder that from the receiver and add your own flavour of connector you're stuck with what they offer, again, time will tell what the availability and price will be.

In my opinion, the Kyosho is to be regarded as a RTF (and when I get mine I'll probably keep it stock) whereas the Plantraco system is much more flexible and suited to experimentation.
Plantraco SSFH is a winning combination for sure!
May 05, 2007, 02:11 PM
Registered User
So, I guess this means it is not the time to buy a new Plantraco Series 2 tx and system. So much is changing, and so quickly!
May 05, 2007, 02:44 PM
is it flying time?
Jerry Combs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nebuchadnezzar
So, I guess this means it is not the time to buy a new Plantraco Series 2 tx and system. So much is changing, and so quickly!
I believe that if you purchase a current system that it can be upgraded at a later date. I do not know, at this time, just how soon the upgrade will be available nor what it will cost, but when it is I plan to upgrade all of my Plantraco equipment. This system rocks!

Jerry
May 05, 2007, 04:34 PM
Registered User
Why don't you guys just ask from the Spektrum guys do they have any interest to build smaller receiver...?
I have send e-mail for them but didn't get answer yet.
That would be great for indoor and outdoor flyers as they can use same transmitter for all type of model aircraft.

Same thing for other 2,4GHz brands...

I don't like own too many different type of transmitters - why not one for all...

At this time I have lightened AR6100 which weight 1,88g w/o connection pins. No bad for 6-channel receiver and it'll work somehow with one lipo too.

--Kimmo--


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