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Aerial Photography Discuss all aerial photography topics as they relate to rc aircraft

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Old 01-18-2011, 01:21 PM   #1
Lieutenant Loughead
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Default First Person Video -- Antenna Help, Please!

Hey guys -- I bought a 900MHz, 200mW video transmitter/receiver from Hobby City. According to the information I found on the internet, this camera/transmitter/receiver should have a 1 to 2 mile range. The first test flight was okay, but there was quite a bit more static than I expected. I was only flying (at most) 100 yards from the receiver. What can I do to improve the signal strength?
  • Does it matter that my receiver was laying on the ground? It seems like I need to get some PVC pipe and create a mast for my antenna... Thoughts?
  • How do I make an antenna (for the receiver) that will focus the reception in one direction (instead of towards the ground)? I'm embarassed to admit I'm a EE, but graduated about 20 years ago (and the only antennas we messed with in lab was a circuit of discrete components to receive a local radio station -- the antenna was an afterthought, with the exception that we cut it to match the exact wavelength of the radio station we wanted to receive). I understand the concept of different antennas -- I'm just fuzzy on exactly how to build one that focuses its energy in one direction!
Thanks for your help!

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Old 01-18-2011, 01:44 PM   #2
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You're probably looking for something like THIS.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:28 PM   #3
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The Yagi is pretty directional at close distances. I would get a 8 dbi patch antenna and also make an inverted V for the plane. 200 mW aint alot of power and the HK system has been questionable as far as real power output.

all your antenna questions answered here with build logs. If you get stumped he will build it for you.

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Old 01-18-2011, 05:44 PM   #4
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I Have Found these a while Back, Here on RCGroups is a thread on DIY patch Antennas, http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1067402

Here is a build thread that i was going to do but i came across a patch antenna from Range Video used for a good price. this one seems pretty simple. http://www.rc-cam.com/gp_patch.htm

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Old 01-25-2011, 02:54 AM   #5
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Thanks for the help guys -- I ordered all the stuff I need to make the GP Patch Antenna... The "GP" is supposed to stand for "Goof Proof"...

Unfortunately, I goofed! I ordered the SMA connector from Digi-Key (I even used the exact manufacturer's part number) -- and the part I got was quite a bit smaller than the connector on my receiver...

The receiver connector has an inner diameter of 8.4 millimeters -- the connector I received has an inner diameter of 5.5 millimeters.

I've asked Digi-Key for an RMA number, and if they have the right part...

Also, Lowe's doesn't carry that "Galvanized Step Flashing" for $1.50 any more. The next closest thing I could find was a single piece that cost me $6... No huge deal, but prices have really gone up since that GP Patch web page was posted...

So -- once I get the right connector, I'll be ready to start cutting galvanized steel.

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Old 01-25-2011, 02:29 PM   #6
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cool, let us know how it turns out.

Need More Glue!!!
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:37 PM   #7
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Make an antenna pole for your Rx antenna about 6' tall. Close range reception problems are usually caused by multiplexing (Signal reflecting off other surfaces). They should clear after you get farther from your antenna.

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Old 01-26-2011, 12:23 AM   #8
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Roger that! Thanks Robert.

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Old 01-26-2011, 01:23 AM   #9
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Subscribed...

Have you been able to find and order the adapter yet?
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:43 AM   #10
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Not yet -- Digi-Key has sent me an RMA number, and asked me to contact their Tech department to ask about the other size of connector...

Nice folks -- but I hate it when people pass the buck like that...

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Old 01-26-2011, 01:53 AM   #11
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Default First Person Video -- Antenna Help, Please!

That's why I really don't like digi-key. I only use them if mouser doesn't have what I am looking for. Try www.antennafactor.com for antennas and antenna connectors. This is where I buy our antennas for work.

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Old 01-26-2011, 02:45 AM   #12
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We (the guy's around here that fly at the Calico Dry Lake) had some very interesting visitors the other day. Guy had a sailplane with about a 4 meter wingspan. The entire top of his wing was photoelectric cells embedded into the wing!!

Of course it was FPV equipped - with eagletree OSD readouts as well as realtime GPS! Check out the trailer/command center in picture #2!

Range - reported to 8 miles. Altitude - high enough to set off military interest!!

http://www.bakehead.com/FPV_Sailplane.html

Just thought this might interest you here. I was flabergasted!

Hillbille

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Old 01-26-2011, 03:48 AM   #13
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Is this the adapter you're looking for?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...#ht_3018wt_754

A friend needed this adapter to connect his receiver to his antenna too, and this is where he got it. It took a little while to get it (I think it was around Christmas - so shipping is slower), but it worked for him.

Hopefully this helps...
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:31 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by hillbille View Post
We (the guy's around here that fly at the Calico Dry Lake) had some very interesting visitors the other day. Guy had a sailplane with about a 4 meter wingspan. The entire top of his wing was photoelectric cells embedded into the wing!!

Of course it was FPV equipped - with eagletree OSD readouts as well as realtime GPS! Check out the trailer/command center in picture #2!

Range - reported to 8 miles. Altitude - high enough to set off military interest!!

Back in the mid 1980's I was part of a group that did cross country racing with giant model sailplanes, with wingspans of 14 feet plus. One of our groups sailplanes was verified at 5500 feet alitiude, by a full sized airplane that was not supposed to be there.
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:40 AM   #15
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HEY! That looks like it might work! THANK YOU!

Originally Posted by Hersey View Post
Is this the adapter you're looking for?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...#ht_3018wt_754

A friend needed this adapter to connect his receiver to his antenna too, and this is where he got it. It took a little while to get it (I think it was around Christmas - so shipping is slower), but it worked for him.

Hopefully this helps...

Owner of the UNCLUB flying site and hobby shop in Arcadia, OK.

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Old 01-27-2011, 03:53 AM   #16
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An "F" connector is the connector used on most cable/satellite TV systems.

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Old 01-27-2011, 04:21 AM   #17
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No problem - it sounded familiar, so I checked and as far as I can tell it is the same item he needed to get the two different sized connecters to... well... connect.

I had this tid-bit filed away for when I am able to take the plunge into FPV figuring that I will most likely run into the same problem.

Keep us posted.
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Old 01-29-2011, 03:30 PM   #18
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Well, DigiKey was no help at all. They actually told me to visit my local Radio Shack!

I ordered that adapter from eBay -- though I'm not sure if it is rated for microwave frequencies... It ships from China, and the guy is "not available" for two weeks, so I'm guessing I will get the part in 4 to 5 weeks.

I will keep you posted.

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Old 01-30-2011, 03:15 AM   #19
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a little help from anyone flying fpv. i am wondering which is best, the standard video tx antenna, do you want it to point up at the sky while you fly or down at the ground. i see everyone doing it pointing up. is that the best way?

Need More Glue!!!
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:16 AM   #20
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HSRY,
Yes, the standard short semi-flexible antenna should be pointing up. Remember not to fly over the top of the antenna... you'll loose your video signal.
Hope this helps.
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:30 AM   #21
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Lt. L,
Yeah, I think they are celebrating Spring Festival or something like that. Holidays are great, but they are inconvenient from time to time....
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:30 PM   #22
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what tx/rx are you using to control the plane? what plane are you using?

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Old 02-01-2011, 10:54 PM   #23
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Spektrum DX7 (2.4 GHZ)

The airplane is a custom build -- you can see it here: http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59086

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Old 02-02-2011, 10:17 PM   #24
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The guy's I posted about earlier were "FLYING" up to 8 miles away and had perfect video - all LOS of course. The purpose of the earlier post was to not onlt show WHAT they were flying but also HOW it was being flown.

I was told that this was a 900 mhz at about 900mw. I am not sure.

The "inside" setup was three laptops - one displaying OSD info realtime from an eagletree I think - showed Altitude, GPS positioning, position readouts to show altitude gain or loss as well as a set alarm for speed of the aircraft to sound when the plane approached stall speed. One was realtime FPV from a very high res camera mounted on the plane. The other was for all types of data - speed, wind speed, direction, path plots and so forth.

Hillbille


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Old 02-02-2011, 10:25 PM   #25
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Forgot to show the "command" center - the trailer the antenna was mounted to. If you look close you can see the guy INSIDE the trailer flying the plane as the picture was taken. He was using a Futaba 10 channel 2.4 ghz radio for the plane I think.

The pictures I did NOT take are the ones I wish I HAD taken. LOL!!

Sorry for the interruption here if this isn't helping anyone. I just thought since this is really the only real FPV setup I have been around that actually DID work AT A LONG RANGE and I did happen to have a pretty good picture of the antenna set up that I would post it.



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