Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gyro Stabilization

I have read a lot about people putting gyro stabilizers on airplanes to correct erratic behavior and wind buffeting. Seems like a natural inclusion for FPV to stabilize the video. Anyway, ideally, you want one that ONLY engages when you flip a switch (meaning you need a secondary channel) or disengages when you get past say 1/3 joystick movement (again, still needs a secondary channel and pmixing). Most of the folks are using GY401's from Futaba, are a bit spendy (at almost $140 each axis), but they have the dual gain you need to disengage and everything. I may consider trying one of the E-Flight 11g dual gain gyros at around $65. DPCAV also has one for around $25, which I will probalby order. I think you would put it on the ailerons for fpv, but you would risk the RTH feature of the OSD not working if it was engaged when you lost control...grin.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Flight of the Phoenix!

Well, I've been trying to fly my Carl Goldberg Tiger 2 electric conversion for a while now, but keep finding reasons not to. For one thing, it is a 5lb model with a 61" wingspan and capable of speeds over 80mph. That isn't something you just take to your local playground park. I went out to the local flying club last weekend, despite a strong 10-15mph wind. There were a ton of folks out there having a fun fly. I watched for a while and asked about what it took to join and stuff. $60 AMA membership dues and $60 for BARKS fees and runway costs. Don't get me wrong, it is probably all worth it (they have a great runway and good pits, despite my not liking to have to try to dead stick in all the sagebrush out there), but I just don't have much time to fly the big models, and mostly the park fliers work great right here by my house.

Some pretty cool FPV video from Sweden

This guy has some beautiful transmission video. I have no idea how he can get that clear of a picture and clean transmission, but I think I'm beginning to see the value in a flat 9db patch antenna. I suspect I will need the signal tracker to properly keep it focused on the plane at only a 15 degree horizontal/vertical window. The alternative is to get an expensive diversity switch that allows you to multiplex in two separate receivers with two different antenna. That begins to get expensive, though.

EZ* Pod Camera

I got the camera pod for the easy star all built. It has the servos for moving the camera all installed, place for a 650mAh 3S1P lipo (for the camera/tx) and I'm trying to figure out the best routing for the servo wires, camera wires and the rx. Uggghhh, don't even want to think about how this is all going to route when I get the elogger/OSD and sensors all in there. Need some double-sided servo tape for the camera and tx and some torrid coils for the camera wires. I think I'm going to try to put the GPS rx back the very end of the tail on the top of the fuse for best reception and most distance from the 900MHz tx. I figured out a motor mount for the obliterated EZ* I have (simple 2.5" angle bracket epoxyed into the old motor pod (which should help with the heat that was building up before in the foam enclosure and allowing the motor to torque and twist and melting the plastic). The mount is also a little further up/away from the fuse and will allow me to use a 6x4E prop with plenty of clearance. Then I'll transfer everything over to the new kit I have coming once I play with it in this reglued frankenstein I have now.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

WARNING!!!! FPV initiated.

I took the plunge and ordered an FPV system. I got it from Digital Products Co in Folsom. Thomas Black is super on support and I would highly recommend ordering a system from him. I got a 480p Super HAD CCD camera and am transmitting with 500mW over 900MHz with a dual A/V output reciever and got the Eagle Tree Systems data logger and OSD Pro (for on screen display of data) with GPS and return to home features. Added altimeter and temp sensors. The eLogger seems to be dead, so I'm sending that back to have Thomas check it out. Hopefully I get it back soon to try everything out. I was having problems getting the camera to show anything but B&W, but it looks like it was falling back into B&W because of low light conditions. Once I got enough illumination (especially sunny outdoors I think it will be very good), it cleared up. Colors are a little off, and I need to play with the automatic gain control (AGC) and white balance (AWB). I think when flying everyone recommends turning some of that off, so that flying into the sun doesn't adjust and make everything else visibile go dark.