Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Dark Side

I just got my Parkzone BF-109 plane. The latest addition to my livery. Hopefully, it will be nice enough this weekend to fly it while I wait for a replacement fuse for my Easy Star. I have been very happy with my T-28, and really would love to get a F4U corsair as well. These foam warbirds from Parkzone are really pretty good planes.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

RIP Easy Star...

Death of an FPV Easy Star on YouTube Winds were blowing a strong 30mph, with gusts higher. Was periodically blowing over my camera tripod. I wanted to test out my new Oracle Diversity switch and 8dbi patch antenna, and drove 20 miles out into the desert to get away from signal interferance and traffic. I was also trying to fit a new 2600mAh lipo in. It didn't fit well. Got it hand launched, despite the wind trying to rip it out of my hands, and the Eagle Tree OSD Pro had come unplugged from the data logger. No GPS or data signal, but was getting video. Got it back around and landed, and got it all plugged back in. But still not fitting well. Wind blowing more. I almost bagged it, as I kept thinking nothing good can come of this... The last few frames of video show what caused the final death dive. Camera pod popped out and was laying back near the motor after I panned the camera right. Lost video shortly after that due to having the patch pointed SE, but I was flying NE of my position by now, due to the wind.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oracle Diversity Video Swtich

Got my Oracle Diversity switch in as well as a second 900MHz Rx (which I promptly removed the guts of and put inside the diversity switch hard wired to the power and the Video #2 inputs). Powered it up and hooked everything up (including my previous 2-ch Rx wired into video #1 input). It switches very nice, but I need to probably give it a real test run out in the wild. Just 5 to 20 feet away, it wasn't that interesting (had to remove antennas and stuff to try to block the signal from one or the other). Sure hopes it works as well as I expect it to! Will run my 3dbi omni and the 8dbi patch to see how it works.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Latest FPV flight #7

Flew yesterday again. Had same servo jitter. So, seems like I fly here by my house and live with servo interferance on 72MHz or fly over at the soccer fields by work and get video interferance on 900MHz. Grin. Managed to get up over 1500ft today, easily. I got new LIPO's in that are 2600mAh that should easily allow over 4000ft AGL. Need to probably go out of town to try that. I would love to fly through some clouds and try that out. Would have tried again today, but I was brewing 11 gallons of my beloved Mossy Cup Porter. So, I only had time to fly my Parkzone T28.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More Stuff

I have some video showing the problem with the Sony DPC 480A AWB and the red hue it has. Turns out, it isn't triggering the DSP to resample on power up without proper amounts of white in the screen. You can force it to trigger/sample by transitioning through the menu settings from fixed->manual->ATW->AWB and it clears everything up. Problem is, it is again hosed the next time you power up. But, setting it to ATW (whatever that is), makes it sample/power up fine everytime. I'm not sure if changing the manual settings to have less red will help where it powers up at or not in AWB mode (probably, but I tried factory resetting it a bunch of times and it was still messed up).

Monday, October 5, 2009

FPV Mysteries, Unraveled!

Well, I keep unraveling more and more mysteries as I learn more. First, I have determined that my AUW Multiplex Easy Star with full video equipment and batteries has gained an impressive 11oz, to top out at 37.5oz (that is just over 2 lbs!!!), which leap-frogs it into second place, just behind my Tiger 2 for highest wing loading at 14.5oz/sq-ft. Second, thanks AGAIN to Thomas Black at DPCAV, my red hue problems are because of some "intelligent" feature in the DPC 480A Sony CCD that reverts settings to the manual color values until its DSP triggers AWB to reset every time you power up. More importantly, I can FORCE the resample if I just go into the menu and transition through the menu to Fixed->Manual->ATW->AWB. Viola! Nice cool normal colors! But bummer to have to redo that everytime I power up. Thomas mentioned it might be better to set some manual values or try ATW. Anyway, I flew tonight with the forced menu reset after power up to AWB.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

FPV with OSD

Went out to fly with the fully integrated OSD Pro and eLogger v3 this morning. Had 3 major problems. First, the weight was too far forward in the plane and caused an immediate nose-in on first launch. This caused a second problem, which was I stripped the tilt servo on the camera, so it was locked in place. Third problem was again with the video goggles (no video out and it refused to function AGAIN). I suspect having the cable partly out of the socket doesn't help, and I need to get the right cable from Gordon (sigh...I really want to fly first person). Also looks like the TempA sensor was not properly zeroed or something. I managed to download the data from the eLogger to the computer and get GPS locations and plots.

Friday, October 2, 2009

First FPV Flight

Flew my first FPV flight today. Well, it probably wasn't really FPV, since the goggles battery supply died about 3 minutes after turning them on. I had to just fly it visually, but I did do some by watching the video camera display. This was without the elogger and OSD, just to make sure everything was working ok. I am getting some interferance, and it really panics me when I'm flying remote watching the first person view and it wacks out. I have no idea where the plane is (invariably, it was always higher than I expected trying to find it in the sky). Wow, it can get a long way away quick just flying via the video feed. I may have to take it out away from the city and see if that helps the reception. I have some torrid coils coming to wrap some of the electric feeds for the ESC and the video.