Mr.RC-Cam

RSSI Meter for Video Receiver

85 posts in this topic

Some info:

(1) There is a protective plastic film on the meter's glass face. Once the meter is installed just peel off the film.

(2) A link to the installation instructions is in an earlier post.

(3) Feedback on the meter is appreciated. Please post photos of your installation too.

(4) Enjoy!

FYI, as the meters ship I will update Post #19. A few of you already have meters on their way. :)

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If you have technical questions about the meter please post them here (do not contact me directly). That way everyone can be informed.

Flyonlion asked via PM:

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my question is once I connect this to a plane's RX does your camera have to tilt down

to read the strength meter..?

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Although the intended use was for installation on your ground station's wireless video Rx, the meter can be used on other things like a R/C Rx. Keep in mind that the meter's design includes the largest affordable LCD readout I could find, so it may be a bit large for small R/C model aircraft. Also, it needs 7-14VDC power, so power would need to be come from a 2S or 3S LiPO. In a R/C Rx RSSI application, if you intend to see a cockpit mounted LCD with your video camera, then for sure you would need to aim the camera at it. BTW, because it is LCD (not LED), daylight visibility is very good.

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Will the meter work in tandem with an RSSI diversity switcher I plan on adding to my Rx's?

Nigel.

Edited by Devonian

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Will the meter work in tandem with an RSSI diversity switcher I plan on adding to my Rx's?

Sounds like a cool use for it. Each Rx will need a dedicated meter.

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"I want one"

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Everyone has been shipped their meters, with some already delivered by the postman. It would be grand to see some installation photos soon, especially if the meter is integrated into your equipment's front panel. Special ata-boy bonus points for cool looking installs. :)

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Anyone out there using a Lawmate Rx that could point to me the RSSI pin?

I am reluctant to go by trial and error as i have a tendency to fry electronics.

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GGot mine already, and am looking for ways to house it. I'm thinking along the lines of a RatShack project box with a servo lead for connecting to mmy Rx'ers. The meter looks great. Should have the box this week sometime. Thanks again for this great offer.

Went ahead and hooked up a servo lead on one of my Rx'ers, its a 1.280 BOB unit. Bought from BestOfferBuy. Very simple, it had the legs from the 7809 sticking up for easy soldering and the RSSI pin is the last one on the Rx. Used a servo grommet for the wire exit and a knot to prevent pullout.

This Rx I have also added a SMA pigtail, piggybacked on to the "F" connector to allow use of my Patch ant. Calibrating the meter took a whole minute or 2 after warm up. Thanks again

post-5645-127465303977_thumb.jpg

post-5645-127465304999_thumb.jpg

Edited by mrfliboy

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If the door has not closed yet...i'm in for two.

Don't know how I missed this. darn vacation! :D

-Ken

Edited by kist2001

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Calibrating the meter took a whole minute or 2 after warm up. Thanks again

Thanks for the update. Keep in mind that if you move the meter from Rx to Rx, you may need to calibrate it for each installation. That is because RSSI characteristics can vary, even in identical setups.

If the door has not closed yet...i'm in for two.

You got the last two, including my personal spare. The rc-cam special-deal-door is officially closed now.

Missed out, want one? Well, the future of the meter depends on feedback. So, for those that got one: If you like it, or have suggestions, then please share it here. I will review the comments and then decide what is best for this cool little gadget.

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Someone sent me the first pic.

The green/white wire is soldered to the RSSI pin of a Lawmate Rx.I can't tell for shure but it looks to me like the first pin.

My Rx seems to have a slightly different pin arrangement and i tried measuring the voltages of all of them with the Tx off and on and there was no fluctuation on none of them..

Some of them measure 5v some more but the voltage staued the same regrdless of the Tx status.

It's hard to focus and find a suitable angle with all that shiny stuff and on top of it all it seems that the quality is even worse after uploading.

post-3361-12748306553_thumb.jpg

post-3361-127483068343_thumb.jpg

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For some reason they also got reversed but you get the picture.

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My Rx seems to have a slightly different pin arrangement and i tried measuring the voltages of all of them with the Tx off and on and there was no fluctuation on none of them..

Step 1:

(1) Turn on the video Tx and Rx and get a clear video image on your monitor.

(2) Hold the negative voltmeter lead to the tuner's metal can. This is ground.

(3) Starting at the tuner pin closest to the antenna, measure the voltage and record the data on paper.

(4) Repeat the measure/record for ALL remaining tuner Pins.

Step 2:

(1) Turn off the video Tx. Confirm the video image is gone.

(2) Hold the negative voltmeter lead to the tuner's metal can. This is ground.

(3) Starting at the tuner pin closest to the antenna, measure the voltage and record the data on paper.

(4) Repeat the measure/record for ALL remaining tuner Pins.

Post the recorded data. We will need voltages to one decimal place precision (e.g., 3.9VDC), so use a digital multimeter.

Also, what freq is this Rx?

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Thomas,

It is a 2.4GHz Lawmate standard Rx.

I did just that, measured all the pins with the Tx off and than onceore with the Tx on.

I just didn't write downm i was looking for a large variation on one of the pins.

I'll doit again and write down the voltages.

The only weird thing i noticed was pin 3 among the ones connected (the first 2 starting from antenna side are just hanging in the air) showed .64v with the Tx off and .32v with the Tx on.It is the only one as far as i can tell that showed any changes in voltage between turning on and off the Tx.

Wich is a 1W Lawmate.

I was affraid being in such close proximity in the sleeper of my truck something might give.

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Here is what i got so far:<BR>There are 2 free pins and 10 connected ones.<BR>The first free pin is dead meat regrdless.<BR>Video Tx off;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Tx on;<BR><BR>Second&nbsp;&nbsp;free&nbsp;&nbsp; pin 4.66v&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 4.75v<BR>pin 1 (connected) 4.94v&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 4.94v<BR>pin 2&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 2.50v&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 2.51v<BR>pin 3&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 0.40v&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 0.65v<BR>pin 4&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 1.05v&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 4.26v<BR>pin 5&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 0.05v&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 0.05v<BR>pin 6&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 8.94v&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 8.94v<BR>pin 7&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 0.45v&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 0.45v<BR>pin 8&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 0.05v&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 0.05v<BR>pin 9&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 4.93v&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 4.93v<BR>pin10&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 4.87v&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;4.87v

Edited by andrei

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This is what I extracted from your text:

Tuner pin 4: Tx-OFF=1.05v Tx-ON=4.26v

As you can see, the transmitter on/off measurements are quite different. So, the pin that you call "pin 4" is RSSI.

For those that have this same Lawmate receiver, the tuner module is a Comtech FM2400RTIM8 or equivalent clone of it.

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Now that is some weird s--t.

I've noticed that the pics i posted were squeezed side to side but this is downright scary.

I tried to edit the post to fix it but no good came out f it.

Here is what i was attempting to post.

post-3361-127484558911_thumb.jpg

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The answer is in your neatly published table. Hint: If you need more help identifying the RSSI pin then please see post #41.

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This is what I extracted from your text:

Tuner pin 4: Tx-OFF=1.05v Tx-ON=4.26v

As you can see, the transmitter on/off measurements are quite different. So, the pin that you call "pin 4" is RSSI.

For those that have this same Lawmate receiver, the tuner module is a Comtech FM2400RTIM8 or equivalent clone of it.

Thank you Thomas.

My head is spinning from trying so hard to measure and remeasure all afternoon and solder without dammaging anything in the process.

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You are welcome; Glad you found the RSSI signal.

Your shared experience will help show how simple it can be to ID the tuner's RSSI pin. Fancy photos, data sheets, and magic are not needed; A voltmeter will quickly point to it.

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Pea nuts.

Done.

I'll post a pic when i have it mounted nice and proper on the Rx.

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The postman delivered mine today, :) Wow, that was fast Thomas, considering I'm on the other side of the world!

I havent tested it yet. I'll definitely have pic and feedback once its installed on my spare Fox 1.2/1.3GHz video rx.

Initially I'll be using it to do some video tx antenna(homemade) comparison tests.

Thanks again Thomas.

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Got my little box :)

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Today I've got mine calibrated and running. Following the instructions, calibrating is fast and easy. Just thought of another use for this RSSI meter (easy visual indication of strongest signal), useful to locate a downed plane with a directional antenna on the video rx, provided the video tx is still transmitting.

As far as installation goes, I think I'll just cover it in heatshrink and velcro it to the rx.

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post-5415-127512295358_thumb.jpg

Edited by masam

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My little parcel arrived in the UK today - thanks Thomas :)

Unfortunatley, my 2 receiver modules are still on back order :angry:

Nigel.

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