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About kmpres

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    RC-Cam Visitor
  1. I fashioned a hood out of 4mm black opaque sponge mat I found in a hardware store. I fitted it around the glasses and cut the edges to fit my face. It's easy to cut but won't fold at all so joints had to be made butt style with black CA glue. Velcro attaches it on the front of the glasses but the self-stick kind won't stick for long. I will be sewing the velcro on shortly to rectify this. Regarding power, I use an LM7808 8 volt reg soldered and covered with heat shrink right on the power line going to a 12V gel cel. The rating is for 7.5 volts but the power tx that came with the glasses actually measured over 10 volts so 8 volts won't hurt it. Bruce
  2. My Eye Trek FMD250W has 240K res. I'm told it is about the same, or slightly better, than the CX161 and KX121 board cameras we use, so it is an almost perfect match for our systems. No need to go to a higher res display as you won't benefit from it, unless you replace your board camera with a camcorder. You'll have no trouble flying with these glasses, especially in Wide mode (16:9). I believe Glastrons are only capable of standard 4:3, which leaves you feeling like you have tunnel vision. Bruce
  3. Not a problem. Inside the shaft is a length of thin coax, the last 30mm or so is the driven element. Even if you position the shaft half in and half out of your box the driven element and much of the reflector (shield) will still be outside your box. Of course, range testing the setup will determine any observable signal loss. Bruce
  4. Why not use a commercial dipole antenna? The plastic shaft is watertight if you keep the connector part inside your case. Passing the shaft through a tight grommet with a bit of silicone or even light grease, such as vaseline, should keep the water out, assuming you don't go down too far. Bruce
  5. This confirms my experience. A firm mount to the airframe, usually just velcro, is all it takes. Shock absorbing motor mounts for IC installations help too. Bruce
  6. Good steady image for an IC powered plane. How did you mount your four stroke, and is your camera shock mounted in any way? Any problems with vibration? Bruce
  7. kmpres

    x10 camera's

    First, yes the X10 camera is crud. You get what you pay for. It's a CMOS, not the preferred CCD (the latter is newer technology, has sharper imagery), and has trouble adjusting quickly to changing light conditions. Fly towards the sun and the image is too light until it adjusts (about a minute) then fly away from the sun and the image is too dark until it adjusts (another minute). Most annoying. Second, regarding vibration, immediately lose the articulating arm and pray you don't find it. It's been the source of many a vibrating nightmare. The RC-CAM 4 project will detail how to enclose the camera in a compact little plastic case perfect for video flying. I don't fly helis, but from my fixed wing experience, a relatively hard mount consisting of just velcro to the airframe, works for me. The velcro is soft enough to absorb much of the vibration and rips off cleanly in a hard landing, yet firm enough to keep the camera from bouncing around too much. Of course converting to electric flying is the best way to fly vibration free. Bruce
  8. kmpres

    RC Autopilot Project for PIC

    Mike, thanks for the circuit mods and writeup. They will make fabricating a board much easier. I'm having some trouble printing the tiff of the etch pattern, however. My printer gives a 4.5% scale down error. I will need to figure out how to scale up the image to get rid of this error. This'll take some experimenting but hopefully won't take too long. Are there any secrets to this? John, thanks for pointing out the pinout differences between my programmer and the 16F87X PIC. I was afraid I'd have a problem like this. Nothing's ever easy, is it. I will have to make an adapter to go from the 18 pin programmer to a 28 pin ZIF socket. So long as those 5 pins are the only ones that need to be changed it shouldn't be too difficult. Bruce
  9. kmpres

    RC Autopilot Project for PIC

    My Garmin Geko 201 supports altitude measurement with the same accuracy it has for distance, that is, less than 49 feet, as long as four satellites are being received. Less with differential corrections in operation. I typically get 15-27 feet here in Japan (don't think WAAS has hit these shores yet). That has to be better than a Copilot, no? Bruce.
  10. kmpres

    RC Autopilot Project for PIC

    Excellent news, thanks Mike for all your help. I do not have a Basic Compiler so a hex file will be most welcome. I do intend to build the circuit because I'm barred from purchasing a PDC10 from Unav due to their export restrictions. I am also, however, trying to get CCNA certified and that's forced me to put off numerous other projects until it is completed. In a month or two I hope to have something built and tested, however. I have the transfer paper and chemicals to etch my own circuit boards but not the software to go from schematic to layout. This is the primary reason why I don't build more circuit boards. I'm sure there's an easy way to do this but I don't know what it is. If there's a layout (etch pattern) already made that I can print full-sized on my inkjet then that will save me a lot of time. When the time comes I will also have to learn how to burn PICs, though I don't think this is terribly difficult. I acquired a simple programmer kit recently from Poptronics that should help. Hopefully the Multi-chip Programmer they use will program the 16F87X in the schematic. Anybody know otherwise? Thanks, Bruce
  11. Forgive my asking, but check what out? Unless I missed something, there's no link or attachment with the top message. Bruce
  12. kmpres

    RC Autopilot Project for PIC

    I, too, have been reading this thread with interest. I'm having a hard time obtaining a PDC10 and hope the circuit MikeP has generously offered to share with us will suffice. My purpose is to build a "come home" circuit initially and work towards more advanced UAV/Autopilot functions as I learn the tricks of the trade. You've already discussed the possibility of eliminating the Copilot. I'm wondering, is the altitude hold portion really necessary and can it be eliminated instead of the Copilot? Can it also be removed without requiring serious mods to the GPS half of the circuit? The Copilot has elevator correction as part of its stability functions, would this not be adequate? True, the plane, depending on design, might gain or lose a bit of altitude with each turn but not more than 50 ft or so per 360 degrees assuming adequate wing loading, relatively calm conditions, and an even hand on the throttle. A poorly built plane can climb or descend in a level attitude if the thrust line is too high or low, or any plane if it flies through thermals/downdrafts (Copilot wouldn't know the difference), but a trued up and well balanced plane should fly at the same level regardless of thrust as long as there's enough of it to keep the airframe airborne through the turns. Is this not true? Also, MikeP, can you tell me how to obtain the hex files for the PICs? I'm not keen on spending $249 on the MELAB software if I don't absolutely need it. Has anyone designed a PCB layout yet? Thanks, Bruce
  13. Thanks, Mike, that looks like just the thing I need. Bruce
  14. Hi Guys, I live outside the US and can't order from Unav due to their export limitations. I'm therefore looking to roll my own PDC10 to read off my Geko 201 and steer with the rudder while correcting roll with an FMA copilot, a la what Cyberflyer and yb2normal have done. Got all the parts except the PDC10 lookalike. I have programming experience in six languages from past college courses but no PIC experience yet, though I don't think that's a major hurdle, and have recently acquired a simple PIC programmer from Talking Electronics. Now comes what for me is the "smoke and mirrors" part of the process. How would I go about writing the code for the PIC? What does the Geko output (commands, bytes, bits, what-have-you) and where do I get a list of this output to work with? Then, how do I translate the list into an output that's useable by the rudder servo? (I hope I can do this without having to get a PhD in imbedded microcode first.) Thanks, Bruce
  15. Hi Guys, I'm looking for a new or used PDC10 R/C GPS interface. Unav apparently can't sell it outside the US and I work at a military facility in Japan. If you have such a device and can part with it, please let me know. Thanks, Bruce