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tkilloren

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About tkilloren

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    RC-Cam'er
  1. Yes, DC is intuitive, RF is whacky. Anyway, the antenna works great. Here's a look at what's inside the box..... The top view shows the basic configuration. The ground plane consists of a pcb that is fully plated on the bottom side. The bottom is self explanatory. This board measures 3" square. A plastic post passes through the large center hole, which also captures the driven element and holds it fixed. The element spacing is approx. 15mm, or 1/8th wave at 2.44 (I think that's right?) This view shows the grounding trace that connects to "ground" via a plated thru hole.
  2. I took apart one of the popular Hyperlink 2.4, 8dbi patch antennas to see if the elements (without the case) would fit into my own project enclosure, and to also swap the coax pigtail to a direct pcb SMA connection. I noticed that the driven element is dead shorted (intentionally) to the ground plane via a single trace that connects to a plated thru hole on the metalized pcb ground plane. These are air dielectric designs, very similar to the RC-Cam project "GP Patch", except with a larger spacing between elements. How can it work with the elements shorted together? Thanks, Tom
  3. I played around with something very similar awhile back. I was using one of the smaller Sony camcorders, mounted inside the Sony underwater enclosure, into which I crammed my Blackwidow 200mw 2.44 Tx and battery. My hopes were to be able to receive the video signal on my home brew handheld camera controller/2.44Rx with video monitor, or video glasses. My original plan was to be able to lower the camera into the water using a telescoping "mast" and be able to view the bottom of my boat while standing on deck. As it turned out, the video signal was extinguished after the camera had been lowered but only 6" beneath the surface of the water. I ultimately ended up making a waterproof video out connection on the submersed enclosure and ran a video cable back to the Rx/monitor. Tom
  4. Can you elaborate on what kind of images you are trying to capture? Perhaps a tethered balloon would suit your purpose? This would allow you much more payload, which might now include a pan/tilt system to aim the camera. Your camera options would also increase exponentially as compared to fixed wing aircraft. Just a thought, Tom
  5. tkilloren

    Underwater signal propogation

    I'm just about all rigged to try it out. I'll be down at the boat over the weekend ........ stay, uhm, tuned! Tom
  6. I am building an underwater camera inspection system for use aboard my boat. I am using the Blackwidow 200 mW Tx/Rx combo. I can hard wire the Tx to the Rx, but I am wondering if I can go wireless, as that would eliminate the need to punch a hole in my watertight camera enclosure (polycarbonate). The Tx would be mounted inside the enclosure, using the short whip antenna that comes with the system, also inside the case. The signal would need to propogate through 6 to 10 feet of water. Anyone have any guesses as to whether I will receive a useable signal at the Rx? Thanks! Tom Killoren KB1MKC
  7. Just found this thread....sorry for coming to class late! As a newbie, I can't offer much, except to other newbies, many of whom are not in the "build-it-yourself" mode. There have been many posts from newbies asking about the best antenna combinations, and "....where can I buy one?" I just started building stuff, and I can say that there is nothing more satisfying than building something yourself.....that actually works! Mr. RC Cam helped me along the way, I might add. I am running a Part 15, 1mW (probably less) Tx with a 1/4 wave Ground Plane "spider" antenna. My Rx uses a 13db patch that I bought here http://www.fab-corp.com/ These patch antennas are selling for twice the money on the many "surveillance" web sites. These guys have lots of neat stuff at great prices, and ship the same day you order! The above mentioned antenna combination gets me a reliable 750' LOS (remember, 1mW Tx!) Yes, I know the modified Tx antenna will violate the Part 15 rules, but I have an "Experimental" license from the FCC which allows me to "dabble" up to 10mW. This is a short term license. Anyone can get one. There might have been a fee, I forget. Where can I buy a 10mW Tx(2.44) in the US? All of the sources that I have found are in Europe. Tom
  8. tkilloren

    PIC programming question (PanCam Project)

    It works great! Thank You so much! And with the Airtronics retract servo, I'm getting just over 200 degrees of pan angle.....silky smooth. I suspected it was my fuse settings. I am using a "Genius NSP" (Chinese) programmer, and the instructions are in pigeon English! I will focus on the fuse settings and see if I can make it work. Tom
  9. Thanks guys! I hadn't seen that primer on Vregs before....that is very helpful. Tom
  10. My surface based pan/Tilt/camera/cctv combo is a power management nightmare. The 75Mhz Rx requires 4.8V, the camera requires 7.2V, and the CCTV Tx requires 12V. Until now, I have been using the camera's on board battery pack to power the camera, but this has proven to be the "weak link" in the system. I have been using a 12V battery pack and a step down voltage regultaor to get the 4.8V. This works just fine, but now I would like the camera to draw power from the main battery source. I have ordered a 7.2V 3300mAh battery pack as the main supply. I will use a step-up voltage regulator to get the 12V required for the CCTV Tx. My Hitech Eclipse 7 says that the digital servos can take the 7.2V, but I may opt to use conventional servos. It would be nice to eliminate the 4.8V converter and power the Rx and servos directly from the 7.2v source. Will this ring the death nell for my conventional servos? Tom
  11. tkilloren

    PIC programming question (PanCam Project)

    After looking at most (not all) of the pin diagrams for the various projects, I have come up with this layout that might qualify as a "universal" project PWB. It would allow the addition of chip type passive devices (resistor, capacitors, transistors), and give anyone, novice or pro, a big headstart, with mininal jumpers required. The ceramic substrate will be .06" thick. ALL pinouts will be shorted to the ground plane on the backside of the carrier, including pin #1. Using a small file, or even a Dremmel tool, the user can "open" the connection to any individual pin, by removing the metal connection on the backside of the ceramic. The end result will be a very compact, and esthetically pleasing assembly. For example, the PanCam project would require just two jumpers, on pin #6 and 7, plus the capacitor. Take a look, and feel free to comment. Changes are easy to make at this stage. Once it becomes "etched in gold" it's final. www.pbase.com/image/39057908 Tom
  12. tkilloren

    PIC programming question (PanCam Project)

    This will take a few weeks to complete. In the meantime, if you could help me select an appropriate chip capacitor from Mouser? Their selection is a bit overwhelming.....I want to make sure to buy the right one. Also, I will incorporate the pads on the ceramic to accomodate the addition of chip resistors, if desired. Thanks! Tom
  13. tkilloren

    PIC programming question (PanCam Project)

    I am working under conditions unto which I am not accustomed....that being, having two unknown entities, the PIC and the wiring board. As you have seen, my soldering skills are amateurish. That's something that I can fix. I have gained my livelihood for 35 years making microwave circuits on alumina ceramic. I have laid out a circuit design that I hope you might confirm is correct for the PanCam. I own the company, and this will be a welcomed diversion from my otherwise, day to day tasks. This circuit board will be built on alumina. It will be metalized with a MIL-STD type thin film metal sequence that will be solderable. I will make approx. 100 of these devices, as it is as easy for me to make 100 as is it is to make one. I will make these available to anyone on the forum that wishes one (or two), at no cost, as long as the initial supply lasts. I look at this as a way to give something back to all the folks that have helped me along the way. In addition, after having read all of the posts on PIC programming, I know that there are novices out there who have found this task too daunting, and have given up. This wiring board will be a boon to those, like myself, who have found this project beyond their skillset. I will also purchase 100 chip capacitors, as you cannot buy these in "onsey twosey" quantities, and supply a capacitior with each PWB. It is a very campact design, and I would highly recommend (to the novices) to mount a chip carrier to the PWB and not the PIC directly. The backside of the PWB is completely metalized (titanium/platinum gold) as a ground plane. The "notches" in the edge of the board are also metalized the same and connected to the GP. Thus, no jumpers are required. Just solder in the chip capacitor, and solder on your leads, to, and from the Rx and servo. Or, which I like much better, solder on three Ni/Au plated pins on each end, so that now you can plug in directly, without "hard wiring" to your Rx and servo. This metalization sequence (Ti/Pt/Au) has excellent solderability characteristics and is extremely robust. Once those pins are soldered on....that's where they will stay. Take a look......http://www.pbase.com/image/38837203 If you see anything wrong, please comment. Making these will be no easy task, so I want to be sure it's correct before I start. I am a one man operation, and have been in business for 15 years. Much of the stuff I do is pretty routine, this will be challenging, and a lot of fun! I was hoping that it might be "universal" to some of the other projects, but the only pins in common are VCC and GRD..... I dunno. Tom
  14. tkilloren

    PIC programming question (PanCam Project)

    Will do. Thank You!
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