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Attention: RC-CAM.com will be closing down August 2021.

The RC-Cam.com forum was the very first online community dedicated to the advancement of wireless video cameras on radio controlled (R/C) models. This is now called "FPV" (First Person View). We are proud of the contributions that our members have made to the FPV hobby.

We've seen significant changes over the last twenty years. Initially there were a lot of eager R/C hobbyist that built their own video systems. Allowing these creative individuals to share their work was the purpose of this site. Now the FPV market is flooded with low cost systems; Sadly DiY FPV video projects are now rarely discussed.

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Posts posted by tkilloren

  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?



  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.


  4. 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?


    Tom Killoren


  5. 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.


  6. 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.


  7. 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?


  8. 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.



  9. 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.


  10. Okay. I have included a link to a photo hosting site that shows my wiring board.

    Don't laugh!

    On the topside image, the wires coming in from the left are from the Rx. That side is self explanatory.

    In the bottom view, pin #1 is at the upper left.

    I know, the solder looks very close, but I have probed the board and there are no shorts. I have not defluxed, however, and I'm wondering if the flux could be conductive under power, especially where the gap between some pins is very close.?

    Power comes in to #1 and then goes directly out to the servo.

    Pin #8 is on the lower left. Ground comes in from the Rx to #8 and is then jumpered to pins,2,4,and 5

    Pin #3 has no connection.

    Pins 7 and 6 are signal in and signal out, respectively.




  11. I AM GOING DAFT!!!

    I bought a new programmer and a sleeve of 25 fresh chips from Mouser.

    I managed to program two chips that work as advertised........BUT,

    They only work on channel 2 of my Laser 6 system. No response at all on any other channel.

    Get this, I have two transmitters sitting in front of me on the workbench, one is a Hitec Laser 6 and the other is a Hitec Eclipse 7. Both set for channel 62. My receiver, obviously, has a channel 62 xtal installed. They both work normally without the PanCam in the loop. Insert PanCam, and Laser 6 works properly but only on Ch. 2, as I said.

    Shut down the Laser 6 and power up the Eclipse 7.....nothing...the servo doesn't even twitch. I am shutting down the receiver first before I make the switch between Tx's.

    Now I go back to the Laser 6 and the servo behaves erratically.....actually moving in the OPPOSITE direction to the stick, and not responding at all in the other direction!

    I does this even if I just switch it off and turn it back on again....not switching to the E7 at all.

    So, I shut it all down and insert the second chip into the chip socket.

    The results are EXACTLY the same. It works once, but not a second time when power is removed and reconnected.

    I noticed that pin #3 is logic high on power up....does this tell you anything?

    Voltage read off pin #1 is 5.2V

    Pins 6 and 7 read .280V, pins 2, 4,5, and 8 are at 0vdc.

    I'm real close to needing professional stress counseling on this project. I know, I know, you warned us.....don't try this at home if you are a novice! But I'm close,

    I know I'm close. I've made it work....I just can't make it work twice in a row.

    Tom :(

  12. I am trying to program my PIC with the PanCam hex file.

    I am getting a warning message that reads as follows:

    No oscillator calibration value found, do you want to use value from file (OFFFh) instead?

    I have programmed the first chip by pressing "yes" to this query. The chip does not function. I have checked and re-checked my wiring, and all the pins are at the correct logic. The servo twitches upon connection, but does not respond to the stick.

    I am currently programming a second chip after pressing "No" in response to the warning message.

    My settings read as follows:

    Checksum: 45F8

    ID value: 1E00

    config. word: 0006h

    It takes approx. 15 minutes to complete the programming, is this normal?

    The fuses were correctly set upon loading the hex file.

    Sorry, I'm new at this, but I am determined as well.

  13. I meant to say that the video Tx power is .5mW (not mA).

    I realize this whole deal is hard to follow, so I am (attempting) attaching an image of my rig. Now you can see what I mean about the enclosures. The right side case houses the video Tx, switch, LED, recharge jack, and aux. power jack. In other words, there's a lot going on in that space. The 9.6V battery pack fits in there just perfectly so I'd really like to stay with that, but my video Tx say NO.

    You can see the mini servo that trips the shutter on the Nikon 8700. I also have another mini that works the zoom controls on the back of the camera.

    Remember, this is a SURFACE application.

    I hope the image comes through...if not I'll try again.



  14. WOW.

    Great informations guys!

    I have my homework assignment, thanks.

    The enclosure on my pan/tilt has limited space in which to hold a battery pack.

    It holds a 9.6V pack perfectly, but the video Tx signal is unstable when the servos are working. When I switch to 12V, the noise goes away, but a 12V battery pack won't fit in the enclosure.

    I need to do some life testing. I need to get 4 hours of operation for both the radio Rx and the Video Tx. The servos (2, 40 in./oz., and 2, mini) will only be used sporadically, but the video signal will be on all the time. I may need to go to an external battery for this kind of performance.

    I am using a battery grip on the camera, with 6, 2400mA "AA"', so this should be able to go the distance.

    Remember, I'm only running a .5 mA video Tx, so power consumption will be on the lower end of the scale. .......and with the servos sitting at idle for most of the time....?

    One thing seems for sure....the video Tx wants 12 volts, and nothing less....period.


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