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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.

RC-CAM.com (main site and forum) will be closing down August 2021. This is being announced now (March 2021) so that everyone has time to download any information that is important to them. After the site is shutdown the information will no longer be available here.

We appreciate every member's involvement with advancing the FPV hobby. It is indeed sad to say goodbye to all our online friends. Be safe and stay healthy.


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Everything posted by tkilloren

  1. I should have done my homewrok first. I found the highly acclaimed PT5041 mentioned on several of the cam project pages. Thanks.
  2. Keith, The darkened house scene from "Silence of the Lambs" comes to mind when I look at your goggles This is why we save all our broken toys. The greater your junk pile, the more creative you will become. There's nothing more fun than bringing an idea to life from a pile of junk. Good job! Tom
  3. It has occurred to me (duh) that since I'm going from a 6V battery, and converting to 12V to power the video Tx, that my radio (servos) will be getting their power directly from the battery, not from the ceoverter, so the servo draw becomes a non-issue. So, back to my original query.....can anyone offer a source (vendor) for the 6 to 12 converter? Tom
  4. This Traco converter was recommended by one of the KAP (Kite Aerial Photography) guys to power both radio Rx and video Tx. It is only rated at 250mA, however. Believe me, I'm not challenging the Gods on this, but I seem to remember reading that a 40 in/oz. servo will draw 40 to 60 mA while working (no load), and around 10 mA at idle. Did I misread this? There are step-down and step-up converters. They both have around the same efficiency ratings (72 to 82%, typically). Assuming you start with the same battery power in either case.....say 1500mA battery, will the battery last equally
  5. I would suggest www.stevesdigicams.com Here you can review many different cameras, sorted by resolution. One of the most comprehensive sites for digital camera info. www.dpreview.com is also very good. Tom
  6. Anybody know where I can buy (on-line) a Traco TEN-3-0512 converter, or the equivalent? I have not been able to find a distributor. This is a 6V to 12V module. Are there any issues with running my 75Mhz Rx on 6V? I have read that it may impact servo life. Anything else? Thanks! Tom
  7. Yeah, I meant to add "I think" after that ".....and all Part 15 legal" bit. Details, details.....we'll worry about that later. For now, we'll be content to look at the pretty pictures on the monitor....they been a long time comin'. Tom
  8. Well, all is not lost after all. That little quarter wave ground plane "spider" antenna was just what the doctor ordered. The impovement in picture quality was immediate....as soon as I powered up (in the house) the difference in video image quality was very noticable. I haven't completed line of sight range testing, but I can say that I was getting a decent (unstable but useable) image across 600' through dense woods, buildings, fences, and up and down terrain. This was using the 12dB patch on the Rx and the quarter wave GP on the Tx. I was able to get 600 feet LOS (that's as far away
  9. Thanks guys. The news is not encouraging for my Part 15 application. As I said I will post some photos on a hosting site. If nothing else, I think you'll get a kick out of my rig. My P/T aluminum components are currently out for black anodizing, so it will be a week or so before I get it all back together again. BTW, remember the noise issue with the BEC? Well I received and installed the Kool BEC and there was no improvement. Mr. RC-CAM suggested that the noise could be coming from a variety of sources, including the battery pack. Well, guess what? I swapped out the battery pack with a
  10. Thanks. As always your input is invaluable. Unfortunately, with the consumer oriented products, very few of the resellers offer the power ratings of these devices, so it is very difficult to shop for the highest performance systems. They all say "long range". Two questions: Will using an amplifier on the Rx void the FCC compliance? I checked out the Down East Microwave site that you mentioned. They seem to have a vast selection of amplifiers, with several that look like good candidates for this 2.4 system. Any thoughts or recommendations? And finally, these guys (see link) admit
  11. I have not been able to find anything about the transmitted power of this unit. Maybe someone is familiar with this particular model as they are quite popular. http://www.protectiondepot.com/cv991.asp I'm getting about 400' right out of the box. I bought (from Supercircuits.com) the MVR-8 High Gain Rceiver with 12dB circular patch antenna, which as I said earlier did not improve performance at all. This receiver looks virtually identical to the one that came with the CV991 system, with the exception of a few different components on the pcb....it is advertised as a "hot" receiver. The a
  12. Yes, Terry, a power meter to measure signal strength would be a huge help. I will poke around on ebay and see if I can find something. When you're working from a knowledge base of zero, as I am, it is certainly tempting to just add more power, indeed. I am beginning to think that my vision of building a reliable surface system with a range of 1000' may not be possible within the Part 15 constraints......but I'm gonna keep pluggin' away at it....for a bit longer, anyway. I'll keep you posted if I should stumble on anything interesting. As always, thanks for all the comments, Tom
  13. Yes, I've got the message loud and clear, from the many posts, that coax is verbotten. I currently have about 8" of coax between the Rx and the patch antenna. I will get rid of it and report back. I will do some more research on the alumina as a dielctric. My military customers always specify the highest purity alumina (99.6%) available, with the best possible surface fininish for their devices (usually around 40Ghz). Metal thicknesses (gold) is also critical to performance......typically 3um (micrometers). Substrate thickness is also critical (+-.0005") Thanks, Tom
  14. I am trying to get the most distance while staying Part 15 compliant. My application for surface use, so "line of sight" is really not in play here. I bought a commercially available high gain (8db as advertised, about 8.5" square) antenna for my receiver, hoping that this would boost my range. Remember that Part 15 Tx is putting out well under 10mW. This patch antenna actually resulted in less range than the PCB (on board patch) antenna. I have been reading the various threads on this forum to try to get smarter. Someone (Terry, I think) mentioned that the larger patch antennas won't impr
  15. I'll play with it for a while and see if I can figure it out. I think I'll go ahead and get one of the Kool Bec units and give it a try. In the meantime I'll use the two battery approach. Since it a surface use system, weight is not a concern. Thanks for your help! Tom
  16. I agree that the noise is probably conducted, not radiated, as the video signal is rock steady with the SBEC as the power source. The noise only occurs when the servos are actually in motion. It goes away as soon as the servos settle back to idle. No noise at all with a separate battery (SBEC disconnected). I tried attaching a ground wire from the video board to the aluminum chassis of the P/T.....no improvement. Being somewhat electronically challenged, I was hoping for a simple fix. Where would you recommend placing the ferrite donuts? I appreciate all the responses! Thanks,
  17. I just checked the Kool Bec site, and indeed, they advertise "Absolutely no noise" . They go on to say, "Most importantly, any "noise" that radiates from the UBEC is not relevant to the bands within our radio systems." I'm using a 2.4Mhz Tx (Part 15 compliant). Obviously, this is not a "relevant band" as referred to above. Is the 2.4Mhz band more susceptible to noise from a device such as a BEC? Tom
  18. I am using the SBEC voltage converter from FirmTronics to step down from 12V to 5 volts on my pan/tilt/video Tx rig. The noise from the SBEC totally scrambles the video signal whenever I toggle the servos. No noise when servos are idling. I have tried repositioning the SBEC without any improvement. I have not tried the ferrite ring trick as yet. When I switch to a separate 4.8V battery there is no noise, so I'm certain that the SBEC is the culprit. I really want to use just one battery on the P/T. Any suggestions? Thanks! Tom
  19. "We simply have the same frequency crystal in both receivers. If that's what you wanted to know." Tom replies, Uhhhm, no. I want to control two (or more) pan-tilt units, independently, from the same Tx, and using the same sticks for actual control. The idea would be to build a custom handset that has multiple xtal sockets. The sockets would be addressable (flip a switch). The Rx in each pan-tilt would have corresponding xtals. This is for surface use, so one channel might be 60, and the other 61, for example. I might have a digital camera one one and a film camera on the other....or a s
  20. Thanks once again! I can't believe how much I've learned in just a few days since I discovered this site. As they say about the pro golfers..."You guys are GOOD!" Your PanCam sounds like just the medicine that my pan-tilt needs. Those floppy sticks are a pain. I can't wait to get started. I bought a programmer (like those mentioned by some of your users) and a lot of 6 chips...all for under $20 on ebay. Tom
  21. I can't stop thinking about this licensing thing. I just spent a few minutes purusing the X10.com site.....arguably the largest retailer of home security systems in this country, and the most frequently used cameras for projects on "our" site, yet NOWHERE on that site (X10) is there any mention that a license is required to operate their cameras! Even a quick scan of a few hundred messages on their forum.....nothing about licensing. How can this be? The FCC MUST be looking the other way on this issue. Otherwise they would require retailers to ask their customers to show proof of a valid HAM
  22. I have a surface application where I would like to take the guts out of a Hitec Laser 6 radio Tx and install them in my own custom case. Is this legal? I also would like to control multiple pan-tilts (surface use) from a single transmitter, but I understand that switching xtals on a factory model R/C Tx is verboten by the FCC in the US, but legal in most other countries. Is this true? I don't understand why it would be illegal, but then I'm relatively new to all of this. The information that is available on RC-cam is amazing. I did see something about controlling multiple cameras on an
  23. I'm sure this question has come up a million times, but please indulge me if you will. As a newbie, I was totally unaware that a ham license is required to operate the now ubiquitous plethora of CCTV gadgets operating on the 1.2 and 2.4 Ghz frequencies. Can someone offer a summary of the license requirements, such as what level license is needed, exam required, power restrictions, etc. I have followed some of the links to try to get these answers, but deciphering the FCC rules.....well, they are not exactly simple to follow. Very few of the security equipment sites make any mention of
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