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I am new to this 'wireless video' stuff and have a few general questions. I have searched through the forum and haven’t found any topics that address them directly but please forgive me if I overlooked them ...

Crash Worthiness

I used to work for a UAV (with video downlink) company and we crashed airplanes all the time. The electronics were almost always reusable even in the airframe was thrashed. I fly combat gliders (as well as other higher performance sailplanes) and have a project in mind. I think it would be fun to build an EPP A-10 and install a camera in the engine nacelle. This would be cool because I could capture our aircraft crashing into each other. I wonder, would the electronics survive ... I think so but what is your guys experience?

About cameras ...

I notice that people focus on a few of them all of which seem to be Panasonic. The CX161 is common and the CX171 seems to be a rarity. Black Widow sells KX121 and KX141 (if recollection serves) ... what should one be looking for in a camera? My guess is that any of these four will do me well ...

Transmitters...

Knowing that I intend only to fly slope gliders well within visual range I wonder what transmitter power will be required. I know this is a difficult question as it depends on many factors but generally is 200mw enough?

Package Deals ...

I am a fairly tech savvy person, and am quite sure I can put one of these systems together myself. However, I am a working man and don’t have all the time in the world to devote to this project. I have noticed that Black Widow sells everything I need to get the job done. I am thinking that I could get his brown bag kit with a 200mw tx and perhaps upgrade the camera (assuming that the kit comes with the KX121 and that the KX141 is better). Has anyone here purchased his brown bag kits and would you suggest just getting a completed package instead?

Batteries ...

Do you guys run these things on your rx battery packs? I know the voltage is about right, this is the approach I would use but I wonder if it is common to have a separate pack for the video.

Sorry for my long windedness ... thanks for the input ...

Chris

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Crash Worthiness

It is all up to how you mount it, the extent of the crash, and pure luck.

About cameras ...

Beyond resolution (which I don't think counts THAT much), the camera's color accuracy, behaviour in rapidly changing lighting conditions, dynamic range, etc., all matter. The best cameras have well tuned DSP circuitry that handles such things. Panasonic seems to have done a good job with their affordable DSP based cameras. I like the CX161 myself, but it is no longer produced.

Transmitters...

Personally, I think a quality made 200mW system is ideal. The ebay cheapies not included. An amateur radio license is required to operate these systems.

Package Deals ...

It's all a matter of choice. This is a DiY sort of web site, so I think you will find that many of us have staged together what we use. But, a package deal is fine if your pocketbook is up to it.

Batteries ...

Dedicated pack. Sharing the R/C battery is not advised, at least not by me.

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Beyond resolution (which I don't think counts THAT much), the camera's color accuracy, behaviour in rapidly changing lighting conditions, dynamic range, etc., all matter. The best cameras have well tuned DSP circuitry that handles such things. Panasonic seems to have done a good job with their affordable DSP based cameras. I like the CX161 myself, but it is no longer produced.

As a camera I really recommend the KX131, compared to KX121 and 141. Haven't used the other models, but they can't be found anymore anyway...

Definitely separate battery pack. You wouldn't want to raise the risk of problems ;)

I never killed any video equipment in a crash, even pretty serious ones. My KX131 even drank sea water twice ;)

Edited by Kilrah

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Hey there,

I'm kinda new to aerial video but I know a wee bit about electronics.

I'm thinking with the battery pack: Use a dedicated power pack, or if conditions don't allow it (eg. due to weight/volume/performance restrictions) use the motor's power-pack (if it has one). This is because if you take power from the Rx power supply, and run the battery pack down a bit, the Rx may fail due to not enough voltage / curent. Then you WILL need to worry about killing the plane in a crash, because you won't be able to control it! (I think in general, if you can control the aircraft, it won't crash much, unless you're like me and accidentally crash everywhere! lol)

I hope this helps...

Regards, Pyrotechnician.

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