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Phil_Turner_UK

1st Venture into Heli / Aero FPV

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Hi Guys,

Long time lurker - 1st time poster!!

Having been inspired by what you guys are doing (some of the video footage is awsome!) - I decided to have a play with FPV alongside my normal Heli (Primary) and Plane flying activities.

As the goal will ultimately be Helicopter platform - I decided on something modular that I could easily swap between an Aircraft platform (for genearlly learning and getting a feel of FPV flying) and Helicopter.

These are my initial attempts (have flown both heli (Logo 10) and Twinstar) - the Heli is scary!!. Sorry for stealing some of the published ideas (especially the Cap) and having made a start, there's already a long list of improvements I am thinking about - there's always lots of new ideas posted in the Forums!!.

Hopefully will publish more details as the Project develops!!

Sorry for the low res pictures - I need to work out how to attach multiple files or something!!

Regards

Phil T

post-8-1191147588_thumb.jpg

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Hi Phil, nice to have you with us.

Please share more info with us, what is the camera you have, what TX are you using ?

Terry

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I love very much the idea of integrating the goggle in a cap, it's a lot more convenient.

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Terry,

Camera is a KPC650 Hi Res CCD, Tx/Rx is a Standard 2.4GHz, 8 Channel setup from Black Widow AV (excellent service from the US to UK!).

I have to say the quality of picture is excellent - only let down by a very sensitive AGC. That said, I quickly realised that the camera needed to point down much lower both to get a better ground perspective and not be so sensitive / reactive to bright skys (which is never a long lasting problem here in the UK anyway!) - so generally happy with it at the moment.

With hindsight, having a matched 5v Tx and Camera may have been easier - from the photo you can see two seprate batterys (the Camera is 12v!). Since the picture was taken - I have replaced the 4.8v Battery with a 5V Linear Regulator - but very wasteful and gets really hot. I have ordered a couple of DC-DC Convertors (DE-SWO 50) from Dimension Engineering so that should work out better.

Vrflyer - I have watched in awe some of the stuff you've done - respect for taking this element of the hobby so far!!

However, a slight confession - the picture is an 'illusion' - the goggles aren't permanantly attached. I do intend to fix them permanantly - just haven't figured out yet the best way to incorporate a better masking system. The issue of getting a better light seal is made worse by wearing glasses anyway - but I'm working on it.

Regards

Phil T

(Remember - it's all about the Journey!)

post-8-1191182938_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for the info Phil, I see your using standard aerials on both the TX and the RX. What range are you getting and what TX power are you using ?

Terry

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I wear specs, and have found a pretty good solution for the Rvision specs.

I've used a small amount of blackout material (in reality a flexible, white cloth I was surprised to find!) that can be stapled to the rubber light shield - prevents light coming from the 4 main problem areas (if you wear specs) - above, up next to the nose, and back towards the ears (which the arms of the specs otherwise keeps open). I'll post some pictures if you're interested.

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Terry,

range very limited to current flying field boundary so no meanigful max range data has been tested yet. However, I do intend to fit a Dragan OSD and will need to find the range limits of both radio and video Tx etc (and a more suitable location).

I'll claim the 5th Amd't on the Power rating!!

Doofer - thanks for the offer - I would appreciate seeing what you've done.

My current thinking has been around a pair of swim goggles (which make a 'perfect' seal?) - if you could cut off the rubber that makes contact with the face (say 10 - 15mm deep) and then glue to current goggles??

Regards

Phil T

Pic1.tiff

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I'll claim the 5th Amd't on the Power rating!!

No problem, I don't work for ofcom :lol: Was just curious how far you get with those aerials :blink:

It would be nice to see some video from your camera too ;)

Terry

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Terry,

would love to show some video - but thats my current problem child!.

I bought a JVC DC purely to capture the video. However, when connected to Rx, video picture is un-viewable (looks like some kind of sync? problem).

Video Goggles and a small Casio LCD TV work fine but Camcorder is a no-no. If I plug the CCD Camera directly in the JVC AV In - it works fine with excellent quality. I need to borrow another DC to prove the theory ( I did see a post I think from Daniel Wee where he had used a Sony because his 'Other' one didn't work - some DC's may be more suitable than others??

With regards Range - just had a thought - with my new Cap design - it will be hard(er) to incorporate a patch type antenna if required to get the range I will ultimately aspire to!

Picture of Camera Module attached to TwinStar for interest - it looks a bit unwieldy but I can swap between Heli / Aero in a few minutes.

Phil T

post-8-1191332191_thumb.jpg

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Video Goggles and a small Casio LCD TV work fine but Camcorder is a no-no. If I plug the CCD Camera directly in the JVC AV In - it works fine with excellent quality.

That's usually a badly adjusted video level on the RX. Some devices can cope with it, others no. Apparently the camcorder doesn't.

Edited by Kilrah

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Re. light sealing - I've found that plastic/rubber seals a) get pushed away from the face by the glasses arms, and B) get very sweaty!

Left Photo is from above, Right from below. Sorry about the 'oil painting' effect - my camera phone is not the best...

A single piece of thin, flexible, white (doesn't get as hot as black!) blackout cloth, cut in a sort of U shape with tails each side, stapled to the rubber eyeshield, tucked between the frame & the rubber eyeshield. Okay, a bit of electrical tape has been added in the field to keep the ends down at the front, and also very helpfully keeps the rubber eyeshield on the goggles.

Push glasses up nose, place goggles on. Seal light from your ears (glasses wearers will know what I mean!) by pulling the cloth back towards ears. Seal light from you nostril area by just tucking the cloth ends into any gaps there. Seal light from your brow by pulling the goggles back onto your face. I also trail the video & tracker cables behind each ear, which stops them pulling the goggles down off your face and gives a little force keeping them back on your face.

I find this is nice and adjustable, not claustrophobic, keeps in place in flight even on the windiest slope, and gives me something approximating complete darkness - making the image nice & bright, even on a sunny field or slope.

If there is enough interest, I guess I could take the cloth off and record the pattern, but to be honest I'd suggest getting a sheet of cloth & spending 30 minutes with some scissors snipping it to shape!

Caveat - if you whip this off in a hurry, there's a risk your glasses will go too! A little retaining band for the end of my glasses' arms is next on my ToDo list...

post-8-1191348054_thumb.jpg

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Phil,

It appears that some video devices do not have terminated inputs/outputs (75Ohm). My combination of video receiver and DVD recorder suffers from this with the net result being un-useable recordings. I found this out first time I used it in anger doing air to air with a fantastic 30% DH2 and I was not pleased! So I terminated the input with a resistor which made a big difference but actually the best solution was a potential divider between input and output and then set the video level into the recorder to 1v using a scope.

Alan B

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Guys,

thanks for the info - I will follow up on the video adjustment.

In the meanwhile, magaged to borrow a second Camcorder which leads me to another question:-

Is the wiring for AV equipments (Jack Plugs / Skts etc 'Standard' - i.e. because I've hard wired the jackplug (supplied with the Black Widow AV Rx) to the goggles, would any other Jack to RCA type adaptor be ok? - I don't want to kill the borrowed DC or the Rx !!

Phil T

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Pinouts can differ across manufacturer. But in case it's wrong it won't break anything, it just won't work.

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Kilrah,

after a bit of bodging (I found a good assortement of Jacks / RCA leads that I could measure / compare) I managed to hook-up an Hitachi DC - same result!.

I will follow up on the resistor bridge method - Alan, can you remenber the values used??

Phil T

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Phil, can you measure the resistance of the input with an ohm meter ?

Terry

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Terry,

tried to measure with a digital meter which was junk.

However, did a bit of bodging with a couple of fixed and variable resistors and there is a marked improvement - not perfect - now looks more like interference that Sync. There was a marked transition from unviewable to black / white to normal to white as the Pot ran out of travel.

So I guess there's mileage in it - its about selecting the right value to match the I/P impedance?

I have a video of before / after but don't know how to upload it - do I need some privileges from the Forum Admin??

Phil T

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I came across this video splitter from RC-Tech - which is perfect because I would ideally want to caputer and view at same time.

However, because this has seperate video level 'Adjustment' - would it alleviate the problems (by being able to adjust Video Level as Kilrah suggested previously) I am having with DC?

Any thoughts?

Phil T

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For best results the video level should be adjusted on the TX/RX first (there are adjustment potentiometers in most current ones). The splitter has a small adjustment range that might not suffice.

It would however eliminate coupling problems in case an unwanted bias was present in the signal.

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I will drop a note to the guys at Black Widow to ask if there is documented 'procedure' etc that explains what to do and what effect there is on warranty!

By the way - I did try with a friends Panasonic DC at the field - absolutely perfect - I guess I was just unlucky in aribitarily choosing the JVC DC at the time!!

Regards

Phil T

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Hi Phil

i have exactly the same camera as you, what lense have you got on it?

I have the same plane too, converted to brushless, i was going to mount my camera in the cockpit but didn't want to cut it up without knowing where to get another from..

Im just getting the bits together to fly FPV too. Cant wait!

Edited by Alan Jenkin

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Hi Alan - Welcome to the RC-Cam Forum.

I bought the Camera from Black Widow in the US and its supplied with a 70 Deg Lens as Standard. As its my 1st venture and not knowing anything different - it seems just about right - nice sense of 'situational awareness'.

The camera output is excellent - may only note of caution is because it is so sensitive (works fanastic even at dusk and beyond!) - if you angle it to high the brightness compensation means the ground can become dark as the plane pitches. As soon as you point the nose down - ground becomes beautifully clear again so - I experimented angleing the camera down until I got it about right - this was probably 60:40 (Ground / Sky) in straight / level or even a bit more downward may be better.

Unfortunately a couple of weeks ago I had a bad experience with the TS - at launch, the Port engine died and my best attempts to get it down resulted in a cartwheel. Surprisingly, the plane was not damaged at all and even more surprising - camera and Tx untouched!

However - I lost confidence in it (single engine performance wasn't good), duration was not the best and connecting the Wing (Motors / Servos) was a bit messy so I've just completed an UnoWot (Chris Foss Kit) which is awsome.

I learned to fly on an Uno so knew how stable it was but this latest version is electric and following maiden flights at the weekend I'm more than happy - 15Mins comfortable - LOTS of power if required and oh so smooth.

I'll post some pictures when I get the chance and show the Camera / Tx layout (on the Wing!!), I've just ordered the Dragon OSD so wanted to maximise space inside and leave space on the rear turtle deck for the GPS etc.

As the TS is now pretty redundant (at least as an FPV Platform) - I'm happy to send you the modified Canopy and mounting bracket which will bolt straight on as your using the same camera (see pictures earlier in post) and if I ever decide to fly it again for fun flying - you could send me the original canopy??.

Let me know.

Regards

Phil T

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Hi Phil, ive already cut my canopy and glued on some wood as a base for the camera & mount to mount to, sorry to hear bout your crash, is yours still stock? Mine is brushless with a 4200mah lipo, ive run it for 20 mins + with lots of life left and brought it back down to watch my nephew learn to fly.

How did your twinstar cope with the extra weight? I've shed a lot of weight doing the brushless conversion so hopefully it will be ok, i'd like to add a pan servo too.

Im going to change the plugs for the motors and servos for a 6 pin plug, mines a bit messy too.

One question, my camera came with an auto iris 3.5 - 8mm f1.4 lense, would that help with light contrasts? can i alter the FOV to the same degree you have on yours?

Edited by Alan Jenkin

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