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bsfixit

Wireless 2.4 Ghz camera, battery and solar cells

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Hi everyone. I am new here, my name is Brett. I live in Sarasota FL. I joined this forum when I ran across it, because I know everyone here can help me with my project. Its very similar to what you guys are doing and I hope to get an airplane and put a camera on it some time in the future or on my RC nitro car for remote piloting/driving type stuff.. I live just down the street from the Sarasota RC squadron flight field. Its a nice little runway with a private security gate, so members can go up anytime they want. I used to be heavy into RC cars both electric and gas. Now I want to built a pan and tilt camera for my rooftop, using a surveillance 4 channel 2.4 G wireless color camera. So I can see outside during a hurricane or during the almost daily thunderstorms we have here in the summer. I am not worried about the camera getting hit by lighting because my roof has a lightning protection system installed.

The wires camera receiver only says DLY ? and 2.4G I have 2 cameras with mics so I can use the other one for RC cars, airplane or doggy cam.

First I need to supply the camera with a larger battery for the rooftop weather cam. The built in battery inside the camera housing does not last very long. The camera is 5 volts. I found a large NI-MH 3000 mAh battery rated at 4.8 volts, that should do the trick. I also scrounged some solar panels from landscape lighting. one is 2 volts and the other is 4 volts. Wired in series the combined voltage in full sun is 6.68 volts. I think that is about right to charge the 4.8 v battery but I am afraid it is too high to safely run the camera. Do I need to build some kind of charging circuit? Will the battery buffer the voltage from the solar cells ? or do I need to resistor down the voltage to the camera? I have some background dabbing in electronics. I am a retired ASE master certified auto mechanic. My speciality was computer engine controls/ performance. I also am a computer repair tech. I took a computer science class at my local trade school after I was injured and could not work on cars anymore. I grew up always messing with electronics on a Radio Shack experiment bread board type toy. I also built a hand held lighting detector. I really hope you guys can help me with this project.

I have an old 2 channel RC transmitter from airtronics that I hope to salvage from a Futaba RC car. I want to use the servos for the pan tilt. I researched all last evening about making one of the airtronics servo # 94645 into a continuous servo. I was not able to find that number anywhere in google. I did remove the stop inside the Potentiometer. But wanted to get some opinions on whether I needed to put the Y resisters in place of the pot. Or not even bother and get a new RC transmitter, receiver and servos.

This is a very old RC set from a futaba RC car. It even has normal sized PNP or NPN type transistors on it. Or I also can use some cheap RC toys to make the pan tilt. or in the very least just the pan.

Does anyone think I can use that servo to make a continuous servo. Or should I get a newer RC set with a S 148 type servo or another popular servo that is easily modified by the methods I found on google. I have not powered the set up but it worked the last time I used it many years ago. If a new electronics are needed can someone point me to a decent but reasonably prices transmitter for this project. I believe the camera is light enough for the servo or an airplane weighing in at 1.3 ounces or 38 grams without the case. A transmitter/receiver plus servos, that I could also use for an airplane kit in the future. I would just buy an extra receiver and servos so I can use the same transmitter for both applications. I am also interested in learning some projects listed in the forum like boosting the transmission power of the camera. can it be as simple as making a longer antenna for the camera?

Thanks in advance. I am looking forward to getting started right away.

Brett

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UPDATE: so far I found that I need a diode in line with the battery on the positive side. I was able to salvage one from a solar landscape light. now I am charging the battery.

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Will the battery buffer the voltage from the solar cells ? or do I need to resistor down the voltage to the camera?

Your main concern will be to limit the 3000mAH NiMH's charge current. C/10 currents (300mA) are typical for 14-16 hour slow charging. Once charged, you can continue applying a C/50 float current to maintain the charge. If your system will constantly be drawing current from the battery then the "charge" currents will need to account for that.

I did remove the stop inside the Potentiometer. But wanted to get some opinions on whether I needed to put the Y resisters in place of the pot.

For continuous rotation, the basic requirement is that you disable the feedback pot from the gear train and then center the pot so that the motor does not run when the Tx sticks are centered. A common problem with this hack is that temperature or voltage variations can cause the motor to start moving on its own, which requires periodic Tx stick trim adjustments to stop the unwanted movement.

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Thank you .. so you are saying I would need to make a battery tender like circuit and DC voltage regulator. using larger solar cells so amp are higher, the battery tender circuit would charge at a faster rate (amperage) then switch to a a float charge to keep the battery charged. When the battery drops below 80% of full then the amps would go back to the higher amp charge. I wonder if a gel or deep cycle battery would work better than Ni- MH type battery.

I wonder if this camera has its own control circuit. built in . the batter inside the case is 3.7 volts and the charger is 5 volts. Plus it doesn't overcharge the battery if used with AC adaptor permanently. The battery is used for electricity grid power loss.

Thanks again...

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Once you get past the Solar Cells, this is just like any other NiMH recharge application. I suspect Google would help find some practical examples.

If your existing battery is 3.7V then it is lithium chemistry. These require different charging methods than a NiMH. Your charge circuit must be specifically designed to handle the battery chemistry you choose.

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I am going to try to use the stock camera for the rooftop weather cam. I am having issues with my new TX 2400-200 transmitter I just got. It does not seem to be compatible with my off brand color camera. but I have a stock one that puts out 8 mw..... after checking on different battery tender circuits for sale (such as battery tender) I decided to switch and use a

SLA 12 v battery, instead of the NI-MH batter, make a DC-DC voltage regulator to drop the voltage to the camera as long as I have the proper voltage for the pan servo and receiver (and maybe tilt)

the wireless camera has its own voltage regulator for the LI Ion battery pack. the whole thing would use a 12 solar panel and the sealed lead acid battery.

I now want to do both projects .. rooftop weather cam and RC-CAM to mount on an airplane. (those videos are just too cool)

But like I said I am having issues with the off brand camera I wanted to use with the RV 2400-200 TX.. My camcorder transmits through it beautifully so I know its not the TX or the RX anyone know of a good camera which is compatible for that TX?

I am looking at the KX-171. from Range Video.. unless someone has a spare they want to sell that will work with my 2400-200 TX. No Rush I am looking into getting my Tech class license for the 200 mw TX.

thanks for the help Mr. RC-Cam !!

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has anyone ever took apart a sony handy cam to use as a camera source for a RC cam project? or would they be too heavy/ technically difficult to use with a RV 2400-200 TX.

reason I ask is I know someone who is giving away an old sony camcorder for parts.. Are those types of Sony CCD anything like the KX-171 that are commonly used on RC plans.

Or are they a completely different beast..

TIA

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Common camcorders, especially the ones using mechanical storage (tape, discs,..) are hugely complicated beasts. They work great in one piece, but stripping them down is everything but easy.

If the camera works and you can do with the size you can connect it directly to a TX though.

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Common camcorders, especially the ones using mechanical storage (tape, discs,..) are hugely complicated beasts. They work great in one piece, but stripping them down is everything but easy.

If the camera works and you can do with the size you can connect it directly to a TX though.

Update: well I was able to make that airtronics servo into a pan camera mount..I had to find a wider range POT to use instead of the one built into the servo. I guess I am working on 3 projects at once.. the pan camera for the roof.

the TX RX video setup for my nitro car.. maybe airplane in the future.

and the reason I asked about the camcorder is 1) the camera inside. 2) using the LCD as a portable monitor. maybe even mounting them in a HMD type deal

I just not finding alot of info for small LCD screens like viewfinder LCD and connecting RCA video input to them. I think a graphics card is needed.

I did find a black and white HMD RC car toy ... that can be hacked.. and I also found a 89 dollar color HMD set but they are not in stock..

still searching..

I found this.. http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2004/07/07/psone_lcd/1

and I have an old sony portable TV with a 2 inch screen .. surely there is a way to put RCA inputs on to that mini TV

Edited by bsfixit

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I have turned my attention to the RX TX project with the DX201 camera in the mail. I read MR RC CAM projects 1-4 were he uses the NME0512S and the PT5041N DC DC converters in different projects. my TX runs on 6-9 volts with an inline Vreg built in to the RCA cables to output 5 volts to the TX. My camera runs on 12 volts. so which IC and battery pack combo does everyone think I should use?

note RV website says the tx2400-200 runs on 12v with regulator. but the paperwork sent with the TX states voltages greater than 10v will burn things up .

Thanks

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I think I found part of my original problem. maybe.. my 4 channel RX on channel one is 2.414ghz my new TX is fixed on channel one. 2.410 GHz.. I guess I am going to have to buy an 8 channel RX to properly pick up that 2.410 frequency properly if I ever put it on a plane.

It seemed to transmit fine with the camcorder. probably because of the 200 mw power it was putting out just across the room . I never tried distance.

any way to modify my 4 channel RX to receive on channel 1 2.414 ghz to 2.410? I have another RX I can try it on before attempting it on my other RX Otherwise like I said I will buy an 8 channel RX to match the frequency exactly.. channel 3 of the RX

TIA

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Usually transmitters should be used with the matching receiver from the same manufacturer. Otherwise, problems such as this one, or less obvious ones like incorrect video levels can appear. Mixing brands sometimes works, but it's a lottery. Frequencies can't be changed easily.

Regarding the power question, what I'd do is use a 3s lipo that powers the camera directly, and the TX through a 5V regulator that is capable of handling the required power dissipation (without the supplied cable).

Another solution is to use the supplied cable and to put a 8V regulator between the battery and original cable. That way the power dissipation gets split agross the suppled reg and the external 8V one.

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