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Klarich Electronics/BlackWidow Diversity Receiver

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So here it is mid 2006 and as far as one can tell from the web the diversity units are still not available. Can anyone complete the story? :(

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Boris, Matt Klarich of Klarich Electronics.

This post is actually pretty old. The backstory is this. I starting selling the diversity receivers almost 2 years ago. I designed and hand-built the units, I then sold them to Bill Strong of BlackWidow A/V out in Colorado. He then resold the units.

I ran into a issue which required my attention elsewhere so I couldn't fill the orders. Bill had a friend of his out in Colorado copy my design with a few modications. They made it so that it was mass-producable using contract manufacturers and began selling their unit a little less then a year ago.

Now Bill has run into an issue at home that requires his attention. I don't know the status other then that. I have been working on a new design that is amazingly flexible and should have it to market in a couple months. It depends on the demand for the unit, I have a lot of projects and I have to decide where to concentrate my efforts.

I'll try to keep people a little more up to date. Have a good one and happy flying!!

Matthew Klarich

Owner

Klarich Electronics

m1klarich at klarichelectronics.com

Edited by mklarich

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Matt,

Thanks for the update. It certainly helps me understand the situation.

I hope your new design goes well and demand justifies your time and attention.

I'll keep my eye out for news in a "couple of months"! ;)

Cheers

B.

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Ok, now something more theoretical / philosophical.

Matt, you mentioned your new unit will be "amazingly flexible".

As to flexibility, I had been wondering to myself why "diversity receiver" and not a "diversity switch".

I think I have answered the question, but before I do, think about the advantages (flexibility) of a switch.

You could do it the Cyberflyer way and include frequency diversity - say one tx at 900m and one at 2.4g.

Surely this would reduce the chance of simultaneous multi path interference?

You could daisy chain them to use 4 or 8 antennae.

You could do both and have both frequency and space diversity

tx1 tx2

/ \ / \

/ \ / \

rx1 rx2 rx3 rx4

\ / \ /

sw1 sw2

\ /

\ /

\ /

sw3

|

V

Perfect video out! :-)

You can use existing tx, rx and antenna equipment.

Well, back to my explanation of why it isn't usually done this way - we have "diversity receiver" and not a "diversity switch". The switch isn't smart enough to rate the video signal by itself. It "asks" the receiver (via the rssi / agc output) and so has to be hard wired to the receiver.

So what I am really saying is that a smart switch that can rate the baseband video signal and switch to the better / best signal (during a blanking period is a much better way to go. It is just harder to work out how to make the switch smart enough. :-)

Another thing I have been wondering is whether it is much more difficult to switch at horizontal blanking frequency than at vertical blanking frequency. Seems to me the principal would be the same - just faster. Does anyone have any ideas on whether the improvement would be significant? I have seen specs on some expensive professional units that indicate they do it this way.

Lastly, check out this for an amazing (and expensive) 16 way antenna / diversity system! It is made by AvalonRF.

ta16.jpg

Hope this post is undertandable and sparks some interest!

Cheers :)

B.

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Sorry my ascii diagram was mucked up in the last post....

It was supposed to look more like this

...tx1.......tx2

.../.\......./.\

../...\...../...\

.rx1.rx2..rx3.rx4

..\.../.....\.../

...sw1....sw2

....\........../

....\......../

.....\....../

.......sw3

........|

.......V

.Perfect.video.out!.:-)|

Cheers

B.

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Boris, I knew what you meant. You read my mind as to what "amazingly flexible" is... Multiple bands, 900 & 2.4.

Shhhh, don't tell anyone.

Matt Klarich

Edited by mklarich

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Hi Matt,

Thanks for stepping in on my behalf, I have been out of touch for far too long. I am still quite busy, but trying to catch up on work!

To that end I'm pleased to announce the general availability of the new Black Widow AV diversity receiver.

A couple of comments worth making:

1) The new diversity receiver is not a copy of the old design. Fundimentally they perform the same work of course... switching between two video/audio streams, but the comparison really stops there. Proprietary hardware and software designs have allowed us to create a robust diversity receiver that will serve the aerial video community well.

2) The diversity receiver is now available. Follow the link below:

http://www.blackwidowav.com/Diversity24.html

3) I owe a great deal of the credit to my partners over at Iftron Technologies, who took on the task of designing the hardware and engaging the contract manufacturer to build the unit. Their experience in the electronics field is unparalleled and I simply could not have brought this unit to market without their help.

Thanks!

Bill

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Proprietary hardware and software designs have allowed us to create a robust diversity receiver that will serve the aerial video community well.

Hi Bill,

You got my attention here. Is there a specification you are willing to disclose that shows that your new receiver is better than the previous one?

Does it fix multipath problem? What is the improvement over the previous version as measured by the dropped frames in a typical flight environment. I've recommended your diversity receiver to few people in the past - I wonder if they should upgrade.

Does your new receiver allow frequency diversity - switching between different downlink frequency bands?

Do you know if there is a way to retune the RX frequencies?

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Hi Val,

I appreciate any and all referrals.

Regarding your questions:

"Is there a specification you are willing to disclose that shows that your new receiver is better than the previous one? "

The improvements over Matt's design were mainly for manufacturability and durability... Some of these design improvements actually turned out to be novel enough to patent, and these have been applied for. I can't talk about them unfortunately until AFTER the patents are approved.

Our unit gives similar performance to Matt's design in terms of resistance to multipath resistance, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend replacing an old unit for that reason. There are a number of things about the new unit that make it more convenient to use however. First, the form factor is more compact and clean. Second, the unit offers an audio indicator when the unit switches between RF sections. Third, lights on the front of the unit indicate which RF section/antenna the unit is on. Fourth, channel switching is less finicky... it is managed from a single bank of switches on the back of the unit that insure both RF sections are on the same channel.

Finally since it is in volume production it's availability is more secure... so if anyone wants to be in a place to quickly get additional diversity recievers and their installation requires a consistent form factor, then upgrading to the new unit might be a good idea.

"Does your new receiver allow frequency diversity - switching between different downlink frequency bands?"

Currently the two RF sections are locked to the same frequency, but the idea of frequency diversity is intriguing... do you see any particular benefit over allowing frequency diversity within the same band (ie, multiple channels in the 2.4ghz range) versus across bands (2.4ghz and 900mhz for example)?

Regards,

Bill

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Thanks Bill,

I knew you'd reply at some point ;)

Planes seemed to be ok with the single channel downlink but I think that frequency diversity is important for helicopters. Also having redundant link saved my heli at least once when power connector to one of the TX's got loose ...

Using different channels within 2.4 GHz band is sufficient unless you expect lots of interference from outside sources.

Regards,

Val.

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Does anyone know of anyone selling the 'old' style diversity Rx that Bill/Matt sold? I know it was replaced by the YellowJacket manufactured by Iftron, but I already have one of the old ones and want to do a 4-way diversity system. I like things to match. :)

-dave

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Does anyone know of anyone selling the 'old' style diversity Rx that Bill/Matt sold? I know it was replaced by the YellowJacket manufactured by Iftron, but I already have one of the old ones and want to do a 4-way diversity system. I like things to match. :)

-dave

Dave,

I've got one in mint condition that I'm not using. Let me know if you're interested.

Khalid

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