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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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Very good idea. This one won't be used for aerobatics, but just to have fun it will certainly be very nice.

I like having the prop in front of the camera as it's more realistic, but sometimes I would find nice to have a clean image with no part of the plane in the field.

cyber-flyer, I really loved that evening when I flew over the houses, going lower and lower. I've done 50 mins flight time, changing battery and taking off again at once when empty. 4 consecutive times. One of the best sessions. I've had quite a lot of "best" ones lately, that's why I'm so excited :)

And I believe you can afford to be that agressive around the houses and people because your plane is light and relatively inexpensive.

Amazingly I had always been afraid of having problems. But if looking behind I've never had any serious incident while flying FPV, and most of the little mishaps would have happened in conventional mode as well (like loosing the battery in flight... ;) ). So now I'm getting very confident, I have enough flight hours on that setup (around 15-20 I'd say) to know it well. That's where it's getting fun.

Very, very good solution to my problem with AMA here. AMA in US forbids FPV flying so I can't legally fly on a regular RC field. If one can demonstrate that people can learn to fly FPV with light electric planes - this may change the situation.

We are lucky not to have such regulations here. Our country is small and I bet we could count FPV pilots with one hand. So for now there's no issue.

Regarding people's opinions, the main -if not only- problem about R/C aircraft here is noise. Nearly every model flying club has to handle noise complaints. Maybe the negative side of a small country, not easy to find a place that is far away from everything ;)

But people are generally very interested, and will be very positive towards electric planes as they don't create any disturbances. If they even notice you :lol:

It could certainly be an advantage for you. Maybe they could change the laws so FPV allowed with a specific aircraft category.

I don't know about categories in the US, but here there are no regulations for anything under 500gr. I learned that recently, which changed my point of view quite radically. I've been thinking quite a lot for the past 2 years about making a telemetry system with autopilot,... which I pictured as a big device which would need a big frame to carry. Now I'm seriously considering either to do something simpler, or to find ways to do the same in a smaller way (might get help on that point, as it has interested one of my teachers).

My new image is a 498-gr small electric plane with loads of light electronics inside ;)

Your heli video definitely is good, no vibration!

Don't you fly planes anymore at all?

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I still fly planes but not FPV. My favorite now is Kulbutin Electro


which I slightly redesigned. I am running it with 5s2p Tanic packs and it reaches 80 Mph in forward flight and easily crosses 100 mph in a dive but can also glide for long time. My friend Raja flew it for 50 minutes on one battery charge.

I may convert it to FPV setup over the winter.

I think you have right idea about putting all the gadgets in one small package - I wish you luck.

I have tried EasyStar last year but found that the handling at low speed was not good. It lies on the top shelf waiting for better days :( .

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Oh OK. That is fast!!

Tried FPV once with a Multiplec Picojet, it's nice to have something that goes a bit faster! So it might be nice! And of course having so much battery time would be an advantage as well. My 12-minute flights are a little bit short if you want to go and see something relatively far away.

Had another aweome flight session yesterday, with very good visibility and stable conditions. Real fun again :D

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I envy good weather and scenic views you guys got over there. I was confined indoors for the last three weeks.:angry:

But speaking about small electronics package - I just finished coding 9600 bps receive modem which uses audio channel of Felsweb TX/RX pair for communication. I already had TX modem but I had to use laptop for decoding. Now I can use ATMega128 both on RX and TX sides and there are quite a few cycles to spare ;)

Edited by cyber-flyer
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My plan is to make the ground station system embedded or at most use PDA-like device. And yes, embedded overlay needs to be build, but it's a next winter project.

For this winter I want to transfer my tracking antenna algorithm onto ATMega128. If it continues to rain(or snow) like last 3 weeks, I'll have plenty of time to do it.

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Cool! I like solutions from which the PC is missing ;)

But unfortunately The PC often is faster to program... :(

I was also thinking about an embedded ground station with graphic LCD, that would display all data and generate a configurable overlay.

Are you using standard servos for your tracking antenna?

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" envy good weather and scenic views you guys got over there. I was confined indoors for the last three weeks "

Hi cyber

Exactly the same for me, indoor for three weeks. We are under the same clouds :)

I realize that Boston is not far from Montreal, perhaps 4-5 hours. Next summer I intend to go to USA, somewhere not too far from Montreal, I want to see an r/c events. I want to see something big. Perhaps I will meet you there ?

I received my HRV I-glasses. I buy them from E-bay at $299. I'm surprise by the poor quality of the picture. They suppose to be superior from my old I-glasses, but they don't. Only resolution is better, but contrast, brightness, color, tint are not good as the oldest model. Even the picture is smaller. Old I-glasses also have brighter light inside the unit, so they are better for outside use. Very disappointing, I was expecting so much more :(

About the Easystar, many peoples add ailerons because of the lack of control. The planes want to stay level, even too much, it hard too turn. Whit ailerons an better motorisation, I continue to think this plane could be very good for aerial videos. I hope I will be more lucky than with my headset.

Edited by Vrflyer
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A friend has just finished equipping a MovieStar, seems quite promising.

He has put the camera in the middle under the wing, so that he sees the propellers when looking to the side. He says it's very realistic. Hope to see that soon :)

Sorry for your i-glasses :(

I've never tried any of their models, but I think someone has told me that one model (was it theirs now?) had problems when dropouts occurred. As soon as the signal wasn't perfect he was having a black screen. That can be very annoying, as even if the image is very bad you normally still can recognise something...

Edited by Kilrah
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Sorry about the glasses and thanks for posting the info. Yes, Montreal is about 5 hours away from me. We have bunch of plank/heli events here in the summer. You are very welcome to come here. I'll make my best effort to meet you and bring other people interesed in FPV flying from the area. Let me know if you want to visit a particular event - they are usualy advertised on RunRyder, etc. I am more of heli flyer, so I usualy go to heli events but I like flying planes as well.

I bet you are right on ailerons with EasyStar - I had the same conclusion after flirst flight. Otherwise it will be a nice plane for FPV - I also like the fact that the wings are separate and easily removable, makes a compact package for transportation.

Kilrah, I agree with you on PC vs embedded. I am still in the learning process of embedded programming, it takes me lots of time to correct some silly mistakes. But the good feeling of satisfaction (once it is working) is also 10 times bigger.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh yeah!

Just did my first night FPV flight yesterday thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

That camera definitely is very sensitive, of course not as much as cyber-flyer's B/W one, but that's really sufficient if there's enough ground lighting.

I've carefully adjusted the goggles' brightness to ensure I would be able to see buildings.

Here is the video. You might need to adjust your monitor's brightness a bit :rolleyes:

Cyber-flyer, what model is your camera? Needing only the moonlight would really be amazing!!

Now I'm waiting for some snow (must be the first time I say this :blink: ) to check if I can see the ground better!

EDIT: Updated link.

Edited by Kilrah
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Cool video. What camera did you use? At some points on the video it looked like there is no easy way to see the horizon, did you use ground lights to guide you?

My black and white camera is by KT&C, KPC-350BH rated at 0.0003 Lux.

Here is my portable FPV setup based on Eolo helicopter:


Tracking antenna is still work in progress. So far I can only fly 0.3-0.4 miles away with the patch antennas.

Edited by cyber-flyer
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I've used that awesome KX131 like always :)

No, that's right, I had no horizon reference on the dark side. (!)

That didn't disturb me at all. Difficult to say if the angle with respect to ground lights help, or if it's just knowledge of the plane. I was using the last building which is the tallest (and the one I live in) as a reference as well. I could see the contour quite well.

Oh, that camera is quite big, a bit too much for me :blink:

But I've found this model which has the same sensitivity and would fit much better: http://cu1.com/ktckpcs20bhe.html

I've watched your moonflight video again, it really is amazing. You can see all the details on the ground!

That case is really neat. All-in-one. But I'm surprised by the range, what transmitter(s) are you using on this one? Is it due to the endless heli-related issues?

It would be a nice evening to fly again tonight, with the lights of the nearby rugby field on. But it's a bit too cold and time is short :(

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But I've found this model which has the same sensitivity and would fit much better: http://cu1.com/ktckpcs20bhe.html

Yes, looks like it is the same CCD sensor. But the lens is not fast enough, my guess is F2.0-F3.0. I had to use the big camera case to mount F1.2 lens on it. Yep, you can see the ground pretty well, but the image is very noisy - I felt I could really use another F-stop on the lense if I could find one. Flying gasser that night had the biggest pucker factor in my short flying career. I decided to stop night flying before I get/build helicopter auto-return pilot.

Then again, I can see the benefit of a small plane like yours flying at night - unlikely damage if you lost it and you can have fun any time of day.:) The camera that you found may work - you may be able to fly with less light with the plane.

Yeah, the range is not great with the helicopters. It's 500mW TX, but I am not getting nearly the range of the plane with the same power, not exactly sure why.

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Andre that was great!

Did you land while under the hood?

What are you using to pan the camera, it is so smooooth with no apparent steps.

(**edit**) Nevermind I finally read the rest of the posts on the thread and saw the comment about your PIC solution. Can you share some details on your algorithm?... not the detailed pulse width stuff, rather, do you have the circuit plugged into a channel that is controlled with a stick or a dial, do you have any auto-centering, etc.

One of your earlier videos with this setup show the plane banking while the camera stays pointed in exactly the same direction. It gives the distinct impression that you somehow managed to fly the plane straight while wiggling the nose to the left and right!

Nicely done :)


P.S. Cyber-flyer, I was reading some old posts on this thread and found your comment about me not shooting video because I'm too busy packing. Sadly it is the truth! Slowly the hobby is becoming a business, but so far it is still fun. I shot some nice video from a Parkzone Stryker which I need to edit and post. I don't have nearly as much cool music as Andre though :)

Edited by yb2normal
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Thanks :)

Yes sure, I do all my flights from takeoff to landing in FPV mode, at least with this plane. That's something else with the glider as I have to launch it, takeoff would be a bit more difficult ;) (Details on this one will come, only did the 1st real flight last sunday, video is on its way :D )

Haha there's no secret algorithm in there... the module just does double the pulse's offset around center to get 180° throw. Nothing else. If you want the code...

The real solution just is that the rudder stick will control the camera as well. Actually I've reduced the rudder throw a lot and it will barely move when I use the FPV flight condition on my TX. I change that for takeoff and landing in case I need to correct to land on the runway :lol: (And fix the servo to center, very important! I've got caught at the beginning, forgot to do that and when giving rudder to align correctly I couldn't see the track anymore ;) )

So that's just some feeling, moving the stick to keep the camera pointing in the same direction. Pretty natural in turns as it's nearly the same movement you would do with the rudder.

A few flight hours also help :)

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Very interesting!

Just so I understand:

1) You have switch on your tx to turn FPV mode on and off. When it is off, the camera fixes to the center straight forward, and increases the throw of your rudder.

2) When FPV mode is on the rudder throw is much reduced, and the camera servo swivels at the command of the rudder channel.

Since the rudder throw is so low, do you accumulate the values so that, when the rudder stick is released, the camera servo stays where it was last?

I guess I am describing a function similar to an old project of Mr. RC-CAM, I can't recall the name right now.

Great work, I am tempted to program up something similar. My Stryker does not have a rudder so I don't even have to change the rates ;)

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That's right.

The module doesn't accumulate anything though, servo operation is totally normal except for travel limits. I have also made an integrating module, but it wouldn't allow me to lock the servo at center position.

Yes, if you don't have a rudder then you simply have to use that free stick ;)

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Okay, time to introduce setup n°2 :)

The base aircraft is an Altux XL from Airtech, a light carbon-kevlar HLG. This one has been upgraded with a Hacker B20S brushless motor, 4.7x2.3'' folding prop, 10A controller and 2s/1500mAh LiPo after one flying season (bought it 2nd hand this spring). Adding the powerplant increased weight by 30 little grams.



After a few tests I've had to change the receiver that I got with it as it already wasn't working very well before, and the additional presence of the brushless controller didn't help at all.

This problem being solved, the camera got taped on the wing, I did a couple of range checks and a first FPV tryout. Everything went well, reached 1km without even noticing it. This one really flies faster.

Now I've done the last step this afternoon placing the camera pan servo and fixing everything definitively, again with 180° throw. A little FPV flight confirmed that seeing over the wing really is neat :D

(Video system is the same).


The sun already was set, so the images aren't very good, but again enough to confirm placement.


I've actually had one real flight for now, which lasted 30 mins of which 5:30 with engine running. It climbs really fast at 45° angle, and 15 secs of angine time give you enough height for more than 1 min flight when there's nothing helping.

It turned out to be a very nice cloud flying session as well, as the fog decided to tear just when I went to fly. The first real one actually. Absolutely awesome.


Of course I made one more little video of that one. Really looking forward to some more!! :P

EDIT: Updated link.

Edited by Kilrah
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  • 1 month later...


Check the web address that appears in the videos ;)

BTW here are a few new ones, which seem quite nice to me :)

Flight in the rising sun (glider) (22Mb)

Flying around clouds (plane) (43Mb)

Stable flight in the plains (plane) (27Mb)

Flying in.... and over fog! (plane) (28Mb)

And... Calm flight over a snowy mountain town (glider) :) (44Mb)

EDIT: Updated links.

Edited by Kilrah
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