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cohiba

Newbie needs some pointers

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Howdy all,

I'm a rookie when it comes to model planes but I have worked heavily on model cars and boats. My wife bought me a simple trainer for my b-day and now I am totally hooked. I already have a project in mind and would love to get some pointers from some people with experience.

I want to build a plane that I can fly from my laptop. I want to have a video cam on the plane and I want to be able to use a USB joystick to control the movement. I need pointers on what cameras are the best (lightest, most reliable, least expensive, etc.) and I have been going crazy trying to find a way to us a PC joystick to control the plane. I obviously will need some type of transmitter to send the signal to the plane but I haven't been able to find one yet. Any recommendations? Has anyone tried a similar project? Also do you recommend any specific types of model kits for this project? I imagine I will have to play a lot with the planes' balance and it will have to handle the extra weight and drag from the camera equipment. Any help ya’ll can provide is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

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Why not :). This is just a hobby for me and I want to see if I can do it. My last project was to build a model of the Orca (the boat from Jaws) from scratch. My brother asked me why not just buy a model kit. What would be the fun in that ? :). I used to love playing Flight Simulator... I guess I just want to take that to the next level.

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I seem to remember someone using a pc joystick connected to the trainer port of a tx but no laptop involved. You can veiw your camera using a laptop but the time delays can be a problem. I just dont see the advantage of using a laptop, it causes problems where there otherwise are none. I am sure it can be done if you must do it that way.

Good Luck, Terry

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Sure it is. Regarding video capture I can point you to the AverMedia AverTV Cardbus or Cardbus Plus. They both work very well and with zero delay. I'm flying with the video receiver connected to the card, the PC recording and outputting the signal again to the video goggles through the TV-out port. Works perfectly.

Then there are different solutions to control the plane via the PC. There is a DIY one, type "PC2RC" in Google and you should find some info.

There also is a commercial board available here:

http://www.tti-us.com/rc/products.htm

You will certainly find other ones if you do a search. I know this one is being successfully used by the university here to control a blimp.

These devices generate a PPM signal that you will just have to feed into your TX's trainer port.

Then the only thing you have to do is write a piece of software that will get the joystick data from Windows and send it to the driver of the device with treatment you might want to add.

Then if you're really good at signal processing you could surely design an autopilot that would rely on the image only ;)

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Let us know how you get on cohiba, I for one will be interested to see if you can make it work reliably, I guss I dont trust computers.

Terry

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I've done some more reading on the products at

http://www.tti-us.com/rc/products.htm and I think this will work perfectly! Does anyone have any recommendations on cameras or planes? I don't think my simple trainer (Megatech Freedom Flyer) will support much extra weight so I am looking to get a plane specifically for this project.

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