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"Better" is just not good enough

Note: If you haven't read about my RC-CAM1 prototype then please click <here> .

Shortly after RC-CAM1 was built I began working on RC-CAM2, a more reliable and higher quality wireless video camera system. You see, the earlier version got me totally hooked on the idea of a model aircraft mounted camera and now I had to have a better system.

The RC-CAM2 system was developed in 1999. From the start it seemed like a winner. It had much better video quality and it was in color -- no more 1950's looking TV pictures. The wireless range improved too.

But, it did have some video problems that I did not like. Mainly, the CMOS color camera did not work well with my fast moving model helicopter. To make matters worse, the consumer video product that I used was getting hard to find. These issues began to bother me after the initial excitement began to wear off.

Click image to read more about RC-CAM2.The system was based on an $88 wireless color camera unit that was designed for home survellience. With a couple dollars in electronic parts and some major hacking, it was reborn as a wireless model aircraft camera system. Yes, it was significantly better than the earlier off-the-shelf system, but the color camera's automatic iris control had trouble with sudden brightness changes and often produced overly dark or washed out images.

The video system served me well. But for me, "good" is just not good enough. So while I was enjoying my nifty new wireless color camera gadget, I began to plan for the next phase.

The result was RC-CAM3. Because it is based on the earlier video system, I saved much of my initial investment. I also located a nearly identical video product to modify, since the original model was discontinued by the manufacturer. I even decided to make it EASIER to build so that more folks could make one of their own without spending four years at an engineering college.

The result? To me, RC-CAM3's video is quite stunning. See for yourself -- just download the "R/C Heli Demo Film" video clip from the Movie Catalog page.

RC-CAM2 construction pageThe old RC-CAM2 construction project is still available for you to read. Just click the RC-CAM2 graphic on the right to see ALL the technical details. Once you get a taste of this interesting (but retired) project, you will most certainly want to read about the latest system.

So, let's move on to the RC-CAM3 project.

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