My FPV kit arrived about a week ago, having opted to get the (relatively) humongous 2W transmitter (at 180g) and which does not have any mounting to speak of.. what you get is an aluminum heat sink and perforated steel sheet casing at the bottom.
Some folks insert steel clamps at the bottom, whatever those are they must really be small and almost impossible to find anywhere. My solution was make a custom mounting made out of PVC sheet using good ‘ol used phone cards (or credit cards). The first thing to that needs to be done is to take the screws off the the fan (dont worry they’re pretty much securely screwed in the aluminum heat sink):
The next step is to cut out some kind of base from the phone card, this will be attached and screwed on top of the fan. Dont worry the screws are long enough for a good secure fit. Here’s the end result:
Now this transmitter is ready to be mounted anywhere!
Get a high TVL CCD mini camera. For this I got the “700TVL Sony CCD OSD control Menu Megapixels 3.6MM lens mini camera FPV camera light Wide View Angle Lens“. Note, make sure to check the suppliers main site as occasionally they may have promotions which is not seen when you simply get to the product via the search tool. In my case, immediately after I made my purchase I noticed that the suppliers main page (just click on the store name) had a promotion where they’ll include a free lens for every camera purchase. After I pointed this out to the supplier they agreed to throw in the free lens (I requested for a 2.8mm for a wider FOV). This costs USD70.
Total shipping costs for both is about $40.
So the kits are finally here. Here’s whats in the box for the 2W 5.8Ghz system:
The TX/RX ‘almost’ arrived as advertised.. right now I have no way of knowing, short of plugging the TX to a spectrum analyzer if its really throwing out 2W of power other than that at first glance, it seems the kit items are complete, and then I noticed that the RX only has one AV out port and I specifically ordered the set because of the 2 AV out ports.. a quick email to the supplier and they responded that the one they sent was the ‘new version’ and that the new receiver has a ‘higher receiving power’. $%#$%!
The camera kit (from a different supplier) also seems complete:
..that is until I verified with the product page which shows that the tiny spare connectors should have had wires stuck into them already.. @#$!! anyway, for these prices, I really have nothing much to complain… ok I’m still pissed at the single AV out.
Did a couple of flight checks at UP Diliman over the weekend. The RC field is at the corner of University Ave and CP Garcia. Perfect for park flyers and 3D planes, quads and ‘copters..Good field to fly in on a lazy afternoon.
However, it can get quite muddy after a heavy downpour which is a big inconvenience OR saving grace.. during the Skyscouts maiden flight a few weeks ago, I managed to nosedive and crash it. As an experienced dirt-eating RC pilot, I thought that was it. However, from a distance the plane was strangely perpendicular to the ground.. it turns out the nosedive was perfect with the nose stuck a good 5 inches in the mud! The front section was just slightly bent (and still is today, even after the hotwater/hair blower treatment). Without the mud, I doubt if I’d still be flying the skyscout today. Moral lesson is, even mud has a purpose.
Flew the Skyscout with the Gopro 3 at Brittany Flying field, over the weekend. The R/C field boasts of a runway, relatively easy to reach, an actual tent for the flyers and (free!) power for charging batteries and hooking up electronics. An excellent flying site overall.
The first step to my FPV dreams is to get a good mini camera onboard my Skyscout. Looks like the Gopro is the best way to go on this one..At $399- this took a huge bite off of my ‘hobby budget’. There being no price difference from distributors and retailers I decided to buy the thing directly from Gopro.
Mounting it on the plane, I had to decide whether to include the Gopro’s waterproof case.. the problem with the casing is it weighs more than the camera itself.. I spent a good amount of time trying to figure out how to balance the added weight relative to the CG. The only way I can do this is if a) I place all the electronics behind the CG — not a good idea since the servo cables are pretty much set and I dont want to make unnecessary access holes in the fuselage — or b) move the battery to the CG or b) put a counter-weight on the tail.
In the end, I decided to just go with minimal weight changes and did the following:
1) Took out the ESC from within the fuselage and placed it on top (also took out the motor power cable extensions to lessen the weight)
2) Made a camera platform from some good ‘ol appliance hard styro.
3) Transferred the battery placement nearer the CG (it used to be flushed in the nose of the plane), a bit aft of the orange Orange RX in the pic.
4) Used a black garter with sewed-on velcro for a custom made adjustable camera clasp. This is what’s keeping it on top of the styro platform.. that and a strip of double sided tape at the bottom.
Here’s how it looks like:
With minimal weight changes and just a tad nose heavy.. the first flight went well: