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A spot of evening tinkering goes a long way... literally!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DeweyAXD, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. DeweyAXD

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    So the plan with the Phantom was:
    1) to get a new hobby
    2) get more fresh air
    3) spend less money than I was on the car modding hobby

    ... so I past the first two but failed the third miserably! To aid the repeated dent in the wallet a little, i decided to go a bit DIY and mess around with the whole Circular Polarization aerials for my FPV. £37 to buy them is actually pretty good value but given the materials cost I thought I'd give it a bash myself using the various youtube videos.

    The result on first attempt:

    [​IMG]

    Now the soldering is clearly awful (I badly need a temp controlled iron and some flux!), the wire gauge is all wrong (1.26mm thick copper when it should 0.8mm) and the coax cable is fatter on the RX antenna (RG58) than the TX antenna (RG316... i think because it was an old Wireless 2.4 video sender aerial I used!).

    BUT by george they work! and work really well!

    Tonight I felt brave so really pushed the envelope of the T8J and the FPV system. I left it until dusk so i had chance of seeing the LEDs at range.

    The result.... well these crudely made DIY antenna actually out ran the range of the T8J! All just using the stock 250mw Fatshark TX! Using google earth ruler it was about 1.3km at which point I lost control of the Phantom and RTH kicked in. FPV signal was just on the verge of beginning breaking up. I admit I got a little scared when RTH kicked in but a flip to Ati mode got me back in command fast so it must have only just been out of range.

    The other mod (if you can call it that) was fitting this in my Futaba:
    [​IMG]

    A bit of a pain to charge as its a LifePo4 but I aim to power the goggles via the TX so it has a bit more guts than the stock Ni-Mh pack (which is now in the case as back up).

    Now I've tested it I will probably buy some better tuned copper wire as per Ibcrazy's specs (mine was the ground cable from some general appliance wire). It really isn't as hard as people seem to say it is so give it a go yourself guys and save yourself some cash :D (then go buy a £300 gimbal as a pat on the back for the £30 you saved :twisted: )
     
  2. TickTock

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    Re: A spot of evening tinkering goes a long way... literally

    1.3km? Nice! That's it - I need to get a new transmitter.
     
  3. DeweyAXD

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    Re: A spot of evening tinkering goes a long way... literally

    :lol: yeah even with your giant rig i think the stock setup is gonna struggle. Not so much the tx that is the issue, more the rx. Linear polarization with one antenna on the tiny chip does no one any favours even with CP or Helical on the TX - if u can solder a CP onto the stock rx u might get find improvement but risky risky business. I must admit i was hoping for further from the T8J for when i get a plane. More than enough for the Phantom.
     
  4. rilot

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  5. DeweyAXD

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    Re: A spot of evening tinkering goes a long way... literally

    Yep that was the one I used (especially getting the lengths)... I must say I love the Flitetest videos - it has really added something to the hobby for me.

    I really think anyone with FPV and a soldering iron should give it a go. Once I've done a more tuned version I will make a protective case for the leaves on Shapeways.
     
  6. tmcgowan

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    Re: A spot of evening tinkering goes a long way... literally

    Out of curiosity, what's the white stuff at the end of the longer antenna.. A dilithium crystal or something?

    ;)




    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  7. DeweyAXD

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    Re: A spot of evening tinkering goes a long way... literally

    :lol: no its an insanely larger than required amount of good old hot glue.... It was meant to just be a blob on the solder joint but things got out of hand (havn't used the glue gun in years!).

    I really need to re-make that one (the planar wheel). A tuned version with proper orientation via a right angle should give a solid view all the way to the limit of the T8J range. That is all I will ever need for the Phantom.
     
  8. Driffill

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    Re: A spot of evening tinkering goes a long way... literally

    Nice to see another car enthusiast turned phantom flyer! What have you got? My money is usually going onto my Mazda RX8!

    I actually bought my phantom after having a bright idea to film a track day is was attending about 2 months later. I remembered seeing the "motorbike drifting" video on YouTube (its a ken blok style product ad) has some nice driving, and some RC vehicles make a cameo, and I thought to myself that's how I should be filming (via quad/hex/octo) when I'm not driving on the day :)

    Spent ~$1500+ on batteries, chargers, gimbal, FPV, LCD screen etc . . .
    Rain was looking like being an issue on the day, but it held off, tho the wind prevented me from being able to record any usable footage. had two quick flights, tried both GPS and ATTI modes for comparison, ATTI gave me more steady footage, but the phantom would drift off the car I was filming :( GPS was just to busy trying to compensate for the wind gusts.

    I picked up a cheap set of cloverleaf antennas for the FPV, done the job so far, tho I haven't pushed limits with it. From what you have said about making my own, I might give it a try, and test range between the two, see if I can do a better job the the ebay ones.
     
  9. DeweyAXD

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    Re: A spot of evening tinkering goes a long way... literally

    Yeah seems a few people in here are flirting away from the car scene with this. I have a 2006 Impreza 2.5 Sti Spec-d. It got plagued with the 2.5 head gasket leakage only 3 weeks from buying it (after having it checked by the uk's Scooby expert). Had to have the engine rebuilt at VAST expense cause i went for forged pistons for future tuning. Running 290bhp on stock now and should be chipping it later in the year to 350ish.... If i stop spending money on the Phantom!

    If you want better control i'd recomend upgrading to a full range TX if u've not already. Then u can tweak the agression on the stick movements. I learned this recently and it makes life a lot easier. I have a switch which, when flicked on, slows all the imput movements so you get a nice steady slow yaw. I think it was Martcerv i have to thank for this?

    Even with smoother stick control following cars will be really hard to do without a LOT of practice. I the big boys for the Kenny B vids will use two pilots and a full RC pan/tilt gimbal on a seperate channel. One flys the copter as near as they dare, the other controls the camera.
     
  10. Driffill

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    Re: A spot of evening tinkering goes a long way... literally

    Have you looked at the Cobb AccessPort? The RX8 actually uses almost the same ECU as the Sti's, and because of that, the Cobb AP can be used on both vehicles. The problem on my end is, Cobb and a guy nicknamed MM struck a deal, and all RX8 Cobb data, tuning and map adjustments etc must be done by him. So I'd have to buy a $600 obd unit, datalog, send it to him via google talk and then receive a tune back (after hours/days/weeks) In your case, you can download and edit tunes/tables/map in the ECU anytime you like, as often as you like, no ongoing fees, unlike the 6 month tuning subscription offered by MM.

    I think I've got about as much as I'll get in and on the phantom, so a transmitter upgrade is the next likely mod, I may as well dip my foot in the water now an ask a few basic Qs. Is there a single transmitter I "could" use for two seperate quads (and no, not simultaneously) but as in, fly phantom then a FW550 for eg? Telemetry, long range, and screen mount. <-- that a brief rundown of what I'm after lol, any suggestions.

    Marty seems like a top bloke :) what's even better is he is fairly local to me! I've already bugged him with all sorts of noob Qs from general flying to vid processing . . .

    But how could you not, look at the quality of vids he is producing! I understand I will need ALOT of practice before I'll be getting pro quality shots, but in all honesty, I walked into the shop that I got my phantom from, looking to buy an S800, the phantom was a cheaper, all-in-one solution that I could afford to crash/trash due to my inexperience!
     
  11. DeweyAXD

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    Re: A spot of evening tinkering goes a long way... literally

    Sounds good. I am developing a website for a very well known Uk mapper this year and as part of it we are going to film the mapping session on my car using EcuTek. I like the idea of Cobb though!

    Any modern full range tx will get you the ability to have several models. The T8j i can vouch for but if you want built in telemetry you will need a Spektrum DX8 which i hear good things about. You will need a reciever per craft but once you've bound them to the TX u simply chose which u are flying via model name. It was the reason i chose a tx before gimbal because it givefs me the option of a plane and improved reliabilty of connection.
    Range will be MUCH improved. 1.3km on my T8j and with any main stream brand option you can get something like EzUHF which will give you crazy range and even allow to fly behind objects (when used wisely!).
    Simple things like programmable timers and gimbal controls make it a great upgrade.