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Took the FPV plunge

Discussion in 'Photos and Video' started by PhantomFan, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. PhantomFan

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    Eeks. OK...so after a modest amount of soul-searching and on-line research, I settled on the following equipment and placed my order(s):

    Fatshark Attitude goggles and 2S 1000mAh battery
    Imersion 5.8 GHz 600mW transmitter
    Blue Beam Ultra circularly polarized omni directional antenna (set of two).

    My next decision is whether to opt for the GoPro to Tx cable (~$50.00) or to simply get a cheapo camera for now. I'm leaning towards the later for a couple of reasons, 90% of which is weight consideration since I'm more of an aggressive flyer and less interested in the video. It also keeps the price of a crash or fly-away down, since the Imersion and antenna cost a lot less than a GoPro.

    I had too much coffee last night with my pumpkin pie and ended up spending a late night in the workshop. I took an old Philips-PCVC740K-ToUcam (the ones in the egg - circa 2005) and removed the electronics. I then removed a circular portion of the egg that contains the threaded lens holder, and sanded the resultant disc so it was smooth, round, and the lens was plumb in the threads. I then RTV's it centered over the Sony 1/4" 640 x 480 CCD chip. As long as I had the lens out, I put pipe tape on it to make it snug and air/dust tight. I then plugged it in to my old laptop running Windoze XP and set the focus to infinity.



    The camera (being a web-cam) is 5 volts. Is there a source of power inside the Phantom which is 5 volts or am I going to have to rig up something to press the webcam into service? Is it even worth salvaging the ToUcam web cam for this purpose? Coincidentally, the camera board measures 40mm x 35mm - the exact same size as the Phantom battery door.

    It's blowing 30mph here and freezing outside, and I've nothing ELSE to do today except watch football and listen to the neighbor's garbage can blow down the block... :cry:

    PF
     

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  2. Dave Pitman

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    The ImmersionRC VTX has a 5v power-out for a camera, I soldered the VTX power wires piggyback on to the main board power lugs as it can take any voltage from 2S to 6S batteries.

    I have no idea about the camera, but that board is pretty big. I have a Fatshard 600TVL FPV Tuned CMOS, and it is tiny. the actual lens and sensor is probably comprable, but the integrated board in nothing. [​IMG]
     
  3. PhantomFan

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    Thanks for that info, Dave! That's excellent news. It will greatly simplify the setup after all the bits arrive. Yeah, the board has a physical dimension comparable to the stock battery door, but it weighs next to nothing because there is no case. ATM I'm considering the 35mm x 40mm back surface nothing more than an excellent anchor for an identical size piece of velcro. :lol:

    Gonna be an interesting experiment to see if the video out from this webcam is adequate in terms of frame rate and resolution.

    PF
     
  4. dkr77573

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    I've been thinking of using a recently acquired Mobius action cam with a video out cable for my FPV camera. I know the model is fairly new to the market and will probably do a lot of testing with my Phantom within LOS range (just in case)... but has anyone heard about random shutdowns...etc with these cameras? (Like the GoPro's can be prone to). It'll be cool to have a decent and AFFORDABLE camera for FPV and Flight recording.
     
  5. PhantomFan

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    Wow...the Mobius is just as expensive as a GoPro. Why would you go in that direction when there's so much available accessories for the Phantom/GoPro combination, such as aftermarket housings, gimbles, etc., etc. that custom fit the GoPro and the Phantom...and in fact are designed for it? :?

    With the Mobius, you'll have to fashion all that stuff yourself.

    PF
     
  6. dkr77573

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    We must have found different sources. I got mine for < $90 from Amazon. If you've found a GoPro For that much please share! :)
     
  7. martcerv

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    $50 GoPro to tx cable is crazy high price for a stock USB to video out, you could easily buy and GoPro USB video out cable and modify it or I have seen some from places like helipal for around $10. Id avoid using external power to the GoPro just carry some spare batteries and take note of how much battery is remaining.

    I have recently gone a different way with my video out to help my gimbal balance easier I have used the rear port for video out. I did mine using this board from Cam-do.com and this is around $45 but its quite a bit more advanced then a basic USB plug. Easy solder job for the 2 video in and video ground cables and works great if you have a setup that the rear port is more accessible then the side USB. This will work with any GoPro from hero1 to hero3 black + and I have used it on both my black and black plus, also tested on a hero2 with no issues. There is also options for remote switching on and off if you want but I just did basic video out.

    http://www.cam-do.com/GoProVideoAdapter.html

    Here is an interesting low profile USB video out from helipal

    http://www.helipal.com/tarot-gopro-hero ... cable.html

    Here is a regular cable that I also have.

    http://www.helipal.com/gopro-hero-3-fpv-cable.html
     
  8. dkr77573

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    I'm not really looking to become an aerial videographer. My setup uses the stock gopro mount that I stuck Velcro to for the mobius. Everything works fine. The camera was ~$80 and the video out cable was $7. From what I've been able to test (non flight tests because the weather sucks right now) everything looks good on my vTx/Rx. The quality of the video recording is damned good for the price (I've used it non-fpv). No major jello. I just thought that if the mobius is reliable (no cutouts during flight) it might be an affordable alternative to just buying the regular fpv cams alone with the benefit of being able to record in HD locally too.
     
  9. PhantomFan

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    For some reason, when I googled Mobius Action Cam, it took me here. This is the action camera I thought you were referring to for $400.00:

    http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-camcord ... 32568.html

    My bad! :lol:

    PF