Where to go from here...

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Where to go from here...

Postby chrisjunkie » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:24 am

Hi all. Looking for your opinions and advice for where I should be going next in the wonderful world of FPV :D

Currently I have a 9X with er9x loaded. Have a Bixler and the standard HK 200mw 5.8ghz system (and an extra receiver as my first test FPV platform went "missing" :lol: ). As you can tell its all fairly stock and I just can't make my mind up about what I want to do next. Here are my ideas:

-Set up a diversity system which would eventually incorporate an antenna tracker. Having problems just flying to the skirts of my local park and I would say its around 100-200m across. Have a CP antenna on the receiver and have also tried with the standard rubber ducky - not any better. How can I check for interference and choose the best channel?
-OSD - Don't want to spend a whole lot of money here... I have seen the arduino osd and I like the idea of it purely because I have a few pro mini's lying around and its cheap
-Telementry - 2way FrSky unit DIY module. What is the best option here?
-LCD type setup - at the moment I am just running a small TV in the back of my car off an inverter :P

So that's what I want to do but in what order? I actually figure I could be cheeky too with the way I do things. In terms of the telementry, how does FrSky transmit the data back? Could I put a GPS in the plane and have the raw data transmitted back? This way I could theoretically have the OSD on the ground to save weight in the plane? Is this a good or bad idea?

What does the wise community of RCModelReviews think I should do first? It would make sense to get the OSD going first but if I am going to keep it on the ground, I might as well get the telementry unit first?

Sorry about the mass of questions... Just need some people to bounce ideas off! Just keep in mind I am going to do as much as I can DIY as I'm a poor University student ;)

Thanks so much for your help!
Chris
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Re: Where to go from here...

Postby dannyzz » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:27 am

I have used the Ardupilot and it seems to be good for the price. You could use the Ardupilot with the Ardustation ( i havent used it). Which pretty much is a telemetry receiver and antenna tracker all in one and you would need Xbee modules you would be looking at $350-400 all up. You could also connect the ground station Xbee module to your laptop and that will give you and atificial horizon so you wouldn't need an OSD. And yes it is very DIY, check out diydrones.com
As for an lcd screen i used a 7inch, $40 one from chinavasion.com and it runs off 12v so you can use and 3s pack and it seems to do the job, but i go flying in the evening so i couldn't say how it goes in the afternoon sun.
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Re: Where to go from here...

Postby rogueqd » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:52 am

chrisjunkie wrote:Having problems just flying to the skirts of my local park and I would say its around 100-200m across. Have a CP antenna on the receiver and have also tried with the standard rubber ducky - not any better. How can I check for interference and choose the best channel?

I have the same setup as you (er9x, Bixler, 5.8 200mw) and I get over 1km range. What antennas are you using? You mention the stock 'rubber ducky' antennas, forget using them. Get a Cloverleaf for the plane and a Skew-Planar for the receiver.
Next is an OSD so you can see how far you're actually getting. I'd recommend the Nova RTH OSD as it's the cheapest OSD with Return To Home. Other than that any OSD with distance from home and a home arrow is enough. I've got Remzibi's OSD which is great except that it has no RTH.

Don't worry about diversity or anything until you're getting to at least 1km without it. It will add complications and it looks like your system may have some preexisting problem if your max range is only 200m. Get the Telemetry FrSky DIY mod if you haven't already. You don't really need the telemetry, but it's nice to have for later when your getting further out. Make sure you buy an 8ch (or more) receiver so you have spare channels for later too.

Lastly get some Fatshark goggles when you can afford them. They're better than any LCD screen. (imho)

Oh, and ground test any distance before you fly it until you get RSSI telemetry from somewhere or an RTH system.
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Re: Where to go from here...

Postby chrisjunkie » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:21 pm

rogueqd wrote:I have the same setup as you (er9x, Bixler, 5.8 200mw) and I get over 1km range. What antennas are you using? You mention the stock 'rubber ducky' antennas, forget using them. Get a Cloverleaf for the plane and a Skew-Planar for the receiver.

I have a cloverleaf that I'm currently using on the receiver but made it myself in a bit of a hurry without proper wire. It may not be very good so do you recommend I give it a go again with proper materials and also do a skew planar? Or should I buy them? (Keeping in mind I want to purchase as little as possible)

rogueqd wrote:Next is an OSD so you can see how far you're actually getting. I'd recommend the Nova RTH OSD as it's the cheapest OSD with Return To Home. Other than that any OSD with distance from home and a home arrow is enough. I've got Remzibi's OSD which is great except that it has no RTH.

That looks quite good! I'm presuming the GPS is just NMEA and I'll be able to tap out the output in the future if I want to. Where's the best place to order it from? BevRC?


rogueqd wrote:Don't worry about diversity or anything until you're getting to at least 1km without it. It will add complications and it looks like your system may have some preexisting problem if your max range is only 200m. Get the Telemetry FrSky DIY mod if you haven't already. You don't really need the telemetry, but it's nice to have for later when your getting further out. Make sure you buy an 8ch (or more) receiver so you have spare channels for later too.

I already have the 8ch receiver that came with the 9x. Will use this until I go two way with the FrSky like you say. I can make a unit to measure RSSI that in future can do diversity so I think I'll do that. Unless I can get RSSI on the 9x??

rogueqd wrote:Lastly get some Fatshark goggles when you can afford them. They're better than any LCD screen. (imho)

Oh, and ground test any distance before you fly it until you get RSSI telemetry from somewhere or an RTH system.


Two good points. Fatsharks will be when I get almost to the end of everything else. The TV is ok and means I can quickly look for the plane in the sky if I need to.

Thanks for all your suggestions! Keep them coming! We should have a sub-forum inside the FPV forum dedicated to FPV build logs so people can see what gear others use.

Cheers
Chris
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Re: Where to go from here...

Postby chrisjunkie » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:28 pm

Bruce, Just read on RC Groups that you will be doing a review of the Nova RTH OSD?!? :D When can I expect this as I will most definitely wait if its in the next few weeks!
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Re: Where to go from here...

Postby rogueqd » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:08 am

Hi Chris,

The Cloverleaf is only useful if you have a Skew-Planar on the receiver. Make a skew-planar first, and then remake the CL if your range is still bad.

BevRC is out of stock of the Nova OSD. There are some for sale on eBay. I generally buy from the cheapest supplier. Shop around while you fix up your antennas and radio.

I found original 9x receiver was only good for about 300m, so make the FrSky upgrade your next purchase. No point in having good video if you lose control of your plane.

No worries,

Eddie
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Re: Where to go from here...

Postby chrisjunkie » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:12 am

Yeah you do make a very valid point! Turns out I do have some .8mm copper mig welding wire so will make the skew-planar and see how it goes.

FrSky purchase will be put next on my list, but what is the best module to get in terms of price etc? What DIY module and what receiver? I might as well get telementry too while I'm at it?

Cheers
Chirs
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Re: Where to go from here...

Postby RCModelReviews » Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:18 am

chrisjunkie wrote:Bruce, Just read on RC Groups that you will be doing a review of the Nova RTH OSD?!? :D When can I expect this as I will most definitely wait if its in the next few weeks!

It's sitting on the bench now. The weather forecast for next week is good so it should be done in about 5-6 days from now.
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Re: Where to go from here...

Postby chrisjunkie » Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:24 pm

I don't think the timing could be any more perfect :D

Can't wait!
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Re: Where to go from here...

Postby rogueqd » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:42 pm

chrisjunkie wrote:FrSky purchase will be put next on my list, but what is the best module to get in terms of price etc? What DIY module and what receiver? I might as well get telementry too while I'm at it?


Get the Telemetry DIY kit and an 8ch receiver. :)
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