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I got my Predators!

lobstermash

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#1
I hope the weather's good this weekend, because today my Fatshark Predators arrived! I've never had much luck with ebay, but I'm pretty happy with this buy - $247.50 including postage for new, unused Predators. Receiving the box, it was obviously bought as an RTF and the camera and tx removed.

I'm going to source a 5.8Ghz tx for it, but I've got an unused 900Mhz system to do some 'testing' with. My pan and tilt camera mount is together, so I just need to attach the camera and servos and stick the lot on the ply canopy for the Bixler. I've tested the goggles in the lounge room, and am pretty impressed with the picture in pretty dodgy light with the 520TVL Pal Sony camera though the 900 system. I measured the active part of the dipole antenna, and it seems to be closest to a 1/4 wave of 910Mhz. I put my phone right next to it and called, and surprisingly didn't get any interference.
 

lobstermash

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#2
I've now modified my canopy and have the pan/tilt all programmed in. It's surprisingly easy to do with ER9x! I like it that if the camera goes too far in any direction it kicks out of tracking and centres up. I can imagine that'd be useful if you fall over or something.

My only two issues with the set are 1. fogging up - it keeps happening. I think I'll need to gently heat my goggles before use; and 2. the battery holder in the strap pulls the right side out of position all the time. Does anyone else have this issue with the battery, and how do you mount it otherwise?
 

earthsciteach

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#3
Lobster-There are several products on the market, such as this one that will reduce/eliminate fogging: http://www.campingworld.com/shoppin...313233363235&gclid=CPmwm8qJurECFYao4AodGx4AWA

I've even heard of potatoes being used:http://www.ehow.com/how_4866082_make-goggles-antifog.html. Also, spit, shaving cream and Johnson's Baby Shampoo supposedly work to some degree: http://www.cavediver.net/forum/showthread.php/12315-Shaving-cream-as-anti-fog.

As a step to help prevent the lenses from cooling in the first place, you could attach insulation on the outside of the goggles. Armaflex or the equivalent should help and fit over the goggles decently. This slows the goggles from cooling from the outside and allowing your hot, sweaty face to steam them up! It is available at any hardware store (at least in the US-I know your insulation issues) and is inexpensive. No doubt there is an equivalent product in your country. http://www.armacell.com/WWW/armacell/INETArmacell.nsf/standard/76A3B432A091A0BF802576F8003BC6B6
 

bmsweb

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#4
Sounds like someone is going to have a lot of fun on the weekend.! I've never had mine fog up as yet. But interesting tips there, will keep them in mind
 

glydr

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#5
Also, spit, shaving cream and Johnson's Baby Shampoo supposedly work to some degree: http://www.cavediver.net/forum/showthread.php/12315-Shaving-cream-as-anti-fog.
Eeww... I don't want a go thanks LM.

As a step to help prevent the lenses from cooling in the first place, you could attach insulation on the outside of the goggles.
Here in Aus you could probably use Lorient smoke seal. I'll see if I can snag some from somewhere. It has a peel-and-stick back.

G
 

lobstermash

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#6
Just returned from flying FPV for the first time! Met glydr at our usual flying oval - I wanted to fly somewhere bigger, but Canberra's kiddies have soccer on pretty much every decent sized oval. First up, glydr put on the goggles while I flew about LOS. Then we swapped. After a bit, he handed the tx over to me and I switched off the ht. I'm surprised by how easy it was to fly! The sense of distance and height are distorted, but it wasn't too hard to pick familiar landmarks to navigate by. Glydr kindly did the landing for me. The oval's really far too small for first time FPV landings...

Next glydr had a turn. I'll wait for him to post his comments.

We probably didn't fly more than about 150-200 away. The picture was pretty clear most of the time except for a little patch to the west and when directly overhead where it was a little fuzzy. Despite the cold, there was no fogging (I don't know why it was so bad last night...). I'm pretty darn happy and can't wait to take the external rx out of the equation.
 

glydr

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#7
Next glydr had a turn. I'll wait for him to post his comments.
Cheers for the fly LM - twas excellent fun. I'm still not sure that I would put up the necessary pieces-of-eight for this expensive kit. At the oval I found the picture slightly fuzzy at times, but then saw that I was at cloudbase! Probably testing the range a little bit.

Having flown full size as a student pilot I can say that its not _really_ like the 'real thing'. It's sort of like a video game, and you have to be carefully to not casually think that it's an easy thing to reach out and press the reset button if things go pear shaped!

Anyhow - this thread is useless without pictures! So here we go...

IMG_0318.JPG

IMG_0320.JPG

These taken this afternoon up a hill which overlooks the valley which we live in. Great place to fly and bushwalk.
 
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lobstermash

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#8
Was thoroughly enjoyable! Thanks for posting the pics. It was a little scary flying on the hill, because there weren't as many landmarks to pick out to keep in home range. I'm kicking myself now for throwing out some copper wire a couple of weeks ago. I just watched Bruce's new vid on making an antenna, and it doesn't seem so tricky. I don't have the equipment for making 2.4 or 5.8 antennas, but I can still get within a mm or two without callipers. I'm sure a more solid video link will change glydr's mind... And perhaps an OSD with at least home direction.
 
#9
make an 900mhz vee antenna, search for ibcrazy inverted vee antenna in google. Ibcrazys says that its easy to make and that you will get allot of extra range with it. Its easier to diy an antenna for 900 MHz then for 5.8 GHz. For higher frequencies you must be more precise

Will these anti fog tips also work for the gopro?
 
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earthsciteach

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#10
They tips should help with the gopro, too. Probably best to let the camera acclimate to the outside temperature out of its case for a few minutes before flying as a general rule. But, if you are flying kilometers above the ground, it will still experience temperature drop as it climbs, so fogging may still occur.
 

lobstermash

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#12
I looked into the vee antenna, but I've found a spare 23 metres or so of RG6 quad shielded coax with .8mm or 1mm copper core from a home antenna installation I did ages ago. I've stripped enough of the outer for a cloverleaf and skew planar and cut a 1/4 wavelength and 1/2 wavelength piece to make up the antenna. I've followed Bruce's recent antenna tutorial. I've soldered up the cloverleaf, but it needs a little finesse added to make it pretty. I haven't used a protractor to fine tune the angles either. I'll finish it off tonight and hopefully the sp too.

Flying today was good fun. Flew at the oval again, and got brave enough to fly about 400m (measured through Google Maps) from the oval to the little pond just north of the oval. I was getting crystal clear image out that way, and probably could have gone further, but I'm trying to play it sensible near houses... Big thanks to Glydr for saving my backside too, when I suddenly noticed I wasn't climbing. Time flies when you're having fun, and when there's a quad in the air next to you, the low battery alarm is a little hard to hear. He quickly landed the quad and landed the Bix for me. His field gauge had voltage at about 2.7 each cell, but when I stuck it on the charger I had 3.2-ish on each cell. A simple OSD might be a very good investment I think...
 

lobstermash

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#13
By the way, I know the RG6 isn't ideal because the impedance is 75ohms, but I'm not looking to get mammoth distances with this setup. This setup is temporary until HK finally get some more ImmersionRC transmitters in and I'll be more fussy about matching stuff up. I highly doubt I'll be worse off than with the dipole
 
#14
Maybe buy some gear from readymaderc.com great costumer service!! I got the super simple osd from hk but the voltage is not so good. Sometimes it says 11:71 and the voltage is 12 volt or something. Sometimes you can fix that by cutting your throttle but not always..
 

glydr

How many letters do we ge
#16
Big thanks to Glydr for saving my backside too, when I suddenly noticed I wasn't climbing. Time flies when you're having fun, and when there's a quad in the air next to you, the low battery alarm is a little hard to hear. He quickly landed the quad and landed the Bix for me.
No trouble. I think while at the oval at least it would be worthwhile having a full time spotter. Us LOSers are only here for the FPVers after all.

;)
 

lobstermash

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#17
I abandoned the RG6 and mutilated the dipole antennas to make the cp antennas. I learnt my lesson from the sp and left the metal collar on the cl to support it. About to perform a ground test.

I was looking at the G-OSD II, as I've got an AVR programmer so I can re-flash it for direction home and bug fixes. For $40 it looks pretty good.

I knew you'd get the LOSer gag in somehow glydr... :) And thanks Paul. I enjoy flying RC, but it's been a while since I've had this much excitement from it. It's kind of like I was when I first started flying. I've found that I can only do one FPV flight per session.

I've looked at ReadymadeRC and they're pretty good. I'm sure it won't be long before I get something from there.
 
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lobstermash

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#18
Re-soldering and hot glue reinforcing has finished. I put the goggles on and walked around the house with the rx. Rock solid video. When I got back downstairs, I got a black and white image, followed by a buzz and then it went solid again. Seemed very much like mobile phone interference. I've made the tx antenna as solid as possible, and it seems pretty robust. Here's a quick happy snap of the Bix and the two antennas: IMG125.jpg
 

lobstermash

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#20
Yeah, I've been half committed since Christmas, when I got the $55 (with buddy code at the time I think) 900Mhz 200mW system with the 520TVL camera (it's now $65) from Hobbyking. I've been trying to work out a screen solution since then, but nothing's fallen into place. I think that the extra time has been a good thing, as my LOS flying is pretty rock solid, and I could almost fly the Bixler with my eyes shut anyway! I think the info out there about FPV has become a lot clearer now since then too.

I reckon the Predators are worth saving your bikkies for. You might be able to land a deal on Ebay too, especially if the Classic Fatsharks end up being a good system. I'm curious about the other goggles in the series now too. The only disadvantage to them is not being able to follow both the plane and the screen at the same time, but thanks to glydr I've had another pilot to take me up and look around before taking the sticks for the first couple of flights. I'm now pretty happy to take off. I'd give landing a shot in a decent field too I think.