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Am I Disappointed!

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Old 11-16-2003, 02:43 PM
  #1  
CenTexFlyer
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Default Am I Disappointed!

wow.... color me disappointed! This 900 Mhz system is not at ALL cracked up what it's made to be. Image quality was poor and transmission was even worse! By the time I was at about 1500 feet away, I was losing the video feed for long stretches. A very far cry from the advertised 1 mile range LOS. My 2.4 GhZ system is significantly better in that respect. The antennae was oriented downward on the aircraft and the receiver was on top of my truck. I will be contacting supercircuits tomorrow.

CTF
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Old 11-16-2003, 06:52 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

As a fellow RC Aerial Video Geek, Im sorry that happened. I have only bought
cameras from Supercircuits, I didnt feel like paying the enormous prices for their
video transmitters, BlackwidowAV.com is SOOO much better both quality and price!

Also, Im using a patch antenna on my 2.4 stuff that far exceeds the stock antenna
on receive. The company, Hyperlinktech.com also sells the exact same antenna for
900 mhz:

http://www.hyperlinktech.com/web/hg908p.php
You can get it with special connector put on for $5.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-16-2003, 07:51 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

I am interested in what they tell you.
I, too, have been less than enthused with the way my 900mhz system performed. The image itself is very good but the signal drop out is terrible. Especially when compared to the You Know Who system at one tenth the price!
A patch antenna is in its future and we happen to have a yagi antenna with something like a 14db gain that we will try.
If I had bought one of the You Know Who systems first or had heard of BlackwidowAV before, I would NEVER have purchased the Supercircuits system.
Havent given up on it, but for $350, well, it sure should perform better.
ORIGINAL: CenTexFlyer

wow.... color me disappointed! This 900 Mhz system is not at ALL cracked up what it's made to be. Image quality was poor and transmission was even worse! By the time I was at about 1500 feet away, I was losing the video feed for long stretches. A very far cry from the advertised 1 mile range LOS. My 2.4 GhZ system is significantly better in that respect. The antennae was oriented downward on the aircraft and the receiver was on top of my truck. I will be contacting supercircuits tomorrow.

CTF
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Old 11-16-2003, 07:53 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

Unfortunately, that company has a $100 minimum order policy.
CRAP!
ORIGINAL: KE4UVQ

As a fellow RC Aerial Video Geek, Im sorry that happened. I have only bought
cameras from Supercircuits, I didnt feel like paying the enormous prices for their
video transmitters, BlackwidowAV.com is SOOO much better both quality and price!

Also, Im using a patch antenna on my 2.4 stuff that far exceeds the stock antenna
on receive. The company, Hyperlinktech.com also sells the exact same antenna for
900 mhz:

http://www.hyperlinktech.com/web/hg908p.php
You can get it with special connector put on for $5.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-16-2003, 08:22 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

I guess I should have noticed the red flag that went up when I asked about the antenna orientation. The salesman told me not to worry, the 1 mile range is regardless of antenna orientation...... These are rubber ducky dipoles so I should have known better []
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Old 11-17-2003, 06:02 AM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

Which supercircuits system did you buy? I have had excellent luck with mine. I use this system in a atmospheric profiling aircraft which flies up to 4000 ft altitude and with the size of the circle of the upward spiral, the distance approaches a mile. The picture is solid except when the plane passes overhead and the nulls on the tx antenna align with the null on the whip on the rx antenna. Then picture fade is only 1-2 secs. Antennas are a whip on the plane and the little 1/4 wave whip on the rx.

Elson
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Old 11-17-2003, 04:20 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

Elson, that's what I was hoping for too!

I have the AVX900S9V system. I called Supercircuits and they said "That ain't right! Send it back and we'll check it out!" So, that's what I'm going to do. I have a laser range finder and with a little good aiming and lots of button pushing you can target that 5' wing. I was at a measured 510 yards and the video was nonexistant.......

What are you running?

CTF
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Old 11-17-2003, 08:14 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

Same system I have.
Part of the problem I am having might be due to the very narrow field we fly from so we are forced to fly over the antenna quite a bit. We dont fly over the "pit" area and are not allowed to fly over the stupide CEEMEANT pond. Add the highway on the north end and, well, that limits us to one direction to get any distance. Forgot to mention that in that direction is the flood control basin which is NOT condusive to plane recovery in the event of an event.
I still the idea of a patch antenna mounted on a hardhat would be my best bet.
I could also put the video gear out either in the middle of the field or at the far end, however too many low lifes wander thru there so we gotta keep our gear within reach at all times.
Have I ever mentioned how I am getting the hell out of this state when I retire?
ORIGINAL: CenTexFlyer

Elson, that's what I was hoping for too!

I have the AVX900S9V system. I called Supercircuits and they said "That ain't right! Send it back and we'll check it out!" So, that's what I'm going to do. I have a laser range finder and with a little good aiming and lots of button pushing you can target that 5' wing. I was at a measured 510 yards and the video was nonexistant.......

What are you running?

CTF
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:12 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

Ha! Yeah, I hear ya on the moving out part.... doesn't sound like too much fun! Well, I can tell you that around here we only have two seasons, summer and fall so we get LOTS of flying time in. Actually our "fall" is great on batteries if you discharge at high rates. Anyway, we'll see what Supercircuits comes up with......

CTF
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:21 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

Fubar,

You suggest a patch antenna is in the future of your 900 mhz system. Is there a plan similar to the Goof Proof Patch available for this system?? The 2.4 patch is just dead simple to build, I figured there had to be one configured for these as well.

CTF
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Old 11-19-2003, 12:47 AM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

Well, to build one for 1.2ghz, you just double the dimensions. For 900mhz, I forget what the conversion would be. My math skills stink on ice.
I have seen em for sale for about 50 bucks at a source different from the $100 minimum place.
ORIGINAL: CenTexFlyer

Fubar,

You suggest a patch antenna is in the future of your 900 mhz system. Is there a plan similar to the Goof Proof Patch available for this system?? The 2.4 patch is just dead simple to build, I figured there had to be one configured for these as well.

CTF
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Old 11-20-2003, 09:07 AM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

Man, I'm really good at following instructions. Wish some smart EE would come up with a GPP for 900 MhZ!

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Old 11-20-2003, 10:38 AM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

To use the RC-CAM GP Patch on 900Mhz you would increase the dimensions of EVERYTHING by 2.66 times. This will get you into the ballpark, but it will not be fully optimized. However, the performance should still be good. Keep in mind that accuracy counts and that it is best to avoid using a coax cable (direct connect antenna to Rx).
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Old 11-20-2003, 08:17 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

Thanks!

ORIGINAL: mr.rc-cam-RCU

To use the RC-CAM GP Patch on 900Mhz you would increase the dimensions of EVERYTHING by 2.66 times. This will get you into the ballpark, but it will not be fully optimized. However, the performance should still be good. Keep in mind that accuracy counts and that it is best to avoid using a coax cable (direct connect antenna to Rx).
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Old 11-20-2003, 11:40 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

Wow, seems awfully large from a 2.4 gig to a 900 Mhz.... but what do I know..... I have nor problem enlarging it and using the mount directly to my RX without any cable. Of course, we'll see what SuperCircuits says first and whether I get the same system back!

CTF
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Old 11-21-2003, 11:17 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

OK, Now you can color me impressed!

From a speed standpoint, Supercircuits has got it hands down. Bundled up my old system and sent it to them on via 2nd day USPS, Tuesday, 11/18 - I got a completely NEW replacement system from them today, 11/21. No explanation, no suggestions, nothing but a CREDIT/REPLACE invoice and there ya go, buddy!

Granted, I haven't tried this system yet so the jury is still out on whether this one is any better or not. Luckily, with that fast turnaround, I didn't have time to do any mods to my ZagNutz and the system will be a "drop in" for tomorrow if the weather holds. Here's hoping!

CTF
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Old 11-22-2003, 02:12 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

Fingers are crossed!
ORIGINAL: CenTexFlyer

OK, Now you can color me impressed!

From a speed standpoint, Supercircuits has got it hands down. Bundled up my old system and sent it to them on via 2nd day USPS, Tuesday, 11/18 - I got a completely NEW replacement system from them today, 11/21. No explanation, no suggestions, nothing but a CREDIT/REPLACE invoice and there ya go, buddy!

Granted, I haven't tried this system yet so the jury is still out on whether this one is any better or not. Luckily, with that fast turnaround, I didn't have time to do any mods to my ZagNutz and the system will be a "drop in" for tomorrow if the weather holds. Here's hoping!

CTF
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Old 11-24-2003, 10:44 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

OK, flew the new video system today and..... pretty much the same.[&o]

BUT! I have been powering the unit with two 6V photolithiums (only weighs 2.5 oz.) and I believe I've figured a pattern. The voltage at take off was 11.2V and it seemed to do fine while the plane was near the RX and even did pretty good in the initial climbout. Then the video started dropping out, but it was in very regular intervals of 2 secs of good quality nice video then dropout for about 10 seconds, then 2 seconds of video again. I metered the battery under load and it did drop some, then rise, then drop. So I figure that maybe the voltage is dropping below the threshold level and then coming up long enough to establish a video link again. Does that make sense?

Tomorrow I'll drop the anchor on the Nutz and put the 10X1100 HE's back in there and see if that makes a difference.

CTF
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Old 11-24-2003, 11:54 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

Well, I am no expert by any means but running a 12v system with a starting voltage of 11.2v...
If the battery output is pulsing in the same way the signal went crappy, then I think you are on to the problem.
We power ours with 10X1100mAh AA packs. Kinda heavy but no problem for the Kadet Seniors.
My signal problems can be directly attributed to antenna placements. Setting the rx on an aluminum camp table cant be helping either. Probably getting all kinds of signal reflection.
Very interested to see how yours works with the 10 cell pack.
I am looking into Li-Poly packs but that means a new charger, buying the packs, cash by the pocketfull... Which I aint got.
ORIGINAL: CenTexFlyer

OK, flew the new video system today and..... pretty much the same.[&o]

BUT! I have been powering the unit with two 6V photolithiums (only weighs 2.5 oz.) and I believe I've figured a pattern. The voltage at take off was 11.2V and it seemed to do fine while the plane was near the RX and even did pretty good in the initial climbout. Then the video started dropping out, but it was in very regular intervals of 2 secs of good quality nice video then dropout for about 10 seconds, then 2 seconds of video again. I metered the battery under load and it did drop some, then rise, then drop. So I figure that maybe the voltage is dropping below the threshold level and then coming up long enough to establish a video link again. Does that make sense?

Tomorrow I'll drop the anchor on the Nutz and put the 10X1100 HE's back in there and see if that makes a difference.

CTF
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Old 11-25-2003, 08:15 AM
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Yeah, I know... but I figured it probably had an operating voltage range of of say 9 to 12 volts. I don't know that for a fact, but what the heck. The video I did manage to get was very good quality tho

CTF
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Old 11-25-2003, 12:42 PM
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Well, better than cranking too much voltage into it and letting out the Magic Smoke.
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Old 11-25-2003, 02:54 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

You know... that does bring up a good point.... I put the 10X1100 HE cells on the Triton this morning and it topped out 14.4 volts. Think I'll check it before I plug it up and make sure it's settled down a bit!

CTF

P.S. No flying today, dangit! Winds are 30-40 mph... too tough for even a ZagNutz! But I have lots of pics from yesterday to edit.....
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Old 11-25-2003, 07:29 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

My 10X1100 AA packs top out at around the same. System runs fine on em. I sure wish some of these companys would give you more info such as the permissable voltage range.
ORIGINAL: CenTexFlyer

You know... that does bring up a good point.... I put the 10X1100 HE cells on the Triton this morning and it topped out 14.4 volts. Think I'll check it before I plug it up and make sure it's settled down a bit!

CTF

P.S. No flying today, dangit! Winds are 30-40 mph... too tough for even a ZagNutz! But I have lots of pics from yesterday to edit.....
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Old 11-26-2003, 05:06 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

Well........

I am still disappointed.... GREATLY disappointed.....

I flew the supercircuits system today and the performance was still dismal. I used the 10 X 1100 HECell and took off at 13.45 measured volts. Everything looked good until I got about 500 feet out. Then the color went away in the monitor. By 800 feet the signal was getting snowy. By 1000 feet it was non-existent. In came and went several times as I made circuits around the truck. (my daughter was standing on the roof with the receiver over her head with instructions to keep the antenna straight up!) To make matters worse - when I got closer which I felt should be back into range, the camera/TX never did re-sync with the RX. After I landed, I flipped the TX on and off several times and could not establish a link from 20 feet away. Checked the voltage on the HECells and it was at 13.25V!

For my money, the 2.4 gig system that Monte sells over at [link]http://www.wirelessvideocameras.com[/link] can't be beat for hanging onto a video signal. Sure you can get some multipath interference, but the signal is strong a LOOOoong way out. Besides, I haven't even begun to hack that system yet.... the GPP antenna should clear up a bunch of the MPI.

So... I guess I have another box to mail....[]

CTF
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Old 11-26-2003, 09:12 PM
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Default RE: Am I Disappointed!

I get the best picture with the 900 mhz supercircuits system with that little 1/4 whip screwed to the back of the RX and the rx set on top of the car. You need a longer RCA type lead to reach the TV. The little dinky whip gives a better picture than the $200 yagi. Must be coax loss.

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