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2CoolRC 1500 Review

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Old 01-10-2004, 12:20 AM
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CenTexFlyer
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Default 2CoolRC 1500 Review

OK, I've decided to "take one for the team".....this review will be completely from a "users" standpoint as I don't have the equipment to test the output of the TX, but I think that most of us are looking for the results rather than the technicalities anyway......

Remote Transmitter : I just got in my unit from 2CoolRC and decided that I'll use this forum to review the unit. After several conversations with Shawn I have not been able to confirm whether this is a true 1.2 Ghz unit or one that falls under the 1.2 Gig and thus is illegal. That fact withstanding, I'll continue.

The remote transmitter is a solidly built unit that has the CMOS camera mounted to it. The housing is extruded aluminum with aluminum end caps with the antenna and power in jack the only external feature noticeable. There are cooling vents in each end and at 1.5 watts output power (stated) and I think you'd do well to give it some air to breathe for best operation and longevity. You would also be hard pressed to put a dent in this case even in a pretty severe crash. If you did, you'd need to write of the entire system anyway! My postal scale put this unit at 6.5 oz. all up weight.

There is very little in the way of assembly for this unit. The transmitter only needs the antenna screwed to the SMA connector and then plug the 3mm 9V power jack that ends in a 5 mm socket, so that you can plug in a 5 mm 9V battery connector. Why didn't they just use a 3 mm jack on the 9V connector and be done with it? Dunno... but there you have it. No "on-off" switch, just plug it in, and she's hot.

The first thing I wanted to do was remove the camera from the mount to give it a more streamlined configuration and found there was JUST enough lead to allow me to place the camera on the front edge of the housing rather than perched on top of the box.

Conclusion: On the transmitter, it would be better for us flyers to have a lighter, plastic case, but "built like a tank" does have some positives! A plug on the CMOS camera would be nice for those who would want to upgrade to a CCD camera rather than having to cut (YIKES!) the coax to get the wires.

Receiver : Straightforward and not much to do here. Just attach the antenna and plug in the 5mm power adapter. There is a switch to select channel 1,2,3,4 but other than that, not much else. The directions included with the unit indicated that one might need to adjust a tuning on the receiver to get the best picture but there was nothing left to "fiddle" with after I plugged in the antenna, power, and selected the channel.

After hooking the receiver up to my monitor and plugging everything in... PICTURE! A little focus and then I walked around a bit. Not too much multi-path interference so far and it seemed to hold a pretty good picture even with some equipment between me and the receiver.

Conclusion : So far the receiver is even easier than the transmitter. I would imagine that regardless, the range would be increased by mast mounting this unit and getting a circular polarized patch antenna mounted directly to it. It will be tried both in a ground environment and then mounted on a mast to discern any differences.

The real "proof in the pudding" will be the flight test. It was EXTREMELY easy to mount this unit in my Jeti 30-3 powered MegaNutz flying wing, but I believe that it would fly quite easily in my standard Nutz with a Mega brushless. I cut a block of foam out of the leading edge of the left wing and she nestled down in there quite nicely. I angled the camera so that it is at about 30 degrees down in level flight. The MegaNutz is equipped with a Fowler flap and when it's deployed, she'll fly in a nose up attitude of about 10 degrees so that should give some latitude in the view. We'll see, huh?

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Old 01-10-2004, 11:17 AM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

Well! I sure hope this thing is legal!

Finished the installation on the MegaNutz and flew her this morning. With a suspect 9V battery the unit produced a good strong picture all the way thru the initial climbout. I took the MegaNutz up to about 800 feet and began traversing back and forth to get an idea of range, and I have to say, I am quite impressed.

There were still some lines and "sparklies" but the video/audio feed was much more consistent than I've expereienced with other units. The video would blank on some turns but that was to be expected as the antenna orientation would be pointed directly at the receiver or would be blanked by the wing as it turned. When the turn was completed, the video synch'ed back up and we picture. Toward the end of the 15 minute flight, the video feed started getting a little more interference and drop out. But when the TX is kicking out 1.5 watts, the draw on a weak battery begins reducing power output pretty significantly and I believe this was the case. I'll rectify that situation by using 8 AAA NiMhs with a voltage regulator to hold it at a solid 9 volts.

The only weak spot is the little CMOS camera. While I like the design/housing for mounting, it still suffered from the CMOS flare and lag when it went from a low light to a highly lighted region of the frame. I tried several different lenses that I had, and the one that came with it seemed to work the best (Imagine that!) Still, it was very difficult to get a sharp picture at distance, most like from the lack of effective pixels. I will say that I am a bit more critical than most because I will be using this in a commercial application so the camera will be the first thing changed out.

Conclusion : Thumbs up on this one! For the price of $199.00 plus shipping this unit can't be beaten! This is the fourth system I've tested and I only kept one other 2.4 GhZ system. If this unit is any indication, then the other less powerful units listed on 2CoolRC's web page should perform as well for the casual, close in flyer. Now we just need to get a few more folks using them so we can begin all the hacking

Disclaimer : I am in no way associated with 2CoolRC or any of the principals, nor do I receive any compensation or consideration for the content of this review. I did it because I'm tired of paying good money and getting JUNK! Your mileage may vary.

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Old 01-13-2004, 01:42 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

I too use the Jeti 30-33... excellent power and very reliable. When do you think some company will produce quality RC wireless video products? If I had bottomless pockets, I would do it myself. Thus far the only companies working on this stuff are from over seas where our FCC rules don't apply. Perhaps the market is too small. So let's make the demand larger hehe.

Note: I wouldn't be interested in using a product which works off of 9 volt batteries. The mere fact that a power connection is not directly supplied tells me this is an illegal device. If something is sold ready to go... it is most likely legal. Just like fireworks... legal to sell, but not to use. Buyer beware! Makes no sense to me!

Rob
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Old 01-13-2004, 09:23 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

RJ

Actually the units come supplied with everything you need to fire up. The transmitter uses a 3mm power jack and it just so happens to use 9V. Included with the kit is a powerplug that terminates in the usual 9V snap on connector. The receiver will operate on 9-12 volts and has a 5mm power jack. which is quite convenient as most inverters/transformers come with a T type powerplug that fits it quite nicely.

I'm still looking for someone with a frequency counter around here so I can ascertain whether this is a legal unit or not. Keep ya posted!

CTF
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Old 01-13-2004, 11:09 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

I got the system from http://www.hamtv.com An FCC lic is req'd. but about 3 hours of studying is all that takes! Check the online practice tests for Amatuer Technician tests.
At hamtv, they have "RC Application" notes and a sugested system.I fired it up saturday. I had to fuss a little bit with VIDEO GAIN, but it just worked!! Use cable channel 58 or buy the recommended converter. (I did) Airplane Rx WILL require shielding and a filter!!! about 1.5 hours work I estimate! I will keep yuh'all posted on how well it works. (Or does not work LOL)
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Old 01-14-2004, 06:23 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

This system is the same as www.tinywireless systems, and most ebay systems. All operating on the 1.2ghz band.
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Old 01-14-2004, 08:44 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

These units are produced in China, are not on 1240-1300mhz and are not legal for USA use.

Here is a link to a Chinese company that is making this type of equipment:

http://www.lawmate.com.tw/products_en.html

Any system that is made for the USA market that puts out more than .1-1mw must transmit in a Ham band and requires a ham license to operate.

The amp that is used to bring the basic power from 50-200mw to 1w can be used with a legal 1240mhz transmitter if removed and installed on the legal transmitter. You can buy a cheapo high 1.2 ghz power unit off Ebay for about $75.00 with shipping and get a Legal transmitter/receiver 4 Channel, 50mW Kit ATV-1204T, ATV-1204R $159/set from 4atv.com and get yourself a very good 1 watt system on a legal 1240mhz channel. All you will need is a ham license.
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Old 01-15-2004, 08:49 AM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

Waitaminnit! Waitaminnit!

Skypilot - are you saying the unit from www.tinywireless.com is not legal?

Or the one I reviewed from 2CoolRc is not legal?

CTF
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:20 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

Yes,

That is correct. They do not transmit on USA legal frequencies and are on Aero Nav channels. Which if a full scale plane is flying over your area and you are transmitting you could interfere with their navigation. Bad, very bad.

Get a frequency counter like I did and check for yourself or find a amateur ham operator to check it for you.
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:24 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

I just found a Chinese company willing to sell 1500mw transmitters/receivers for $80.00 shipped to US. Better prices if bought in quantity.

I am trying to get them to produce them on 1240-1300mhz but it's tough.
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Old 01-16-2004, 12:11 AM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

So BOTH of them are no bueno, huh?
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Old 01-16-2004, 08:44 AM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

At this time, any offering from China on 1.2ghz is not going to be legal in the USA.

End of story.

If you use it, DON'T get caught.

If you want a legal system go to supercircuits.com, blackwidowav.com or microcamera.com. This equipment starts at about $300.00 for a complete system on a legal channel. You will not find high power, legal equipment for less.

There are many other companies that sell higher quality equipment made for commercial use but expect to pay $500.00 for lower end up to $15000.00 for full blown diversity receiver switching. All of this equipment puts out less than one watt, usually from 250 to 700mw max.
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Old 01-16-2004, 08:48 AM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

Did I mention you will need a ham or commercial license to operate any of these units do to their power output?
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Old 01-16-2004, 10:00 AM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

Thanks Sky-pilot,

Yep, knew that. I've been thru a pretty long curve on this trip. My venture is commercial so I know I'm operating under Part 90. Been to SuperCircuits (Not!), been to wirelessvideo.com (ehhh...), looked into lots of others. Will keep looking too....

CTF
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Old 01-16-2004, 01:44 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

Tinywireless.com Systems are now legal. The Manufacturer has now bumped up the frequencies to make the transmitters in the "legal" 1.2 band. It took a while of convincing though.

Ill get the exact frequencies later, for now I know they are between 1250 and 1299. ghz.
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Old 01-16-2004, 03:36 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

Tinywireless.com Systems are now legal. The Manufacturer has now bumped up the frequencies to make the transmitters in the "legal" 1.2 band. It took a while of convincing though.

Ill get the exact frequencies later, for now I know they are between 1250 and 1299. ghz.
But you still have stock illegal equipment, right? How does purchaser know they get legal or illegal equipment from you?

Do you say all 4 frequencies will be legal band?

How does small USA vendor get big Chinese manufacturer to change production? Amazing!

- David
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Old 01-16-2004, 07:35 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

The only way to know the frequencies of the equipment you buy is to check it with a frequency counter. They cost about $150.00 for one that shows signal strength via a bar graph.

Again, All of this equipment will require a ham license to operate legally in the ham band.

The license is easy to get now and will cost $10.00 for ten years of coverage.
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Old 01-16-2004, 08:16 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

Closet flyer,
All four freqs are in the legal 1240- 1300 ghz band.

Right now I have a few sets of "illegal" equipment left but I will not be selling these sets. I will keep them for personal use.

The appearance of the actual equipment has not changed.

Well, I ve been dealing with this company for a while now, and I ve developed a very good relationship with the owner. She talked to the engineers if it could be done, and they said yes.

The only way to know the frequencies of the equipment you buy is to check it with a frequency counter. They cost about $150.00 for one that shows signal strength via a bar graph."

Ill have to get one and check the exact frequencies; but I have no doubt in my supplier.

-Vova
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Old 01-16-2004, 10:17 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

That’s great news Vova!

But that could reduce the posts in the forum by 50% though, maybe you should change them back so we have something to talk about.
Great to see we’re getting another legal option for video!
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Old 01-16-2004, 10:40 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

ORIGINAL: closetflyer

How does small USA vendor get big Chinese manufacturer to change production? Amazing!

- David
I’m not surprised at all.
Most of the units I've seen had English on the receiver, even on the manufacturers web site, it’s not hard to guess the (FCC) market they were targeting.
Cool news! something legal we can recommend to people in that magic <$100 range.
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Old 01-16-2004, 11:15 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

This is very good news!

I will purchase one after the frequencies have been verified. Or I can purchase one and verify the frequencies.

When will the new units be available?

I was just on the tiny wireless site. The power outputs seem to be a bit inflated. We can check that too. The site needs more info, size weight, current draw, etc.
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Old 01-16-2004, 11:23 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

Go to www.lessemf.com/rf.html

Broadcast Frequency Counter (Cat. #A119-3G) …..……. $139.95

Alpha RF Meter (Cat. #A159) ……. $320.00

Lowest price I could find on a meters like this. It works very well and can be used to roughly plot antenna radiation patterns and tune antennas.

Fast shipping too. Shipped same day used it the next.
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Old 01-16-2004, 11:34 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

That’s a nice looking Frequency counter, I may need one.
I reached for my scope to last night and it wasn’t there.
I remembered who borrowed it, but they didn’t remember who “they” loaned it to....[]
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Old 02-02-2004, 09:28 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

Vova,
Just got your "Legal unit". Guess what? Frequency counter says 1080. So did I get one of your old units by mistake or are we all getting ripped off?

Patrick
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Old 02-02-2004, 10:27 PM
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Default RE: 2CoolRC 1500 Review

Wow, the exact frequency measured my Mr. RC-CAM when I sent my unit to him......
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