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What Is The Best Wireless Video System for under $500.00

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Old 03-09-2004, 02:58 PM
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BULLSEYE
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Default What Is The Best Wireless Video System for under $500.00

I am trying to get into the wireless video business using a helicopter and wanted to know what the best system would be for under $500.00. I am gearing towards Civil Engineering firms that need great quality video of:

Subdivisions
Roadways


These will probably low fly overs. By the way, what does CCD quality mean?

Thanks in advance
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Old 03-09-2004, 03:50 PM
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Default RE: What Is The Best Wireless Video System for under $500.00

By the way, this video would be strictly for presentation purposes only. But it would be very important to have this video to be great quality. Would I be able to capture the video to a Sony Hi-8 camcorder instead of using like a vcr and monitor? Thanks
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Old 03-09-2004, 05:05 PM
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Default RE: What Is The Best Wireless Video System for under $500.00

Hey Bullseye

I'm already doing that. Want me to do a presentation for your intended clients?

CTF
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Old 03-09-2004, 05:10 PM
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Default RE: What Is The Best Wireless Video System for under $500.00

I really would like to start my own business. Thanks though. Would you be so kind as to send me a demo? I would like to see what you pros are doing. What equipment are you using? Thanks
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Old 03-09-2004, 06:14 PM
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Default RE: What Is The Best Wireless Video System for under $500.00

Wow! Been alot of talk on this one, and here's some of the questions that have been posted in the startup of a business venture like this. Before you can take a single picture let's answer these..... I parenthicate my own response based upon experience......

1. Are you interested in a turn-key solution? Or just bits and pieces on a shoestring? (A SlowStik with a Taiwan camera taped to it doesn't demonstrate much professionalism)
2. Do you want a conventional platform for ROG/conventional landing type applications or a man-packable platform that can be flown from short fields (Can you climb trees?)
3. How much are you willing to spend on a flight platform? (bling-bling!)
4. How many are you willing to buy? (hint : one isn't enough!)
5. You WILL lose one with all the gear in it, are you ready for that? (See #4)
6. Are your flying skills sufficient to safely handle the aircraft selected in many adverse conditions? (do your knees still knock when you launch?)
7. General liability insurance is not available for these ventures. Are you prepared for that risk?
8. Do you have the support equipment to convert/compress/process/deliver dig stills/video? (If you do video's, better have a hoss codec/processor with lots of HD space to get commercial quality)
9. Can you handle all the preflight checks and equipment setup by yourself or will you need help? (It can be done, but you best pay attention!)

OK, so now we can take some pictures......

1. How much weight can your platform haul? Need to seperate dig and video into two birds?
2. Video's are great, but I want stills too. Can you give me both? (Check BlackWidow AV - a great place to start!)
3. What is "Great" quality video? (Video quality is easy to achieve. Get a camera with the highest number of lines and the most transmitter power you can afford, a receiver with S-video capabilities and record directly to digital. Your budget will triage each of these categories!)
4. Do you have enough practice with your platform to be able to center your "target" in the frame and keep it there for a sufficient enough time to satisfy your client? (Probably not, they're NEVER satisfied!)
5. Do you need infra-red capabilities? (For development and CE - count on it! Environmental issues....)
6. Do you need GPS mapping and OSD coordinates? (Same thing - for development and CE - count on it!)

So... I don't know if I've helped, but these are just a few of the questions that go along with "What kind of video system do you use?".....

CTF
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Old 03-09-2004, 06:31 PM
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Default RE: What Is The Best Wireless Video System for under $500.00

Well..... all this got me to thinking. Just *what* do I have in all these birds laying around here? After I figured it up at over a $G a copy I tried to calculate what "shoestring" would cost.....

I fly a tuff-as-nails ZN5.0 wing of my own design so each one is scratch built, but I'm cheap so I'll start with it.

$100 - AP Platform - Base build labor/materials
$150-$200 - Brushless power plant and ESC w/prop and adapter
$300 - Camera - Video or 3.2 + MP Digital Still
$100 - Flight and Camera Batteries (seperate)
$ 50 - HD Metal geared flight servos (2)
$ 50 - 6 Channel RX

This does not include the flight TX.

So.... on the low end, you're looking at around $700 that could do some commercial quality work. And that is being pretty generous. This doesn't include any support gear like chargers, extra batteries, props, computers, cabling etc, etc, etc..... at least another $G or so.

Commercial AP - Not for the faint of heart - or pocketbook!

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Old 03-09-2004, 08:28 PM
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Default RE: What Is The Best Wireless Video System for under $500.00

Yup, don't forget the ground equipment. The flying end is the less expensive end, but the most critical and complicated. Turning raw aerials into quality burned products is another end of the cost not mentioned.

Technology is constantly changing. Whatever you purchase, use it now and often, because in a few weeks or months you will be dissatisfied with your current equipment. Now, upgrading... that's fun too because you have to worry about compatibility. Nobody out there will tell you your new import board only works with WIN2000 or XP. Some times the compatibility issues can really cost you some duckets and duckets ain't cheap-grin.

Seriously, if you want a turnkey system... your not going to find one unless you purchase one from the guys whom visit this forum. If I packed all my stuff up and put it forsale... I would have to put a price tag of about 3K - 5K. So you buy it... then, you receive the perfectly packaged mass of equipment and planes. Without the experience with working with it as the designer/engineer... making it work might prove to be difficult. The thought of "Did I just buy a fansy paper weight?" will cross your mind.

Many of us, I'm speaking as one of you guys hehe, have spent two or more seasons re-engineering our aerial platforms from RAW vid to finished product. It isn't easy. There are so many variablies to bite you in the butt every time you fly! It ain't a Kodak point and shoot system Earnest hehe.

You being in TX, perhaps it would be easy to test year round. Me in Wisconsin sure slows me down!

My suggestion to you is... buy something and see if it grabs you like it's grabbed us! If you manage to thumb your objects without making balsa spliters (pun)... you will have learn some important lessons to apply to your next generation. This first is NEVER good enough... trust me.

Rob
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Old 03-09-2004, 11:35 PM
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Default RE: What Is The Best Wireless Video System for under $500.00

I dunno.... I think I could probably turn out a good 5 MP dig still wing for around $2K.... maybe..... Can I use a HiTec Neon radio?

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Old 03-10-2004, 02:07 PM
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Default RE: What Is The Best Wireless Video System for under $500.00

Hey CENTEX,

I chatted with you a little off line a while back about some video equipment.. I still tinker with my system but I have been more busy moving and getting settled into a new job and house... I now live in Kyle and I am looking for a place to fly. I left a message for the main contact listed for your club but I havnt heard back from him... Is there any chance I could meet up with you sometime and maybe talk about joining your club?, or do you fly in non AMA sanctioned club. Non sanctioned is fine with me as I am used to doing that at one of the MANY open areas around the Houston Area. I have been looking at some un-developed subdivisions in Kyle off 150 but they are throwing houses up there so fast that I think I would be limited to only one season if I was lucky...


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