RC Radios, Transmitters, Receivers, Servos, gyros Discussion all about rc radios, transmitters, receivers, servos, etc.

Radio reps- get moving

Reply

Old 05-16-2003, 11:52 PM
  #1  
TomM
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 315
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

My rant for the radio reps/manufacturers.

How long to we have to wait until someone makes a "standard" open source computer radio. There's tons of people who would like to interface their own hardware and software, do their setup and mixing on the pc, write custom apps for " press button to execute" flying, data recording, ect...

Publish the schematics, software and protocol where people could assign their own controls and mixes.

How about doing our initial setup on a GUI, clicking on the control surfaces that we'd want to mix, click and drag for differential or expo.
A STANDARD eprom, where model setup can be traded among different radio brands, or stored on a computer and modified.

How about a common port where alternate controllers could plug in, like a 3 axis gyro controller- just move your hand in free space and that's where the plane points.

There'd be a new market for high-end joystics, switches, and custom cases. Hackers would become famous for writing new software for a standard microcontroller used in all radios. Airplane kits and helis could be sold with a setup floppy. Just install your servos, press LOAD, and all the mixes and throws are done.

Even the receivers could have a standard port to connect our own black boxes to monitor servo health by measuring I drain and noise feedback. Through that port could be a "mechanical" fail-safe monitoring servo health- any drastic change in servo current from stall, flutter, open circuit, would signal the throttle to limit to 50% or less.

I was thinking, after escapements and reed systems, the digital proportional system came out in the '60s, and even with FM, PCM, computer mixes, there's not been much of a big change in 40 years. (in my Dr. Evil voice--- come on... it's the 21st friggin century already)

Just as the Mac is probably a better computer (and the Amiga was better in it's day), The PC won out because IBM said - here's the specs, here's the code, here's the bus and the I/O ports- everyone is free to add things.

I know, it'll never happen. No market, no profit, no future. Oh well.
TomM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2003, 01:12 AM
  #2  
Crash_N_Burn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: d, AL,
Posts: 535
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

Wonderful idea, TomM. Wonderful.

I'd buy one in a second.....

...But I fear the reason we won't see it in quite a while is total sales vs. expenditure.

We all want one...but the "we" isn't enough volume to justify the money spent on development.

If they were Buick's, we'd see it next year....

(Let's keep hoping, though....sigh.....)
Crash_N_Burn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2003, 03:14 AM
  #3  
visioneer_one
My Feedback: (506)
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: St. Thomas, VIRGIN ISLANDS (USA)
Posts: 2,428
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

Originally posted by Crash_N_Burn

If they were Buick's, we'd see it next year....
they ARE Buicks.

Just look at all that chrome.

visioneer_one is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2003, 11:23 AM
  #4  
LSP972
Senior Member
My Feedback: (13)
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Zachary, LA
Posts: 4,749
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

All that is nice and spiffy, but before we see any of it, I fervently hope "they" finally go to a more secure frequency link so I don't have to worry about some doper paging his connection and shooting me down.

My 9Z keeps me plenty busy, radio-tinkering wise. But I wonder, every time I take one of my models off, if it will survive the full flight without getting "hit".

And I fly in a very rural area, 30 miles from any major population area. RF interference has not been a problem for us at all- so far.

I do have to wonder, though, about the proposed included disk in every model. Load a program, click the mouse, and your model is perfectly trimmed, etc??? What's the fun in that? To me, anyway, part of the allure of this hobby is creating a flying artifact from a kit, etc., and making it do what I want it to through my skill and knowledge.

What you're proposing will make it so any dipstick who can read a cereal box will be able to play, too. Do you REALLY want that?

I don't dare do any helicopter hover testing in my back yard anymore, because of all these park flyers on 72mHz that the industry is flooding the market with. I've seen two of them less than a block from my house. I am NOT being an elitist snob; the hard truth is that there is only so much bandwidth and physical space to enjoy this hobby. Get it too crowded, and it no longer becomes fun.

I know, there are more sides to this. But right now, today, I think we need a better type of frequency link more than we need the latest whiz-bang interfaces, controllers, etc.

Steve
LSP972 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2003, 11:28 AM
  #5  
jskrebs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Westport, PA
Posts: 134
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

Try the Microstar 2000. It's not open source, but I am sure Gordon Anderson and Marv Jensen would be willing to work with you. There is already a simple GUI available. The native mixing is pretty complete, but Gordon is open to input.

Jeff
jskrebs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2003, 02:31 PM
  #6  
TomM
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 315
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

Steve,
Part of this future "standardization" would be the ability to change RF decks in the future (should that ever be an option) for a better link

I do have to wonder, though, about the proposed included disk in every model. Load a program, click the mouse, and your model is perfectly trimmed, etc??? What's the fun in that? To me, anyway, part of the allure of this hobby is creating a flying artifact from a kit, etc., and making it do what I want it to through my skill and knowledge.

A "basic" setup, universal for all radios. Fine tuning would still be needed. How about saving all your models on a flash card or memory stick. You break your radio or just want to get a new one, the memory works, no matter what brand radio.


What you're proposing will make it so any dipstick who can read a cereal box will be able to play, too. Do you REALLY want that?


I guess the same statements were made back when the only option was to build your own radio, or when engines were sold as a "casting kit".

So today while a cheap PC from walmart enables any dipstick to get on the internet, do digital imaging, edit videos, write code (all stuff that was considered a specialized, elitist knowledge if you will 15-20 years ago) that standardization of a platform promoted sharing and learning and produced a generation of wiz kids.

I'm not asking radio makers to add these wiz-bang features. Just make them standard with open source. third parties and individuals would make the add-ons. Just like every pc computer part works with every standard pc. You don't have to shop for a monitor for a Dell, or a printer for a Gateway, or a sound card for a HP

I remember calling Futaba a couple years ago asking for a schematic for a 6xa. I wanted to experiment. They wouldn't send me one. The reply was "sir- that would void your warrantee".
Didn't matter to them that I was a ham, comercial licensed, nasa certified, ect... and I work with a dozen people who do hardware/firmware coding every day. I'll have to see if Hitec is more friendly.
TomM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2003, 05:10 PM
  #7  
strato911
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: West Jordan, UT
Posts: 1,479
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

I can see it already - An open source computer radio design powered by Linux.

To bad Penguins can't fly - but perhaps they can remote pilot...
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	79262_14637.jpg
Views:	17
Size:	62.7 KB
ID:	46945  
strato911 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2003, 05:17 PM
  #8  
LSP972
Senior Member
My Feedback: (13)
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Zachary, LA
Posts: 4,749
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

My point apparently sailed right over your head, Tom.

Comparing internet access and the tools to do neat stuff with this hobby is apples and oranges. The worst you have to put up with on the former is spam and the occasional hacker. Not to mention the fact that internet access is now considered a God-given right, like driving, and any regulatory attempts to shut it down would bring swift reprisals against the politicians/bureaucrats who tried.

But one irresponsible idiot with a model airplane can ruin it all for the rest of us. Our hobby is just that; a hobby. Look how fast model flying fields are disappearing due to one thing or another; and there are not enough of us to stop it.

The effort and attention to detail required to make a model airplane or helicopter fly successfully has kept a lot morons in front of their televisions or on their four-wheelers, and away from a transmitter. This is changing; and I, for one, believe that is not a good thing.

I am most definitely not a dinosaur who is resistant to change and regards new technology with suspicion, despite your thinly veiled suggestion otherwise. I have, however, spent 25 years dealing with the public and attempting to prevent recalcitrant behavior; and am all too aware of the fact that many of our fellow citizens do not give a rat's behind about common courtesy or following the rules, and are strictly into self-gratification. "Who cares about the consequences?" is their attitude. We do NOT need these people in our hobby.

Okay, I understand better what you were talking about in terms of the set-up, etc. Sounds good. But Crash_N_Burn has it right, I think; the return on the investment is not worth the manufacturer's doing it. To them, bottom line is everything.

Steve
LSP972 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2003, 05:38 PM
  #9  
David Cutler
Senior Member
 
David Cutler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,162
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Re: Radio reps- get moving

Originally posted by TomM
How long to we have to wait until someone makes a "standard" open source computer radio.
. . . . Forever, I'm afraid.

The only reason Open Source software like Linux is commercially viable is because there are so many willing to contribute, beta test, upgrade etc for free, and free software like, for instance, the Apache server offers greater stability than closed systems like Microsoft, which prompts people to spend a lot of their own money developing it.

Their market is huge. Easily millions of people.

I'm afraid we might have to actually pay for improved integration and software to transfer the set-ups from a PC to the transmitter, as desirable as it seems.

-David C.
David Cutler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2003, 06:02 PM
  #10  
TomM
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 315
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

Why are you arguing the point that I'd like a radio that I or anyone can wriite software for, with data ports so that I can plug in recorders, failsafes, telemetry, alternate controls and who knows what else people can think of, and share set-ups among different brands with a common memory format with idiots who ruin everything and flying fields dissapearing, and people who are only into self gratification?
TomM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2003, 07:35 PM
  #11  
LSP972
Senior Member
My Feedback: (13)
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Zachary, LA
Posts: 4,749
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

Goodness; that was certainly a convoluted sentence...

I'm not arguing the point that what you described would be good to have; I'm trying to present the point that making it too easy would invite all sorts of undesirable folks into the hobby.

Never mind...
LSP972 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2003, 08:37 PM
  #12  
TomM
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 315
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

So gimme an "F" for my lack of proper verbateem.
TomM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2003, 02:57 AM
  #13  
jdwiflyrc
Senior Member
My Feedback: (31)
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Stantonsburg, NC
Posts: 109
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Selectable computer radio

Hi everyone,

One ( simple ) change to the PCM mode would alleviate a lot of the problem, instead of the Standard PCM make it a PERSONAL PCM that you program your own code that your system would only respond to.

In that way several systems could conceivably be on the same ch freq. at the same time but only respond to its on personal code.

A little food for thought.

John
jdwiflyrc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2003, 03:08 AM
  #14  
Papa Tango
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 104
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

I seems to me that when you talk about "undesirables" in the hobby, what you are really afraid of is that the "rogue" fliers out on the schoolyard will pollute the usable frequencies so that it's no longer safe to fly without getting a hit.

The obvious solution to this problem is to make it impossible to get a hit. That can be easily done if Tx and Rx are able to expand on PCM technology by sending "headers" with each transmission that uniquely identifies the code sent as belonging to your TX and not someone else's. If your Rx can disregard bogus input then the problem is solved.

I think that the reason that this type of modulation has not been implemented is that (and I'm guessing here) this sort of transmission would require more bandwidth than is currently available with the sub-bands (50 channels) within the 72 mHz band. For example it may be that putting channel 50 and 49 together would provide the necessary modulation range. If this is so, then it would require the FCC to combine some channels. Can you imagine how many years it would take to even get them to consider the idea let alone implement it?

By the way, if anyone out there is saying to themselves that this would never work because there are still radios out there that will still use channels 49 & 50 in the same old way. But that really doesn't matter because they just need to be aware that 49 and 50 are no longer safe for them in the same way that certain areas of the country are susceptible to Pager interference on a few channels.

Any thoughts on this guys?
Papa Tango is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2003, 04:08 AM
  #15  
strato911
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: West Jordan, UT
Posts: 1,479
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

Originally posted by Papa Tango
The obvious solution to this problem is to make it impossible to get a hit. That can be easily done if Tx and Rx are able to expand on PCM technology by sending "headers" with each transmission that uniquely identifies the code sent as belonging to your TX and not someone else's. If your Rx can disregard bogus input then the problem is solved.

I think that the reason that this type of modulation has not been implemented is that (and I'm guessing here) this sort of transmission would require more bandwidth than is currently available with the sub-bands (50 channels) within the 72 mHz band. For example it may be that putting channel 50 and 49 together would provide the necessary modulation range. If this is so, then it would require the FCC to combine some channels. Can you imagine how many years it would take to even get them to consider the idea let alone implement it?
If I recall correctly (and I'l be corrected if I'm wrong), there is already header information being transmitted in every PCM frame, so bandwidth shouldn't be an issue. However, allowing a personal header may make the entire frame bigger, resulting in an even slower refresh rate at the servos.

Combining channels wouldn't work, because our channels (in North America) are interleaved with industrial users. Using your example of channels 49 and 50, ch40 = 72.770Mhz 5KHz and ch50 = 72.790MHz 5KHz. This leaves a 10KHZ gap (72.775 to 72.785) for industrial users.
strato911 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2003, 05:58 AM
  #16  
4*60
My Feedback: (41)
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Shuswap, BC,
Posts: 1,749
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

I've thought about the header bit and it looked good, then I thought about it some more. I believe two or more transmitters on the same frequency would mean noise, not separate signals with personal codes, so down in flames we go or fail safe mode anyway. This is radio/wireless and rf. There would be no logic to the signal(s).

Much better than computer geek. "RETIRED" computer geek.
4*60 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2003, 10:09 AM
  #17  
jskrebs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Westport, PA
Posts: 134
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

This thread is getting interesting!

How about 802.11B enabled transmitters and recievers with IP addresses. Standard off the shelf components, source code available, FCC approved. TCP/IP protocol @ 11 MPS you could control 50 channels and transmit bidirectional live video.

Or perhaps SMS or Cell phone technology..............
jskrebs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2003, 10:55 AM
  #18  
TomM
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 315
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

2 or more transmitters at a flight line might result in noise, but FM's capture effect should block out the code from a distant park flyer.

How about a transmitter with 2 rf decks, flying on 2 channels at each end of the RC band. No rules against it....? One frequency gets hit and the other receiver can still control half the surfaces.

I don't think the header idea would add much bandwidth. Could you afford to lose a few percent in refresh rate? Most satellites (from the same manufacturer) share the same 128 bit commands. The 8 bit ID header makes sure you're commanding the right one.
TomM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2003, 02:24 PM
  #19  
s3nfo
My Feedback: (14)
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 882
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

Originally posted by Papa Tango
I seems to me that when you talk about "undesirables" in the hobby, what you are really afraid of is that the "rogue" fliers out on the schoolyard will pollute the usable frequencies so that it's no longer safe to fly without getting a hit.

The obvious solution to this problem is to make it impossible to get a hit. That can be easily done if Tx and Rx are able to expand on PCM technology by sending "headers" with each transmission that uniquely identifies the code sent as belonging to your TX and not someone else's. If your Rx can disregard bogus input then the problem is solved.

Any thoughts on this guys?
Yea, spread spectrum would be much easier to implement, would virtually eliminate "hits", would still allow you to operate with the current "fixed" channel sets without them interferring with you, or you with them and would not increase "bandwidth" usage on the link appreciably. Much better than trying to come up with some sort of "IP" solution that would be implemented in a proprietary manner by all the different manufacturers so we'd be back to only using X brand Rx's with X brand Tx's.

As to the ability to get into the code, bad idea and I'd protest vigoursly any move to do so. Of the 10 people I know well who use programmable radios, 6 have not bothered to read the manual past getting the ability to do basic stuff, 2 have read the manual, but don't understand it and 2 really know how to use the radio. That's 80% who are dangerous with the "programmability" of the radio. I REALLY don't want these guys having the ability to get into the code and really screw things up!
s3nfo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2003, 03:01 PM
  #20  
Homebrewer
My Feedback: (8)
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 1,359
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

All I want is a JR radio that does away with crystals for frequency modulation. The ability to change channels on both transmitter and receiver would be welcome. I know that Polk Hobby sells a brand that has this capability but I just love the JR 8103 programming features and feel.
Homebrewer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2003, 08:37 PM
  #21  
Papa Tango
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 104
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

Originally posted by 4*60
I've thought about the header bit and it looked good, then I thought about it some more. I believe two or more transmitters on the same frequency would mean noise, not separate signals with personal codes, so down in flames we go or fail safe mode anyway. This is radio/wireless and rf. Ther would be no logic to the signal(s).

If you have ever listened to short wave radio you will surely have heard a transmission which at first seems to be just noise and static, but when you listen more closely you realize that you are listening to something more. Those are high speed transmissions. If you were to amplify the electric impulses going on in your desktop PC you would hear much the same "noise". The thing about it is, that it isn't noise... it's code!
Just as a digital compact Disc player will only reproduce and act on a digital signal, so PCM receiver can pick out code and not act on true noise (in other words any signal which has no interpretable structure). An analogy for this would be the case in which at times eggs are shipped in paper cartons, and other times is styrene cartons... even if you got yours eggs shipped in straw you would still be able to recognize them as eggs and separate them out.

So putting many transmissions on one channel means nothing when the Rx is able to "pick out" only the code which it has been programed to listen to. Computer network switches and routers do the exact same thing. When you send a document from one computer to another, the router or switch breaks the document down into "packets", each packet given a header which states the IP address of the intended destination computer. It is impossible for any other computer on the network to receive packets which are not address to it. Normal network traffic is at 100 megabits/second..... that's 100 million pieces of code per second!

The technology is there..... the Radio Manufacturers just need to put it to work for us!
Papa Tango is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2003, 04:38 PM
  #22  
lnorris
Senior Member
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 612
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

I'm with Homebrewer. You all realize that this market is very small, R&D budgets are small and all this means VERY delayed tech. I've been building computers and computer equipment since the 1980's and couldn't believe most of the equipment in this hobby still used crystals... AND they charge $17 a pop!!!! Guess I should just be glad we're not using vacuum tubes..

There isn't any reason that we shouldn't have spread spectrum transmitters with a Palm Pilot like GUI programming interface. Create an open standard interface and you'd have several people (myself included) who would write software for Linux, Mac, and maybe even Windows to interface with it.

Of course, our main curse may be that your average pilot still has a blinking 12:00 on his VCR.... :stupid:
lnorris is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2003, 04:49 PM
  #23  
strato911
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: West Jordan, UT
Posts: 1,479
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

Originally posted by lnorris
Of course, our main curse may be that your average pilot still has a blinking 12:00 on his VCR.... :stupid:
Only when I'm to busy building to notice there was a power outage.

As a fellow computer geek, I would embrace the concept of a Linux powered radio. I'M sure it could already be done with off-the shelf products, but not as small and lightweight as our current receivers.
strato911 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2003, 03:26 AM
  #24  
thejetgod
Senior Member
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Bedford, NH
Posts: 114
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Is Multiplex the Answer?

Have you looked at any of the capabilities of the radios offered by Multiplex? I am pretty new to this, but HarryC seems to think that there is absolutely nothing you cannot do with a Multiplex radio. If what HarryC says is half true, they certainly do seem to be much more malleable in the hands of a discerning r/c pilot/programmer. I believe you can even transport models from one radio to another to enable your buddies to reap the benefits of your programming expertise. Could this be the company that currently embraces your radio dreams?
thejetgod is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2003, 04:02 AM
  #25  
MikeL
Senior Member
My Feedback: (3)
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Bloomington, MN
Posts: 3,282
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Radio reps- get moving

None of the established manufacturers would want to create something like this. We've had minor, incrimental updates to radios for some time. The main reason most of us replace our 7/8 channel radios with 8/9 channel radios is for new software features. The moment they open-source it or make it user-installable they'll lose new radio sales.
MikeL is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service