Seeing the world from a different perspective – Part 3

Seeing the world from a different perspective – Part 3

When you think about it, there’s quite a bit of technology involved in getting these quad copters or multirotors up in the air. In the early days of remote controlled planes and helicopters people would fly on 35Mhz frequency with different coloured crystals to make sure that there was no interference from other flyers in the same area. The Phantom transmitter runs on 2.4Ghz which is the new frequency for remote controlled vehicles.

So once I was thinking of being able to see what the camera could see while the Phantom was in the air, I had to think about how to get the video back to me on the ground. A bit of research later told me that I needed to look into FPV (first person view) flying. This involves either adding a small camera or taking a video feed from the GoPro (this was the method I chose) and sending it via a video transmitter back to a receiver and monitor on the ground. Obviously it would not be a good idea to use the same frequency as the transmitter controlling your aircraft. The frequency for video transmission is 5.8Ghz. There are different power limitations depending on which country you operate in. Power varies from 200mw upwards. As strange as it sounds, it’s not necessarily the power of your transmitter that determines the distance you get between transmitter and receiver. A lot also depends on the type of aerials used. Most transmitters and receivers come with a small straight whip aerial. Better aerials are known as cloverleaf due to the arrangement pattern of the wire inside the aerial. These give much better reception and can allow a bit extra distance in your transmission.

Instead of having a separate receiver and monitor setup I decided to get a monitor with a built in diversity receiver. This would mean that everything needed was built into one unit and just needed to have a battery attached. The whole thing then attaches itself to your transmitter and you are good to go. The monitor is not the only option for FPV it is possible to get video goggles with built in receivers. These give a true feeling of being in the cockpit of your aircraft. It does mean however that you do not have your aircraft in line of sight, which is a requirement for use commercially in the UK.

Getting the commercial licence to operate in the UK is another story.

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