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The FPV-project

My primary interest in RC is FPV (First Person View) piloting, and a few months ago I decided to build a Multiplex TwinStar II for this use. At this point I have built most of the gear to use onboard the plane, and made a very good ground station as well. Normally, a FPV-plane is controlled outdoors from a field, but I control my plane from my desktop.

Check out this video clip of a recent flight

The main components in the ground station is:

 - A tripod with two 8dBi patch antennas for uplink and downlink (1.3GHz for
   video and 2.4GHz for RC-control), a Spektrum transmitter module and a video
   receiver. A 10M cable connects the rack and tripod, which is usually
   placed in my garden
 - A rack with a control panel where I can patch the sound and video output and
   the PPM input, and control power to the receiver/transmitter
 - An 8" low latency LCD-screen for flying the plane in real-time - placed in the
   rack as well
 - A computer recording the video/audio and decoding AX.25 from the plane for
   real time telemetry

 - Pictures of the rack
 - Pictures of the antenna panel

The components in the plane is as following:

 - KX131 380-lines video camera (very fast AGC and good contrast)
 - 1.3GHz (23cm) 1W video transmitter with a four radial GP-antenna
 - Custom OSD based on the BOB-4 video overlay board
 - EM-411 SiRFStar III GPS
 - TinyTrak 3
 - 3A 5V switch mode regulator

As said, the OSD uses a BOB-4 module for video overlay. I originally controlled the BOB-4 with a PIC16F88, but the increasing amount of float variable calculations and other demanding 16-bit operations forced me to upgrade to a PIC18F1320. More technical information about the OSD will come later.

The TinyTrak 3 is used to transmit lat./lon. and altitude to the ground station to calculate azimuth and elevation angles for the receiver antenna. I will proceed the development of this system as soon as the basic FPV/OSD system runs satisfiable. The AX.25 decoding on the ground is done with a PIC16F88, and the trigonometrical calculations is done with a PIC18F1320.

 - Pictures of the OSD-board, and some of the GPS and camera
 - Pictures of the 1.3GHz video transmitter
 - Old pictures of the antenna rotator