Onboard cameras, what frequency?

I'm interested in using a video camera on RC models and am wondering what is the best frequency to get. The best bargain I found so far is on a 2.4Ghz
system but I'm not sure if it will interfere with 2.4Ghz transmitter and receivers that are becoming popular, also I plan to use this on an R/C car around the house and hope it doesn't interfere with my wireless networking. I've also found video transmitters in 434Mhz, 900Mhz, 1.2Ghz, and 5.8Ghz. Just wondering what will perform the best. I'm hoping to be able to monitor the camera located outdoors from inside my house. The general idea is that I would like to see what the dog is barking at, monitor my property, chase off varmints, maybe get video of deer and other wildlife in the area, etc.
RogerN
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You will likely not get any picture to carry like you are asking, with any off the shelf setup, unless you are able to get higher power than allowed without a license type of stuff. Either that, or some outside antennas, or repeaters, or something.
--
Jim in NC



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Yeah, I'll have to experiment. I thought maybe I could have the receiver in a window or perhaps antenna outside, and run audio/video cables inside, trying to prevent loss between antenna and receiver. Or I might be able to do some kind of repeater where I have an outdoor wireless system feeding an indoor wireless system. Maybe I can get one good transmitter and also a cheap transmitter receiver for making a 2nd wireless link indoors. For the most part I plan to park the model in the carport to monitor out there, but I want enough range to drive around the yard and see what is going on.
Most of the cameras can see Infrared light, some you have to remove the IR filter, but I plan to use IR LED's for night vision. Thought I might be able to sneak up and video varmints in the yard. Maybe I need an RC tank so I can take on the varmints! (Actually I'm thinking E-Maxx or home brew "battlebot" type vehicle)
RogerN
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| I'm interested in using a video camera on RC models and am wondering what is | the best frequency to get. The best bargain I found so far is on a 2.4Ghz | system but I'm not sure if it will interfere with 2.4Ghz transmitter and | receivers that are becoming popular
It will. Even if the frequencies aren't exactly the same, it'll be so close that it'll greatly reduce your range.
You could just use 72 MHz gear ...
| also I plan to use this on an R/C car around the house and hope it | doesn't interfere with my wireless networking.
It might, but it's a smaller issue than with a plane. If your wireless networking and your camera interfere, nothing goes out of control and crashes. You probably can adjust your channels so they don't overlap, something you can't manually do with R/C gear.
| I've also found video transmitters in 434Mhz, 900Mhz, 1.2Ghz, and 5.8Ghz. | Just wondering what will perform the best.
In general, the lower the frequency the better the range will be, but there's so many variables that this rule of thumb is next to useless.
Note that some video systems require a ham radio license, and to use them you also need to abide by ham radio rules -- most notably, you have to identify yourself every 10 minutes. For video use, that generally means holding up a card with your call sign every 10 minutes. 434 MHz and 1.2 GHz are in ham bands, so they will fall into this category. (If the power is low enough, you can use them without a license, but the power isn't going to be low enough for a video camera.)
| I'm hoping to be able to monitor | the camera located outdoors from inside my house. The general idea is that | I would like to see what the dog is barking at, monitor my property, chase | off varmints, maybe get video of deer and other wildlife in the area, etc.
As long as you want to monitor them from within your house you're probably fine. If you want to get it from across town, probably not.
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzied.us
Looks like someone has a case of the Mondays
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Thanks for the reply, I remember from studying for the Amateur radio tests about the lower frequency bands being world bands and lower frequencies being less directional and less "line of sight" but wasn't sure if I'd be better off using 434Mhz and viewing on channel 59 or getting a 900Mhz wireless TX and RX. I'm planning on using a small LCD monitor, perhaps a 7" LCD but not sure what to use for a channel 59 receiver unless I get a portable TV. I'm pretty much decided down to 434Mhz or 900Mhz and will do further reading and searching to make a decision.
Thanks!
RogerN
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...
| I was interested in a wireless video camera in a RC heli years ago and got | my no code Technician license and then learned morse code and got a General | class license. I haven't used the knowledge and don't remember the | frequencies for Amateur TV, but they have text overlay for video that you | can use for data and could put your call sign on the display every 10 | minutes.
Yes, it can be done, but off-the-shelf cheap gear doesn't do it. Especially if it's tiny gear meant to put in a plane.
Personally, even though I've got my ham license too, I wouldn't use ham gear for it, just so I wouldn't have to worry about IDing myself.
|> | chase off varmints
Sounds like a recipe for ruined planes! :)
|> | maybe get video of deer and other wildlife in the area,
It's easier to just get a self-contained video camera that records to a SD card and go up and fly and record, then look at what you've got after the flight. No RF to deal with, gear is now smaller and you generally get better quality to boot.
For example, here's a bunch of pictures taken like that --
http://mclarenhome.com/~dougmc/RC/aerial-photography /
Granted, not video, but the camera can do 640x480 video too. I just preferred the pictures ...
| Thanks for the reply, I remember from studying for the Amateur radio tests | about the lower frequency bands being world bands
i.e. 30 MHz and below (sometimes it can go higher, but not higher than 60 MHz.) Considering that fast scan TV takes 6 MHz, it's not really done in that range. Everything that you're looking at is VHF or UHF, and skip isn't an option or a problem.
| and lower frequencies being less directional and less "line of | sight" but wasn't sure if I'd be better off using 434Mhz and viewing | on channel 59 or getting a 900Mhz wireless TX and RX.
Ultimately it doesn't matter much. Personally, I'd go 900 MHz just to avoid any need for ham radio rules.
-- Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzied.us A chubby man with a white beard and a red suit will approach you soon. Avoid him. He's a Commie.
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I forget the original question.
The best results will be obtained with a camera, not an airborne video link, assuming that you are not trying to fly the plane with video.
Most .46 and upward size models wouldn't have trouble carrying both a solid-state camcorder along with a 2.4 GHz license free video Tx. Line of sight gives the high frequency, low power 2.4 GHz video links a leg up compared to lower frequency/higher power amateur gear on 70cm.
So, that leaves six meters and the 72 MHz band left for controlling the model. There will be virtually no interaction between the flight controlling electronics and the video's electronics. You don't even need a ham ticket if you fly on 72 MHz. Lots of good used gear available lately on the six meter and 72 MHz bands because of the introduction of spread spectrum on 2.4 MHz.
I have a low power combination video camera and Tx module that utilizes 1.2 GHz Tx frequencies. I'm beginning to wonder if it is actually legal in the US. I bought it online (eBay) and just assumed it was legal. Guess I'd better start looking up the facts in the FCC rules and listings. It's probably a Part 95 thing, but I'd like to be sure.
Ed Cregger
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Original post: "I'm interested in using a video camera on RC models and am wondering what is the best frequency to get. The best bargain I found so far is on a 2.4Ghz system but I'm not sure if it will interfere with 2.4Ghz transmitter and receivers that are becoming popular, also I plan to use this on an R/C car around the house and hope it doesn't interfere with my wireless networking. I've also found video transmitters in 434Mhz, 900Mhz, 1.2Ghz, and 5.8Ghz. Just wondering what will perform the best. I'm hoping to be able to monitor the camera located outdoors from inside my house. The general idea is that I would like to see what the dog is barking at, monitor my property, chase off varmints, maybe get video of deer and other wildlife in the area, etc."
He should be directed to 75mhz since 2.4 is easily blocked by objects. I would use 72mhz for control and either 434 or 900 mhz for video. Actually, I probably would not use either, but install a multiple camera surveilance system instead.
--
Anyolmouse



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My main goal for now is a R/C vehicle for video surveillance but might put the system in a Heli or plane later. I have a home machine shop with 3 mills, one of them is a CNC Bridgeport, and 2 lathes, one SouthBend 13 X 54 and a 14 X 22 CNC lathe. Thought maybe I could make something harmful or intimidating to varmints. The camera system is how I'd monitor for the varmints and drive the vehicle when I wanted a different view, or to check something out.
RogerN
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Okay, now I'm a bit better off regarding the original question. Thanks.
I'm interested in a similar kind of ground vehicle that I think he is talking about. I even bought one of those large R/C tanks that was on eBay a while back. It was a neat tank, but the built-in R/C system was on the 27 MHz band and it was tightly integrated into the electromechanics of the tank, making removing and exchanging it with an R/C system with better range and control just way too much work. I ended up giving it to some kids.
What I wanted to do with mine was to drive it around at night while sitting comfortably in my ham shack down in the basement. We have a small woods next door to us that is in a shallow depression (eight feet). I wanted to be able to prowl around in there via remote control with an IR sensitive camera in order to check out the wildlife. I like critters.
At the time, I wasn't feeling so hot, so I just got rid of it. It was BIG. Looking back on it and now feeling better than I was then, I don't think it would have been that hard to put several CB ty;e R/C receivers in there with a voting system (picks the strongest signal among the bands transmitted and received). That would have somewhat ensured that terrain wouldn't leave me completely blocked from guiding the tank back home.
Ed Cregger
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Your idea sounds very similar to what I'm wanting to do, the IR sensitive camera and checking out wildlife. I'd also like to chase varmints away from the carport area and under the house. Another utility use would be to drive under my house and take a pull rope from a hole in the floor to an opening so I can run a water line to the ice maker and maybe a network cable under the house. I may even be able to sell crawl space inspections complete with video of the inspection.
I bought a network camera a couple of weeks ago and saw 2 skunks and a possum getting into my cats food. I noticed after chasing them off a couple of times they get easily spooked but they keep coming back. Thought if they got chased off by an RC vehicle they might see the thing sitting in the car port and learn to stay away. If that don't work I'll have to get a little more serious with them! (RC tank that fires?)
I've been considering using my CNC machines to make IR illuminators of various types (long range vs wide area).
I thought about the range problem too. I was wondering if it would be practical to use GPS and have the model head for home when a signal was lost. Of course that may be best for aircraft since you don't have obstacles if you're above them. Also, if you sent info by on screen display, I was wondering if signal strength could be sent back? I'm not sure how to get a signal strength reading from an RC receiver.
RogerN
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