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Author Topic: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed. (FIXED!)  (Read 170 times)

Offline Andy7

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Following an epic YEEEHAW moment this lunchtime, I slammed into the ground and lost VTX.  :wack0

Visible damage to my Quanum VTX was to the connector and the plastic casing to a small SMD inductor (windings look fine), leds all light up properly.
Camera seems okay visibly.

I'm getting black in the goggles, which KIND of suggests it's the camera, though I'll double-check the video connection to the VTX when I replace the connector with direct soldered. Though... would you not get the OSD showing if the camera was down though?

So, failing some other subtle fault, I might be in the market for a new camera or VTX. Something not too far outside the £20 mark each or I'll be skinned alive, 'cos I spent all my birthday money on a fancy camera.  :slap:

I saw a nice VTX here: https://www.hobbyrc.co.uk/matek-40ch-vtx-hv-video-transmitter
What I DO like is that it's stack mountable or at LEAST it has board holes so that I don't have to have it flapping about, plus the SMA is on a short cable which will help reduce stress on the board. I also like the potential to set the Power and channel via the FC - though never knew that could be done. Is that Betaflight configurable?

Camera.... I recall getting some advice on cameras a while ago but can't recall what I was told. CCD vs CMOS might be the main options to consider.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 18:19:28 by Andy7 »
ZMR200 | EMAX 2206 2300kv | XSRF4PO(BF) | FatShark Dom V3 | Spedix ES25 | 4S 1300mAh | 5045x3 PC HQ Props | FrSky QX7.
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Offline atomiclama

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed.
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 14:20:40 »
That's the vtx I'm using.

Working fine good picture quality and range. Yep can be controlled from BF just hook it upto a free uart and set to :hmm: sorry for got which protocol  :whistling:

I'm sure someone will be along soon recommending the TBS stuff which is good.

As for the camera, I'm watching with interest as I may have to give up on me RaspberryPi camera and get a proper FPV camera.
Wasdale X, Ow that hurt

Offline UrbanFPV

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed.
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 14:22:57 »
I've recently bought that to mount in my talon.  I would say the stack mountability is not as useful as you might think and in some respects it might be better to just heatshrink it and place it where you like.  Seems to work ok, but couldn't get the Tramp protocol configuration working - which is odd because I had a tramp on my quad before it.  The buttons are quite accessible though and it's pretty easy to change channel and see what you're on.
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Offline Cheredanine

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed.
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2018, 14:24:10 »
Hi mate,
I went similarly yehaw at lunch time, on the basis my newest freestyle quad is gone I took out a racer, forgot how fast those things go when you send them :)

To try and answer some of your questions:
1. The general guide of snow = vtx problem, black = cam is just a general guide, it means the vtx is sending something but hasn’t got the pic to send, and is really therefore only applicable in a build, in your case, since you have hard crashed and potentially damaged the vtx, it is entirely feasible the issue is the the vtx.
This is further supported by the absence of osd, which as you rightly point out, would still be present if there was no cam signal. To be completely accurate therefore your problem exists between the osd chip on the F.C., and the cucuitry on the vtx, I would therefore check the wiring very carefully between the F.C. and vtx.

Otherwise there is the vague possibility there is a problem on the F.C., but vtx is more likely.

When it comes to vtx, TBS unify. Just the the best, particularly if you fly with others.
On your budget, I would see if you can stretch to the tbs unify pro hv race (about 27 quid and what I use in most quads)

That matek one I have seen good reviews of, can’t comment more than that.

CMOS vs CCD - well a few years ago we all switched to CCD. This was mostly about latency, CMOS couldn’t produce the image quality without increasing latency.
Nowerdays CMOS has largely caught up. CCD tends to produce a more colour accurate image without shimmer and artifacting, CMOS has, for my money, better resolution (easier to see scraggle with some CMOS cams) and for some recent CMOS better dynamic range.

They have stopped making CCD sensors, we have a couple of years and then there won’t be any more CCD cams, some people still prefer the CCD image, which is gonna be a bummer for them

Good CCD cams would be the swift and the arrow
Better CMOS would be the predator and sparrow v2/pro but watch the mounting options, particularly the sparrow, the pred mini comes with a mount so you can use in a full hs1177 format mount, don’t think that is true of sparrow pro
Reasonable CMOS eagle and monster
Cadix stuff is popular at the budget end and their best stuff is nearly as good as the above, but nearly being able to see the branch I am about to hit doesn’t cut it for me

Also watch the ratio on the cam and your goggles, not all cams can do both 4:3 and 16:9
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 14:27:44 by Cheredanine »

Offline Andy7

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed.
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 14:36:38 »
What?! That's the second quad you lost ths week????  :cry
Thanks for the very detailed reply - nice to have our very own Joshua Bardwell on tap here!  :tongue:
ZMR200 | EMAX 2206 2300kv | XSRF4PO(BF) | FatShark Dom V3 | Spedix ES25 | 4S 1300mAh | 5045x3 PC HQ Props | FrSky QX7.
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Offline Cheredanine

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed.
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2018, 14:45:38 »
What?! That's the second quad you lost ths week????  :cry
Thanks for the very detailed reply - nice to have our very own Joshua Bardwell on tap here!  :tongue:
Nah mate, only the one.
The racer is intact, just disturbing levels of speed, I tried a powerloop and was in low earth orbit before I knew it :)

Offline Andy7

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed.
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2018, 15:03:20 »
Phew! :sweating:

Like the look of that TBS VTX. Ticks a lot of boxes there. Like the 'might not burn out if your antenna comes off' feature too.  :crossfingers:
ZMR200 | EMAX 2206 2300kv | XSRF4PO(BF) | FatShark Dom V3 | Spedix ES25 | 4S 1300mAh | 5045x3 PC HQ Props | FrSky QX7.
Hubsan X4 107 V2
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Offline mo_miah

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed.
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2018, 15:06:43 »
Phew! :sweating:

Like the look of that TBS VTX. Ticks a lot of boxes there. Like the 'might not burn out if your antenna comes off' feature too.  :crossfingers:

i can confirm the VTX does not burn when the antenna comes of, has happened to me a few times

i never understood why transmitters and receivers burn when the antenna isn't on

Offline Lamaule

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed.
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2018, 15:06:56 »
I agree.  I think it's unlikely the vtx has gone.  If you have a black signal it is transmitting, but not modulating the carrier with an image. This is either due to no signal getting to it, or the modulator dying.

I think it's more likely to be cabling between FC and vtx as Adam says or an issue with the FC osd.  You might want to try wiring the camera direct to the vtx to see if you get a picture if there isn't an obvious issue with the wiring.
Hi mate,
I went similarly yehaw at lunch time, on the basis my newest freestyle quad is gone I took out a racer, forgot how fast those things go when you send them :)

To try and answer some of your questions:
1. The general guide of snow = vtx problem, black = cam is just a general guide, it means the vtx is sending something but hasn’t got the pic to send, and is really therefore only applicable in a build, in your case, since you have hard crashed and potentially damaged the vtx, it is entirely feasible the issue is the the vtx.
This is further supported by the absence of osd, which as you rightly point out, would still be present if there was no cam signal. To be completely accurate therefore your problem exists between the osd chip on the F.C., and the cucuitry on the vtx, I would therefore check the wiring very carefully between the F.C. and vtx.

Otherwise there is the vague possibility there is a problem on the F.C., but vtx is more likely.

When it comes to vtx, TBS unify. Just the the best, particularly if you fly with others.
On your budget, I would see if you can stretch to the tbs unify pro hv race (about 27 quid and what I use in most quads)

That matek one I have seen good reviews of, can’t comment more than that.

CMOS vs CCD - well a few years ago we all switched to CCD. This was mostly about latency, CMOS couldn’t produce the image quality without increasing latency.
Nowerdays CMOS has largely caught up. CCD tends to produce a more colour accurate image without shimmer and artifacting, CMOS has, for my money, better resolution (easier to see scraggle with some CMOS cams) and for some recent CMOS better dynamic range.

They have stopped making CCD sensors, we have a couple of years and then there won’t be any more CCD cams, some people still prefer the CCD image, which is gonna be a bummer for them

Good CCD cams would be the swift and the arrow
Better CMOS would be the predator and sparrow v2/pro but watch the mounting options, particularly the sparrow, the pred mini comes with a mount so you can use in a full hs1177 format mount, don’t think that is true of sparrow pro
Reasonable CMOS eagle and monster
Cadix stuff is popular at the budget end and their best stuff is nearly as good as the above, but nearly being able to see the branch I am about to hit doesn’t cut it for me

Also watch the ratio on the cam and your goggles, not all cams can do both 4:3 and 16:9

Sent from my VTR-L09 using Tapatalk


Offline atomiclama

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed.
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2018, 15:32:41 »
i never understood why transmitters and receivers burn when the antenna isn't on

All the power the tx amp generates does not get radiated by the antenna, it just gets reflected back into the amp and heats the amp up.

It just gets tooo hot.
Wasdale X, Ow that hurt

Offline Andy7

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed. (FIXED!)
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2018, 18:19:11 »
Okay... got it working!

The VTX had crushed against the FC smashing a SMD LED which was an easy replacement under the microscope.
But unwrapping the shrink on the VTX itself, I found that the metal shielding case for the TX module had collapsed and caused a short.

A bit of careful bending and we're back in action! Just need to put everything back together in a more permenant way and I'll be up again and into more mischief.
 ::)
ZMR200 | EMAX 2206 2300kv | XSRF4PO(BF) | FatShark Dom V3 | Spedix ES25 | 4S 1300mAh | 5045x3 PC HQ Props | FrSky QX7.
Hubsan X4 107 V2
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Offline Lamaule

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed. (FIXED!)
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2018, 18:20:07 »
Okay... got it working!

The VTX had crushed against the FC smashing a SMD LED which was an easy replacement under the microscope.
But unwraping the shrink on the VTX itself, the metal shielding case for the TX module had collapsed and caused a short.

A bit of careful bending and we're back in action! Just need to put everything back together in a more permenant way and I'll be up again and into more mischief.
 ::)
Nicely done Andy!

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Offline ched999uk

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed. (FIXED!)
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2018, 18:37:04 »
Well done. Just make sure to do a range check before you test flight just in case range has reduced!

Offline Andy7

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed. (FIXED!)
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2018, 18:58:44 »
Yep, definitely going to do a range check.
Also replaced my beeper which suffered very badly from dampness and my Knight Rider lights, half of the LEDs which were missing after BFU4.  ~~
ZMR200 | EMAX 2206 2300kv | XSRF4PO(BF) | FatShark Dom V3 | Spedix ES25 | 4S 1300mAh | 5045x3 PC HQ Props | FrSky QX7.
Hubsan X4 107 V2
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/AndySevern7

Offline atomiclama

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed. (FIXED!)
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2018, 08:10:05 »
Yeay result. You can now spend the money you have saved by not having to buy and camera and vtx on some other quad related stuff.

Well that's a similar excuse my missus makes when she comes home telling me she has saved money by not buying the most expensive dress she liked but bought 3 other ones instead  :rolleyes:
Wasdale X, Ow that hurt

Offline Lamaule

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed. (FIXED!)
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2018, 08:14:32 »
Following an epic YEEEHAW moment this lunchtime, I slammed into the ground and lost VTX.  :wack0

Visible damage to my Quanum VTX was to the connector and the plastic casing to a small SMD inductor (windings look fine), leds all light up properly.
Camera seems okay visibly.

I'm getting black in the goggles, which KIND of suggests it's the camera, though I'll double-check the video connection to the VTX when I replace the connector with direct soldered. Though... would you not get the OSD showing if the camera was down though?

So, failing some other subtle fault, I might be in the market for a new camera or VTX. Something not too far outside the £20 mark each or I'll be skinned alive, 'cos I spent all my birthday money on a fancy camera.  :slap:

I saw a nice VTX here: https://www.hobbyrc.co.uk/matek-40ch-vtx-hv-video-transmitter
What I DO like is that it's stack mountable or at LEAST it has board holes so that I don't have to have it flapping about, plus the SMA is on a short cable which will help reduce stress on the board. I also like the potential to set the Power and channel via the FC - though never knew that could be done. Is that Betaflight configurable?

Camera.... I recall getting some advice on cameras a while ago but can't recall what I was told. CCD vs CMOS might be the main options to consider.

Will you be publishing said yee-haa moment? :D

Offline Tryingto

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed. (FIXED!)
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2018, 09:49:07 »
Are you still using that original Fatshark camera Andy? If so, you wouldnt believe how much better a decent ccd with a 2.1mm lense is compared. :)

Offline Andy7

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed. (FIXED!)
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2018, 11:30:02 »
Will you be publishing said yee-haa moment? :D

Absolutely!  :wack0
Just got a couple of cable ties to straighten up and I'm good to go.
ZMR200 | EMAX 2206 2300kv | XSRF4PO(BF) | FatShark Dom V3 | Spedix ES25 | 4S 1300mAh | 5045x3 PC HQ Props | FrSky QX7.
Hubsan X4 107 V2
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Offline Andy7

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed. (FIXED!)
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2018, 11:31:12 »
Are you still using that original Fatshark camera Andy? If so, you wouldnt believe how much better a decent ccd with a 2.1mm lense is compared. :)
I am. I'm really pleased with the image on that, so if I get a new camera as some point then I'm in for a treat!
ZMR200 | EMAX 2206 2300kv | XSRF4PO(BF) | FatShark Dom V3 | Spedix ES25 | 4S 1300mAh | 5045x3 PC HQ Props | FrSky QX7.
Hubsan X4 107 V2
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/AndySevern7

Offline Andy7

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed. (FIXED!)
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2018, 11:33:05 »
Yeay result. You can now spend the money you have saved by not having to buy and camera and vtx on some other quad related stuff.

Well that's a similar excuse my missus makes when she comes home telling me she has saved money by not buying the most expensive dress she liked but bought 3 other ones instead  :rolleyes:

My world does't work like that!  :hmm:
Though I did treat myseld to a spare ESC when I ordered some parts for the drone that Josh is building for school.  :evil
ZMR200 | EMAX 2206 2300kv | XSRF4PO(BF) | FatShark Dom V3 | Spedix ES25 | 4S 1300mAh | 5045x3 PC HQ Props | FrSky QX7.
Hubsan X4 107 V2
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/AndySevern7

Offline Andy7

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Re: Might need a new camera or VTX - advice needed. (FIXED!)
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2018, 13:48:12 »
All thoroughly tested! VTX range at least to the flyable extent of my field.

..um, new beeper tested a couple of times as well. Good and loud.  :whistling:
ZMR200 | EMAX 2206 2300kv | XSRF4PO(BF) | FatShark Dom V3 | Spedix ES25 | 4S 1300mAh | 5045x3 PC HQ Props | FrSky QX7.
Hubsan X4 107 V2
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/AndySevern7