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Thread: Model Aircraft & Drones

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    76

    Lightbulb Model Aircraft & Drones

    I would like to see a new category under 'WTFDA DX Talk' titled 'Model Aircraft & Drones'.

    I was thinking having discussions under the sub-category under 'DX Equipment' initially,
    however, a new category would be more logical plus faster to find for newer members.

    Since prices of model drones have coming down over the years, you can have a decent
    outdoor craft for under $100 for multiple features, like hover mode.

    The idea of attempting to FM-TV DX with a model airplane, drone at an maximum altitude
    of 400 feet (FAA regulations) sounds very exciting to me.

    When Es, F2 (rare) get hot, you can launch a model craft for at least 10-20 minutes with
    a DX platform mounted/strapped to the underside of the camera drone.

    Since the solar cycle is in a serious decline state, and will get worse every year up until
    2020 when it will hit rock bottom.

    This might be a good time opportunity to merge both hobbies technologies together.

    I know of least one other member that is leading the way that can make our current
    DX hobby more enjoyable in the future and at the same time could potentially increase
    WTFDA membership.

    Currently if you purchase an unmanned aircraft drone, both yourself and your drone have
    to be registered (non-paper) with the FAA using an account if it weighs between 0.55 and
    up to 55 lbs. The fee is $5.00, valid for three years.

    Here is their website:
    https://registermyuas.faa.gov/

    Happy DXing
    Mike Schaffer
    GACTVDX
    Last edited by GACTVDX; 07-25-2017 at 04:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Pembroke Pines, FL, USA
    Posts
    4,275

    Default

    When I was in the FL Keys last Saturday, I was at mile marker 35.2---my favorite spot (outside of getting local overload at times). There is a small park there, and people frequent the place, although not many.

    Anyway there was a guy and gal there who just arrived, and the guy was carrying a drone....and I was thinking, if only...!

    True that antennas, even large outdoor ones sans mast, are much less than 55 lbs. Was wondering if there is some sort of "mini" outdoor antenna, where my little Coby TV could be affixed, together to a drone. I really know nothing about all that.

    cd

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Berwick, PA
    Posts
    2

    Default

    I have a cheap drone, I've thought about attaching an iPod Nano (tuned to a vacant FM frequency), and flying it as high as it can go. It would be interesting to see what it would get

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    76

    Default

    Audiovox model IHDP01A and Insignia model NS-HD1 (discontinued) are portable HD FM receivers that weight 1.76 ounces.

    If you plan to use these for a Drone FM-DX platform, make sure you plug in the earbud headphones to the 3.5mm audio socket
    because it is your antenna too. You can either let the earbud cable dangle vertical under the drone platform or you can spread
    them out like a T-dipole. Keep the earbud-antenna as far away from the motors as possible to reduce EMI/RFI.

    https://www.amazon.com/AudioVox-IHDP.../dp/B00CCIKJT0
    https://www.cnet.com/products/insignia-ns-hd01/review/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    76

    Default

    Low Band Sporadic-e TV-DX via Drone.

    Since used digital to analog TV converter set-top-boxes are being sold at cheap prices on ebay, why not use them for TV-DX droning?

    Just before flight in the field, attached a 12 volt mobile LCD-TFT monitor to the STB box RCA video output (yellow plug). Then start
    the auto-scan feature on the converter. Then disconnect the monitor.

    After the flight, reconnect the monitor to see what stations were received.

    Depending on the TV channel you choose, the antenna length can be between 34 to 52 inches, hanging down the bottom of the
    drone platform.

    For the power source of the STB use lightweight high density Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. Keep in mind LIB cells are rated
    at 3.7 volts with up to 3+ amp hours. Therefore, you would need a battery pack with at least three cells for 11.1 volts; maximum
    of four cells providing 14.8 volts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Fort Myers, FL
    Posts
    446

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GACTVDX View Post
    After the flight, reconnect the monitor to see what stations were received.
    It would be much more effective to have an uplink for the IR remote commands and a downlink for the STB's output. I know Radio Shack sold things that would do that, meant to watch and control movies in another room of your house, etc. Range should be greater since there would be no walls between your base station and your drone.
    :: Ryan Grabow
    :: egrabow.com/dx
    :: facebook.com/egrabow440
    :: youtube.com/user/egrabow440
    View My Logbook
    99 Digital TV ::
    455 FM Stations ::

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    77

    Default

    Great topic. The only problem I envision with this idea is that Drone use is limited to a few minutes at a time. Most don't have a battery pack that will allow them to stay in the air for hours on end.

    Many years ago I came up with the idea of getting a small helium balloon and then attaching a FM or TV antenna to it and then raise it in the air some distance to at least get above the tree line. Never had a chance to try it but perhaps it has been done before and could still be done with a large enough yard and some ingenuity.

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