One of our upcoming projects – very cool but still top secret – will require Techinstein and I to have our birds in the air simultaneously. We've been having some trouble with video interference, so we headed out to Graham Oaks Nature Park to try out our latest solution.
The problem has been that ever since I installed my new 5.8 GHz TX-V585X transmitter along with a set of BluBeam skew-planar antennas from HobbyWireless.com, I've been getting crystal-clear video from my craft – and so has Techinstein.
When I get within 50 feet of his receiver, also on 5.8 GHz, suddenly all he can see is the video feed from my bird. Personally, I think it's cool, but he's been complaining that it makes it hard for him to control his craft. Whatever.
We tried changing channels and so forth, all to no avail. I think that transmitter is just so powerful and with the skew-planar antenna is indiscriminately spraying video in every direction, I'm just swamping the entire band.
So, Techinstein has moved all the way to the other end of the spectrum. He's now transmitting at 900 MHz, and we're able to share the sky without our video signals running into each other. The problem is, our birds almost did.
As you can see in the photo above, we got very, very close – and that wasn't on purpose. I was flying along a trail when I saw something in the distance. By the time I could make out that it was Techinstein's bird and it was headed right for me, it was almost too late. I pushed the throttle to the stopper, and I'd be surprised if his floppy 72 MHz receiver antenna didn't brush past my undercarriage.
With his camera aimed slightly down, he never even saw me – although he did say that his bird dipped as it passed through my prop wash.
That, my friends, is a close shave...