ATV, Where To Start - Download the App Note
Upon request, we can modify these two ATV, Where To Start pages free to you in pdf format with your local ATV information put in so you can make copies for handouts at your radio club meeting or add to your clubs web site.
Given various transmitter power levels and antenna gains this app note will tell you.
Basically antenna placement and gain are the most important parts of the ATV system. Non line of sight paths over the RF horizon or through obstructions are not predictable, best to try it out by seeing how you do on 2 meter voice as an indicator of possibility.
For most incidents within a 15 mile line of sight radius, we suggest starting out running simplex on 70cm with the Videolynx VM70X transmitter module or TX70-5s ready to go >4W transmitter connected to a color camera for mobile / portable transmission, and an Arrow 440-5S antenna. At the EOC or receive end another 5L-70cm beam or Diamond X510N(x) vertical onmi to a TVC-4S downconverter and TV set. In a pinch, you can place any television set to cable channels 57-60 to receive the video at other locations as necessary if close enough. If you prefer Audio and Video (A/V) outputs to drive a monitor at the EOC or a camcorder monitor in the field, add the Rch3 channel 3 receiver to the TVC-4S downconverter. You can also receive the 70cm ham band with a cable TV tuner to USB box connected to a MAC or PC lap top or desk computer.
Shown right is the 70cm video transmitted from the W6ORG motorcycle ATV mobile back to the command post televising police response to a medical emergency incident that was holding up passage of floats during the Pasadena CA New Years Day Rose Parade. Check out page 40 in KA6UTC's Rose Parade Tech Notes. There are many similar public service events or actual emergency incidents that can benefit from live video. We get snow free video and audio running 1W and 5 element beams between aid stations 6 miles line of sight at the Angeles Crest 100 mile trail race. See the KE3GG's video of ATV at a charity run/walk aid station
Repeater - App Note
The project uses the Videolynx 434 video transmitter, mini color camera and 9V alkaline battery - it can run for about an hour on a single or 3 hours with 2 batteries.
The Z70A 4 channel transmitter can add sound with the video and can also be used with the addition of another 9V battery in parallel. The Z70A is also popular in R/C robots.
The Downeast Microwave 7025PA amp can be added to the Videolynx 434 or Z70A for higher power and home station use or package your own 25W amp using a RA30H4047M power module and our PA5 board.
ATV in Radio Controlled
- R/C - Vehicles - App Note
The simplest system for getting about a 1/2 mile radius line of sight around a flying field is to mount a mini color camera, Videolynx 434 transmitter, Diamond RH3 antenna and 9V Alkaline battery like we did in the R/C helicopter - it adds just 7 oz in weight. If you run the Videolynx Z70A and 2nd 9V battery, the total is 11 oz.
Best DX is on the 70cm band using a cable ready TV or a TV tuner to USB box with a lap top computer.
1 Watt with a Videolynx VM70X transmitter module is good for 5 miles or more line of sight.
Put a OSD-GPS+ board plus GPS receiver to overlay altitude, speed, heading, lat - lon., time and call ID on the video if you want to get fancy. However something with your call in view of the camera is the simplest. See FCC Rule 97.215.
ATV in Aircraft - App Note|
Pix at far right is our first experience putting ATV in a Los Angeles County Sheriffs Bell 47 helicopter in 1968 for the New Years day Rose Parade in Pasadena CA - see ARRL QST magazine May 1968 page 106 and page 40 in KA6UTC's Rose Parade Tech Notes. Also see May 2006 page 28 QST on a Go Kit by AC6Y for the Corona California PD helicopter.
However, different from N8UDK and N8QPJ's system on their web site, we suggest using the Videolynx 434 ATV transmitter, mini color camera running off of a 9V alkaline battery which makes a high performance but light package. Antennas are an easily made upside down ground plane on the blimp and another ground plane at the receiver.
High Altitude Balloon ATV - App Note
You can add a GPS receiver and the OSD-GPS+w/c board to overlay the balloons location, speed, altitude and also distance and bearing to the launch point. APRS or other sensor data packets can also be sent on the ATV sound subcarrier instead of audio. Some add a APRS packet transmitter on 144.39 and track using Google Map APRS on the internet.
Multiple 1 Watt TXA5-RC series transmitters and Little Wheel antennas have even flown on NASA/JPL balloon experiments as part of a Mars program with good video received out over 50 miles distance and from 100,000 feet to splash down using a TV and small beam to receive.
The EOSS - Edge Of Space Sciences - web site has a lot of info, sources and links to balloon groups
Bill Brown, WB8ELK, is the guru for ATV balloon flights and has a great web site. See an interview of Bill on hamradionow.tv starting about minute 9. Also check out his 20 year video record of balloon flights including us in a helicopter finding his first live video balloon in the Mojave Desert in 1989.
Balloon Launch announcements can be found on the ARHAB web site. There might be a launch near you - if you are within a few hundred miles, monitor the frequencies given and you might see the edge of space.
Check out the video of an ATV Balloon flight - BLT-22 by K5SAF and some great pix of the BLT-24 flight by the South Texas Balloon Launch Team.
FAA Part 101 covers the regulations, limitations and requirements to fly balloons, rockets and kites in the USA.
Near Space Ventures has a web based balloon flight path prediction system.
ATV Antennas in Amateur Rockets and Balloons - App Note |
The type and placing of antennas in the vehicle and on the ground are discussed. Construction of a Turnstyle circular polarized antenna for launch site reception is described as well as making a reflector for the popular W6OAL Wheel horizontal omni antenna.
We suggest our TXA5-RC series 1Watt transmitter board or Videolynx VM70X transmitter module for most rocket and balloon applications.
See WC6P's video from a 7.5 inch dia rocket using one.
Check out KD7JVF's video from his rocket glider.
A simple omni directional vertical antenna for demo's, R/C receive, etc., is the ground plane antenna made with just a connector and some wire.
You can download more specific information on the 70cm Mirage D1010 / D100, D26N, RF Concepts/Kantronics RFC4-110 and Teletec DXP-U150 Amplifiers which describes the ATV version of these 70cm 150, 100 and 50 Watt amps, and what is done to make them ATV compatible.
You can also down load our notes on driving the Downeast Microwave 7025PA 35 Watt 70cm, 70225PA 225 Watt 70cm and 2330PA 30 Watt 23cm amplifiers, also our PA5 board using the RA30H4047M RF power module for 25W on 70cm.
Watt transmitter module - App Note
Inband ATV repeater example and parts list.
Crossband ATV repeater example and parts list.
Compare the attenuation curves of using an 8 pole or 10 pole VSB Filter especially on a 421.25 MHz repeater output.
To figure the ATV repeater coverage area, click on ATV DX which is on our home page.
Crystals Got an old transmitter or downconverter that you think the crystal went bad? Before you order a new rock, check out these trouble shooting tips. Also see our list of surplus crystals for $5 and sources for new crystals.
Ten pin VHS camera connector pin outs and connector source.
DC power connector pinouts and source for P. C. Electronics transceivers and transmitters.
Lamp replacement sources for P. C. Electronics Transceiver and Downconverters.
Manuals and Data Sheets on P. C. Electronics manufactured products are available by email request free only to licensed hams upon email request - include your call letters - model number with revision letter or year as etched on the board. Please request only 1 or 2 at a time.
Other ATV group web pages to check out:
Mt. Diablo ARC - W6CX San Francisco Bay and Sacramento CA area. W6CX BATC - Streaming Media
Net Thurs. 8PM 147.06+ "If you are not on ATV, you are not getting the picture!"
Silicon Valley ATV Group - W6SVA, Loma Prieta, San Jose CA area
Redding CA - WR6TV Mt. Shasta ATV repeater
Arizona Amateur Television Network - W7ATN: UseryMtn. (Mesa), White Tanks (West Phoenix Valley), Mt. Lemmon (Tucson)
Phoenix AZ AATV Group - W7ATV, Shaw Butte
Portland, Oregon ATV Assn. - WA7DRO.
Salem Oregon ATV Assn. - K7ATV
Western Washington State ATV Society - WW7ATS, Puget Sound area
Idaho - K6ZVA Mt. Harrison Repeater
Boulder, Colorado - BARC uses 146.70 repeater for talk back, KH6HTV's Repeater Directory.
Detroit Michigan ATV group - DATS, N8UDK ATV repeater, R/C ATV in Blimp, Cars & Planes; Rocket & Helmet Cam
Florida, Cocoa Beach, LISATS - K4ATV, Launch Information Service & Amateur Television System, Kennedy Space Center
Atlanta Georgia, Big Shanty Repeater Group
Durham North Carolina -NC4TV, Triangle ATV Association
CATS - Chesapeake Amateur Television Society, Laurel MD - Live Stream.
BRATS - W3WCQ, Baltimore MD ATV Society, NE Baltimore
Ohio ATV group - ATCO, WR8ATV, Columbus, 1st DTV ATV repeater in the USA. Repeater live stream
Waco TX ATV Society - W5ZDN, now part of Heart O'Texas ARC.
Houston TX ATV - KC5LCP
Kansas City ATV - WR0ATV
Southern Illinois ATV Group - SILATVG - main focus is simplex ATV DX, great Tropo DX Skip forcast map on their link list.
Minnesota ATV Group - MNFAT ATV - N0MNB.
Bill Brown, WB8ELK's ATV Balloon web site Live stream
British ATV Club
Manufacturers and dealers of ATV related equipment that we maintain a *web page for or recommend:
*Intuitive Circuits - OSD Video ID overlay, ATV repeater
SSTV - KB4YZ's complete list of all things Slow Scan. SSTV allows still frame pictures over
Getting a ham license
The easiest, and takes the least time, is an one day class and test that is given 4 times a year - mid January, April, July and October - from 9am to 4pm on Sundays. Location is at the Agoura Hills Calabasas Community Center, 27040 Malibu Hills Road Calabasas, CA 91301, however, during the pandemic, they are doing it on Zoom. Cost is $75 and requires some pre-study. They use the "read only the right answers" method for passing a multiple guess type of test and have a 97% pass rate. After you get your license, you can learn what you need for the kind of operating you want to do. They have follow on classes.You can self study the right questions only method in your own time, then take the exam on line for $10. HamStudy has a study class for about $30 and they suggest averaging 1 hr per day for two weeks. If you prefer reading from a book rather than on the computer, you can get the Easy Way Tech class ham study book. Another on line study course is Ham Radio Prep - try it free for 5 minutes. The Gordon West Radio School has a variety of study books and tapes.
The easiest way to check, renew or update your license is on the QRZ/W5YI VEC web site.
Legal Uses of Amateur Radio and FCC Rules
License Free Part 15 and Business/Public Safety Part 90 Applications
FCC ID Sticker and Marketing
Federal Government Video Use
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