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    openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

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    david f
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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  david f on Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:16 pm

    Thanks Tim.

    Actually the RF power meter you describe is not that expensive when you consider what it does.

    However I think I will have a go with the FrSky LCD display and the Spectrum Analyser for a bit. I'm really looking for differences between modules (i.e checking for damage.) (I have another 2 on order for comparison.)

    It is the 100mw TX modules that I'm using at the moment. I was using the 1W module (turned down to  power level 4 to keep it legal) before my problems started and this module seems to give longer range now. (As well as I can measure it by stepping down the road. The neighbours are getting suspicious!)

    But Dave J is having no range problem with his 100mw module.

    By the way David - I checked the Orange TX module and the aerial does not seem to be connected. (No lands connected on the printed circuit board.)

    David
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    david f
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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  david f on Tue May 31, 2016 11:52 am

    Just to write up what I've been up to.

    Well I'm pleased to say that I have got my range back on openLRS and this has been confirmed with 3 outings at Barrow and Bournville with both my Type XXI and the Holland.

    I wish I could give a single "magic" solution but (as is always the way!) I have tried a number of things:

    (a) Eliminating screening problems.

    I have eliminated threaded steel rods inside my WTCs. Convenient but they can cause screening. I have converted to using plastic rods (Delron in my case, I had some handy.)

    (b) Simplify everything - Go back to "Vanilla"

    I have now accumulated 6 Orange receivers and 3 TX modules. They all had different software versions. I also had several DIY antennae fitted.

    - So I refitted the simple commercial antenna.

    - I standardised on one software version (3.8.2) set up for Telemetry (Telemetry is too useful not to use. Even the packet loss "beeps" are handy to have.) I have no evidence to say that more modern versions (Currently 3.8.8) were any worse. I have archived Version 3.8.2 + some RX and TX configuration files on the AMS Website. It occurs to me that openLRS is being developed for drones rather than subs, and our interests may diverge.

    - I carefully checked over the equipment. One fault reported on the web is that the internal aerial lead on TX modules does not have the earth (ground) connected. I found this to be the case on the 1 Watt module I had. Annoyingly this was also the one on which I have done all my aerial trials! So I think my previous results need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

    - I also found that 2 of the RXs had stopped working and just gave a red warning light. I found that this was because the bootloading software had become corrupted. The cure is reported on the Hobbyking website in the RX manuals section. You use a USB asp programmer(About £5 on eBay)  on the 3x2 pins on the board. Connect up and select load boot loader in the Arduino IDE on your computer. (I've just revived one of Dave J's RXs in the same way.)

    (c) Range test "On the bench".

    I'm saving up for an RF power meter (Thanks for the ideas, Tim) Until then I put the model (with a large piece of white tape on the rudder)in the front window of our cottage and walked over the green, across the main road, and walked over by the Church. If it still worked - the range is fine! After a day or so of this the neighbours were convinced I was mad!

    This showed that all my equipment was undamaged and it gave range results close to those "on the pond."

    So all is fine again. I have standardised on the use of Tim S's Telemetry. It is so useful - for signal strength, battery volts and amps. A shame that I see that the FrSky fld-02 LCD screen is no longer available though.

    My recent trip to Bournville and contact with my fellow modellers showed me a few things:

    - I was still the only person using openLRS technology. (Everyone seems to be convinced that 40Mhz equipment is still available second hand or from Germany. I did notice some minor squabbling about frequencies, though - no pegboard was available.)

    - The videos of Dave J and me using the equipment with their attendant "telemetry beeps" had rather panicked people into thinking that the range was very limited. Don't believe everything some folks tell you on the Internet, beeping does not mean that you have lost control.

    Tim S has suggested muting the beep in the software, if it gets annoying. Until then I have adopted a "third world" solution - sticking some tape over the beeper in the TX module!

    David


    Last edited by david f on Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:34 am; edited 2 times in total

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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  tsenecal on Tue May 31, 2016 2:37 pm

    David,

    glad to hear you have got your range where you want it. sad to hear about the FLD-02 display being no longer made, but it was inevitable. FrSky has moved to the Taranis and its associated "S-Port" devices, guess you will have to save a little more money for a taranis :) or build a FLD-02 replacement if yours ever dies. that shouldn't be too difficult. the library we use in building the telemetry hub tells us everything we need to know to build one using a graphic LCD panel, an arduino and a couple push buttons.... just a thought.
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    david f
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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  david f on Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:33 pm

    Some photos of the Telemetry hubs in 2 of my models. They are based on the nice and small Arduino Pro Micro.

    The first photo is the original setup in my Holland. This was a modified wifi switch which gave a low battery voltage signal. It was PIC based and a little bulky.



    This is the Hobbyking RX with the Pro Micro stuck to its back.



    The back of the RX:



    This is the more capable Telemetry hub for my larger subs. This sends battery voltage, current draw, depth and compass heading.



    The back of the Pro Micro showing the compass sensor board.



    The Arduino Pro Micro



    These are both done using Tim S's software and construction details shown over on the SubPirates Forum:

    http://www.subpirates.com/showthread.php?5271-Custom-Frsky-Telemetry-Hub/page9
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    david f
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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  david f on Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:04 am

    A pm from Fred E (Deep Diver) which I am re-posting because I don't know the answer. Anyone?

    Fred wants to move to openLRS but apparently the Hobbyking RXs are out of stock, at the moment, and he wants to know if the Flytron receiver will work with other TX modules, specifically the Turnigy 9xr pro. (I wonder if he could also  think about other openLRS RXs?)

    The detail of his  message below:

    "in the message I asked for your opinion on the Flytron receiver as the one from Hobbyking is still out of stock, I have read all the spec and to me they look the same.

    I went with the Turning 9xr pro as used one of the first one's at work when on of our eng's used it for his home made drone, also I can get a 2,4 module if I decide to go with a 2.4 system for my surface boats."

    David

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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  tsenecal on Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:06 pm

    David,

    basically, anything on this list should work together:

    https://github.com/openLRSng/openLRSngWiki/wiki/supported-hardware---feature-table

    as long as the TX module and RX are flashed with compatible versions of the firmware, they should be able to talk to each other without issue.

    I personally own the following brands:

    TX modules:
    OrangeRX futaba 100mw
    OrangeRX futaba 1w
    OrangeRX JR 1w
    DTF-UHF JR 1 w

    RX:
    OrangeRX 9ch receiver
    Brotronics 4ch remix
    DTF-UHF/Hawkeye 1 watt long range receiver
    DTF-UHF/Hawkeye 6 channel receiver

    the only limitations i have encountered are the limitations imposed by the design of the device, for example, if you have s-bus output active on the Brotronics 4ch remix, you cannot have telemetry active (they use the same set of pins)

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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  tsenecal on Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:09 am

    I have purchased the brotronics 4ch remix from this site, i will recommend them with one caveat, you need to watch them like any chinese reseller, sometimes they "forget" to send you things like tracking information, but so far they have delivered what i have ordered:

    http://www.hobbiesfly.com/

    they are listed as a preferred site on the openlrsng.org site, so that's why i went to them.

    i noticed they have this receiver, which is "slightly better" than the OrangeRX 433 lrs receiver, but almost the same price, and is currently in stock:

    http://www.hobbiesfly.com/transmitter-receiver/Receivers/hawkeye-9-channel-receiver.html

    one note: this receiver does not come stock with an antenna, so you will have to make one yourself, or buy one, the same site does sell those as well.
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    david f
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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  david f on Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:23 am

    Thanks Tim! Great answer.

    Over to you, Fred!

    David
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    Deep Diver (Fred)
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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  Deep Diver (Fred) on Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:23 am

    Hi

    Thank you all for the info, I will be having a look at all the links and then take it from there.

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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  tsenecal on Fri Aug 26, 2016 4:07 pm

    there appears to be a new manufacturer that is making a setup for JR style modules and receivers:

    "Wolfbox"

    http://www.banggood.com/Wolfbox-1000mW-1W-433MHz-UHF-Transmitter-Tx-100mW-Receiver-Rx-Compatible-with-X9D-X12S-9XR-TH9X-p-1051206.html

    this is the only listing i have seen so far, and it doesn't allow you to buy just a RX, only available product is this combo setup. good for a beginner that wants to try "433", but bad for those of us that simply want to grab a couple RX.


    don't know yet if i want to order this or not.
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    Deep Diver (Fred)
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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  Deep Diver (Fred) on Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:10 am

    I have had an email from HobbyKing saying that the OrangeRx Open LRS 433MHz 9Ch Receiver is now back in stock,


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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  tsenecal on Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:59 pm

    Deep Diver (Fred) wrote:I have had an email from HobbyKing saying that the  OrangeRx Open LRS 433MHz 9Ch Receiver is now back in stock,


    either they got 1 in stock and immediately sold it, or there was a huge backlog of pent-up demand.  I looked about 6 hours after you posted this, and they were already out of stock again.
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    david f
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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  david f on Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:47 am

    That's bad news!

    I've just ordered another couple of Rx's on backorder to encourage them to keep on making the lovely things!

    I will post up on here when I get them. (Supposed to be 30 days for a backorder, let's see.)


    David
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    Deep Diver (Fred)
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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  Deep Diver (Fred) on Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:59 am

    I have just had a look at the International site and it is saying ten in stock,

    I still have 15 day's before the 30 day's are up for delivery so fingers crossed and it come soon.
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    david f
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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  david f on Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:50 am

    I have just had a email from Hobbyking saying that my order has just been posted.

    (Maybe there are no supply problems? I will post on here when I actually get my hot little hands on the Rxs.)


    David

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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  david f on Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:43 am

    The two Hobbyking RXs I ordered arrived on 6/10/2016.

    So ordered on 14/9/2016 that's about 22 days so not bad for the back order system.

    So it is good to see that Hobbyking are still a good and low-cost supplier.

    Without suppliers we would be back to the original problem we have with 40Mhz.

    David

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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  tsenecal on Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:06 am

    so,

    much like the 458mhz frequency in britain, the 915mhz frequency has fewer restrictions on it than the 433mhz i have been playing with. It also appears to be the only frequency available for use of any kind in canada. knowing that the HopeRF frequency chips on these devices actually are available at 433mhz, 868mhz, and 915mhz, i have been trying for 2 years now to find someone that makes a 915mhz version of the OpenLRS TX modules and receivers. I have tried to simply "convert" an existing 433mhz set to 915mhz, but so far haven't had any luck. I was about to make my own DIY set using an arduino and some discrete components, but two manufacturers now sell 915mhz versions. I have received and tested a set sold by OrangeRX (hobbyking). It is very much designed for Multi-rotor aircraft... to the point where it is set from the factory to only handle telemetry coming from a specific brand of Multi-rotor main control unit, and it is designed from a hardware angle to only send PPM data to an MCU. there are no servo connections on the receiver. knowing all this, i was still able to connect a PPM to PWM converter board so that i could hook up standard servos, and tested it for the first time today in my Delta submarine. I did order the second set of TX and RX from the other manufacturer, and they are due to arrive in 3 weeks...

    you can see from the following youtube link, that basic telemetry is still being collected by the TX module, because it "beeps" when packets are lost, and at times, it is beeping at a very high rate. I would guess that i am running the Delta at a depth of 6" to 12", which means that 915mhz is not nearly as good as the 433/458 frequency, but is still much better than 2.4ghz. Also note that i am using the bone stock OrangeRX antennas, which appear to be identical to their 433mhz antennas, which can't be good. more testing on that needs to be done.

    the video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3GXisx5150


    the link to the hobbyking equipment...
    https://hobbyking.com/en_us/orangerx-openlrsng-915mhz-system-bt-tx-rx-combo.html

    note that it is available in both 433mhz and 915mhz, and that it has bluetooth capability... this might be a choice for the brits who want elaborate telemetry, using this android app on a tablet or phone, displaying telemetry in a much more defined way than the now impossible to find FLD-02 display. reflashing this new 433mhz TX module with standard openlrsng firmware should allow it to work with the existing 433mhz receivers, but also give you the bluetooth capability... also something to look into.
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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  bwi on Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:46 am

    Hi Tim,

    I learned a new expression a few day's back that is apropriate to use here.

    This again is some first class "yeoman's work".
    You keep pushing this stuff to new levels and are willing to share it too.

    Respect Tim.

    Grtz,
    Bart

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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  tsenecal on Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:10 pm

    Bart,  thanks for the compliment...

    at times i wonder if the model submarine community has gotten soft over the years, there doesn't really appear to be any more individuals out there that are willing to spend the time and energy to try new things.  they all seem to want museum quality boats that are ready to run right out of the box, or are unwilling to look outside their little walled community and see what the rest of the hobby has already done, and try to make it work here.

    i wish i was better at SMD level soldering... perhaps with a little more practice, i might be able to accomplish some of these things on my own... i have been wanting to try the 915mhz stuff for as long as i have been using the 433mhz stuff.  I knew it was possible, but my feeble skills at removing the 433mhz components limited my testing until manufacturers were willing to sell it.

    there are others out there making there own DIY circuit boards and RF modules from discrete components.  I may end up using their designs and making my own equipment if the next batch of transmitters and receivers are as limited as these 915mhz parts i just tested.  i will know more soon.
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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  david f on Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:43 am

    You are right, Tim! The problem is that most model submariners are a bit elderly and are reluctant to learn new technology.

    Maybe the "investment" isn't seen as worth it for the few years you have left!

    Personally I am so impressed by what microprocessors can do nowadays. When I think how much I paid for a single transistor in my teens. Now you get millions in a tiny package. Software rather than hardware is actually much easier in my view.

    Interesting that you are looking at 915Mhz. A quick check indicates that we don't have that for r/c in the UK. I count ourselves lucky that someone way back allocated 458Mhz.

    David

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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  tsenecal on Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:59 pm

    david f wrote:
    Interesting that you are looking at 915Mhz. A quick check indicates that we don't have that for r/c in the UK. I count ourselves lucky that someone way back allocated 458Mhz.

    David

    I am investigating the 915mhz equipment because in the north american region (USA and Canada), it does not require the Ham Technicians license that the 433mhz equipment does. one of the excuses many of the people who refuse to use 433mhz claim as a hindrance. its kind of like the 458mhz block in the UK. I would have tried it first, but nobody has made commercial OpenLRS hardware using it until now*. Canada specifically does not allow use of 433mhz outside of medical/emergency equipment, so for canadians, 915mhz would be their only available option...

    *there is one company called TBS that has made a system called "Crossfire" for over a year now, which uses 915mhz, but a simple Transmitter module and receiver combo from them is almost $300, versus the $80 (including shipping) i paid for the OrangeRX 915mhz openLRSng combo set i bought for these tests. It is also a proprietary protocol with zero support from anyone outside of TBS, and TBS will not warrant its use for anything but aircraft.

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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  tsenecal on Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:39 pm

    the second set of 915mhz R/C gear has arrived... two weeks ahead of schedule... which bodes well for this seller.

    it is a brand known as "ChipLRS", not sure of its pedigree, but ran across it on the OpenLRSng thread on rcgroups.com, when i complained there that nobody sold stuff on 915mhz... the russian ebay seller i bought this from sent me a PM saying that they were more than happy to make them in 915mhz versions...



    the transmitter module and receiver did not come with antennas, so i will be making some for myself, i will be attempting to build dipole antennas for these, i have space for what will end up being about 7.5 cm on a side, with the two sides being parallel, so the whole antenna will be about 15cm long.. for those that don't speak metric, that would be about 6" long. more than small enough to fit inside my Delta's WTC, or hanging off the back of the transmitter. I am building dipole antennas because they supposedly have better output. I will test them with both the OrangeRX equipment and the ChipLRS equipment. the ChipLRS equipment is more like the traditional 433mhz equipment than the OrangeRX, but it still has its oddities. I will need to make a small breadboard converter that allows me to attach standard servos to the receiver. it is simply a converter that switches from the limited pinouts on the receiver to the more traditional servo style connectors... the ChipLRS receiver only has two 5v and GND pins, instead of one pair for each servo. It also has all the pins for basic telemetry and battery voltage to get returned to the transmitter, so i will be able to test this with the simplest of tools... the actual RSSI/TSSI values returned by the telemetry. the OrangeRX 915mhz receiver is made to fit in a multi-rotor, with an APM-flight control module, so it has a SINGLE pin that spits out PPM or s-bus... i had to use a PPM to PWM converter to use that receiver in the initial testing, and had now documentation stating how to set up telemetry... which by default the OrangeRX 915mhz equipment is set up to use MAVLINK style telemetry which is again, used in the multi-rotors, but nowhere else....

    Hopefully this ChipLRS stuff will work out better than the OrangeRX stuff did.

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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  tsenecal on Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:07 pm

    For anyone still following this thread, i have a little bit of news to report, and a completely off-topic tangent that kind of explains why it has been a month and a half since last posting any updates...

    I have not been able to spend a lot of time testing the new ChipLRS receiver and transmitter for two reasons...

    1) the Norbert Brüggen Delta that is my test mule has blown out its pump... i need to get some time to swap in the spare unit that i have, but this requires a small amount of "machining" since the spare is not identical to the original.
    2) i got side-tracked with the construction of a new transmitter... r/c groups transmitter thread  I will be using it the next time i test the 915mhz equipment in the Delta.

    I did get time to test the ChipLRS 915mhz equipment once with the Delta before its pump died, and the equipment did work as well as it could given the limited testing i was able to perform...  i did not get any video of the run, but i do like it better than the OrangeRX 915mhz equipment originally purchased.   The ChipLRS equipment does work correctly, with zero alterations, with the standard configuration tools (configurator chrome browser app) after i get the Delta running, i hope to get the ChipLRS equipment running with telemetry.

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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  tsenecal on Fri May 26, 2017 10:35 pm

    To continue with the ongoing testing of the 915mhz equipment, i have rebuilt the pump on the Delta test mule, i have "opened" my "submarine testing facility" (10' long horse trough) and have been able to test the ChipLRS transmitter module and receiver. the receiver required a small amount of hardware modification to allow me to use standard servos with it (it is mainly designed for multi-rotor use) but the modification was somewhat simple, i will post pictures here when able. In the testing, i was able to get the system to go the full 2 foot depth of the testing facility, so it seems to have reasonable range.

    in addition, i have figured out how to setup my transmitter so that it can properly display the telemetry data coming back from the analog voltage sensors, as well as the RX and ground pin needed for the more advanced telemetry functions that plugging an arduino into the system would allow. I am already set for displaying main battery voltage, but should be able to display depth, temps, and RPM with a little more work.

    an interesting development has occurred, FrSky has announced, but is not yet shipping a 900/868mhz transmitter module and receiver ( http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread.php?51594-FrSky-R9-R9M-module-900Mhz-(868Mhz-EU)-Long-range-system )that should be legal without major restriction or licensing for both Europe and USA. pricing and general availability has not yet been announced, but insiders claim $100 to $150 and late june as target pricing and timing. If it does actually come to be, i will definitely buy one of those for testing.

    as it is, i plan on purchasing two more of the ChipLRS receivers for my two smaller submarines, these Russian gadgets actually perform well enough to go onto the second stage of testing.
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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

    Post  david f on Sat May 27, 2017 4:02 pm

    A horse trough is a new test tank to me, Tim!

    I sort of hope that the 900 MHz equipment is not going to become the norm? (Because in the UK at least, 458 is very good for model submariners.)

    I must qualify that by saying that I didn't see any more people using 458 at Bournville recently. People are just happy to carry on using 40 Mhz because they already have it and it works.

    David

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    Re: openLRS and 2.4 Ghz and Submarines

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      Current date/time is Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:16 am