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Wireless in-car Live Video Question

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
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Does anyone have any experience in implementing a wireless video feed from cars on track ? I'm looking for a solution that goes beyond what we can do with GoPro's and SD cards with video viewing after track runs. The pro's use some very high end equipment, what I'm looking for is something that is usable (not necessarily HD quality) and also won't break a clubs budget. Price is still assumed to be in the $1000's, what I'm hoping for is low $1000's. GPS data acquisition is not a requirement. Any ideas would be appreciated.
 
You want them to watch live? Or just easier transfer?

I think they make some kits for RC planes, but don't know anything about them. RC shop that sells helicopters (the good ones, not the cheapo ones) might know. They may be LOS only though, and FCC may have issues with you using anything strong enough to send video through objects.
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
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Trying to go beyond just easy transfer, but that'll be my baseline implementation (SD card in a GoPro, pop it into a portable LCD monitor with SD Card input at the track). The lower priced units that you use in R/C helicopters, etc, have very limited range and as you say are LOS. I'm looking at one option running on a 900 Mhz signal (high enough where I believe there are no FCC restrictions, although I may need to register it's use, TBD) and a 10 watt transmitter. It has a 16 km range. $5000. It's just one that I found on the web, I have no basis of it it's a proper solution or if the price is aggressive or not.
 
Carputer with a cell signal would probably work, if it isn't too high of def it won't be that expensive a plan. Assuming you get signal there, I do not at most of the local tracks. Super simple method would be a USB camera to a laptop with cell signal and software to stream it or one of the cell signal based security cameras. Wifi would not have the range. It could be done way under $1k, aside from cell charges, using a used laptop. Just need to route all the wires and make harnesses, can grab the 12v power using a radioshack charger
 
PeteInCT said:
I'm looking at one option running on a 900 Mhz signal (high enough where I believe there are no FCC restrictions, although I may need to register it's use, TBD) and a 10 watt transmitter. It has a 16 km range. $5000. It's just one that I found on the web, I have no basis of it it's a proper solution or if the price is aggressive or not.

I am a telecommunications field engineer and one of the things that I take care of is paging equipment, which operates in the 929-940 range, and there are both licensed and unlicensed parts of the 900 band. For it to pass video, I imagine that it is some kind of spread spectrum signal. I would be a little pessimistic of a 16km range with 10 watts, you might be able to pull that off with some directional antennas and enough elevation to get you line of sight but not at ground level with omni's, that's kind of like when they advertise FRS radios that have a 22 mile range, which they might have in outer space, but not here on the ground.
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
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I do believe it's spread spectrum, especially at the cost of the equipment. I'm trying to recall some of my former knowledge as a Ham operator, it's been quite a while ;D As for 16 km, I fully agree. That over 9 miles, it may be able to do it LOS but not is a real world setting. My guess is that on a typical 2.5 mile track the receiver will never be more than 1 mile from the transmitter. One system I found has a simple dipole (no gain) antenna. For soome more cash you can get a yagi with I believe 8 DB gain.
 
If you have an android or iphone with wifi tethering, maybe you could link a wifi enabled camera for streaming. We have some wifi security camera, the quality sucks but there are probably better ones.
 
On the 900mhz unlicensed you would never get the band width with 5 khz deviation. Plus there's a lot of interference. The best you would get is 9600 baud which won't do a thing for you. I work in the wireless data communications field and I've looked in to solutions to try to catch copper thieves and remote video was one of them. I'll post something tomorrow, my day starts @ 4:00am so it's bedtime. There maybe some idea's to kick around depending on the minimum frame rate and the resolution your willing too except but cellular is probably the cheapest alternative.
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
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Aha, the guy to talk to ! Thanks in advance for an guidance you can provide.

This is one option I've found, maybe this is not an unlicensed application:

Off of this website:
http://rf-links.com/newsite/racing.html

The model that sits unde the $5000 pricetag:
[pdf]http://rf-links.com/newsite/pdf/s-900.pdf[/pdf]
 
http://cameras.pricegrabber.com/network-surveillance/Cisco-WVC210-Wireless-PTZ-Internet-Video/m721709529.html

It even has a 3gpp mode so people can watch it from their cell phones. Not sure the 30 fps would work over a 3g connection, or if there are better quality ones, but something along these lines would be a cheapo way to do it tethered to a cell phone.
 
Depending on the size of the track and the position of the monitoring site, you should be able to do it if you could find a network camera that meets your optical needs and an access point with the ability to add an external antenna. With the low power levels involved, I think the only way to get it done would be with an external antenna with a real ground plane. Then stick you rx antenna up a 10' pipe and attach to a wireless router and give it a try. To see if it worked, before you invested in the camera, you could always just run a ping test on the AP while your doing some laps and see what happens.

As long as we're speaking about RF related items, what is the best way to add a headset to a helmet and maybe incorporate to an intercom? I see a bunch of places that want to sell you the radio and the units as a whole, and if there is one thing I have, it is heaps of radios. Anyone have a system that they particularly like?
 

PeteInCT

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litsnsirn said:
As long as we're speaking about RF related items, what is the best way to add a headset to a helmet and maybe incorporate to an intercom? I see a bunch of places that want to sell you the radio and the units as a whole, and if there is one thing I have, it is heaps of radios. Anyone have a system that they particularly like?

Check out the Chatterbox system, it seems to be pretty much the de-facto standard for in-car track communications.
I have the wired version but they now have various RF based units with various range capabilities.

http://chatterboxusa.com/

This page is all you need to see all options, wired/wireless/headsets/etc:
http://chatterboxusa.com/pdf/productchart.pdf

Certain helmet manufacturers (i.e. Stilo) have mic/headset options built right into their helmets. Chatterbox makes an accessory option that allows you to retrofit a dual headset (stereo) and mic into an existing non-wired helmet.
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
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Connecticut
CaliMR said:
http://cameras.pricegrabber.com/network-surveillance/Cisco-WVC210-Wireless-PTZ-Internet-Video/m721709529.html

It even has a 3gpp mode so people can watch it from their cell phones. Not sure the 30 fps would work over a 3g connection, or if there are better quality ones, but something along these lines would be a cheapo way to do it tethered to a cell phone.

I'd be very surprised if streaming video live over 3G (or even 4G) cell network will work very well. If the whole track was a Wi-Fi hotspot with a strong signal that would makes things a lot easier even if it was not HD and a lower frame rate.
 
I'll try to be brief. I checked out your link, I didn't realize you were looking at actually broadcasting analog video signals, I thought you wanted to push data. Broadcasting video requires the use of 6mhz of bandwidth meaning all of 922-928mhz, which the FCC has classified as unlicensed experimental wideband. But this can be tricky in built up areas versus very rural because of interference. If this is the freq. range their using then the system your looking at would probably work long as the car's not next to a berm or anything that causes shadowing. The higher freqs. will have draw backs with elevation changes and foliage vs. the lower, but you will still get 25% or better signal coverage with analog vs. digital with the same power output. I suggest you get a couple of cheap family radio's ( 1 watt ) from Best Buy and do some como checks around the more difficult parts of the track. If you can talk, then your video should make it. There are a lot of factors that come in to play so there are no simple answers. If you want, email me, then I can go in to more detail.

PS. heres a link to someone thats tried 2.4gig.
http://www.wirelessforums.org/members-lounge/2-4ghz-video-race-car-178.html
 

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