Average RunCam owners operate their gear in FPV mode. You know, multicopters and FPV goggles with the camera streaming live to the pilot’s view. They don’t have to think about display devices and the ways of connecting the camera to them. It’s all standard. – This is not the case for Flying Tom’s application.
I’m not using FPV. Flying Tom out in the green wearing googles and watching TV while flying? This is not going to happen! Not today.
Recording videos to some on-board storage device – that’s what I want to do – doesn’t need cloverleaf antennae and bandwidth shredding live transmission. That saves me a few bucks for investment in flying machines rather than utilities and infrastructure.
A sophisticated apparatus as the RunCam offers a wide range of configurations. There is no mouse to make your settings but two tiny buttons on the camera board. I can live with that. The issue is that you need some visualisation device to navigate through the menu and to see what you’re selecting.
I want to use the external Monitor of my notebook for this, just by switching the HDMI cable from the computer to the camera. No fuss, no fumbling. Thus, I need
- wired connection with matching plugs between the camera and the monitor
- conversion of the video signal from analogue to digital
- signal amplification
Budget for this is non-existent. I’m determined to get along with what’s in my spares box and some RC consumables in stock. This is what I found:
- RCA AV to HDMI Converter Adapter Mini AV2HDMI (which is an unused leftover from trials with a camcorder)
- Audio/video adapter cable RCA cinch to HDMI (which I think came with a DVD player)
- BEC plugs, red, male and female, as used for power supply in RC models
- Spare leads in yellow, red and black as well as shrinking tube of different diameters
- Not shown here is the original RunCam’s yellow-red-black JST 3-pin XH extension cable which has already been „enhanced“ in previous tests. See blog entry RunCam Split 3 Micro.
RCA Video Adapter
This is the plan: Both of the above items, the converter as well as the adapter cable will probably do the trick. I’ll go for the AV2HDMI because of its external power supply, which I think will allow for more versatile application.
All we reuse from the RCA/HDMI adapter cable is the yellow video cinch. It is cut ruthlessly where its cable exits the black protection sleeve. Don’t be misled. The single yellow cable (11) is in fact two leads with video going to the centre pin and ground to the rim of the cinch (12). That’s why it needs a two pin BEC plug crimped on at the camera’s end (10).
- Lens unit, camera
- Main board, camera
- Original JSP 3-pin XH plug
- Extension cable
- Splitter, diverting power and ground to the battery and signal and ground to the RCA output.
- Video signal (yellow) and ground (black) to RCA video adapter
- power (red) and ground (black) from power supply
- BEC plug female from power supply
- BEC plug male to RCA video adapter
- BEC plug female from camera
- RCA adapter cable
- RCA cinch
The Bigger Context
The suspense is killing me. After powering up the AV2HDMI converter, the monitor comes to life, telling me there is no video signal on the HDMI input. Of course not. I will now attempt to plug in the lipo battery for the camera’s power supply. The outcome of this may be anything between me running for a fire extinguisher and gazing into an infinite recurrence of my monitor. Fortunately, the latter is the case.
At Last, The Menu!
This is what it was all about: The OSD setup menu. It needed the manual to be consulted as well as some getting used to operate the tiny buttons with log-press/short-press routines. But now I’m ready to configure.
(By the way: The feature act is the writings on the left-hand side. That thing in the bottom right corner is the first psychiatric casualty of long-term Corona isolation in Switzerland.)
Now here I sit in front of my expensive 27-inch high-definition high-end computer monitor ruining my eyes on this coarsely pixelated hardly legible non-ergonomic menu presentation. – But you know what? – I’m bloody happy about it because my first venture into homegrown video equipment turned out to be such a success.