Everyone's seen them. FPV Drones for racing. Zipping and zooming around through the air at breakneck speeds making you feel like you're a bird.
But what if... Just suppose we really want to do something immersive on our train system.
Currently we have very few "Purpose Built" kits for putting said camera into an engine or other rolling stock. Their cost is inexpensive, but the quality of the video is reminiscent of the first televisions. The size of the cameras are out of touch with the latest technologies. They require the use of an older TV to intercept the signal, using broadcast TV frequencies that are incredibly power limited down to milliwatts.
The next problem is some of these kits operate at a very terrible 900MHz analog signal. Its frequency is highly competed for by MTH control units.
2.4GHz is an option, but Legacy, cellphones, and everything else runs on this frequency. At the WGHOT show in Hampton VA, I had to be within 3ft of the legacy base to maintain control just due to the shear number of people generating 2.4GHz noise.
Today, I pulled the trigger on a DIY kit for drones that gives you a set of goggles, the screen, camera, and all required equipment to transmit and receive. At 5.8GHZ@250mW, this should easily punch through most interference induced by our control systems. As an added bonus, it also transmits sound!
I will be chronicling this project here for those interested.
*edited to remove potential swear-word