I am a computer programmer and I like playing with robots.
But I don't have access to tons of cool toys so I try to make do with what I've got.
The other day I was trying to navigate an R/C car remotely via Skype over Wifi after velcroing my iPhone onto it.
It works well enough indoors. Even then there was a good second or so of latency.
Once I headed outside, though, there were so many frames being dropped I ended up peeking out the windows and cheating.
I realized that sometimes digital technology just isn't the way to go. I would have had much better luck with an analog video feed. I'd get progressively more noise as my signal got weaker, but I wouldn't lose contact for seconds at a time. Yes, Skype probably uses TCP so I've got this entire network stack working against me. But i think the root of the problem goes deeper. I need more robust transmit technology. Packet switched networks ain't gonna cut it.
So I don't know where to start. My guess is it's probably a good idea to use a similar radio signal to the type that was used for television for several decades. But these days, a digital video camera is a lot more capable and compact than... analog video cameras. Is there any reasonably simple way to turn a modern video feed into an analog TV signal? Does such a thing exist? an accessory to plug into a camcorder that produces an analog signal?
I think what I need is a crash course on some slightly obsolete tech. Even HowStuffWorks' articles are too modernized, though it's possible they have a gem explaining how an analog UHF television signal works somewhere that I haven't been able to find.
edit: Okay, this is proving to be pretty informative. I gotta narrow down how to get myself an NTSC transmitter or something like that.
Could somebody help me out? Suggest some equipment I could try to use?
another update: Oooh I found something. Just gotta do a little bit of digging.
So what sortsa hardware do they have in these things? I'd like to get into the guts of it so I can get at the signal so I can amplify it for a range I find suitable for my needs. What methods exist for video feed security? (thats one aspect digital systems have the upper hand on)