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Touring Motor Gliders Association (TMGA)
Eric Greenwell

"TaxiCam" - a nose camera for the Phoenix

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Eric Greenwell    11
Eric Greenwell

I've temporarily mounted a small "bullet" camera under the Phoenix, just ahead of the landing gear. It displays the image on the Dynon SkyView monitor, using the Dynon video adapter. It's nice to see ahead of the plane while taxiing, and I think it will be a help for maneuvering into thermals, because I'll be able to see where the dust devil is below me. The image is shown 50%, with the other 50% being the engine page (shown), or the PFD or Map page; it can also be shown 100%, so it almost fills the screen.

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Edited by Eric Greenwell

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Eric Greenwell    11
Eric Greenwell
Eric, would you tel us the name of the bullet camera you used, please?

It's the "BOSCH SECURITY VIDEO VTC-206F03-4 Indoor/Outdoor Mini Camera" that I bought on Amazon for $72. I tried a few car "backup cameras", which are attractive because they are $15-$30, also waterproof, smaller and lighter, but all had at least one issue: poor image quality, too wide a view, color washed out in sunlight, reversed image (standard for backup cameras - a couple units had a setting to change that), or guide lines on the image. The Bosch unit avoids all those issues, but it is a bit harder to mount.

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chasers03    10
chasers03

Thanks Eric. Coincidentally I am trying to decide between the Phoenix and the Bristell as Carrells and I's next airplane. In the comparison (I will post my chart in another thread) I was giving more points to the Bristell for the Site Picture on landing and take off. Your nose camera may be the answer to the difficulties I had landing the Phoenix. Have you used it for landing purposes? Steve Chase

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Eric Greenwell    11
Eric Greenwell
Your nose camera may be the answer to the difficulties I had landing the Phoenix. Have you used it for landing purposes? Steve Chase

No, I haven't tried to use it during the landing. I suspet that would be quite scary and difficult, and I wouldn't even consider it without a safety pilot.

In the beginning, I had a lot of trouble with landings with my Phoenix. I outline the problem and it's solution for me in this posting:

http://www.touringmotorgliders.org/forum/showthread.php/1851-Landings-a-bit-uneven-Maybe-you-need-2-quot-of-white-tape-in-just-the-right-place

I still had problems remaining centered on the runway, especially with a cross-wind component; eventually, I realized wide runways (>70') made it hard to notice the drifting, and that I did a better job on 45'-50' wide runways (probaby because the edge of the runway was easy to notice). The solution was to land just to the right of the center line (left wheel on the line), so the line was always visible and any drifting was immediately noticed.

The most recent tweak is using a slip-to-landing instead of a crab-to-landing. I've always landed my sailplanes with a slip-to-landing, and that seems to work well for me in the Phoenix.

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mikeschumann    11
mikeschumann

Any updates on your Taxi Cam?  Today, I had a major screw up and hit a plastic runway marker cone while taxiing.  It ended up destroying my prop, which is another expensive lesson.

A Taxi CAM (or more aggressive S curves) would have saved my bacon.

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