PRODUCTREVIEW HEADPLAY PERSONAL CINEMA SYSTEM
The “Yellow Jacket” receiver for the video
camera is easy to use after reading the
The airborne camera system only weighs 7
ounces and includes the camera, transmitter, system harness and battery pack.
personal heads-up display.
To take Headplay for a test run, I viewed
several RC airplane images from various
memory cards here in the office. I then
hooked it up to my laptop and ran my
Great Planes RealFlight simulator. You can
really get into the experience when you
select the chase plane and the cockpit view
modes. I also used the Headplay with my
daughter’s Wii game console. My daughter
also gave the audio quality a big “thumbs
up” after plugging it into her iPod. I also
tried the unit with the Headplay airborne
video camera system.
The instruction booklet makes it very
easy to make the proper connections and
adjustments to view whatever media you
want. All in all, the Headplay is an amazing
visual interface for all sorts of digital media
players. Compared to the cost of plasma
TVs and home entertainment centers, the
Headplay is a great accessory to increase
your viewing enjoyment.
COME FLY WITH ME!
With all the airborne and ground-based equipment checked, tested and hooked up, I
needed a test plane and a mounting system to carry my FHV 2.4 1000Pro system
aloft. I chose my tried and true Hangar 9 1⁄4-scale Piper J- 3 Cub powered by a Zenoah
G- 20 gas engine and guided by a JR X9303 2.4GHz transmitter and Spektrum AR9000
To add a little spice, I also installed a servo hooked up to the Aux. 2 channel so I
could pan the camera left and right. I used a 3-position switch so I could choose right,
left and straight ahead camera positions. The camera comes with a mounting bracket
that I simply screwed to the top of the servo output wheel. The mounting system is nothing more than a plywood base with a raised servo tray to position the camera at a scale
pilot’s eye level. The entire airborne system is supported by the base and the components are secured with Velcro and cable
ties. There is no on/off switch. To power it
up, all you have to do is connect the battery to the wire harness. The airborne
transmitter gets very warm when in use so
you should secure it so that it gets some
airflow to cool it off. It comes with a large
heat sink, and during my test flights it
operated flawlessly. Just don’t position it
close to any plastic parts or covering material that might get damaged from the heat.
I tried several powering-up sequences
but I found that the system performed perfectly whether I turned on the transmitter
or the receiver first. It doesn’t matter. I
did, however, decide to turn on the camera
system before turning on the JR 2.4GHz RC radio system. Even with the camera’s transmitter only 10 inches away from the AR9000 receiver, there was absolutely no interference in either system’s performance.
The Headplay PCS and the airborne video camera system worked great together.
Even in a giant-scale plane with a big gas engine hung on the firewall, signal reception
remained steady and clear. Vibration and engine RF noise were not an issue. I flew the
Cub to a very high altitude and to a greater than normal distance away. There was
never a loss of signal! It just worked and performed beautifully.
A word of caution: the Headplay PCS is an amazing visual interface for the onboard
video camera in an RC airplane, but I would advise against anyone wanting to fly alone
while wearing the visor. I think it’s best to offer your friends “rides” while you pilot the
plane. At the very least, if you do attempt to take off, fly and land with the Headplay
visor, have a safety pilot with you and use a buddy box cable just in case.
If you would like to see some of the video I took with the Headplay airborne system,
visit my blog at blogs-modelairplanenews.com. I think you will be impressed.