When the FrSky Taranis hit the market it was quickly adapted by the money conscious RC modeler and the newly emerging FPV multirotor community. It’s reliable ACCST technology, loaded with features, full telemetry and reasonable prices makes this a great choice for someone new to the hobby as well. Being a popular radio means others will have the same stock Taranis. So to differentiate your radio from the next you can customize it.
Looking for a small, lightweight FPV transmitter that plugs right into your GoPro and has an integrated cloverleaf antenna? This $60 video transmitter for the 5.8GHz band may fit the bill – but is it any good? Find out in our review after the break.
Despite our quadrotors and aircraft getting more powerful with every year, saving weight is still one of the most effective ways towards longer flight times and better performance. And especially for the increasingly popular FPV racers power is not the main concern, you’ll likely want a small, lightweight transmitter that just works and doesn’t break the bank.
GLB is selling this small integrated transmitter with a fixed cloverleaf antenna in two different versions, one has a 2-pin connector for the video input, the other has a complete little PCB with Mini-USB plug for direct connection to a GoPro Hero 3, 3 and the newer GoPro 4. Note that GoPro 1 and 2 use a different plug.
Power draw on our unig was measured at around 120mA, and the weight was a very manageable 14 grams with cables. According to the manufacturer the transmitter works with everything from 6V to 28V, which means 2S LiPo up to 6S. We’ve flown this transmitter with 2S, 3S and 4S and never had any problems or heat issues.
The available freqencies are 5.705, 5.685, 5.665, 5.645, 5.885, 5.905, 5.925 and 5.945 GHz. This means it’s compatible with Boscam equipment as well as most of the cheaper FPV gear out there. It will not work with FatShark receivers.
The frequencies are set via miniature DIP switches on the back of the unit. The antenna is a three-blade cloverleaf with right hand polarization (RHPC) which is soldered directly onto the PCB. These antennas are best used for indoor flying or wherever there is lots of signal reflection. Multipathing is a huge issue for FPV flight, causing interference even while flying in relatively close proximity. Circular polarization is a good way of reducing this effect. Furthermore, cloverleafs sacrifice gain for a relatively good omnidirectionality, which is good for small, agile aircraft that need to do wild maneuvers without the video link dropping out.
If you purchase this transmitter, we strongly suggest to add plenty of hot-glue to the openings of the heatshrink “case”. If omitted, the antenna may break off, and can be difficult or impossible to resolder. We also don’t recommend soldering a connector onto the PCB as the transmitter is just too small and doesn’t have all that much power to begin with, so you don’t want to introduce another -3dB just for a SMA plug.
The great thing about this video TX is just how small it is. Sure, the antenna is unprotected and it also doesn’t transmit audio. However, it doesn’t get hot and it can be attached almost anywhere with some double sided tape.
In our tests, we found the range to be around 50-80 meters when using a cloverleaf receiver antenna (be sure to get a right hand polarized antenna!). Using a helical antenna, this range can almost be doubled. Your mileage will definitely vary based on weather, humidity and how busy the airwaves are in your area.
The output is certainly well below 200mW. We ordered two of these units just to make sure, but then again, it’s just such a small unit coming from china – and they do have a certain habit of writing overly optimistic specifications. If your unit puts out 50mW EIRP, it’s most likely working perfectly fine.
One annoying thing was that the PCB with the connector for the GoPro camera was not insulated in any way. We solved this with another dab of hot glue, just to make sure there’s no short when it comes into contact with metal.
We really liked just how small and easy to use this unit is. The video quality was solid and if you already have a GoPro on your model, this is a very easy way to turn it into a FPV model. Due to the low power, it is best suited for small FPV multicopters and racers. The price of USD $60 is a bit on the pricy side, but then again you do get the transmitter cloverleaf antenna with it. All in all, we’re going with a recommendation for this transmitter, provided you don’t plan to fly your model to far away. While it’s true that a good antenna is the best amplifier, you’ll definitely want a beefier transmitter (and a directional high-gain antenna) in these cases.
What we liked
- Comes GoPro-ready
- Small, lightweight
- Integrated cloverleaf
- Solid video quality
- Works on a wide range of voltages
What we didn’t like
- Needs hot glue to secure antenna and connector PCB
- 200mW claim is dubious
- A bit pricey for such a cheaply made device
Flying using FPV goggles is the most immersive experience you can have with a multirotor or fixed-wing. It can make you feel like you’re in the cockpit, or it can make you sick. That’s why It’s so important to buy the best goggle or head mounted display that is best for you. When you’re looking for a display to put on your head, you have two options; true wrap-around goggles, or a head mounted display. True goggles have two screens, with one eye each viewing one screen. This option is the most compact and portable choice for FPV. Head mounted display units have a single monitor. These monitor goggles are usually much cheaper than a true goggle option. Understanding terminology such as field of view, adjustable IPD, glass optics, resolution, digital head tracking and frequencies will help you pick the right FPV goggle.
The first decision you must make is to decide whether you want your FPV system to be analog or digital HD. The analog video system has been directly adapted from the security and surveillance industry with proven lowlight capabilities and low latency. Latency is the time it takes for the video that is being filmed to the time it shows up on the display. This is key for fast FPV flying and avoiding obstacles. Digital has only recently been developed to have low enough latency that it has quickly become adopted by many professional FPV pilots. The Amimon CONNEX ProSight is a more expensive option which will require its own FPV ground station to accept the digital feed and transfer it to your goggles via HDMI cable. It has improved detail but lower frame rate compared to an analog video feed. But the majority of pilots today still use analog because of its lower price and reliability.
Here is a quick overview of the terms you should know when choosing an FPV goggle or head mounted display;
FOV – Field Of View
This is the extent to which we can see or observe the world at any given moment. When using optical equipment such as FPV goggles there is always a restriction to what we can see. With FPV goggles, the field of vision (FOV) viewing range is between 25% to 45%. The higher quality and more expensive FPV goggles tend to have a higher FOV. The are many other aspects to what makes a great FPV goggle.
Interpupillary Distance or IPD: This is the distance between the center of the pupils of both your eyes. IPD technology is critical in binoculars and for FPV goggles. Each and everyone one of us is unique and have different shaped faces and distances between our eyes. For the best FPV flying view, it is essential the FPV drone goggles allow for both eye pupils to be positioned within the exit pupils of the goggles. If you buy fixed IPD goggles they may not fit your eyes correctly and the FPV flying experience may not be pleasant. The adjustable IPD is the best option.
Glass or Plastic Optics.
For viewing clarity and image quality glass optics are by far the best option for FPV.
- QVGA: 320 x 240 pixels
- VGA: 640 x 480 pixels
- SVGA: 800 x 600 pixels
- FWVGA: 854 x 480 pixels
- HD: 1280 x 720 pixels
SVGA and FWVGA are the best choice when it comes to FPV goggle resolution. If you have an HD system then an HD goggle should be used to utilize the maximum resolution of the system.
Digital Head Tracking
This technology monitors your head movement and sends these signals to your drone. The FPV camera on your drone follows the same orientation as your head. This is more suited for larger frames as it takes up more space and weight. It’s an incredible FPV experience and gives you much more visibility. Most FPV goggles now incorporate digital head tracking with the addition of a module.
Head Mounted Display
This is a monitor, usually around 7 inches across mounted in a headset that is strapped over the eyes. It can be quite bulky because the display must be placed far enough for the eyes to focus. This sometimes is useful for people who wear glasses because some headsets allow glasses to fit. Some people find large displays more nauseating when FPV flying.
Channels, Bands and Frequencies
There are 4 frequencies used for FPV flight, here is a list and points about them;
900 MHz Medium/ Long range
- Signal will go easy around and penetrate walls and trees because of the low frequency.
- Works with 2.4 GHz RC transmitters
- DIY antenna’s are easy to make because of the low frequency but are but are large in size
- Used by cellular companies
- Picture quality not as good as 5.8 GHz (Because of lower frequency)
- ‘Old school’ technology
1.2 GHz (1200 MHz) Medium/long range
- Signal will penetrate walls and trees because of the low frequency
- DIY antenna’s are easy to make because of low frequency but are large in size
- Works with 2.4 GHz RC transmitters if you use special filters.
- Picture quality not as good as 5.8 GHz (Because of lower frequency)
2.4 GHz (2400 MHz) Medium/long range (longer range then 1.2 GHz)
- Used for long range FPV flights
- Many antenna’s to choose from
- Wont penetrate walls and trees as well as 900 MHz and 1.2 GHz
- Frequency is crowded.
- Can’t be used with 2.4 GHz RC transmitters
5.8 GHz (5800 MHz) Short range/Medium range
- Great for short range
- Works with 2.4 GHz RC transmitters
- Easy to setup
- Frequency is crowded
- Antenna’s are small, but quality is a must.
5.8 GHz is the most common chosen because of its ease and small size.
A band is a set of 8 frequencies adopted by certain brands of video transmitters (VTX), the channel references to a specific frequency. Some goggles may not be able to tune into the band your drone is broadcasting. Make sure you find out what bands your VTX operates on. Here is a list of 5.8 GHz frequencies;
Here is a list of a few manufacturers and suppliers of FPV goggles and HD display goggles.
- Avegant Glyph
- Oculus Rift
- Zeiss VR One Plus
- Cinemizer 1909-127 OLED Multimedia Video FPV glasses
- SkyZone V02 3D
- Flysight Spexman One
- Eachine VR-007
- Boscam GS920
- Walkera Goggle 4
- Yuneec SkyView
When it comes to deciding on a first pair of FPV goggle or head mounted display I would go for a goggle because it’s the most immersive, then I would go with an FOV of at least 35%, an adjustable IPD, VGA or SVGA resolution at the least, glass optics and digital head tracking capabilities only if I plan on venturing down that path in the future. I hope this has helped any of you who can’t decide what FPV viewing device to purchase.
– See more at: https://www.horusrc.com/en/blog/how-to-choose-an-fpv-google-or-head-mounted-display/#sthash.U8QXBPnk.dpuf
When it comes to flying an RC multirotor or fixed-wing aircraft with first person view, one of the most important components is the FPV camera. The quality of the FPV image is directly related to the quality of the camera and the different types of cameras.
Since they are small and lightweight, a lot of the cameras used for FPV come to us from the video surveillance and security industries. These cameras come with two main types of sensors: CCD and CMOS.
Charged-coupled device (CCD) sensors have a greater wide dynamic range (WDR) which makes them better suited for extreme lighting conditions where there is either a low or high light level. CCD cameras are also less susceptible to vibration, so produce low-noise images. So, the CCD sensor produces a higher quality pixel. A drawback is they use more power than a CMOS video camera.
Complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensors are less expensive to produce and result in a lower cost camera. CMOS sensors produce a lower quality image and are more susceptible to noise, but have a lower voltage consumption. However, CMOS sensors are improving in quality and may soon be an equal in quality to CCD sensors.
There are some other factors when choosing a camera for FPV flying.
There are two types of video encoding available, NTSC (National Television System Committee) and PAL (Phase Alternating Line). While it is something to consider, it is not terribly important anymore as most FPV equipment will work with either one. However, since video cameras come with either encoding, you will have to make a decision.
The two encoding types have become more regional. NTSC is primarily used in North America and PAL is primarily used in Europe and Asia. If there is any doubt as to which encoding type you want to use, it would probably be better to go with the type most popular for your region. However, if you really want the highest video quality possible, then you may want to go with PAL as it does have a little better resolution, but a slightly slower frame rate than NTSC.
A camera’s TV lines of resolution (TVL) determine the quality of the video resolution. The TVL number is determined by how many alternating white and black lines can be displayed in its image horizontally. So, a camera with a TVL of 380 would be able to show 190 black lines and 190 white lines alternately in one picture. An FPV camera with a TVL of 600 would have a much better definition than the camera with a TVL of 380. A higher TVL will give you a higher definition image, but it’s going to come at a higher price as well. You can fly FPV with a low TVL camera, but you won’t have as clear of an image.
FPV cameras come with various focal length lenses, the most common being a 3.6mm and 2.8mm; the lower the focal length, the wider the field of view (FoV). The 3.6mm focal length would give you a 90 degree FoV and the 2.8mm a 112 degree FoV. One thing to consider is that when your FoV is above 90 degrees you start to experience a “fish eye” effect. Some RC pilots don’t like that and some like it for proximity flying because you can see more obstacles.
The size and weight of the camera are also to be taken into consideration as your multirotor or RC plane has to carry the weight. The camera sizes for FPV are becoming more standardized with the most common being 32mm or 38mm square. Sony cameras may be labeled as 1/3” cameras because of the 1/3” Sony CCD chip. Most cameras come with a removable case depending on how you want to mount the camera. Cameras, with the case, typically weigh between 20g to 50g, but can vary
IR Block VS IR Sensitive: Some cameras may have an option for either IR Block or IR Sensitive. IR Block will give you a clearer picture, but IR Sensitive will work better in low light levels.
Now that you know the types of FPV cameras and the specifications to consider when purchasing, you can make a better informed decision when you select your own FPV camera.
– See more at: https://www.horusrc.com/en/blog/how-to-choose-a-best-fpv-camera-for-quadcopter/#sthash.MMoIAOXE.dpuf
Horus packs a huge amount of changes and new specifications that might really interest any style or skill level pilot. You can watch in this video how to Adjusting The Gimbal Tension Ratchet.
Mr. Steele after many weeks of contemplating whether to paint radio or not, he decided to make it look and preform the bestI could.
Starting with the epic flat chestnut paint job and the RG316 coax cable RPSMA adaptor mod. coupled with a high quality 5dbi antenna the range is seriously impressive now. the added range makes even a stock Taranis look like a Orange DMSX module.
Hitec is proud to introduce our new flagship radio the Aurora 9. The Aurora 9 is a “pure digital” 2.4GHz system offering an extremely low latency response time for that “connected” feeling. Featuring a large backlit 5.1 inch touch screen display, 30 Model memory, assignable switches and customizable programming menus, the Aurora is a true 3 in 1 radio with sophisticated programming for sail planes, helicopters and all kinds of power planes. With all these features and a price that can’t be beat, there is no doubt the Aurora 9 will become the radio of choice for the most sophisticated pilots.
- AFHSS 2.4GHz / PPM / PCM Compatible
- Easy to Read 5.1 Inch Wide Backlit Touch Screen
- Customizable Menus
- One-Stop Model Type Setting
- 3 Multi-Tasking Digital Trims
- Fully Assignable Control Switch, Knob, Stick and Digital Trims
- Highly Sensitive 8 Ball-Bearing Gimbals with Adjustable Tension
- Full-Sized Comfortable Hand Grips Featuring Top Quality Elastomer
- Selectable Control Stick Mode / Change Hardware without Opening Case
- Power Management System (Adjustable Backlight & Auto Shut-off Time)
- Digital Trim Nano-Adjuster (Approx. 0.025deg per step up to 5deg)
Standard Programming Features:
- 9 Assignable Control Channels
- 3 Model Types (ACRO/GLID/HELI) Programming
- 30 Model Memories
- 20 Character model name
- 8 Flight Conditions with 10 Characters
- Throttle Lock
- Channel Function
- Dual Rate & EXP*
- Servo Reverse
- Servo Speed (Up to 25 sec in Each Direction)
- Servo Monitor (Monitor & Servo Test)
- 8 Programmable Mixes (5 x 2-Point , 3 x 7-Point Curves)**
- Trainer Port
- Advanced ACRO Programming
- 9 Wing Type (6 Main Wings, 3 Flying Wings)
- 5 Tail Type (Main Wing: Normal, V-Tail, Ailevator) (Flying Wing: 1 Servo Rudder, 2 Servo Rudders)
- Quick Model Options Select (Dual Engine, Retracts gear, Airbrake, Fuel mixture)
- 7 Point Throttle Curve*
- Throttle Cut
- Idle Down
- Fuel Mixture*
- Airbrake to Elevator Mix**
- Aileron to Rudder Mix**
- Elevator to Camber Mix**
- Rudder to Aileron Mix**
- Aileron Differential*
- Aileron to Flap Mix**
- Camber Mix**
- Flap Control*
- 3 x Gyro Sensitivity (ex: AILE/ELEV/RUDD)*
- Snap-Roll (4-Way Switching Multi Direction)**
- Delta Mix**
This is the JR XG14 14-Channel DMSS Aircraft Radio System with an included RG731BX X-Bus Receiver. JR’s XG14 is a true “non-shared” full 14 channel system that allows the connection of up to 4 servos per channel via the X Bus serial connector, and is JR’s first system to offer JR X Bus digital serial data communication technology. When using the XG14 X Bus feature, this allows for connection of up to 56 Servos (4 x 14ch) via special JR X Bus servo harness (not included).
The Spektrum DX20 20 Channel 2.4GHz DSMX Radio System combines premium development and cozy ergonomics, with highly effective programming options to create a professional-degree transmitter that delivers unparalleled efficiency. Actually, it’s the one transmitter in its value vary geared up with machined aluminum gimbals.
Highly effective AirWare™ Software program for Knowledgeable Pilots
Spektrum™ AirWare™ software program provides professional pilots all of the programming options they might need together with a couple of they by no means knew they wanted. And its intuitive SimpleScroll™ interface makes navigating menus and altering settings so simple as “roll and click on.”
The Spektrum DX6 2.4GHz DSMX 6 Channel Radio System has been designed from the bottom as much as ship greater than you anticipate from a 6-channel transmitter in its value vary.
Following the pattern with the DX9 and DX18 fashions, the DX6 now gives a twin antenna system; antenna variety. This arrange permits for a lift in communication, and radio reception within the harshest RF environments.