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First FPV Build

#1
I wanted to run my plans by some experienced FPV pilots and see what you think.

Here is what im currently flying:

Hobbyking bixler (stock but with stronger spar and upgraded prop)
6EXP 6-Channel 72 MHZ radio
R168DF Receiver

Here is what im looking at buying:

http://hobbywireless.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=88_91&products_id=458
http://hobbywireless.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=391
http://hobbywireless.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=52_54&products_id=672
http://hobbywireless.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_60&products_id=529

Its gonna be a hefty bill, but i want to do it right the first time.

What yall think?
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
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#2
Wow! That's some serious investment! I'm not a very experienced FPV pilot, but I've got one criticism of the first package on the list... It's all linear polarised gear. While you'll get OK range, you'll run into multipathing being the limiting factor to your video feed. To avoid this, you would need to replace your patch antennas and vtx antenna to helical and cloverleaf (or other cp antenna) respectively.

Aside from that, the set is pretty solid, but very pricey.
 
#4
Well i just ordered some FPV gear. Heres what I picked up:

1 x FPV1024 Plug and Play 2.4Ghz 1000mW Wireless System - Lawmate - Camera
is optional (FPV1024) = $349.97
Select Camera Video Format... NTSC
Select the camera for this kit SN555 Mini Sony Hi Res. CCD color camera
Add Battery to Power this Kit No battery
Select 2.4 GHz Receiver R2400-Deluxe built-in battery
Add Fatshark Pan & Tilt System No
1 x Fatshark Replacement 7.4 1000mAh Lipo Battery (FTSK_BAT) = $19.99
1 x Fatshark Battery Charger (FSK_CHARGER) = $9.99
1 x FatShark Dominator Modular Video Glasses (FTSHK__DOMINATOR) = $299.95
1 x 2.4 GHz BluBeam Antenna Whip Set - RHCP (AN24_IBC_WHIP) = $64.95

Now, my bixler is stock except for the 6x4 prop. I dont plan on making any long range attempts just yet because I didnt order an OSD to keep the initial cost somewhat down. That being said, what upgrades do you think i should make to the bixler? Bigger batteries? Stronger motor? etc??
 
#5
The 1000mW transmitter does not work very well on long distances since it is old technology which does not has a good filter as the new 500mW transmitter. Sorry to tell you that.... Note that some people have issues with the 2.4 GHz deluxe receiver from lawmate since the integrated battery does not work well..
Buy a http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=12919 motor with a triple blade 6X4 prop. Dont go full throttle with the triple blade or you will burn the motor!! Get a 40 amp turnigy plush ESC. Don't buy the cheap HK ones they send out more RF noice wich shortens your range. Also they cheap hk escs are not as good as the turnigy ones. Buy another 2200 mah 3 cell and connect it in series with an other 2200 mah 3 cell. Note that the mah and the cells should be the same of the two batteries that you connect.
 
#6
Thanks for the tips! I actually just ordered the 500mw transmitter and will return the 1000mw one when it shows up. Picked up a cyclops easy OSD as well. (2) 2200 batteries!? Seems like an awful lot of weight! I am currently running 7.4 V 1300 mah batteries and figured i could use one of those to run the video equipment on the plane, and then order a 2200 to power the motor, servos, etc.
 
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#7
7.4 volt battery for your fpv system??? That is not going to work well, just buy two 2200 mah batteries and upgrade your motor/esc/prop. The bixler will be able to handle the extra weight. Note that the 72MHz system is not made for long range flights...
 

colorex

Rotor Riot!
Mentor
#8
Note that the 72MHz system is not made for long range flights...
2.4 GHz is for short range (1-2 miles),
72 MHz is for medium range (3-5 miles),
433 MHz is for long range (5-10 miles)

In the United States, 72MHz transmits legally at around 1 watt while 2.4GHz transmits legally at around 100mW (or 0.1W). So 72MHz is 10x as powerful at 2.4GHz. In addition, 72MHz is at a much lower frequency so the radio waves are longer and can much more easily bend around obstacles. 2.4GHz is essentially line-of-sight and will easily be scattered by any obstacle--especially a conductive object such as metal or carbon fiber.Holding your 2.4GHz radio behind a chain link fence with 3 inch spacing could effective halt all transmission. This would never happen with 72MHz. 72MHz is much, much more powerful. You could have your 72MHz radio inside your car and probably get sufficient range to fly 1/2 mile away.
 
#9
3 to 5 miles seems pretty dang far to me..... Im going to stick around a mile or less (if i can even get that) until i get the bugs worked out. If the fpv equipment can handle as low as 5 volts (with a voltage regulator), why wont a 7.4 volt battery work? Remember, im new at this.
 

colorex

Rotor Riot!
Mentor
#10
3 to 5 miles seems pretty dang far to me..... Im going to stick around a mile or less (if i can even get that) until i get the bugs worked out. If the fpv equipment can handle as low as 5 volts (with a voltage regulator), why wont a 7.4 volt battery work? Remember, im new at this.
Check the specs for the items you bought, they all say 12 volts operating voltage.
 
#11
2.4 GHz is for short range (1-2 miles),
72 MHz is for medium range (3-5 miles),
433 MHz is for long range (5-10 miles)
Thats right but.... 72MHz is not frequency hopping and is old tech. 2.4 GHz is new tech and is frequency hopping (most systems like FRsky) Also the wattage does not really matter. Most 35/72 old tech FM systems use about 200mW of power because they were not designed for long distance flights. I am not saying that 2.4 GHz is, I know allot of people in Holland that use 2.4 GHz for their RC and they fly easily 6Km. 72 MHz needs to have long antenna's for good reception on long distances. Also most people dont fly over populated arreas or forrests when they are attempting long range flights. 72 MHz is more for short range and 2.4 GHz is for medium range..
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
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#12
Sorry Arman, but there's nothing old tech about 72Mhz. By the logic you've used, all FPV systems are 'old tech' because they don't frequency hop. Hopping is only needed if there are sources of interference.

The RC world only recently shifted to 2.4Ghz because people enjoy flying together and 2.4 allows this because there are more channels within this band that people can use without interfering with each other. Hopping on the 2.4 band is also a pretty recent thing to avoid the interference caused by the myriad of non-RC equipment, like wireless routers etc.

72Mhz is great for medium range FPV because instead of suddenly losing control, you start getting glitches, at which point you have plenty of time to turn around. When my 2.4 FrSky system starts beeping at me, I know I have a few seconds to get it back facing me before it goes into failsafe. The 72Mhz radio signal also penetrates through/around objects better than 433 and 2.4. In fact, the only disadvantages of 72Mhz is the size of the antenna, and I guess the cost of the receivers.

Colorex's estimation of range by frequency isn't too far off, although because 2.4 is such a commonly used frequency, stuff like patch antennas and signal boosters are cheaply and readily available, extending 2.4 to about 3-4 miles.
 

Carbon

Elemental Madness
#13
Good to hear some info on 72mhz. I bought a transmitter and reciever last weekend to work with my 2.3ghz video. On topic, I would avoid the diversity. It is not needed.
 
#14
Sorry Arman, but there's nothing old tech about 72Mhz. By the logic you've used, all FPV systems are 'old tech' because they don't frequency hop. Hopping is only needed if there are sources of interference.

The RC world only recently shifted to 2.4Ghz because people enjoy flying together and 2.4 allows this because there are more channels within this band that people can use without interfering with each other. Hopping on the 2.4 band is also a pretty recent thing to avoid the interference caused by the myriad of non-RC equipment, like wireless routers etc.

72Mhz is great for medium range FPV because instead of suddenly losing control, you start getting glitches, at which point you have plenty of time to turn around. When my 2.4 FrSky system starts beeping at me, I know I have a few seconds to get it back facing me before it goes into failsafe. The 72Mhz radio signal also penetrates through/around objects better than 433 and 2.4. In fact, the only disadvantages of 72Mhz is the size of the antenna, and I guess the cost of the receivers.

Colorex's estimation of range by frequency isn't too far off, although because 2.4 is such a commonly used frequency, stuff like patch antennas and signal boosters are cheaply and readily available, extending 2.4 to about 3-4 miles.
Well if 72MHz is better then 433MHz i don't know why everyone uses UHF systems for long range flights. Also I am not comparing RC controll to FPV. Both 2.4 GHz and 433 MHz are FHSS systems.
 
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lobstermash

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#15
I didn't say 72 was better, just that it has its applications - as Andre said, medium range FPV. Many 433 systems don't hop. Frequency hopping isn't necessary unless there's alot of interference. 433, whether it hops or not, is great for long range FPV, because there are systems available that give you 10+ miles, hopping or not. Radio waves are radio waves, whether they're carrying tiny amounts of info (like control signals) or large amounts (like AV).

As FPV fliers, we aren't limited by radiowaves themselves, but the equipment available to us. The more exclusive the use of a piece of equipment, the higher the cost per unit to produce and buy it. 72Mhz systems are great because they offer decent control range (medium range, though could be longer with the right equipment if it was available), don't interfere with important users (like emergency services, military or air transport), has a type of failsafe as a feature of the wavelength (glitches rather than shutout) and is pretty cheap ($2000 fully programmable computer radios from less than a decade ago are available for well under $200 now). Not everyone wants/needs to fly >5 miles, so 72Mhz systems are a great option for those wanting reliable mid-range FPV control gear.

That said, I don't have either a 72Mhz or 433Mhz system. I fly with an FrSky 2.4Ghz system on my 9x because I'm personally limited by $ and a dull hope I can get a really cheap autopilot system up and running that limits my range to the juice I can store in batteries, rather than how far I can transmit a signal. Wish me luck!
 

Tritium

Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
#16
I fly with an FrSky 2.4Ghz system on my 9x because I'm personally limited by $ and a dull hope I can get a really cheap autopilot system up and running that limits my range to the juice I can store in batteries, rather than how far I can transmit a signal. Wish me luck!
I just got my FrSky module for my 9X and a HV receiver from http://www.alofthobbies.com for less than $50. Range is stated for 1.5 to 2.5 kilometers. Like you anything past that distance will be handled by an autopilot (this is what lead me to the ArduPilot Mega Auto Pilot boards). There is even a provision to fly the autopilot board through my 915mHz (433mHz is available also) data radio link to the APM2 via joystick via the Mission Planner software on a laptop.

Thurmond
 
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lobstermash

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#18
I just got my FrSky module for my 9X and a HV receiver from http://www.alofthobbies.com for less than $50. Range is stated for 1.5 to 2.5 kilometers. Like you anything past that distance will be handled by an autopilot (this is what lead me to the ArduPilot Mega Auto Pilot boards). There is even a provision to fly the autopilot board through my 915mHz (433mHz is available also) data radio link to the APM2 via joystick via the Mission Planner software on a laptop.

Thurmond
Sigh. APM is super cool. I got the new HK MultiWii PRO, which in theory should be able to use the APM Mission Planner, but I'm struggling with the programming.
 

lobstermash

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#19
Oh, forgot to mention, but the 7dB patch antenna that goes on the FrSky module is only $4.33 with a buddycode from HK. I've got one but haven't tested it out yet, but apparently it can boost range to >5km, even without a signal booster.