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FPV at Flight Fest needs direction.

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#1
Soooo I think I have settled down and can discuss the FPV changes at FFO and maybe help save / make it liveable for those going to FFT.

This year at FFO any FPV besides Multigp racing, and limited Dji flights was basically eliminated.

The way it worked was ALL FPV had to be coordinated thru the Multigp coordinators. This is all good and much needed as was discussed after last years events.

The bad side was the decision was made to eliminate the second FPV area and to limit all fpv to 25mw.

Bu doing that any testing or set up was at the mercy of how much time between races the Multigp guys would allow. Pretty much making that process extremely slow with all the waiting.

This also pretty much eliminates any FPV fixed wing flights as 25mw is too limited range and increases the risk of something bad happening instead of the thinking things would be safer.

I emailed Stefan and got a less then satisfactory explaination and didnt get a warm fuzzy they want to deal with tbe FPV side of this.

He did however leave the conversation open with an invitation for new ideas or solutions.

I know what I would do to try and appease pilots wanting to fly FPV yet enhance the safety factor.

First and foremost. Post and put out digitally to ALL pilots pre registered the rules for flying FPV.

Next to cover EVERYONE again post the rules for FPV at the registration area.

Now for the rules...

1. Its the law you must show proper ham certification to be able to do anything FPV. This includes the Multigp area and build/ set up.

2. There will be NO FPV on the main flight line nor will there be any flights in the main area unless pre approved and coordinated for things like the FT crew filming.

3. The farthest available area on either side of the flight line will be dedicated FPV space. This has always been the case for channel separation. The Multigp area can be moved further down then they have been to aid that separation even more. This area will be 25mw to comply with the Multigp rulings for racing as it seemed to work well this year.

The other end is for all other FPV flights. This will be coordinated the same way as the racing area with dedicated pilot seats / stations where people will que up with gear ready for that particular station.

One chair dedicated to fixed wing ss they can be up for extended periods and three for multirotor. With the exception that if there is slow pilot flow one of these can be used for an additional fixed wing pilot at the discression of the area Flight Crew member.

This area will be variable power up to 200mw. This gives freestyle pilots as well as fixed wing pilots room to fly safely but not be powerful enough to bleed over and take out the racers.

4. A small portion of the build tents will be a dedicated FPV work area. NO antennas can be attached to FPV transmitters and only dummy loads shall be used. If a pilot does not have a dummy load he can trade his pilot pass to the Flight Crew member in charge to borrow one. When it is returned the pilot pass will be returned.

NO other area INCLUDING camping and rv sections will be used for FPV. Anyone not following the rules immediatly surrenders their pilot pass for the day if caught with a live FPV system outside designated areas.

5. Twice a day for one hour in the open FPV area there will be dedicated time for non ham certified pilots to do supervised test flights or for certified pilots to take people interested to see what FPV is for rides and possibly to let them try FPV.

Twice a day for an hour will be dedicated to tiny whoop and micro quads up to 3 inches to get air time. If enough people have them maybe one of these hours can be dedicated to races limiting power to 25mw.

6. Always power on goggles to check your channel before powering any transmitters up.


These are my thoughts to make FPV a viable accepted part of Flight Fest as well as provide a structured way to do it while educating and keeping things as safe as can be expected at such a large event.

With enough repetitive public service announcements of the rules I think we can minimize the amount of incidences that are problematic. This in addition to proper promotion AND enforcement of what ever rules are worked out should keep things fun and safe.

Fell free to post your own ideas and keep in mind this is NOT a debate. No flaming others ideas as we want as many ideas as possible.

Let the Core Flight Test Crew make the decissions what to implement or not. Then we can debate those if they are too outta line with our thoughts.

I will ask mods to delete posts not conforming to the topic or that are argumentative and detrimental to the cause.

Lets see how truly intellgent we are and resolve this to a useable and safe implementation of a less segregated FPV experience.
 
Last edited:

JimCR120

Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
#3
I think it's an excellent start with controls that include most everyone if not everyone.

While I like your rules and think rules should be enough most of the time I also think that once they get all ironed out that you might want to draft a short explanation why we need those rules since some people can only see rules as something that kills their fun and therefore something to ignore. Since that is not the case, explaining these rules might help those who would otherwise ignore the rules to maybe obey and help enforce them. The more people we have on board with FPV rules or any of the rules for the the flight line the more it will just be accepted standard practice and any who stray will find a consistent message from the community they are in.

Nice initiative SpyderBorg
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#4
I've never fired up an FPV transmitter at a Flite Fest for fear of shooting down someone already in the air because there weren't clearly laid out rules like this. And yes, I know I could listen on the channel first but honestly with my skill level with my bargain basement level FPV equipment, I don't trust my gear enough to know which channel I'm really configured for until it powers up.

So I'm all in favor of this - and in favor of the scheduled times for some more beginner friendly activities so I could plan to head over and know I'm not walking 1.2 miles just to show up in the middle of a race and learn I should have brought my camera instead of my quad. :D
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#5
You could also introduce a separate set of rules for those who use the 5.8GHz frequencies which do not cause interference with the standard transmitter frequencies on 2.4GHz.

Sure the use of a freq board or the like could ensure that those flying are not interfering with each others transmissions. A loss of transmitter signal and a loss of control is a serious issue but so is a FPV transmitted signal that is blocked completely by someone elses transmission. No vision = no control.

Just my thoughts!

have fun!
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#6
One "rule of thumb" I'd add that we started using at our field:

GOGGLES/HEADSET GET POWERED ON FIRST.

The reason for this is that 99.9% of the time, your goggles are on the last channel you were flying on. If you turn on your goggles and see video in your goggles, it means someone else is on your channel. DO NOT POWER ON YOUR TRANSMITTER YET!!!

I explained it to 2 people at our drone field open house, and they went, "Hey, that's a REALLY good idea!" and I started hearing it being parroted around the field. Nobody had any issues with it, and it prevented interference, although, there were a lot of people who'd call out, "Hey, who's on Fartshark 5?", "Who's on Raceband 3?", etc. The good news, though, were no crashes. :)

One question I have, though, Psy, since I'm not familiar with it - you mentioned a dummy load. What is that, and why would I want to use one? It's not a term I'm familiar with, so I'd rather plead ignorance now and have someone tell me than ignore it and cause havoc later. :)
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#7
Not hijacking the thread but a dummy load is the resistive equivalent of an antenna. Most antennas have an impedance, (virtual resistance), which allows the transmitter to transfer its power efficiently. When you remove the antenna the impedance of the antenna connection is lost/altered and simply if you use "OHMS" law P=EI you will see that it is possible to damage the transmitter output stage either by drawing too much current or even developing an overvoltage condition. NOTE; on low power devices this is a rare occurence.

Secondly the transmit signal lead which normally is used to transfer the power to the antenna can become a defacto antenna so disconnecting an antenna does not actually stop the possibility of your transmitter causing interference with other devices. A dummy load is a purely resistive device that is matched properly to the transmitter impedance, (thereby protecting the transmitter from damage), and rather than transmitting the signal it dissipates the energy as heat only, (ideally no radiated power).

Just say it is a NO RADIATION antenna substitute!

Have fun!
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#8
Not hijacking the thread but a dummy load is the resistive equivalent of an antenna. Most antennas have an impedance, (virtual resistance), which allows the transmitter to transfer its power efficiently. When you remove the antenna the impedance of the antenna connection is lost/altered and simply if you use "OHMS" law P=EI you will see that it is possible to damage the transmitter output stage either by drawing too much current or even developing an overvoltage condition. NOTE; on low power devices this is a rare occurence.

Secondly the transmit signal lead which normally is used to transfer the power to the antenna can become a defacto antenna so disconnecting an antenna does not actually stop the possibility of your transmitter causing interference with other devices. A dummy load is a purely resistive device that is matched properly to the transmitter impedance, (thereby protecting the transmitter from damage), and rather than transmitting the signal it dissipates the energy as heat only, (ideally no radiated power).

Just say it is a NO RADIATION antenna substitute!

Have fun!
AHHHH!! That explains a LOT! Everyone I've dealt with out here always told me, "DO NOT POWER ON UNLESS YOU HAVE AN ANTENNA ATTACHED! You'll burn up your transmitter board." So, I never powered on unless I had an antenna attached, and I never powered on and attached an antenna unless I knew the channel I was on was clear.

But, now, I can see how I would want a dummy load - I could use it to change channels on my transmitter without interfering with other people who are currently flying....
 

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#9
You could also introduce a separate set of rules for those who use the 5.8GHz frequencies which do not cause interference with the standard transmitter frequencies on 2.4GHz.

Sure the use of a freq board or the like could ensure that those flying are not interfering with each others transmissions. A loss of transmitter signal and a loss of control is a serious issue but so is a FPV transmitted signal that is blocked completely by someone elses transmission. No vision = no control.

Just my thoughts!

have fun!
Most vudeo systems used are 5.8ghz so that is the standard. Some people use 1.3ghz or 900 mhz for long range FPV. Those require more power and should not be usef at all in places like Flight Fest. They would "step all over" the 5.8ghz gear.

As for radios having problems most 2.4ghz radios frequency hop and are only locked on for a few milliseconds before jumping to the next one in their particular programming so interference with those able to block control long enough to be a problem is very slim. Thats how they were able to set the record with so many planes in the air at once.
 

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#10
One "rule of thumb" I'd add that we started using at our field:

GOGGLES/HEADSET GET POWERED :)

I added that in my first post but that is kind of a standard practice.
The FPV areas at Flight Fest usually have dedicated ground stations set up in the race area and could easily be done in a second area. That way there is no doubt of someone being on your channel if you butt is in a particular stations chair or area if you stand to fly.
 
#11
Just thinking, if you have Fixed Wings flying from the one side of the field toward the center on a higher power won't they interfere with the quad guys at points in their patterns? Asking since the transmission is coming from the aircraft moving up and down the field.
 

kilroy07

Active member
#12
First off, my only "Quad" experience has been my DJI Phantom 2 and my daughter's Tiny Whoop. But it seems to me this problem is VERY similar to one this hobby had years ago (limited frequencies/crystals) and I wonder if something along those lines might work.

I'm thinking a BIG chart with color coded bands... I don't know how much separation you would ideally like between users but maybe you could find arm bands or something in enough colors maybe to denote what frequency they are on.... iow, if there isn't a red armband in the basket, someone is using 5771... etc.

Still have to impress to people that tiny whoops and fixed wing is all in the same group as race quads...
 

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#13
Just thinking, if you have Fixed Wings flying from the one side of the field toward the center on a higher power won't they interfere with the quad guys at points in their patterns? Asking since the transmission is coming from the aircraft moving up and down the field.
Last year they were running 200mw on both ends of the field. There were no issues as the frequencies used along with opposing polarities kept it in check.

The problems arose when people in the build tents were turning on high power vtx because they did not know better and bought straight 600mw tbs transmitters. Others were fling on the main line end to end encroaching on both the dedicated areas and knocing people out.

Most of that was a fail on Flight Test in not diseminating proper information to everyone and leaving most of the policing to word of mouth by the FPV community.

Facebook is a huge platform to relay changes but its NOT the be all end all solution as we found out. Same thing this year with the changes. I was one of the ones not getting the message and frankly it not only angered me but blew a huge hole in most of the things i had planned to do at FFO.

This is why I am going thru all this and hopefully someone will bring this thread up on Facebook so we can get more information to and from a broader base of pilots.
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
#14
Some people use 1.3ghz or 900 mhz for long range FPV. Those require more power and should not be usef at all in places like Flight Fest. They would "step all over" the 5.8ghz gear.
This is not true in any way shape or form. If your 1.3ghz/ 900mhz transmitter is interfering with or stepping on 5.8ghz gear, someone sold you some seriously defective gear. Also not transmitting with any more power power than 5.8 gear. Lower frequencies travel further which is why they are used for long range.

LB
 

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#16
First off, my only "Quad" experience has been my DJI Phantom 2 and my daughter's Tiny Whoop. But it seems to me this problem is VERY similar to one this hobby had years ago (limited frequencies/crystals) and I wonder if something along those lines might work.

I'm thinking a BIG chart with color coded bands... I don't know how much separation you would ideally like between users but maybe you could find arm bands or something in enough colors maybe to denote what frequency they are on.... iow, if there isn't a red armband in the basket, someone is using 5771... etc.

Still have to impress to people that tiny whoops and fixed wing is all in the same group as race quads...
Yes and no. There was a working system in place for FFO 2017.

The failure was in the lack of information getting to the proper people mainly being newer FPV pilots and kids with toys that have FPV.

The key is having a standard format that is least succeptable to this which has been proven as well as a flood of information that will reach as many people as possible.

Arm bands and flags are moot if only 8 channels are available and dedicated stations with a que for pilots are used in specific areas.
 

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#18
This is not true in any way shape or form. If your 1.3ghz/ 900mhz transmitter is interfering with or stepping on 5.8ghz gear, someone sold you some seriously defective gear. Also not transmitting with any more power power than 5.8 gear. Lower frequencies travel further which is why they are used for long range.

LB
Then this is an error on my part as most of the 900mhz stuff (albeit very few as I have little interest in long range) was being flown with power levels in the 1 to 2 watt range from ground stations. Granted this was over 4 years ago before the 5 inch invasion started.
 

PsyBorg

Fly Angry
Mentor
#19
Well, just an idea....
Not deriding your ideas mate. There are limited frequecies available and only 8 (as far as I am aware of) have the seperation wide enough to be able to put people in the air continually with out major issue at Furey Field.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#20
I remember 72mHz with that long ass antenna..

Man, I could fly a 6' Wanderer forever on that setup.
I still have some old 36MHz gear here though I do not use it much as I get interference from Perth, AUS, 2 time zones away! Seems it is still popular with a large number of people over there!

Have fun!