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Pumpkin drop event

FPV setup suggestions.....

#1
I know this has probably been asked a million times already. I am ready to try fpv but have no equipment or knowledge whatsoever. I typically fly medium sized airplanes (edge 540, simple scout, etc...). There seems to be a huge price difference between goggles and cameras. From what I have read, the best way to get the right goggles is to try them on. However, none of the local stores sell them. I have read a little about the FXT v2 viper goggles and they sound decent. Any input on those goggles? I am on a budget of about 200$ for goggles, would you buy any goggles over the fxt vipers? Also, if I were to buy the fxt viper goggles, what is a good camera/vtx that would pair well with it?

Side note.... I always wondered how the camera and video transmitter is powered? does it use the same battery as the airplane or a separate one? how does that work?
 

ElectriSean

Eternal Student
Mentor
#2
I've only used FatShark goggles and would definitely recommend them, but they are probably more than you are looking to spend. One of the best and worst things about current FPV tech is that it's just an analog TV signal, so most stuff you buy will be compatible. I'm a huge fan of RunCam cameras, particularly the Swift 2 and all of the Micro Swifts, but if your budget it tight a plain Jane HS1177 is pretty awesome, you just need to tweak some of the default settings. For fixed wing I wouldn't go less than a 200mW VTx - the Eachine ATX03 is a good choice, as are the AKK line. Variable output power is a must.

Many cameras and VTx's can be powered directly from the flight pack, just make sure that the input voltage range on the part can handle at least the battery voltage you are using. 7-22V is common these days, which covers you up to 5S.
 

Paracodespoder

Well-known member
#3
Do you want the smaller goggles or the boxy headset? Headsets are usually cheaper, (I have a spektrum headset) flitetest has the marvel vision goggles branded by flitetest that seem to be pretty good.
 

MarioGdV

Active member
#4
How far do you want to go? I think a 200 mW transmitter should work, maybe a 600mW one. I would buy a Tx which lets you change the mW. I use a Eachine Tx that has different modes (25 mW, 200 mW, 500 mW, 800 mW).
In this video, you can learn about how to power the system. As you can see, you have different options: power it with another battery or use the plane battery by connecting it through the ESC.
This is how I did it: 1550777157757220589879.jpg
The big wires are the ESC ones, while the small ones goes to the Tx.
Make sure which is the maximum voltage the Tx can handle.
Also, for the camera, you have two options, powering it through the ESC, like the Tx (only connecting the red cable, the black one is connected to the Tx), or through the Tx's 5V output, in case that it has a voltage output (this is the most easiest way to connect everything in my opinion).
The Transmitter I have is the Eachine Tx5258, which has a 5V output.
15507782609422000620200.jpg

If you want a good camera, look for a Runcam. There are different models with different prices, and there are a lot of videos with comparisons between all of them. Other interesting brands are Foxeer or Caddx.
The goggles I have are the Eachine EV800D. They have Diversity and cost less than 100$, ( I recommend it).
Remember changing the Tx's linear antenna for a circular antenna. There are websites with helpful guides, but I use the Foxeer Pagoda Pro. Something very important, check the connectors before you buy the antennas (RPSMA or SMA, male or female) and the polarisation (RHCP or LHCP).

I hope this will be helpful to you, and sorry if you didn't understand some things that I said, I'm Spanish and my English is not perfect at all.

Good luck!
 

evranch

Active member
#5
Conveniently I own a set of Vipers and just got in from doing some flying. I've owned the setup for a month, it's my first FPV system as well. Here's what I'm using.

- Viper v2 goggles
- Wolfwhoop Pagoda antennas, RHCP ~$10 for a pair https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B076H5TV62
- Wolfwhoop WT03 camera/VTX combination with RHCP cloverleaf ~$20 https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B06XB2ZRBP

Viper goggles - Very comfortable on the eyes, comfortable on the head as well. Not as immersive as Fatshark style goggles, but the picture is good. I think the removable shroud is great, because you are not forced to go under the hood, something that is pretty intimidating for your first flights. I have been flying with it off and it's a great learning experience to watch your airplane from both views. If I'm experiencing breakups, I spot the plane with my eyes and use the broken video feed as an artificial horizon such that I can get back into range. Built in diversity receiver. Need to supply your own 2s+ battery, just about any will do as long as you can stuff it in the pocket.

Pagoda antennas - You need to swap out the factory Viper dipoles with something circularly polarized. Pagodas are so cheap and effective. I flew out to about 400m today with just the two pagodas mounted. There was a little fuzz at the farthest reaches, but no breakups except when I flew behind the grain bins. I could have gone further but was worried about LOS from where I was standing.

Wolfwhoop WT03 - What can I say, it's all you need to get flying and it's $20. It's not a disaster if you crash it, either. 25/100/200mW transmitter with a RHCP cloverleaf already mounted. You pretty much need to run at 200mW, and it needs to be in the airstream. This tiny guy gets HOT.
16:9 camera, good picture, range has been pretty good as well. For an intro camera you can't go wrong. Make sure you set your Vipers to 16:9, as they default to 4:3 and will pincushion the image so it looks terrible. This camera has a MAX VOLTAGE of 5V! So you will need to run it off a BEC or off its own 1s lipo. I've been using 500mAh 1s cells and they will last for a 10-15 minute flight easily, I plan to do some testing to see if I can run off the ESC supply without getting a bunch of noise. It has an internal switching supply so the higher the voltage you feed it, the less current it will draw, I tested it.

Welcome to the FPV side of the hobby, it's a whole new game. My only complaint is all these batteries I need to charge now! Goggles, camera, flight battery... I need to get a multiple charger, because charging them all in sequence means I'm waiting and not flying when the weather is good.
 

BS projects inc.

Well-known member
#7
Here is a simple but up-gradable fpv setup that I use (about half a mile of range)

-camera and transmitter
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MRS9PRH/?tag=lstir-20

-headset (you can get these for 80$ on ebay but the link is astronomical)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FDGN8LI/?tag=lstir-20

-ditch those antennas and get some nicer ones
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01J9N0GDO/?tag=lstir-20

this setup seems like a cheap answer but it really does perform. I get about half a mile of range with it and the camera quality is pretty nice. I have been able to pull off some pretty nice needle threads with this setup and the mini goblin. You can power the setup by either soldering the fpv transmitter power wires into the esc, using a Y-harness, or a separate small battery. I have flown the simple scout with fpv and did not have a great time with it, it doesn't mean you won't but it feels like the movements are really twitchy when you fly it fpv. Good luck with finding a setup that works for you!
 

evranch

Active member
#8
Good price on a camera and 600mW VTX there, that would be a great first setup for $35

the movements are really twitchy when you fly it fpv
So far I've found that when flying FPV it feels a lot more natural to use lower rates and excessive expo. High rates make it feel more like a video game than an airplane. I should get some quad motors and build a Goblin, it looks like a fun little wing.

I bought a cable for the HDMI input, it is mini HDMI, not micro. It works well and looks better you would think 800x480 would. A lot sharper than the camera feed. I'm going to try to mount my headtracker to it and play around with it in XPlane as a poor man's VR setup sometime.
 
#9
I am flying with an AKK A3-osd and viewing on an eachine monitor. It all works pretty smoothly but I wonder if I can make the view clearer with a Runcam Swift micro AIO ? Will it make a significant difference? If I go to a Runcam Split mini which advertises a 1080p resolution, will that make a bigger difference? Thanks
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#10
First question about goggles how are your eyes? Can you see something clearly if held very close to your face, if you cannot then you will have to settle on the box style goggles. I have that problem and can only use box goggles these are the ones I use and really like they are better more immersive then the standard box style. Only stupid thing they did with these is they do not have automatic signal search

https://www.fatshark.com/product/transformer-se-fpv-box-goggles/
 
#11
Wow so many great replies! @Bricks My eyes are decent (20/30 vision), however my sons vision is horrible and he wears glasses. I may have to settle for box style for this reason. The EV800D look tempting because of the diversity but the fxtv2 can be worn with glasses. Such a hard choice! @evranch do you power your fpv system with a separate battery? @MarioGdV That makes perfect sense! You are an electrical genius. I dont plan on flying very far. How do you change your VTX mW setting?
 

MarioGdV

Active member
#12
You can't wear glasses with the EV800D, but you can dismount it easily and and use it as a screen. But if you want to have that "goggles feeling", the
FXT V2 is a good option.
The Eachine Tx5258 (and most of the Eachine Transmitters) has a button that allows you to change the frequency and the channel, it includes a manual with instructions to do that.
 

evranch

Active member
#13
@nightm0de I use a 1s 500mAh to power the camera/VTX, and it's good for about a 15 minute flight at 200mW. I'm planning to try wiring it into either a BEC or the ESC, because it's a bit of a pain to charge the little batteries. If you crash the little lipo may be destroyed if you can't get to it soon enough, since the camera has no LVC and will suck a battery completely dry.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#15
So...Couple of things to ask:

1) Are you wanting to hook this up to a plane, or a drone? If you're going to go to a drone, are you planning on racing, or flying for video? If you want sharp video, save your money, buy a DJI and headset there. I say that because the quality of the cameras and the video feed you will experience flying are not going to be high quality on other setups. That said, the DJIs aren't really meant for fast action/reaction, like what you see in the MultiGP or DRL races. They're a smoother, photography style flight.

2) If you are going to fly it on a plane or racing drone, you don't need much more than 200mw. Remember, the bigger the mw, the more power it uses. Additionally, the higher mw usage (i.e., 800mw and above) may not be legal for use or for sale in the US. 200mw is what most people use to prevent signals from stomping all over everyone else in an event, and even then, that may be a little strong, limiting you to 8 or fewer racers at a time.

3) As for goggles, there are many different kinds that you can go with. I started with a pair of the Quanum Cyclops V2 goggles, offered by HobbyKing. They are a box style goggle, and the V2s came with a standard dipole antenna and scan button to find whatever channels were being broadcast. I got them on sale for $60, but upon a search on HobbyKing, they are no longer sold and have been replaced with the Diversity goggles, for $80. These goggles are great to go over glasses, and definitely within the sub $100 price tag; if you are starting out with FPV and not sure how much you're going to do it, I would HIGHLY recommend these for your first pair. If you find that you want to move up to something nicer, then you can move up to something like the Fatshark Attitude V4 goggles, which I found MUCH more comfortable to wear than the Cyclops. Fatsharks tend to be more immersive, as they have a screen for each eye, but are also more than 3 times the cost for a quality pair. That said, you have higher quality parts - a better receiver in the Fatsharks, for example, AND almost all of the Fatshark goggles have a DVR built in to record everything you see through the goggles. But, is $300-$500 in your budget? Right now, from what I'm hearing, probably not. So I'll suggest the Cyclops Diversity goggles for right now, and you can save them for backup or ride-alongs, for people who want to see what it's like doing drone flight (word of warning, have them sit down for their first flight LOL)

Are the FXT Vipers good? Yes, they're very good - and the 2.0 version comes with DVR functionality. Is that worth an extra $80 for you? That depends. I would say that if you are starting out, it's probably not worth it, but then, that's my opinion, and opinions are like politicians - there are too many of them and they all stink. LOL The one thing to know is that they are a box style goggle, and they are kind of big and bulky, but they tend to be a little better for vision than other goggles if you wear glasses.