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FPV: what do I need?

Matthew Sanders

Well-known member
#1
I know I'm in the middle of asking about LED lights, but while I'm here I figured I'd ask about FPV. Simple question: what do I need, and is there a camera that uses wifi to transmit? One final question: which has the longest range, or what would I need if I wanted to fly Fpv UNINTERRUPTED through trees?
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#3
There's LOTS of stuff you can pick up, but the minimum you'll need is a video transmitter, or VTX, an antenna, a camera to connect to the VTX, and a pair of goggles or box style headset to view it. I've seen guys who have said they could use a video screen to fly with, but if you're doing serious FPV flight like racing, you can't use the video screen - either you'll be looking at the screen and not being able to see the picture well because of movement, or you'll get some sun that will blot out the screen so you can't see it effectively.

Each of those items has its pluses and minuses, with quality, range, and the biggie, the price tag, all focusing on getting you flying. The best advice I can tell you is to research things that you think you want. Start with looking at both the highest and the lowest prices. If you're not sure what a term means or why you might want something like IPD (inter-pupillary distance) in a set of goggles, or the difference between a dipole antenna and a cloverleaf antenna, or what FOV means (it's the field of vision, or how much you can see out of the lens - more field of vision, with a wide angle lens, allows you to see more, but it also makes things look a little more bubbled at the edges), ASK.

I know there are some people who will jump immediately at the cheapest thing because it's the cheapest; others will go straight for the most expensive thing thinking it's the best (and sometimes, it IS), but they don't know anything about that $700 pair of goggles they bought or what makes it better than the $60 box goggles the pilot next to him bought. Or, they'll buy something thinking it's great, and it IS great, but not for the situation they're using it for.
 

Hondo76251

Well-known member
#4
Like @sprzout said, there's a lot of ways to go about it...

I've gone through a lot of gear over the years and what i wish someone would have given me in the very beginning was this little AIO (All in One) camera I'm using a lot now...
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY3QSIE/?tag=lstir-20

The "all in one" means that it has the camera, transmitter, and antenna all built in. Sure it has its limitation and there are a lot of people that like to start out with better gear, but for getting started and learning the basics this setup is hard to beat.

Heck, I've purchased it long after I've "learned the basics" and although I have a ton of far superior gear, because of the cost and simplicity I end up using this little camera all the time for blasting my little planes through the trees. On some planes I fly with the camera wired into the 5v BEC, other times I'll just put a little 1s drone battery with velcro next to the camera and fly it that way. The fact that this 200mW camera can go down to 3.2 volts is one of its best features. Is it REALLY 200mW? who knows! but I do seem to get a lot better signal through the trees than my 25mW ones for darn sure... Here's a video of the same camera flying on two different planes in a few minutes (one it's hooked to the BEC, the other is with a little 200mAh battery powering it)

Skip to 3:18 for the flying:

and did I mention, its held up quite well through pretty hard use...

For goggles I've been using Spektrum's FPV box goggles... not sure in light of the quality of things that have come out in the last couple years that i'd recommend them above something else, but they are still working for me. I can't seem to get any "fatshark" style googles that I like, they all seem to strain my eyes more than box goggles do. That is something you'll have to research and test for yourself I believe... beauty is in the eye of the beholder!