I did a thing... FPV, head tracking, oh yeah!


Bought Another Trailer
Staff member
I love my FPV, and I've been dabbled with FPV in the past.

The best success was setting up with my Fat Sharks goggles and using a pan/tilt gimbal on an Parkzone Radian.

Not going to lie, it was AWESOME. But cumbersome and of course the video quality was lacking with analog to really give it that immersive experience.

I upgraded goggles, and they didn't come with head tracking integrated so I left that all behind.

Now I'm flying with digital. Goggles still don't come standard with head tracking systems installed, but someone has made a pretty good open source system that works well with the DJI goggles and others.

I bought the components to build my own... but didn't.

Then I saw the videos from MotionSic on YouTube and FPVAirCombat here on our forums. (Odd, I never see them both in the same place at the same time...)

I went to the website where they're selling the B.A.G. (Bad A Gimbal ;) ) AND they have the head tracker as a prebuilt, pre flashed unit. It was a bit on the pricey side, but I wanted the full FPV experience, weighed the price versus return, and placed my order.

It was FAST. They must have sent it out the day before I ordered it. So I decided I was going to get it put together and ready for my "weekend". A local who flies at my field messaged me and said he was bringing a friend to the flying site, and I needed to join them at 8 am. So the pressure was on.

After dinner with the wife, and once the "kids" were in bed, I got started on the project, and immediately it went wrong.

My goal was to install this in my Flex Innovations RV-8. My dreams were quickly dashed when I noticed I didn't have enough empty slots in the Aura to do it.

So I moved over to my Great Planes PT-19. Not too big a hardship, I had planned to use it for head tracking FPV anyhow.

On to the next setback.

I am a Apple product guy, so all of this software designed for Windows kills me. Fortunately I have an old beater Windows laptop that I was able to get to mostly work. Once I beat the software into submission, I tried to plug everything in...

But then the stereo port for the trainer on my TX16s wasn't working properly. I figured the port must have been bad on the radio. But FPVAirCombat (Robert) let me know that this is a known "issue" the port is aligned differently and the work-around is to put a thin plastic washer onto the plug and that will act as a spacer to get everything lined up correctly.

I didn't use a washer, I figured it out myself by wiggling the wire partway out and got it to connect.

Then of course there's all the programming to be done within the radio. I have the RadioMaster TX16s, and it's using OpenTX. Fortunately I've been using it long enough now, it's not the challenge to navigate it was, when I was mostly a Spektrum user trying to learn my Taranis.

After that, with lots of fussing and fighting, and I actually get servo movement with the head tracker.

I will say this, Painless360 and his YouTube channel is a life saver!

So, I've got things mostly working, now it's time to put things in the correct places, wire it up to how it will be in flight, and give everything a final test.

I've reached this milestone sometime around midnight. I was tired, way past ready for bed, but I knew I needed to get up early to get to the field, so I pressed on.

Then I began to smell something hot... not sure what it was.

Then the tilt quits working.

The servo was red hot!

I unplug everything, let it cool, plug it all back in, and yeah, tilt servo is dead.

I fortunately had an old Turnigy servo that was a direct fit!

I swap them out, and everything is working great now! At least it seemed to be in my exhaustion addled mind. I called it quits about 1:30 AM. I tried to put all my gear back into the boxes and bags that they'd be transported in the next morning, and I went to sleep.

A few short, SHORT hours later I'm back awake, and with time to see the disaster that was my packing job the night before. I get everything loaded into the truck and I make it to the field shortly after my local friend. We get "camp" set up, I did some mowing, and I flew a few other planes. Finally the time came to give it the test.

I knew it was going to be... interesting. I mounted the camera as far back as I could in the cockpit, but because of the hatch latch, I had to set it off to one side. I also jammed it and the DJI Air unit onto the balsa "floor" with some double sided tape. I did a test lap around the field with the goggles off, and was satisfied it would fly well enough. It was go time.

I sat in my chair in the shade, positioned my goggles on my head, got my spotter lined up, and the opportunities to stall were at an end. Goggles down, throttle up, and away it flew!

Guys, for all the aggravation I went through, it was so very much worth it! I kept the flight short, mostly just a circuit around the field. The low sitting, offset camera gave it an authentic in the cockpit feel, but it sure made landing quite a bit more interesting.

I may have to see about adding the Aura Lite to it so I can focus more on the view, than on trying to keep it level.

Here's the video from the flight.



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Well-known member
Congrats! Excellent job on the head-tracking FPV install in one evening, and exceptional flying skills to safely land the plane back in one piece given such limited view.

A little suggestion on improving flight behavior on the PT-19. Since it has relative long wings compared to fuselage, adverse yaw is quite pronounced whenever you bank the plane. I recommend adding at least 30% aileron to rudder mix to keep the plane coordinated when you roll the plane. It will make the FPV flying experience a lot smoother and more enjoyable than without the mix. Using a gyro would alleviate the adverse yaw as well.


Well-known member
Setting up head-tracker seems to be difficult on people’s minds. But it really isn’t and can be done in minutes. Here’s my attempt to make it more accessible:

FPV Head-tracker setup is similar for all brands of air transmitters using trainer mode. It’s convenient to look at videos instead of digging out the info on transmitter users manual. So I made a couple to help beginners out. There are plenty of videos for FrSky and Open TX based radios. So these are for other major brand TX’s:

HT setup on Futuba radio:

HT setup on Graupner radio:

HT setup on Spektrum radio:

After one can see signal on transmitter servo monitor screen. Simply plug in pan and tilt servo leads of camera gimbal into corresponding receiver channels onboard RC vehicle and voila! You have a working head-tracking FPV setup. Easy-peasy!