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What FPV system to choose?

#1
Hello all!

I have a 350$ budget for an FPV system and I don't know what to choose. I looked thoroughly through forums and Internet and still don't know. I already have a GoPro.

What I'm looking for:

>Good quality and comfortable goggles with:
-30° min view angle, I need something immersive
-good image quality
-adaptability, room for upgrades (headtracker, etc.)

>Tx
>Rx

I heard that you can't use other brand Tx with Fatsharks Rx is it true? Are Boscams a better choice for my budget?

What budget should I plan for long range FPV?

Thanks for your help!
 

vk2dxn

Senior Member
#2
What do you want to get out of your air craft?
What I mean by that statement is are you looking for a short/medium range fpv system that you can have some fun with down at the local park or are you looking for something that will take you longer range? If you can sort out what you expect from your fpv system then you can choose the right fpv system for the application.
There are a great range of video goggles on offer however you need to assess what system (frequency etc) will suit your application before you can choose the type of goggles you want eg: base/built in RX/ if built in RX then what type(frequency and channel allocation)etc
 

vk2dxn

Senior Member
#3
Sorry I just read the second last sentence of your post.
For a Long range system you will be looking to be at least using the 23cm band (1.2ghz) with a 433mhz uhf LRS control. In regards to the ground station you can use anything from a simple screen setup or I have seen a 1.2ghz RX for the fatshark dominator goggles by bevrc or even a base set of goggles. As for prices all I can say is that it is a bit beyond the $350 budget sorry to say.
 
#4
Sorry I just read the second last sentence of your post.
For a Long range system you will be looking to be at least using the 23cm band (1.2ghz) with a 433mhz uhf LRS control. In regards to the ground station you can use anything from a simple screen setup or I have seen a 1.2ghz RX for the fatshark dominator goggles by bevrc or even a base set of goggles. As for prices all I can say is that it is a bit beyond the $350 budget sorry to say.
Thanks for your answer. Why do you recommend the 1.2GHz band? Why not the 5.8GHz band?



I'm looking for a "casual" FPV system that I can later upgrade to do long-range FPV.

I don't want to buy crappy goggles and cheap Rx/Tx and have to rebuy the whole lot when I will need more range.
I need a good basic bundle that I can keep a long time and upgrade when I'll have more budget.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems I should buy high end goggles and cheap Rx/Tx to begin, is that right?

I found these that seem to match my requirements, but I don't know how to choose:

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__28750__FatShark_AttitudeSD_FPV_Headset_System_w_5_8G_TX.html

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__12175__Boscam_True_640x480_8ch_2_4_5_8Ghz_Dual_Rx_w_HeadTrack_Video_Goggles.html

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__20672__Fat_Shark_Predator_RTF_FPV_Headset_System_w_Camera_and_5_8G_TX.html


Which one is best? Did someone in the forum try out the three of them and can give us a feedback?


Many thanks
 

vk2dxn

Senior Member
#5
I suggested 1.2ghz because you intend to fly distance.
It is possible to fly distance with 5.8ghz line of sight (look up "ilovetofly" on YouTube) but unless you intend to fly on a flat table land then I suggest using 1.2ghz.

As for goggles the set I am looking to get is the fatshark dominator because there are after market receivers available for them to make it compatible with all systems. If you are interested in checking them out go to team black sheep website and check out the 5.8ghz receiver that has all channel groups and I have seen a video on YouTube by alishinmo showing a new 1.2ghz receiver sold by bevrc and a few other mobs.
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#7
Regarding frequency bands:

5.8 GHz will give you a better picture, but shorter range, and it is easily disrupted by trees, buildings etc.
900 MHz will give you longer range and is less susceptible to interference by buildings, etc. But the picture isn't as clear as the 5.8 GHz.

2.4 GHz is probably out because it can interfere with your control frequency unless you switch to 433 MHz or even 72 MHz.

1.2-1.3 has better picture than 900 MHz and longer range/less interference than 5.8 GHz. But you'll want to get a filter to prevent harmonic interference with 2.4 GHz.


As for Systems working together or not: That has to do with the frequency of the channels. The channels used by FatShark use different frequencies than Boscam for instance. But there are transmitters that support 32 channels which include the frequency used by both FatShark AND Boscam. It's not a proprietary protocol or anything.

I have the FatShark Dominator which was the best resolution when I bought them (I'm waiting to see what the Dominator HD can do). It has two bays available to upgrade to wireless and also for head tracking. It was $299, and the 5.8 GHz wireless module was around $35. The head tracker unit (which I haven't purchased) is a bit over $60. Team Black Sheep has a 1.2 GHz wireless module available, and there's a rumor that Fat Shark is thinking about a 1.3 GHz module, but time will tell.

The Predator V2 is probably the best value at around $280 that includes the wireless goggles, transmitter and camera. At around $200 the Teleporter V3 has a similar package except the goggles are only 240x320 resolution instead of 640x480, and the camera has a built-in DVR. So depending on your needs there are several options.
 

vk2dxn

Senior Member
#8
Video quality is only as good as the camera used. The frequency does not dictate the quality of video picture as the vtx should be transmitting a 5mhz video bandwidth for pal and 4.2mhz for ntsc regardless of the frequency used.
 
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#9
Video quality is only as good as the camera used. The frequency does not dictate "quality" of video picture as the vtx should be transmitting a 5mhz video bandwidth for pal and 4.2mhz for ntsc.
Concurs, really not sure where this rumor about 5.8ghz vid quality started but it is quite untrue. Image quality/resolution depends a great deal more on quality of components, their location, antenna used and filtration/interference protection. As a brief aside, many of us use 1.2 and 1.3ghz interchangeably when describing a particular fpv bandwidth but with Lawmates 1.2ghz system being the exception we use 1.3 in the states. Only two channels available to us....1280 and the relatively newly opened 1258. What adds to the confusion is many online vendors use the terms interchangeably as well. Just know, if you wish be legal, you will be purchasing a system locked to only the two channels I mentioned above. So far as 5.8ghz is concerned, google multipathing....it is the term for the type of signal degradation seen with shorter wavelength systems like 5.8ghz when around obstacles. I have flown a 200mw 5.8ghz out to 3k fairly comfortably but typically when advising others I suggest that 1k is the max. The one advantage to 5.8ghz if you are a DIY guy are the size of the antennas in the event you wished to build your own as many have, very compact when compared to 1.3.
 
#10
Shoot I just realized I am making quite the assumption you are in fact an American citizen. Holy balls why don't forum members include their location anymore.....I wanna know where you folk be.....
 
#11
Hey guys,

Quick question. If going with the 1.3Ghz video system for FPV, where do you place the filter to prevent harmonic interference(using 2.4Ghz for flight controls)...on the video transmitter on the plane, or on the ground station receiver? Thanks!

Shawn
 
#12
The low pass or notch filter goes on the plane with your video tx. Due to its proximity to your 2.4ghz receiver on the plane 1.3ghz has second and third tier wavelength that can overlap and swamp rc control. Meaning your servos twitch and or otherwise do things not exactly conducive to keeping a plane in the air.....smiles....ask me how I know....no wait don't....two years later and still looking for that plane. Other common practices aid as well like, routing the video transmitter as far as possible from the rc receiver on your given aircraft.
 
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vk2dxn

Senior Member
#13
Hey lonewolf
I am in Australia about 120km north of Sydney.
Both 1258 (atv ch1) and 1280 (atv ch2) are the only legal 23cm frequencies that can be used here as well
 
#14
Thanks for the info lonewolf! I hope you find that plane someday! So...were you getting the servo twitching even AFTER you installed the filter??? Cause if thats he case, I'll just go with 5.8Ghz....I no likeie servo twitchie!

Shawn
 
#15
Thanks for the info lonewolf! I hope you find that plane someday! So...were you getting the servo twitching even AFTER you installed the filter??? Cause if thats he case, I'll just go with 5.8Ghz....I no likeie servo twitchie!

Shawn
Guess i should have clarified, this incident was prior to my learning about the wonderful world of low pass filters or IBCrazy notch filters. in my defense this was 3-4 plus years ago when FPV really was much more a new thing, so didn't have anyone to tell me different.
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#16
Video quality is only as good as the camera used. The frequency does not dictate the quality of video picture as the vtx should be transmitting a 5mhz video bandwidth for pal and 4.2mhz for ntsc regardless of the frequency used.
Perhaps I didn't use the correct terminology. 5.8 GHz has a greater bandwidth than 1.2 GHz. As such, it can transmit more data during the same period of time. The comparison is analogous to FM vs AM radio. FM has greater bandwidth and was able to carry a stereo signal. Whereas AM could only carry single channel audio. But FM is susceptible to interference from terrain. AM is less so.
This has nothing to do with the quality of the microphone used.

Here's another example. Have you ever watched a streaming HD video but it was blurry because your Internet connection was too slow? Same thing.

Granted, if your camera is crap, a higher frequency isn't going to help. But most security cameras are 640 X 480 or better. FPV goggles are about the same right now.
 
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vk2dxn

Senior Member
#17
Roybro
Sorry but I have to disagree with you.
The standard transmission bandwidth for pal is 5mhz video and 5.5mhz for the sound carrier and for NTSC it is 4.2mhz for video and 4.5mhz for the sound carrier. Now this is regardless of the frequency used. You might be confusing this with total width of each band dictating how many channels are available
 

vk2dxn

Senior Member
#18
Oh btw AM did transmit in stereo, it was not popular but was introduced to compete with FM here in Australia.
Sorry mate just had to chuck that one in.
No disrespect meant
 
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#19
Thanks all for your very interesting answers.

I think I'm gonna get the FatShark Attitude and go for 5.8GHz. I'll make myself a groundstation later if I need to use other frequencies.

Also, I don't know the legislation in Switzerland regarding the usable frequencies...