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FatShark Goggles and the Quality

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:47 am
by bmsweb
Hi Guys, I'm looking into buys some FPV great pretty soon (and anxiously awaiting Bruce's new FPV Series).

I tried my friends FatShark goggles while he was flying his TriCopter and the Quality is OKish but its not great at all. I would have thought for the price they would have been much better. He was using a GoPro HD for the video feed. Is this the normal quality to expect with FPV? Are there any better options than FatShark?

Re: FatShark Goggles and the Quality

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:42 am
by Sid Sideslip
Well the FatShark stated resolution is a paltry VGA of 640*480 which is what? NTSC standard TV resolution? Hardly HD video, although with a clean video signal what you lose in resolution you could gain in crisp edges and such, as it's not the same as computer gaming graphics where VGA is totally useless without full screen anti-aliasing to at least get rid of the jaggies.

Think standard MPEG-2 DVD movies, which can look pretty damn sharp, despite only having 480 lines vertical resolution in NTSC (or 576 for PAL).

Of course FPV cameras and particularly the optics of same haven't filled me with much hope for a decent HD picture, at least from what I've seen so far (I have a background in technical imaging, have built telescopes and such, so I know optics pretty well ...enough to design stuff and then grind, polish and figure the glass). Whatever camera I buy, I will almost certainly fit it out with lens of some real quality.

I'm not sure how the video signal is processed and sent so far (been too busy learning other rc stuff) but it seems pretty crappy. Disappointing, as all digital (after the image sensor which has to be analogue because it's converting waveform into voltage per pixel) should easily produce full 1080 HD and be as sharp as a tack with a decent CCD and lens combo, together with the encoding algorithms run on the processing chip and sufficient bandwidth to send the info.

Compared to the power of a low range graphics card or a cheap smart-phone, the FPV gear I've looked at so far is garbage.

The same could be said of RC transmitters too of course...all hype and no real wizardry. Computing wise they seem total crap, from their super low res monochrome screens to mediocre processors and interface set-ups.

Re: FatShark Goggles and the Quality

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:06 am
by bmsweb
Thanks Sid, I wasn't expecting HD just that it wasn't very good and didn't look 640*480. I'm wondering it it was his setup . . who knows.

Re: FatShark Goggles and the Quality

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:24 am
by Sid Sideslip
Well if Bruce ever gets over his cold and, with the excitement of anticipating the twenty dollars I'll donate to the cause, actually get the FPV series published, we will all find out what gives with affordable FPV atm, from an honest and tech savvy viewpoint, devoid of happy-clappy hype and marketing bollocks.

Just kidding, I'm really going to send $25. ;)

(also I'm very concerned to hear of his wife's problems...I dread Mrs Sid getting sick, as she is my rock...and I've just cooked her an unburnt omelette to prove it.)

So, no pressure Bruce. We are all bloody grateful for the work you do...meh, maybe not Spektrum, although I probably shouldn't say that and queer your relationship with the "Oh, shiny!" company further.

Although I will. Just have a look at their "OMG! Amazing!!" specs for the DX8 and then compare them to an el cheapo Turnigy 9x/FrSky with the er9x firmware installed.

I wonder how many cents more a shiny plastic case costs to make btw? lol

I just wish there was a Mandarin translation for "quality control" and all would be right with the world.

Re: FatShark Goggles and the Quality

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:43 am
by bmsweb
I know what you mean Sid, I think all our thoughts and wishes are with Bruce's wife! Its never easy hey. I've made my small donation to Bruce already as I love the Battery mod and all the info provided here and I plan on doing the same again with the FPV stuff :D

I have 3 Futaba radios one of which I paid well over 1K for but I like my turnigy heaps more . . well it is a newer radio. I may keep a futaba for FPV but who knows. The 2 Turnigy's we have currently will remain as is because we have 8 Turnigy/Eurgle Receivers. I'll go down the path of FrSky when we go FPV and just pick up another Turnigy Radio.

Re: FatShark Goggles and the Quality

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:55 pm
by RCModelReviews
Still sniffing today (damn!).

There are two ways of presenting FPV goggles:

1. use minimal magnification and thus get a crisp, sharp but smaller image

2. use maximal magnification and get a much *bigger* image, albeit at the cost of perceived clarity and sharpness.

The FoxTech goggles use the first strategy, the FS ones use the second.

When I look through the FoxTech I immediately think "wow, that's clear" -- until I realize that everything is also much smaller.

When I look through the FS I immediately think "wow that's *big*" -- although I find myself having to swivel my eyes a little to see some of the OSD information because it really does fill your field of view.

Some folks will probably prefer a smaller, sharper image, others will prefer a larger more enveloping one.

Me, I prefer paying $230 for FS rather than $400 for Foxtech :-)

Re: FatShark Goggles and the Quality

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:11 am
by bmsweb
RCModelReviews wrote:Still sniffing today (damn!).

Hope you're back to 100% soon Bruce,

I understand what you mean. I guess looking through the FS for the first time I just expect a lot better detail and contrast ratio etc. The picture was good enough to fly with just not very clear. I'm still trying to get my head around all this stuff and so far as an entry point I'm looking at:

1. HK 5.8g 200mw Tx & Rx Set
2. HK 1/3-inch SONY CCD Video Camera (PAL) ($16 one)
3. Remzibi's OSD (Poor Man's OSD) + 10HZ GPS

As far as viewing the incoming image I have no idea at this point. I'm interested to see how your DIY version compares with the FS.

Re: FatShark Goggles and the Quality

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:35 am
by Sid Sideslip
I got into 3D photography as a teenager, taking two photos (either b&w or colour slides) and using those old fashioned stereoscopic viewers, which worked a treat, and so I'm rather keen on the idea of stereoscopic FPV.

Double the weight (and money) for the poor old plane, but the sense of height, plane/ground separation and realism you get would be pretty damn neat.

Mounting the camera in the cockpit of a scale SE5a or a Sopwith Pup on a pan and tilt and you'd pretty much be back in WWI....without the castor oil giving you the trots, like it did to the pilots back then with their exposed valves constant-loss oil system. :lol:

Re: FatShark Goggles and the Quality

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:13 am
by RCModelReviews
That's one of the reasons I wanted to do the FPV visor, so I could try out real 3D and see how it works.

BMSWEB -- if you're using a $16 camera, don't expect too much in the way of contrast or sharpness from any video glasses!

Those HK cameras work -- but they're not a patch on a more expensive camera with better dynamic range and resolution. The KX181 is considered to be the bare minimum for serious FPV but the cheap HK ones are okay for getting your feet wet and deciding if you want to spend more.

Re: FatShark Goggles and the Quality

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:28 am
by bmsweb
Thanks for the Heads up on the camera Bruce. I haven't actually purchased anything yet. I was reading the reviews on the HK site and the $16 Sony got far better reviews than the $29 Sony that's why I was looking at the cheaper one. Will look at the KX181.

The FPV set up my friend had with the FatShark, the video feed was coming directly from the GoPro HD to the 5.8g 200mw Tx.

I'm wondering if an LCD Monitor is a worth while solution :lol: So much confusion here at the moment . . . but I will get there.