FPV made easy

To discuss all things relating to flying models via remote video

FPV made easy

Postby RCModelReviews » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:01 am

As you can see on the RCModelReviews YouTube channel I've started rolling out the "FPV made easy" series that will show people how to get into FPV, how to choose the best gear (for them), how to connect it all up, and how to fly FPV.

The "bareback FPV" project uses the ubiquitous AXN Floater as the model, a cheap HK camera and a 5.8GHz video link (you can use a store-bought one or build one of the cheaper options from the instructions I'll provide).

The "video visor" will also be a part of the Bareback FPV series.

It's a full time job now -- and I'm working hard!
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Re: FPV made easy

Postby bmsweb » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:46 am

WOW WOW WOW!!! I love the Video TX Transmitter you made!! THAT is PERFECT for smaller models too. You've once again blown me away bruce!!
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Re: FPV made easy

Postby RCModelReviews » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:12 pm

I hope you won't mind me linking to your clover-leaf antenna build video -- it's very good and as I said in my video, I see no point in me reinventing the wheel when you've done such a good job of making that vid.
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Re: FPV made easy

Postby bmsweb » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:18 pm

No probs at all Bruce . . little embarrassing as I was searching for the clover build video you were talking about . . seriously . . I didn't realize you were talking about mine. I've built a number of them for others and it takes too much time, so hopefully David's method helps.

You're small transmitter will just change the face of FPV. I can't wait to get it on smaller models. I'm feeling like a little kid who can't wait to get his hands on a new toy :)
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Re: FPV made easy

Postby RCModelReviews » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:31 pm

Yeah, it's kind of cool having the little self-contained "FPV backpack" that you can velcro onto almost any model and then fly that model FPV.

I've still got to do some range tests but the small video inset at the end of my "part 1" video was made with the receiver leaning against my hangar so it was just a few inches away from the corrugated iron. I was impressed with the resistance to multipathing that the cloverleaf antennas produced in that situation and also at the way the signal barely dropped out at all when I flew directly overhead.

When using dipoles on my other FPV model there were major dropouts when you over-flew the receiver.

I'm etching the board for the diversity controller today -- that'll be good fun and will allow me to significantly extend the range by using a small array of those $10 patch antennas.

The 35kph wind we've got today and the squally showers aren't helping though.
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Re: FPV made easy

Postby bmsweb » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:52 pm

RCModelReviews wrote:I was impressed with the resistance to multipathing that the cloverleaf antennas produced in that situation and also at the way the signal barely dropped out at all when I flew directly overhead.

I'm etching the board for the diversity controller today -- that'll be good fun and will allow me to significantly extend the range by using a small array of those $10 patch antennas.


I know what you mean, I couldn't believe the difference when we went to the clover and skew planar. Mind you I still have so much to learn, the hobby has changed to much. I'm yet to try out a patch antenna . . another thing on the To Do list.

As far as the weather goes I understand exactly what you mean. As of today I'm off work for a week now and I'm really hoping for some good weather . . and hobby king to send me a replacement Sony Camera :) My son has mine since the one I purchased for him was Dead. I can't even order one because they are out of stock.

BTW: We may be coming to NZ later this year would love to have a fly with you guys and possibly check out that awesome Turnigy Ute you have . . you know the green one :lol:
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Re: FPV made easy

Postby Sid Sideslip » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:49 pm

Yup, great videos Bruce and Paul! I've been busy building conventional models over Xmas/New year and am just now building my new cloverleaf and skew planar antennas, helped greatly by Paul's video. Hope to have my first FPV flight next week using an axn.

The Rx patch set-up will be great to see and I love the fact that Bruce will be showing how to do your own Tx' modules and Rx patch mixing boards.

I guess the next question though will be r/c transmitter range. I doubt I'll be flying anywhere near two kilometres at first, but eventually I guess the range of the frsky system will need a similar switching patch boost.

As regards axn bareback systems. I made up a tail dragger undercarriage platform and FPV mounting board that straps underneath the model. I've tested it without the fpv gear and found the wheels need to be pretty far ahead of the leading edge for take off, else it just noses over, but it's another easy way to mount all the gear quickly and have good cooling airflow, just using a few rubber bands... two under the canopy and two at the trailing edge behind the motor. GPS for the Remzibi OSD is on top, but just plugs in easy.

Edit: I'm thinking of making take off easier by mounting a short (non-steerable) trailing castor wheel to a newer design. Will post pics when (and if) it works OK. Incidentally, the camera will be on a HobbyKing pan-tilt head, with the ability to look straight down or even behind.
Last edited by Sid Sideslip on Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FPV made easy

Postby RCModelReviews » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:19 am

Castoring tail-wheels are a bust if you're flying from a sealed runway -- far too squirely (don't ask how I know ;-) )

The FrSky gear gives me over 2Kms of range when using 5.8GHz video (the 5.8GHz video link started fading before the RC link) but when using an el-cheapo 900MHz transmitter (200mW) the range was reduced to about 1Km -- simply because these lower-frequency video transmitters are so dirty that they blast harmonics all over the 2.4GHz band.

Getting extra video (and RC) range is much better done with hi-gain antennas because you're far less likely to interfere with (or get interference from) other band-users.

For my uber-long-distance stuff I'll be using a converted satellite dish and an antenna tracker that works using the FrSky telemetry downlink to report GPS coordinates from which the azimuth and bearing for the antenna tracker can be calculated. This will be all DIY but for those who "have more money than they know what to do with", commercial solutions are also available.
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Re: FPV made easy

Postby Sid Sideslip » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:33 am

I fly from (and sometimes into) grass, but will take note of your experience Bruce.

I guess I meant high gain antenna systems for long range btw. Brain fart on my part.

A DIY tracking solution sounds great, look forward to it. Would it be possible to use the GPS data from the Remzibi's GPS unit to also feed into a FrSky telemetry Rx and so just have the one GPS unit?

Only I have some FrSky telemetry Rx's and it would be a neat trick.
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Re: FPV made easy

Postby Yellowirenut » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:57 am

Its great to see so many projects. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the series . I am may even purchase all the hardware soon - depending on what the FAA has hidden up there sleeve on the new rules.
I find myself saying 'hell i can do that" after watching your videos. Enough tech data to make one understand what is going on with out there eyes glazing over.
but yes I need to learn to fly first. I have a AXN and a wilga-2000 just itching to get into the air. They are predicting 5 inces of snow and high winds tonight so it may be a wile.
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