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Old Nov 04, 2011, 11:14 AM
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Sky Surfer aka Bixler FPV

Hi Everybody!

Welcome to the Sky Surfer /Bixler FPV thread.

This thread is for those folks who have bought (or is thinking of buying) one of these planes and is looking for the resources to convert them into FPV fliers.

It is dedicated to FPV discussion and is an offshoot of the more general Sky Surfer / Bixler thread (if you are looking for general aircraft information start there):

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1231310

All folks are welcome here. The only thing I request is that everyone should be polite. The use of these planes for FPV becoming very popular due to it's overall design, low cost, and ease of flying.

Under no conditions will I delete or refuse a post from anyone. Those difficult decisions are up to the moderator of RCG. I see my job here as just another person who posts and learns from all of you folks and the librarian for this page. Most of what I have learned in RC has been from many, many nice folks on other threads and I am deeply indebted to them for their sharing. I reserved post #2 & #3 for the ideas that you folks come up with that should be shared with everyone. So, Posts #2 and #3 are from YOU for YOU.
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Old Nov 04, 2011, 11:15 AM
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Vendors / Equipment

Aircraft
1. Hobby King now carries the “Bixler” which is a clone of the Banana Hobby Sky Surfer and Multiplex EZStar – there are a number of version of the Bixler available:

Hobbyking Bixler EPO 1400mm (ARF)
~$51.44 Almost Ready to Fly model from the Hong Kong Warehouse

Cameras / Mounts

GoPro Hero Naked
$199 – great all purpose video + still FPV camera, but has substantial size weight. Very much usable with the Bixler provided you have a solid camera mount.

GoPro / FPV Camera Mount for Bixler / Sky Surfer - all purpose camera mount for GoPro / FPV equipment

1/3-inch SONY CCD Video Camera (NTSC) and 1/3-inch SONY CCD Video Camera (PAL)
$17 Well regarded cameras from Hobby King for FPV.


808 #11 Keychain camera – Although not for FPV – this is a good starter aerial videocamera. Available on eBay – see www.chucklohr.com‘s website for the latest information. The 808 is light and can easily be attached to the Bixler with velcro.

Video Equipment

5.8G 200mW FPV Wireless AV TX & RX Set

This is the system I am installing now.

ReadyMadeRC
A lot of great information on this web page related to FPV equipment, and the owner is quite knowledgeable. If you have any information using this equipment – please comment below.

Range Video
Another full service FPV equipment vendor.

Getting Started

The Bixler / Sky Surfer as purchased are not sufficient for flying expensive FPV equipment and require modifications in order to make them suitable for FPV. This thread is not going into the details of what modification are needed, but there is an excellent thread on RC Groups for this discussion:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1231310

I have personally made many of these upgrades and I suggest that you make many of the suggested upgrades to your plane before any FPV / aerial photo/video flying. Only once you have 20 or more successful flights with your modified Bixler should you think of attempting the next steps.
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Old Nov 04, 2011, 11:15 AM
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Build Logs

1. http://www.ilovefpv.com - This is the FPV build logs by RCGroups user "ilovefpv"
2. FPV build log by RCgroups user "wirewolf903"

Videos

Cool Bixler video by "bmsweb"

FPV Bixler Glider Setup with OSD 5.8Ghz Video and Remzibi basic RC Setup (6 min 32 sec)
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Last edited by ilovefpv; Nov 05, 2011 at 09:21 PM.
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Old Nov 04, 2011, 11:16 AM
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Old Nov 04, 2011, 11:16 AM
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Old Nov 04, 2011, 11:17 AM
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Old Nov 04, 2011, 11:25 AM
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Yay, it will be good to have a thread dedicated to the Bix/SS for FPV and not have to wade thru 700 pages to find info.
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Old Nov 04, 2011, 11:37 AM
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Exactly - and it certainly is an interesting subject to explore together.
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Old Nov 04, 2011, 12:37 PM
Me a long time ago
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Subscribed.
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Old Nov 04, 2011, 12:56 PM
Argue for your limitations
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New Thread

Subscribed. I look for good things from you.
AJ
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Old Nov 04, 2011, 01:19 PM
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+1 for me too
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Old Nov 04, 2011, 06:03 PM
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Australia, VIC, Melbourne
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Hi Guys, this is another worth while video. It shows the difference between the standard lens on the Cheaper Sony camera from hobby king, to a wide angle lens from ebay. I think the lens only cost about $5 delivered. The original lens is plastic and has no weight to it at all and the ebay lens has a metal body with glass optics.

Hobby King Pal Camera Test and Wide Angle Lens - Video Capture Test Footage (2 min 14 sec)

This is what we are currently using on the Bixler
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Old Nov 04, 2011, 06:38 PM
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Great to see the response guys - thanks!

Paul & Thomas - thanks for sharing the video! Which lens do you prefer flying with the wide or narrow one?
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Old Nov 04, 2011, 07:23 PM
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Australia, VIC, Melbourne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovefpv View Post
Great to see the response guys - thanks!

Paul & Thomas - thanks for sharing the video! Which lens do you prefer flying with the wide or narrow one?
In my opinion you really Really REALLY need the wide angle lens or its hard to tell which way you're going or identify landmarks. I also find it makes a significant difference when landing. You really need that wider angle to tell where you are in relation to landmarks etc

BTW: we just got back from our local park and did an on the ground range test using the 5.8Ghz 200mw system with the IBCrazy antenna's along with a standard Turnigy 9X. On the ground we are easily getting 500meters! I couldn't go any further away on the ground as there was no more park left. But our next flight test should be interesting
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Old Nov 05, 2011, 12:28 AM
FPV ADDICT
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United States, TX, Austin
Joined Jan 2011
562 Posts
I've been waiting for this thread for sometime, thank you! Looking forward to the interaction and RC Groups wealth of knowledge. Well done ilovefpv!

My equ:
SkySurfer v2 and v1 x2 (IMO v1 has the most room inside for FPV gear)
Stock motor for now wanting the HK 3900KV
Prop 6x4
FLAPS!
co-pilot II
900 MHZ 500mw TX
ibcrazy DIY Vee
Camera: use two, 170fov and 120fov both 500 lines res
HD Video from HK Wingcam with 120fov
Camera upgraded to GoPro Hero2 (still trying to build pan/tilt mount for it and get CG right with gopro in case)

I've been told in the "other" SkySurfer/Bixler Thread it's ugly...I say beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

SkySurfer FPV Flight At Texas Sunset (8 min 7 sec)

She flys awesome! Looking forward to setting up the live view feed on the gopro.
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Last edited by Wirewolf903; Nov 05, 2011 at 01:26 AM.
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