Espritmodel.com Telemetry Radio
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Feb 22, 2011, 08:32 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,179 Posts
Discussion
FPV EasyStar

Friends,

I will post a build log of my FPV EasyStar work... and I will share my experiences and advice, in order to help new FPV pilots get started.


This thread is about: FPV with the Multiplex EasyStar RC aircraft.

This thread is not about:
-not just the EasyStar itself... for EasyStar-specific info, see the main EasyStar thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1363621
-not just FPV... introductory information about FPV is already covered in the FPV forum


The Multiplex EasyStar is a GREAT model for FPV because:
-It's a pusher, so the prop is not in the camera's field of view when looking forwards from the cockpit.
-The high quality Elapor foam accepts regular CA, and is very durable.
-The EasyStar is stable, so if you take your hands off the sticks, it will tend to level itself... this eases the transition to FPV flying.
-The cockpit has a relatively large amount of room available, for adding FPV & related electronics.
-The EasyStar is adaptable to many mods to enhance and customize it's performance.
-The EasyStar has a loyal following of both new and experienced RC pilots, so help is always available for aircraft-related questions.


Please ask questions about building and flying FPV with the EasyStar!


I began flying FPV with my fleet of EasyStars in early 2007... I have a lot of photos, advice, iinfo & videos I want to share about EasyStar FPV... so please bear with me while I take the time to upload all of this... it will likely take me a week or so to get the initial set of posts up ...


I've had a lot of help: I'd like to thank many people who have helped me along the way:
-ScrtSqrl: has been mentoring me in FPV and helping me since 2007.
-Galaxiex: has also been mentoring me in FPV and helping me since 2007... and recommended that I start this thread.
-Chairwolf: my flying buddy, and fellow EasyStar and FPV pilot.
-Diggs: introduced me to the SEFF and Randy Covington fly-ins, and more.
-MechRick: Taught me to fly RC.
-VRFlyer: inspired me to get into FPV, and to use the EasyStar as the FPV aircraft of choice.
-IBCrazy: taught me a lot about FPV electronics and antennas.
-Incendium: suggested the idea for this FPV EasyStar build thread.
-All the EasyStar pilots, especially those who help new pilots in the EasyStar Thread.
-All the FPV pilots who have shared their wisdom with all of us.
-And many, many more, too numerous to name everyone...


Thanks,
Kevin


PS - Here's an introduction to some of my FPV EasyStar flights:

December 2011:
FPV EasyStar Mountain Lake Flight 2011-12-26 (5 min 31 sec)


August 2009:
Relaxing FPV Flight to End EasyStar FPV Week 2009-08-07 (3 min 5 sec)


December 2009:
EasyStar FPV over Mountain Ridge 2009-12-23 (4 min 5 sec)


November 2010:
FPV EasyStar Bucket List Flights Nov 2010 (4 min 9 sec)
kevinhines is offline Find More Posts by kevinhines
Last edited by kevinhines; Jan 02, 2012 at 09:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Feb 22, 2011, 08:33 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,179 Posts
Table of Contents:

Post # & Topic

(Note: This is a work in progress and it will change as I fill in the initial posts.)

-1-intro - FPV EasyStar - what's included and what's not included
-2-a "Table of Contents", with links to all the other main posts in this thread
-3-Why I chose the EasyStar for FPV
-4-intro to FPV: overview of gear, etc.
-5-optics for FPV: camera & display optics
-6-safety, AMA rules, legal issues, and FPV fequency control at fly-ins
-7-links to other, related threads
-8-highlight photos
-9-highlight videos
-10-intro to FPV gear needed
-11-general layout of FPV gear & wiring diagrams
-12-advice about how to begin in FPV
-13-antenna intro & recommendations (types, polarization, gain, etc)
-14-recommended equipment for starting in FPV
-15-inxpensive additions which make a large difference to quality, eg: toroids and LC filters
-16 to 25-short build log of my FPV ES's with lessons learned from each build configuration (about 10 posts)
-26-request for everyone to post their ideas, tutorials, questions & answer other people's questions


Thanks,
Kevin
kevinhines is offline Find More Posts by kevinhines
Last edited by kevinhines; Feb 23, 2011 at 07:32 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2011, 08:34 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,179 Posts
Why I chose the EasyStar for FPV

In Dec 2006, I came across the following video, by VRFlyer, and I was instantly hooked... I knew immediately that I must fly FPV... and I must fly FPV with the EasyStar.


VRFlyer's Bromont Golf Club EasyStar FPV Video:

Vidéo-pilotage (5 min 3 sec)
kevinhines is offline Find More Posts by kevinhines
Last edited by kevinhines; Feb 23, 2011 at 12:25 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2011, 08:34 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,179 Posts
Intro to FPV: overview of gear, etc.

Great Intro to FPV: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1355327

FPV Gear: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=620659

FPV Cameras: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1012951
kevinhines is offline Find More Posts by kevinhines
Last edited by kevinhines; Feb 22, 2011 at 11:51 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2011, 08:35 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,179 Posts
Optics for FPV: Camera FOV (Field of View), EFL (Effective Focal Length), Camera FPA (Focal Plane Array) format, Optical Distortion, Display Optics, etc.



To be filled in.
kevinhines is offline Find More Posts by kevinhines
Last edited by kevinhines; Feb 23, 2011 at 12:23 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2011, 08:35 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,179 Posts
safety, AMA rules, legal issues, and FPV fequency control at fly-ins


Reference Thread on FPV Safety: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=616667


AMA: www.modelaircraft.org

Please follow the AMA safety rules: http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.pdf

The AMA's FPV Safety Rules are here: http://www.modelaircraft.org/documents.aspx#FPV

I am an "open" AMA member, and when I am at an AMA field, I follow all AMA and local club rules, including of course all AMA FPV rules. I have given FPV "video rides" at a number of club fields, and this is a great way to get the word out about how safe FPV flying can be... essentially as safe as regular RC flying.

The AMA's FPV rules are really a great idea, especially for someone wanting to learn FPV, and I strongly recommend following these rules, by having a "pilot in command" with the master Tx, and the new FPV pilot on a buddy box. This way, the new FPV pilot can learn the "sight picture" from the camera's perspective, with no real risk, since the pilot in command can take over at any time, when needed.

When flying while not at an AMA field (for example, on your personal property), it's still a good idea to follow the AMA's rules, using a buddy box, since this will keep you out of trouble... however, if you are willing to not be covered by the AMA's insurance, then you can push the limits further... always of course while maintaining safe operation of your aircraft at all times.


FPV Frequencies:

In the US, if you use the entry level systems, which output 10mW of RF (radio frequency) power, you don't need a ham license... but to have a higher power VTx (for example a 500mW VTx), you need to obtain a ham radio license from the FCC. The entry-level ham radio license (the "Technician" license) is sufficient, it's easy to prepare for the test, it only costs a few dollars, and I strongly recommend you obtain the license.

If you fly with 2.4GHz RC gear, or if you now (or plan to) fly with folks who use 2.4GHz RC gear, then it would be best to use a different frequency band for your VTx & VRx. I currently use 900MHx video gear, and there are also 1.2GHz and 5.8GHz video systems available.

Please be aware that if you use 2.4GHz video gear around other, regular RC pilots on 2.4GHz RC gear, not only will you have a degraded video picture due to interference from their 2.4GHz RC gear, but some folks will worry about the possibility of your 2.4GHz VTx causing interference to their RC models... and they may try to blame you if they crash their model...

Thus, I strongly advise you to NOT use (or even purchase) 2.4GHz video gear, if you ever plan to fly around other folks. Use another video frequency band, to avoid this concern.


FPV Video Frequency Control at Fly-Ins:

This is an area which will need to be developed, as more folks are joining the ranks of FPVers.

For now, just be aware that two wireless video systems need to be on different frequencies, to avoid stepping on each others' video signals.
kevinhines is offline Find More Posts by kevinhines
Last edited by kevinhines; Feb 23, 2011 at 07:11 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2011, 08:36 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,179 Posts
links to other, related threads

Many links to be added... TBD during coming days


Excellent Thread about FPV & the EasyStar: ScrtSqrl's Big Wing EZ* Thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=810365

Johnorama's Super Big Wing Easy Star (BWEZ) Build Thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1143157

ScrtSqrl's Blog: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1259230

ScrtSqrl's FPV EasyStar Setup: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=2731
kevinhines is offline Find More Posts by kevinhines
Last edited by kevinhines; Feb 23, 2011 at 09:48 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2011, 08:36 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,179 Posts
highlight photos

I will add photos of FPV EasyStars here... please post your FPV EasyStar photos in the thread, and I will add the most informative & helpful photos here.
kevinhines is offline Find More Posts by kevinhines
Last edited by kevinhines; Feb 27, 2011 at 06:59 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2011, 08:37 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,179 Posts
highlight videos

I will add FPV EasyStar videos here... please post your FPV EasyStar videos in the thread, and I will add the most informative & helpful videos here.

Ilhan's awesome EasyStar FPV video, with a moving pilot figurine (recommended by Scrape):
FPV - Puppet Pilot Flies Easy Star Over The Buildings - Spiral Dive (4 min 50 sec)


CaliDave contributed this beautiful EasyStar FPV video:
FPV Weekend 1 (2 min 47 sec)
kevinhines is offline Find More Posts by kevinhines
Last edited by kevinhines; Feb 27, 2011 at 07:20 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2011, 08:37 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,179 Posts
intro to FPV gear needed

I will list suitable FPV EasyStar gear here ... please share your suggestions and I'll post links to the most helpful & relevant FPV ES gear here
kevinhines is offline Find More Posts by kevinhines
Last edited by kevinhines; Feb 22, 2011 at 11:53 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2011, 08:38 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,179 Posts
general layout of FPV gear & wiring diagrams


I'll show good layouts of FPV gear on & for EasyStars, here... please share your suggestions.
kevinhines is offline Find More Posts by kevinhines
Last edited by kevinhines; Feb 23, 2011 at 07:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2011, 08:38 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,179 Posts
advice about how to begin in FPV


I'll share advice about how to begin FPV flying with your EasyStar, here... please share your suggestions.

here's a rough draft of pointers... I will tidy this up later...


-start small
-ask a friend to spot for you
-test out your video display (TV, laptop, goggles, etc.) in direct sunlight, and make sure you can easily see the video imagery in any condition you may ever encounter while flying... I test my displays by standing in the direct sunlight, and I turn so the sun is shining directly into my eyes... and I make sure I can still see the video "well enough" to fly the model...
-study your flying field in Goggle Earth, at various altitudes you expect to fly... study the views from various positions, so that you can instantly recognize where you are from say, 300' (100m), 600' (200m) and 1000' (300m) AGL heights, from many different angles and positions... the goal of this is to always "instantly" know which way to turn to go back towards your launch point... you may lose video, and just get only blurry frame of video to tell you where you are... so be ready...
-landmarks which work well while walking on the ground, like hills or water-towers, are almost invisible from the sky, as they are now seen against the background of the surrounding terrain...
-I find that ponds and lakes are the best landmarks for navigating during the day... because, from the air, they reflect the bright sky during the day... so they look like bright patches when seen from the air... memorize the location, shape and orientation of all nearby ponds and lakes, to help you navigate around your field...
-tall mountains which are above the model's altitude can be helpful landmarks, but they are usually far away... so while they'll tell you which way to turn to go towards home, they won't tell you exactly where home is...
-know where the sun is in the sky when flying FPV, and where it should be in your camera's view, to trun towards home... in bad static, the sun may be the only object visible through the static
-start flying close-in, and only gradually work towards further distances
-always turn around to head back towards home, at the first sign of any video static
-know what you will do when you have no video picture at all... often it's best to throttle off (to reduce video static from the motor & ESC), and to very gently command a slight turn with the RC Tx... the intent is to circle, so that at some angle the video signal will be restored... only bank the model very slightly, as banking will cause a loss of altitude, and when the VTx antenna is banked very much, the video signal to the ground station is often weaker.
-maintain a ratio of AGL altitude vs horizontal distance... I like to maintain a minimum of 200' AGL altitude for every 1000' of horizontal distance... this raises the aircraft when you fly farther away, so the video signal can get above the trees and hills... this also gives you more ability to glide home, if your flight battery hits LVC.
-always check the wind forecast, and don't fly if there's much wind... I fly FPV only when the winds are 5 mph (7kph) or less.
-always, always fly upwind of yourself, because the wind will puch your model downwind... this is obvious in regular RC flying if you;ve been flying for awhile, but it's this is much less obvious in FPV flying, so it's very easy to get too far downwind when the LVC hits... (ask me how I learned this! )
-have a plan for each flight, including the goal for the flight
-plan what you will do when you lose video... and you will lose video many times...
-always have a backup plan for every imaginable thing that can go wrong, because at some point, it will go wrong.
-do a lot of AV recording of your flying field, to learn the view from the air
-record AV from a camera or camcorder mounted in the ES, at first
-test out your FPV video link, by recording many flights while flying conventionally, and then review the video recordings for any static, loss of picture, navigational landmarks as seen from the air, and to test your video system until it is bullet-proof.
-have a friend view the video while you fly by direct line of sight, and have them tell you how the picture quality looks, while you fly conventionally
-when you are ready to try flying FPV, takeoff and land conventionally, and just fly via FPV during the middle of the flight
-transitioning from direct line of sight to looking at the video is a major time of risk... first climb to altitude, then level out, throttle off... and then look at the video picture... the slower the model is moving, the more time you have to adjust to flying by the video view.
-transitioning from FPV view to direct line of sight is another major time of risk... first climb to altitude, then level out, throttle off, while gliding towards yourself along some easy to see, long linear landmark like a gravel road, approaching yourself from the direction you are already facing ... and then begin glancing upwards... look for your model in the sky... it will usually not be exactly where you expect, but hopefully near there ... the slower the model is moving, the more time you have to adjust to flying by direct view.
-once you spot your FPV EasyStar, land it conventionally... and pat yourself on the back!
kevinhines is offline Find More Posts by kevinhines
Last edited by kevinhines; Feb 23, 2011 at 09:30 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2011, 08:39 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,179 Posts
-13-antenna intro & recommendations (types, polarization, gain, etc)

I'll add antenna-specific links & photos here...please share your suggestions.
kevinhines is offline Find More Posts by kevinhines
Last edited by kevinhines; Feb 22, 2011 at 11:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2011, 08:39 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,179 Posts
-14-recommended equipment for starting in FPV


I'll receommend starter setups for ES FPV gear here... please share your suggestions.
kevinhines is offline Find More Posts by kevinhines
Last edited by kevinhines; Feb 22, 2011 at 11:22 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 22, 2011, 08:40 PM
Robot, RC Pilot & Builder :-)
kevinhines's Avatar
Roanoke, VA, USA
Joined Jul 2006
4,179 Posts
-15-inexpensive additions which make a large difference to quality, eg: toroids and LC filters


I'll show good, cheap upgrades here ... please share your suggestions.
kevinhines is offline Find More Posts by kevinhines
Last edited by kevinhines; Feb 22, 2011 at 11:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Alert E-Flite Power 160 Prop Adapter Problem ATTN: E-FLITE! bicyclechris Power Systems 15 Jan 02, 2011 07:15 AM
Discussion E-tech g104 vs E-tech g106 pitchp Micro Helis 9 Nov 23, 2010 05:08 PM
For Sale LIKE NEW HotBodies D8T FOR LOSI 8ight-E 2.0 OR RC8-E JEG25 Cars - Cars and Parts (FS/W) 1 Oct 20, 2010 07:23 PM
Sold FS: E-revo/E-Maxx Parts tonkajeep34 Cars - Cars and Parts (FS/W) 1 Oct 05, 2010 07:12 AM
For Sale Trainer e-flight apprentice 15-E kbwitt Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 2 Sep 22, 2010 06:01 PM