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Old Oct 08, 2012, 08:27 AM
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Which of these 3 FPV tricopter systems should I go for?

Hello all
I built an RCExplorer FPV tricopter from bits I had last year. Followed the basic plan, except I used: an old Futaba FF8 (72mhz) with a Corona synth RCRX; a Lawmate 2.4 500mw FPV system on chnl8 (2.5ghz). I actual got it working very well, did lots of test flight within 100m, no problems. Had it out to almost 1km once during testing, then lost it 2 months ago, while flying only a mear 200m away in FPV mode. My best guess is the 72mhz Corona synth RCRX gave into interference finally, failsafed (0 throttle) briefly, which caused the death roll and inverted crash. I never recovered the tricopter.

So I'm looking to make a cheap decent smooth video GoPro carrier again, without the same mistake. Some gear I still have that may be relevant: Futaba FF8 72mhz RCTX; Lawmate 2.4 8channel VRX with homemade SPW (I have the materials and skills to make more CL/SPW 2.4ghz antennae); a couple of 2200 3s lipos; KK2 board; spare DT750; bunch of 1047 cheapy props (although I plan on getting some decent stiff 1147 or so props); decent 8" LCD I was useing for FPV. After tons of research, I came up with 3 options:

1) Futaba PCM 1024 RX ($50); another 2.4 500mw Lawmate VTX ($50); decent board cam ($50); remaining tri electronics and misc. such as motors, SimonK escs, etc. ($100); FMkit's lost model tracker and required walkie talkie ($150).
TOTAL: $400

2) FRSky 2.4ghz module set ($100?) I looked through HK site and the basic Futaba (I assume can fit FF8?) set is $50, but there are tons of accessories, not sure what is best to get?; Totaly new FPV setup, I was told 5.8ghz is best with FRSky, not sure which set to get, but with antennae etc will be at least I guess ($150); decent board cam ($50); remaining tri electronics and misc. such as motors, SimonK escs, etc. ($100). FMkit's lost model tracker and required walkie talkie ($150).
TOTAL: $550

3) RangeLink UHF RC system ($200); another 2.4 500mw Lawmate VTX ($50); decent board cam ($50); remaining tri electronics and misc. such as motors, SimonK escs, etc. ($100); FMkit's lost model tracker and required walkie talkie ($150).
TOTAL: $550


So there you have it. All these prices are estimates and include international shipping (I live in Japan), if I'm off please let me know. I'm really not sure which way to go.
I realize everyone hates option 1, but I was curious as its soo cheap and I used that setup on my FPV airplane and it was super nice with no glitches that I could see out to aprox 2km. IIUC everyone says a multirotor will definitely crash because the plane rides out glitches unnoticed. I lost my former tri useing the synth Corona 72mhz RX, but in airplane tests I did was way weaker and glitched while the PCM 1024 RX seemed super solid. Just got my hopes up, thats all.
Option2 sounds like a popular combo, but some pros on here don't like it as 5.8 is inferior to other FPV frequencies, sudden drop outs or FPV and RC, and no penetration Plus I'll have a perfectly good 2.4 VRX and antenna go to waste. But it looks small, cute and easy (I hope!).
Option 3 sounds like quality and a good fit I guess. Just a bit steep for a B-grade UHF combo I was told.

Anyway, please give me your thoughts. I'm not too crazy about spending so much $ and time on the electronics of a tricopter that will look like a wood scrap project when I'm done. But hopefully getting some awesome video back in the end will change my mind.

As always, and in any case, Happy Flying.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:35 AM
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Rangelink is the cheapest reliable LR system?
I should mention I just want to have a solid easy connection for basic fpv stuff. I won't be going over 1km away I don't think. Is pcm1024 too unstable even within 1km?
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Old Oct 19, 2012, 04:56 AM
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Have you decided on which setup you're going with?
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Old Oct 19, 2012, 02:19 PM
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Option 3. I'm still doing a bit of research on UHF issues before I place my order.
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Old Nov 06, 2012, 04:02 PM
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Hey TheNiceGuy,

I finally broke down I got myself a Dragon Link. I went with Dragon Link just because they have an antenna designed for multicopters.

LG
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Old Nov 08, 2012, 12:38 PM
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Nice job. I hear DL is a good system. I wouldn't worry too much about all the complaints on that thread - successful don't tend to post as much as troubleshooting.
I'm still researching my whole system.
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