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Old Dec 05, 2012, 01:30 PM
Blacked out 350z - Texas
Wrice4's Avatar
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Worth the money pit?

Hello,
I have spent hours watching and reading videos about fpv. I have always wanted to do this, but my concern is the money pit. I mean, how much would I have to spend to just get started? I understand there are always quality parts over cheap parts, but what would the basic setup run me to just fly maybe 1/2 a mile around my house? Is there any cheap route?
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 01:50 PM
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If you are concerned about long term cost, I would advise against it. There is the old saying "buy cheap, buy twice." You also have to consider your personality and how you approach hobbies. If you are the kind that goes all in head first, you are going to want good gear and will likely build more than one plane/quad over time. Most people I know that are into this seriously spend thousands of dollars over time.
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 02:04 PM
Blacked out 350z - Texas
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Originally Posted by cactus View Post
If you are concerned about long term cost, I would advise against it. There is the old saying "buy cheap, buy twice." You also have to consider your personality and how you approach hobbies. If you are the kind that goes all in head first, you are going to want good gear and will likely build more than one plane/quad over time. Most people I know that are into this seriously spend thousands of dollars over time.
Thanks for the tip. Ya i want to buy good first, but I dont have that much at the moment considering a have a baby on the way in a couple of months. Looks like I will just stick to flying and maybe later on get the "right" gear first off. Thanks for the help Cactus.

The only reason I ask is because I saw something like this,
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...amera_PAL.html
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 02:09 PM
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United States, CA, San Jose
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For me I don't see FPV as a money pit at all but an ongoing hobby. I've made some mistakes in purchasing the wrong 'cheap' equipment, but I've had many more great results from purchasing 'cheap' equipment as well. I don't subscribe to the belief that you have to spend a lot to obtain good results, but only need to research and inform yourself before purchasing.

If you're an impulsive person then FPV, and most hobbies by extension, aren't for you. If you're willing to put the time into finding the equipment that meets you're goal, and posess the basic electronics & soldering ability to assemble everything, then there's no reason it should become a money pit.
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 02:11 PM
Blacked out 350z - Texas
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Originally Posted by patricklupo View Post
For me I don't see FPV as a money pit at all but an ongoing hobby. I've made some mistakes in purchasing the wrong 'cheap' equipment, but I've had many more great results from purchasing 'cheap' equipment as well. I don't subscribe to the belief that you have to spend a lot to obtain good results, but only need to research and inform yourself before purchasing.

If you're an impulsive person then FPV, and most hobbies by extension, aren't for you. If you're willing to put the time into finding the equipment that meets you're goal, and posess the basic electronics & soldering ability to assemble everything, then there's no reason it should become a money pit.
Around how much do you think a basic setup would run me?
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 02:18 PM
Rick
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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Joined Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrice4 View Post
Hello,
I have spent hours watching and reading videos about fpv. I have always wanted to do this, but my concern is the money pit. I mean, how much would I have to spend to just get started? I understand there are always quality parts over cheap parts, but what would the basic setup run me to just fly maybe 1/2 a mile around my house? Is there any cheap route?
I have this setup for HK @ $300 and just stuck it on an airframe that i all ready had and that is easy to fly and that I was very comfortable flying (it just happened to be a HK Bixler):
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...d_5_8G_TX.html

It's decent equipment and it all works together well. For the first timer this is a real big plus. You can use it the way it is for a while and then upgrade or discontinue using it as is. The only upgrade I have made is to put circular polarized antennas on the Tx and Rx. I did buy a new camera with a higher resolution to replace the stock one but just never gotten around to it because the stock one seems to work just fine for me. I've been flying this setup for a full season now and the only upgrade I am going to make is a different airframe because the Bixler burned in a vehicle fire this fall. Oh ya and maybe an OSD with RTH just because I think it's cool, not because its needed.

The best advice that I can give after my first experience into FPD is, start simple and learn how every thing works before you move on to something more expensive and complicated. The FatShark system is a good middle of the road system that can be easily upgraded later but doesn't brack the bank. It's also Versatile, you can chuck it on anything, an RC car, boat, plane, heli, quad, try, heck even the dog.
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 02:21 PM
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The cost of a fully loaded deluxe sport FPV setup is still under $1,500. The cost of a fully loaded Trex 500 3D setup when they first came (years ago) out was over $1,700.

The fully loaded sport FPV setup has tons of technology. The fully loaded Trex 500 setup (when they first came out) had almost no smarts, save the tail gyro.

Perspective.
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 02:22 PM
Blacked out 350z - Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammer833 View Post
I have this setup for HK @ $300 and just stuck it on an airframe that i all ready had and that is easy to fly and that I was very comfortable flying (it just happened to be a HK Bixler):
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...d_5_8G_TX.html
Wow thats everything I would need to get started? Seems cheap. I dont need all the gadgets. I just want something I can get off the ground and fly around my house. Nothing crazy, just a basic setup. Would that setup work that hammer mentioned?
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 02:24 PM
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United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jan 2005
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Originally Posted by Wrice4 View Post
Around how much do you think a basic setup would run me?
To give you an idea, my FPV Skywalker would cost about $1k if I had to replace everything on it today. Most of that cost is wrapped around the AP/OSD and GoPro on board. If you're only going to fly within a mile you can use your stock 2.4ghz radio. A video TX/RX is going to cost you about $100 for a decent one no matter how you stack it.

Read IBC's tread for beginners and understand that you can start simple. The only thing you need is a plane, RC RX/TX, Video RX/TX and a monitor. If you like what you see then expand from there.
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 02:39 PM
Rick
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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Joined Apr 2007
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The other nice thing about the FatShark system is its plug and play, no soldering, you don't have to worry about voltage compatibility, does this work with that, just plug it all together and plug in the batteries and it works!!

Here's one of my first FPV flights recorded off the goggles out put plug.
Stabalized vertion of My First FPV Video (2 min 45 sec)
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 02:44 PM
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Chesterfield, MO
Joined Nov 2010
701 Posts
Whatever yo do, do not buy cheap crap to start off with, thinking that you will get out of it and not incur a large loss.

Instead, by some nice, reasonable equipment approved by people on this forum. If you decide that the sport really isn't for you, you can sell it. Cheap stuff will not carry value.

You don't need to go hog wild and run up a $3,500 bill for your first airplane and ground station, but you definitely do need to have some kind of price range around $600-$1000 to start, which will usually cover enough to mess around.

One example of nice stuff holding value is the DragonLink. It's not the cheapest UHF system on the market, but look at the going price for a used one. They hold up pretty well. (disclaimer, I work DragonLink )
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 02:48 PM
Blacked out 350z - Texas
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What about the link I posted.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...d_5_8G_TX.html

$280 for the complete setup from Fat Shark.
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 02:55 PM
Rick
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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Joined Apr 2007
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I've flown 1.5 miles with this setup and a Spectrum DX8 and CP antennas with no problems. I DEFINETLY would NOT try any further with this setup. But for just cruseing around your home field and to get a taste of FPV it's fine.
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 02:56 PM
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United States, WA, White Salmon
Joined Nov 2005
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I would say stay far away from HK for your first FPV equipment. If you purchase from Readymaderc or DPCAV you will get excellent equipment, quick shipping and awesome support. You will get none of that if you buy from HK. And yes, HK is a few dollars cheaper than those two sites I listed, but they do not provide the REAL value of those benefits I listed.

Those benefits are extremely important when first getting into the hobby.
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 03:06 PM
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United States, AL, Huntsville
Joined May 2012
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Yes, this hobby is a money pit and whether it is worth it to you is completely dependent on yourself. To me, it is worth it as it has been a great hobby to focus my mind upon and to enjoy. I've always liked flight and this hobby has provided what I've dreamed of without the dangers. It can be expensive and very frustrating, but you learn and move on. You'll go through many planes as you learn and you will most likely have to buy things over several times. I suggest you start small and easy and move on from there. Keep it simple! Don't go head first into OSDs and autopilots and all that stuff. Just get a trainer to fly first, then move slowly into FPV. And don't buy cheap stuff as you will end up buying it again.
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