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The RC Truck FPV Project - Phase 1

Have you ever driven an RC truck using first person video? FPV from the driver's seat of a 1/10 scale truck is pretty amazing! Check out phase one of my FPV truck series.

Splash

Introduction

The video really shows you what an FPV truck is all about. Be sure to watch it!

The RC Truck FPV (First Person Video) Project - Phase 1 (7 min 46 sec)

Axial Wraith FPV
Axial Wraith FPV
RC Truck The Axial Wraith
Camera RC Logger Pro
Transmitter RC Logger
LCD Screen RC Logger
TX Antenna IBCrazy BlueBeam
Aluminum Roof AdvancedMetalFab

FPV from an RC truck is a ton of fun and relatively simple to do. This is phase one of my multi part series about turning your RC ground vehicle into a first person video vehicle.

While I'm new to FPV, I'm not new to RC ground vehicles. After putting together an FPV plane I happened to see a video from the driver's seat of an RC truck. I had to try it! The Axial Wraith was a natural choice because of all the aftermarket parts available for it. The RC Logger Pro camera is easy to fit into just about anything and is a rugged unit for FPV applications.

I have some ideas on how to customize this FPV rig even more but before we do that lets get into phase one of the FPV truck build.

The Truck - The Axial Wraith

You can put FPV components in anything as long as you have room and can carry the weight. I choose the Axial Wraith because this is a truck that everyone loves and there are a lot of aftermarket parts for it. In particular there are FPV parts available for it. Axial sent me the RTR Wraith. The only thing I needed was batteries for the truck and a TX. It is truly a plug-and-play vehicle.

The "WOW" factor is pretty high on this rig. The graphics are killer, the stance is tough and the LED lights put the cherry on top of the cake.

A Custom Roof

One thing that I didn't like about the Wraith for FPV was that while the roll cage was great looking and did a great job protecting the truck it also blocked out a lot of the view from the camera. After some late night searching I found an easy solution from the guys at AdvancedMetalFab. They make an aluminum roof that not only gave me more height, it also eliminated the center/front section of the roll bar. This is made with a GoPro mount and I will utilize that in a future article on this truck.

The FPV System

For Phase 1 of this series I wanted an FPV system that was easy to use, inexpensive and light. Luckily for me I already had a setup that fit the bill from RC Logger.

Video - The RC Logger Pro camera can go just about anywhere.

Transmitter - The small RC Logger 5.8 transmitter also was easy to fit anywhere.

Power - I opted to use a secondary lipo to power my video transmitter. I ran it through a BEC to keep the voltages at a safe level

Antenna - IBCrazy is not only an active RC Groups member but a creator of killer RC equipment. I used his BlueBeam clover leaf antenna on my transmitter. NOTE - I really don't like the fact that the antenna is exposed because roll-overs are going to happen. I am looking for better placement for this antenna in phase 2 of this build.

Getting Custom - The Rear Deck Lid

In phase 2 we will utilize some after market parts for our FPV rig but the focus in this article is putting together an FPV truck fast and for low bucks. I needed someplace to mount my camera and transmitter. I needed a rear deck lid that everything could live on and stay secure. I cut out a cardboard piece as a rear deck to make sure it would work. Then I used some hobby grade laminate wood and cut it to shape. I then covered the top in velcro and to make it look good I used a giant black sharpie to make all the exposed wood black. I used zip ties on the front and velcro on the back so it can be popped open for access to the battery compartment.

Tricking Out the Truck TX - Adding a Screen!

So if you are transmitting a video signal from your uber cool RC truck you have to have something to receive it right? For this phase one build I wanted something that was inexpensive but effective. I also wanted something that would mount on the Wraith transmitter.

RC Logger 3.5" Screen - This little screen from RC Logger comes with it's own receiver and is small enough to secure to an RC vehicle's TX. I'll admit I forgot to be careful with the TX a few times and the screen stayed on without an issue. The screen is big enough to enjoy and small enough to not be a hassle...and it looks pretty cool too!

Conclusion

There you have it! A super simple and affordable way to get an FPV system on your truck! Watch my video to check out how it looks and drives. I have enjoyed rock crawling and off-roading with this rig and the Wraith has been rock solid! I'm exited to get going on phase2.

Last edited by Jim T. Graham; Nov 17, 2013 at 06:14 PM..

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Old Nov 11, 2013, 02:49 PM
Paul Onorato's Avatar
United States, CT, Brookfield
Joined Jun 2013
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Such a sweet ride! Now I want to make one.
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Old Nov 11, 2013, 03:17 PM
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United States, CO, Colorado Springs
Joined May 2013
98 Posts
It would be cool if you could devise a servo arm to right the truck if it tips over. Would be nifty.
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Old Nov 11, 2013, 11:06 PM
Koo
A semi-advanced FPV newbie
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United States, OH, Oxford
Joined Mar 2012
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5.8ghz has awful penetration through any objects. If your goal is to go farther than 1000 feet, you might want to give 1.28ghz a try or get a directional antenna for 5.8ghz
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Old Nov 11, 2013, 11:59 PM
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Phase 2 of this project involves a directional antenna from Mr. IBCrazy.
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 12:16 AM
AcroFPV
A moderator felt this post violated the following rule: Offensive content (Flatulence). It is temporarily hidden while AcroFPV edits it.
Old Nov 12, 2013, 07:32 AM
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In th elast pic you can see the antenna leaning against an aluminum plate, very bad

-Hugo
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 07:52 AM
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 07:53 AM
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Jim T. Graham's Avatar
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Hugo
Quote:
In th elast pic you can see the antenna leaning against an aluminum plate, very bad
Thanks for the post. I am looking for better ways to mount the antenna. I appreciate the input.
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 09:14 AM
Koo
A semi-advanced FPV newbie
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United States, OH, Oxford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim T. Graham View Post
Phase 2 of this project involves a directional antenna from Mr. IBCrazy.
Even as she sits now, she is one heck of a truck. Whenever I see projects like this I'm amazed by the creativity and dedication it takes to get past even the small obstacles
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 09:19 AM
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I stayed up late last night and moved the battery to the nose of the truck and the ESC and RX to the rear of the truck. I have added all aluminum panels and have the ReadyMadeRC GoPro mount ready to go in. More to come!
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 12:44 PM
Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
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United States, CO, Colorado Springs
Joined Oct 2008
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Thats pretty cool Jim. I know RCSparks did a FPV summit a while back that was pretty awesome as well.
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 01:46 PM
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Get a Tonka! lol
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Old Nov 17, 2013, 01:35 PM
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Canada, ON, Mississauga
Joined Apr 2006
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That's owesome built. I did one on tamiya stampede 100 dollar stuff. It was easy and still a lot fun, the key part is to try to build a realistic cockpit or driver view, where crawler seems an enabler
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Old Nov 17, 2013, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koo View Post
5.8ghz has awful penetration through any objects. If your goal is to go farther than 1000 feet, you might want to give 1.28ghz a try or get a directional antenna for 5.8ghz
True. Guess a 0.9 G groundplane can do the trick for ground pounder, buy extra feedline and hang tx up higher, but it will make truck easy to tangle with tall grss etc. And you need much higher ground station antenna too
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