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The Wraith FPV Truck - Stage II

In this next phase of the FPV truck I upgrade the camera mount, install a GoPro, mod the electronics and more!

Splash

Welcome to stage two of the Axial Wraith FPV truck project.

I really enjoyed taking a stock Axial Wraith and using FPV gear I had on hand to make it an FPV rig. It exceeded my expectations as a fun FPV rig that I could use to bash around the track or my back yard. You can read about stage one of this project here.

The RC Truck FPV Project Phase 2 - RCGroups (12 min 37 sec)

The Truck - The Axial Wraith

I went with 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. It is truly a plug-and-play vehicle that hasn't given me a moments issue. I have taken it on rock courses, jumped it and bashed around creek beds. It did it all without a hick-up and allowed me to enjoy this FPV adventure.

The Camera - GoPro 3

I wanted to upgrade the camera in the truck and the natural choice was the GoPro 3. I had to order a USB out cable for the GoPro to transmit to my RC Logger 5.8 transmitter. RC Logger sells this cable and it works great. The GoPro has it's own battery built in and I will use that for now.

GoPro 3 Axial Wraith Mount - ReadyMadeRC

Our friends at ReadyMadeRC sell a killer carbon fiber mount for the GoPro. This is made specifically for the Axial Wraith. The kit allows you to utilize the rear deck behind the Wraith's seats. It provides a mount for the camera and tx.

What's included:

  • FPV mounting plate (from fiber reinforced plastic)
  • Camera mounting plate (from fiber reinforced plastic)
  • Double and single sided foam tape
  • Camera strap with 5 zip ties

Internal Mods

To get more weight on the front axle for better hill climbing I wanted to move my battery to the front of the Wraith. To do this I had to at least move the speed control. Since I was there I went ahead and moved the receiver as well. All other electronics were moved to the back of the truck where the battery originally went. This was pretty straight forward. I did have to extend some wires from the lights. I also used a servo cable extension to get that to the back of the truck.

Ultimately I found that pulling power from the truck rx to run the FPV tx created interference. I also felt like the 5.8 tx and the Wraith rx needed to be farther apart (to combat interference). I left the ESC in the back and moved the truck rx in front of the driver dash using a zip tie. This allowed me to run a battery under the hood and stop the interference.

Aluminum Axial Wraith Body Panel Kit - AdvancedMetalFab

I found AdvancedMetalFab when looking for a way to raise the roof. They make the aluminum roof with the GoPro mount. This allowed me to remove the top of the roll cage that was restricting my view and really opened up the top of the truck. They didn't want to stop there. They sent me their Axial Wraith body panel kit. This replaces all the body panels on the Wraith.

Aluminum Hood - The aluminum hood is a nice addition. Instead of screwing it down I used magnets to attach it to the frame. This allows me to easily remove the hood to get access to the battery.

Belly Pan - I wondered if I needed a belly pan. After one outing it was obvious I did based on the dirt and dings under there.

Differential Protectors - The diffs also showed wear and tear from my first outing. Be careful not to strip your screws when removing them from the Wraith.

Tail Light Protectors with Tow Hook - This just looks cool and the tow hook would be nice to have if you decide to pull a trailer.

View the World Through Goggles!

The small LCD I initially used was cool but I had to try some FPV goggles. I received the new SkyZone goggles from Foxtech and did a complete review on them.

Goggles literally put you in the cab of the truck. The real trick is to not try to move your head around with the motion of the truck!. I also modded the goggles to be used with some motorcycle goggles for more comfort.

Conclusion

Stage II of FPV build offered a lot of fun with not a lot of work. The gear I used on my truck I also use on my quads and my plane. The Wraith never gave me any trouble and allowed me to focus on getting the FPV gear set up and running. The addition of the goggles really made the experience of FPV immersive.

I have read that starting with FPV on a ground based vehicle is a great way to start exploring first person video. If you get disoriented you can simply stop moving (not so with an airplane). It's also a ton of fun. Putting the goggles on spectators while you drive around is not only interesting for them but fun for you too. They tend to lean forward and back with the movement of the vehicle. One guy almost knocked me over!

If this is something you have thought about doing I urge you to try it. It was more fun than I ever thought it would be!

Discussion

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Old Dec 13, 2013, 09:03 PM
RCGroups Editor
Matt Gunn's Avatar
United States, OH, Parma
Joined Jul 2009
5,061 Posts
These articles are doing nothing more than making me want to build a ground-pounder with the quickness!
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Latest blog entry: Bill Hempel Xtreme Decathlon
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Old Dec 14, 2013, 01:23 AM
Did you check the FAQ already?
SoloProFan's Avatar
The Netherlands
Joined Jul 2010
12,914 Posts
Cool setup.
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Old Dec 14, 2013, 10:18 PM
I tell her RC is cheap !
carguy1994ca's Avatar
Quebec, Canada
Joined Sep 2006
12,842 Posts
Great looking truck, I like the aluminum parts
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Old Dec 15, 2013, 03:02 PM
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Jimmy the Heater's Avatar
United States, WA, St John
Joined Jun 2012
611 Posts
I'm not an FPV'er yet but that Wraith with the aluminum body panels is great!
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Old Dec 16, 2013, 05:45 PM
I tell her RC is cheap !
carguy1994ca's Avatar
Quebec, Canada
Joined Sep 2006
12,842 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy the Heater View Post
I'm not an FPV'er yet but that Wraith with the aluminum body panels is great!
You better not start then ! FPV is addictive and a money pit, ask me how I know !
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Old Dec 18, 2013, 02:13 PM
High Dynamic Thrust
stoneenforcer's Avatar
United States, FL, Mt Dora
Joined Feb 2007
2,304 Posts
ive been looking for a good 4wd to do fpv. right now ive got a nice bulldog tank that shoots bb's set up for fpv, aka squirrel hunting
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Old Dec 18, 2013, 02:19 PM
I tell her RC is cheap !
carguy1994ca's Avatar
Quebec, Canada
Joined Sep 2006
12,842 Posts
Good FPV truck = Summit 1/10 Actually, its the best
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Last edited by carguy1994ca; Dec 18, 2013 at 02:28 PM.
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Old Dec 24, 2013, 10:12 PM
R.C. Aviation Fanatic
Razors edge 29's Avatar
Canada
Joined Aug 2009
21,025 Posts
I fpv my twin hammers

Tis fun
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Old Dec 24, 2013, 11:28 PM
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Jim T. Graham's Avatar
United States, TN, Nashville
Joined Mar 2002
11,445 Posts
Do you have a build thread on your Twin Hammers?
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Old Dec 25, 2013, 09:32 AM
R.C. Aviation Fanatic
Razors edge 29's Avatar
Canada
Joined Aug 2009
21,025 Posts
no.

I was just using fat shark pred v2 set up with cam mounted on hood.


I have since got the skyzone goggles (waiting for replacements currently) and I will change the fpv gear.

I can use a modified stripped down Walkera TX5805 or, I'll use the walkera DV04 cam and tx5803 (newer white fpv gear) because I can do onboard fpv recording to cam.

OR

I may do a pan and tilt set up using mobius or 808#16 as fpv cam with onboard recording.


I have other options as well to explore.


I'll also be converting twin hammers to work on my DX8 for more range - stock RTF transmitter wont go further than 200 feet.

Plus with DX8 I can add more fun to the mix with 8 channels

Merry Xmas
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Old Dec 25, 2013, 09:49 AM
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Jim T. Graham's Avatar
United States, TN, Nashville
Joined Mar 2002
11,445 Posts
I have the Wraith running from my DX18 now. I also just received a pan and tilt cam that I will install, as well as a 600mw Boscam vid tx.
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Old Dec 25, 2013, 10:12 AM
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Razors edge 29's Avatar
Canada
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nice

Looking forward to seeing results
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Old Dec 27, 2013, 10:56 PM
The END.....ha!
KCV6's Avatar
Australia, SA, Edinburgh
Joined Aug 2009
5,878 Posts
Jim I'll be real interested to hear how you go with pan and tilt. I really struggled with car FPV with reduced peripheral vision, always ended out running into stuff off to the side.... like the curb. LOL

Love the ally body kit by the way.

Mark
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 11:09 AM
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Dacono Air's Avatar
USA, CO, Dacono
Joined Aug 2009
1,857 Posts
I can not help but wonder if the Aluminum body panels are going to affect signal propagation?.
I'm not saying don't try them I am genuinely curious though Because of a "Maybe" future mod on my Summit.
Perhaps Alex (IBcrazy) would know?.
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