|Sep 03, 2007, 08:38 PM|
Fat shark:RCV922 goggle with integrated receiver
Fat shark RCV922 goggle : The first goggle design specifically for Video-piloting (FPV)
Fat shark, a new cie in our FPV community work since severals years around a new kind of video system. They had build goggle with an integrated receiver design specifically for video-piloting. The goggle are light and robust and have an integrated battery. The goggle are sell in a kit with the transmitter, also very easy to use.
The kit content one transmitter, one 7.2V 500mAh li-po battery for the headset and his charger, one 9V wall transformer for the headset. Earphone, two 3dBi dipole antennas, two video/audio cables and camera bracket complete the kit.
I made two Demo videos, one onboard my Easystar and one onboard my Race car. Rare are the persons who had seen this car, I made it 10 years ago for FPV. It have a digital dashboard. I was using my camera/tx onboard my plane so this car had not moved snce a while. I was surprise how simple it was to install Fat shark camera and transmitter onboard my car, it was a perfect match.
The video of my plane is under perfect sun condition while the r/c car is under partially cloudy sky to demonstrate how well the new camera from Fat shark handle the sunlight.
MegaUpload (for a copy of my original):
Race car: http://www.megaupload.com/fr/?d=K8N2PGOT
p.s. For MegaUpload you must type the three letters in the box and press download. You wait 30 sec and then hit the "free download" button, a pop-up window will open for downloading the file to your computer
Youtube ( quality is good for one time):
|Sep 03, 2007, 08:39 PM|
Fat shark had design their own goggle specifically for immersion. With their bigger screen compare to the widely use Kopin module found in the FH-545 or the FH-520, this headset will give you a better felling to be onboard your’s plane or car. The F.O.V. of RCV922 goggle is 46 deg diagonal, compare to 35 deg of the FH545 and FH520.
Fat shark design their own lens. They were able to get the biggest picture possible while keeping a very good quality image. No pixel are visible, only a very bright and colorfull picture, not as crisp as Kopin module view, but still enough sharp for confortable piloting. The only drawback, the eyes must be in the center of the two lens. I see in one lens a little blurry in a corner, the second picture is clear. It will depend on the interpupillary distance of your own eyes, if you have very large or narrow distance, you got risk to see blurry picture in both eyes. The interpupillary distance (IPD) is standard at 63.5mm.
For me the picture is awesome. I found 6 peoples at my club to test it. One see blurry in both eye, 4 see light blur on one lens like me and one see both images clear. Only the guy who see both picture blurry would not buy them.The lens are closer from the eye the FH545, I would become tire more rapidly with them for long flight over 30 min, but usually I fly around 15min, so it's not a problem.
The goggle have an integrated 2.4 Ghz receiver meaning, no tripod is need to hold the receiver. I hate tripod with all the wires to connect, checking severals batteries, and also never forget you are wire to it because the tripod will not follow you
The integrated receiver have four channels. An sma connector for the antenna allow using all standard antennas on the market at condition it can fit on your head
The ergonomic of the headset is the best we can desire for video-piloting. The contour of the headset fit perfectly on my face. A little border of foam seal the gap to block 99% of the incomming light. I don’t need to wear a cap with these goggle even under direct sunlight. I added a little piece of rubber where the headset sit on my nose to add more confort, the hardness of the plastic was irritating.
But having a seal around the eye do not allow air to circulate, fog appear on the lens when it’s too hot or humid. We got severals humid and hot days the week of the test, I removed the foam under the eyes, fog did not reappear. Surprisly I still see the picture very well. With the standard Kopin goggle, the lens are very curve, any incoming light is reflect on the lens. But not with the RCV922 goggle because of the near flat lens, the incomming light do not reflect on them. Now I can see the ground outside around my feet, it’s easier to keep my balance and easier for hand launching the plane, but I lost the immersion feeling, for me I prefer like this.
Fat shark will have to design a light barrier that allow the air to circulate. It can kept the upper foam on the headset for confort and found something different to replace the foam under the eyes.
The headset have a stretch band to hold it firmly in position onto the head. The 500mA Lipo battery is insert in the belt. The headset consumme 340mA, so it shoud last around one hour while keeping a marge of safety. It operate on 7-12V, so you can plug your own battery. It's also possible to buy a second battery that fit in the belt from Fat shark. To power on/off the goggle, the simpliest way is to connect the battery to the headset plug.
On the other side, the belt hold perfectly the headtracker from Aeropix. I added velcro strips on battery and headtracker to hold them firmly in place while being able to remove them later if neccessary.
A low battery indicator on the side of the eye will light when the voltage of the battery become low leaving time to land.
The goggle have no adjustement for color, contrast etc.
A video/audio input/output plug under the headset allow a wide variety of possibility. In normal operation the receiver send picture and audio to the goggle displays and also to the video/audio jack allowing the possibilty to plug a video recorder.
It possible to input a video source to the goggle display bypasing the receiver. It allow to use RCV922 goggle with others receivers like Lawnmate or Airwaves, diversity receiver etc.
It also possible to power off the display on the goggle and use the receiver only for use as video sender receiver.
An audio connector for earphone is locate under the headset
A small antenna very cute come in my kit for evaluation. Other than be cute it have a much reduce range compare to the standard 3dBi antenna. Fat shark, please do not include them in the kit, kept them for nice photo only
One 3dBi dipole antennas work very well and I prefer longer antenna when the plane fly behind my head.
|Sep 03, 2007, 08:40 PM|
40mW Video/audio stereo transmitter.
The transmitter is very small and use standard jacks for easy utilisation. The quality of video transmission is comparable to Lawnmate and Airwaves transmitters.
40mW of power is not very much, but it’s enough for someone who want to try video-piloting to see if he like it or not. If he like it he could acquire the amateur radio license for higher power transmitter, it's easy to get for peoples who don't know it. It's 10mW the maximum allow in many countries.
On my plane, I cover the superficie of a standard r/c club or the distance we can fly the plane without goggle. The plane must not bank too much or severe snow and complete lost of video link will occur.
To fly up to one km or to do slalom between trees, Fat shark will design more powerfull transmitter available separatly.
The transmitter use a voltage regulator for maximum of flexibilty and protection. The voltage recommend is from 5 to 9 Volt. But I tested it as low as 4 volt and it still transmit normally, probably with reduce range. And by removing the case, it will run on 12V without problem.
A 5V output connector allow to power the include camera. It can also be use to power the popular KX-131 ccd camera.
The four channels transmitter is mount inside a robust plastic case. It is protect against reverse input voltage and for over voltage up to 30V. In others words, it’s made idiot proof
The transmitter is compatible with only two channels of the Airwave receiver and not compatible with the Lawnmate receiver.
The headset receiver is not compatible with Airwave or Lawnmate transmiter. MEANING IT WILL NOT WORK WITH ANY OF THE AIRWAVES OR LAWNMATE TRANSMITTER SELL ON THE MARKET.
The frequencies are very close, but I see black & white picture most of the time.
The four frequencies specify on the RC vision system box are the same as Airwaves. So I expected it would be fully compatible with Airwaves Rx and Tx, but it’s not. I suspect the frequencies on the box are not exact.
|Sep 03, 2007, 08:41 PM|
"Killer CCD" camera
Since many years, the reference camera for video-piloting is the KX-131. The camera introduce by Fat shark, the “Killer CCD” beat the KX-131 in many points for video-piloting. I can’t beleive it, it’s a CMOS camera. I never seen a CMOS sensor camera with good picture, so I was not impress when Fat shark said it had 420 lines of resolution. But on the bench test, I was surprise for the first time to see near true color with a CMOS camera and the sharpness was very close to the KX-131 with his CCD sensor. But it was when I tried it in flight with a lot of humidity in the air, I was really surprise to see it handle the light better than the KX-131.
When it have a lot of humidity, the sunlight is absorb by the humidity in the air, the sky appear brighter and the ground is darker. The KX-131 is useless under these condition while the “Killer CCD” still work pretty well. Also when the sun is lower over the horizon and I fly into the direction of the sun, the ground appear very dark and it’s not fun to fly. The Killer CCD camera outpast the KX-131 by masking the sun with a black hole allowing a better view of the ground. It’s easier to land with the “Killer CCD”, with the KX131 it’s risky when the sun is very low at the horizon.
The Fat shark camera come with a wide angle lens, I don’t know the angle, it around 90 deg. I like to use 2.1mm wide angle lens and it's similar, but most of the flyer prefer around 70 deg, so it will be too wide for them. The lens mount are not common, it’s not compatible with lens available at other stores. So Fat shark should have differents choice of lens on his website in the futur.
-The camera is smaller and much lighter than the KX-131 with his plastic housing.
-It consumme only 40mA compare to 150mA for the KX131
-"Killer CCD" cam cost only $50 compare to $90 of the KX131. And for many, the lens is perfect for video-piloting
When the sun is low, the color apear not natural sometime while flying, but KX131 suffer also of this problem.
The cable is not very flexible, but it will work with pan and tilt mecanism. The cable is not enough long, I would recommend longer cable.
No screw is holding the lens in place, a kind of glue is apply. When I removed the lens, the glue became brittle and many small parts dropped on the CMOS sensor. Do not remove the lens unless neccessary, but you can adjust the focus by turning it littly without problem. It’s stiff the first time to turn.
The camera housing is easy to open, so if neccessary to replace the lens, you remove the housing and it will be easy to remove the glue of the thread. You can drill a hole and insert a screw, or add a drop of 5min. epoxy to hold the lens in the futur.
|Sep 03, 2007, 08:41 PM|
16 dBi amplifier (or booster)
I receive in my kit a 16dBi amplifier for the headset antenna. I had problem with it, the signal of my radio enter in the booster giving me a very bad picture in my goggle. Fat shark will incorporate a filter in the booster. I will test the new version in the futur. He tried it on r/c plane with a friend and the range was double. He don't use 75Mhz radio I presume.
The RC vision system is sell at $425. This price do not include the camera.
For earlier custumer, Fat shark will include the "Killer CCD" camera and the modified booster free in the kit
The Fat shark website is still under construction, but you can leave a message on his e-mail or here on the r/c group personnal message. I think he is not ready for shipping but it should not be very long
|Sep 03, 2007, 10:45 PM|
Joined May 2007
Excellent review once again.
I have one question though. I thought the blackness that you see when the sun hits the camera lens on a sunny day when flying with the kx131 and 545BK was due to the 545BK not being able to handle the contrast very well, turning the sky bright and ground black. When I fly and record on a sunny day, the recording comes out perfectly (no blackness), but the real-time image through the 545BK is almost completely black. Thus, indicating that it is the goggles that do not handle the contrast and the camera handles the contrast well (because my recording looks great). Is my understanding of the setup correct, and does the Fat shark RCV922 handle contrast better than the 545BK.
|Sep 04, 2007, 01:15 AM|
Ok now that I read your wonderful review and saw both the Youtube version and the Megaupload version. I still feel that the CMOS camera is not that great in color but AGC was VERY impressive, also I found the wavy picture something I'm not used to seeing from a VRFLYER video. Last year I was using a unknown Chinese made 1000mw TX/RX and I was getting waves, static, poor color you name it I had it! It worked fine for static camera situation like surveillance. ( I solved my problems by switching to both Airwaves and Lawmate units.)
Now the rusty parts on the brand new TX could be due to recycled metals they use? Cheating by cutting cost? Not Fatshark's fault but the manufacture. I guess this is fine for someone who is getting into this and don't want to spend a lot or hassle with buying this and buying that, then Fatshark's unit is a perfect start. Sorry I don't mean to put down your opinion on this VR since I do have a lot of respect for you, but I feel I have seen better stuff from you in the past that still WOW me! I still feel what you had promoted in the past is still hard to beat. I also hope Fatshark isn't too offended by this as well since he is working hard to promote this great hobby by making this affordable and convient for everyone, still he is doing a great job and a job 99% of us hasn't even come close to achieving.
|Sep 04, 2007, 01:37 AM|
Thanks VRFlyer for your detailed review.
The original TX didn't come with any shielding and after testing I found it was picking up some minor interferrence from the LDO next door. The rust on the TX is because I hand cut that piece of metal to put over the TX to fix this problem. I wasn't thinking internal photos would be part of the product review All new TX's have hard tooling for making a stainless steel shield. There's no cost cutting in this product - if anything, this product is over designed (1A LDO inside the TX, custom glass optics, high impact plastic headset case, coaxial AV cables).
I look forward to more reviews from other users. I'm dedicated to making improvements in response to user feedback.
A note on the headset - the input voltage is 7 - 9V (not 7 - 12V). 12V may fry the LCD driver PCB (rated at 5 - 9.5V).
|Sep 04, 2007, 08:29 AM|
Effectively the FH545 and the new RVC922 do not handle contrast as good as a cathodique tv. On my tv the ground appear less dark than in my goggle But the KX131 also don't help. I see an amelioration in my goggle RCV922 when i switch from my KX131 to Killer CCD. Fatshark goggle don't use Kopin module so don't have the same electronic circuit
For aerial video, under the best sun condition, KX131 outpast the Killer CCD. But for video-piloting, I prefer a camera that I can use when very humid or when the sun is lower on the horizon. I use a 90 deg lens and no tilt. Last summer I had a tilt and I remember when I was using a 70 deg lens, the sun close to the horizon was not a problem, I was looking the ground.
The waves appear only when the motor turn at certain speed.The prop is highly unbalance, I bent the motor shaft, we hear a loud sound at certain speed. So do not expect seeing that.
The quality of the transmitter is very good, I don't see difference with my Airwave for transmission. The Airwave and Lawnmate are metalic can only, they need regulator and capacitor. The Fatshark tx is already install on a pcb, have connectors and is inside a protective case. In production, the metalic can will look as good as Airwaves tx no doubt.
I don't see advantage of Airwave and Lawnmate. Only more powerfull. Fatshark will introduce higher power tx.
|Sep 04, 2007, 09:07 AM|
I've received a test set yesterday as well and sent direct feedback for my first impressions. I won't be able to use them in flight for IOD problems though. I'll try my best to compare the RF parts on the ground.
I find the CMOS cam too blurry, but that might have to do with the very wide angle lens. It resembles the KX131s 116° diag, I usually use the 90°. I prefer the greater brightness of the CCD too.
|Sep 04, 2007, 10:32 AM|
KX131 is better under ideal sun conditon, but "Killer ccd" is better for less good conditions. Ideal condition are rare.
The picture is blurry, perhaps the lens is not at focus, I readjust mine. The picture is less sharp than KX131 even at focus. The difference is subtil in goggle. But again for aerial video, KX131 is better. Aerial video is not my main goal, I prefer a cam that perform better for video-piloting.
|Sep 04, 2007, 12:21 PM|
Thanks for the reviews. I'm still holding out on buying a pair of goggles and very interested in the potential of Fatshark's system.
The comparisons of cameras and image are very helpful too. It is nice that Fatshark has made the system compatible with other popular cameras.
|Sep 04, 2007, 12:42 PM|
Joined Dec 2000
Is the fatshark goggles available without the transmitter and camera? Are the frequencies compatible with the 2.4 GHz receivers some of us already have? I have a 900mhz system and was thinking it would be neat to retransmit the 900mhz signal to the Fatshark goggles. That way I could still use my flatpanel 900mhz antenna and have the freedom of the self-contained Fatshark headset.
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