FPV Beginners Reference Mega Thread... - RC Groups
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Sep 18, 2009, 12:32 AM
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FPV Beginners Reference Mega Thread...

well with wallet wide open, i've made the plunge into fpv by ordering a pair of fat shark aviation goggles.

i've scanned through many threads and am a little frustrated how spread out the information is and i'm hoping this thread will be more of an opinions/review of your experiences with various components for FPV.

to begin with can people list what they started with and what the pro's and con's of those setups were, then what they recommend upgrading to?
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Sep 18, 2009, 12:34 AM
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***************** BEGINNERS MUST READ *****************

A Complete Guide to FPV by dadde


************************************************** *****

here are my notes thus far (some are lifted from other users in other threads):

this thread has a long list of websites for parts as a pdf at the start.

these are other beginners FPV threads:

FPV Shopping:
(US flytron Distrubutor) http://www.rceffects.com/


http://www.l-com.com/content/hyperlinkbrand.html (antenna's and such)


FPV Cameras:
FPVCAM-480 high resolution OSD color camera 480 lines
DX-201 DPS
IF OSC cam
SN777/KPC-VSN500NH (interference issues per forums)
RCV922 (biased exposure for better contrast of ground and sky)


HD Onboard Recording Cameras:
Sony MHS-PM1 Webbie 1080p HD Camera https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1014664


Aiptek HD (in all of its variations -- Action HD without GVS seems to be the favorite)

Ativa HD (this one is a great value and is smaller and better constructed than the Aiptek HD)

FPV Lenses:

FPV Glasses:
Range Video EVG920V 640x480 $238
Range Video EVG920E 1024x768 $345
RVision D 640x480 $275
Headplay 1024x768 $495 ($370ish with discount)
High Res 640x480 $250
Fat Shark
RCV922 640x480 $375 $370
w/ CCD $441
w/ CMOS CCD Killer Camera $425
Focus High Res 640x480 $325
MyVu Crystal Video Goggles
Vuzix iWear AV920 640x480 $350

Fatshark(2.4 GHz builtin) + 500mW ImmersionRC (compatible) + RCV922 camera +TrackR2. Also prefers 900mHz but will need separate receiver plugged into goggles.

General Notes:
2.4GHz must stay line of sight.

Video transmitters:

500mw VTX

Video receivers:
awm635 receiver

Head Trackers:
Magtrak $150 http://hobbywireless.com/cart/index....products_id=67


DT-3K Damntronics/Flytron $96 http://www.flytron.com/21-dt-3k-hybr...nsmitters.html
DT-3K Review: http://fpv-community.com/testblog/?p=222
XGYRO-1000 head tracker

It is my understanding that 1.2G is legal in the USA but requires a license. See http://www.scribd.com/doc/4549372/p...d-amateur-radio for details.

Legal bands (some power restrictions at some frequencies). Note that the ends are off limits because it spreads over a range so 1.240G would actually spread from maybe 1.238 to 1.242.

Some places call 1.2G the range from say 1.1 up to 1.2 and the they call 1.3G the range from 1.2 up to 1.3, so 1.3 is the range that you want from them.

ARRL further specifies (strongly suggests, but may not be a legal requirement???) that you only use these for "amateur television":

This is for USA.

Last edited by rc_ron; Feb 13, 2010 at 04:42 PM.
Sep 18, 2009, 12:51 AM
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So for goggles most of the threads recommend the fat shark aviators or headplay. it seems headplay is though that have better picture quality, color range but the fat shark has a wider field of view (FOV). headplay seems to be tolerable for some who wear glasses but most people say the fat sharks wont work with glasses (which i do), so it looks like i'll be getting contacts.

i ordered my fatsharks from http://www.readymaderc.com
shipping prices were cheap but from the threads and their page it looks like the owner may be backlogged. hopefully they will ship quickly.

here were some good reference threads with peoples opinions about goggles:



i forgot to mention how quickly they shipped the fatsharks. i ordered them one evening and they were in the mail the next morning.

fatshark data sheet: http://www.gowiththeshark.com/RCV922_spec_A.htm
receiver frequencies:
#1 2414 MHz
#2 2432 MHz
#3 2450 MHz
#4 2468 MHz
Last edited by rc_ron; Oct 06, 2009 at 07:18 AM.
Sep 18, 2009, 01:28 AM
Fast and low...
aa78's Avatar
This one too: http://www.dpcav.com/xcart/home.php?


FPV Glasses:
Headplay 1024x768 $495
Headplay supports 720P (depending on input source - far more than needed for FPV) and with the HPPCS50 discount/promo code, costs US$361.3 shipped (no taxes included) in the US (US$399.95 without discount and shipping) from headplay.com. That is far lower than the US$495 you mentioned.
Sep 18, 2009, 04:11 AM
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That sucks that the Headplays are cheaper than Fatsharks. I wish this deal was around 2 months ago... DA*M
Sep 18, 2009, 02:07 PM
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thanks for the info aa78. that definately makes the headplays more attractive with the lower cost.

i kept going back and forth between the two.... from the other threads it looks like it came down to this:

fat shark: larger field of view, better fit, better connectors, but worse resolution/color, less connectivity

head play: smaller field of view & flimsy connector & more ambient light & and external computer module but higher resolution and better connectivity for non FPV uses.

one other issue that may be a big one for me is the fat sharks aren't supposed to work well with glasses while some have had success with the head play.
Sep 18, 2009, 02:11 PM
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aa78 & yellowCO... any advice for noobs? what did you start with and what pluses and pitfalls did you experience with the equipment and whole FPV setup process?
Sep 18, 2009, 02:16 PM
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Even though you may feel the need to scimp out on certain things you shouldnt. If you do make big purchases like goggles and rX/Tx you might as well go all the way and get quality stuff. There are some many compnents to this little project and all it take is one to fail to send the whole thing crashing down.
Sep 18, 2009, 03:08 PM
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alexedit's Avatar
cool thread
Sep 18, 2009, 04:05 PM
Fast and low...
aa78's Avatar
Something interesting from the HeadPlay forums: http://www.headplay.com/forum/index.php?topic=459.0

They are planning the next generation of the goggles with HDMI inputs so they will most likely resolve the other issues too.

RC_Ron: No particular advice except to read the stuff posted here on these forums. There is a ton of information and I am still going through it bit by bit. I haven't transitioned to FPV yet but fully intend to do so. I believe there are many more people here who have far more knowledge and are far better capable of advising and helping you.

What I have preliminarily decided is to get the 900MHz 500mW Pro Series video transmitter and standard video receivers (qty 2) from DPCAV (one with a 8dBi patch and one with a 3dBi dipole), DX201 or KX-191 camera (I strongly suspect KX-191 to be a Telepix board camera) and Headplay goggles. Tx/Rx for controlling the airplane will be 72MHz. OSD and other stuff should come later once one has mastered normal FPV flying. Eagletree has a very capable OSD (Pro version) and when combined with the upcoming Eagle Eyes, it would be an even more capable FPV platform:

Originally Posted by Eagletree website
EagleEyes Ground Station

The EagleEyes Ground Station is the perfect companion to the OSD Pro! The EagleEyes supports video receiver diversity, antenna tracking, telemetry (including Google Earth) and also has 4 A/V outputs, eliminating the need for a separate video splitter.
There are separate threads in this forum for both; OSD Pro and Eagle Eyes. Other options for OSD are RVOSD and eZOSD among still many other DIY ones.
Last edited by aa78; Sep 18, 2009 at 04:24 PM.
Sep 18, 2009, 04:12 PM
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Carlyle Harper's Avatar
So that a beginner won't get frustrated or disappointed, I would delete anything made by intelligent flight and refrain from making any reference to their store. Mark Harris is the manager and the last time he ever posted anything here is June 29. There have been some complaints about service, mainly people sending their money to them and receiving nothing.

Unless someone from intelligent flight would care to resurface and respond now.
Sep 18, 2009, 04:36 PM
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Newbie should buy one of those combo set that includes everything for around $500. Once you have tried the basic gears, everything in the forum will begin to make sense.
Sep 18, 2009, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by edragon
Newbie should buy one of those combo set that includes everything for around $500. Once you have tried the basic gears, everything in the forum will begin to make sense.
Here's a list of the combo systems I could find:



Sep 18, 2009, 11:06 PM
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Carlyle Harper's Avatar
Here are the pitfalls I fell into as I started fpv:

1) I started with a 900mhz 500mw video transmitter and an 8dbi patch from rangevideo. Flew it for a while, up close it had a noise free picture. At 1.5 miles it got kinda fuzzy and at 2+ miles it wasn't fun to look at anymore. Then I tried a 2.4 ghz 1 watt transmitter with 14dbi patch. Man what a difference. I've been way further out and still had good clear video. Wish I had the 2.4ghz first. But now that I remember I wanted to use my 2.4ghz FASST system as the control, but soon upgraded to the Scherrer LRS and so that problem was solved.

2) Recording the flights, at first I was using a set-top dvr recorder which worked but wasn't convenient. Then came the handheld hard drive recorders, it worked, but I just wasn't satisfied with the quality. Finally I found a hard drive based sony handycam with av inputs, and this is what I use now.

3) Cameras, not knowing any better I started with a kx171, and thought it had a great picture until I started seeing videos with more color and contrast. Then I bought a dpc-480a, a 100% improvement, it'll take an upgrade to HD to get me to change cameras again.

4) I use a Sr. Telemaster for fpv, so the power requirements are not only different but greater. I use the A123 cells and have played with different arrangements and methods of charging them. I have several "packs" that I can use or combine together to make a long flight pack. I have always had my fpv power separate from the motor and esc power so I haven't had any interference issues.

5) Goggles, don't buy the r-vision goggles, they have a good picture, but they will break at the hinge, mine did, no warranty support. Then I went with headplay.

6) OSD, I almost made a fatal mistake last year when two osd's were due to come out. When Eagletree gets their ground tracking station developed, their entire osd pro system will be the thing to get.
Sep 19, 2009, 01:31 AM
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thanks for the input carlyle. i came across that camera but hadn't seen any comments on it, plus it was a little pricey. i may have to look it up again because i have yet to buy a camera.

i was just reviewing headtracking systems and decided to go with the DT-3K Damntronics/Flytron head tracker. https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...ighlight=dt+3k

it is cheaper than the magtrak2 and trackr2 and judging from comments seems to work well. i got it for $96 at flytron http://www.flytron.com/21-dt-3k-hybr...nsmitters.html and it comes with a hitec plug.

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