Just getting into FPV, Need help deciding. - RC Groups
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Oct 27, 2010, 03:42 PM
Addicted to FPV

Just getting into FPV, Need help deciding.

I have been a long time pilot and now im exploring FPV. I sold some of my other toys to finance this exploration. I have been looking around at the various set ups for a week now. So far i pretty much decided on a easy star platform.

These are the other options.

900 MHz system with patch attenna with eagle tree osd pro, logger, and gps. see link.

Head Play goggles, which I also want to try out on my xbox.

also a pod system. Still thinking about building my own.

This is another FPV system but I still have to get the receiver and plugs.

I am going to use my futaba 7c for a radio. I also have a Mega 16/15/6 and a phoenix 25 lying around for the easy star power plant.

Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Oct 28, 2010, 04:09 AM
Addicted to FPV
Ok after reading posts for 10 hours I am even more confused. I decided that its better to start with the basics. But which one???
Oct 28, 2010, 04:32 AM
Registered User
I'm gonna start by saving you some $. HeadPlay goggles can be had from Dell for $299 and the battery $60; although you can power them from a $20 2200mAH 3S lipo for a several hours. On second thought, if your going to use it with your XBox, get the HeadPlay battery for convience.

Look at either EZ OSD (BevRC.com) or the latest Dragon OSD.

900Mhz is probably fine, but I think Crist Rigotti did his record breaking 27Km flight using the 800mw 1280MHz VTx and matching VRx (see NGHobbies). Of course he had a custom V antenna on his plane, upgraded SAW filter and a yagi on the ground, but it's a testament to the quality of the product and range achieved by such a low cost VTx and homemade antennas. I use this with the stock mini omni antenna and can't say enough good things about it.

The readymade pod is ok (I have one on my EZ*) but heavy. If your more of a DIY persion (and who isn't in that's still into FPV), I can recommend the hobbyking large fiberglass Pan-Tilt for $5 and a couple of these $7 mg servos for smooth operation. At least if you crash and destroy it, the servos will likley hold up and your out only $5 (and you can buy spares without breaking the bank).

Choose your R/C radio wisely. 2.4GHz does not play well with 900Mhz or 1280MHz so use either 72MHz, one of the UHF or long range solutions, or even 35Mhz. The Turnigy 9x with a 72MHz module might work well here but I'm old skool and use a Hitec Laser 6 and have no personal experience with Turnigy radios. A Futaba is a safe (but pricer) bet, but if you do get one, get one that accepts transmitter modules.

I apologize in advance if I come across as abrupt or assuming, but please avoid PM'ing with lots of follow up questions. Instead I can recommend the What to buy for video piloting thread for good advice.

>The opinions expressed here are my own and not necessariarly those of Trappy or Ssassen . If you have some serious $ to spend on your new hobby, they will steer you right though.<
Last edited by patricklupo; Oct 28, 2010 at 05:41 AM.
Oct 28, 2010, 05:31 AM
Honey Badger
Blue Chip's Avatar
Personally - I went with a 900mhz video system with dual patch antennas on the ground running through an Oracle. I have rock solid video out past a mile - and frankly - should be good out to the limits of the RC gear. My RC is a Futaba 9CAP radio and a 168DP reciever with the antenna length doubled.

Plane is an EasyStar with an enlarged rudder, EFlite six series motor and a CC Thunderbird 36A speed control. I have also used the motor / esc / prop kit sold by ReadyMade - it works very well - you can find it under Aircraft Parts.

I chose the 900mhz setup becasue it is the most tolerant to obstructions - like trees and such. Also - my neighborhood - and entire town - that I live in is wired with WiFi internet - which I wasn't sure about interference on the 2.4 from.

Overall - my video should take me out (with the right antenna) to somewhere in the 5+ mile range. My radio will eventually get upgraded to UHF.
Oct 28, 2010, 05:42 AM
Addicted to FPV
Thanks for the input. Do you have to buy a UHF radio or is there a converter for it. I live in a very populated area and there is alot of different signals in the area.
Oct 28, 2010, 05:46 AM
Honey Badger
Blue Chip's Avatar
If you have a Futaba radio - there is a module that attaches. Personally - it's been about a year of FPV flying before upgrading to UHF - I would start simple if you can.
Oct 28, 2010, 05:46 AM
Registered User
Hey Blue Chip,

I only tend to veer away from 900Mhz becuase the quality on many tend to be low. I've had some cases where friends are already invested in 2.4GHz R/C control and in those instances 0.9Ghz may interfere less; which VTx do you use?
Oct 28, 2010, 05:53 AM
Honey Badger
Blue Chip's Avatar
This one.

Oct 28, 2010, 06:01 AM
Addicted to FPV
I was thinking about picking this one up.


I was also going to add the OSD kit because I plan on adding it anyway and this way it saves on shipping. what do u think about the pod assambly. Also is the eagle eyes FPV station a good idea?
Oct 28, 2010, 07:50 AM
Honey Badger
Blue Chip's Avatar
That's about what I have there. By the way - I have no video quality probelms at all out past one mile.

I use the DPC480 camera - which is great - and has wonderful low light resolution.

My system uses 2 patch antennas and 2 recievers rather than one - they are run through the Oracle Diversity switcher - however a single patch system is certainly fine if you know what the spread of the beam is and where you are flying.

I know nothing of the Eagle Eyes. What is it that you want to do? Are you looking for an antenna tracker? I'm sure it's a good product - I just don't have evxperience with it.

As for the OSD - I went with the one from Immersion - the EZOSD. Reason being - when I bought it I knew that they also had a UHF system in the works - and I like the idea that everything can tie together - the UHF system, the OSD, and the tracker.

I also have the pod system. At first it was great. Not that it's not now - but as I have gotten a bit more comfortable with FPV there are some things that I would change. First off - I would get rid of the second video battery and run everything off of one (so a search on this). Second - I would probably have manufactured something myself - however - my recco for you is to go with it as is. It's simple, well thought out, and follows a logic path. Make changes and modifications later when you are a bit more comfortable and know what you personally would want.

Tim at ReadyMadeRc is a great resource as well. He is Mr. Pibb here on the forum.
Oct 28, 2010, 02:32 PM
Addicted to FPV
My main concern on the OSD system is the RTH, and being able to monitor the vitals of the system. I plan on letting my son fly also and I know he will take it to its limits. My goal is get the right equipment that I can expand on when ready. The wife has given me a budget of $1200. (I used my son as a justification) HAha. I eventually would like to expand into attenna tracking hence the idea of the eagle eyes fpv station.

I have some experience with patch attennas from past military surviellance assignments. I know that they basically have a limited beam area which allows for greater range. I am nervous that I may flt out of that beam and be screwed. Also from what I am reading my futaba 7c 2.4 is inadequate for FPV hence the interest in UHF. I have a Hitec eclipse 7 that my son uses. I still have the spectra module for FM.

There is so much information in this forum. Its just hard for someone new to disseminate the information and make the right decision the first time and match the equipment for my location.

thanks for the help, its greatly appreciated.
Oct 28, 2010, 02:51 PM
Addicted to FPV
Any ideas on goggles. Which manufactures are the biggest bang for my buck?
Oct 28, 2010, 03:46 PM
Honey Badger
Blue Chip's Avatar
If you can - find a Futaba 9CAP radio on 72mhz - you can find them used for about $150.

I understand your concern about flying outside of the beam -that's why I have a diversity (mine just happens to be an Oracle) - it sounds like the Eagle Eyes will do the trick and allow for upgrading to a tracker and telemetry later. I would probably get that and a dual patch setup. Position them like this / \ (only at closer to 45 degrees) and you will have close to 180 degrees of pattern.

If you're like me when I started - you will want to know every single vital on the plane. I got used to the idea that there are simply some things that you can live withouth... fact is nearly all things. My OSD gives the usual - height, speed, alt, and battery life as well as direction home. The only way to get radio signal strength (RSSI) would be to open up the RX and tie it into the circut board of the OSD. I'm not comfortable doing that through.

The reason that I am looking at all Immersion gear - specifically the UHF is because it ties together with the OSD simply by plugging it in.

Get a ground based recorder!

There are mixed opinions on the RTH features - I don't have one.

As far as a budget - good luck. Get in the air first and worry about some of the other features later.

I have fatshark goggles - I found them used here. I LOVE them - no matter what the light conditions outside - they work flawlessly. Consider flying with a monitor first though - especially if you're doing this with your son - this way you can both play. I started with a 15" Craig TV that I got for less than $100... and I would do the same again.

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