How to FPV: Newbies thread - New Multirotor tuning video - Page 10 - RC Groups
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Feb 04, 2011, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by IBCrazy
UHF and 1.2/1.3GHz don't get along either.
that is not true , I find no problem at all when testing and flying with Thomas' system

my ground tests even show when 1.2/1.3 video tx is close to the uhf rx range is not reduced.

do your ground tests to make sure your set up works without any reduction in ground tests, set up the plane for 100% no reduction when everything is turned on and running, includeing your motor at wot.

If twisting and turning your plane durring ground tests reduces your range try a diversity rx system to solve those issues

experiment withthe ground station as well to make sure your video is also at 100% full non reduction in range when all is turned on

there are two tests that need to be done

one with the plane, to make sure nothing is effecting the range
and the other is the ground station to make sure nothing is effecting your video range

lots of people just do the range tests and forget about the important video tests

this will make you succesful in fpv
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Feb 04, 2011, 03:30 AM
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Like I said according to ama and maac rules the dx6i as an example works just fine as long as you set everything up properly, the idea is separation from the motor and other noisy things like the camera as an example.

the ground tests are of the utmost importance, this has to be stressed

cameras, lighting conditions ect. make a large difference for video quality

do not fly further away than your spotter can see as an example, but only after your ground tests show no reduction in range, with video and rc control

use the planes you have or are used to to start just for fun, spend some extra money on a lawmate 1.2/1.3 video stytem, but keep the heatsink on and protect it from a crash, as well as other things.

set it up so if you crash the battery will not smash important things
or at least you can change it back out to another plane

fpv is not easy and $

you really do get what you pay for more or less

fly as many times non fpv at your place and record the videos
watch them over and over to get the feeling of the site and what to expect

one thing that does make a very large difference is aerodynamics
make your plane as clean as possable for the best experience

If however you do fly at non ama or maac fields switch to a uhf system for the most fun

Originally Posted by ridgewalker
Thanks David22,

I am trying to decide which FPV gear to get.

Right now i am looking at 1.3ghz... 900mhz...

I was just reading of how a home phone on 900mhz can cause inteference,so i had also read that 1.3 would be better.

Still got reading to do but those are the two i am looking at.

To bad i couldn't hack one of those wireless driveway security cams to increase their haha


David...that looks like the kind of range i am talking about!
How about the image looked kind of that due to the type of camera used?
Could a "better" camera be used and get a better pic?
I would be very happy with that set up you have there.

Time to sell/trade my 450 heli.
Feb 04, 2011, 03:42 AM
The lunatic is on the grass
ridgewalker's Avatar
Thank you david22.

Your time and info are appreciated.

Feb 04, 2011, 07:26 AM
Engineer for Christ
IBCrazy's Avatar
Originally Posted by ridgewalker
So now i have two choices..Futaba 9C or JR XP6102...

"On the other hand there are several other 2.4GHz transmitter/receivers that I have seen perform incredibly well."

With 900mhz...Which ones?
You can use ANY 72MHz radio and get the same range I do. Range is determined by the RX not the TX! Any 72MHz radio and a Cheap $20 Corona dual conversion RX will do well.

I hate Spektrum with a passion. The word "inferior" comes to mind. I have lost radio contact with planes not 300 feet away on Spektrum. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind 2.4GHz control systems, I just dislike Spektrum. I think Futaba's FASST system is impressive. However I have great results with 72MHz, so why change? It's cheap and it works well. If I went to 2.4 GHz it would only be to fit my radio with a nice homebrew high power antenna and power booster. This is an option with the DX6i.

If you decide on 1.3GHz I would highly recommend getting a low pass filter or the harmonics could possibly harm your 2.4 radio link. The first harmonic of 1280 MHz is right at the edge of the 2.4GHz spectrum. 900MHz has no issue with intereference on any control band.

Feb 04, 2011, 09:12 PM
Just trying to get a nut.
scrtsqrl's Avatar

A typical starter...

Thought I'd share this here. I updated my blog.
Originally Posted by scrtsqrl
FPV Set-up for NEWBIES

OK, there are a lot of people experimenting with FPV set-ups.
For those of us who just want an economical, start w/o expending too many brain cells here's what you need:

The Plane:

Skysurfer RTF

Set-it up for 3ch operation. Use the fourth channel to pan the camera.

The Video Gear:
5.8 Ghz Video Link

Camera. Mount it on the canopy or a full sized servo built into the canopy for pan.

Video Goggles

Get some ideas at the bottom of this page on how you put it together...Any questions, just PM me...or reply to this thread...

There you have it! This should give you a bird that'll get you started right away. Not so fast to get you in trouble. Light, if you crash. Lots of endurance, up to 30 minutes depending on how you fly.

Hope this helps.
Feb 06, 2011, 06:54 PM
Registered User
AdrenalinRush's Avatar
I hate Spektrum with a passion. The word "inferior" comes to mind. I have lost radio contact with planes not 300 feet away on Spektrum.

Your scaring me as I have got a couple of FPV flights under my belt but nothing to far away.

I cannot believe that you have lost contact at 300m?!?!.... I spec out my blizzard on every outting and have NEVER got even a twitch from the tx/rx. (non fpv on the specing out). Well over 100m, and in a subdivision. I have even flown from inside my garage as I was too lazy to put shoes on and didnt have LOS a couple of times. I have a couple of hundred batteries through an EZ and a blizzard and havent had any problems. I have been using a 6200 (I think) for a RX and a DX6i for a TX but dont have the diversity in either plane. ?!?

I would like to go to uhf, but the tx/rx are another 300$ from what I am seeing online. Seems high for "old school tech"

I would much rather put that $300 into a OSD as I get all kinds of lost when flying and have to rely on dumb luck to find my way home

Feb 07, 2011, 08:38 AM
Postcards From The Purple Edge
tuppertn's Avatar
A very experienced former forum member once started a thread by posting a very helpful list of general setup suggestions and opinions. That thread has now been relegated to the Bit Bucket for whatever reason. It seems a shame, however, that the list I found so helpful may be lost to other noobies. I don't mean to ruffle any feathers or start arguements reagrding their validity, but personally I think this guy's suggestions are worth saving somewhere accessible. Being noob oriented, this thread seemed like a reasonable place. Everybody knows who initially posted them so I'm not going to credit these suggestions.

Here they are reposted for posterity.
  • Start with the bare essentials and add equipment one step at a time. after each new equipment was added do proper range- and stress tests.
  • Do not fly with a video system that is capable of outperforming your R/C system in terms of range
  • Do not fly with a R/C frequency higher than the video frequency (e.g. 2.4GHz R/C, 900MHz video).
  • Monitor the vitals of your plane (R/C and battery). Flying with a digital link without RSSI is dangerous.
  • Do not use 2.4GHz R/C unless you fly well within its range limits, in noise-free environments and always within LOS. since this is most likely never the case, it is recommended to not use 2.4GHz R/C systems.
  • Do not fly at the limits of video. if you see noise in your picture, turn around and buy a higher-gain antenna before going out further.
  • Shielded wires or twisted cables only. anything else picks up RF and can cause problems
  • When using powerful R/C transmitters, make sure your ground station equipment is properly shielded
  • Adding RTH to an unreliable system does not increase the chances of getting your plane back. Work on making your system reliable without RTH first, then add RTH as an additional safety measure if you must. At this point you will most likely realize RTH is not required.
  • Avoid powering the VTx directly. step-up or step-down the voltage and provide a constant level of power to your VTx, otherwise make sure your VTx runs reliably until the battery dies. Try to avoid 12V VTx on 3S systems.
  • Do not power your camera directly unless it works along the complete voltage range of your battery. step-up or step-down the voltage and provide a constant level of power to your camera. make sure your camera runs until your battery dies.
  • A single battery system is safer. 2 batteries in parallel to mitigate further sources of failure. reverse current protection is recommended, but usually not feasible
  • For maximum video range, use 2.4GHz video with high-gain antennas
  • When flying with R/C buddies that fly on 2.4GHz, or when flying in cities, it is perfectly possible to use 2.4GHz video provided you stick to the channels that do not lie in their band (ch5 & 8 for lawmate)
  • Do not use diversity as a replacement for pointing your antennas. diversity should be used to mitigate polarization issues
  • Improving the antenna gain on the receiver end is better than increasing the output power (except in RF-noisy areas). 500mW is plenty of power, more tx power causes more issues with RF on your plane.
  • Do not buy the cheapest equipment unless it is proven to work reliably (e.g. capacitors falling off, multitudes of bugfix firmware updates, community hacks and mods are a good indicator of poor quality and something you do NOT want to buy). Saving $50 is simply not worth losing your plane.


EDIT: Hmmm. The thread is back on the FPV forum again. Alrighty then...
Last edited by tuppertn; Feb 07, 2011 at 10:13 PM.
Feb 07, 2011, 08:54 AM
Engineer for Christ
IBCrazy's Avatar

Newbies please understand FPV's limitations!

I have received yet another Email about long range FPV from a newcomer. I get these Emails frequently and they go something like this:

"I have been flying for several years now and would like your advice on a system capable of 10-15 miles. What would you recommend I buy?"

Answer: Only 2 or 3 people in the world have ever acheived that range and it was with careful planning and lots of experience. 10-15 miles is unrealistic for even the most experienced FPV pilots. Start by setting your goal at 2 miles. 2 miles is a reputable acheivement that most FPVers have not accomplished.

Also, I would highly recommend getting your HAM radio license. This will greatly expand your knowledge base of RF communications as well as connect you with a network of very knowledgeable people that can help you be successful in this hobby.

Please understand that FPV has limitations and long range takes significant experience and planning.

Range goals can be estimated by the following equation:

Distance in miles acheivable = 1/2 + number of hours under the FPV hood/50 + Number of study hours/100

Feb 07, 2011, 02:42 PM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
Questions on patch antennas -
- are they all pretty much equal? 8dBi is 8dBi? (prices vary, best seems ~$40)
- is the GP ok for 900MHz (scaled up of course) or is commercial a better choice?

Question on TX antenna -
Whats better, and lighter, than standard omni (again, 900MHz)?

I've been flying on a questionable setup 'till now, picked up the 200mW HK.
Feb 07, 2011, 03:12 PM
Engineer for Christ
IBCrazy's Avatar
Well, sort of. Not all antennas are equal. And then there is circular polarization as well. Radiated efficiency and ground plane dependance will affect performance. If talking about 2 similar antennas of the same polarization, then yes, there is almost no discernable difference.

The GP patch is a fine antenna. MR RC Cam did a nice job on the design. I believe he got it from the ARRL antenna book (chapter 19 - Satellite communications page 19-22). Another great design is the BiQuad. This is 11dbi and not ground plane dependant. A how-to is in my blog.

TX antenna - Define better. Most people fly a Vee antenna. Whether a V-dipole or the inverted Vee, they both work exceptionally well and outperform the typical bazooka dipole. I personally fly a vee and a skew planar wheel (for circular polarization). The Vee is becoming a thing of the past for me, but it's still a great antenna.

Feb 07, 2011, 05:52 PM
Registered User
AdrenalinRush's Avatar
I apologize that I doubted you IBCrazy. I have been watching a couple of your threads and videos. Not too mention looking at your blog now I really feel like an A$$. You just never know who is behind that handle until you read up about them. Again my apologies.

I am "experienced pilot" meaning I know enough that I know I need to know more But FPV is a little new to me. Meaning I have only put a couple of batteries through a plane and know that I know nothing .

Looking at the list for no0bs a couple of posts ahead of this one, I think I only qualify 2 of the bullets. My Vtx is 500mw YA !!!!

Does this mean I am going to be a complete failure.... I would like to get out of LOS, but I am not shooting for 2 miles at all. Still a bit nervous and tend to get a little lost. I am flying where I grew up and it looks SOOO different from the air. (Its February in Michigan so everything is white).

I guess I am scared because you dont know what your range is until it is too late! I do NOT want to loose my plane. Screaming head first into the ground is ok by me. If your not crashing your not learning is what my dad always told me when I was racing motorcycles. (explaination, if you dont push the boundaries you dont know where they are). BUT it is like I am learning to fly all over again now worrying where my plane is in relation to me.

I would like to take your advise and buy a 75 or 35 tX, but again I cannot find one at a decent price. I am married and fall under the financial authority of my wife...... So the big question is OSD or TX ?!?
Feb 08, 2011, 12:40 AM
Engineer for Christ
IBCrazy's Avatar
You have some options:

First of all you can give a 2.4 GHz TX a nice boost by building a 2.4 GHz BiQuad antenna. You just need to aim it. Heck, 8dbi Wifi patch antennas can be bought for $30 and will double your range.

Afraid to lose your plane? Get an OSD and record your flights. If the wife will let you, get RTH (return to home) and the plane will fly back to you. I once had a VTX rip off my airplane in flight when the plane was 4000 feet away during my 1 hour lunch break at work. I jumped in the car and drove to the last known GPS coordinates on my recorder. I found the airplane nose-down 100 feet away and still made it back to work in time

You are going to lose video from time to time. Heck, I lost it 3000 feet away in my back yard 3 days ago. Of course that was because my batteries tanked on me. I did end up getting the plane back flying blind for about 30 seconds or so before the video came back. It was NOT FUN. However this is what comes with experience. I have returned several planes with video loss for several seconds (which feels like an eternity).

Experience my friend. That's what it takes. And if you want to get out past 2 miles, expect to spend a lot of time getting there... We don't have the capability of the U.S. military... yet

Feb 08, 2011, 01:07 AM
Registered User

another noob here

so my set-up will be..(well, some are still on there way using slow boat from china).

RC Tx/Rx: dx6i (on hand)
FPV Vtx/Vrx: HK 900mhz @ 200mW
7" tv (car tv from ebay)
Flyer: G 330x-s (enjoying it already)
planning to get atc9k cam.

playing field: public parks. around 1.5 football field area(nothing farther)
spotter: 9 y.o. son @ 10bucks an hour.

will this be fine?
everything must be flown within LOS.
please tell me this will work.


@ IBCrazy; tell me this will work or I'll B Crazy(with wasted money);-)
Feb 08, 2011, 01:35 AM
Registered User
exactly what frequency does a 900mhz video system use? will this patch work for one?
Feb 08, 2011, 07:19 AM
Engineer for Christ
IBCrazy's Avatar
Originally Posted by rnst2
so my set-up will be..(well, some are still on there way using slow boat from china).

RC Tx/Rx: dx6i (on hand)
FPV Vtx/Vrx: HK 900mhz @ 200mW
7" tv (car tv from ebay)
Flyer: G 330x-s (enjoying it already)
planning to get atc9k cam.

playing field: public parks. around 1.5 football field area(nothing farther)
spotter: 9 y.o. son @ 10bucks an hour.

will this be fine?
everything must be flown within LOS.
please tell me this will work.


@ IBCrazy; tell me this will work or I'll B Crazy(with wasted money);-)
Yes, that should do fine. You might want to get a patch antenna to help with multipath problems if you are going to be standing near meatllic structures (ie fence and bleachers). Other than that you should have no problems. Build the Vee antenna for the TX and a dipole for the RX for a little bit of added performance:\


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