Wireless PC Monitor For FPV - RC Groups
Shop our Airplanes Products Drone Products Sales
Thread Tools
This thread is privately moderated by beladog, who may elect to delete unwanted replies.
Mar 05, 2011, 02:04 AM
I Crash Therefore I Buy
beladog's Avatar
Build Log

Wireless PC Monitor For FPV

Here is an inexpensive ($40) way I use my PC's monitor as a stand alone, wireless, portable fpv monitor without making any internal mods.
The process is straight forward, requires only minor soldering and can be completed in about 1hr. Best part, you can switch it back for desktop use in about 10 seconds.

1) Find a monitor.
Most, if not all of you have a flat screen monitor by now, and if you still have a 40lb box taking up valuable desk real estate, then now is a really good time and a great excuse to go update your fifteen year old dinosaur to a sweet new flatty.
These can be had at insane prices at geeks.com, frys, Newegg.com etc etc.
here is a prime example.
Look around a bit, this was the first link I clicked.

All Flat screen LCD monitors run off 12-16V D/C and most use A/C wall adapters. This is great news!
Disconnect the monitor's cord from the wall and the monitor and cut the cable about 12" from the plug that goes into the back of the monitor. There will be two wires, either color or stripe coded for +/- and if you are not sure you can plug the socket into the wall and carefully test the bare leads with your volt meter. Wire a male Deans to the the monitor side and a Female plug on the wall end. Now you can still use the wall adapter when you want to use the monitor indoors as you would before the conversion.
Plug a 3S LiPo into the monitor's new plug and press the power button. You should get a blue screen and a message that says "No Source"
or something the like.
Monitor is now complete and ready for the add ons.

It should be noted that a monitor will drain a 3S 3300MAh in about 45min. And will Over Discharge the battery before blacking out. This means that you can damage your battery before you will notice no picture. It is highly recommended you purchase a $3 Low Voltage Alarm that will plug into the balance plug and scream at you when it drops to unsafe levels. You can get these all over the place and you will kick yourself if you dont.

ALL monitors will have a VGA input and some new nice ones will sport an
S-video. In either case, for this to work you will NEED to convert your video receiver's A/V cable (RCA)/"Composite" to VGA. This can't be done with a simple cable adapter and please dont waste your money and time trying. You will need a composite to VGA converter.
These can be found all over Overseas shops and at Deal Extreem for around $30 but I would recommend not having to deal with poor cs and long shipping times and just get one one locally.

You can go here in the USA for $35: http://sewelldirect.com/Composite-RC...-Converter.asp

Or, if you prefer long waits and no return policy there are about five different models here for about $32:

They all work the same and I have found little to no difference internally between a few different models.

Next step and arguably the most involved (though not difficult) is to modify this device to run off a lipo battery. Easy! lets get it out of the way.
The converter runs off DC already and uses a small 5v ac adapter that comes with it. We will bypass this wall adapter and feed direct DC to the unit.
Grab a small ESC from your flight box, any ESC that can output 2A and 5V should be fine and most, if not all, will do that.
decide if you are going to power it with a 2s or 3s and choose the ESC accordingly. Now I made mine internal but if you want to save time you can just wire the barrel plug end of the wall adapter to the output of the ESC, plug it into the converter and be done.

Pics below show and describe the internal mod that allows a really clean look as well as the option to use either A/C or D/C power.
From here on out I will let the pics and descriptions do the talking.
If you have any questions feel free to pm or email me.
Hope you dig it.
Last edited by beladog; Apr 22, 2011 at 02:29 AM.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
May 18, 2011, 10:30 PM
Registered User
Hello.. following your instructions.. My monitor came without the adapter also.. where abouts did you tie into the board inside the monitor? thanks!
Last edited by savage 40; May 18, 2011 at 10:59 PM.
May 20, 2011, 11:14 PM
I Crash Therefore I Buy
beladog's Avatar
ok so I will assume your monitor had a three prong plug. If you look at the hole where the cord went you should see three metal tabs. If so, two of those are negative leads and one is the positive.
If its a round plug with multiple sockets email me at the address below and I will explain.

Once you pry open the case and can see the guts, you should be able to see where those metal leads attach to the main board. Knowing that two of the three are grounds (and there may be more grounds from the housing of the adapter), all you need to do is figure out which is which. You will need a cheapo voltage meter that has whats called a continuity mode. In this mode the meter will give out a beep when its two probes touch each other. Using that mode, touch any two leads on the board at a time till the meter does not beep. One of those is not a ground and will not have "continuity" (or connection) with the others. Adversely, you can touch each lead with one probe and the other probe to a known ground like the metal housing/cage around the board. One will not ring the beeper and that will be your positive.
Now just solder a positive lead to the positive and the negative to the ...well you got it.
I used two leads from the pos. and two from the neg. so I would have one going to the power source and one going to the converter with its internal regulator(esc). Both coming from inside the monitor. You can tie the esc's leads from anywhere on the power line.
If you need a better explanation or pics or more info please feel free to email me at reobela@yahoo.com
Good luck!
Latest blog entry: Speeeeeder
Apr 08, 2015, 04:27 PM
Registered User
Apr 08, 2015, 06:49 PM
I Crash Therefore I Buy
beladog's Avatar
Wow. I feel like I may need to update this thread
It's still in use on my bench and works sweet for programming OSD and setting cameras and such. The Velcro I used to hold the small converter in place finally failed two days ago and freaked me out as it let it's final crispy, crunchy sound as it lost it's grip.

Onwards...We now have VHB

I still really like the mod, and now days wireless conversion is just such a common hack for any monitor. The trick is to find the computer monitors and TVs that have the external transformers. Polarity and voltage is Always clearly printed on the transformer label so it really takes any guess work out of it. I like to open shlt up and hardwire and rout for cleanliness but the easiest option is always to solder on a deans and go The video converters are identical still and have not changed in price or form at all. They are readily available and are still available from US vendors for a few dollars more.

Here's a fun one.
Buddy threatened me that this $30 headrest monitor set was not suitable for a tx mount bc it was too heavy
Challenge accepted!

Literally ten minutes later I had a super slim super light monitor with volume and brightness controls still intact.

This one was very easy. Case removal>i/O board relocate.
Some tape and maybe a bezel trim and implant for looks.
Last edited by beladog; Apr 08, 2015 at 06:59 PM.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Still want a cheep FPV Monitor... cbcalhoun FPV Talk 0 Jan 16, 2011 01:36 PM
Discussion Computer monitor for fpv alexedit FPV Talk 16 Dec 25, 2010 11:08 PM
Sold FPV Haier 7" LCD TV Monitor, Rechargable batt...BRAND NEW sealed $50 shipped crd FPV Equipment (FS/W) 1 Nov 30, 2010 11:16 PM
New Product New General of FPV System--Wireless Video FPV System bipowrc FPV Talk 40 Dec 19, 2009 09:40 AM
wireless baby monitor with lcd screen easy2fly Aerial Photography 1 Aug 02, 2004 04:04 PM