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Dec 20, 2011, 11:25 AM
Thread OP

Next step - upgrade to goggles, cam, osd?

Hello all
I just this week got my FPV system working great for the first time. I'm running a small pod/boom (modified WingDragon), Lawmate 2.4 500mw VTX/VRX with CL/SPW, cheapy HK board cam (the old $16 ones) with super wide angle lens, Futaba FF8 72mhz PPM 1024 TX/RX, 3.5" display on TX for flight video. I also have a GoPro, but am not running it at the same time as FPV. One step at a time type of thing.
Flights so far are terrific.
I'm thinking a good upgrade would be:

-ReadyMade Fatshark base with built in HT.
-Better cam of somekind.
-Something to locate a lost plane, or better yet, stop a loss in the first place. RTH? EasyOSD that plugs into my iphone for tracking? Or just the return home arrow, or such.

I'm hoping the goggles will be an improvement and hopefully engage passengers. I can already see the attraction of HT. I'm assuming these will need a better cam, as my current setup has some blurring on left side.
The OSD, tracking, etc., I'm unsure about. I don't want to add needless or irritating gadgets that will complicate my system and make conflicts, breakdown, or tech headaches more likely. Everything is quick and easy right now and rock solid, just like my plane was before FPV. Taken it out past LOS during storms, and no problem, gyros help a lot. I want to maintain the fun factor, and do some nice scenic AP/AV with the gopro.
Just the goggles and cam will be at least $350 I guess, and not sure of the OSD.
Is this a good upgrade plan?
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Dec 20, 2011, 11:35 AM
Team White Llama!
gundamnitpete's Avatar
I think goggles and a new cam would be a nice upgrade first. It sounds like your still pretty fresh with FPV, No need to make it too complicated too fast
Dec 20, 2011, 12:06 PM
Thread OP
Idon't know much about cameras. I'm really liking the wide angle lens. I can always see the horizon and what's going on. Pretty surprised with the low light and contrast adjustment - better than my GoPro.
Dec 20, 2011, 12:18 PM
Team White Llama!
gundamnitpete's Avatar
Originally Posted by TheNiceGuy
Idon't know much about cameras. I'm really liking the wide angle lens. I can always see the horizon and what's going on. Pretty surprised with the low light and contrast adjustment - better than my GoPro.
depending on budget there are a bunch of really good cameras. I mean, the camera is your "eye", so it should prolly be as good as you can afford, no?

That said the HK cam is good and works well. It's just there are sharper, more defined cams out there with better dynamic range (show better detail on contrasty areas)
Dec 20, 2011, 12:36 PM
Registered User
SkyEyes's Avatar
How about a ground station recording device?

Sooner or later you might experience an outlanding - with no recorded (fpv) video stream for you to review and study (as to where it came down) - you will just be stood in a field (or wherever) holding an R/C Transmitter, with no clue as to which direction your model came down.

It is a safety mechanism really, plus always fun when back at home to watch through your flight footage, very rewarding.

After that, personally i'd say an OSD - at least with the minimum information - ie: LiPo mah consumed, Home arrow, altitude ladder, Distance - so you know EXACTLY where your model is in the sky, plus which way is "Home" (as it can look totally different from 'way up there', plus how your flight battery is discharging - so you can always land before its too late). I learnt this the hard way hence the OSD!!!

Perhaps for me, once I had my FPV setup nailed, it was more about being able to enjoy the flight, plus the little indicators, so I could see how my plane was behaving, plus know where to fly when I need to, to come "home" safely.

Well done by the way!!!
Dec 20, 2011, 02:26 PM
Engineer for Christ
IBCrazy's Avatar
The camera will make the biggest difference in your FPV experience. It is the most important item. I personally like the D-WDR 600TVL sony camera from security camera 2000. However, ReadyMadeRC's cameras are just as good and come cased.

After that, get goggles. You are used to flying with no OSD, so there's nothing to miss. The goggles allow a very immersive feel.

Dec 22, 2011, 02:49 AM
Thread OP
Thanks very much for the thoughtful responese guys. Another question for you: what's the easiest cheapest way to get 2 signals from my lawmate rx, to run 2 displays simultaneously?
Dec 22, 2011, 06:59 AM
Thread OP
That looks great hwat. Does that also lessen "bluescreen" incidence by boosting the signal?
Dec 22, 2011, 08:08 AM
Thread OP
IBCrazy, do you have a link? There are a whole whack of them with that name in the title, such as this.

Does anyone know the maximum possible resolution of an FPV system? It would make sense to find the bottle neck and build components around that.
Last edited by TheNiceGuy; Dec 22, 2011 at 08:48 AM.
Dec 22, 2011, 11:34 AM
Registered User
SkyEyes's Avatar
Originally Posted by TheNiceGuy
Does anyone know the maximum possible resolution of an FPV system? It would make sense to find the bottle neck and build components around that.
You are limited to 640 x 480 (VGA) anyway. There is HD, but that technology for FPV isnt mastered as yet.

Looking at Cams - Some considerations...

- TVL (horizontal resolution). Higher the number the better.
- The Camera sensor thats incorporated. 1/3" is widely used. CCD / HAD etc.
- Low light compensation / auto white balance.
- Some now come with programmable OSD for setting camera brightness, contrast etc. Greater options.
- Generally a f3.6mm lens works best, unless you like the goldfish bowl effect.
- Option of Cased camera or Board camera, depending on your requiements. Board is lighter but more exposed (uncased).

When looking at the handful of popular Cams out there, pay more attention to each's Specifications.

ie: One that provides better (TVL) resolution, plus sensor used. Decent low light compensation too, so at dawn or dusk or even on a really cloudy day, you'd get a brighter clearer image.
Last edited by SkyEyes; Dec 22, 2011 at 11:40 AM.
Dec 30, 2011, 12:32 PM
Thread OP
Thanks again, and thanks for all your work skyeyes
I found this camera:
IIUC, the low lux rating is very good, as you can use it in dim, or even night conditions. Is it also OK for normal day use?
Not sure on lens size, although I currently use a 2.1 lens from security camera and it is very cool to be able to see everything. On the old lens it was very dangerous, especialy in a climb, as there are no reference points to see if I was flipping or not - all blue (or cloud). I've mainly used it on a 3.5" LCD so hard to tell precision detail anyway.
Goggles sound very cool, but unsure. They are all a bit expensive if I make a mistake in choosing. Cinemizers are apparently the best, but some hassle getting them FPV ready, and warranty issues for my local. Fatsharks seem easiest. I have a great VRX already (and FS does not support 2510mhz anyways), so I'm thinking only headtracking is an upgrade option. So not really sure about goggles...
Maybe I should indulge in oh so satisfying procrastination and get a nice 640x480 display to strap to my TX...
Last edited by TheNiceGuy; Dec 30, 2011 at 12:38 PM.

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