Walkera Mini CP sub-micro FPV heli (AUW 54g) - RC Groups
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Mar 23, 2012, 11:41 AM
Blade 180 FPV & Mini-Protos
Picofly's Avatar

Walkera Mini CP sub-micro FPV heli (AUW 54g)

I am going to transform my Walkera Mini CP sub-micro heli to a FPV platform. Video goggles are still on the way but the rest of the package is almost ready.

At the moment my FPV gear consists of a 10mW 5.8GHz video transmitter & receiver, 1g video camera and a 0,6g 5,0V voltage regulator. In order to save some weight, my plan is to feed the camera & transmitter from the same battery as the rest of the heli. So far it seems to work without any significant broblem. The whole pagage weights 4.8g with connectors. It is not bad, but I may remove the connectors in the future to save another gram. I have a spare 200 mW transmitter ready and I will test it i nearby future too.

AUW of the heli is 51,5g including a 240 mAh battery but I should be able to shave the weigh below 50g by replacing the WK-LT10 brushless ESC with a lighter Oversky ESC.

Here is the first live video test from my livingroom. Quality of the video is not perfect yet but things are looking promising anyway. The camera is shaking a little bit because I haven't mounted it permanently and the stock canopy is so flimsy.

Please note that this is not a true FPV flight yet because I have an eye contact to my heli all the time. I will try to make a FPV flight as soon as I get my video goggles ready.

Walkera Mini CP live video test (2 min 3 sec)
Last edited by Picofly; Aug 01, 2012 at 03:42 AM.
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Mar 23, 2012, 01:55 PM
Registered User
Looks great !!
Mar 23, 2012, 02:49 PM
Don't leave it Stock
mrfliboy's Avatar
Wowza, impressive with one lipo setup. I've had no success on single 1s lipo setups for fpv.

Its always req'd 2 seperate lipo sources to prevent interference. I've tried many setups LOL
Mar 23, 2012, 04:58 PM
Blade 180 FPV & Mini-Protos
Picofly's Avatar
Originally Posted by mrfliboy
Wowza, impressive with one lipo setup. I've had no success on single 1s lipo setups for fpv.

Its always req'd 2 seperate lipo sources to prevent interference. I've tried many setups LOL
It looks that my tiny Pololu 5V voltage regulator does decent job beccause so far I haven't noticed any interference with the throttle chanel. My friend (Kopteri 2010 in RCGroups forum) uses the same regulator in his sub micro heli and he gets really crispy video without practically any interference.

Here is the linkto the regulator: http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/798
Last edited by Picofly; Mar 24, 2012 at 01:32 AM.
Mar 25, 2012, 02:50 AM
Blade 180 FPV & Mini-Protos
Picofly's Avatar
My video goggles (Fatshark RCV922 Base Edtition) arrived on Friday.

This is nothing new for advanced FPV pilots but I was surprised to see that image quality is actually better when you see it from video goggles instead of a laptop - even if contrast and color saturation are far better on the laptop's display.

Installation was simple and I was ready to go after soldering commectors for a 3S lipo but the maiden flight wasn't any kind of great success .

Snowfall just started when I arrived to my local flying field and it was pretty windy too. The first and only flight too only 15-20 seconds until I noticed that headspeed is dropping my heli crashed to snow about 25 meters from the place I was standing. I tried to hover the heli with my other batteries but the same happened every single time. It was just too cold for 1S batteries and my heli could not lift itself after 15-20 seconds of hovering. After a couple of tries I left my TX on the roof of my car for a moment. It fell down on asphalt and flying mode switch broke . So I will grounded until I get my TX repaired.

The good news was that the image quality remained good until the crash. There wasn't any interference with my 2.4 gHz radio radio or the speed controller so my voltage regulator does very good job.

Those short test flights showed that FPV flying will be quite difficult and it will require lots of practising but I will not give up at this point. At least my heli is extremely durable so crashing every now and then will not be catastrophy.

Here is a picture of my whole FPV set ready to fly:
Last edited by Picofly; Mar 25, 2012 at 04:57 AM.
Apr 01, 2012, 01:09 AM
Blade 180 FPV & Mini-Protos
Picofly's Avatar
I have saved some weigh by using a lighter esc and soldering motor wires directly to the esc. AUW is 49,05 g with a 240mAh Hyperion. The other change is the way camera is mounted. I have CA'ed the camera to a Genius V2 canopy so it should not shake any more. I could save another gram if I would remove connectors between the video vamera and the A/V transmitter but it is more practical to keep the connectors there. The brushless motor is able tolift the extra weigh no problem but llight times are shortish, roughly about 3 minutes. The next test will be replacing CP blades with a pair of FP blades.

Here is another live video test. This is not a true FPV flight but I have already done a couple of true FPV flights as well. Unfortunately, I hven't carreied my laptop to the flying field so I don't haven't been able to record any video for evidence.

Even hovering is difficult with the video goggles on but I am gradually progressing. At the moment I am able to hover and fly circles around my parking garage but 62 degrees FOV makes it challencing because one will see the obstacles just before the heli hits them. It will take some time before I dare to make a fly FPV flight in my living room.

Mini CP live video test II (2 min 17 sec)
Apr 01, 2012, 01:36 AM
Power-line attraction pilot
Apr 01, 2012, 09:30 PM
Registered User
superevan's Avatar
That's trippy! Looks like you're filming a scary movie
Apr 11, 2012, 03:31 AM
Blade 180 FPV & Mini-Protos
Picofly's Avatar
Uh, problems again!

These FPV toys seem to be hit and miss! The first 1g video camera & 200 mW transmitter module I ordered trom FPVHobby didn't work at all. The seller never bothered to answer my enquiries so I had to buy new video cam & a/v Tx from Range Video to get my heli into air.

And now - after a couple of hours of use the left eye display of my Fatshark video goggles started to blink on and off until the bakclight shut down for good . The unit smells like burned electronics, too.

This FPV-project is cancelled until I will get this issue sorted out . I have returned my goggles to Dronesvision and hope to get a replacement.
Last edited by Picofly; Apr 11, 2012 at 09:07 AM.
Apr 11, 2012, 05:57 PM
Live FPV or Die
VRflyer's Avatar
Very goo djob. Sorry for all the problems you gets. I'm surprise about the problem with your fatshark goggle, I never heard that before. but for your problem with FPVhobby, welcome in the club of frustrated custumer by him. This store should be bannish from our forum, too many peoples have problem with him.
Please do not tell that you have order there and did not have any problem, go buy a lotery ticket, you are a winner
Apr 17, 2012, 03:27 PM
Blade 180 FPV & Mini-Protos
Picofly's Avatar
Today was a good day!!! DronesVision repaired and returned my video goggles and the whole operation took only two weeks from the day I sent the goggles back to Taiwan. Excellent customer service .

Today I received a wide angle lens for my video camera also. FOV is much wider than before and I am pretty sure that it will make FPV flying easier than before. Threads of the new lens are a little bit loose and the lens didn't stay focused because of vibration of the heli made the lens turn in the threads. So, I had to fix it with a drop of elastic glue.

Here is a brief test video with the new lens (live video but not FPV). Picture quality is not perfect because the lens still shakes a little bit. I am sure that it will be in the future as the lens sits firmly at its place. Now - as my goggels are in order again- I will continue with true FPV excercises...

Walkera Mini CP - live video test with a wide angle lens (1 min 25 sec)
Last edited by Picofly; Apr 17, 2012 at 03:58 PM.
May 19, 2012, 09:21 AM
Blade 180 FPV & Mini-Protos
Picofly's Avatar
Here is the first true FPV video I have recorded with my sub-micro setup.

Sorry about the image quality. I have recorded the video in a dark undergrounds parking garage. There is a lots of noise in the signal. Usually I get much better quality.

Walkera Mini CP - indoors FPV (3 min 56 sec)
Jun 08, 2012, 12:01 AM
Blade 180 FPV & Mini-Protos
Picofly's Avatar
FInally, I had chance to fly my heli oudoors.

I am flying with 350 mAh batteries in this video. They are a little bit heavier than 240 mAh batteries but provide roughly 5 mins. of safe flying time. I tested range of my system in this video. It seems to be 50-60 meters.

Walkera Mini CP - FPV flight with a 350 mAh battery (4 min 36 sec)
Aug 01, 2012, 01:24 AM
Blade 180 FPV & Mini-Protos
Picofly's Avatar
I bought a new higher gain antenna for the A/V receiver from TrueRC Cananda. It is a funny looking piece of engineering (see the pic). The new antenna has expanded range of the video signal for few meters but IMHO, in this kind of low-range sub-micro scale the difference isn't worth of the investment (75 USD). Besides,it is too easy to fly the heli out of Walkeras Devo 7 radio's operation range now.

EDIT: I have changed my mind. Horizon antenna was worth of investment. I was using too high frequency. See the following post...

Thanks to heavier cloverleaf antenna, AUW of my setup is 54,3g with a 240 mAh battery now.

I did my first FPV rolls and loops yesterday. They went reasonably well .

My first FPV rolls and loops (1 min 56 sec)

Sub-micro FPV flight at my friend's summer cottage. (3 min 4 sec)
Last edited by Picofly; Aug 26, 2012 at 06:09 AM.
Aug 26, 2012, 03:09 AM
Blade 180 FPV & Mini-Protos
Picofly's Avatar
Well, I realized that 5945 Mhz wasn't perfect frequency for my antennas. Range of my setup expanded quite a lot when I decided to test 5685 Mhz instead.

I am still trying to find the best matching frequency for my antenna combo. This time I was trying 5645Mhz. There was more noise in the image than before so I think I will go back to 5685 Ghz.

Anyway, I managed to reach 265 meters in this video. I think is is quite acceptable for a 10mW transmitter & omni-directional antennas. Once I tried to fly further but the video signal become extremely noisy at 300 m and I was lucky to find my way back.

Sorry about the blurry image. I didn't remember to wipe the lens. It was full of fingerprints .

Walkera Mini CP - FPV Range Test at Talosaarentie (3 min 46 sec)

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