Please critique my FPV setup! Pics included. - RC Groups
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Apr 05, 2012, 09:36 PM
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Please critique my FPV setup! Pics included.

I'm totally hooked on FPV now. I'm always thinking about it and when I'm driving around, I'm always looking for cool places to fly. I'm also looking for my next logical upgrade.

Currently, my FPV rig is a Witespy VC-450 quad copter with a DJI Naza controller. I am flying it with a 2.4GHz Futaba 7C transmitter with Futaba 8 channel receiver. My FPV setup is a 1.3GHz setup that I bought from RMRC. The VTx is 1500mw! My setup came with a 8DBi patch antenna but I don't use it. I have upgraded my VTx and Rx antennas to the iBcrazy Bluebeam antennas. Even before I bought those antennas, my video system was more than capable of out flying my Futaba 7C. I added a low pass filter to my VTx antenna. I am powering my quad with a 3S 5000mah 40C battery. It's heavy, but allows me to have 15 minute flight times. I'm not doing any aerobatics with my copter while flying FPV. I also have a 3S 1100mah 35C battery for my VTx. My video Rx is attached to the back of my patch antenna with double sided tape. The patch is attached to a camera tripod using the mounts on the back. I don't have the patch plugged into anything at the moment. It's just a convenient mounting device at the moment. I am using another 3S 1100mah 35C battery to power my video Rx and my Fat Shark Dominator goggles.

I'm just looking for some critiques and advice on my setup and what my next logical upgrade should be. Eventually, I want to add an FPV plane to my hangar. But I'm focused on my quad right now. I'm thinking that I need to upgrade my transmitter to a UHF system. I've been looking at the ImmersionRC EzUHF system. Is that one any good? I'd like to be able to fly my quad copter around my block from my back yard. How good is the penetration on a UHF system? I have trees and stuff in my back yard and there's houses around here with lots of Wi-Fi. As is, my VTx could keep up with flying around the block. My transmitter wouldn't be able to handle it though.

Here's some pics.

This is my quadcopter view from the front. I added a tabbed plate to the bottom. My GoPro is attached to the tab currently with 3M double sided tape. I can still get to the camera card without removing the GoPro. I'm going to make a better system where I can remove the GoPro easier. My VTx camera is on the same tab mounted below the GoPro with double sided tape as well. Also, if you notice on the lower part of the front arms, you'll see some RC car antenna tubing that is zip tied onto the legs. This is where my Futaba receiver antennas are at. There are also LED strip lights on each side of each leg.

This is the back of the quad with the battery plugged in. It plugs in over the top of the VTx. I don't know if this would cause any kind of issues. The VTx is held on with velcro. I have a 90 degree SMA adapter coming out of the back of the VTx. On top of that is my low pass filter and then my Bluebeam VTx antenna.

Here's a shot of the bottom. The big battery obviously powers the quad. It has velcro to stick it to the quad and a velcro strap as well. The VTx battery is mounted right behind the camera and is held on with velcro. As this thing isn't pulling any serious Gs, the velcro is more than enough to hold that battery on. You can also see my Futaba antenna wire routing as well.

Here's a view in through the right side. The Futaba receiver is mounted with double sided tape. It's a pretty tight fit. But the way I have it set up right now, I can easily remove all of my FPV gear by simply removing the bottom plate. I just have to move my battery strap.

How does it look to you experts? Should I move anything to avoid interference? Is an EzUHF system a good choice for my next upgrade? I also have a new quad on the way. It's the Hoverthings FPV frame. I'm going to run it on a 4S setup and keep my current quad for flying LOS. But unless I am doing something seriously wrong, I'm going to set it up much the same way. Thanks for any advice!
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Apr 05, 2012, 10:02 PM
Registered User
#1 Do a range test
#2 Don't invest in too much fancy stuff. It is going to crash eventually. Make sure that crash doesn't bust your wallet
#3 Fly it! It looks like that quad has never lifted off the ground

EDIT: You also might want to pick different props. The APC's are famous for cutting through skin
Apr 05, 2012, 10:18 PM
Registered User
Yeah, the APC E-props aren't my first choice for my quad. I have about 100 flights on this quad. I've had good luck with it and take good care of it. I've crashed down a couple of times but there's plenty of soft snow to land in! The snow will be gone in a couple of weeks though. I ordered some GWS three blade props and a whole bunch of GemFan carbon props. I needed some props to get me in the air and these APCs were all I could find in town. The hobby shops here don't carry anything I need for FPV of a quad copter. I have to order everything. The APC props actually fly a lot better than the Gaui props I had on it. They're tougher too. I've been to the ER a few times over the past 18 years of RC flying due to props.

Here's a video to prove that I DO fly it!
Quadcopter Winter Wonderland (5 min 35 sec)
Apr 06, 2012, 07:25 AM
Registered User
sia100's Avatar
Very nice looking quad! Nice vid. About to build my first 330. Looking forward to it.

Apr 06, 2012, 09:05 AM
Formerly bUd~Fokker
vvV FANG Vvv's Avatar
It looks ugly.
That enough critique for you?
Apr 06, 2012, 10:03 AM
Just dog tired.
Wearyman's Avatar
Looks like a good setup you have there. The only thing I might change is that I would secure the Gopro a bit more with a Zip-tie or two, just to be sure it doesn't get vibrated off it's spot and plummet to the ground.

Other than that, very nice! It should work well for you.
Apr 06, 2012, 10:05 AM
Registered User
malcr001's Avatar
Your vtx output power is overkill seriously 1.5w for a quad?! It should be 500mw max 150-300mw is suitable.
The idea is that your rc tx power should have a little more range than your video so when your video goes out of range you can still control the quad! Also as your quad can only fly for 15minutes your really are never going to go anywhere near the range created from your vtx.

Although 3M double sided tape is super strong I have actually had them come off once so I would strap velcro around the cam or something just in case.
Get a gopro lens protector to protect the lens or do your own mod as at the moment your lens is at risk of getting scratched.
As others have mentioned I'm not sure about your selection of props.
If your flying at night or plan to be then OK the led's are fine if your never going to be doing that then take them off as its just bling weighing down your quad, even if is just a phew grams.
Last edited by malcr001; Apr 06, 2012 at 10:25 AM.
Apr 06, 2012, 10:20 AM
Do a Barrel Roll!
rcbif's Avatar
Originally Posted by malcr001
Get a gopro lens protector to protect the lens or do your own mod as at the moment your lens is at risk of getting scratched.
x2. Use protection
Apr 06, 2012, 12:03 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the suggestions! I fly my quad at night sometimes, line of sight. I like the lights. I agree on the VTx. That's what came with my setup though and I didn't know any better at the time when I bought it. I want to buy a 300mw VTx and save my 1500mw one for an FPV plane which I'll eventually build. I'll get a lens protector too. My GoPro has been through a lot. I fly full scale with it, snowboard and all sorts of RC stuff. I've hit it hard lots of times snowboarding. Last year, I had it on a nitro powered GP Dazzler. I hit a tree with it at 80 mph. These things are tough! Here's the video from that incident.

Dazzler's Last Flight (1 min 53 sec)

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