I really enjoyed taking a stock Axial Wraith and using FPV gear I had on hand to make it an FPV rig. It exceeded my expectations as a fun FPV rig that I could use to bash around the track or my back yard. You can read about stage one of this project here.
|The RC Truck FPV Project Phase 2 - RCGroups (12 min 37 sec)|
I went with the Axial Wraith because this is a truck that everyone loves and there are a lot of aftermarket parts for it. In particular there are FPV parts available for it. Axial sent me the RTR Wraith. The only thing I needed was batteries for the truck. It is truly a plug-and-play vehicle that hasn't given me a moments issue. I have taken it on rock courses, jumped it and bashed around creek beds. It did it all without a hick-up and allowed me to enjoy this FPV adventure.
I wanted to upgrade the camera in the truck and the natural choice was the GoPro 3. I had to order a USB out cable for the GoPro to transmit to my RC Logger 5.8 transmitter. RC Logger sells this cable and it works great. The GoPro has it's own battery built in and I will use that for now.
Our friends at ReadyMadeRC sell a killer carbon fiber mount for the GoPro. This is made specifically for the Axial Wraith. The kit allows you to utilize the rear deck behind the Wraith's seats. It provides a mount for the camera and tx.
To get more weight on the front axle for better hill climbing I wanted to move my battery to the front of the Wraith. To do this I had to at least move the speed control. Since I was there I went ahead and moved the receiver as well. All other electronics were moved to the back of the truck where the battery originally went. This was pretty straight forward. I did have to extend some wires from the lights. I also used a servo cable extension to get that to the back of the truck.
Ultimately I found that pulling power from the truck rx to run the FPV tx created interference. I also felt like the 5.8 tx and the Wraith rx needed to be farther apart (to combat interference). I left the ESC in the back and moved the truck rx in front of the driver dash using a zip tie. This allowed me to run a battery under the hood and stop the interference.
I found AdvancedMetalFab when looking for a way to raise the roof. They make the aluminum roof with the GoPro mount. This allowed me to remove the top of the roll cage that was restricting my view and really opened up the top of the truck. They didn't want to stop there. They sent me their Axial Wraith body panel kit. This replaces all the body panels on the Wraith.
Aluminum Hood - The aluminum hood is a nice addition. Instead of screwing it down I used magnets to attach it to the frame. This allows me to easily remove the hood to get access to the battery.
Belly Pan - I wondered if I needed a belly pan. After one outing it was obvious I did based on the dirt and dings under there.
Differential Protectors - The diffs also showed wear and tear from my first outing. Be careful not to strip your screws when removing them from the Wraith.
Tail Light Protectors with Tow Hook - This just looks cool and the tow hook would be nice to have if you decide to pull a trailer.
Goggles literally put you in the cab of the truck. The real trick is to not try to move your head around with the motion of the truck!. I also modded the goggles to be used with some motorcycle goggles for more comfort.
Stage II of FPV build offered a lot of fun with not a lot of work. The gear I used on my truck I also use on my quads and my plane. The Wraith never gave me any trouble and allowed me to focus on getting the FPV gear set up and running. The addition of the goggles really made the experience of FPV immersive.
I have read that starting with FPV on a ground based vehicle is a great way to start exploring first person video. If you get disoriented you can simply stop moving (not so with an airplane). It's also a ton of fun. Putting the goggles on spectators while you drive around is not only interesting for them but fun for you too. They tend to lean forward and back with the movement of the vehicle. One guy almost knocked me over!
If this is something you have thought about doing I urge you to try it. It was more fun than I ever thought it would be!
I was just using fat shark pred v2 set up with cam mounted on hood.
I have since got the skyzone goggles (waiting for replacements currently) and I will change the fpv gear.
I can use a modified stripped down Walkera TX5805 or, I'll use the walkera DV04 cam and tx5803 (newer white fpv gear) because I can do onboard fpv recording to cam.
I may do a pan and tilt set up using mobius or 808#16 as fpv cam with onboard recording.
I have other options as well to explore.
I'll also be converting twin hammers to work on my DX8 for more range - stock RTF transmitter wont go further than 200 feet.
Plus with DX8 I can add more fun to the mix with 8 channels
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