Spektrum Focal DVR FPV Headset by Horizon Hobby - RCGroups Review - RC Groups

Spektrum Focal DVR FPV Headset by Horizon Hobby - RCGroups Review

We have a new goggle in the Focal line. The Focal DVR set features HDMI, a bigger aspect ratio, built-in DVR and more! Check it out

Splash

A Great FPV Headset with DVR Built-in!

The Spektrum Focal DVR FPV headset is the Fatshark goggles you love with the added benefit of a built-in DVR and much more! The HDMI input allows you to plug in the HDMI input of your choice. Another thing I really like is the selectable aspect ratio but I don't think I'll ever leave 16:9.

Focal DVR FPV Headset - RCGroups.com (14 min 56 sec)

What You Get

A DVR on Your Head

This unit has a DVR built right in. The SD card is located on the inside right between your eyes. Make sure you have it in all the way. There is a ledge that might make you think it is in but double check. Also be careful when removing the micro SD card. The spring is strong enough to send it flying!

Put your micro SD card in and then power up the unit. You will see a red light above the SD card slot that lets you know everything is ready to rock. You can hit the top mounted button to start recording (one beep) and stop recording off (two beeps). It's super easy to do in the goggles and your avi files can be dropped right into your editor.

Image Quality

The Focal DVR has 800x480 optics. The two different aspect ratios come in handy if you need to change for 5.8 or HDMI. I felt like the image I was getting allowed me to see better in the sky and when looking at green expanses. The Mini HDMI input port also allows you to input video and HD digital systems like TV programs, home computing and online gaming.

Bad Eyes?

I can't wear just any goggles. I usually need some magnification. The distance between the optic screens – also known as the Inter-Pupillary Distance – can be adjusted to match the spacing of a user’s eyes. The Focal DVR unit worked great with my eyes. With some adjustments to the IPD I was seeing things clearly.

Love the Receiver

The 5.8GHz video receiver makes you feel confident that you are on the right channel. The LED not only helps you find the strongest signal, it also tells you the exact band and frequency you are on. The scan feature is a great way to actually see the strongest signal available. You can also change channels on the fly.

Wireless Head Tracking

A built-in module allows the Focal DVR headset to communicate with any Spektrum transmitter that has Wireless Trainer Link technology (up-to-date Spektrum AirWare™ firmware required) so you can enjoy a more immersive experience without the cord.

Focal V2 Fatshark Wireless Head Tracking - How To (6 min 53 sec)

This is something I have done and I'm happy to report it works great! After a while you will be intuitively looking around as you fly (and start not to feel that you are going to fall out of your plane).

The Fan - I'm a Fan

The fan on these units is something you have to have. When you are in a pasture in the summer with high humidity you wouldn't be seeing much for long without it. Thanks FatShark!

Battery

I like this battery. It seems like a little thing but you are strapping this thing next to your head. It has a hard plastic case. There is also an LED strip built in to check your battery charge level. I ran a battery checker on my old lipos so this is a plus and one less thing to forget. I also find the battery capacity is enough to get me through a whole FPV session. The FSV1815 adds USB charging support to the standard FSV1803 Fat Shark goggle battery. You can charge the smart battery through the traditional barrel jack (no balance lead required) or via a micro USB cable. This is great for charging on the go or with a mobile USB power bank.

PDF Manual

Here is a direct link to the online manual.

Features

  • Wireless head tracking and channel selection
  • Digital Video Recording (DVR) capability
  • Sophisticated 5.8GHz video receiver with integrated LED screen
  • Built-in cooling fan prevents fogging
  • Adjusts to user’s eye spacing (IPD)
  • Optimized 800x480 optics for a crisp picture
  • Selectable 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratio viewing
  • Comfortable, foam-padded mask
  • Mini HDMI input port for increased versatility
  • 1800mAh Smart LiPo battery with integrated charger, LED meter and USB port
  • FSV1815 adds USB charging support to the standard FSV1803 Fat Shark goggle battery. Add capacity by charging the smart battery through the traditional barrel jack (no balance lead required) or via a micro USB cable. Great for charging on the go or with a mobile USB power bank.
  • Linear dipole antenna included

Specs

  • Application: FPV
  • Length: 6.66in (169.2mm)
  • Width: 3.15in (80mm)
  • Height: 1.79in (45.5mm)
  • Weight: 10.82oz (307g)
  • Voltage: 7-13V (2S-3S LiPo)

Final Thoughts

This is just about the perfect FPV headset for me. Things I love - the DVR, the aspect ratio, the LED RX (and ability to switch it out if needed), the fan, the battery, the fact it works with my eyes, the crisp video image, the HDMI in (in case I ever get an HD FPV system) and finally the battery. I had zero issues with this unit.

I wanted to make sure I had some milage on it before I did the review. I hit our local field with Jason Cole and we flew some HDMI with his Connex ProSight system. I flew my Theory Type W with them for two days. I flew my Stratosurfer through them as well. Finally I used them to ride along with a glow plane. I think you will see in the video that I was getting great signal even though it isn't a diversity unit. The only weak link in the Focal DVR is going to be your onboard camera, antenna and video transmitter. The image quality is so good I realized I needed to get better cameras!

This is now my number one goggle and what I take with me if I'm headed to the field. I love them.

Thoughts from Jason Cole:

I got a chance to try the Focal DVR's out with my Connex ProSight system with the new HX camera on a MiniDrak at the field. They worked great with the Connex system. While the goggle don't have an HD display, the image was still miles ahead of the standard 5.8 analog video feed. It is such a pleasure to fly FPV with the Connex system as you can see things in much better detail, it just makes the whole experience that much more fun. I would definitely recommend getting the Focal DVR's as the HDMI input will make them last much longer as HD FPV becomes more affordable and prominent.

Learn More

Head over to the Horizon site to lean more about this awesome headset.

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Nov 09, 2017, 07:40 PM
retired but learning newtricks
alaFlash's Avatar
So in your how-to video for the head tracker, I notice you have two antennas for dual diversity but the stock package does not have but one antenna. Is it correct to assume you have to buy an aftermarket dual diversity receiver like the FS Dominators and such?

Edit: I researched a bit more and find a two antenna system from Fatshark which is not true diversity, meaning it is just one receiver but with two antennas. I'm sure there are other manufacturers who do make dual diversity modules. Thanks
Last edited by alaFlash; Nov 09, 2017 at 07:50 PM.
Nov 09, 2017, 07:52 PM
retired but learning newtricks
alaFlash's Avatar
What other goggles use the Spektrum wireless trainer feature for head tracking?
Nov 09, 2017, 09:58 PM
Registered User
just another rebranded fatshark?
Nov 09, 2017, 10:07 PM
It's good to be geek!
MrSatoV's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by etegration
just another rebranded fatshark?
Yep, seems that way. I think instead of pretending it isn't, making us think they think we're all idiots, they should have focused this on the differences - if any other than being orange and gray.

Otherwise they seem just like mine. I'm not sure about the specified voltage input range - I'll have to check for my fatsharks. One thing I HOPE they did for this is change out the fatshark DVR - after all, they're calling "goggles" DVR... and the fatshark one SUCKS. The way they word it, it's like they're saying the Fatsharks don't even have a DVR.

I laughed outloud when I read how they're a fan of the fan. Is it different? Looks the same to me. The vRX? what's so special compared to current 3rd party offerings like La Forge or True-D? Looks cheesy by comparison, if you ask me.

This is so obviously a paid review - I mean infomercial.

UPDATE: Yeah, voltage input is same. Someone please tell me, other than cosmetics and price, what is different than the "original". http://www.fatshark.com/product/domi...adset-goggles/
Last edited by MrSatoV; Nov 09, 2017 at 10:14 PM.
Nov 10, 2017, 02:15 AM
Registered User
no difference Mate, Just grey in colour far as I can see. a gutless rebrand.
Nov 10, 2017, 05:30 AM
Registered User
Maybe you guys should just download the manuals for these (linked in the first post for these ones) and check out the specs before you say it's the 'same as xxx'.

As far as I can tell it is pretty well an upgraded FS Dom V3. The main upgrades to the Dom V3's include;

-FS oled vrx modlule (not diversity but works very well imho). I am currently using this vrx in both my HD3's and Dom V2's and, with the right antenna selection, it works as well as my True-D 3.6 diversity module.

- Headtracker is included. It is wireless using current Spectrum Tx's that have the wireless trainer feature. You can still use a wired cable connection for others.

- There are now 2x aspect ratios for analog. You can select between 16:9 and 4:3. Handy if you have both types of cameras. HDMI is 16:9 of course.

The dvr is the same used in all current FS goggles. I think that the current FS dvr's work very well. I have even upgraded my good old Dom V2 dvr to include this and I am very happy with the results.

Overall, I think that these look like very nice goggles and are a pretty big improvement to the original V2 Focals.

My only concern is that the warranty period is only 1 year. Most FS goggles have a 2 year warranty. Also, it seems that any repairs must be done through HH, not through a Fatshark repair centre. This may not be a big deal for US customers but I'm not so sure how well this is going to work for international customers.
Nov 10, 2017, 11:09 AM
Admin Deluxe
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
MrSatoV - My goal is provide my perspective of whatever product I'm reviewing. While we haven't met in person I'm not one to blow smoke. I am one to brag on something that I find useful. I have had a slew of FPV goggles over the years. This one is my current favorite. It does a lot of things well for me. Your mileage may vary depending on what you are looking for.

When I'm at RC events like Joe Nall or SEFF I get questions on goggles. These are sometimes from RC pilots new to FPV and when I write a review I keep them in mind. I have had goggles in the past with no fan so having one on the Fatshark unit is a big plus. I have had more time with the DVR and it works great for my needs. I'm sorry the review fell short for you but hopefully it will be useful to others.
Nov 10, 2017, 11:24 PM
Registered User
These look to be pretty nicely featured FPV googles.
I wish they would sell them without the receiver for a lower cost.

I prefer to use this receiver...
https://www.banggood.com/Realacc-RX5...r_warehouse=CN
Nov 15, 2017, 09:54 AM
DWA
DWA
1Corinthians 13:1-8
DWA's Avatar
Great review. I think I will get a set. I like the wireless head tracking with Spektrum.


Dave
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