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Traxxas TRX4 Sport FPV Trucks - 3 Cameras!

Now this is pretty sweet! RCGroups user Maxxborg outfitted three Traxxas TRX4 trucks with FPV cams to cover multiple angles making it the ultimate FPV set up.

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RCGroups User Maxxborg Tricks out his Trucks with FPV

Now this is pretty sweet! RCGroups user Maxxborg outfitted three Traxxas TRX4 trucks with FPV cams to cover multiple angles making it the ultimate FPV set up. Here's his build, writeup and photos below. Great job Maxxborg!

From Maxxborg:

Iím a big FPV Fan when it comes to planes. When I saw the Traxxas TRX4 Sport come out I thought, what a perfect platform for a FPV RC Car. I put a FPV Camera on a Traxxas X-maxx and that was fun but very scary. Too fast! I feel like crawlers are the perfect platform.Because they are more scale when it comes to speed. First time I thought a nice small micro VTX and 1 cell battery would be perfect. So I bought 2 sets. One for my truck and one for my sons truck. Here is the design.

So we put these on the roof of the TRX4 Sports with Velcro and tested them out. It was a blast. I really liked the view from the camera being on top of the truck because we had a great view of the front hood, which made us feel like we were actually in the trucks. We had limited range but they were a ton of fun and very immersive.Battery life of the cameraís was not real long, especially if compared to the battery life of these trucks (which is like an hour). We started being a little more aggressive with our trucks and we were rolling over quite a bit. Not long after that one of the antennaís snapped off.

I knew I wanted to take this a step further. There were a couple problems I saw.

  • Visibilty : I always knew I wanted to put the camera on a servo to let me look left and right.
  • Backing up : backing up blind is was hard and I wanted the ability to look behind me to see if my son was on my tail.
  • Battery life. I needed it to be directly tied into the battery system of the truck.
  • Range : I knew a real full sized Video transmitter would be a huge help.
  • Radio range : Stock traxxas transmitter did not have hardly any range. (most of the time you are standing right next to the truck, but I wanted to be able to sit in a chair and explore.
So I decided to start designing again.

I found the smallest runcam camera available the runcam nano, then I Bought a nice 200mw VTX and made a custom mount for it. The mount can be screwed down. Also made it so a small fan will fit in the mount, need to keep the vtx cool.

I am a big 3d printing nerd and I love designing custom 3d printed parts. So I designed a cool camera mount that would sit on top of a roof mounted servo. I had to reprogram the servoís to be able to turn 180 degrees. That way I could look all the way right then all the way left. Here is my design:

I wanted to install a back up cam. Something that I could use to see if my buddies were following me and get me out of a pickle. Here is my design :

I now needed a video switcher to switch cameraís from the front to the rear. This is the one I found. A 3 channel video switcher that can be switched remotely by plugging it into an aux port on the receiver. I didnít want anything taped to the body so I designed a 3d printed mount for this. The mount fits the switch perfectly and it can be screwed on from the back.

Radio Range and available channels was a problem. I needed to have more channels to control my video switcher and my panning servo. I decided to buy a Spektrum DX5c This radio is easy to program (shares programming style from the airplane radios that I am very familiar with.

The first time I went to plug everything in I was very frustrated, because there was a lot going on, and I donít like the complexity of putting the body on and trying to plug everything in. In giant scale r/c airplanes it can be a pain plugging in all the servos when you put on your wings. So I decided to buy a triple servo harness.These make it real easy, you plug one plug to connect 3 servoís. Now I have one plug for all my connections to the body. I love it !!!

After trying some rock crawling I soon realized it was not easy to go up a steep rock because my camera pointed straight up to the sky. I couldnít see a thing. Made it nearly impossible to climb. I decided I needed a 3rd camera, I needed to see when I was climbing and see what I was about to run over (rocks ectÖ) I designed a pretty sweet bumper cam mount. Using the same nano runcam. The mount fits where the wench was and takes very little modifying to fit. You screw it in using exhisting holes. This was a game changer.We are now able to see when climbing steep hills and rocks. So so much fun.

Ultimately this is the funnest with a buddy, that is why I built 2 of these trucks, one for my son and one for me. So far I am yet to break anything. The top mounted camera mount is super robust, and If the mount does break it is easy to just print a replacement.

Let me know what you guys think. I am in the process of adding lights to the truck that will be able to be switched on and of with the transmitter. should make for some fun realistic night crawling.

Here is a part list of all I put in these trucks. You will also need various servo extensions and wire. Kind of went overboard. But I donít know how not to.

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Jan 08, 2019, 10:57 AM
Registered User
parajared's Avatar
What a neat build, a very clean install and a cool crawling location.

I like how your 3D printed camera holder works. It seems like you can accidentally flip a truck and not smash a camera.

I've been doing arc-welded U-bolts for camera protection, but steel is a lot heavier than PLA and ABS.

Jan 09, 2019, 01:07 AM
Registered User
Very cool. I love fpv driving with others. So much fun! Just installed light on 2 of the trucks. Check it out.
Jan 09, 2019, 04:33 PM
Registered User
parajared's Avatar
Now you just need a little FPV robot that can jump out, attach the winch to a mini-tree or be a spotter so you don't get hooked up on those difficult obstacles.

Jan 10, 2019, 09:51 AM
USA: LakeGeorge, New York
FPV crawling is the most fun
there is...its soo technical
Jan 10, 2019, 04:42 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by rclab1
FPV crawling is the most fun
there is...its soo technical
I agree. Trail riding is a blast as well, Especially when you are following other trucks. Our favorite is to follow the rabbit trails. Feels like you are in the forest.
Jan 10, 2019, 05:51 PM
USA: LakeGeorge, New York
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxxborg
I agree. Trail riding is a blast as well, Especially when you are following other trucks. Our favorite is to follow the rabbit trails. Feels like you are in the forest.

Agreed!!!!
FPV is much more fun going slow then fast.
Atleast for groundFPV anyway....
trails are awesome especially when your vehicle is 1/4mile away
Jan 11, 2019, 10:42 AM
Registered User
parajared's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rclab1
Agreed!!!!
FPV is much more fun going slow then fast.
Atleast for groundFPV anyway....
trails are awesome especially when your vehicle is 1/4mile away
I'm quite thankful my rig is set up with both a high and a low gear.

Examples of when ground FPV would kinda suck if all you had was a low gear.
https://youtu.be/CQ2uYRj4BWo?t=104
https://youtu.be/m5czyuT9GtE?t=28

Example of when ground FPV would kinda suck if all you had was a high gear, especially if no locking diffs or 4wd
https://youtu.be/b9sXtGEwe1w?t=1459
https://youtu.be/1S-JBlj50II?t=138

Going fast has more "headache factor" to it. Conditions have to be perfect in order for any kind of range to work. You almost need something bowl shaped like a lake, a nice smooth valley or dead perfectly flat ground like a beach in order to attain any kind of distance. I personally find very few locations in Arizona where you can just drive without the vehicle dipping below a hill or something and wanting to lose signal link.

I've made a few attempts to go further than 3000 feet but failed every attempt. If I had to choose between crawler-only and fast-only I would choose crawler.
Last edited by parajared; Jan 11, 2019 at 11:09 AM.


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