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Jul 07, 2019, 07:11 PM
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Micro FPV Camera Upgrade


I have a lightweight micro FPV quadcopter. The frame is designed to carry a 19mm x 19mm FPV camera. I decided to replace the camera with the Caddx Ratel. The camera Iím replacing is a Foxeer Micro Arrow Pro. It is a good camera but Iím wanting to fly at night too. The Ratel is a few grams heavier but fit into the same space and mounted using the same screws. The 12m lens barrel and 2.1mm glass lens are the largest Iíve seen fit onto a micro camera so far. The horizontal FOV appears to be approximately 135 degrees. The 1200 TVL CMOS sensor has starlight sensitivity. On a clear night illuminated only by stars, the light level is about 0.0001 lux. The camera can capture images in that very low-light but low-light conditions result in image noise. Digital Noise Reduction (DNR) circuitry is an electronic filter that reduces noise. 3D NR improves on DNR by eliminating motion blur and graininess. Also, Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) adjusts the light intensity of different portions of the image which then shows objects that would ordinarily be muddied or obscured. Camera settings are displayed on screen and are changed with the OSD menu board which operates like a joystick. The menu board is temporarily attach by wire when needed. Installing a RunCam (UART) control adapter to change the settings through the BetaFlight OSD menu should work. The adapter is only 10mm x 14mm but there is no room for it. The frame is already chock full. So, the adapter will remain untested here. The OSD connector doesn't share a ground pin like on the Foxeer camera. That meant fiddling around with the wiring connectors. A 2 pin OSD connector is separate from the 3 pin power and video out connector. In this case, the camera is getting 5V from the FCB which is filtered with a capacitor.†Incidentally, a hard cover camera back is screwed on. There are optional neutral density filters which darken the image without changing the hues. An ND8 filter is used for bright cloud conditions and the even darker ND16 filter for bright sun. In the Video settings menu, The aspect ratio and video standard are switchable to match the goggles (or monitor). Overall, Iím very pleased with this camera. It has made an awesome FPV quadcopter even better.
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