My video-piloting projects - RC Groups
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Jan 06, 2007, 09:59 PM
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My video-piloting projects

I opened this thread because I want to keep my planes projects together. It will be easier for me

In the last 6 years, I made many planes, and all of them were made for video-pilotage. You can find info on my debut here:
I do not touch my web page since 4 years... so check photos and read it only, no info are still good.

I also have a CAP232 with glow engine, Corsair F4U, Fokker Eindecker E3, and old glow helicopter, none have ever fly for different reason, but they will fly with camera onboard one day...

You can find some of the different mods I made to my Easystar here:
Last edited by VRflyer; Jan 20, 2008 at 12:27 AM.
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Jan 06, 2007, 10:02 PM
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CAP232 25e from Hyperion

I fly since six years using only goggles, now it's time for something more aerobatic to fly.

Hyperion Cap232 25e
Motor: Hyperion Z3019-12
Controller: Hyperion TITAN 50A
Battery: Hyperion 3S 2500mAh Lifestorm 20C
Radio: FutabaT9C
Receiver: Futaba PCM R149DP or Berg 7P

“Ready to fly kit” 500mW from Range video
Headset: I-Glasses (very old model) or Future Hobbies FH520
Last edited by VRflyer; Jan 09, 2007 at 12:04 PM.
Jan 06, 2007, 10:03 PM
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CAP232 25e from Hyperion

An aerobatic plane is evidently harder to fly than my Easystar. I will lose near 50% of the front and side view while piloting, so this planes is not for debutant. I check in magazine since many years for good aerobatic planes for video piloting. Before Hyperion introduce their line of product, I never found one that meet my goal, it’s very hard to choose from picture without seeing the real planes.

First, the canopy must be crystal clear, and the one I got in my hands is very close to that. Inside my goggles I can’t notice any imperfection. For me canopy is important, I want to see some reflections, it’s more realistic. Also the Cap232 canopy has a bubble in his shape, so the camera can be install higher compare to others models. Also the wing is lower, so from the cockpit cam, I will better see the ground. The colour of the planes in front of the camera when it looks forward is dark, etc.

The power set that can be buy with the planes is already much more powerful than necessary because this plane is designed for 3D flight, so with the extra power, I can add some weight without worry, I have not intention to fly 3D, hum not at first… but with the extra power, I will do any aerobatic I want. I will try the OSD Vision to read altitude in real time, but I will wait a little bit before adding it.
Last edited by VRflyer; Jan 06, 2007 at 11:32 PM.
Jan 06, 2007, 10:04 PM
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Edited January 7
The planes is ready. I got some problems with interference between the video system and the radio receiver. Finally the problem was cause by my own linear regulator, I received the UBEC from ASSAN, it' a 5V or 6V regulator with 3A of current available. I plug the radio receiver and also the cam/tx on the BEC and discovered that my interference was gone. So forget what I've said few weeks ago about using two batteries onboard my planes, I've came back to my first tought, one battery onboard the planes is safer because it's easier to monitor the voltage, and also weight less. (only fool people never change mind...)
I modified a 10 led voltmeter bar graph to be able to use it with my 3S lipo. The display is install under the dashbord. Also I installed the Zlog display on the dashboard. My first idea was to use an On Screen Display, but I don't found anything on the market that is light enough, only Black box osd is close, but I prefer wait for something else. The Vision OSD don't work, not readable under sunlight, this osd can be use only when the sun is gone...
I install also two arms and two legs in the cockpit. One arm on the joystick and the other on the throttle. I think about doing this cockpit since three years... it was not possible to pilot plane from the cockpit view before Kilrah invented the head gyroscope. This cockpit really represent my goal in this hobby, flying an aerobatic planes and feel like if I sit in the planes.
The size of the planes is perfect for video-piloting, I really like this planes. The powerfull motor will lift the plane easily, I kept the weight low and the planes is very light for it size. The cockpit view is perfect, I will see easily the ground due to the higher position of the cam compare to others models.
Last edited by VRflyer; May 18, 2008 at 09:32 PM.
Jan 06, 2007, 10:07 PM
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Hyperion CAP232 25e

It finally ready!
I made awesome flights two days ago. The plane fly very well finally. I added more weight in the nose, but finally I removed it. I added more right trust, and with the flap for landing, it land well.
The main reason why I wait so long it was because I lost radio control pretty close with it. I got the same problem with my Easystar but finally I resolved the problem on my easystar, and now I'm on the way to resolve it on my CAP too. The problem come finally from my Berg7p receiver, I trusted it so much, I never suspected the prolem came from the receiver. But no doubt now, I will replace it with a PCM Futaba receiver and also replace all the HS-81MG servo. I got incompatibilty with this model of servo and my PCM receiver from Futaba, the servo buzz at power on and draw a lot of current. If it happens in flight, it could overload the BEC.

My BEC in the Hyperion 50A ESC is not design for 6 servos, but I made a test on ground, I moved all the 6 servo continuously for 15 min, the BEC came hot, but nothing abnormal, it does not shut down as expected. I had a metal plate to help it to cold down, and with the airflow, it do not even come hot. So i have no doubt now, it do not need an external BEC, I can use the linear regulator from my BEC, it's better than add a switching voltage regulator.

I used also two voltage regulator in series like in the Aeropix tranmitter. the 12V input is feed to the first 8V regulator, and the output of this regulator go in a 5V regulator. With a big capacitor for filtration, it work vey well. Simpler is better.

I removed the ZLOG altimeter and the battery voltage indicator because they was very hard to read. I need something easy to read all the time, so I installed an OSD (on-screen display). I want something simple, accurate and work all the time. Gentle limited, a cie from UK made what I need, the AltiOSD. I was not sure at first, beleiving the data will be wash out under sunlight like all osd on the market, but by adding dark monocote on the ailerons, it work well.

My dream plane (4 min 9 sec)

My dream plane 2 (3 min 24 sec)

password: vrflyer
Last edited by VRflyer; Oct 19, 2008 at 08:49 AM.
Jan 06, 2007, 10:08 PM
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EDF jet with cam and VR headset

I started my new project few months ago (Nov.2006), it's a Babycat 32" with electric duct fan (EDF)

Flight data recorder (FDR) will record precious data: altitude, airspeed, motor & battery temp, battery voltage, RPM etc.
To save weight for the video equipment, I will not use landing gears, the planes will be catapult, also no servos will be use for rudders, they will stay fix.

Planes: BabyCat
Motor: Fagaeo brushless (I don't remember model)
ESC: Hyperion Titan 50A with BEC (I use this BEC to drive my four servos)
Battery: one 3S 2500mAh Hyperion Lifestorm
Radio receiver: Berg 7P
Aileron & elevator servos: Hitec HS-65HB
Altimeter: Zlog
Flight Data Recorder(FDR):
Video camera: KX-131
Video Transmitter and receiver: 500mW transmitter kit + receiver from:
Last edited by VRflyer; Mar 09, 2007 at 07:51 PM.
Jan 06, 2007, 10:13 PM
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EDF jet with cam and VR headset

Where to start, I begin by opening the box, you can see all the parts I received, note the name on the box, this planes have three different names on the market ???
My plane was received with one tab unglue and one broken, all parts was in bag, but the bags was loose if I remember well. It was easy to repair.
I follow the manual instruction for assembly, this planes hold together with screws, I preferred gluing parts and I removed screws at final assy. (no photo)
The planes have no landing gear, it will land on grass. I installed three half moons to raise the planes from the ground, and add a thin plastic sheet under the nose. I use carbonite gear servo for aileron (Hitec HS-65HB)
Last edited by VRflyer; Jan 06, 2007 at 11:20 PM.
Jan 06, 2007, 10:14 PM
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I cuted two windows in the nose. But the look was not very good, I glue paper sheet, so the air pressure will force the traps to open in flight.
I don't like the position of the rudder servo location in the middle of the elevator, because of the wire that we will see and it locates in the EDF thrust. I relocate it on the side, I added reinforcement pieces of balsa inside the elevator and the stabiliser
Last edited by VRflyer; Mar 09, 2007 at 06:56 PM.
Jan 06, 2007, 10:16 PM
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I finally completed the planes this week.
It was evident with the camera in the cockpit, the view will not be adequate for video-piloting, the camera was sitting too low, so it will not be possible to see the ground in the front, and just a little bit on the side. I removed 2/3 of the canopy, and fit another hand-made canopy, this one is crystal clear, I was anxious with the result, but finally the new canopy installation appear original. Now the point of view is adequate for FPV.
I modified the Zlog altimeter by removing the display from the Zlog, and installed wires and connector between them. The display is install in front of the cam outside of the canopy, it appear like a HUD display in the picture. It possible to buy display for around $10, so I buy three of them, and I put each one permanently in three differents planes, I just need to unplug the Zlog module to transfert it in another planes, display stay in place.
Just under the Zlog display, a modified 10 led voltmeter display is mount, so I will kept an eye on the battery voltage for all the flight. This voltmeter is available for 5V or 6V only. I modified it for 3S lipo use.
The cam is glue on Hitec HS-55 servo modified for 180 deg rotation. No tilt movement to save weight, but also because space is limited. The planes have no rudder, so it's possible to use the rudder stick to pan the camera, but I will use the gyroscope on my headset to pan the cam with the movement of my head.

I replaced the voltage regulator on the transmitter because at 12V, it was heating a lot, and I doubt the cooling air will be sufficient. I installed voltage regulator from Dimension engeneering
I use this model because I already have it in my stock, but this one is less expensive:
At first it was installed near the ESC and hugh glitch was present on the servos when I was walking feet feets away with the radio. Just by installing it near the video transmitter, the ground pin is weld directly on the TX ground, it solve the problem. Presently, I got no glitch at all when I do my range test.

I will use catapult for launching the planes. This is the last part of the project to make. I see on RC-Group a design simple to make using PVC and pedal to launch the planes (see photos). I will start from this design but I will replace the pedal system by a wireless trigger. I will sit on a chair to fly this planes under goggle, I do not want to install the catapult just in front of me and use my foot to release the planes, I want ot install it severals feet from me.
First I installed a servo extension plug into an auxiliary channel of the Berg 7P receiver in the planes, the other end of the servo extension exit outside at the rear end of the fuse, under the ducted fan (see photo). I will replace the pedal mecanism use to release the bungee by a standard servo motor, a rod at the end of the horn will hold the bungee hook. This servo will be locate at the base of the two rail of the catapult inside the box normally where the pedal mecanism is locate. The servo connector will be plug into the servo extension locate at the rear of the planes.
So I will sit on my chair, and will only need to toggle a switch on my radio to send a signal true the auxiliary channel of the plane to the bungee servo, the horn rod will release the bungee hook and the planes will be pull by the bungee on the rails. At that moment the bungee servo will disconnect from the extension on the planes.

This design of release mecanism is simple to made, it will be possible to install the bunge and catapult anywhere on the feild, it do not add significant weight on the planes and it low cost. I hope this idea will be use by others.
Last edited by VRflyer; Mar 18, 2007 at 08:36 PM.
Jan 06, 2007, 10:17 PM
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Flight Data Recorder (FDR) or black box record all the flight parameters: Altitude, airspeed, motor RPM, motor temperature, ESC temp, battery temp, battery voltage, number of glitch, servos position. I also try to install sensor to record battery current and G force, but my sensor are not compatible, I don't want to spend money by ordering the original sensor. I can read current on the bench at home, and the original G force sensor from Eagle Tree is very cool, but too expensive for my budget.
The FDR is available here:
P.s. only two temp. sensor can be plug at the same time, so I must choose which one I plug.

After the flight I plug cable on the side of the fuse to download all the flight parameters to my computer, I will know the exact altitude, airspeed rpm,etc. If I record lso a video of the flight,it will be possible to watch the video on my tv at home and using picture in picture fonction of my tv, watching the virtual dashboard in the corner of my TV, I will try it, I will use my camcorder to record the picture of my TV to show you.
To download flight data, I made my own hookup external kit, it's the yellow plate on the side of the planes. All the temp. and RPM sensor are hand made, so it was possible for me to use very thin wires and cut the lenght to fit the planes.

I will buy something to weight the planes and I want also to know how much trust I get from the EDF. If I hold the planes vertical and apply full trust, the EDF is not enough powerfull to lift the planes, but it's not far, so I have no doubt, the EDF is powerfull enough for horizontal flight, the planes don't look to be underpower.

I still have to build the catapult, I will wait untill the grass is dry because the planes land without wheel. So I look forward to make the first flight in April or May.
Last edited by VRflyer; Mar 09, 2007 at 07:05 PM.
Jan 06, 2007, 10:18 PM
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Remotly control bungee launcher


Finally the last step of my project, the lauching system. I think about it since severals months, I rapidly found the popular pedal bungee launcer introduce by Shlutter60 on RC-Groups.
This way of lauching my planes is the best, but I don't like using a pedal for launching. I want to sit with the headset on my head of course. With the tripod side to me, it will not be possible most of the time to sit near the ramp. So I began to think about a wireless solution, and after several weeks I found a simple solution to make a remotly control bungee launcher.

If you never see a bungee launcher, you need to know the bungee is made of 20 feet of chirurgical tubing hang by a tent nail on one side. On the ramp side, the bungee is attach to a small metalic ring, this ring is hold by a pin, normally release by the pedal mecanism. But in my design, the ring is release by a servo that move a pin up/down. A small wire is attach from the ring to the hook under the planes. When the pin is release, the bungee will pull the small wire and launch the planes. So all the force of the bungee waiting to be release is apply to the ring and hold pin, not to the planes airframe. The servo cable is running inside the PVC tubing and exit at the back of the ramp, and then plug to the planes. A servo extension is plug in the channel 7. So I need only to toggle a switch on my radio, to send the signal to the ramp servo, at this moment, the bunge ring is release and the planes is launch. The cable disconnect from the planes at launch.

I like this design. The assembly is easy to do. It can fit in the corner of the trunk without dissassembly. It can be install anywhere on the feild, that's a major advantage.

I tested the mecanism this week with 10 pound of tension to simulate the bungee and the servo was not able to pull the release pin
I reduced the tension to one pound to finally see the servo moving
The friction of the pin on the plastic cover was too great, when a lateral pressure was apply, the pin jammed. So I tried with a much bigger pin inside a metalic pipe just the right size, I applied grease and installed them inside vice and apply lateral force. Again the pin jammed... I replaced the pipe with teflon block and drill a hole, with grease this time I was able to move the rod with 10 pound of lateral pressure, but it was at the limit of standard servo I supposed, so with dirt it will jam. I rejected this idea of pin moving up/down, it must have a better way to do it.
Finally I found the idea while holding a pencil in my hand, I will use a rod and install a pivot at one end, the 10 pound lateral force will be divide by the lenght of the arm, the servo release pin will hold the arm, the pressure to release it will be minimal. I buyed this time a stronger metallic box and used stronger parts to build everything, my goal was to test it with 20 pounds on the arm to kept a good marge of safety. see photos
Last edited by VRflyer; Mar 23, 2007 at 10:33 PM.
Jan 06, 2007, 10:19 PM
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I received my new video goggles few weeks ago and made a totaly new setup to kept advantage of lightness of the new headset, but in the same time I want to improve the quality of reception. I want to make a system very easy to use without all the wire etc.
Take a look on the RC-cam forum, I explain my idea here. I'm not sure the idea will work due to proximity of the transmiter and receiver on the tripod, but the test I do in my home convince me to go further and try it.
Last edited by VRflyer; Jan 14, 2007 at 12:39 AM.
Jan 14, 2007, 12:41 AM
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Last edited by VRflyer; Mar 07, 2007 at 09:54 PM.
Jan 18, 2007, 12:16 PM
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I was able to try the retransmission idea, I mean installing a 2.4ghz receiver on top of tripod and plug the output to the input of 2.4ghz (500mW) transmitter locate between the three legs. I wear a second receiver on me.
The planes was at 0.2km in the air, and the signal received was already very weak, lot of snow in the picture, and severals strong video dropout while returning for landing. I removed the TX between legs, and plug the goggles directly on the receiver output, video was clear with strong signal over half kilometer.
I have others idea, but I will put that project on the side, anyway it work very well by plugging the headset into the receiver, I just need not to forget I'm wire, the tripod will not follow me if I forget it

I'm not satisfy of the goggle sunshade I made, under the sun I got many reflexion on the windows. I made a sunshade that match the contour of my face, it was easier than expected, it's very light and the headset still look good
Last edited by VRflyer; Jan 18, 2007 at 12:28 PM.

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