FPV For Dummies

This article was re-edited on 28/5/2014 and again on 17/8/2015 as some info were incorrect, links were missing, and added new product recommendations that I consider is better and cheaper.

Dream of being a pilot but too old to make it? Or are you afraid of heights? Perhaps that excruciating ear pain on your last plane ride turned your dream down?

Still wanna be a pilot? Well, Alhamdulillah thank God that you lived in today’s world (time travellers, the year is 2013 by the way) and thank to the available technology we have right now, you can make your dreams to be a (well, virtual) pilot come true just by controlling a Radio Controlled (RC) aircraft with your video goggles on.

Wanna know how it feels like? Here’s one of my videos…

Like it? Please subscribe to my Youtube channel for more videos 🙂

But excuse me, is this the guide of FPV for Dummies?

No, sorry.. I’m just here to show off my videos and make you guys jealous. HA HA HA.. well of course IT IS! You arrived at Neato4u’s Blog which motto is “The best is to share, not to keep!“. Not only I will show you what is needed to get you start FPV the easy way – I will also try to make everything sounds as easy as possible (it is really easy ‘to get started’, believe me).

So what are you waiting for, get in and have a read! Don’t worry you can thank me later 😉

I will try to make this as painless as possible – as easy as can be. All you have to do is follow my lead and get some cash ready 😛

What do I need for FPV?

First of all, you need either an RC plane or helicopter or a multirotor that you are comfortable and have confidence flying with. I am not going to cover what kind of planes or multirotors you need, neither does what kind of transmitter you require – this is FPV guide for Dummies not RC guide for dummies, so I believe you have some knowledge in basic RC’s before we start off. If not, google or ask around. With that said, I’ll list down here the pre-requisite for FPV.

> Your favorite and most comfortable flying RC aircraft
> A reliable RC Transmitter (2.4Ghz or UHF)
> And of course quite a bit of cash to spend
> A dedicated heart that does not cry when you crash 😉
(ok you may cry a bit, I understand) LOL.

Speaking from my little bit of experience, I started off with a quadcopter setup. A 450 sized quad. But then I got fed up with it as I can’t feel the authority when I flew (not my favourite quad that is) so I switched to a 330 sized quad with KK2 Flight Controller which turned out to be cheap and stays (currently) as my favourite FPV aircraft to date. I am planning to venture to plane FPV next, going the extra mile.. but of course, that will come later.

Neato 330 quadcopter

I’d say it’s not the best looking quad’s out there. But my ‘sifu’ told me that what’s important about FPV is what we see, not how others see us. In fact, I can’t see myself (sorry, I can’t see my own aircraft – that’s what I meant) when I’m recording – so who cares 😛

So once you have choosen your FPV aircraft, let’s move on to the best part – getting the FPV stuffs. Just don’t think much and go ahead with what I suggested – IT WILL BE A PLUG AND PLAY SYSTEM – you will not regret this (This setup may go as far or further than what you see in my FPV video earlier – don’t expect a 5 – 10km setup okaaayyyyyyy!)

I got my aircraft ready – What sort of hardware do I need for FPV?

> Get yourself a 5.8Ghz 400mw video transmitter (vtx) from Hobbyking
click HERE for the link.

400mw 5.8ghz vtx

> I’d recommend you to also get the Horyzon HD cam (here is V2, but V3 is also out. V2 is a bit lighter on the price tag).
Link is HERE from Foxtech (not recommended anymore because it is pricey and outdated!). I recommend you to get the Mobius Actioncam from the authorized seller eletoponline365 via ebay.

mobius actioncam for fpv

Please also get the mobius cables so you may connect this to your video transmitter (vtx). eletoponline365 also sells this or try and bargain see if he can ship this to you as a gift.

mobius cable

> Get the AIO goggle too, this is one of the most important thing for FPV. Also from Foxtech, link is HERE. (outdated, no more link to AIO on foxtech). You can get it from surveilzone with free shipping from HERE. (outdated again, the AIO has discontinued and replaced with BosCam GS923 which you can get it from Surveilzone HERE).

Boscam FPV Goggles

> Hold on, you will need this antenna too for it to work. Get the cloverleaf and skew planar wheel antenna set (also known as bluebeam antennas). Without these, consider throwing everything else you have bought into the trash can. This can be found @ Foxtech too and here’s the LINK. Make sure it’s RP-SMA! You can get this from surveilzone with free shipping from HERE.

cheap cloverleaf antenna> Grab the Turnigy 460mah 3S Nano tech with JST connector from Hobbyking. This will power up your VTX system. Link is HERE. (You may get a bigger one but not advisable as more weight will pull your aircraft down – this is dependant on your craft maximum payload of course).

turnigy nano tech

And that’s about all the hardware stuffs you need to get started with FPV!

I got all these now but how do I connect them?

These combinations should be plug and play. There is no need for you to solder anything or do anything else to them. Just one note, make sure antenna are properly attached to your vtx BEFORE you power it on. Else you will fry the small poor thing and blame it on yourself for being ignorant 😛

Get all your equipments above ready on your table and do the following step by step.

> Attach the RPSMA-TX antenna to your VTX
> Attach RPSMA-RX antenna to your Boscam Goggle
> Connect Mobius cam via it’s video cable to your VTX cable
> Attach VTX power cable (come included with VTX)
> Power up your VTX using Turnigy 460mah 3S via JST plug
> Turn on your Mobius camera (turn on recording if you want)
> Power up your AIO Goggle
> twist the dial on AIO to change channel until you see your camera video

And that’s it. You are now ready to FPV. Just mount all of these electronics to your aircraft and you are good to go. Make sure you bring a friend on your first flight as a spotter. Try to find a large safe open area to practice. And remember to bring that micro SD card so you can use Mobius to record your inflight videos!

Here’s more of my FPV video for your viewing pleasure

Leave a comment if you think this is helpful or if you need more help 🙂 and subscribe to my blog if you think it’s worth it!

UPDATE 28/5/2014 : There will be slight lag with realtime video transmitted via Mobius (less than a second, but lag is still there). Some people can adapt to this and fly perfectly well but some do not. For those who cannot live with lag, I highly recommend that you get yourself a CCD Cam and use it for primary pilot video feed. You can still use the mobius but as a standalone recording device. A CCD Cam does not record and solely used for live video feed. It looks like the one below :

ccdcam

You can purchase this from surveilzone as well (they offer good price tag and excellent after sales support). I personally used the Sony 750tvl (link is HERE) but you will have to DIY those video wires a bit in order to connect it to your vtx (video to video, power to power, ground to ground). Let me know if you need help with this and maybe I”ll do another post to clarify.

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5 Responses to “FPV For Dummies”

  1. seattleable Says:

    can we put Minim OSD v1.1 in between? to get the attitude display etc?

  2. nizam Says:

    i am zombie blogwalking death ..please exchange link
    http://izamsblog.blogspot.com/

  3. Quanum DIY FPV Goggle Set with Monitor (KIT) Review | Neato4u's Blog Says:

    […] for your video receiver as well (or mod so both can share) If you are starting up with FPV, read my FPV For Dummies […]

  4. Yavr Habib Says:

    As salam o alaikum
    I am from Pakistan but live and work in Saudi Arabia I have just bought QUANUM FPV Bundle set, as I am a beginner, after research this suited me.

    Could you please specify exact battery (power+brand) to be used with GOGGLE + RECEIVER and exact battery (power+brand) for TRANSMITTER + CAMERA
    Regards
    YAVR

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