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  1. #1
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    How to get started in FPV

    I've noticed a few RC trucks and helis with FPV. I've seen a few on the Summit. I was thinking about doing a set up on one my my trucks. I'm not a good pilot so i'll start with a ground vehcile untill i can fly better.

    I've looked a little into but i'm not familiar with creating a wireless camera feed and what i would need i've seen portable monitors and recorders ETC as well as a TX/RX set up and small cameras but i havn't found a plug n play kit so i'm not to sure on how to build my own kit. I want to record and watch from a screen. I've seen a camera that can be started by a RX channel on board and it can also transmit with a proper TX. or is it better to find a video recorder in syn with my screen on the ground.

    Is it possible to TX and RX a go pro camera?

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
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    GoPro has an app that you can turn the recording on and off and also see the screen at all times. From a phone or ipod not sure about droid or not.
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  3. #3
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    Krallopian is the man to talk to find his profile and shoot him a PM, I'm sure he can help you out greatly
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcjhl69 View Post
    GoPro has an app that you can turn the recording on and off and also see the screen at all times. From a phone or ipod not sure about droid or not.
    I want a live feed as well. Ive made an atonmous robot before with a security camera but I want to step it up to radio control


    Quote Originally Posted by JoelRobbo View Post
    Krallopian is the man to talk to find his profile and shoot him a PM, I'm sure he can help you out greatly
    Awesome thanks


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  5. #5
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    You can certainly use a GoPro camera, just get a GoPro cable to get video out from it. For ground, the lower frequencies (penetrate better) work a lot better than the higher ones. You'll need the GoPro cable, a video transmitter, a video receiver, antennas and something to view the live feed by. 910 MHz is a popular ground frequency, and 1.280 GHz next in line from what I've seen; both require HAM licenses however. Not sure about the regulations in Canada.

    I've flown FPV quite a bit, and I can also tell you that both of those frequencies will mess with a 2.4 GHz control link as well... unless the TX is filtered properly.

  6. #6
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    I have a spectrum dx3s. I think they are DSS

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx_Adam View Post
    I have a spectrum dx3s. I think they are DSS

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    No I meant the video transmitter, you'll need a low pass filter so that it doesn't ruin the range of your DX3s. I've seen people use 900 MHz with 2.4 GHz for control though without issues that are too bad, even without a filter. It really all depends on the setup and separation between the components.

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    I found that driving FPV on an RC car is somewhat confusing, I was in an open field and it felt like driving a car in the middle of a flat desert, I had to find things like soccer goals to orient myself. Since my system is 5.8 GHZ I had short range in my neighborhood but it made a lot more sense driving on the streets and around the park, trees and sidewalks made everything much more interesting. I wouldn't recommend it with a 6s lipo or overly fast setup. I'm using the gopro with video output cable to the transmitter (the "live" iphone app is delayed several seconds, low resolution, and doesn't stream while recording), the gopro has amazing HD playback but for an optimal FPV experience you might benefit most using a lightweight FPV camera.
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  9. #9
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    Yeah I can see it being hard to drive fast. I find it hard in video games driving first person
    With the camera mounted in the rear so you can see the sides and the front of the vechile makes it much easier. Im also tempted to make a pan tilt. Ive seen that you can buy them. It will come in handy if I get lost or disoriented.

    I might use a summit or rock crawling chassis and make it into a speical fpv

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  10. #10
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    There are plug and play kits available. My son just build a Hex copter for a guy and he set it up with a FPV kit that cost him about $350, it was produced by a company called Max Shark. It used a set of goggles or had an option to buy a stand alone screen for viewing.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dadx2mj View Post
    There are plug and play kits available. My son just build a Hex copter for a guy and he set it up with a FPV kit that cost him about $350, it was produced by a company called Max Shark. It used a set of goggles or had an option to buy a stand alone screen for viewing.
    Awesome ill look into that. A copter is my ultimate goal to film mtn biking. But id like try it on a land a vechile first

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  12. #12
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    Heres a robot i made in College using a 2.4ghz security camera, it works in complete darkness.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFZcdOXTT3g

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    Great work on that robot Adam!

    FPV is tons of fun to play around with. Joel thanks for putting the word in!

    Based on that video, it seems like you will have no issue on the technical side of things. FPV is best when you can pan & tilt the camera. When you add ZOOM and other functions it starts getting really exciting. The biggest trick is figuring out what you want to do first, and going for that instead of making a camera on a car, then making it rotate, then making it tilt, then making it zoom, then making it gyro'd then making it.... you spend a lot of time and money doing it that way.

    As E-RevoVXL said, the lower frequencies propagate the ground better than the higher ones. Though some newer 5.8ghz systems aren't having any issues in forests for some reason. There are certainly higher quality transmitters and receivers out there, and most people don't use over 500mW power. You can certainly buy 2+ watt transmitters, but there isn't a real need for it, it's sort of like buying a 5000watt amplifier for your 200watt speakers, "But I CAN!!"

    Best thing to do is just read up on peoples builds and find out their stories and struggles. There has never been more info on FPV and more easily accessible equipment than there is now! Best of luck =)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dadx2mj View Post
    There are plug and play kits available. My son just build a Hex copter for a guy and he set it up with a FPV kit that cost him about $350, it was produced by a company called Max Shark. It used a set of goggles or had an option to buy a stand alone screen for viewing.
    You're most likely thinking of the (uber low-end) FatShark Ready-To-Fly RTF 5.8 GHz FPV goggles system. I personally wouldn't recommend them, the goggles are $250 alone, but if you ever get the good ($300) goggles you'll notice the difference in the clarity of the image, it's incredible. The ones that come in the RTF kit have plastic lenses - the good ones, glass. If that's not the one, sorry... but if it is, I'd suggest an upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by krallopian View Post
    Great work on that robot Adam!

    FPV is tons of fun to play around with. Joel thanks for putting the word in!

    Based on that video, it seems like you will have no issue on the technical side of things. FPV is best when you can pan & tilt the camera. When you add ZOOM and other functions it starts getting really exciting. The biggest trick is figuring out what you want to do first, and going for that instead of making a camera on a car, then making it rotate, then making it tilt, then making it zoom, then making it gyro'd then making it.... you spend a lot of time and money doing it that way.

    As E-RevoVXL said, the lower frequencies propagate the ground better than the higher ones. Though some newer 5.8ghz systems aren't having any issues in forests for some reason. There are certainly higher quality transmitters and receivers out there, and most people don't use over 500mW power. You can certainly buy 2+ watt transmitters, but there isn't a real need for it, it's sort of like buying a 5000watt amplifier for your 200watt speakers, "But I CAN!!"

    Best thing to do is just read up on peoples builds and find out their stories and struggles. There has never been more info on FPV and more easily accessible equipment than there is now! Best of luck =)
    Err... well, it depends on your style. I used pan once on one of my FPV planes and it's OK, but personally if I want to look at something you could just turn to look. Zoom is completely unnecessary though, especially on the ground - if you need to see something just drive closer. In the air, zooming is bit more practically used.

    The lower frequencies now are the most popular. I'd say the most popular frequencies are 1.3 and 5.8, with 2.4 getting close too. Hardly anybody runs 900 MHz in the air, on the ground it's extremely popular though. 5.8 GHz in areas with lots of trees is bad, period. Even at 1000mw you'll still have lots of issues. Trust me, I've flown on 5.8 GHz 600mw even and have gotten severe breakup when a single leaf gets in the way

    Another thing you'll have to consider is filtering the video power supply - if it's in line with an ESC/battery then at full throttle with lots of noise from the ESC.. you're going to get lines in the video. LC filters are great, $8 a piece and no lines, ever. I personally have run one and it's worth it for sure.

    You're correct - not many people run over 500mw - but that's in the AIR, which is a whole other story. Personally, I ran 150mw and 200mw on 1.3 GHz, and 200mw on 900 MHz in the air with no issues. And running 200mw in the air on those frequencies with the right antennas could easily get me a solid 2-3 miles of video. Air is VLOS though mostly, on the ground you can easily get bushes and what not in the way of the video signal. So running 1 to 1.5 watts of video output power on the ground is actually a smart idea - the extra penetration is worth it, and the heat isn't bad because you can install a fan on it. The weight isn't an issue as much on the ground as it is in the air.. a heavy plane will fly very poorly. But you could haul a lot more FPV payload on a truck, because it's not in the air (until you find some ramps).

    Either way though... have fun! Don't let the complexity get to you, the technology is crazy (you can buy a system that will fly a plane back to you if you loose signal!) nowadays, so take advantage of it while you can.

    Last edited by E-RevoVXL; 06-24-2013 at 02:00 PM.

  15. #15
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    I want to get a good system. I do plan on eventually getting a quad copter and looks like to get an outdoor one big enough for FPV i'll have to build one as a kit. most RTF or BNF kits are p very small.

    I've noticed a Boscam which is 1080 HD and you start and stop recording on an SD using in open channel and it transmitts constantly. I've also noticed sites that carry a pan/tilt that fits this camera or a go pro. My ultimate goal is to make a copter that i can use to film motor cross and maybe some nice scenry, scoope out the dunes from the sky to find good places to ride and so on.

  16. #16
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    You're most likely thinking of the (uber low-end) FatShark Ready-To-Fly RTF 5.8 GHz FPV goggles system. I personally wouldn't recommend them, the goggles are $250 alone, but if you ever get the good ($300) goggles you'll notice the difference in the clarity of the image, it's incredible. The ones that come in the RTF kit have plastic lenses - the good ones, glass. If that's not the one, sorry... but if it is, I'd suggest an upgrade
    The system and the hex copter it was on did not belong to my son or myself so I really dont know much about it. I do know the images were decently clear and it was not a problem for my son to get the hang of flying the hex copter with the system in a very short period of time. Between the FPV system and a GoPro they got some amazing video footage. The guy who owns it all spent $350 on the FPV set up but had plans to buy the screen for it so he was not limited by the tunnel vision the goggle give you.

    The whole FPV is not really my thing but it sure seemed like a reasonable way to get started in it. I'm sure there are better more expensive options out there.

    The set up this guy is using is kind of a work in progress last time I saw it they had it set up on two radios. One person flew the copter via the PFV set up and the second person controlled the gimbale set up with the GoPro on a separate radio.
    Last edited by Dadx2mj; 06-24-2013 at 02:52 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx_Adam View Post
    I want to get a good system. I do plan on eventually getting a quad copter and looks like to get an outdoor one big enough for FPV i'll have to build one as a kit. most RTF or BNF kits are p very small.

    I've noticed a Boscam which is 1080 HD and you start and stop recording on an SD using in open channel and it transmitts constantly. I've also noticed sites that carry a pan/tilt that fits this camera or a go pro. My ultimate goal is to make a copter that i can use to film motor cross and maybe some nice scenry, scoope out the dunes from the sky to find good places to ride and so on.
    Quadcopters aren't too hard to build - I've built one before. If you want to do decent FPV, get something in the 450mm size range, those are the most popular. Building a quadcopter to achieve your goals wouldn't be too bad, get researching and building

    Quote Originally Posted by Dadx2mj View Post
    The system and the hex copter it was on did not belong to my son or myself so I really dont know much about it. I do know the images were decently clear and it was not a problem for my son to get the hang of flying the hex copter with the system in a very short period of time. Between the FPV system and a GoPro they got some amazing video footage. The guy who owns it all spent $350 on the FPV set up but had plans to buy the screen for it so he was not limited by the tunnel vision the goggle give you.

    The whole FPV is not really my thing but it sure seemed like a reasonable way to get started in it. I'm sure there are better more expensive options out there.

    The set up this guy is using is kind of a work in progress last time I saw it they had it set up on two radios. One person flew the copter via the PFV set up and the second person controlled the gimbale set up with the GoPro on a separate radio.
    The goggles aren't really tunnel vision... more like, a close up TV right in front of you. It really depends. And yeah, trust me there are more expensive systems out there. Just today I sold off my 433 MHz control unit (more than 10 miles of range easily in the air) because I would feel the need to start funding something that would fly that far, LOL!

    I've been in an out of FPV. I've found that it's an interesting side of the hobby in and of itself - but in all honesty, sometimes all the gear and expense turns a lot of people (including me) away from it. Not for long though

    Yup, I've seen those around too (two pilots, two separate radios). There are some sweet videos out there with the larger DSLR cameras mounted on R/C helicopters.


  18. #18
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    I figured that with the Summit and FPV, he would plan on being on the edge of a rock somewhere, and want to pan and tilt the camera to see exactly where his wheels are, I know I sure would.

    As for zooming, you can't take your car everywhere you want to, and if you're somewhere on a cliff side, or top of a hill, or even just any scenic area/poi then zooming has immense functionality imho.

    For information purposes, check out some of the more modern 5.8ghz equipment it goes through acres of trees without a hitch, as I said I don't know how just based on the physics of it to begin with.

    I run a 1000mW 1.3ghz video setup, and a 2500mW 2.4ghz radio system to control it all.

  19. #19
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    I think im going to go big. I might get a RTF quagcopter and fat shark rx/tx with go pro 3 from getfpv.com

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx_Adam View Post
    I think im going to go big. I might get a RTF quagcopter and fat shark rx/tx with go pro 3 from getfpv.com

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    I was able to forward my uncle a text message that gave him $100 off a silver or black edition gopro, you might try to find that deal. I own a black edition and love it. I don't have the text anymore I just swapped phones unfortunately.

    also, getting into quadcopters get something like a QR-1, and learn to fly it. A full size quad will have different flight characteristics but it's different than flying a helicopter.
    Last edited by Meebert; 06-28-2013 at 12:26 AM.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meebert View Post
    also, getting into quadcopters get something like a QR-1, and learn to fly it. A full size quad will have different flight characteristics but it's different than flying a helicopter.
    A properly tuned quad can hover without any stick inputs. This varies greatly though on the flight controller, so pick something that has great reviews. Helicopters tend to be designed more for trick flying nowadays - quads are going more towards aerial photography and stunning overall shots with gimabals and what not. At least that's where I'm seeing both go. Either way, this side of the hobby has been excelling ridiculously fast in the last year or so that it's almost beyond belief.

  22. #22
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    Im thinking I might bite the bullet and get a rtf qav 400 with a pan tilt go pro 3 mount

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