FPV stands for First Person View. Nothing is more thrilling than seeing a pilot’s view of where you’re flying. Some setups can take you miles away! Can you imagine the views you could see? This is the closest you can get to flying without actually flying.
Some important things you’ll need:
That’s all that you need to fly FPV. The camera and the transmitter hook together on your aircraft to transmit video to you on the ground. They both connect to your aircraft battery for power. Then you have your receiver for the ground station that receives the video coming from your aircraft. From the receiver it goes to a video player where you can watch real time video and fly as if you were in the aircraft. The ground station also requires a power source.
Once you’ve gotten into FPV, you’ll want to fly farther and farther away. But, that requires a bigger aircraft, battery, and antenna. Lower frequencies transmit farther than higher frequencies. But the antennas are big, bulky, and heavy. So 5.8 GHz is perfect for most RC aircraft because it can transmit high resolution video and the antennas are much smaller. With a good 5.8 GHz setup, you can fly about two miles away in clear sight.
One thing to remember is never power your transmitter without the antenna plugged in. It will burn out the transmitter because the signal has no place to go. Think of the antenna like an exhaust pipe throwing signals in every direction.
Additionally, you want to think about antenna placement. This is crucial because if the antennas can’t communicate, you won’t have any video feed to fly your aircraft. My first time flying I had the antenna on my plane laying horizontal, while my receiver antenna was vertical. So the video kept cutting out and the range was only a few hundred yards. But, when I placed the transmitter antenna vertical, I had way less interruptions and longer range. Also, you may consider flipping your antenna upside down, because when your aircraft is flying, the antenna will be closer to you without any part of the aircraft blocking the signal.
For me, I have the Quanum FPV kit from Hobby King. It’s a complete kit ready to plug and play. They work well and are very affordable. I got these for $100 while other FPV setups can cost up to $1000. Fat sharks are a big name brand for FPV. They are high quality, durable, and portable. If you want the best of the best, get the latest fat shark setup.
Below is a link to a Fat Shark FPV bundle. I would also purchase the 600mw transmitter on the right to use instead of the one it comes with. I think it’s only 25mw, so for big range, get the 600mw transmitter as well!
4.3″ screen goggles.
5.8 GHz with 32 channels.
Circular polarized antennas.
200 mw power output.
480 TVL Sony CCD camera resolution.
Up to 1500 meters in clear sight range.
These are my goggles, a little on the bulky and heavy side:
Here’s my camera plugged in and connected to the transmitter on the aircraft:
Here’s an overview of the transmitter and power connected:
The Ground Station: