* Disclaimer – This Article contains Amazon Associate Product Links*
FPV (First Person View) puts you in the pilot seat of your Quadcopter/Drone. You will see what the Quadcopter/Drone sees in real time. For a beginner, this can be confusing. Well i’m here to help you get you started in the world of with this simple FPV Setup Guide.
A complete FPV system will consist these components…
- Video Transmitter
- Video Receiver
- LCD Screen (or) Goggles (or) Smart Phone (or) Tablet
- X2 Antennas
Various vendors today on the internet sells FPV kits with all the components required. However, most all of these kits or made up of cheap components without going through quality control before leaving the manufacture. Those FPV kits are fine if your going to put it them on a quadcopter/drone that was built cheaply to begin with. However, if you have a good amount of money in your quadcopter/drone, you diffidently dont want to use the cheap FPV components on your quadcopter/drone. They last thing you want to happen is your FPV to malfunction in mid-flight while going top speed (which often happens with these cheap kits).
I’m here to help stop you from making the same mistake as so many other before you have made.
FPV Camera Types
The cameras used in FPV are basically the same as those used in security cameras. When Choosing an FPV Camera, the one thing you have to pay attention to is the power requirements for that particular camera.
Select a camera with a wide input voltage range, that way you have some flexibility when wiring your FPV system. I personally like to choose a camera that use a 5-15 V input. This way i can use the main flight battery.
I personally like the JJA-960H 1080P HD Camera from amazon.
The FPV Camera is connected to the Video Transmitter. The video transmitter takes the signal from the camera and sends it out trough the antenna. This antenna is what is called the Transmit antenna and is omni-directional.
I personally recommend the Immersion RC 600mw 5.8 GHz A/V Transmitter from amazon.
The Video Receiver will receive the Video Signal that is transmitted from the Video Transmitter. The Video Receiver will then take the signal that and show it on you monitor.
I personally recommend the Boscam FPV 5.8G 32CH Wireless AV Receiver RC832
Video Transmitter and Video Receiver Antennas.
Choosing the antennas for your Video Transmitter & Receiver is something that most all of the beginner FPV pilots dont think about. They assume that since FPV Transmitter and Receiver comes with a antenna (omni directional linear polarized whip antenna), they don’t need one. They don’t realize that using that antenna cost them.
Most all FPV Transmitter & Receives comes with a Antenna (Like the antenna on your home router), but the antennas they come with will need to be immediately upgraded to a circular polarized antenna (A/K/A Clover Leaf Antenna) before their first FPV flight.
These simple linear antennas that comes with these kits are very horrible. The high frequency 5.8GHz bounces off everything so easily, it causes multi-path interference. For FPV, you don’t want that. If you are in mid-flight going into a hard bank turn and you loose signal, your expensive quadcopter could end up smashing into a hard object cause your quadcopter to fly-into little pieces because you were momentary flying blind.
As of this writing, they are 4 different types of antennas…
- Linear Polarized Omni Directional Antenna
- Linear Polarized Directional Antenna
- Circular Polarized Omni Directional Antenna
- Circular Polarized Directional Antenna
What antenna you decided on really boils down to what frequency you are transmitting on, and how far away you want to fly.
If you are a Beginner FPV Pilot, i wouldn’t worry about any of that for the time being and just go with the Circular polarization Antennas. Once you gain experience, you can start experimenting with different antenna combinations that best suites you.
I Recommend any of these Antennas that can be purchased through Amazon..
- Crazepony Foxeer 5.8G FPV Antenna Circular Polarized set
- Superior FPV 5.8GHz Clover-Leaf Antenna Set Transmitter Receiver RP-SMA Inner Hole
Monitor or Goggles?
This really boils down to personal preference. Some people prefer the googles. Some people prefer to sit down in front of a very nice ground station with a large LCD monitor, and some people prefer a smaller 6-12 inch LCD Monitor, Tablet, Smartphone attached to their radio transmitter. I However prefer the goggles, and i recommend someone that is just starting out in the FPV hobby to choose the Goggles if they have the funds.
I understand that most people can’t plop down $300-$500 on a pair of Fat Shark FPV Goggles, so here is my list from a Small LCD Monitor, Large LCD monitor, Tablet and Goggles that can be used for FPV that cab be purchased through amazon..
Note: Some FPV Monitors and Goggles have Built-In Video Receivers. If you choose a FPV monitor or googles that has a built in Video Receiver, you wont need to separately purchase a Video Receiver. Also, some if not most monitors need their own separate power source, like a Lipo Battery, or plug-in to the wall. Some Goggles also comes with a Video Transmitter. Make sure that whatever you purchase doesn’t come with a transmitters and built-in video receiver before making those purchases
Installing an FPV System on your quadcopter/drone isn’t difficult, and this information i have given you is enough to get your ‘eyes in the sky’. Welcome to the world of FPV