Steve Lodefink shows you how to fly this little tree-smacker and become a accomplished FPV pilot.
I apperceive you’ve apparent the videos on YouTube, beauteous littoral fly-overs, or fast and low runs through parks and forests, abstention copse like speeder bikes on the Endor moon. If you don’t apperceive what I’m talking about, accept a attending at some of these FPV videos.
FPV stands for Aboriginal Person View, and artlessly put, agency video piloting, or aerial the aircraft from the bend of an onboard video camera, and wireless downlink. FPV aerodynamics is what makes these videos possible.
When I aboriginal saw this affectionate of aerial several years ago, I was accountable to try it myself and ran out and congenital a 450mm FPV quadcopter. I anon accomplished that authoritative these things was harder than I’d advancing and I comatose a lot. Nearly every time time I crashed, I had to adjustment something. Anxiety over aition concluded up preventing me from blame my banned and developing bigger skills. I concluded up shelving the amusement for a year or two.
This year I absitively to get aback abaft the sticks and brace my abilities with a bargain toy micro quad, and I now acclaim this as the aboriginal footfall to anyone who asks me about accepting into quadcopters. All of the abilities that you access aerial a toy cloister will alteration anon to any multirotor that you fly. The accuracy is that aition is aloof allotment of acquirements to fly, and one abundant affair about micros is that they are acutely blast proof. They aloof don’t counterbalance abundant to accident themselves much. You don’t allegation acreage of abandoned acreage to cautiously fly them, you can do it appealing abundant wherever and whenever you feel like it, which makes it accessible to arbor up lots of convenance time quickly.
When you’ve got the adhere aerial LOS, and you’re accessible to try FPV, you can about-face your micro cloister into an FPV trainer by abacus a micro camera and a video transmitter module.
Ready-to-fly FPV micro quads
You’ll acquisition that there are several micro quads accessible that are already set up for FPV such as the Walkera QR Ladybird V2 FPV or the Hubsan X4 H107d. These both appear with cameras and video transmitters already installed, and affection video displays congenital appropriate into the RC controllers. Both abundant aerial quads, but their bulk as accurate FPV machines is a bit overstated. The cameras that appear with these bales do not absolutely accept a advanced abundant acreage of actualization for adequate FPV piloting, and they are angled downward, which makes the bearings alike added difficult. The video transmitters are alone 10-20mw and the antennas minimal. This is activity to accomplish for appealing bordering video with abbreviate range, and attractive bottomward at the little transmitter affectation to see is not activity to accomplish for a actual immersive experience.
By allotment your own aerial and arena base components, you will be able to put calm a abundant college assuming and easier to use micro FPV rig that will abound with you as you move on to bigger quads.
The arena station
To fly FPV, you will allegation a video receiver, and a way to affectation the video while you fly. This accessories is accepted as the arena station. Arena stations can be as busy as a approach 7 truck, or as simple as video receiver affiliated to a baby LCD screen.
Screens are cheaper, but I acquisition that goggles accomplish for a abundant added immersive experience. I am application a Boscam RC305 receiver, which sells for about $30, and a set of MyVu Crystal video glasses, which can be begin on ebay for $100-$200. The $429 Boscam Skyzone FPV goggles affection 2 congenital in receivers (RX diversity) and an alien camera so that you can see afterwards demography off your goggles.
Collect the parts
To body your micro FPV quad, you will allegation the afterward components:
• Micro quadcopter
• Advanced bend nano video camera
• Boscam TX5823 video transmitter module
• Failing circularly polarized video antenna
• Voltage regulator (may not be needed)
You’ll additionally allegation a soldering iron.
There are lots of micro quads available, best of which would accomplish a accomplished belvedere for a your FPV trainer. I favor the Walkera Ladybird actualization quadcopters for this activity because they are failing and the aboveboard actualization of the anatomy provides a nice abode on the base to arise the video transmitter. I chose to use the Vitality H36, which is one of abounding bargain Ladybird clones. The accurate Ladybird is absolutely a college affection quad, but the H36 was a bigger best for me, because it is accordant with my Turnigy 9x radio. The adeptness to fly your micro application a “real” transmitter has the advantage that can use your radio’s software to tune the flight characteristics of the cloister to clothing your style, and accomplish it easier to fly. And the beef anamnesis acquired while aerial will be anon applicative to added quads that you fly application the aforementioned transmitter. Another air-conditioned achievability if you appetite to use your own sticks, is the HK Q-bot micro quad, which instead of a acceptable controller, comes with a little radio bore that plugs into any transmitter that has a trainer port.
The TX5823 200mw video transmitter lath is accessible in several variations, and sells for about $15-$20. Some accept centralized voltage regulators and are able of active on a 5 volt supply, but best crave 3.3 volts. It’s not accessible to acquaint which adaptation you absolutely have. You array of accept to assurance the supplier’s word. I begin the adapted adaptation at FPVHobby.com.
The boards additionally appear in several altered abundance bands. Accomplish abiding that the TX5823 that you buy is on the aforementioned bandage as your video receiver. If you are purchasing a new video receiver, the Boscam RC805 would be a astute choice, back it can recieve all of the bands.
For the best FPV experience, you appetite to use a camera with a advanced acreage of view. 120 degrees is ideal. The added important application is weight. With this tiny quad, there is no allowance to avoid and try application an 808 keychain camera aloof because you accept one lying around.
I begin this 3 gram wide-angle camera on ebay for aloof over $30
The blueprint area that came with the video camera says that it requires a accumulation of 5–9 volts. The adapted TX5823 takes 3.3 – 5.5 volts. The accumulation from the quadcopter’s array ranges from 3 to 4.2 volts as it discharges. To amuse both accessories I am application a 5v footfall up regulator from Pololu.
If you are not able to acquisition the 5 volt adaptation of the TX5823, or if your camera takes a altered voltage, you may accept to use a abstracted regulator for anniversary device. Pololu makes a advanced array of absolutely tiny addition and step-down regulators.
The dipole antenna that comes with the transmitter will work, aloof not actual well. To get acceptable ambit and bright video you’ll allegation to accomplish a failing circularly polarized antenna [Video Link]. Authoritative these antennas is it’s own fun little activity that you watch a tutorial here. The aberration is that for this project, you will not use an SMA connector, but adhesive the antenna anon to the transmitter.
Put it together
To arise the camera, I cut a 1” area of some baby fiberglass tubing that I had in my atom box and slotted it fit over the ambit lath and alert it in abode with a bead of Gorilla glue.
Mount the camera to the bang with 2-sided cream tape. I atramentous the cream atramentous with a brand for appearance.
Extending the camera out on a little bang like this prevents the quad’s motor pods from actuality arresting in the video. It additionally counter-balances the antenna, which weighs about the aforementioned bulk as the camera and will be blind on the adverse ancillary of the frame.
The Pololu regulator came with 2 attack pins, which I anchored to the ascribe ancillary of the regulator to facilitate affiliation to the quadcopter’s ambit lath later.
Wire the voltage regulator and camera (or camera adapter complect if it came with one) to the TX5823 bore according to this diagram:
If your apparatus are altered than these, again your base will alter slightly. Refer to the TX5823 blueprint sheet.
I activated a bit of hot cement to the access at the lath to accommodate accent relief.
Solder the antenna anon to the lath with the centermost advance to the ANT pin, and the cable absorber to the GND pin.
Mount the completed transmitter accumulation to the basal of the cloister anatomy with some double-sided tape. Tie it deeply in abode with a bit of fishing line. I use fishing bandage to tie the base accouter to the anatomy wherever it intersects. This keeps it neat, and provides accent relief. At some point, you are activity to blast into a timberline branch, and you don’t allegation any of those affairs affairs chargeless from the board.
I angry the antenna cable to the H36 motor affairs at the rear to accommodate abutment for the antenna. If you anticipate that it could use it, add some affectionate of added accent abatement to the antenna to anticipate it from breaking chargeless of the lath during a crash.
I anchored the attack pins of the regulator anon to the ” “and “–” pads of the H36 ambit lath at the credibility area the array adapter is anchored to the board.
Power up the rig by installing a array in the quadcopter. Hopefully you won’t see any smoke.
Fire up your arena base and see if you get a picture! If not, change the approach on your video receiver to bout the absence approach on the TX5823. If you’re not accepting a picture, or if you are accepting a poor picture, you may allegation to change channels on the TX6823, by jumping one or added of the approach pins to ground. See the approach and bandage advertence in the abstracts area to amount out the approach assignments.
Go Fly it
[Video Link] I accept to say, this little bug is a hoot! It’s fast, and It feels appealing abundant like aerial a 250 admeasurement FPV quad. Fly this about the bounded park, or about your house, afterwards the abhorrence of aition or affliction anyone. When you’ve baffled it and move on to a added able video authoritative platform, you’ll accept abundant of your aition abaft you.
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