@ruouttaurmind cool. DVR makes sense, but I'd already be recording on the GoPro. I did wonder about how I should go about this setup. Mount a separate analog cam for low latency, or simply rely on the GoPro with the understanding that the video will be delayed and moving on a gimbal. Wonder how the sensation of flight will be. I guess only time will tell. Thanks for the find.
@sportykev I guess the big advantage of DVR in your RX is redundancy and flexibility. You can record in both devices & never lose a video, you can pop your SD card from the camera into the monitor & preview your video while on-site, you can record video on the RX while the camera is in burst mode taking photos, you have the option of going with a simple FPV cam in the future, if you add OSD down the road you'll be able to record the HUD overlay on DVR & GoPro will be clean video, or if you get a FPV racer in the future.... Basically you have more options to cover "what if" down the road.
BTW, just got shipping notification that my VTX just shipped. I should have it in about a week.
@sportykev Good find, Kev! The 40 CH units maintain compatibility with the "nonstandard" VTX bands like those used by FatShark, etc. If you know in advance you'll never use them, go for the more affordable one. Don't forget to check aliexpress too. I often save 10 to 20% just by shopping out all the options.
I haven't tried it yet... just received it in the post today. I'll saddle it up this weekend and check image stability and TX range. But so far I'm impressed with what my eleven bucks got me.
Kinda wishing I had ordered two. I planned on mounting this on my gimbal for use with the Tali, QRX 350 Pro and CX-20. But as tiny as it is, I'm second guessing my decision not to put FPV on the ZMR250. I might just have to start shopping for a very light camera to bundle this with and add it to the ZMR.
The package included an antenna, and three kinds of cables for various configurations (one of which is a GoPro FPV cable).
A quick ground test this morning. No flying. There was some kind of soccer tourney going on at the schoolyard I usually fly. So I put the Tali on the roof of my truck and powered up the GoPro. Wandering around, the static pic was very stable up to the limits of the back of the sports field. Google Earth tells me that's about 800 meters (a bit under 1/2 mile).
I expect the image stability in flight would be affected by the electronics on the drone, the EMF fields projected by the spinning motors, and the general motion of the aircraft. On the other hand, I also would expect a less obstructed signal from the air. So overall, I think this VTX is a winner for eleven bucks.
My plan is to permanently mate the VTX to the 3D gimbal as sort of a all-in-one FPV/Photo/Video kit. But I'm going to watch for this VTX at a low price and pick up another for the little 250 racer and upgrade the racer with video capability. If only I could find a deal on an old pair of Walkera Goggle1 FPV goggles. They would connect to the video output on my Devo F12e TX for flying the little 250.
@ruouttaurmind You betcha. Would it look completely dumb to mount a separate CMOS cam along with my GoPro? I know there is SOME latency by pulling the feed off the GoPro, and CMOS would more or less be instant.
@sportykev I've seen several examples of CMOS plus GoPro configurations. There are even video signal switchers out there specifically for the purpose. Switch your VTX between the CMOS for flying, and the GoPro for framing shots.
@sportykev Sorry, I hit the Say It button prematurely.
As I was saying... it's not really unusual to run both cameras, but it's also not all that necessary if you're using your GoPro for video/photo. But... if you just want to fly, and not necessarily record, or record on your fancy new FPV DVR, you can mount ONLY the CMOS and save weight. This gives you more maneuverability and ostensibly lower battery consumption resulting in longer flight times?
@ruouttaurmind@sportykev The reason most attach both is recording flight video. Recording from the FPV will show your signal drop which is fine if you want to show your skills flying with signal loss. Most want to show that stuff that was done while signal was lost.
@sportykev Noooooo. You never power ANYTHING from the motors. Use the same AUX power lead you use to power your gimbal, or run a short length of wire from the PDB through one of the AUX ports on the bottom of the P1 (the little holes covered with a rubber plug). On the PDB, just connect in tandem with the other AUX power lead.
@ruouttaurmind totally knew... that.... yeah.... :) Thanks! bad news is, Banggood says the FPV monitor/DVR is no longer shipping (problems in production) so I need to wait for the non-DVR version to arrive. ARGH
@garyhgaryh they emailed to say that they ran into manufacturing hiccups. I ran out of patience and took the non-DVR version for $100. I run with a GoPro so at least I'll have a HD version of my footage...
@ruouttaurmind I tapped into the same power source that I use for the Walkera, the wire in your picture. Do you think that could cause interference to the VTX? Before I hold judgement on the quality of the VTX transmission, I need to better set-up/configure, and head out to open spaces. I'm also going to order some shrooms antennas since they're relatively cheap, along with the retractable legs!
@sportykev Using the same power wire could potentially introduce some power artifacts. Typically manifesting as a power ripple in your signal (for the VTX) or a power ripple in your recorded image (for the camera).
In a perfect world (read: cinematic platform?) you'd equip something like a low-pass filter circuit to clean your power before passing it to the VTX and/or camera. In the hobby market this is often accomplished with a inexpensive BEC.
In reality, you might consider balancing your expectations. Contemplate your platform, and your purpose, then the resources you'll invest to improve the signal. Weigh all that against the best possible result you can expect, and decide if it's worth it.
A wise man once told me about a Honda Civic with a turbo and Sneeky Pete NOS kit...
A quick word about signal quality. You may already be aware of this, but when using the "rubber duck wifi router" type of antennas... like the ones on the P1 transmitter, the stock VTX antenna and your VRX monitor... you want to make sure the antennas are oriented with the long portion of the antenna generally pointing at your target (not the tip of the antenna pointing at your target). This applies to both transmitter and receiver, and has to do with waveform transmission and reception. Antenna orientation can affect not just signal quality (less interference and drop-out), but transmission/reception distance as well.
You don't show a picture of your VTX on the P1, so I don't know if you've already done this, but you want to have your antenna pointed with the tip straight down towards the ground, not sticking out pointed at the horizon.
@ruouttaurmind AMZ prime pulled through and delivered me some 3M double sided tape goodness. I took the P1 for another spin, with the VTX antenna pointed earthward and the VRX antenna skyward. I would say, the image was marginally better. I lost the image taking it maybe 150' up right above. I'm hoping it's the interference from the homes around me. Heck, I have 2 wireless APs in my house both running 5.8ghz so it might just be my home. Park next !
@sportykev Ok, so here's the exception that makes the rule... LOL!
If you're flying straight overhead, and the VTX antenna is pointed with the tip facing the ground, and the VRX antenna is pointing with the tip facing the sky... no es bueno.
In this chart, picture the VERTICAL circle on the left. That's what your transmitted signal looks like coming out of the VTX with the antenna tip pointed at the ground. Picture the sky is to the top of the circle, and the ground is below the circle.
Now picture you, sittin' on your deck in your chair, watchin' your VRX. You're at the bottom of the circle, on the ground, just about center between left and right, right where the number "270*" is. The Phantom is directly above your head, broadcasting the red signal from right smack in the center of that circle.
Here's a 3D rendering of what the signal stream looks like.
Note how there's a big hole in the signal right above Kev's deck and his VRX?
Simply moving the Phantom in any direction puts the VRX out of the hole and back into the signal stream.
Of course this is a highly simplified explanation, but do you get the gist? So in THIS case, if you point the antenna straight out towards the horizon like you had it yesterday... that will give you best reception from directly BELOW the Phantom. But only in a small area.
@ruouttaurmind ah I see. So you're saying, being situated at the butt crack is the dead'ish zone. Good to know.
Also, I think I will resolder the pwr source off the gimbal wires. Those floaty jello lines on the VRX is annoying! Though I think I see them more as I throttle, but may be the gimbal centering itself.
@ruouttaurmind my monitor hasn't come in yet, but I have some time to kill and thought to mount the VTX. I'm thinking to stick it up against the Walkera controller. Do you think that location will be OK? I'm also seeing posts where people say to use clover antennas instead (on both ends TX and RX). Is this WiFi router antenna stick no... good? TIA!
@sportykev When you say "Walkera controller" I'm guessing you're referring to the gimbal controller, yes? I guess my only concern would be adding extra weight to the "sprung" portion of the gimbal could potentially increase the likelihood of jello and jitter. The more weight you have on the lower half, I'm gonna bet the greater the effect of centrifugal motion on the suspended part of the gimbal. I'm not 'splainin' this very well, am I?
For my Fie Yu Tech Mini3D gimbal, I cut a small piece of ABS plastic (a scrap from an old plastic box of screws or something). I drilled out holes to match the mounting plate that attaches to the fuselage. Now the plastic piece is mounted between the fuselage and the gimbal, and sticks out far enough to mount the VTX with 3M 2x foam tape.
RE: Clover antennas vs. stick antennas... they put out different waveforms. IE, the shape of the signal they broadcast varies based on antenna shape.
A "omnidirectional" (wifi router) antenna has a flatter, more directional signal shape, while the cloverleaf has a rounder, more saturated signal shape. Theoretically a cloverleaf has a stronger signal over a shorter range, while the omnidirectional antenna may have futher range but with less signal strength towards the end of the useful range. A cloverleaf signal drops off sharply where a omnidirectional signal sort of fades away.
Other advantages... cloverleaf is typically lighter in weight. Onmidirectional is typically more rugged and fault tolerant.
@ruouttaurmind so much wisdom! $6 for a pair of shrooms but I'll hold off for now. I'm going to solder this badboy on and report back. Eachine monitor arrived today so i'm ready to rock. Is there any art to using the different channels/frequencies?
@sportykev Since it's a non-critical component (meaning the P1 won't go Skynet if you experience a fuzzy signal) best bet is to just try it. Hop freqs 'till you get one that's clean enough, then fly. Frankly, I'll bet you'll find they're all about the same unless someone has security cameras or baby monitors working close by. Also, dual band wifi routers can step on the 5.8ghz freqs.
If you want to apply some bit of science, and your phone has dual-band wifi, you can download an app (something like the Wifi Anaylizer and sniff out which channels are in use in the area you'll be flying. Then pick a channel with the least amount of traffic.
By the way... make sure there's some distance between VTX and VRX when you sample the channels. You'll get bleed-over between channels if you don't have enough distance between the two.
@ruouttaurmind I got impatient. I left whatever channel the VTX was on, hooked it up to the drone via packing tape (couldn't find my 3M double sided), and took to the skies. 2 crashes into the trees later..... I guess it worked OK. I lost the image as it left my general vicinity, I'm sure there are many interferences here. Flying FPV takes some getting use to.
@ruouttaurmind I don't know why I was strafing, it's obvious I'm blind on all sides except forward. The gimbal movement and the slight video delay takes some getting use to.
I'm using a GoPro 3 white edition, 1080p/30. Narrower the better otherwise the legs and props really get into the frame. Then I stuck an ND filter on the camera too, didn't compensate for the added weight so the image is skewed to the right.
No real damage to the drone. Just some grass/dirt marks on the props, oh, and my ego.
@sportykev Great flight, Kev. Planned, intentional movements. You've got the P1 flying well! Nice and stable.
I have a similar issue with latency on Solo. Between the inherent delay in the GoPro, then transmission of the image from Solo to the Solo controller, then picked up by my phone via Wifi... it's maybe half a second of delay. It's not insurmountable, but there's going to be a learning curve. On the Tali, the FPV image is transmitted directly from the iLook+ to the VRX in the transmitter and latency is nearly nonexistent.
EDIT: Just watched the vid a second time. Man, I'm impressed. You've really got the Phantom flying well!
@ruouttaurmind thanks for the eprops. I should really learn to head out to the park. I must say, flying it overhead really made me feel uneasy. All I wanted to do was look up at it. If I had telemetry, that'd help. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMM next mod?!
The-near crash vid is when the p1 was in all bad shape. The Eachine BGC I thought drew too much power from constantly re-calibrating itself which led to the drone deciding to turn home at the peak of the flight. That crash, from that height and speed would've been the end!