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First reviews of the FC40

Discussion in 'Phantom FC40 Discussion' started by discv, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. discv

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    Finally the FC40 is starting to grace the skys.

    Unfortunately the new owner reviews are getting buried in the original topic. I feel it might be more helpful to others if 'first results' could be posted as a new topic. And please include location.

    But to sum up, the camera has been proving a lot better than would be expected. Quite respectable video and stills- without risking a GoPro.

    New owners seem unanimous in agreeing that the FC is a good value, middle of the road buy.

    The FC40 seems to have inherited the faulty supplied USB lead.

    Newbies are struggling with the lack of support tutorials. Until DJI replace them- this link might be useful:
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id= ... DhzR2E0Rnc
     
  2. FlyingFanta

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    What's the difference between the FC40 and the 1.1.1 minus the camera?
     
  3. discv

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    A good question -
    The FC40 craft is a P1 v1.1.1, using the same Naza [V2], and they share assistant software and firmware.

    Now comes the difference. The FC40 uses a 5.8 transmitter and receiver. The upside of this is that the FC40 can be used with any WiFi camera- not just the stock simple cam. The downside is the shorter range of 5.8 [300-500 mts]

    The v1.1.1 uses a 2.4 system. this is not compatible with WiFi. Any form of camera preview must use an additional video transmitter. Range of 2.4 is around 1000 mtrs.

    Both use a standard 3s LiPo and not the 'unique' DJI battery :D

    So- how to decide;
    If-like me- you are happy with a flying range of 300 mtrs unobstructed Line Of Sight, and if you are content with average video and still quality- then the FC40 is near unbeatable at the price.

    If the circumstances in which you are likely to fly, exceed the range above and might become obstructed by trees/ buildings,and if you are likely to expect higher than 'snapshot' photography, then the v1.1.1 would be a wiser course.
     
  4. FatKevinSmith

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    Just ordered my FC40. This thing is off the chain! It oozes value.. I mean, FPV, video and stills, with the notorious Phantom platform, all for $500.. How do you say no to that? Can't wait for it to get here! Who else is amped!?? :D
     
  5. PhantomPerk

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    Hello Kevin, got mine a week or so ago and it is really cool. I am still doing low level 'close to home' type of flying but it is a lot of fun and so easy to fly. I am working on an option to extend the wifi range of the camera but haven't come up with anything solid yet. I have a few options in mind. You will really like the FC40. I don't think it can be beat for the price!
     
  6. FatKevinSmith

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    What kind of range are you getting right now on the camera? It seems to be based on 2.4Ghz 802.11 so any kind of high gain antenna should help boost the signal. Only problem is, since you're using an iPod or whatever, there's no external antenna option.
     
  7. PhantomPerk

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    I am still in the learning/fearful phase so I have not gone more than 50 yards in either direction. I did not lose the wifi connection in that distance.
     
  8. Big Ben

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    I've made my decision between the P1 V1.1.1 and the FC40 in favour of the latter. Unfortunately it's not yet available in my neck of the woods. It's expected to go on sale early February.

    It's not only a quadcopter with camera and FPV. You can use the wireless camera with your smartphone/tablet for any purpose when you take it off the Phantom. I'm sure it will come in handy now and then. Also if I want better (1080p) video I see no reason why I couldn't attach a second camera and use the FC40 cam purely for FPV. Try to get a FPV for the regular Phantom for the price difference of the FC40 with the V1.1.1. :lol:

    I'm keeping an eye on YouTube for any FC40 videos. So far I like this one best.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4VHMhDC1b0[/youtube]
     
  9. FlyingFanta

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    Yeah, even the Predator V2 kit is $280.

    Though if the FC40 uses the same ESCs and motors as the other phantoms, won't weight be an issue if you're to mount a second descent camera on it like a GoPro?
     
  10. FatKevinSmith

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    My understanding is that the wifi will cut out at half the distance the controls would cut out, so unless you are flying POV and have no idea where your Phantom is physically, you should be able to easily ride it until your video signal freezes with no worry.
     
  11. Big Ben

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    Nope. There is still a considerable margin between the out-of-the-box TOW and Max TOW. And all the other FPV accessories also add weight. Apparently the FC40 cam only weighs 36g.
     
  12. carlosi13

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    "It's not only a quadcopter with camera and FPV. You can use the wireless camera with your smartphone/tablet for any purpose when you take it off the Phantom. I'm sure it will come in handy now and then. Also if I want better (1080p) video I see no reason why I couldn't attach a second camera and use the FC40 cam purely for FPV. Try to get a FPV for the regular Phantom for the price difference of the FC40 with the V1.1.1. :lol: "


    I've had my FC40 for less than a week and I've been pretty happy with it. There are no other FPV out of the box solutions at this price point. I am disappointment at the PFV range and I'm explorering WiFi range extender solutions.

    The FC40 is currently only $499 at: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1 ... _fc40.html

    I paid $569 for mine via eBay but I received it in 2 days with free shipping and of course no tax.

    Surprisingly there are no 2 camera mount solutions that I can find. I was thinking I would mount a GoPro back to back with the FC40. Instead I will try and replace the FC40 temporarily with a GoPro HD Hero 1 to see if 720 at 60 fps is that much different than 720 at 30 fps. FPV is nice but 100 meters isn't much of a range. 200 meters would have been great. If only DJI sold the Vision 2 WiFi range extender separately.

    If you plan on eventually upgrading to another FPV system like a Fat Shark system or plan to add OSD you are out of luck with the FC40. All third party FPV and OSD systems communicate via 5.8 GHz which is the RC frequency of the FC40. There is also no Gimbal motor swivel support built in on the FC40 remote while the 1.1.1 does. I really wanted to add OSD so I can get telemetry data like altitude, distance and speed. The Phantom 1.1.1 and Phantom 2 are the only two models that are fully compatible with 3rd party FPV and OSD since they use 2.4 GHz for the RC and have a max RC range of 1000 meters.

    I wish I knew that I didn't have the same upgrade options with the FC40 vs the 1.1.1. I probably would have gone with the 1.1.1 instead. At the same time I'm happy to have FPV out of the box even if the range is only about 100 meters. If you have a GoPro 3 or 3+ and plan on putting that on your Phantom definitely go with the 1.1.1 or Phantom 2. You'll eventually want a nice Gimbal to go with a nice GoPro. I only have a Hero HD 1 which is just a bit better than the FC40 cam.
     
  13. Big Ben

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    All the wireless extra accessories for the 2.4 GHz Phantoms are 5.8 GHz because they needed to be in a different frequency band. Now that there are 5.8 GHz Phantoms I kind of expect more 2.4 GHz accessories coming to market to upgrade these birds.

    The earlier transmitter also didn't have the gimbal lever but it could be retrofitted with one because the inside already supported it. I very much would like to know whether the FC40 transmitter has that option too. I'm hoping a FC40 owner will open his transmitter and take a look inside and report his findings.

    Alternatively you could upgrade to a Futaba kit thereby returning to 2.4 GHz. Even an extra original DJI 2.4 GHz V1.1.1 transmitter/receiver combo would cost a little over $100 in case you really wanted to switch back to that frequency. Not insurmountable.

    For 2.4 GHz WiFi there are already oodles of product options to extend the range. FC40 users will start experimenting with them and we will learn more about them.

    I see the FC40 as an excellent and quite versatile 'starter kit' with your bucks making a very loud BANG! :D
     
  14. FatKevinSmith

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    Love my FC40. Not the best camera on the planet, but the WiFi FPV is more impressive than I imagined. Thing is very responsive and much quieter than I anticipated. Also, this thing takes a beating. I've done some really stupid things that I told myself I'd never do but I was too giddy to not play with it the first chance I got. Flew it into a wrought iron fence. Flew it into my ceiling inside the house. Flew it into the ground. All my fault and no fault of the Phantom, which is rock steady. You set it down a foot or two off the ground and want to move anywhere on the horizontal plane, piece of cake. For a noob like me, it was so simple to use, I got a bit carried away and got my forward orientation reversed, or mistook up on the left stick for up on the right.. total rookie mistakes that could have been avoided. And yet she's ready to go again! Once I do a proper park fly I'll report back, hopefully with some footage of the Panama Canal or something which is down the road from me.
     
  15. FlyingFanta

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    Be careful with that 100m range over the water!
     
  16. Capt. Joe

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    FlyingFanta, I just got my FC40 and I live on a boat, always around water, so would appreciate any advise regarding the Phantom over water.
    I'm used to flying my Hawk 30 and Trex 450 on floats and around the water, landing on it, etc...
    Yesterday, the first day I had my Phantom I already had a wet encounter; I was landing on the dock behind our boat and made the mistake of disarming the props too early, so it jumped up in the air, I panicked and disarmed again, so it plopped right in the water. Half of it was submerged before I got to it - this morning it is all dried out and flew already, no apparent damage to machine or camera.
    Thanks in advance for over the water advise :)
     
  17. npalen

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    How are yo disarming the props? I just pull all the way back on the throttle lever for a couple seconds until they stop.
     
  18. J.James

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    That 100m range is only on the cameras wifi if using a smart phone that dont have good wifi reception. .

    If some one is only getting 100m flight range there is some thing way wrong.
    Even if CE mode it should get 300+m meters and in fcc mode way more then 500m flight range.

    and the wifi reception can go a lot further then the 100m range if some one is using some thing with better wifi reception such as as an old kindle fire and no mods at all to the kindle or the camera they should be able to get about 350m if you mod the kindle to take an external antenna you can even get farther range on the wifi reception for the camera. and if you throw a booster in to the mix between the kindle and the antenna Ive gotten 800m or .5 miles on the video.
    AND if I can find time this week I'm going to do the camera antenna mod and see how much more I can boost the video range. I already boosted my flight range to were it will fly over 1.3 miles it would be cool to be able to get the video up to some thing close to that.
     
  19. FredSheldon

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    Funny you should ask. I was flying in a local park this past weekend and when I got home I realized I had lost my tracking module off my FC40, which is held on by Velcro. When I was about to write it off I said to my self, self, this is a tracking device, use it to find your lost module, dummy. So off I went back to the park, powered up the crt device and sure enough it pointed to a spot in the park. As I walked in the direction of the arrow on the display screen the percentage increased from 10% to 99% then the arrow reversed and the % began to decrease. So I backtracked until the % was at 99 again and looked down and there it was. The tracking module is only about 1 inch long and I would have never found it otherwise. So, does it work. Darn right it does. I now have faith that if I ever really lose my Phantom, I should be able to track it down.

    Here it is http://www.amazon.com/Marco-Polo-Monitoring-Tracking-Locating/dp/B008MG5GRQ