Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Flying by FPV finally

Discussion in 'Phantom FC40 Discussion' started by Wedeliver, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. Wedeliver

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Tionesta, California
    I have not been happy with the picture on my phone sent from the fc40 so I got a Kindle Fire HD for $85.00 and today for the first time I flew by looking at the picture on the Kindle with no idea really were the Phantom was flying. First of all there were no trees in the area and I was following my son, his girlfiend and my grandchildren as they drove through my field in my Kawasaki Mule. It was really easy and a lot of fun
     
  2. darwin-t

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    513
    Likes Received:
    5
    It's weird, isn't it?
     
  3. J.James

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,882
    Likes Received:
    162
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I have been using the kindle for my fpv and it also gets the farthest range of any thing I have tried. It even has better range then when I tried a wifi range extender. which did extend the range of my smart phones crappy range. But With the kindle the range extender is actually a range shortener and the range extender is now just a wasted $80 paper weight.

    I also have just recently modified the kindle to be able to take different antennas and now it gets much farther then even before. I even tried a signal booster with it and a few different antennas and my best combo got me a 1/2 mile on the FPV before it lost connection.
     
  4. Wedeliver

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Tionesta, California
    Do you think you could point me to a video or instructions on how to add an external antenna to the Kindle Fire HD? thanks
     
  5. J.James

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,882
    Likes Received:
    162
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I dont know of any videos on modeing the kindle and before I did it I also could not find much info on any one else doing it before. I even found a thread on a board for wifi mods and hacks and there was a 2 year log discussion on subject and if it can be done or not and all sorts of silly naysayers debating if it was even possible.

    It was technicly a super easy mod for me to do BUT required a lot of frustration to get the hole cut in the case to fit the extension threw the case to mount the antenna jack and also I had to solder my own connector on the the pig tail. Because the kindle uses a much smaller connector then I could find any were. So I cut the wire off of a kindle antenna and then desoldered the wire off a mini pci to rp-sma male connector. an then resoldered the kindles wire that had whats called an ultra mini pci connecter on to the rp-smp connector. and to make it easy and so I would not have to use the existing antenna in the kindle or take most of it apart to get to the antenna and all of its wire I just used another kindle antenna I got from ebay and left the old one in the kindle still with a pcs of tape over its connector so it would not short any thing out inside.

    But if you can solder thats the east part of the mod. The real hard part was carving the hole out in the 2 sides of the case and that was a real sob esp being there was only one spot there was room were it would fit with out interfering with any thing in side. Yut was in a spot that seemed to be the thickest place on the front side of the case to go threw and it was super close to the ribbon cable for the touch screen so I had to be real careful not to hit that or nick it with any of my tools. while trying to get the hole in it. I also had to grind off 2 sides of the nut on the back of the bulk head rp-sma connector to make it thin enough to be able to close the 2 halves of the case together. IN retrospect If I had to do it again. Instead of using one of the external antenna bulk head connectors thats meant to go threw a hole and held in place with a nut that goes around the threaded part of the connector. I should of used one of the ones that has a flat base on it and uses to tiny screws to hold it to the out side.

    I had thought about doing a tutorial vid but was hard to do while I was still figuring out how to do the mod all on the fly as I was doing it. But soon I will open the kindle back up and take a vid showing how I did it and what not but still waiting on some more connectors for another part of the project that I can use to show how to do the soldering on it and also show the other type of connector that would make it much easier for some one to do then It was for me on my first try. Keep your eye on my thread big "improvement to f40FPV range no extender .5 miles " viewtopic.php?f=20&t=16758&p=153314#p153314 Thats probable were I will post the vid and instructions. I also have the other 1/2 of the project that still is not done yet to try and get even more range out of the fpv on the fc40s camera by moding that to also be able take a real external antenna. Tho that mod may be for thos that are a lil bit more ballzy about molding there new camera and is going to involve soldering a connecter directly to the board inside the cam. I'm even a lil bit hesitant of being the first one to test the waters on that one. But I don't think I can talk any one else in to trying that stunt first. So nothing risked nothing gained and will take the gamble if I dont come up with a better solution for that first.
     
  6. darwin-t

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    513
    Likes Received:
    5
    Some nice close up photos would be great!

    I have a broken Kindle Fire, so parts are available.
     
  7. Wedeliver

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Tionesta, California
    I have this antenna laying around, it is made for wifi...
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Ohary

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    7
    Up in the woods I get a good 1000' or so FPV with my Nook, but it's much shorter here in the city (Lowell, MA). I'd like to increase it, but I'm thinking the only way to really get much better reception is using a cell phone and a facetime type app. I'd try it, but I'm concerned I might lose it due to transmitter reception issues.
     
  9. zerodb

    Joined:
    May 21, 2014
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is the video quality somehow significantly better on the Kindle than on other devices? I've tried my iphone, iPad mini, and Nexus 7, and none of them are very satisfactory for FPV video quality. It doesn't help to fly on a sunny day when I can barely see the screen of course. Have been using a DD-WRT router with a directional antenna as a repeater, so I've not yet felt limited by range, but I'm only on my 5th or 6th flight and still a little nervous flying without direct visual contact. My last FPV attempt put me sideways into a tree. Come to think of it, all of my flights have ended up in trees. Maybe I should fly someplace with less trees.
     
  10. Wedeliver

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Tionesta, California
    I have not used "other" devices other then my phone a Samsung Galaxy S4 and now I have a Kindle Fire HD 7" and I like the resolution and the contrast and brightness is slightly better then the phone. With the phone I really could not see anything, even with a sunshade when I was flying with the sun overhead. But with the Kindle I can see pretty good and I am hoping I can further tweak it to make the view even better. The main reason I got the Kindle over other tablets is the dual antennas. It seems that Kindle fire HD has a really good antenna system by default and that is what made me want it.

    With my phone it seemed that the brightness setting would not be as high as I would want it when I run the FC40 app.

    As far as you crashing into trees, that is a real a present danger and I feel for ya. I have over 30 acres and most was used to grow Rhy hay so there are no trees and I was able to follow my son from a reasonable height, maybe 25 or 30', if the camera is further away then that, things get pretty small on the screen.
     
  11. J.James

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,882
    Likes Received:
    162
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I think the kindle does have a better resolution then my phone and its also a much bigger screen which makes it easier to see. tho still hard to see in bright sun even with the screen brightness all the way up. But the real limiting factor of the resolution is that the camera ap has low resolution and lots of lag time to. So even with the est resoluton on what ever devise its still only going to be as good as the aps resolution.

    I have this antenna laying around, it is made for wifi...
    That big pole antenna would work on a moded kindle or even a nook. But just may look a little funny sticking out the side lol and would probably need to be stuck on some thing like a tripod along with the kindle. Tho not as portable
     
  12. 2014fc40

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ive been working on a tripod with a metal box that was used as some sort of inbox/sorting box. It has slanted sides and is the perfect size for an Ipad2. Sprayed it matte BBQ black (it was shiny gray). I have high hopes for it. At least when I don't need to walk around. I may put some of that thin black hobby foam inside it to further reduce glare. Sticky sided kind.

    Couple of stick on Velcro strips and you are hitting the big time. :lol: :lol:

    But, as Ive pointed out, those silly controls covering the image are the worst....
     
  13. darwin-t

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    513
    Likes Received:
    5
    The video image on a Kindle Fire is much better than an iPhone,IMHO. I tried a glare reduction screen protector, which helped a little. Then I made a light shield with Kydex which REALLY helps. Kydex is a plastic which you can buy in 12" x 12" sheets from Amazon. 1/16" thickness is what I use.

    When you heat it up to 200+ degrees in an oven, it is VERY pliable. Once it cools, it is rigid again. I have switched to using a heat gun because it gives much more control.

    Molded plastic holsters are made of Kydex.