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FPV install on P2

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by jondrew, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. jondrew

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    I got my Diversity Monitor and Immersion 600 mW Tx today and immediately went to work to install in my P2 with Zen Gimbal and Gopro 3 (also had my IOSD Mini ready to go). I was going to do a short video of the install but didn't really have time and besides, the HPI guy did such a great video install video I'll just tag his Youtube for anyone interested in wiring everything but the Tx on the inside. Very clean install. The only thing different I did was use a pre wired harness to hook up the IOSD, CAN Bus and Transmitter so no soldering is required. http://www.firstpersonview.com/cables/phantom-2-iosd-mini-transmitter See photos below of the insides and final look outside.

    The install part went very quickly. Maybe less than an hour. But once I turned things on I was somewhat disappointed in the results. First, the video from the GoPro appeared stretched. I have not figured out if there is a way to manually select aspect ratio on the Diversity Monitor. Second, the OSD data appears to be slightly larger than the video display, so some of the edges of the OSD data is clipped. Again, I need to do some looking to see if this can be adjusted.

    More disappointing was when I got the Phantom flying (just in the driveway, in the dark with street lights) and the range before the picture broke up was very short. Maybe less than 50 feet. Above that, the video was completely gone. I flew the phantom back and forth and from side to side and also yawed it around its axis with no appreciable improvement on the video. I noticed when I put my hand on the Monitor's antennas I got sporadic improvements in video.

    I know I have the in the box dipole antenna and that everyone seems to go to the Spironet types. Does that really improve signal that much? Stock antennas, 50 ft away with a clear line of sight don't work?

    Now granted, this is right out of the gate and I have not had the time to dig into things. I know I can change the Tx channels and see if I can find a better channel. Are the Spironets going to solve the problem?

    HPI Guy Install video http://youtu.be/TL8pqtEDuos

    Install Photos below

    [​IMG]

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  2. hook3m

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    Location:
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    Antennas make all the difference in the world. Ditch the rubber duckies and go with Fatshark Spironets. You should get a mile plus range with them.
     
  3. stevet

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    Im waiting or my Tx and Fatshark Spironets to come in this week I hope, and I plan to follow the video guide. I also have the already prewired cable so hopefully that makes life simpler. I also have the ground station so not 100% sure how that all fits into the mix if I keep the iOSD in the phantom. Btw what type of adhesive did you end up using? Keep us updated as to your progress and things you tweaked to get better singal, I think their are still plenty of us starting fpv that might run into similar things you will.

    The only thing I didnt like is the non easy ability to update the iOSD mini

    cheers
     
  4. goldfishrock

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    +1 from me. Put a Spironet on the vTX and maybe a combination of patch/spironet or patch/helical on your diversity monitor for the best results.
     
  5. goldfishrock

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    +1 from me. Put a Spironet on the vTX and maybe a combination of patch/spironet or patch/helical on your diversity monitor for the best results.

    Nice job on the IOSD install.... looks great.
     
  6. jondrew

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    I used the 3M double stick like auto detailers use (Most hardware/grocery stores carry it [​IMG]. I doubled up sticking the Tx on the bottom because the bottom isn't flat. The Tx gets pretty warm so I'll keep an eye on how the tape works. Seems lots of people mount them like that and I have not seen anyone complain (yet).

    You are right about not having access to the ISOD for updates. I didn't realize it would not update once plugged in so I'll have to open it up again. The plug n play cable is great!
     
  7. jondrew

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    Thanks. I noticed that at least close up the monitor doesn't seems to care whether the antennas are on or not :/
    Guess I'll be ordering Spironets.
     
  8. xgeek

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    Location:
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    Something is not right if you are only getting 50ft. Before I upgraded my antennas I was using the default rubber duckies on my Black Pearl monitor and Fatshark 250mw TX and was getting 300 meters before loss (almost 1000ft).
     
  9. xplorer

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    I get about 400 meters with a similar setup. I found that contrary to my expectations, if the TX antenna is vertical (best position), the RX antenna surprisingly worked best when horizontal, not vertical.

    On my diversity receiver, I now have the two antennae horizontal, but 90 degrees different (one facing forward, the other facing to the right).

    The diversity receiver seems to switch between the two constantly, but if I turn one RX antenna to the vertical, then that receiver is never enabled, proving it is the worse of the three positions.

    At extreme range, I lightly touch one RX antenna and then the other, and often get perfect image for another 50 meters or more, but then I must fly with one hand...
     
  10. jondrew

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    Yea, something funky was going on and it was getting late so I didn't have time to chase it down. Like I said, when it was not flying and just sitting there I seemed to do just as good with the antennas on the receiver as on, so I know something is hosed. I feel like I'm playing with rabbit ear antennas like on old tvs.
     
  11. NYRangers99

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    I saw he HPI guy setup, was wondering if you had any flying problems by putting the CAB Bus(black thing) inside instead of on the leg where it was? I read somewhere that it effects the flight…kind of new to this but was just wondering if this would have any effect on the Phantom 2 flight or is that the Compass(grey thing) on the other leg they were talking about?
     
  12. jondrew

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    I don't see why it would. The CAN bus is much less metal than the gimbal which does not seem to have made much of a difference. But, I've only flown it a few minutes last night and probably won't get back to it before the weekend.
     
  13. jondrew

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    Got home late and figured I'd give your set up a try. Much more gooder! Its pretty windy out and we have a lot of trees so I did not venture up too high or out too far. But the video reception was definitely better by putting the Tx antenna straight out and doing the horizontal "L" with the Rx antennas.

    The OSD display is still overscanning the screen of the Diversity monitor. Some of the info is cut off. I see this is something you can adjust using the updater software. Guess I need to open the P2 up again. Good reason to maybe mount the iOSD on the outside.
     
  14. NYRangers99

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    I just set up mine with the Boscam Rx LCD 5802 monitor…mine was cut off also but was able to adjust it in the iOSD assistant software…mine was cut off on the left and right..had to bring both in…did u do that?
     
  15. rmklaw

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    My CAN Bus plus everything else, except the AVL58 are installed inside (removed from the leg). I did not cut any wires. I just coiled the CAN Bus cable inside.
     
  16. jondrew

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    Same monitor ( I guess Boscam markets the LCD 5802 along with others). No, I did not run the assistant before I closed the P2 up. I mistakenly thought you could do it through the P2 USB port. Will have to open it up and do it tonight.
     
  17. NYRangers99

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    yeah, you can adjust the screen that way and update the iosd mini if it requires it.
     
  18. jondrew

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    I finally got some daytime FPV flying in. I'm more impressed than I was originally. Based on google maps I got about 650 ft away with decent reception (IOSD said 210 M). I tried with the antenna pointing straight down and sticking straight out the rear. Going straight out the back seemed to give the best results with the Rx antennas parallel to the ground and 90 deg apart from each other. Almost completely loose the signal when I turn around to come back. I was a little hesitant to push it too far because I am not used to FPV flying at all. It seemed easier than I thought it would be, but I didn't want to lose or crash the Phantom by pushing too far too fast (I still have new antennas and a set of Fatsharks on order).

    Also, once I get my new antennas and a flight or two with them I think I'm going to take the IOSD and mount it externally so I have access to the USB port. I'll probably be doing a ground station soon too and am looking at adding a little shelf on the landing gear to hold all the external stores behind the gimbal.

    The video is from the first few flights. It will be cool when I get enough confidence to fly further.

    http://vimeo.com/86871359
     
  19. jondrew

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    No new antennas to day, so much for USPS 2nd day shipping. I did get a longer flight in today. Visited the local waste water treatment plant (about 500 + meters). Felt very comfortable flying. Once the P2 was clear of the tree in my back yard I got it up to about 80 meters and headed out. I'm pretty fortunate that even though I live in a pretty densely populated area, there is a lot of undeveloped property behind my house. I could easily do a 2.8Km flight without having to fly over anyones house. So if the P2 lost power for whatever reason it would probably not damage any property or hurt anyone. Chances of ever finding it would be almost zero, but that's ok. My biggest obstacle is keeping a clear line of sight open. If 400 feet (120M) is the legal max, that would probably help.

    Its really spooky once you get going only looking thru the monitor and then when you look up for the P2 you can't find it. After a second of panic I looked back at the monitor and saw I still had full control and knew exactly where I was (turned around and could see my house. After I got to the max I planned on going I turned around again and the video almost completely broke up. I just went back to the original heading and flew backwards for a while until I could turn around without losing signal. Definintly think a DVR is on the want next list. I like the videos people put up with the FPV video inset so you can see both the High Res from the GoPro recording and the FPV with IOSD display. It would probably also be useful to increase your chances of finding your P2 if it crashed.



    Video below shows the flight

    http://vimeo.com/91107087
     
  20. jondrew

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    Well I've made some changes since I started this post. I have the Fatshark Spiro antennas. The vendor accidentally sent me a fatshark patch antenna, and while I was waiting for the correct ones to arrive I decided I'd keep that too to see how it works. I also picked up a Tagg pet tracker ( pet tracker.com ) to see if that is a reasonable solution for recovery insurance (I'll post separately on that in the "General Topics" forum later. Another change I made was to finally install some higher clearance legs to the phantom I had picked up on ebay a month or two ago. I also have a Ground Station now and plan to install that later. I don't want to make too many mods at one time and lose control over what is going on

    Bit by bit:

    I decided to externally mount the IOSD instead of my original internal mount. I had to update the firmware and also adjust the data in the image frame. While the Phantom is relatively easy to open, I can see that if you do it too often you'll probably start breaking things (one of the inboard screw mounts broke off this time and I had to epoxy it back in). I was in my LHS (Graves RC in Orlando gravesrc.com has lots of quad stuff if you live near by) yesterday looking for ideas on how to mount stuff externally and ran into a guy who said he velcros everything on so he can move it around. So I decided to try that. the IOSD and Immersion Tx are now attached with velcro. When I add the air end of the Ground Station I can rearrange everything. I used the Tagg collar mount to locate the unit on the left front landing gear. Seems pretty secure. At least if that falls off I should be able to find it.

    Did my first FPV flight this morning to check everything out. I flew around the house for a bit to make sure everything was secure, nothing was falling off etc. Then I headed north along the green belt near my house. I like to stay below 400 ft, but you can easily see when the tree line interferes with your signal and I goosed it up another 50 ft or so to maintain video. I have both the Fatshark Spironet and the Patch antenna on my diversity monitor. I immediately noticed a bit of interference when I fired things up (band of noise rolling down the image). As I got in the air the video improved (the diversity monitor stayed on Channel A, the Spironet antenna). As I got further out, maybe around 500 meters or so, the signal started dropping and the monitor changed to the Patch antenna (Channel B) and stayed there. I had to get a little higher to keep the signal (can't remember, maybe 150M?), but it was holding good video pretty well. As the map below shows, I got out to around 720 M (almost 1/2 Mile) and while the video seemed solid, I noticed the artificial horizon on the IOSD was tilted around 5 to 10 degrees. I could correct it with the aileron stick, but when I let go it just went back. I wasn't sure what was happening and I'd bee flying for around 8 or 9 minutes so I decided to come back home just in case something was getting ready to break. When I got it back to the house, I did not notice any tilt or any other problems, and the artificial horizon was level again. It had gotten pretty breezy by then so maybe the Phantom was just fighting the wind.

    All in all everything went pretty well. I have several options to fly right out of my back yard and more or less stay away from flying directly over roads or houses. Of course if it goes down it will be off in the woods somewhere, which is why hopefully the Tagg system will aid in finding it.

    Its still pretty windy today, so I don't think I'll be doing any distance flying. If I can find a few spare hours I'll try to get my min DVR hooked up to the monitor so I can record the OSD video which will make documenting flight events a bit easier. I need a couple of cable adapters to get it wired up, and need to make up a couple of LiPo battery connectors and then velcro everything to the back of the monitor (which is getting quite heavy now).

    Feel free to comment. I'm interested to see if anyone sees anything intrinsically wrong I've done here or has any other suggestions. There are so many antennas and sensors on here (compass, 2 GPS systems, the Phantom Receiver, Video Tx and soon the Ground Station air unit). I know this stuff adds a lot of weight. Will probably be north of 100 grams of add-ons not counting Zen Gimbal and GoPro. I have not exhausted the battery yet, but this flight was about 12 minutes, and I probably could have gotten another 2 or 3 at least under these conditions.

    Pictures

    First flight with all the goodies attached
    [​IMG]

    My Monitor set up with antennas (I plan on cleaning this up once I get all the parts attached and figure out what works best)
    [​IMG]

    Phantom with its extended legs
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Tagg Tracker
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    All the guts velcroed on the bottom
    [​IMG]
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