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Looking for a good FPV

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

  1. mysticalice

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    FYI, I did try the 'search' feature, but apparently there's a limitation searching for something that's only three letters long :)
    I went through the first dozen pages of this forum, and found a lot of good information, but hoping someone can further point me in the right direction.

    I've got a P2 with Zenmuse gimbal. Loving every minute of it, but I'd like to add FPV.

    To my understanding, I'd need:
    - Video Transmitter on P2
    - Video Receiver on ground
    - Monitor
    - Antennas
    - Mini iosd (if I want flight data overlaid in the video feed)

    Am I missing anything?

    I've got no problem doing basic soldering, etc. but would prefer if there was some tutorial on whatever equipment I purchase.

    Anyone have any suggestion or good recommendations? Price not really an issue as long as I'm not paying $2000 for the above.
     
  2. nintendrone64

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    You're looking at around 4-500 dollars. You have all the parts needed, listed. :)
     
  3. d4ddyo

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    yep... you have exactly what you need. you may want to consider how you fill it. for example, a Monitor/receiver combo.

    If you go DJI and you don't want to solder or splice... then consider DJI FPV hub.
     
  4. LIONDOG

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    I recently went through the decision process on all this. While there are as many opinions as there are posters...here's what I decided on: I am new to this, and have not put all these pieces together yet...so use my newbie advice at your own risk :lol:. Maybe some of the seasoned experts can comment on this configuration. Thanks to all the forum contributors for leading me to this set of decisions....

    Black Pearl Diversity Monitor from Range Video
    Ground Station from UAV Products (beyond what you asked for, but I thought this a cool technology so want to try it)
    Antenna Adapters from ReadyMade RC - to fit the two antennas to the Monitor RP SMA Female to SMA Female Adapter (RPSMAF-SMAF-ADAPTER)
    Immersion RC 600W transmitter - I got this from eBay, paid a premium, but no one seemed to have it
    Fatshark Patch Antenna from nghobbies (this is one of the antennas for the Black Pearl)
    Wire harness freom www.firstpersonview.com which makes a lot of this plug and play
    Monitor Mount to Transmitter - ordered this from the guy on the forums here that makes them
    Case from Tradcraft
    Osdi Mini from Amain Hobbies
    Antenna set (tX and RX from readmadeRC 5.8 GHz Bluebeam Whip Antenna Set (RHCP) Straight (58BLUEBEAMWHIP) - one for the transmitter, the other as the other antenna for the BP Monitor (it is a dual antenna receiver)

    I think I have all I need, but have not put it all together yet - parts trickling in. The antenna adapters are one thing I am not 100% sure on.

    I also then added Fatshark BASE goggles to plug into the monitor output for times when I wan to try goggles instead of a monitor.

    I tired to order from the US/Canada suppliers. HobbyKing claimed to have a lot of stuff, but they are Asia based. Same with helipal. No knock on either as I have not ordered from them. I did look at resellerratings.com to help decide on suppliers.

    Hope that helps.

    - LIONDOG
     
  5. mysticalice

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    Thanks for the replies guys

    Obviously trying to do this with as little or no soldering if possible :)

    Which wire harness are you referring to from 'firstpersonview.com'? If I use the DJI hub, would I even need a wire harness? Doesn't it come with them?

    Only thing I'm not sold on is the DJI hub outside of the quad. I'd prefer to mount it inside, but seems the cables aren't long enough? :/
     
  6. LIONDOG

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    I used a wire harness from firstpersonview because best I could tell, the standard DJI available wires/hubs will not plug directly into an ImmersionRC transmitter. The ImmersionRC seemed to get such great reviews on this forum and others, that I wanted to go with it. Here is the harness I ordered: "Plug and Play Cable: DJI Phantom 2 to iOSD Mini and Fat Shark/ImmersionRC Transmitter" part number 4201047. It cost $21 which is a lot for what it is - but I wanted things to be simple to start.

    Maybe the DJi wires and hubs work with an ImmersionRC - I don't think so from what I was able to read. I think at least one or two things would need to be soldered. Lots of instructions buried in this forum on that topic. I don't mind soldering a bit, so in the end I may end up replacing the wire harness with a cleaner custom set up, but I wanted it easy to start with.

    Been flying a lot with just the Phantom 2, Zenmuse, and GoPro Hero 3+ Black. Gotta tell you, it's a lot of fun even without all the extra do dads.

    - LIONDOG
     
  7. LIONDOG

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    Just put my rig together last night. Pretty easy and a ton of fun! Took me a while to just make sure I was doing it all correctly and to update all the firmware. Four different components are each updated separately: Phantom 2, Mini IOSD, Ground side of the Ground Station, Air side of the Ground Station. Three different Software Assistants needed to be downloaded to work through the four firmware updates. Not a big deal, just took a little figuring for a newbie.

    I have not taken it out for a test flight yet, but everything seems to be working. Monitor picks up a nice picture from the transmitter. Of course I have no idea of range with the set up since I did not actually fly. I don't have my FatShark Patch antenna yet, so my range may not be as good as it can get - yet. Everything came together better than expected - I did indeed have the right antenna adapters to attach the antennas to the Black Pearl.

    One thing I omitted from my set up list above. If you choose to use the Ground Station, you need something to power it. I bought a little USB charger as recommended by someone on this forum... RAVPower Portable Charger Element 10400mAh Power Bank External Battery Charger Pack (Dual USB Outputs, Ultra Compact Design), for iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, 4S.

    I also forgot to include that I purchased the external plug/wall charger for the Black Pearl. Seems like that should be included, but it is not.

    The FatShark Goggles can plug right into the Black Pearl for both power and video signal - slick!

    I also need a little Velcro to attach all the pieces and parts to the Phantom.

    Also turned off the OSD display on the GoPro so I would not get all the extra camera status information on the screen that sort of clashes with the Mini iOSD output. The iOSD is really cool! The dots across the middle that show which way the Phantom is rolling is Top Gun all the way. Can't wait to try flying it FPV (in a wide open space!!!!). It will most definitely take some getting used to.

    Thanks for all the forum posts that helped me get this far!

    - LIONDOG
     
  8. mysticalice

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    Oh great - so in that case I'm going to order exactly what you ordered. Do you have any pictures of your final product? Would be great to just imitate exactly what you did too (in terms of placement,e tc)

    Tell me about the ground station. I'm not 100% sure I understand how it works exactly, and what hardware it requires on the Phantom
     
  9. LIONDOG

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    Groundstation is the thing that allows you to fly pre-programed waypoints, and also essentially fly it using your iPad as a controller. I intend to use it to fly over my property in northern Michigan to sort of survey it. You set up waypoints on a map interface on the iPad, tell the Phantom to go, and it flies off by itself to each waypoint, then comes back and lands. Looks pretty cool. There are a number of videos that demonstrate how it works. It's about as easy as the videos show.

    Groundstation is available from Amain hobbies (and other places) for $199. It includes a small base (ground) station that sends signals to the Phantom. There is a small "blue tooth unit" (BTU) that you plug into the base station to communicate with your iPad on the ground via bluetooth. The base unit is what needs power - I am using the USB power pack to give it power. On the Phantom end there is a receiver module that literally just plugs into the iOSD device. Super simple to install. A "CAN bus hub" is included, but it's not needed - at least not with my set up.

    To update the firmware you plug the base unit into your laptop via USB. Using the Assistant software you can upgrade the firmware in the base station and the attached BTU. You then unplug the BTU, unplug the receiver from the Phantom, and plug the receiver into base. With the base attached to the laptop via USB, you can upgrade the firmware in the receiver module. Took me a while to figure out those steps - even thought it's pretty clear in the instructions.

    Right now my stuff is just hanging outside my Phantom by the various wires and plugs. Nothing is attached yet...because I forgot to buy Velcro. Once I get that I'll Velcro stuff into place and post some photos. You can pretty much Velcro stuff anyway you want. I'll have my transmitter antenna just sticking out the side. I will go out the side opposite the little thin wire that is the Phantom receiver antenna (taped to one of the legs). I hear it's good to have those to apart.

    It really was surprisingly simple to do. I did visit this forum, google a few things as I set up. With a little searching, you can easily find written or video instructions on every part of the process. The wire harness is pretty obvious. It can only plug into the Immersion RC transmitter and Mini IOSD one way. The remaining plug goes into the Phantom. It replaces the plug that has the four wires that come out of the Phantom and are cut off.

    Let me know how your set up goes. If you run into problems, post here and I'll help if I can. Again, I am a total newbie, so my knowledge it limited.

    - LIONDOG
     
  10. LIONDOG

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    Regarding mounting the DJI hub in the Phantom. There is a video out there that shows how to disconnect if from the leg, remove the plug, and then feed it all back into the Phantom body for a cleaner install. I was not to worried about that as I wanted to be able to get at various parts if I had to. I have dreams of switching out to the 2.4ghz HD Video Transmitter at some point...and maybe going back and forth between set ups. $1,600 is just too much to spend right now on a HD transmitter (Light Bridge). Maybe if prices come down, or I end up building something more capable in the future. This stuff is crazy fun so I imagine I will be building my next drone from one of the DJI kits.
     
  11. mysticalice

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    I ended up buying everything you listed (I'm unoriginal I know).

    Would I need the DJI FPV hub? I'd like to avoid soldering if at all possible.
     
  12. LIONDOG

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    Well, my set up is hardly original. I too essentially copied from a lot of experts on this forum. I would guess that this set up is likely the single most common...or at least many set ups are very, very close to this one. I'm not sure what a "DJI FPV Hub" is. I did not order one. If you get the wire harness from firstpersonview that I specified above, that is the ONLY wiring you need. No other wires or hubs or anything are needed. There will be no soldering. The only even slightly tricky thing is opening up the Phantom 2 and finding/unplugging the plug that has the four cut off wires that lead out the bottom. You replace that plug with the plug from the firstpersonview wire harness. Simple, but slightly nimble fingers are needed and reading glasses if your vision is like mine :) I even have a really nice soldering rig I was hoping to put to use at some point, but not yet. Just is not needed. Literally everything you need is listed in the post....of course I added the need for Velcro, and some sort of power source for the Ground Station if you choose to add that. There is no need to do the Ground Station now - it is something you can easily just plug in later. No need to open things back up or undo what was already done. There is literally nothing else you need, the tool to open the Phantom 2 is included with the Phantom.

    Oh, and I used one zip tie. Not needed, but the plug/wire that you remove from inside the Phantom goes through a zip tie. I wanted my new wire to go through the same zip tie. I cut loose the original, and replaced it with a zip tie that would also go around the new wires. This is not absolutely needed, but it will help keep pressure off the plug if the wires are accidentally tugged on for some reason.

    I did order spare Phantom batteries to allow for more flights before having to recharge. I now have four. Before adding all the stuff to it, I was getting 15+ minute flights - which are actually pretty long. Us newbie fliers need a break after 15 minutes of hard concentration. Likely the flights could have been longer, but I was not trying to test maximum flight times.

    I also order a 3S LiPo battery and charger to serve as a spare battery for the Black Pearl. The included battery built into the Black Pearl is all you need, however, I am planning some flights in remote areas and wanted a second battery source for the Black Pearl. I am not sure how long the battery lasts - I have heard everything from 20minutes to 1.5 hours. I got the spare battery just in case. I am planning some stuff next weekend and I won't have time to fully test the battery life of the Black Pearl before leaving. I will likely have to solder the right plug onto the battery for it to power the Black Pearl...no biggie.

    Finally got some Velcro...so time to stick everything together tonight. Too wet and rainy for any flying. Hopefully over the weekend!

    By the way, EVERY vendor I mentioned above was very fast with delivery. High marks to all of them! UAV Products was the fastest, but they are essentially local to me. Even nghobbies from Canada was faster than I expected. That order took maybe five days to get here which is not bad from Canada.

    -LIONDOG
     
  13. mysticalice

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    Thanks for the quick response.

    You're only getting 15 min of flight time? I thought we were supposed to get 20+ min on the P2?
     
  14. LIONDOG

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    I said 15+ minutes :) I did not time it, so it could easily be 20 minutes. I have generally been super conservative. I can tell you that each flying experience it plenty long. I look forward to the break to regroup. I've been doing a lot of high power climbs and high speed flying, so that can cut down on battery time. I'll try to get a little more accurate on flight times, particularly now with the Mini iOSD to help monitor battery levels.

    Today's a nice day, light wind, so I expect to do a lot of flying this afternoon. Charging up all the batteries as I type this. This will be the first flights with the FPV hooked up, so I'll start to get a sense of range on that.

    - LIONDOG
     
  15. LIONDOG

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    I was having too much fun to bother timing my flights today, but they are clearly closer to 20 than 15. Maybe even over that. I do have prop guards on and I know they cause more battery to be used. It was also very windy out.

    The battery in the Black Pearl lasted throughout the day. Five or six flights, with the Goggles plugged in as well. Maybe an hour and a half of use. Likely the extra battery I purchased will not be needed.

    I'm not sure about my FPV range. I was out 200 meters or so, flying in and around some houses in my neighborhood and I would occasionally get screen break up. I was not flying that high, so trees and stuff were getting between me and the monitor. I did more reading on this forum and I think the transmitter antenna is best positioned straight down. I rearranged the Velcro so the Video transmitter is sort of stuck to the side of the Phantom with the antenna pointing down between the landing gear. This seemed to work better, but I was still too nervous to fly beyond 200 meters or so.

    I also tried Ground Station. Worked great - no problems, easy to use. Not quite as exciting as flying yourself, but pretty interesting. I think if you have specific things you want to fly to and video, this will be a great feature, but I did not think it all that fun to just basically sit there and do nothing while the Phantom flew itself around.

    It was easy to take control back from the Ground Station by flipping the right switch on the transmitter to the middle position and then back up. Flew perfectly in GPS mode controlled by the transmitter again.

    Hopefully more flying tomorrow...maybe venture away from the house to find some interesting things to fly around and check out. Time to expand beyond buzzing the neighbor's houses. I've only flown close to friends houses that have encouraged me to do so. No need to stir up the neighborhood.

    Let me know when you get yours togther.

    - LIONDOG
     
  16. skeeter

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    Liondog:

    Which Fatshark Gogs are you using?

    thanks!
     
  17. LIONDOG

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    Fatshark BASE. They are a little cheaper because they have no receiver built in. They come with all the needed plugs and such to plug directly into the Black Pearl for video and power.

    - LIONDOG
     
  18. Phantom2inVA

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    LIONDOG- you said this in your post above " Been flying a lot with just the Phantom 2, Zenmuse, and GoPro Hero 3+ Black. Gotta tell you, it's a lot of fun even without all the extra do dads."

    I just got my new Phantom 2 with 3-2 gimbal and GoPro 3 White; I'm all excited about it but been reading so much on here about FPV now I'm confused if I need to spend more $$$. I just want to have fun and shoot some videos and stills of my son playing as well as some great aerial footage. Will what I have suffice?

    Thx!
     
  19. GhostMaster

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    Here is a very cheap FPV setup, you can get 1km+ range with this setup, its a nice start to FPV.
    And if you use a directional antenna on the receiver you could go above 2km.

    Boscam TS351: http://j.mp/1iwjZzR
    Boscam TS353 400mw: http://j.mp/1gJ6t7s
    Boscam receiver RC305 5.8Ghz: http://j.mp/1cRoJjy

    RC305 + TS353 combo: http://j.mp/1iuhzQ6

    Antennas (circular polarized)
    cloverleaf antenna to rx: http://j.mp/1arIRFU
    Cloverleaf antenna to tx: http://j.mp/1dG8kbW

    7" LCD: http://j.mp/1d7kwsr
    Boscam 7" RX-LCD5802 5.8GHz Diversity Receiver: http://j.mp/1lZuham

    Just to show how well this setup works here is a video i found on youtube (4.6 km on minute 8:14), in the description is the setup used, and you can read RC305 and TS351, just like this setup:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pkYzuNXp_c
     
  20. mysticalice

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    I'll add I purchased the exact same items as LIONDOG, and the FPV works flawlessly. Turn-key system for under $400. Not too shabby!