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Phantom FC40 setup.. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Phantom FC40 Discussion' started by G Tek Fab, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. G Tek Fab

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    Ok guys I've had my FC40 for a week now and loving it more and more every time I take her up. Before I bought it I trained for a month with a Hubsan X4. Sounds funny but the training with that little thing paid off when I first launched the Phantom.

    Anyway I'll be using my Quad for a small business once I get the hang of vid recording. I've made contact with some local commercial and residential realtors offering aerial profiles of buildings, homes and lots. They are excited about the possibilities and the advantages. I've taken some video of local neighborhoods and around some lakeside homes and discovered the FC40 camera takes some real nice video but the craft is a little too shakey for the quality of vid I want.

    I'm working on some upgrades and would like some constructive input if possible.

    * DJI phantom FC40
    * Swapping oem camera with a GoPro Hero3
    * Adding a Tarot TL68A00 Brushless Gimbal T-2D for the Gopro Hero3
    * Bought two types of extended landing gear to see which ones will suit best.
    These carbon fibber units >>> http://www.ebay.com/itm/271554522324?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT
    ...and these longer oem looking ones >>> http://www.ebay.com/itm/251609027608?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Input? Advise?

    Thanks!
     
  2. G Tek Fab

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    Beuler? Beuler? Anyone? :cry:
     
  3. CityZen

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    Unless you also keep the stock camera mounted, you won't have FPV, which you'd probably want in order to see what you're recording.
    So then you should get a FPV setup, but not a 5.8 Ghz one since your Phantom is using that for control. (Or, alternately change your rx/tx to 2.4Ghz.)
    You'll probably also want an upgraded battery.

    There's lots of advice already found in existing threads here. Also check out the P1 forums and others.
     
  4. G Tek Fab

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    Thanks, but I do have a GoPro hero with wifi and the the GoPro app so I will have fpv unless there's a reception problem?
     
  5. Vintage Mark

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    Hi, I'm not very experienced myself because I have only had my FC40 for four weeks. Like you, I spent several weeks practicing (with a Cheerson CX30) to get the hang of control, orientation, etc.
    My experience with the FC40 is that the DJI camera has good range for FPV but lacks image quality (It's still pretty good though). Also, for video you really need a gimbal to provide a stable base. Because of the difficulty of fitting the FC40 shape camera to the gimbal I purchased, I bought a WiFi version of the SJCAM SJ4000. This is excellent but has a much lower WiFi range and more video lag compared to the DJI stock camera. I expect the GoPro WiFi is similar in range and lag (latency).
    My experience is that whether you need a gimbal or not depends on whether you want still photos or video. For still photos, you probably don't need a gimbal, saving weight and money. For good video, it is essential in my experience.
    Also, although the SJ4000 WiFi (and GoPro) has very limited range and delays on the returned video on your smartphone, it is indeed very useful for framing a scene, or framing a "shot". However, you do need to be close to what you are filming. Also, you quickly learn which orientation of the quadcopter (and its camera) gives the best range to your smartphone, so you can position yourself accordingly.
    To sum up, even with the limited range and video delays of these WiFi cameras, you can still get some great pictures. To get great video, you need perfectly still air, or a gimbal.
    I'm presently measuring the performance of my FC40 with different configurations but with stock 2200mAh batteries. Gimbal has arrived, but I have delayed fitting it until I've completed the current test series.
    Hope this helps, but bear in mind this is only my (limited) experience.
    Mark
     
  6. G Tek Fab

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    I like your take Mark thanks!

    Ya the go pro does lag and only has a range of 600 ft but I've read it can be less than that. My Tarot T-2D gimbal is due to show up on my door step today and after watching my share of YouTube install vids I'm ready to open up the Phantom.

    I'll have to see how well the GoPro wifi app works for what I have planned before I decide to take the next step.

    I should post some fc40 vs GoPro vids when I'm done.
     
  7. CityZen

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    You can increase the wifi range of the GoPro or SJ4000 with a wifi extender (and perhaps with suitably hi-gain antennas on it).
     
  8. Molokai

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    Definitely go with the carbon fiber legs. I just got the same pair and they are fantastic - no need to worry about forward tip-overs anymore at all. If you go with a gopro, you need a proper 2.4ghz fpv setup.
     
  9. G Tek Fab

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    Now we're talkin! eBay? Amazon?
     
  10. G Tek Fab

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    I'll give them a shot, I really like the looks of them too!

    Wonder if they'll fit in my pelican case? :eek: If not I'm sure I can cut them down.
     
  11. G Tek Fab

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    Ok so I mounted and wired the Tarot gimbal last night. Not bad, I watched a few YouTube installs so that helped.

    I wasn't aware there was a different screw pattern on the bottom of the fc40 and I ended up with the wrong adaptor plate. I ended up lining up the front hole of the gimbal to the front screw of fc40 then drilled a tiny hole for the back screw. I made sure the little bolt did not interfere with the battery. Mounting is perfect!

    As for wiring, I won't go into detail but it was pretty straight forward. I bought some 3 wire servo leads and pulled out the middle wire of one of them for the Naza f2 connection, then pulled out two wires from another servo lead and individually shrink wrapped the little single female end on each wire. This made it easy to slip each wire on the offset connections at the gimbal board.

    I'll post some pics as soon as stupid photo bucket gets their :eek: together with IOS software.
     
  12. G Tek Fab

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    Ok so two things I've learned about programming the tarot gimbal...

    1) Don't forget to save to flash!

    2) Watch this guys vid to learn how!
    [youtube]http://youtu.be/BwogodUlGAI[/youtube]
     
  13. G Tek Fab

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    What's wrong with the vid player?
     
  14. G Tek Fab

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    Ok I finally installed and tried out the dual battery outriggers I bought a few months ago. I already figured I wasn't going to get twice the flight time due to the added weight. Although it did add 4 minutes which is much better after adding the GoPro, gimbal and aftermarket landing gear. She flys a bit sluggish but it still handles nice.
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. IflyinWY

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    I've gone with a single Multistar 4000 battery instead of hanging batteries outside. They get hit with prop wash when you have them on outriggers. Anything you put in the way of the down moving air increases your perceived gross weight. Perceived isn't the best word, I'm tired.

    Other than that, it looks like you're building the Phantom I want. Nice job. Thanks for sharing. :D
     
  16. G Tek Fab

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    Thanks!

    Ya I considered the prop wash but wanted to try it anyway with the 9" props. I'm still satisfied with the performance although I won't be using dual batts all the time. Guess I should try the 4000.
     
  17. IflyinWY

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    Yep, the 4000 makes for a pretty clean power setup. The one thing to consider is the 10 C discharge rate. I have yet to have any issues other than having to ease up a bit as my flights near their end. Seems like the bird will suck power faster than the battery wants to give it up. I do fly at 5 to 6,000 feet above sea level though.

    What part of the Erf are you flying around? I'm hanging around The Big Horns.
     
  18. G Tek Fab

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    Southern California, most likely where most of the irresponsible quad pilots exist.

    Not including myself that is. :D
     
  19. IflyinWY

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    So Cal is beautiful, cept for all the people. Enjoy the weather. We've got 11 degrees and a couple inches of fresh snow. :D
     
  20. G Tek Fab

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    Not a lot of peeps where I live actually. Just above Temecula in a small town 100 miles from the big city. Love where I'm at.

    Tons of scenic flying here also.