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Solid & Straight-Forward FPV Platform

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by dbot3000, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. dbot3000

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    Hi all,

    I'm brand new to the forum and quite new to the hobby in general. I had a lot of fun with my original Phantom 1 over the last 6 months and recently moved to the P2 with H3-2D gimbal. The next step, of course, is FPV. I'd like to keep it somewhat simple in terms of wiring, batteries on the receiver end, etc. In other words, I'm not necessarily looking for the absolute best, craziest, most expensive setup ever... Just something that will work well, has proven performance, and uses the stock connections on the P2.

    Thus far, I'm thinking that the ImmersionRC 600mW transmitter paired with a skew planar wheel antenna is somewhat of a no-brainer (lightweight, good track record, simple installation, relatively inexpensive). But that then dictates/narrows my receiver choices (which is probably fine). This is where my head starts hurting as I look at the various monitor, receiver, antenna options and combinations. I'm leaning toward a monitor versus goggles at this point and would like to go with a diversity model (probably with a skew planar wheel on one and a helical on the other).

    Soooooo... Assuming most of you are on board with me in terms of the transmitter, I was wondering what your thoughts are on specific diversity monitor/receiver combos or, alternately, a specific dual receiver/monitor/battery setup. If you happen to have a different/better transmitter in mind, by all means do share.

    Thanks in advance for your responses. Looking forward to them.

    Best,
    Dan
     
  2. nwillitts

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    go with the immersion system-i did-completely happy.
     
  3. goldfishrock

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    Hiya Dan, welcome onboard :)

    The IRC600 is a nice transmitter however there is an ongoing thread about it being incompatible with some recievers.... including the very popular Black Pearl diversity monitor / recevier. You can read about it here.

    http://www.phantompilots.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=8406

    I was one of the ones who had this combo and experienced problems and finally tried a Fat Shark 250mw which worked perfectly. There is also the AVL58 which a lot of users on here have and are very happy with. It's a very subjective thing choosing a tranmitter / receiver combo and you'll find numerous debates raging on.

    Personally I love the Black Pearl monitor. I certainly does everything I need it to and had the added bonus of being able to work on all 32 channels of the 5.8ghz spectrum. It's nice to have the monitor / receiver all bundled together with a single power source, less weight etc..... it makes life out in the field a lot easier.

    For antennae, I use a Fatshark Spironet Patch antenna on one side and an IBCrazy 5-Turn Helical on the other. Between the two and the Fatshark 250mw I get great reception way out past 1km.... and this is living in amongst the hills of Devon.... if it was flat I would expect much further. Most of the IBCrazy antennae work really well and have excellent reviews, the Bluebeam varients seem to be the best of the lot.

    Have a good root around in the past posts as you'll find lots of peoples experiences with different combos, documented.
     
  4. qtluong

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    For ease of installation, it's difficult to beat DJI's AVL58. With the DJI Phantom 2 FPV HUB, it's entirely plug-and-play, even with the iOSD mini.
     
  5. dbot3000

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    Thanks all for the responses, especially 'goldfishrock' for the detail, background, and link to the related thread.

    I've bitten the bullet and ordered:
    - Mini iOSD
    - ImmersionRC 600mW Tx
    - FlySight BP 7" HD LCD w/5.8GHz 32CH and battery
    - Set of 5.8GHz SpiroNET Omni SMA antennae & adapter

    I'll try out the Black Pearl with 1 SpiroNET and 1 stock whip before looking further into a helical/directional. I'm also going to look into mounting the Tx a little bit away from the body of the P2 as I have a feeling that may contribute somewhat to interference (not radio interference, per se, but general electrical noise). It'll also keep it away from the heat generated by the P2 battery.

    If I can get a solid 500-600m I'll be pretty happy, and I'd be ecstatic with 1km. I'm not looking to beat any distance records. I just want to be able to see what the GoPro sees to improve my final footage. Even when you're relatively close to the P2, sometimes it's difficult to determine if you're right over your target, still too short of it, or way beyond it. This should help immensely.

    Best, and thanks again!
     
  6. chadandreo

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    How do you like this setup?
     
  7. dbot3000

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    I was finally able to get around to connecting everything just tonight. It's all wired up. I should be able to do a test flight tomorrow or this weekend. I'll be sure to post an update here soon after.

    Regards,
     
  8. dbot3000

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    I was able to do the actual installation today (versus the quick connect and verify I did yesterday). Attached are some photos of the final installation.

    I hope to take it out for its first FPV/iOSD flight tomorrow. For the first flight, I'm going to use all stock antennae. I also have some other antennae I'll try out to see how much improvement I get.

    I mounted a rectangular piece of plastic tubing to the bottom of the P2, attached the iOSD Mini to the top inside of it, and the IRC 600mW transmitter to the bottom. Everything is using 3M double-sided tape (the gray stuff with the red backing), but I also put a wire tie on the transmitter to make sure it doesn't go missing on me. I drilled a few holes in the plastic to help airflow and to allow access to the iOSD's USB port. I also added some copper shielding tape in hopes of minimizing any intereference (I doubt it will have much impact on anything).

    I just updated the Assistant software and all of the various firmware. Now it's just up to the weather!

    Stay tuned!

    If the photos are hard to view in the post...

    http://www.californiastars.net/img/_other/P1010433.jpg
    http://www.californiastars.net/img/_other/P1010434.jpg
    http://www.californiastars.net/img/_other/P1010437.jpg
    http://www.californiastars.net/img/_other/P1010440.jpg

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Best,
     
  9. dbot3000

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    Just came in from my first flight with the IRC 600mW transmitter and iOSD with Black Pearl screen. I am thoroughly happy with this setup!

    Using just the stock whip antennae on everything it was pretty crap. After about 40-60m, there was a fair amount of static.

    I then changed just the transmitter to an IRC/FatShark skew planar antenna. Picture was great until about 200m but still decent to about 300m.

    Then I put an IRC/FatShark skew planar antenna on R2 of the Black Pearl (still just the stock whip on R1). Great picture to about 600m then it got a bit iffy.

    Finally, I put a Circular Wireless helical axial antenna on R1 of the Black Pearl and that took me out to 1000m without much static. When the P2 was headed directly toward me there was a bit of static but still not that bad.

    I was hoping for 500-600m of good picture, so I am more than happy with the 1km! I had Tx and Rx on band F, channel 1 (5740Mhz), by the way.

    The sun had set and it was getting dark so I didn't get to play with the "ideal" antennae combination for very long. If the wind is minimal tomorrow morning I'll give it another go and see what happens!

    Best,
     
  10. Iceman

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    Nice set up very similar to mine just need to get a set of fat shark goggles now for full fpv experience you won't look back
     
  11. JackHandley

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    I'm glad I've read something good about the BP and IRC 600mw TX as that's what I have. I have had my heart set on the BP and until about an hour ago reading iffy things about range with the IRC TX.

    Could you list what annetnnas went where for best picture?
     
  12. damoncooper

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    Re: Solid & Straight-Forward FPV Platform

    Might want to orient the Tx antenna to point out the side vs back, since the quad body is in the way on return trip
     
  13. dbot3000

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    The configuration I've settled on for now has a Fat Shark skew planar antenna on the transmitter, another on one of the BP receivers (you can buy them in pairs), and a Circular Wireless helical directional antenna on the other receiver. On the diversity receiver, it doesn't matter which antenna you put on which antenna input. This is the configuration I used to reach 2.8 km. After about 400-600 meters, it will rely solely on the helical directional antenna. If you have the BP on a tripod or other stationary stand, you'll have to adjust it's position once in a while but once the Phantom gets to a good distance, you don't have to adjust the antenna all that much.

    On the transmitter, I've tried it straight out and at 90 degrees pointing down. Pointing down with a 90 degree adapter seems to be the way to go. It'll clear the Phantom's body for the most part although you'll still get some chop and interference when it's far away and heading toward you. Also, the antenna extends further down than the Phantom's skids so you'll need a brick or a box to take off (or just use your hands but that can get a little tricky) and you may need to grab it when landing rather than landing it on the ground or other flat surface.

    I've been very happy with this setup so far.

    Best of luck!


     
  14. JackHandley

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    Hey man. Ordered my black pearl and fatshark polarisers today, haven't got my 90° sma adapter yet but will give it a go regardless before I order one.

    Will I need a converter for the BP? Or are the antenna inputs sma? I tried looking on all the specs but couldn't find anything!

    Also are the 90° adapter and sma to BP adapters easy to find anywhere else except the net?
     
  15. dc5stormtrooper

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    Hey dbot,

    what adapter did you use on the circular wireless antenna to have it connect to the black pearl fpv monitor? it seems to me like you will need a female to female sma adapter which i cannot find ANYWHERE. :cry:
     
  16. dbot3000

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    Hey there. There are 2 varieties of the Black Pearl monitor, one with a 32-channel receiver and one with a 7-channel receiver (F band only). The 32-channel version has RP-SMA antennae connectors. The 7-channel version has SMA connectors. Either will work fine with ImmersionRC transmitters, it's just a matter of getting the right antennae and adapters, as you've discovered. :)

    I've attached photos of what you need. Let me know if it's still not clear or if you have different connectors on your monitor or antenna.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Mako79

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    Ebay sells flex SMA 10cm extender/converter antenna cables. These are great if you are bumping into things.
    If you use the adaptors, you may end up breaking the connector on your fpv device.
    Just make sure you the right sex combo.