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The Ultimate FC40 FPV Mod (Update 1780m=5840ft +)

Discussion in 'Phantom FC40 Discussion' started by IIVII, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. IIVII

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    Hey everyone ,


    Now u can enjoy FPV with ur Mobile or Laptop + OSD + Live map tracking & more for less than $100 :D



    There r 2 options to do this mod..

    option 1 : a used Ar.Drone v1.0 $40-$60 , u get a basic OSD with 2 cams view ,but no HD no GPS data.

    option 2 : a used Ar.Drone v2.0 $80-$100 , u get full OSD /2 cams view (front is HD) + usb plug where u can record ur HD videos or hook up a flight recorder (GPS) and track your FC40 on maps live while flying .. plus u can add an external antenna and amp .. with the Ardrone v2.0 board the sky's literally the limit .

    used Ar.Drones can be found on ebay at a very reasonable price .. u only need the main board / navigation board /sensors / cams , so if u find an ArDrone with a broken central cross or even defective motors .. it'll do .

    listed below are some examples of how cheap these ArDrones sell on ebay :

    This V2.0 was sold for $45 item#:291113708507
    This V2.0 was sold for $76 item#:181368302298
    This V2.0 was sold for $81 item#: 181368499736
    These Two V1.0 were sold for $57 item#: 291127581995
    This V1.0 was sold for $49 item#:390803755700



    The Ar.Drone uses 2.4ghz so it's like it meant to be .. both options will give ya a better FPV with alot less lag plus :

    1-Battery indicator
    2-Wifi signal
    3-Heading
    4-Compass
    5-Take photos and record videos directly from your mobile screen.
    5-Altitude (only with v2.0 and GPS)
    6-Speed (only with v2.0 and GPS)
    7-Distance from home (only with v2.0 and GPS)


    u can also keep the FC40 cam or add a better cam to record ur HD videos .



    3SI5eX.jpg


    V1.0 & V2.0 boards:
    2oAiVT.jpg


    this's how light the v 1.0 board is :
    [​IMG]


    the v 2.0 board is a little heavier due to the usb plug which is a good option .
    [​IMG]

    the FC40 cam weighs almost as the v.2 board complete with it's cams , navigation board and usb plug:
    View attachment 16554


    this's what the v2.0 board looks like attached temporarily underneath my FC40 , as u can see it's powered by the Auxiliary cable that comes with the fc40:
    IMG_20140430_075654.jpg






    NOTE : the apps with Ar.Drone boards won't show altitude without an actual (launch) and in our case that's impossible due to the motors being disconnected from the board , but there's a workaround this . u can get altitude reading when u hook up the GPS .

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Update :


    i took the FC40 this afternoon for a quick test at the park front of my house and it was great , a bit windy and shaky but the mod preformed as it should . next weekend am gonna mount the board on a new permanent plate and probably add a booster and external antenna to it . plus a small isolated servo gimbal to carry both the Ar cam and the FC cam .

    btw. since the board is operating without motors i had to tweak the XML of the (ArDrone Flight Pro app) to hide the (emergency / motors) error and the msg is gone so i couldn't be happier :)

    Here's the edited xml file :
    download/file.php?id=11932

    To set it up open (ARDrone Flight Pro) Go to settings --> UI options --> then click on export layout .. a folder called (layout) will be created inside the ARDroneFlight folder on ur dir/SDcard go to that folder and replace the xml file with the edited one .


    a screenshot of the ARDrone Flight Pro app taken live from my mobile with the Ar.Drone board installed underneath my FC40 .. so this is what u see while flying ur phantom now.



    FPV+GPS Map mode :

    [​IMG]

    FPV While Flying :

    [​IMG]


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Update :

    I did the external antenna mod today :ugeek:


    Pigtail RG178 Cable soldered + clear epoxy
    Lqx0o1.jpg

    The 3dbi antenna + GPS module hooked up to the AR board .. i've also modded the landing gears .. now it has a wider stand all around plus it's right under the motors mounts so theres less drag .. win win :mrgreen:

    CUliu2.jpg
    FeYvAs.jpg


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Update :


    New World Record :mrgreen:

    Still waiting for the amp to be delivered .. antennas used for today's FPV test were 3dbi omni directional connected to the AR board & 7dbi alfa small directional panel on the Alfa adaptor .

    today's range is 1410m=4625ft .. AR cam mount fixed n vibration is gone .. i still had good steady FPV , but my DJI RC ran outa range.. moddin' the controler is a must now :cool:
    GYZn2O.jpg



    FPV Veiw + live tracking :cool:



    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Update :


    a special (Thank you) goes to Shawn Fraser the Developer of the ARDrone Flight Pro app for adding new options which made this mod a complete :)


    ARDrone Flight Pro app

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ARDronePro


    Now u can enjoy :

    1- The ability to resize the icons on the map section.
    2- GPS Alt on the FPV screen.
    3- GPS Speed on the FPV screen.
    4- GPS Dist on the FPV screen.
    5- GPS Fix on the FPV screen.

    so basically u get a full OSD like the vision guys have .. plus live map tracking all in one screen :mrgreen:

    [​IMG]



    still waiting for the Antennas & amps to arrive .. a new record will be posted soon :D



    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Update :



    For the AR GPS module .. instead of buying the Parrot Flight Recorder for $130 , go with the Navistick listed below which's lighter / way cheaper and works great for only $17
    . :mrgreen:

    [​IMG]

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Navistick-LE-US ... 35d72b35e2


    the link below is how to configure the Navistick to work with the ArDrone :idea:

    http://www.ardrone-flyers.com/forum/vie ... f=8&t=6629



    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Update :

    While still waitin' for my new antennas and amps to arrive i thought it's time to do the battery mod so here it is :)

    double Maddog 2700s , that's 5400mah inside the shell , should give me at least 26 mins of flying time .. a must have for my long range flights.
    :mrgreen:
    8ICGhs.jpg


    for more info on this mod check out ElGuano's (Mini-HowTo):

    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2082830




    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Update :

    another New World Record 1780m=5840ft :mrgreen:

    [​IMG]

    Still no amp on board only 3dbi omni directional antenna .. but i've changed the pilot end configuration to TP-Link 703 mini repeater + Sunhans 2.5w booster and the result was amazing .

    i went out to the desert thinking i brought my fully charged batts .. i was in a hurry when i left home and instead of grabbin' my charged batteries i took the empty ones ... lol

    while there i found out that one of the batts had %35 charge in it , so i thought what the hell if i run outa batt i can always autoland and put the live map tracking into use to locate the drone .. and that's what happened around half kilometer on the way back .. :idea:

    today's range test was kinda limited to my %35 battery range .. so i went as far as my batt allowed 1780 m = 5840 ft and still had strong signal , but i had to cut it short and return due to low batt :cool:


    This's my new pilot end configuration: TP-Link 703 + Sunhans 2.5w booster + Alfa 2.4ghz 7dbi panel antenna+ 5.8ghz 11dbi panel antenna .. I've added a knob for gimbal pitch control and u can also see MY $20 modded gimbal .. i've also removed the batt door to fit the 5400mah and used velcro instead ..
    IMG_20140623_210600.jpg




    1780m = 5840ft Test Flight with autoland :)






    P2V+ watch out :)


    IIVII
     

    Attached Files:

    #1 IIVII, Apr 30, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  2. gabimaor

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more

    Nice job.
    What do you gain from this?
    The camera seems to even quality or less right?
    What kind of info can you get from the drone app? Can it indicate the voltage?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. dragonash

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more

    so you are saying you just used the mainboard and nav board from the ARDV2 to get a simple OSD?
    And you used an app from the playstore that displays the info and gives you a view via your phone while the FC40 cam does the recording.

    not bad :)
    hows battery life?

    Coming from a Drone, all of the apps tell you battery life. If he has the mainboard connected to the battery and the particular app displays the info, it might just show battery life. I mean, the entire main and nav boards are in tact and simply being powered
     
  4. J.James

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more

    Thats a great lil hardware hack right there.

    Even if the cam is not as high resolution as the fc40s I can see this as being very useful. Even if you just use the AR video feed to send your osd data and use it as a fpv cam to be your eyes while flying and let the FC40s cam do the real video recording.
     
  5. darwin-t

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more

    Too bad the main board is needed. I have an ARDrone 2 with a bad main board...
     
  6. IIVII

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more


    both options will give ya a better FPV with alot less lag plus :

    1-battery life
    2-wifi signal
    3-altitude
    4-speed
    5-heading
    6-compass


    u can keep the FC40 cam to use as HD recorder .

    i say not bad for a $50 mod :)
     
  7. gabimaor

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more


    1. How will that improve battery life?
    2. So the wifi from the drone is stronger? Good to know

    All the telemetry is great. It's what I have been missing. The 1 thing I really want to know is whether the battery indicator actually work.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. IIVII

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more

    i meant by battery life (battery indicator) and yes it does work :) as for the wifi with my current setup which's alfa R36 repeater & alfa 2000mw USB adaptor i'm getting around 650m on both mobile and laptop thats almost 2100ft .. now with the ar.drone v2 board there's a mod where u can install an external antenna with an amp so u can easily double or triple the range .

    IIVII
     
  9. gabimaor

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    The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more :)

    Does it shows % or real voltage?

    The only different v1 vs v2 is a better cam and USB right? Other than flight recorder can you connect something else?

    What's the range without the setup u made? Just the cam to iphone?
     
  10. IIVII

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more


    yes the v2 has a better cam / USB / the ability to add GPS and view live maps / and most importantly with the v2 u can add an external antenna with an amp for alot longer range .


    the battery indicator shows % + icon on the FPV screen and an actual voltage on the map screen , here's a screenshot

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. gabimaor

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more

    Thanks for the pic.
    So by using this for telemetry and fpv and a good cam like gopro or alike we have everything we need...
    I wonder how the battery usage is calculated. I mean, what does 10% or 0% stand for in real volt.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  12. IIVII

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more

    i've been flying Ar.Drones for couple years and i always land when the battery reaches 20%-30% . u can attache a (Voltage Buzzer Alarm) to your FC40 for couple flights until u r comfortable with the app indicator .

    [​IMG]

    it's about $4 on ebay .

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-8S-2-in-1-RC- ... 58a81a6f8b
     
  13. gabimaor

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    The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more :)

    Already ordered one of those thanks.
    Now I need to find a used ar drone 2 and a GPS tracker


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  14. IIVII

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more


    u can find ardrone 2 on ebay .. with a defective motor or a broken cross-member for less than $80 .
     
  15. J.James

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more

    The charge state by 80% is based on the voltage of the battery and being both drones are run off a 11.1 volt lipo the battery indicator should be the same for it as it is in the phantom. here is a chart showing % of charge state by volts per cell in a lipo battery.

    http://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attac ... -Flyer.gif

    volts per cell so or a 3 cell lipo X the volts by 3 for combined volts of the pack.

    4.20v = 100% x3 cells = 12.6v
    4.03v = 76% x3 cells = 12.09v
    3.86v = 52% x3 cells = 11.58v
    3.83v = 42% x3 cells = 11.49v
    3.79v = 30% x3 cells = 11.37v
    3.70v = 11% x3 cells = 11.00v
    3.6?v = 0% x3 cells = 10.8v
     
  16. IIVII

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more

    i was testing the battery indicator couple mins ago and it was spot on , the alarm on the Ar.Drone app went off when the batt reached 20% i left the phantom hovering to see when will the red light on the phantom go off and it did when the app indicator reached 10% then auto landed at 5% .

    here's a quick video . pls turn ur volume down the low battery alarm on the app is very loud :oops:

    http://youtu.be/pQCBjcIJttQ
     
  17. dragonash

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more

    just one slight issue with that mod.


    Doesnt seem like you will be adding a gimbal to that!
     
  18. gabimaor

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more

    nice.
    where does it show the altitude?
    i didnt see it in the video.
    do you have the gps tracker? what does it add on the mobile app?
     
  19. dragonash

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more

    this app for android will show altitude
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ARDronePro
     
  20. IIVII

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    Re: The Ultimate FC40 Mod OSD/2cams/mobile,LapTop FPV & more

    unlike the Ar.drone v1 board .. the apps with Ar.Drone v2 board won't show altitude without an actual (launch) and in our case that's impossible due to the motors being disconnected from the board .. i've contacted the AR.Pro app Dev regarding this but i haven't heard from him yet :(

    but there's a workaround this .. u can get altitude reading when u hookup the GPS . check out the video clips i've added to the first post all with GPS and live map feed ..