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Thread: FPV PILOT TRAINING CENTER - YOUR ROAD TO FPV SUCCESS

  1. #11
    Tha Bawss
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    Open for business... any tips, links, suggestions you have to develop this thread post it up - and I will manage the content placement. If a pilot in training posts "newbie" questions in another forum - they should be redirected here please. Do not engage a side conversation. There is one place for that conversation ... and you're reading it right now - LOL.

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  2. #12
    Just dog tired. Wearyman's Avatar
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    Well, as a new person to FPV myself, I would say that the best advice given to me so far was this: Take it slow. If you haven't even flown RC planes before, learn to fly properly first without FPV. Get comfortable with your plane (or heli) and other gear before trying to take on FPV. Once you are ready to get started, keep taking it slow. Do NOT just run out and spend thousands on an expensive FPV platform with high-end gear. You WILL crash, but if you are rushing, you will crash faster and with more loss of money. GO SLOW.

  3. #13
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    So...where do I go from here, to get the FPV experience I want?

    Here's where I'm at, and where I'd like to go:

    After falling in love with the idea of FPV last summer, I've decided to bite the bullet. I plan on starting small, and my initial FPV setup / testing will be in one of my UM planes (Champ / T28 / P51). This was chosen largely due to safety issues, given the location / size of my "local" flying field. While I currently fly a HZ / PZ SuperCub / T28 / Radian / F4U from this field, I'm more comfortable with the size / weight of a UM while familiarizing myself with FPV. I realize the limitations of the Micros, due to my current flying experience with them. Jittery, can't haul much weight, require low winds, etc. For "orientating training", I think they'll be fine, particularly given the safety considerations of my flying field.

    I own a 9CAP Super, with a 2.4 Spektrum module (which I use to fly all my current planes), and Futaba 72mhz synthesized module (this is the module I plan to use for mid-range FPV). I'd eventually like to go with a UHF module as well, but I think there are a lot of enjoyable flights waiting between where I'm at now, and needing a UHF module. I think "expert FPV pilot / setup" status is required before making that leap, for a lot of reasons.

    I purchased a set of like-new HeadPlay goggles from a fellow RCG member last week, and per UPS, they're scheduled to be delivered today. I still need to pick up a display panel, as well as components for a ground station.

    My 5.8 200mw setup from RangeVideo has already arrived. Once I get a voltage regulator on it, I'll give it a test with the stock antennas. I'll power it with a 2nd 1S lipo. I plan on flying the setup in a Champ initially, or possibly the UM T28 (per ChampAU's videos on RCG). I have some P51's I can rob for motors should I find the Champ motor is insufficient. I have no commitment to 5.8 for future FPV use. I simply purchased this setup due to it's size / weight, for use with my UM planes.

    I have the following non-UM planes:

    1) Original Radian (stock)
    2) SuperCub LP (stock airframe, converted to 2.4)
    3) SuperCub LP (flattened wing w/ ailerons, Turnigy SK 30-35 brushless, 2.4 converted)
    4) PZ T28
    5) PZ F4U
    6) bunch of glow / balsa planes I haven't flown in years
    7) bunch of Titan chuck-glider airframes and parts to convert to RC

    I'm now looking to purchase components to expand my FPV ability, and to plan for the future. Specifically, ground station components, components for my next plane, and possibly the next plane itself. I'd like to "purchase with a plan", which is to say, purchase items that will integrate nicely, and give the end result of a high-quality, high-functioning setup.

    Already owning a good Tx (9CAP S w/ modules), HeadPlays, and a couple of viable platforms (Radian, SuperCub, T28) helps a bit, I think. My end goal is to have head tracking, RTH, OSD, antenna tracking, and carry something like a Go-Pro to record quality video of the flight. Eventually I may even want to go with dual Vtx setup, for 2 operators. That's waaay down the road at this point.

    Right now, I think I'm at the point of shopping for ground station components. Given the above recommendations, I'd like to take suggestions / questions from the more experienced FPV pilots before I purchase additional components. I'd like to let the "hands of experience" help to guide my purchasing decisions. FWIW, I'm in SW MO (central USA), and I'll be flying in both urban and rural environments. My zip is 65807, if that helps in some way (some sort of frequency scan, etc?).

    So...what are the items you'd purchase, in order of importance / need? I'd really -like- to have a SkySurfer / Skywalker for my "floater FPV" desires, and something like a RiteWing for my "exciting" FPV flying. However, given the airframes I have available, and my "newbie" status, I think money would be better spent on hardware / electronics, vs new airframes.

    Input?

  4. #14
    FPV Legendary Loser Mark Hitchman's Avatar
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    I think I would swap antenna tracking for diversity, but if you really want antenna tracking I am at a loss to suggest a viable solution. EZOSD with antenna tracking and EZUHF further down the road would be an awesome package but no RTH. Dragon OSD with RTH and buy DragonLink UHF further down the road but no antenna tracker for a while. Rangevideo OSD has RTH, you can use any UHF but their antenna tracker has not been released yet. Eagle tree does everything, I think, but before you consider them read their thread, I don't recommend them but I know their are a couple of people who use the system successfully (they could be into witchcraft )

    My thoughts, maybe 1c worth

    PS. Tiny telemetry gives antenna tracking to any system.

    Mark

  5. #15
    Engineer for Jesus Christ IBCrazy's Avatar
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    I would take the time and build a skew-planar wheel and cloverleaf antenna (see my blog on RC Groups for how-to's). These significantly improve signal at 5.8Ghz.

    -Alex

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBCrazy View Post
    I would take the time and build a skew-planar wheel and cloverleaf antenna (see my blog on RC Groups for how-to's). These significantly improve signal at 5.8Ghz.

    -Alex
    Thanks for the tip, Alex. I've got your blog bookmarked...now I just need to make some goodies! I meant to ask as well...what's the best way to test the antennas I create? I'm completely green to antenna building, and I understand that fractions of a mm can make a significant difference in these higher frequencies. If I buy an SWR meter, can I use that to tune / test the antenna, to ensure optimum performance? If that's the case...any recommendations on SWR meters, or just "any old meter will do"?

  7. #17
    Moderator Derek_S's Avatar
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    The best way for us without test equipment is to build it as close to his directions as possible, and then just fly it in the air to test. I have built a lot of Alex's antennas, and even without any test equipment you can usually get them close enough to work very well.

  8. #18
    Engineer for Jesus Christ IBCrazy's Avatar
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    Motoguy,

    I do sell all of the antennas in my tutorials (except the Yagis). I sell them as kits or ready built units. I encourage everyone to build their own, but if you are unable or just intimidated by it, that's perfectly understandable. That is the whole reason I started selling them, it's intimidating at times.

    I will be releasing videos on how to make these in the near future. Granted, these are not easy, but I am certain you can make a very good antenna system with minimal trouble. Besides, I am here to help you through it.

    -Alex

  9. #19
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    Thanks Alex. I certainly appreciate your hands-on involvement, and your excellent support (technical and moral, lol). About 30 minutes ago, I actually tried to order a pair of the 5.8 units from your site, but it wouldn't recognize / let me past the country / state / zip portion to figure shipping. At this point, I think I've decided to give it a go myself, and see what the results are. Worst case, I order from you anyway. lol

    I'm using the 5.8 antennas on my micro FPV setup from RangeVideo:

    http://www.rangevideo.com/index.php?...roducts_id=217

    http://www.rangevideo.com/index.php?...roducts_id=213

    As size / weight is a consideration on an UM plane, I did not plan on using a connector on the Vtx antenna. Rather, I planned on connecting it directly to the pads on the Vtx. Do you see any issue with this? I would still use the same coax, and just attach the ends to the Vtx pads, instead of a connector, correct?

    BTW...I ANXIOUSLY await the videos you mention. Oh, it's also kind of a pita trying to jump between your posts here and RCG, making sure the quotes are correct, and remembering which site need which post! lol

  10. #20
    I Like Waffles... SENTRY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy View Post
    Here's where I'm at, and where I'd like to go:

    ... I plan on starting small, and my initial FPV setup / testing will be in one of my UM planes (Champ / T28 / P51). This was chosen largely due to safety issues, given the location / size of my "local" flying field. While I currently fly a HZ / PZ SuperCub / T28 / Radian / F4U from this field, I'm more comfortable with the size / weight of a UM while familiarizing myself with FPV. I realize the limitations of the Micros, due to my current flying experience with them. Jittery, can't haul much weight, require low winds, etc. For "orientating training", I think they'll be fine, particularly given the safety considerations of my flying field.

    I purchased a set of like-new HeadPlay goggles from a fellow RCG member last week, and per UPS, they're scheduled to be delivered today. I still need to pick up a display panel, as well as components for a ground station.

    My 5.8 200mw setup from RangeVideo has already arrived. Once I get a voltage regulator on it, I'll give it a test with the stock antennas. I'll power it with a 2nd 1S lipo. I plan on flying the setup in a Champ initially, or possibly the UM T28 (per ChampAU's videos on RCG). I have some P51's I can rob for motors should I find the Champ motor is insufficient. I have no commitment to 5.8 for future FPV use. I simply purchased this setup due to it's size / weight, for use with my UM planes.

    I'm now looking to purchase components to expand my FPV ability, and to plan for the future. Specifically, ground station components, components for my next plane, and possibly the next plane itself. I'd like to "purchase with a plan", which is to say, purchase items that will integrate nicely, and give the end result of a high-quality, high-functioning setup.

    Already owning a good Tx (9CAP S w/ modules), HeadPlays, and a couple of viable platforms (Radian, SuperCub, T28) helps a bit, I think. My end goal is to have head tracking, RTH, OSD, antenna tracking, and carry something like a Go-Pro to record quality video of the flight. Eventually I may even want to go with dual Vtx setup, for 2 operators. That's waaay down the road at this point.

    Input?
    Since you've already received your micro gear - let's just say that you'll be pressing with the UM route - it's a great choice as these are highly repairable. Of the UM airframes you mentioned, the Champ will provide you the most stable flying and the most payload. That would be my choice. As long as you can get forward speed it'll haul the bacon. Worst case though, you can go brushless on the Champ pretty inexpensively - I can give you a list of what you need at that time if you wanted to pursue it. For now - I'd concentrate on getting the 1 rig up - no tracking, just a simple patch/omni on a tripod or mini-tripod (patch), GS battery. While I would not bother with worying about a display at this time, I'd def spring for a device to ground record with (EasyCap + your laptop) or a Aiptek 5800 (many people use this and it's hard to beat for the price).

    "I" wouldn't suggest you get into building your own antennas yet - it's a UM, so for now your 200mw UM setup should be plenty fun on "stockish" poduction antennas.
    "I Like Waffles" : FPVLab on Facebook and FPVLab on Twitter

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