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Thread: The Beginner's Guide to FPV - its here!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    The Beginner's Guide to FPV - its here!

    October 2017 UPDATE

    Fourth edition just released! This is the biggest update to the Guide to-date, bringing in new topics such as how to achieve extremely long range, FPV racing, HD digital video transmission and more!
    I've also done a full update of the look and feel, with new images, refreshed layout and updated text.
    Hope you like!

    Check it out at

    Or, direct link to:
    Print (full color interior):
    Print (b&w interior):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hi everyone...

    About three years ago I was totally captivated and addicted by our hobby and, like all of us, went through the steep learning curve of complete noob to someone who can competently build and fly FPV at decent ranges with safety. I'm still an amateur compared to many in our community but I do think I've got a lot to offer to people who're just starting the hobby.

    So, last year my dad decided to join the hobby (side note: isn't it great when anyone from school children to retirees can enjoy FPV!). That's when I realised something that's really missing - a beginner's guide to FPV. Clearly there are a number of really good training manuals, FAQs and how to videos but I was thinking of a concise book written especially for beginners that someone can read on the way to work (or similar) and get a solid foundation in FPV to enable them to then understand the wealth of information that's out there and be successful in those first few critical flights (and avoid the common "I'm fed up with this - selling $2000 of brand new equipment").

    So, half a year later, the first edition of the book is ready! Needless to say everything I know about FPV comes from the community (and a lot of hard personal lessons learnt!) so I've put my attention in structuring and conveying the knowledge in a way that will be helpful to beginners.

    A special thanks goes to Alex (IBCrazy) who was kind enough to review the book for me.

    So - if you're just about to embark on the FPV journey then maybe this guide's for you. It gets printed on demand by a publishing company called Lulu and also available on Kindle, Nook, iBooks and others

    Back cover text
    In the last few years the first person view phenomenon has taken the RC world by storm. It has brought an entirely new field to the hobby with new thrills and challenges. Despite this, FPV remains a hobby that requires a steep learning curve, significant research, a decent investment and a lot of trial and error.

    This book is a beginnerís guide to FPV piloting. It intends to bring the reader from zero knowledge of the subject to a position where they can safely conduct FPV flights. It covers the broad range of necessary topics such as vehicle selection, control link, video link, component placement, ground station design, interference troubleshooting, and tips for successful flights. It provides photographs of commonly used equipment and schematics of typical setups Ė including a detailed case study on the authorís own configurations.

    The must-have guide for any hobbyist new to the exciting world of FPV.

    Get the guide if you want:
    - A single, well structured reference for all things FPV
    - To avoid costly mistakes (or crashes!)
    - To avoid weeks of trauling the forums
    - To understand the theory
    - To get actionable advice, how-tos and gotchas

    Do note that the guide isn't:
    - The only source you'll ever need to read on FPV. The internet will always be your friend!
    - A shopping list of what to buy. New equipment is introduced daily. The guide will help you understand, assess and select
    - For pilots with tens of FPV flights under the belt
    - A guide on the RC hobby in general

    And sampling of the goodies youíll find inside:
    - A grounds up intro to all FPV components from VTx to OSDs and locators to auto pilots
    - Answers to common questions such as "how far will it go?!" and "what frequencies to pick for control and video?"
    - Common sense practical explanations of basic radio frequency theory
    - Deep dives into more complex topics such as link margin and resolving interference
    - Detailed descriptions of the author's own setups including full schematics, parts lists and photos
    - Common gotchas and mistakes to avoid
    - Guidance on how to choose your specific components (from FPV vehicle to antennas)

    About the author and about this book
    This book is truly a beginnerís guide to First Person View piloting. It intends to bring the reader from zero knowledge of the subject to a position where they can safely conduct FPV flights. It does not intend to give in-depth knowledge of every FPV topic but it will equip you with a good enough foundation to undertake your own research and make sense of what you read. It will also help you avoid some of the many pitfalls that come with the hobby.

    I first started FPV a mere three and a half years ago and have spent many an evening and weekend researching, designing, building, flying and indeed crashing FPV. I started off with zero knowledge of the subject and I now fly safely at reasonably long range.

    So clearly this guide has not been written by a pro (not that there are many pros in such a young hobby). It has been written by a hobbyist for hobbyists. All guidance within is based on personal experience and the very significant bulk of knowledge of other FPV pilots across the globe.

    One unique aspect of the hobby is the pace at which it has developed over the last few years. When I first started researching there were a handful of vendors and a few hundred people who flew FPV across the globe. Now there are dozens of dedicated FPV vendors, aircraft specifically designed for FPV and even all-in-one FPV packages sold in toy shops. As a result, by the time you read this guide it is likely that while all concepts, principles and good practice will absolutely be valid, the detailed specifications and products will have advanced. So what you wonít find in this guide is an equipment list and while I donít endorse any specific vendors I will reference and use photographs of specific products where appropriate.

    Finally, while very much a beginnerís guide to FPV, this is not a beginnerís guide to radio controlled modelling, construction or flying. A reasonable level of prior knowledge is assumed. However, where FPV requirements necessitate changes to common practice these will be set out in detail.

    Iíll also take the opportunity to share some of the great reviews Iíve really appreciated over the last year or so:

    * I read this cover-to-cover in one sitting, but find myself continually referring back to it. (James A. Ramsey)

    * A very good introduction to the hobby, by someone who invested time and money learning the proper way to do FPV. (R. Pietrantoni)

    * Well laid out and flowed logically. Excellent explanations regarding the technology along with the pros and cons of the varied options. (M.Martin)

    * Very informative and comprehensive. The most useful information available much better than any web pages. Worth the investment. (Andy Bush)

    * The advice is very good, and laid out very step by step. You can try taking shortcuts, but they will cost you and in the end probably won't save you time. (R.Bohn)

    * Good book for someone like me just getting into FPV. Explained the terminology very well. (David Steppy)
    Last edited by ProtoCrash; 23rd October 2017 at 04:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Eugene, Oregon
    Great idea.
    TBS Discovery
    900kv and Graupners
    TBS 69 and Hero3 Black
    TBS 3.3 LiPo
    Futaba T8FG
    FPV 2.4G Clovers
    Naza w/GPS
    CorePro + Blackbox

  3. #3
    I Like Waffles... SENTRY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    "I Like Waffles" : FPVLab on Facebook and FPVLab on Twitter

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Prescott, AZ
    Anyone here purchased or read this book? I'm currious to know if it's worth it or just learn from reading the boards.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    The Beginner's Guide to FPV - its here!

    I haven't read the book, but I'm sure there is nothing that couldn't be learned already using the boards.

    That said, trawling the boards is a long process and involves sifting the good info from the bad, the practice vs the theory, the opinion from the fact.

    For a newbie this looks like it would be a great starting point and a huge time saver.
    Last edited by Zeeflyboy; 12th April 2013 at 05:52 PM.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Any ebook?

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Prescott, AZ
    Exactly what I was thinking.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Hi guys - on my honeymoon, hence the delayed reply! (BTW, Machu Picchu in Peru is THE place to FPV - haven't checked if anyone has done it yet but it'll be AMAZING).

    So, yup, agree - there's nothing in the book that can't be learned from reading through the forums for ages and a bit of good old trial and error. But, what the guide gives you is something that's nicely packaged to accelerate the process (also, the forums can be very confusing to a beginner, so the guide is designed for newbies and assumes no FPV knowledge).

    Regarding reviews - yes, I'd love some feedback! Around 20 people have got the book so I'd hope someone provides some soon

    Finally, yup, ebook is on the list for when I'm back!


  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Prescott, AZ
    Good news, I'll be on the look out for the ebook. Thanks

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Tehachapi CA... about 6 miles from the loop
    +1 on this... anyone who has the free time to scour the forums, you're luckier than you know. Those of us who have to budget our time... need this.

    Like most tools, it isn't totally necessary and you can make do without (I've hammered things with a rock...). But if it saves me a couple hours, it paid for itself. If it saves me from buying the wrong gear (that I then have to sell at a loss)... it's golden.

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