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Thread: FPV without tilt

  1. #1
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    FPV without tilt

    I set up the SC2K board cam I got on a foam pod on the wing of my test plane. It points straight forward. I haven't tried to fly FPV with it, just doing testing at this point.

    I flew it and had someone watch the monitor for video quality and range. I peaked a bit but had to fly the plane LOS so didn't get that great a look.

    I'm curious if it's really possible to fly FPV with a camera that does not angle down?

    The camera doesn't angle down but if you climb out at not too steep and angle, you'd still get roll info from the horizon. What I wonder about is figuring out where the heck you are. The tops of the trees just look like a mat of broccoli.
    Ken K. (learn2turn)
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  2. #2
    RTFM aeryck's Avatar
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    You get used to it; most of my rigs are a fixed camera oriented so the horizon sits mid frame in level flight. Steeper climb outs dont show the ground; i usually use clouds for reference or if its a clear or overcast sky, i just trust my fingers and the plane.

    Or, if you're that worried, get an osd with an AHI and that should help w/ orientation.
    Far better is it to dare mighty things, even though checkered by failure; than to take rank with those who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

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    just try around a bit, usually with the wide angle of those cameras it isn't really a problem..
    or add an OSD with artificial horizon

    you can also just record your flights, and watch it afterwards to get used to the perspective a bit..

    what you definitely need to do when starting, is having a detailed look at your surroundings and find some reference points, otherwise you are lost right away
    it's quite hard to find the way back if you don'y know exactly where to go, and without a LRS you are in a hurry anyway then

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    Or, if you're that worried, get an osd with an AHI and that should help w/ orientation.
    Yeah, an OSD is on the list, maybe a Cyclops Storm. I'm building stuff up slowly. For me, half the fun is getting gear and hooking it up, even if I'm not flying FPV yet and may not for a good long while. I like to tinker and pretty much need something on the bench to futz with all the time or I go crazy.

    But there has to be a goal so it is to eventually fly FPV when I have enough equipment working reliably and I've learned enough.

    Since I fly at an AMA field, I have to fly with a spotter on a buddy box anyway and stay in LOS so I don't have to worry right now too much about getting lost.

    -Ken K.

    -l2t
    Ken K. (learn2turn)
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  5. #5
    Navigator Hotdog1's Avatar
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    I had my first flight at 2000ft the other day. prior to that the most I had been was 500ft once I was ready to return I was totaly lost despite flying fpv in the same area for 6months luckly I had an osd to show me the way home. VERY SCARY feeling for sure

  6. #6
    RTFM aeryck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hotdog1 View Post
    I had my first flight at 2000ft the other day. prior to that the most I had been was 500ft once I was ready to return I was totaly lost despite flying fpv in the same area for 6months luckly I had an osd to show me the way home. VERY SCARY feeling for sure
    A good tool for that is Google Earth, or Google Maps w/ sattelite layer turned on. Knowing your surroundings at 500' is much different than knowing your surroundings at 2000'. But, with those tools I mentioned, you can get a feel for your surroundings by using the zoom modes to gradually increase your altitude and learn what landmarks surround you.

    This is a good pre-flight planning step for ANY pilot - You may think you know what things look like from the ground, but once you get up there its easy to lose sight of where you're at. Study the aerial footage before you go up, and pay attention to key landmarks you can see - Once you know what to expect, it'll be easier to pick out landmarks and find your way home. I use roads, high tension power lines, locations of small ponds seen from the air, and key landmark features to aid me - For example, I know that there is a farm with a corn maze about half a mile south of where my field is - If I see the corn maze when I'm up, I can use that to find the roads and get my bearings toward home.

    OSD's return home arrow is nice, but it's good practice to be able to navigate without it.
    Far better is it to dare mighty things, even though checkered by failure; than to take rank with those who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chbla View Post
    j...what you definitely need to do when starting, is having a detailed look at your surroundings and find some reference points, otherwise you are lost right away ...
    Stopped by the field yesterday and when I got there, the one other FPVer who flies at the field had is gas-powered scale plane up about 1200'. He let me plug my 9" monitor into his spare output and I got to be a passenger for 20 minutes. He pointed out a lot of the landmarks he uses. It was a bit confusing but was a really good start.

    I like the record idea. I can't fly FPV without a buddy box but I may take the plane to the field today with my laptop and easyCap, turn on the camera and fly around the pattern LOS and get some recordings of what it looks like.

    -Ken K.
    Ken K. (learn2turn)
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  8. #8
    Just dog tired. Wearyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post
    ... I can't fly FPV without a buddy box...
    Why not?

    I've never flown with a buddy box. Or LOS for that matter. First time I flew FPV was the first time I flew EVER. It was easy! Why would you insist on the complexity of a buddy box?

  9. #9
    HeliMedic ColoradoFlightMedic's Avatar
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    I second the notion that buddy boxes are crap. You should have a good spotter, and know your landmarks. Got any astro turf sports fields nearby? I flew from an astro turf soccer complex when I was starting out, and it was awesome. You can see that artificial green from MILES away! I could never get lost flying there. I'd put UHF/Ham license high on your list of priorities if you want to feel "safe" flying FPV. Gear fear held me back for a long time. Your range goal should always be to loose video signal before RC. OSD's are nice, but they aren't a substitute for knowing your surroundings. Make sure you have a decent resolution camera, and it's properly setup and focused. I've seen a few planes lost because they bought a cheap camera that doesn't show enough resolution for navigation.

    Brooks, N7BLD

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wearyman View Post
    Why not?

    I've never flown with a buddy box. Or LOS for that matter. First time I flew FPV was the first time I flew EVER. It was easy! Why would you insist on the complexity of a buddy box?
    I'm flying at an AMA club and agreed to abide by the AMA rules. I live eight minutes from a field and could be flying their for the next several decades so I figure I'd play by the rules. There's a very good chance a new 550 document will be coming out very soon that will change the BB requirement to a spotter. I figure I should just play by the rules and wait for that.

    I recorded some video today. It was cool to see but it also had a few glitches. I need to do way more testing before I'm ready to fly FPV anyway. I'll post the video in the video room.

    -l2t
    Ken K. (learn2turn)
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