Introduction to FPV components

FPV Drone flying

When you are in the First Person View, or FPV, you are essentially taking the pilot seat of your drone or quadcopter, as you will be seeing the view visible from the drone. If you are a beginner, you might get confused soon. Read on to know more about how it is and what a simple FPV setup guide would assist you with.

On purchase of a complete FPV system, the below mentioned components will be present:

  • Camera
  • Video Transmitter
  • Video Receiver
  • LCD Screen, Googles, Smart Phone or Tablet
  • Antennas X 2

The sellers available online sell FPV kits that comprise of all the components as mentioned above. Typically, the components are cheap and are shipped without any quality checks in place. It might be okay as long as you are using these cheap accessories with a drone or quadcopter of the similar quality. In case you have spent a decent amount for the quadcopter or drone, it is highly recommended that you keep the cheap FPV components away, as it might malfunction while the drone is at top speeds, leading to untoward consequences.

In this article, you will get to know more about FPV components, helping you make an informed decision before the purchase.

Runcam-Eagle-FPV-camera-lens-comparing-to-swift-owl-plus

  1. Types of FPV Cameras

The FPV cameras are similar to that of security cameras. The key rule before purchasing a security camera is to know the power requirements of the camera.

An ideal camera should have a wide range of input voltage, which will allow you to be flexible when you are working on the wiring part of the system.

 

  1. Video Transmitter

The output of the camera is connected to the video transmitter, which processes the video feed and transmits it through the antenna. The antenna can both send and receive content, hence being a bi-directional antenna.

 

  1. Video Receiver

The signal transmitted through the antenna will be received by the video receiver, which will show the output on the monitor, which you are able to see.

 

  1. Video Transmitter and Video Receiver Antennas

Most of the beginners do not emphasize on the importance of having a video transmitter and receiver antenna. They are of the impression that the FPV Transmitter and Receiver already have an antenna in place and do not need any other antenna. However, they do not realize the repercussions of not using an antenna.

The FPV Transmitter and Receiver unit typically comes with an antenna that is linear, polarized and omni-directional. However, it must be upgraded to a circular polarized antenna, which is also known as Clover Leaf Antenna, before you start with your first flight.

The stock antennas that are available with the kit do a horrible job, as the high frequency transmission of 5.8GHz causes multi-path interference as it bounces with much ease, which is not recommended for a FPV. If you are trying to turn the drone hard and the signal is lost, it might result in the drone ramming into an object and due to the high speed, it might leave the drone or quadcopter in pieces.
Circular polarized and linear polarized antenna for fpv drone racing

  1. Antenna

On a high-level, there are four types of antennas available in the market:

  • Linear Polarized Omni Directional Antenna
  • Linear Polarized Directional Antenna
  • Circular Polarized Omni Directional Antenna
  • Circular Polarized Directional Antenna

 

The frequency of transmission and the distance of flying are the determining factors before you select and zero in on a particular antenna.

If you are starting out, you do not have to worry much and just pick any circular polarization antenna that is available. After you gain enough experience, you can start trying out different antennas.

Floureon 2 x 5.8KHz Circular Polarized Antenna Set

Anee FPV 5.8GHz Circular Polarized Clover Leaf Antenna Set

 FPV googles and FPV monitor for drones and quadcopters

  1. Monitor or Goggles

It is absolutely a personal preference of an individual if they want to stick to a goggle or a monitor. While some prefer sitting at a ground station with a monitor, the others like to fly their drone on the go as they start moving.

It is best recommended for beginners to use goggles, if they can afford a decent one.

Although most of the individuals would not be able to shell out $300 to $500 for a pair of Fat Shark FPV Goggles, listed are some of the small LCD monitors, Large LCD Monitors, Goggles and Tablets that can be used well with a FPV.

There are built-in video receivers available with some FPV Monitors and Goggles. In case you pick one that has a built-in video receiver, you do not have to purchase a video receiver separately. There are some monitors that can run on their own and do not have to be connected to a power source. There is also a video transmitter in some goggles. Before you purchase monitors or goggles and related accessories, ensure that it does not come built-in with what you are planning to buy.

The installation of an FPV System is simple and should be done in a few minutes. There are many guides in youtube for reference. Person with basic technical skills can do it with ease. And if it worked out for me, it will work out for you for sure.

 Two men in FPV goggles flying FPV quadcopter