FPV - First Person View & Video Downlink Projects


If you want very good video with an on-board FPV HD camera + built in HD digital video recorder, I recommend the:  Runcam Split Mini / Runcam Split Mini 2 / Runcam Split 2.  I have a Runcam Split Mini in my NanoTalon and X180 quadcopter, and a Runcam Split 2 in one of my pink flying wings.

https://usa.banggood.com/RunCam-Split-Mini-2-FOV-130-Degree-1080P60fps-HD-Recording-WDR-FPV-Camera-NTSCPAL-Switchable-p-1344675.html?rmmds=search&cur_warehouse=USA

Check RCGroups for-sale forums.  There is usually someone selling these in the FPV equipment forum.

https://www.rcgroups.com/fpv-equipment-fs-w-710/

I have bought a Runcam Split 2 and Runcam Split Mini from this guy at RCGroups forum and he sent them quickly. They were brand new and both work well.

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?3362609-Brand-New-RunCam-Split-Mini2-for-sale

If you just want a camera without an on-board HD digital video recorder, there are lots of choices. I have all of these in various planes and quadcopters.

These are listed from lowest quality video to best:

https://www.banggood.com/600TVL-8_0MP-14-2_8mm-CMOS-FPV-170-Degree-Wide-Anlge-Lens-Camera-PALNTSC-p-984345.html?rmmds=search&ID=44070&cur_warehouse=USA

https://www.banggood.com/800TVL-150-Degree-Camera-For-Kingkong-Tiny6-Tiny7-Micro-FPV-RC-Quadcopter-p-1144173.html?rmmds=search&cur_warehouse=CN

https://www.banggood.com/1000TVL-HD-2_8MM-3MP-13-CMOS-Mini-FPV-Camera-PAL-NTSC-Switchable-p-1054262.html?rmmds=search&cur_warehouse=CN

https://www.banggood.com/Eachine-1000TVL-13-CCD-110-Degree-2_8mm-Lens-Mini-FPV-Camera-NTSC-PAL-Switchable-p-1053340.html?rmmds=myorder&cur_warehouse=USA

https://www.banggood.com/Black-1200TVL-2_5mm2_8mm-130120-Degree-Mini-FPV-Camera-PALNTSC-5V-12V-For-Micro-Racer-Quadcopter-p-1150402.html?rmmds=myorder

I use both of these video transmitters in different planes.

25 - 600 mw:  https://www.banggood.com/Eachine-TX526-5_8G-40CH-25MW200MW600MW-Switchable-AV-Wireless-FPV-Transmitter-RP-SMA-Female-p-1083642.html?rmmds=myorder

25 – 800 mw:  https://us.banggood.com/Wholesale-Warehouse-Eachine-TX5258-5-8G-72CH-25200500800mW-Switchable-FPV-Transmitter-Support-OSD-Configuring-wp-Usa-1248768.html?akmClientCountry=America&rmmds=myorder

You will need a circularly polarized antenna for the video transmitter. The antenna that comes with the transmitters is not very good.  Make sure you get appropriately mated connectors (SMA or RP-SMA) for the video transmitter and antenna.

https://www.banggood.com/5_8G-8dBi-RHCP-Mushroom-FPV-Antenna-RXTX-SMA-Male-Black-p-1150400.html?rmmds=myorder&ID=511532&cur_warehouse=CN

I use Eachine VR D2 Pro googles.  It has diversity receivers, a built-in video recorder, and includes two good antennas.  The diversity receivers make for better video reception.

https://usa.banggood.com/Eachine-VR-D2-Pro-Upgraded-5-Inches-800480-40CH-5_8G-Diversity-FPV-Goggles-with-DVR-Lens-Adjustable-p-1137808.html?gmcCountry=US&currency=USD&createTmp=1&utm_source=googleshopping&utm_medium=cpc_bgcs&utm_content=garman&utm_campaign=ssc-usg-summersale-100-all&utm_design=152&ad_id=359048069257&gclid=CjwKCAjw7O_pBRA3EiwA_lmtfuWrXS506AN3B1PlCN7ZygzCP1yD3sx8GHeyrRYOjJPBgzy4TlpIbxoC-NYQAvD_BwE&cur_warehouse=CN

You can usually find them used for around $50 - $60 at RCGroups.

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?3338685-Eachine-vr-d2-googles

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?3115752-Eachine-VR-D2-FPV-goggles

Finally, this last item is optional, but I use one on all my FPV setups.  The motor puts a lot of electronic noise on the main power lines in the airplane. That can make the video bad.  An LC filter (inductor + capacitor) between the battery and all the FPV equipment eliminates most of that noise and makes the video much better.

https://www.banggood.com/L-C-Power-Filter-2A-RTF-LC-FILTER-3AMP-2-4S-LC-Module-Lllustrated-Eliminate-Moire-Video-Signal-Filtering-p-1021460.html?rmmds=search&cur_warehouse=USA

https://www.banggood.com/L-C-Power-Filter-2A-RTF-LC-FILTER-3AMP-2-4S-LC-Module-Lllustrated-Eliminate-Moire-Video-Signal-p-1029694.html?rmmds=search&cur_warehouse=USA


Video Receivers

I have many 5.8 Ghz receivers and FPV headsets:

- Boscam RC305 5.8Ghz receiver from eBay

- Skyzone RD40 diversity 5.8Ghz receiver from HobbyKing.com

- Quanum FPV Goggle Set from HobbyKing.com

- Eachine VR D2 Pro headset with DVR and diversity 5.8Ghz receiver from Banggood.com

I record airborne video with the VR D2 Pro.  Here are some video(s) below; more will be added over time.

Receivers (not 5.8 Ghz)
- Lawmate 900 Mhz receiver w/ GP patch antenna
- X-10 2.4 Ghz receiver w/ GP patch antenna

Goof-proof patch antennas built from plans on RC-Cam website.

gp_patch_antennas_tn.jpg (6394 bytes)    ground_station_tn.jpg (3516 bytes)

Video Transmitters

5.8 Ghz Boscam Transmitters
- TS351 200 mw w/ circular polarized antenna - Tricopter
- TS832 600 mw w/ circular polarized antenna - FPV Easystar, Blue Wing #1, Blue Wing #4

900 Mhz Transmitters:
- Lawmate 909Mhz 100mw transmitter w/ quarter wave ground plane antenna
-
Lawmate 909Mhz 500mw transmitter w/ quarter wave ground plane antenna

2.4 Ghz Transmitters:
- X-10 2.4Ghz with BBA-519 RF amp (50mw) transmitter w/ quarter wave ground plane antenna

5.8 Ghz receiver (Boscam RC 305) + 200 mw 5.8 Ghz Tx (Boscam TS831) + right-handed circular polarization antennas = $40.98 including shipping
eBay search for "
Boscam FPV 3km 5.8G 5.8Ghz 200mw Wireless AV Transmitter Receiver TS351 RC305"
Note: Make sure you buy the version with the circular polarized antennas.  The polarity must match between the transmitter and receiver; left-hand or right-hand circular polarization.  That is important for longer range and less video dropouts. 

The left picture below, of my Tricopter, shows the transmitter antenna that I bought as part of the above package.

600 mw 5.8 Ghz Tx (Boscam TS832) + right-handed circular polarized transmit antenna
http://www.surveilzone.com/5.8g-600mw-32ch-wireless-fpv-tx-ws1159

http://www.surveilzone.com/58Ghz-Circular-polarized-Omni-Cloud-Spirit-Rx-RHCP-Antenna-Right-Angle-SMA-g-1308

I have bought several video transmitter and antennas from Surveilzone.com, with very fast delivery.   They used to have the best price I was able to find on the TS832 video transmitter and antenna.

Note: The Boscam 600 mw specification for the TS832 from Boscam is probably wrong.  Tests have shown that the TS832 actually outputs < 300 mw of power.  The Boscam 200 mw version does output > 200 mw, so it is accurately specified.  I have also found reviews on-line that state the best Boscam transmitter is the 400 mw version, but I have not used that version personally.

If you want to pay a little more and get a strong output signal, Immersion RC has a 600 mw Tx that has been measured at > 700 mw. There are many transmitters and receivers available, but the I have listed here (above) the ones I have used. 


Video Cameras



AV436 CCD mini-camera   - was mounted in Half Shadow w/ 909Mhz 500mw Tx
                                           - now mounted on Blue Wing #1 w/ 5.8Ghz 600mw Tx

AV436 CCD mini-camera
   - was mounted in UltraStick w/ 909Mhz 100mw Tx
                                           - now mounted on Blue Wing #4 w/ 5.8Ghz 600 mw Tx

X-10 CMOS camera           -
was mounted in PT-40 w/ X-10 2.4Ghz 50mw Tx

HIC0095 CCD camera        - to be used on ??
Pixera CMOS camera         - to be used on ??

Micro-camera CMOS          - mounted on Tricopter w/ 5.8 Ghz 200mw Tx

Micro-camera CMOS         - mounted on Easystar w/ 5.8 Ghz 600mw Tx
camera_springs_installed_tn.jpg (6601 bytes)   half_shadow_bottom_tn.jpg (8301 bytes)

AV436 CCD mini-camera = 350 TVL (television lines), $28, runs on 12 volts, good in low light, older technology
http://www.mavin.com/store.php/products/av436-ccd-mini-board-camera

Micro-camera CMOS = 600 TVL, $10, runs on 5 volts, normal light, much better picture, very small
http://www.banggood.com/600TVL-8_0MP-14-2_8mm-CMOS-FPV-170-Degree-Wide-Anlge-Lens-Camera-PALNTSC-p-984345.html

Tricopter, micro-camera, 200mw Boscam TS351 video Tx     Easystar, micro-camera, 600mw Boscam TS832 video Tx

Digital Still Cameras

Olympus D450 32MB Smartmedia            - no longer used
Olympus D460 32MB Smartmedia            - no longer used
HP E317 512MB SD                                 - CamMan switch installed, internal batteries, damaged in crash - no longer used
CVS camcorder 128MB Fixed mem          - external power, low resolution (640x480) - no longer used
Aiptek Pencam SD SD mem                     - CamMan switch installed, external power, installed in Stryker for aerial photos
Flatfoto 3 SD mem                                    - CamMan switch installed, external power, sold
Argus DC3640 SD mem                            - Keepalive switch installed, internal batteries, sold
Dakota #1 Fixed mem                               - Keepalive switch installed, internal batteries, sold
Dakota #2 Fixed mem                               - Keepalive switch installed, internal batteries, sold
Dakota #3 Fixed mem                               - Keepalive switch installed, internal batteries, sold