WTF is FPV flying?
Usually we fly RC models in parks, or fields, but generally we fly by watching the model flying while controlling it on the ground.
The main thing is, we always look at the model, check its position and control it accordingly.
This is what we call LOS (line of sight) flying.
As the technology stepped ahead new ideas and components were developed to be able to control the models even if out of sight.
Genarally speaking, FPV flying is when we do not watch the model itself in the air, instead we watch what the model can see from above.
To achieve that, we need to deploy a camera and a video transmitting system into a multicopter, and the picture the camera see is then transmitted to the ground where it is displayed either on a monitor or in specialized goggles.
Main components (FPV gear)
- video transmitter (vtx) + antenna (air)
- video receiver (vrx) + antenna (gnd)
- ground display unit (tv, lcd monitor, laptop display, video goggles, …)
- “low-pass” filter (filters the unwanted frequencies, that can influence the RC link) (air)
- video camera (air)
- LC filter (filters the current fluctuations that can affect the picture quality) (air)
- ground station (integration of the vrx, monitor, video recorder and more to one unit, usually a suitcase)
- tripod (antenna holder, so they are higher above the ground) (gnd)
- OSD (“on screen display”- overlays flight information onto the camera picture) (air)
- diversity receiver (handles input from more antennas, selects the best signal) (gnd)
- antenna tracker system (turns the receiver antenna towards the model automated) (gnd)
- antenna (LP, CP, patch, helical, dipole, …) (gnd)
- DVR (“digital video recorder” – records the picture coming from the vrx) (gnd)
- power bank for the groundstation (gnd)
- miscellaneous audio-video cables, power cables, antenna connectors, stands, voltage monitors, …
Main parameters of an FPV system
- transmission frequency
- noise filtering
- signal quality
- signal drop handling
- signal penetration (frequency and signal strength)
- camera picture quality
- DVR recording quality