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About to start my project

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I recently found out about FPV and I'm real excited to set up a system! I flew R/C gliders about 20ish years ago. Last year I got back into the hobby and started flying helis. I'm okay and dabble just a little bit into 3D. I've been back on the sim preparing for the spring when I came across FPV. I've been reading a bit over the last couple of weeks, including the sticky about getting started. I still have a few questions, so any guidance would be greatly appreciated as I'm about to pull the trigger on my purchases. I've boned up on flying fixed wing, and even spent some time on the sim in first person. Aside from the landing bit, I think I'm pretty comfortable.

I already have a Spektrum DX7se so I fly on 2.4GHz. Here is what I was thinking for my initial setup (initial, because I'm pretty in tune with my OCD :D ):

Platform: Multiplex Easy Star. They seem to be out of stock most everywhere, but I'm assuming that sometime mid-March they'll be available again. If things go well, I could see myself going for something a little more nimble (faster) in the future.

Video Rx/Tx: I was thinking the Range Video's 900MHz / 500mW system with an upgrade to the KX191 camera. Seems pretty reasonable. I was planning on getting an 8dB flat patch antenna.

Camera Mount: Range Video's mount with the KX191 option. Also out of the stock but expected in this month. I am hoping that I can do something like configure my DX7 so that when I flip one of my aux switches I can use the right or left stick for pan/tilt. I'd be curious to hear how others have programmed their system.

Goggles: Suggestion? It seems like the FatShark goggles are really well liked. But if I'm understanding this correctly, they come with built in Rx but it's a 2.4GHz Rx. So should I go with something else?

I'm also open to combo kits that approximate this set up. For example, if http://www.rc-tech.ch has a quality combo that's 80% of what I need, I'd certainly consider it. Or if someone on the group decides that they'd like to part with their started equipment, I'm game. If I start to get really involved with this hobby, I'd add on a simple OSD. I'd also consider going high def if there is a/v equipment out there that does higher def.

Anyways, any thoughts about what I'm planning? Thanks!


P.S. Definitely my apologies if this has been covered multiple times. Just point me in the right direction and I can usually figure things out ok.

Edited by jsbright
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  • 3 weeks later...

Looks like you've done your homework. I've been flying FPV for a few years and long range fpv for the past year or so. I think everything sounds good as far as your vid tx (I use Range video 900Mhz 500Mw out to 4 miles with the 8dbi patch and as far as 6.2 with 10dbi yagi) The kx191 is a great camera but Its a bit heavy for my taste. I really loved the sn555 from hobbywireless. Lower Lux value for night flying (If I remember correctly) smaller case, neither were noisy if I remember correctly. Now comes my only complaint with your setup. The MP EASY SCAR. Please allow me to rant for a minute. I don't know what it is about this plane that everyone loves. I did the same thing when I started flying fpv. I bought 3. HACKED AND HACKED away foam, stuffed electronics and batt's and powered them with everything I could find. Built twin boom versions, used EZG wings, wide body version using 2 kits. I have an attic full of EZG and EZ* parts from trashed planes. I finally got sick of carving out foam and as time went on I started to wonder why the heck we all put hundereds (If not thousands in some cases') of dollars not to mention hundereds of hours of programming, trouble shooting, etc into a piece of foam???

I'm now going to list everything I've fpv'd and 1-10 rating 10 being the best.

1. UHU-Electro something (Pusher, think skinny ez*) 5, too small

2. EZ* 3 enough room to tempt you to add too much gear. Prop size means higher kv motor, harder to launch then you think when loaded with gear. takes a bit to get on step.

3. EZGlider, 6 much better platform in my opinion if you don't mind looking through the prop (not as bad as you'd think) flys with more authority but Still a tight fit when you start looking into osd's etc

4. Parkzone Radian 6 same as above with a little more room and a bit easier to fly.

5. GP Electro Stick. 8.5 Just about my personal favorite. I love this plane for fpv. The receiver ready version is only 225.00 and if your familiar with the way any of the sticks fly this one is no exception, the stock motor has plenty of power for this 50 sized plane plus all the gear you can imagine. My only complaint with the electro stick is that I couldn't seem to get much more then 20-25 minute flights. It the first plane I used when flying longer range (using Scherrer UHF for RC & Diversity module with 2 900mhz RX's) the only problem I encountered was running out of Mah's before I ran out of rc/vid range.

6. Parkzone T-28, 6 Fun for a foamy but again short on room.

7. Parkzone stryker, 7 Although this thing has less room under canopy then the uhu or the ez star, I found it easier to fly. It tracks better, gives you the feeling of flying with authority. A feeling I never got with the easy star. and there always seemed to be a creative way to shove one more piece of gear in it.

8. Large flying wings balsa, foam, carbon composite materials, all the same 7 fun to fly but always dealing with an airframe that wasn't designed for our purpose.

I go so sick of trying to look for the perfect FPV plane that I started experimenting with the simplest of commercial designs out there. Thats when I came across the Isreali Skylark UAV.

you coming from a glider background should be familiar with the looks of it.

I'm currently on numbers 5 & 6. Number 3 was the first that flew decent enough to sell, 4 was sold before I finished the assembly, 5 is sold as soon as I finish the build. Its based on a 2 meter electric glider wingset. and finally 6 is all mine! I'm using a 3 meter "Bird of time" wingset, a 26" pod for enough Mah's to start refering to my batteries in amp hours. Just hope it flys well. If so then I can look at some more serious wingsets. ESPIRIT Models has a few higher end electric gliders I'm dying to get my hack saw on!

Hope this helps, GOOD LUCK! and if you finally do decide to go with the easystar let me know and I'll dig up a set of ezglider wings for you. Flys much nicer with this mod.post-5937-126959883777_thumb.jpg

Edited by skylark
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a few shots of recent builds. All pods and kits so far have had fixed camera only. Just finished a pod with pan/tilt module, just waiting on a clear security camera dome to ship and I'll try it out.

I think I've read about your build before! Impressive.

I've been monitoring rcgroups for a while, so just checking in on my post (finally).

I actually settled on a Twin Star II for my first platform instead. Partly because I couldn't find an EasyStar in stock and then when I started reading more, it sounded like the Twin was a better choice. I've already made a fair number of mistakes including...

  • ordered the wrong version of Twin Star. The "RR" is radio ready and already was glued together. Also included brused motors which I didn't need.
  • maiden flight (non-FPV) I had two channels reversed. Stupid stupid stupid. I know better.
  • mounted my vTx wrong. I thought I was being slick point it downward. Problem is that I think the battery got between me and the antenna. Resulted in a hard dive crash.

Picked up the pieces, rebuilt everything, and I am just waiting for this weekend and some good weather. I'm about to add some landing gear because it's too hard for me to launch by hand, then get all oriented with my hands on the controls. I'm also going to change set up the motors to be counter rotating to help address torque issues.

I'm happy with banging this plane up as my initial test plane. It has really taken a beating so far. If this goes well I'm going to consider "build II" which will likely include a new radio (Futaba 9C with ezUHF) and potentially gyros to smooth out the flight. I just need to get the kinks worked out of the video. I am hoping my rebuild of the pan/tilt with the antenna pointing straight up and elevated will get rid of the video drop out I was having.


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JB, you dont need landing gear. Just give it plenty of power and if the balance and trim are correct it will just fly wings level in a steady climb for ages. I wasted lots of time thinking I needed a launch system as my TS2 is heavy and landing gear shortens the flight time.

The only TS2 I have that uses landing gear is my biplane version but thats only because it has 12" props that would otherwise hit the ground.


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