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Mr.RC-Cam

2011 FPV Product Predictions

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Here are my FPV product predictions for 2011:

1. A fully integrated FPV system package will be introduced that includes OSD, inertial (non-IR) flight stabilization, 8-ch digital R/C link on 2.4GHz, antenna tracking, and user defined telemetry link.

2. Several new 2.4GHz R/C systems with useful 2-way telemetry (Tx mounted LCD display) will be marketed to the FPV crowd.

3. Name-brand R/C receivers with integrated flight stabilization, including fly-by-wire control.

4. Another low cost flight stabilization product that will compete with products like the FY-20A.

5. Sadly, an affordable digital video link for FPV that works well and is license-free will not be available this year. Maybe 2012.

So, what are your 2011 FPV product predictions?

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my crystal ball is telling me that digital video downlinks could be available this year.

5. Sadly, an affordable digital video link for FPV that works well and is license-free will not be available this year. Maybe 2012.

On what modulation this one will work, FHSS,COFDM?

Sibi

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Im not sure we will see any of that, maybe the first FPV crash to make the news? (Im in a black mood I think)

I dont see anyone out there to challenge the FY stuff from China, I think they will just get bigger!

Terry

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I dont see anyone out there to challenge the FY stuff from China, ...

Well, I just saw something this week that suggests that at least one of my predictions might come true. :)

More to the point, have you seen this? http://www.uthere.com/

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Interesting but not much proof of ability, is there a video somewhere? Also only shipping to the US at the moment maybe this will change?

limited to 3000ft range unless setup at the factory for more, it seems to be a bit limited for me. I would like it to be user configerable maybe with waypoints or the FY still wins here in the UK. I expect would be quite expensive with duty and tax even if it could be set up to work here.

Terry

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Interesting but not much proof of ability, is there a video somewhere?

I haven't found any video examples. It is a very new product and in Beta Test Phase.

Last week their web site was just an empty shell. So like you, I know only what is now published. They are also hiring support positions, so this appears to be a young company that is just introducing itself to the market.

Update: Here's some user feedback on Ruby:

http://www.rcgroups....d.php?t=1382299

Edited by Mr.RC-Cam
Added feedback link.

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Yep I thought it looked a bit theoretical, will be interesting to see if they can deliver.

Terry

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A better 900Mhz receiver....a dream but who knows. Dreams sometimes do come true.

#1) You expect Eagletree to ship? The system is public knowledge so no wikileaks here.

#2) Jeti? I cannot see a big player want to tackle the small FPV market. 700 users...

#4) I have spoken with the designer of the Ruby. Nice guy. Has FPV in mind and will add an OSD

later....or an open interface to an established OSD like Remzibi.

-KEn

Edited by kist2001

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Regarding the 900MHz Rx, I don't expect much to happen this year. The FPV market is too small to invite a new 900MHz design. So any improvements will probably continue to be DiY effort. At best, perhaps a hobbyist will sell customized 900MHz Rx's to those that don't mind paying for the tweaks.

That said, I started a design (again) late last year. I even purchased several hundred of the special audio processor IC's that are needed that have gone extinct (that's another story in itself). But I decided that creating a more expensive high-end 900MHz--1.3GHz A/V receiver would be a sure way for me to loose my shirt. I have slowly come to realize that all everyone wants is the lowest possible price; high quality is no longer important to the average customer. Those buying habits are what will direct many of the new FPV products we will see in the future.

Keep the predictions coming! But let's avoid the wishful thinking desires and stick with products that could appear based on rumors, gut feelings, and connections to people in high places. :)

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Not much time remaining for this year and my short list of predictions is not doing well. But I get until midnight Dec 31 before I count my hits and misses! :)

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Ok, time to see how I did.

1. Fail.

2. Pass.

3. Fail.

4. Pass.

5. Pass. Hopefully this is a 2012 product, but I won't hold my breath.

I don't have any specific 2012 projections. Overall, I expect the new products release this year to be about as earth shattering as 2011. But fingers are crossed that something mind blowing makes it to market that rattles our cages.

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2. Pass.

Which isn't necessarily for the better...

I recently decided to get some 2.4GHz equipment now that my video is on 5.8GHz.

To set the context, my main radio is a Futaba T14MZ. Lots of possibilities, especially for the "strange" things we tend to use for FPV like trainer input with individual channel assignment AND channel number remapping, and much more... I've got a 35MHz module for it.

My secondary one is a 35MHz Graupner MX16. Pretty good low-end radio that still allows you to assign the channel number for the sticks, very nice to fly quads and small things without carrying the big one, and it even fits in the case I have for my quad.

After lots of thinking I decided to opt to go for FRsky gear. It's pretty cheap, has a good record, it has telemetry, there is a small 4CH reveiver for little planes that can also output PPM and RSSI instead of "normal" channels for use on multicopters, and they make a "DIY" module that is easy to integrate in my MX16. Perfect for evaluation and use in my usual little things. The drawback is that there's no easy mechanical integration in my T14MZ nor any >8 channels possibilities. But the only option for that is original Futaba, but this has no telemetry, is expensive and an update is due soon...

So there we go, I've got my MX16 with integrated FRsky TX. And that's when I come across some cool e-flite airplane. Yay, this has an integrated receiver, Spektrum of course. For this one there are 2 options, either get a Spektrum TX, which is rather expensive, and where none of them except the highest end features a simple potentiometer to control a channel (think pan servo), or get a Spektrum module for my Futaba, which is rather clean but requires using the trainer output and thus would need me to do some custom cabling to wire a headtracker in. Oh well, at least I can, but then I have to carry my big, heavy and expensive TX around to fly a 45cm wingspan airplane...

So basically, now if I really wanted to do all I wanted with 2.4GHz I'd have to buy and maintain 3 concurrent, incompatible systems, and with limitations on some that I'd prefer having on another, etc...

So at least for the high channel counts I'll keep my 35MHz PCM G3 stuff for now, and for Spektrum... well, probably gonna get the Futaba module. Maybe I'll see if I can add it as a 3rd module in my already 35MHz/FRsky hybrid Graupner TX...

Thank you very much, manufacturers...

I fear that it's just gonna be like this for every new FPV-related products in the future. Now that the "basics" are way more than covered, with tons of different OSDs, several head trackers, too many 2.4GHz R/C systems, heaps of multicopter controllers, the only way things can really evolve is by offering "simple", "easy-to-use" all-in-one systems that will only create interoperability problems... and of course will add one more offering to each category. The all-in-one block with an R/C that obviously is a new design and doesn't have the function you need, the integrated OSD that will add to the lot, the video TX that's not available on the frequency you need, the headtracker that drifts like crazy but you're forced to use because it's integrated,...

Edited by Kilrah

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Good comments. For experienced FPV guys like you with advanced needs, I'm not surprised that off-the-shelf stuff like the hobby telemetry products are dissappointing. But think of all the regular Joe's out there where gadgets like these will have some appeal.

Regarding the FrSky stuff, I made the plunge last week. Like you, I ordered the FrSky Tx module (with telemetry) and a couple Rx's with PPM-SUM and RSSI. But I wanted 9-channels and so I abandoned the thought of using my existing JR 8103 R/C Tx. My cheap workaround was to order a FlySky 9X R/C system. The plan is to rip out the Tx's RF deck and install the FrSky, then reflash the Tx with the open source er9x firmware (http://code.google.com/p/er9x/).

I don't have any illusions that this system will give me long range or offer a high-end experience. However, I am putting together a simple model to bash around at the local parks. If the FrSky telemetry feature works well, and provides Rx RSSI and flight battery voltage, then that would be very cool. It just needs to be a simple non-OSD sport FPV quad without any frills, so my fingers are crossed that my FrSky madness works out for me.

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I have a Turnigy 9x on order too to see what it's worth with a JR-style matching FRsky module, advantage being that with ER9x telemetry display can be done on the TX's screen itself.

Frankly the FRsky stuff seems really good for now. It will likely be perfect for your quad. The problem with 2.4 really comes when you multiply models. They don't necessarily have to be FPV or complicated.

FRsky by itself is fine for most models. I can use it with my MX16 for small ones. For more "serious" models the link would be fine too, but I'd like to use my T14MZ and then don't have a convenient way to hook them up apart from velcro-taping a module in the back.

I have a Lanxiang Mig-29 that needs 11 channels. The only one that can give me this is the Futaba module.

E-flite planes are cool, I want an UMX one (the tiny ones with everything integrated), so I need some Spektrum TX. I could go with Spektrum for everything, but it wouldn't solve my channel number problems, there's no PPM out (OK, some things support using the satelllite receiver protocol, but not all), so it's not an ideal solution either.

I end up having to take 3 TXs with me for 3 different models...

Edited by Kilrah

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E-flite planes are cool, I want an UMX one (the tiny ones with everything integrated), so I need some Spektrum TX.

This new universal Tx module might be useful for the UMX problem: http://www.tacticrc.com/tacj2000.html

Edit: I just noticed it requires a special Rx, so it's not of any use. Too bad it doesn't emulate the various Tx protocols.

Edited by Mr.RC-Cam
Update

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I forgot about this discussion and stumbled upon it today. It's interesting to compare notes now that it is 2014.

1. A fully integrated FPV system package will be introduced that includes OSD, inertial (non-IR) flight stabilization, 8-ch digital R/C link on 2.4GHz, antenna tracking, and user defined telemetry link.

2014 Partial Pass: Eagletree released their Vector this year. It is a full featured Flight Controller with a color OSD, optional telemetry and antenna tracking.

2. Several new 2.4GHz R/C systems with useful 2-way telemetry (Tx mounted LCD display) will be marketed to the FPV crowd.

2014 Pass: Since 2011 several 2.4GHz systems with 2-way telemetry have been introduced.

3. Name-brand R/C receivers with integrated flight stabilization, including fly-by-wire control.

2014 Fail: Haven't seen such a thing, at least not from a major R/C brand.

4. Another low cost flight stabilization product that will compete with products like the FY-20A.

2014: Pass. Lot's of choices have appeared since 2011.

5. Sadly, an affordable digital video link for FPV that works well and is license-free will not be available this year. Maybe 2012.

2014 Pass: Finally this year DJI released their $1200 HD Lightbridge. But they are essentially alone at this point. Hopefully more affordable options will appear soon.

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3. Name-brand R/C receivers with integrated flight stabilization, including fly-by-wire control.

2014 Fail: Haven't seen such a thing, at least not from a major R/C brand.

This one would actually be a pass for me, at least partial because it might not always do as much as expected, but in the right direction... several manufacturers (Spektrum, Graupner come to mind) have released receivers with integrated 3-axis gyros for at least "wind shake" stabilisation. Then there are heli FBL controllers with integrated receiver that might actually be closer to the definition, even if they are more a "controller with integrated receiver" rather than "receiver with integrated controller". Oh and the DJI A2, even if haven't yet heard about anybody actually making use of the built-in FASST-compatible receiver.

Good productions! any chance of the lotto numbers?

Only about 2.5 years late :)

Edited by Kilrah

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This one would actually be a pass for me, ...

Good info. Let's call #2 a 2014 Pass.

Only about 2.5 years late

Hey, even Nostradamus was allowed some slack on his predictions. :)

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Now for 2015 what I want to see is a trend towards integration of all the various digital systems on a vehicle.

  • We have an R/C system, with a radio that has a graphics screen and buttons
  • We have onboard flight controllers or other "intelligent" airborne devices
  • We recently got a telemetry downlink data channel, unfortunately usually independent of said devices that would have a ton of useful info to give (getting better though, there have been quite few "bridge" solutions developed this year to connect some flight controllers to some telemetry systems)
  • Some manufacturers implemented the complementary uplink data channel, but it's still unused in most cases...
  • And I still stupidly have to take my PC out anytime I want to change a setting on my FC.

So I'd really want to get to a point where the FC can be connected to the RC system's bidirectional data channel, feed telemetry and status data in addition to what "normal" telemetry sensors supply, and with an UI on the radio that allows configuring anything that might need configuring on the FC without any external device. It's a bit stupid to still use a servo channel to set gyro gains remotely when everything's there to just send the digital value...

Obviously this has to be done in the DIY / open source world to trigger wide adoption as big brand radio manufacturers will never bother supporting anything beyond their own offerings, and devices that would benefit most from this aren't made by them.

Edited by Kilrah

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Now for 2015 what I want to see is a trend towards integration of the whole control system.

@kilrah: When the FrSky Taranis was released I thought it would be the perfect host for doing exactly this. It has the resources to handle the needed user interface & additional bidirectional data. Plus your intimate relationship with FrSky's engineer gives you access to things us mortals are shielded from. On the flight control side, there's several different open source choices that could be the other half of this endeavor. Have you and Bertrand (or Mike) seriously discussed such a thing?

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It's being done step by step with the big picture in mind, just takes time. And yes, the platform is perfectly adapted.

The lua interpreter that was introduced in 2.0 is the perfect foundation for the configuration UIs, by having the ability to execute scripts that are basically 3rd party apps anybody can design an UI that is best adapted for a particular type of onboard device without needing any firmware changes.

Now what was still much needed is a complete overhaul of the telemetry processing layer. It was initially hardcoded to the finite number and types of sensors of the D FrSky protocol, and was hastily patched for basic support of the new smart port system but without allowing to use its flexibility to the fullest. For example a flight controller will be able to send down attitude angles, there are no such identifiers existing in the FrSky system, so we'd have had to add them to the hardcoded list, which was everytime a complex process involving changes in many parts of the code. It also didn't support multiple sensors of the same type, which is stupid as it's possible with the hardware.

That's completely being reworked right now for 2.1. Once that big thing is done, it will only take a few more finishing touches to get there.

About which controller to support, we've been quite happy with the ARM-based multiwii-derived boards (Naze32 et al), and an OpenTX user is actually the main contributor of the "cleanflight" firmware that runs on them. He's been improving the original "baseflight" firmware, adding a few things like alternative telemetry protocols including smart port, so I guess the easiest will be to start there. Once this is done as example it should be easy for others to port code.

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It's Jan 2018, time to reflect. It is amazing how dramatic the FPV market has changed since this thread was posted seven years ago (2011).

We now have an endless number of FPV product choices, with more features than most will ever use, and all at bargain prices. It makes me wonder what FPV gadgets we will get to play with in another seven years (2025). 

But I'll take a gamble and predict this 2025 flying model: A 25mm sized drone with ultra HD video and 2-hr flight times. All for under $200 USD. Besides being popular for indoor FPV, it will also be commercialized for consumer home automation & home security.

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