Jump to content

Attention: RC-CAM.com will be closing down August 2021.

The RC-Cam.com forum was the very first online community dedicated to the advancement of wireless video cameras on radio controlled (R/C) models. This is now called "FPV" (First Person View). We are proud of the contributions that our members have made to the FPV hobby.

We've seen significant changes over the last twenty years. Initially there were a lot of eager R/C hobbyist that built their own video systems. Allowing these creative individuals to share their work was the purpose of this site. Now the FPV market is flooded with low cost systems; Sadly DiY FPV video projects are now rarely discussed.

RC-CAM.com (main site and forum) will be closing down August 2021. This is being announced now (March 2021) so that everyone has time to download any information that is important to them. After the site is shutdown the information will no longer be available here.

We appreciate every member's involvement with advancing the FPV hobby. It is indeed sad to say goodbye to all our online friends. Be safe and stay healthy.

Recommended Posts

** UPDATE: The races have ended. See http://dronenationals.com for racing results and other information. **

The California State Fair is hosting the 2015 US Drone National Championships. There will be $25K USD in cash/prizes. Races will be held July 16 through July 17 2015.

Live video has begun!


Here's a recorded TV station segment from this morning:

I'll be there on Jul-16 to see the Team Sport Competition and Freestyle Stunt activities. If I can spare the time I'll probably get something wrapped in bacon at the fair concessions. Woohoo!

Edited by Mr.RC-Cam
Added link to racing results
Link to post
Share on other sites

I left the race after they closed it down Thrusday night (Jul-16). It was a lot of fun and a treat to see some faces that up to now were just names in the forums. Here's some photos and comments from the event.

The race was held at the soccer field at the west end of the California State Fair grounds. The state fair runs for about two weeks in the summer and the organizers were excited to add "drone" racing to it. Here's the side entrance I used to get in.


Somehow Hobbyking scored a prominent spot at the entry to the race field. A short walk through the banners is where all the action is.


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were several tents setup at the south end of the field for the pilots to rest and work on their models. At times it was very busy in there. Here's a view of the area during a quiet period.


The AMA, FAA, and FCC were highly involved in this event. Representatives from these organizations were on hand. Safety was a top priority.

The FCC provided special permission to use the FPV RF systems. What is interesting is that most of the models used a common wiring scheme and video connector. This allowed the race coordinators to supply special 5.8GHz 25mW vTx's to each pilot. These were the new ImmersionRC "RaceBand" designs that have 40 channels.

Up to 8 pilots could be in the air at one time. This was possible due to the low RF power, a combination of RF channel spacing, and alternating pilots with left or right hand polarization antennas. This was further aided by the additional RF spectrum permissions temporarily granted from the FCC. But I overhead that some pilots used their own 200mW vTxs later in the day. The antenna on ibcrazy's tricopter appeared to be 2.4GHz size, so maybe that frequency was allowed too. But I am not sure.

The pilots' stations were positioned at the field's west end behind the starting gate. Each pilot was near the FPV ground station and the judge assigned to the racer was connected to their video link. Most pilots wore goggles, but I also saw a tripod mounted monitor. Whatever the pilot wanted to use for viewing their FPV camera was allowed.


There were some notable names here, such as Charpu (Carlos Puertolas), AnthonyRC (ImmersionRC), ibcrazy (Video Aerial Systems), Trappy (TeamBlackSheep), and more. Given that the Fatshark name was posted everywhere it was not a surprise to find Mr Fatshark himself (Greg French) was there. Earlier in the day I tried to introduce myself to some of them but they were constantly engaged with others. So I remained a spectator and watched the excitement from the bleachers.

There were a variety of 250 class frames, motors, and ESC's being flown. I even saw a young pilot working on his wood frame quad, but carbon fiber construction dominated. Some started with 4S packs and later switched to 3S. The race was full of turns, gates, and obstacles (pesky sponsor flags everywhere on the course); As expected the actual model flown was less important than the pilot skills. But with the short straight runs and many sharp turns, the higher agility from a light weight model seemed to have the advantage over one tuned/powered for highest speed. Sorry no close-up photos of any models, but they looked a lot like what many of us fly everyday.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The race stadium is Bonney Field. It was built last year to host the Sacramento Republic FC soccer team. Its massive aluminum bleachers acted as a shield from the external urban area's RF environment. But inside the stadium all the metal was a multipathing nightmare. From what I could see of the pilot video quality, which was piped onto the giant Jumbotron monitor, the relentless video breakups added to their flying challenges.

It was a very hot day (100F degrees) with gentle breeze. I found a small shady area in the empty bleachers behind the pilot pits. It was a great place to see all the race action.


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were a large number of volunteers that helped run the event. Along with a lot of other things, they were responsible for placing the models at the starting gate. This allowed the goggled pilots to remain seated at their ground station.


At the end of each race the volunteers collected the models and any broken parts from the field. They also handled the safety issues, including dealing with a couple smoking ESCs and vTxs. An army of volunteers were handling things all around the event to help make this a very professionally run experience.

Lastly, here's a video of an afternoon race. Sorry that there's not much to see, but you can at least hear the motors as models fly by. The field's Jumbotron screen is visible at the far right side; It was cool to be able to see the action from the pilot's view. At the end of this race the only model remaining in the air is a Parrot Bebop. Classic tortoise and hare exhibition. :)

ImmersionRC hosted a beer meeting in the evening that I was too tired to attend. My unused expired beer pass is up for grabs. :)


I was hoping to leave with an official T-shirt (a mandatory thing if you ask me). But they didn't have any spares on site to sell to the spectators. Shirts or no shirts, if the US championship drone racing event returns next year I will definitely be there. It was a blast!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for coming out to spectate and for the coverage of the event and I am glad you had a great time as everyone there did! Definitely taking ya up on the leftover free beer ticket as I missed out on getting any of them to take home and would be nice to keep and display with the ticket stub. Thanks again Mr. RC-Cam! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...