vrijdag 10 augustus 2012

My first FPV experience

I had my first FPV experience some days ago. Since then I didn't find the time to go up again but I really loved it (despite the few mishaps).

All the information about my gear can be found at: http://redmine.hcpl.be/projects/fpv/wiki .

As usual darkness was my worst enemy. It was late and getting dark. I had no spotter so I switched from goggles to los all the time. When I had the goggles on I could hear the plane going towards me or away from me. That gave me some idea of the actual position.

I really need an OSD or at least height feedback from my telemetry system. It's way too hard to tell height from picture only.

Also I was too busy and too excited to really pay attention to what was in the picture. I had no time to think of my location.

I should have taken a spotter with me. At some point I didn't hear the plane anymore so I got worried and took off the goggles. I couldn't find the plane though. So I worried even more and was thinking if I should put the goggles on again to have at least some idea of what I was doing. After all the video was still crystal clear. After a few seconds I suddenly spotted my plane way too far away. It was dark also so it was very hard to tell orientation. I leveled out and took back some throttle. Hoping it was flying towards me. I didn't dare to bank too much to find out orientation since I was afraid to correct in the wrong direction causing a crash. Luckily for me I was coming back home.

All that way I had perfect picture. All thanks to the circularly polarized antenna's I made based on the threads on http://www.rcgroups.com . Mine weren't perfect at all so it's true that they perform really wel. I really was far away already. At least 500m. I still had my receiver mounted on my goggles so I could even improve that range by only mounting the VRX on a higher point.

For all this I was using my MS Composit Swift II flying wing. A great speed/glide envelope and even good duration on only 1000mah lipo's. However all the standard FPV equipment added a lot of weight to the airframe. I had to keep up the speed in order to stay up. I'll be looking for a much lighter setup for sure. All the fun was gone by adding this weight.

That, a spotter and the OSD are the next steps to improve my FPV experience.