Hubsan H510 FPV Glasses Review

August 15, 2012 21:34 | By | 4 Comments

Looking for lightweight FPV video goggles that don’t break the bank? You’re not alone. Hubsan has a product to fill that itch, the H510 FPV glasses, which are available for as low as $119. Can they scratch the itch, or are they complete garbage? Read our in-depth review after the break!

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The H510 glasses come in a cute little cardboard box which you would never believe to be able to hold such a device. They’re easily among the smallest and lightest FPV goggles out there. They come with two rubber eye seals and a hand-soldered and heatshrinked mini USB to stereo cable. The glasses run with anything between 3.8 and 5 Volts. There is no input voltage protection, and exceeding 10 V will result in magic smoke as there’s an electrolyte capacitor used for smoothing the input voltage. Of course that’s not an issue if you only use these as intended, i.e. with the Hubsan FPV transmitter. It’s a nice idea to finally have FPV goggles that have power and video on a single connector.

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If you want to use the H510 with your own FPV system, the pinout is as follows: the base of the stereo connector is ground, the center ring is video in, and the tip of the stereo connector is V+. These glasses can be driven by a single LiPo cell, for example using one output of the balance connector of a 3S cell which might power your FPV receiver… There’s lots of possibilities here.

The eye distance is non-adjustable

There are flat cables coming from both sides, not just the side with the USB connector. As it turns out, there are little rubber nubs that look like they’ve been cut off. These are actually test wires that have been cut after testing. It’s kinda strange that they went through the effort to add a second flat cable just for testing instead of testing the device while it was still open.

The USB connector is a standard Mini-USB, which is a definitive plus as you’ll be able to make a new cable should the original cable break. And that’s something that’s not unlikely either, as we’ll see in a moment. There are also little springy plastic nubs that looks like they’re switches – but actually that’s just a spring mechanism to make the glasses fit more securely on the wearer’s head.

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Looking inside, there’s not much there aside from a T118B display driver chip, some power electronics and connectors for the actual displays and the power and test cables. It’s all very tidy and small, if a bit flimsy.

The soldering on the supplied cable is a disaster. This connection is prone to breaking, with ends of wires just half-dabbed together by solder that didn’t have the time or heat to coat the cable’s core fully. A lone wire is sticking out and can connect to the video signal input by accident. The protection by three layers of heatshrink is adequate, but doesn’t change the fact that this cable has been quickly botched together.

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Compared to the Cinema Glasses reviewed a year ago, the H510 feel a lot cheaper and “plasticky”, while the design and light weight are definitely working in favor of the Hubsan offering. It should be noted that the Cinema Glasses can be comfortably worn by people with prescription glasses even with the rubber sealing on, whereas on the Hubsan glasses you’ll be forced to take the light sealing off. There is no way to adjust for eye distance nor for short/long-sightedness.

The ads claim a perceived screen size of 72 inches. Well…

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…no. After wearing the Hubsan glasses, the image of the Cinema glasses feels positively huge in comparison. As can be seen by the viewport size alone, the H510 is at a disadvantage here. It’s true for all glasses that the “perceived image size” is just marketing, you’ll still feel like you’re viewing a lens-magnified image through a tiny hole, but this is even more evident on the Hubsan goggles.

H510 image, blurryness due to small area of focus

The image quality is on the low end, with a resolution of just 300*224 and the contrast ratio being rather underwhelming at 100/1. The low resolution is actually a problem when flying, as it’s impossible to make out details. In the image above, it’s almost impossible to see the safety net that’s just 3 meters away. Reading the OSD values is quite hard too, and you’re supposed to be able to do that while flying an aircraft. The small focal area of the image means that the glasses have to sit on your nose just right or it’ll turn blurry. Contrast is low, which means shadowed areas turn black and may obscure things you shouldn’t fly into. Dangers may literally hide in the shadows.

The same image viewed through the Cinema Glasses

Comparing that with the Cinema Glasses, the difference is like night and day. Sure, colors on the 2-year old model are a bit washed out but the detail is there. The image is larger too and the rubber daylight sealing works much better than those of Hubsan’s product.

There’s another glaring flaw in the H510: It will only show perfectly solid video signals. If your reception is bad for even a moment, the Hubsan glasses will turn dark instead of showing you an imperfect picture. You can fix this by routing the video signal through a digital DVR box, but still: This is a major no-go for FPV goggles. Even the cinema glasses don’t have this issue. It’s always better to show an interference-riddled signal than showing nothing.

 

Verdict

The H510 are cheap FPV glasses, and a true testament to the old saying that you get what you pay for. They don’t cost much, and you don’t get much. They do work, but the low resolution and contrast make it difficult to fly in anything but perfect conditions. Due to these issues it is difficult to recommend them. Save your money and invest in some Fatsharks or other high-quality FPV glasses. Flying with those is not only safer, but also much more fun.

 

What we liked

  • lightweight and small
  • cheap
  • single connector for video and power
  • cool design

What we didn’t like

  • quality issues
  • too low resolution and contrast
  • goes dark when signal isn’t perfect
  • image is difficult to see, daylight sealing ineffective

 

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FPVCentral is a private, independent news and review site for all things related to First Person View RC model flight. Covering everything from hobby, commercial and military drones, RC models and electronics related to FPV flight, we are not sponsored by any manufacturer or affiliated with any company or project.

Comments (4)

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  1. Alex Echeverria says:

    Hello, I have a SpyHawk transmitter with two hole on the front side. My question is: which is the video out, or goggle out hole?
    I have Banggood cheap goggles with a similar plug but as I push it in no video signal comes as they have “video-L audio-R audio” setup, the power comes from a batterie in a box that plugs to goggles via a cable. That is an inconvenience but I think that if I use the Hubsan video-power-ground by a customized cable I will be able to use the goggles. One problem I have to confes is that I lots my Spyhawk in very strong winds so I am looking for a BNF replacement. Weird thing is that there are Transmitters for sale but no BNF spyhawks. Oh well…

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