RC701 7 inch 5.8GHz Diversity LCD Monitor Review

January 11, 2014 17:24 | By | Add a Comment

There’s a metric ton of various LCD monitors geared for FPV flight. The RC701 is an all-in-one package with integrated diversity receiver for safer FPV flying, and we took a look at the ups and downs of this model in our in-depth review.

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The typical FPV-ready LCD Monitor usually features one or two 5.8GHz receivers, 12V supply voltage and/or integrated battery, and may come with or without an integrated solid state DVR for recording onto a SD card. The RC701 is a cheap all-in-one package that doesn’t feature a battery or DVR, but comes with an integrated dual video receiver with instant signal switchover depending on which antenna delivers the stronger signal.

What’s in the box

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This monitor comes with a ready-to-use power cable that allows you to plug it into any 2S or 3S LiPo battery. Also included are two linear antennas and two video/audio cables to connect the outputs of the two receivers to other equipment. Also included is a sun shade which securely fastens to the monitor. The monitor mounts are still accessible even with the hood on.

Features

– Built in Dual receiver Automatically for best reception automatic switching
– Dual buffer AV outputs
– Can receive 2 different channels at the same time
– Not affect by 2.4GHz R/C radios
– AV receiver with diversity inputs
– Small,light weight,durable

Specification:
– Screen Size:7″
– Screen ratio:16:9
– Dot Resolution: 800 RGB(H)x480 (V)pixels
– Brightness: 450 cd/m²
– Contrast Ratio:500:1
– Viewing Angle:140°/ 110°(Horizontal/Vertical)
– Operation Voltage:DC 7-12V
– Signal System:NTSC/PAL auto change
– Power Consumption:≤8W
– Audio output:≤1W
– Size:179×120×23mm
– Support 9 language menu selection
– Weight:879g (including package)

Image Quality and Brightness

One of the most important factors for an FPV monitor is the monitor brightness. The RC701 is advertised as boasting 450cd brightness – which is okay for most situations. However it’s not necessarily one of the brightest monitors out there. Brightness is good at the right angle, sideways viewing is also acceptable, though looking at the screen from a low angle results in a very poor image.

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Of course the sunshade helps a lot, but it must be said that this monitor is not well suited for bright sunny days. On the plus side however, the monitor not reflective at all, which means less distractions while flying.

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It should be said that we sometimes had trouble connecting the power plug while the sunshade was on due to the holes not being at exactly the right location. Not a huge deal by itself, but an annoyance nonetheless.

Video Receiver

The integrated 5.8GHz video receiver is excellent. One of the most prominent features on the top of the device are the dual antenna ports, allowing you to connect either the two included rubber duckies – or something better, like circular polarized cloverleaf or helical antennas. This is especially interesting for long range FPV missions, for a mix of antenna patterns allows flying both close by as well as far away with the monitor always displaying the best available signal.

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The RC701 features a healthy selection of supported frequencies, allowing you to use both the ImmersionRC 5.8GHz transmitters as well as the ubiquitous chinese models. Best of all, you can tune both receivers individually, allowing for dual-channel reception.

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The integrated receivers also process and output the audio signal – an important factor for everyone using antenna tracker systems. These systems typically transmit the GPS coordinates from the aircraft to the ground station via an encoded audio signal. Luckily the RC701 has all the necessary ports to use that signal.

 

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Both receiver 1 and 2 outputs can be accessed individually. The monitor only displays a mixed “best choice” signal. It is not possible to lock the monitor to only display what receiver 1 is receiving. You can however input a video signal via the AV IN connector. This allows you to, for example, get the video from receiver 1, and pipe it back into the monitor via AV IN. A dedicated button on the front toggles between the integrated diversity receivers and the AV IN signal.

If you’re using an antenna tracker, you might be interested in a true diversity signal output (instead of having separate RX1 and RX2 outputs) – luckily, the RC701 has you covered, and you can get both the best video and audio signal by plugging into the “Tracker Link” output. Essentially this output is exactly the same as what you see on the screen.

The antenna connectors are female SMA, so make sure your antenna fits, or order the appropriate converters.

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Menu

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This monitor comes shipped with the language set to chinese. Luckily it’s very easy to change, as you can see above the fourth menu entry lets you choose between Chinese, English, German, French and Spanish. The available settings are decent: Aside from brightness and contrast, you can flip the image horizontally, as well as choose a different aspect ratio. It’s also possible to choose whether the monitor should blank out when no video signal is received (bad!) or whether you prefer it to show even the worst signal (yes please). Generally with FPV, any video signal is better than a blue screen. And it’s good that the default is to show whatever is received. Like static, or a really really bad video signal.

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The manual comes on a single sheet of paper and isn’t completely terrible, though it is a bit cryptic and not terribly detailed.

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Mounting Options

This model does not come with any mounts or brackets. However, there is a standard slide mount on the back, as well as a slightly-flimsy tripod screw hole on the bottom. Both are accessible even when the sunscreen is mounted.

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Overall Impression

For $175 the RC701 is not terrible, but also not the best monitor out there. It disappoints in the brightness department, but makes up for it by being pretty much self-sufficient safe for the power supply. And you should consider taking a well sized LiPo with you because the current draw is considerable at over 500mA at 12V. Note that there’s no LiPo protection built in.

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On the other hand, this monitor gives you a full diversity setup that can be mounted right onto your transmitter without having to sacrifice range or reception quality. This sure beats the hell out of the typical tripod solution.

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Verdict

Like everything else, you get what you pay for – this is particularly true here. The RC701 is a decent offering at a solid price, but the brightness is far from overwhelming and if you often fly in bright sunlight you should consider a monitor with a brighter screen. In our testing we found the non-reflective surface to be very pleasant, however ultimately reflections are less of a problem than a lack of overall brightness. This is not a “dim screen” – it just isn’t as bright as we would’ve liked. The diversity receiver is excellent, switchover happens instantly and really helps in keeping a solid image on the screen.

What we liked:

  • Simple operation
  • Runs on 2S and 3S LiPo
  • Comes with sunshade
  • Versatile 5.8GHz diversity receiver supports most transmitters
  • No bluescreen on poor video signals
  • Non-reflective screen
  • Price

What we didn’t like:

  • No LiPo protection
  • Not bright enough for direct sunlight (though not worse than others in this class)
  • Sunscreen can exert some pressure on the power connector

Source

You can get the RC701 from GoodLuckBuy for USD $175.-

 

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Category: Reviews

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