Author Archive: fpvcentral

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.

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F550 Hexa Frame with integrated flight controller

F550 Hexa Frame with integrated flight controller

December 19, 2012 13:17 | By | 19 Comments

This is a sturdy nylon hexacopter frame with an integrated flight controller. And when we say integrated, we mean integrated.

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The specs so far:

  • HJ F550 Quadcopter Frame
  • MWC 2012 flight control board with 2.1 firmware
  • 6 x 20A ESC
  • 6 x XXD 2212 Motor
  • 6 pairs x 9047 Propellers CW&CCW
  • GPS Module

So for $230 you get an okay ARTF hexacopter kit – but you better never ever crash it. If you so much as crack the upper PCB during a crash or a rough landing, you have to replace the whole board with the flight controller. Not exactly a smart design.

All-in-one 5.8GHz diversity receiver

All-in-one 5.8GHz diversity receiver

December 5, 2012 11:10 | By | Add a Comment

GLB is offering the D58-4 four-channel FPV receiver that features both four independent receivers + individual outputs as well as one additional diversified output. The idea is that you tune all four receivers to the same channel, then use the diversity output for your FPV goggles/DVR/etc. – this device will switch between the four receivers and take the one with the best video signal.

Serious FPV pilots can use this to achieve 360 degree coverage, or just additional safety by combining four antennae with different characteristics.

Note that this will not solve multipathing issues, which account for most of the close-range image distortions. You’ll want a circular polarizing antenna for that, like these Cloverleaf Antennae. That said, diversity is a good thing to have and a setup with several types of circular polarizing antennae, for example 3 x patch + 1 x cloverleaf, will give you pretty much the best wireless video link you can get.

Don’t want diversity? This receiver also has four independent outputs in case you tune those receivers onto different channels and record them all at the same time.

Price at Goodluckbuy.com is a less-than-stellar $258.85, whereas the same receiver can be picked up at fpvmodel.com for $209 and at Foxtech for a mere $199. Depending on where you live however, GLB may or may not end up being cheaper due to shipping being included in that price.

MultiWii and ArduPilot GPS + Telemetry Sets

MultiWii and ArduPilot GPS + Telemetry Sets

November 27, 2012 10:25 | By | 1 Comment

RCTimer is having a sale on two very interesting sets that include GPS and 433MHz telemetry.
First is the AIOP-UAV, an AllInOnePro MultiWii/MegaPirate controller, a successor to the AIO controller board we reviewed in summer, complete with GPS module and 433MHz telemetry for data downlink and inflight flightplan updates.

Features:

  • Supports MegaPirateNG and MultiWii firmware
  • Up to 8-axis motor output
  • 8 input channels for standard receiver
  • 4 serial ports for debug/Bluetooth Module/OSD/GPS/telemetry
  • 2 servo output for PITCH and ROLL gimbal system
  • Servo output to trigger a camera button
  • 6 Analog output for extend device
  • I2C port for external sensor or device
  • Separate 3.3V and 5V LDO voltage regulator
  • ATMega 2560 Microcontroller
  • MPU6050 6 axis gyro/accel with Motion Processing Unit
  • HMC5883L 3-axis digital magnetometer
  • MS5611-01BA01 highprecision altimeter
  • FT232RQ USB-UART chip and Micro USB port

The USB port, one of the major issues we had with the original AIO board,  has allegedly been reinforced.

Price: $124.99 at rctimer.com

 

 

 

Second is the ArduFlyer UAV set with GPS and 433MHz telemetry. This is mainly for those who prefer ArduPilot over MultiWii.

Features:

  • Arduino and ArduPilot Mega 2.5 Compatible!
  • Includes both right angle and straight pins for I/O, allowing user to customize as needed.
  • Includes 3-axis gyro, accelerometer and magnetometer, along with a high-performance barometer
  • Onboard 16Mbit Dataflash chip for automatic datalogging
  • Digital compass powered by HMC5883L chip, included on the main board.
  • Invensense’s 6 DoF Accelerometer/Gyro MPU-6000.
  • Barometric pressure sensor upgraded to MS5611-01BA03, from Measurement Specialties.
  • Atmel’s ATMEGA2560-16AU and ATMEGA32U-2 chips for processing and usb functions respectively.

Price: $149.99 at rctimer.com

 

These prices are very reasonable and both boards  have excellent sensor hardware.

10x Zoom Camera Module on the cheap

10x Zoom Camera Module on the cheap

November 16, 2012 11:37 | By | Add a Comment

Want to feel like a military drone pilot, zooming in on the target with your 10x tele camera lens, but don’t want to shell out $400 for the HP520 FPV camera module? This is a much cheaper Samsung-brand camera with Sony CCD and integrated 10x telezoom, for just USD $90.- !

This one goes from a nice f=3.8mm to 38mm, and low-light performance appears to be decent. The only drawback is that you have to figure out your own PPM interface for your RC receiver to control the zoom.

If that doesn’t scare you, this capable little 10x zoomer can be yours for $90, available at Goodluckbuy.

 

Walkera announces Devo F7 integrated FPV transmitter system

Walkera announces Devo F7 integrated FPV transmitter system

November 13, 2012 23:38 | By | Add a Comment

Walkera has obviously been looking at the Hubsan FPV transmitter and has just come out with their own integrated system, the Devo F7 FPV transmitter. This new model offers a color LCD screen and integrated 5.8GHz video receiver. Click the read more link for fancy press photos and details.

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GoPro Hero3 offers 4k video and 120fps recording

GoPro Hero3 offers 4k video and 120fps recording

October 17, 2012 10:30 | By | Add a Comment

The GoPro 2 was due for a revamp, and now there’s not just two models but three. Features range from 120fps video to WiFi control and streaming. Read up on the details and oogle the press shots after the break.

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HP520 10X Zoom Camera Module

HP520 10X Zoom Camera Module

October 15, 2012 8:09 | By | 1 Comment

A dedicated, FPV-ready camera module with zoom capability is something of a holy grail, and FPV-Fever are all to happy to oblige. Their HP520 camera module sports a servo input that lets you control the 10x zoom action. Together with a good stabilizing gimbal this is probably as close as you can get to the performance of military surveillance drones.

The bad news is that this will set you back $400, available now on GLB.

Hubsan H510 FPV Glasses Review

Hubsan H510 FPV Glasses Review

August 15, 2012 21:34 | By | 5 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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Hubsan FPV goggles cost $110, look fashionable

Hubsan FPV goggles cost $110, look fashionable

August 6, 2012 7:23 | By | Add a Comment

We need more cheap video goggles. Hubsan joins the fray with one of the cheapest offerings yet, the $110 Hubsan FPV Goggles. Read on for sources and a link to our review!

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GLB now distributing Hubsan FPV toys

GLB now distributing Hubsan FPV toys

August 6, 2012 7:17 | By | Add a Comment

Is the wire mess of typical FPV setups not your thing? Goodluckbuy is now distributing pretty much the whole lineup of Hubsan.com, at quite attractive prices.

The Westland Lynx single rotor fpv helicopter with FPV remote is on sale for $221, the coaxial rotor version of the Invader helicopter also costs $221. There’s also a coax version of the Lynx available for $260. The good old Spyhawk V2 can be yours for just $250, and as always with GoodLuckBuy, this already includes shipping.

Foxtech HorizonHD 2 FPV Camera Review

Foxtech HorizonHD 2 FPV Camera Review

July 29, 2012 13:04 | By | Add a Comment

There’s a new FPV HD camera contender in town. Can Foxtech’s HorizonHD dethrone the sturdy but heavy GoPro, or are you better of sticking to the more established products? Find out in our review!

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Crius All In One GPS and Installation Howto – MultiWii – Part 1

Crius All In One GPS and Installation Howto – MultiWii – Part 1

July 10, 2012 21:07 | By | 44 Comments

OUTDATED ARTICLE WARNING

This tutorial has been rewritten for MultiWii 2.2, taking into account the new native support for uBlox GPS modules! Please follow the instructions in the new HowTo and consider the article below to be outdated.

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KK 2.0 (KK2) Multicopter Controller Review

KK 2.0 (KK2) Multicopter Controller Review

July 4, 2012 11:17 | By | 35 Comments

LCD Screen! Accelerometers! It even glows in the dark! The new KK2 flight controller from Rolf Bakke sure has a lot going for it, but is it worth the noise that HK is making around this controller? Read on for an in-depth review!

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Crius All In One Pro is a grown-up Crius SE

Crius All In One Pro is a grown-up Crius SE

June 28, 2012 11:25 | By | Add a Comment

Need a new MultiWii flight controller, but want more serial ports and extendability? The Crius All In One Pro (or AIOP) is there to fill the void. Full technical specs of this interesting FC coming up after the break.

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i86 Lite costs $1 less, removes features

i86 Lite costs $1 less, removes features

June 28, 2012 10:55 | By | Add a Comment

Hobbyking is now selling the i86 Lite – in essence a rebranded Eagle N6 V2. The improvements are a slightly lower price and the fact that the microcontroller is now getting its clock signal from a crystal oscillator, which provides for a more stable clock frequency.

And how does this improve the flight performance? Quite frankly, not at all. It’s a more clean design from an electronic engineering point of view, but out on the airfield it doesn’t matter. The regular i86 has more than adequate flight stability and whether the clock frequency is exact down to the second comma is irrelevant for that.

On the negative side, the i86 Lite loses support for fixed wing aircraft, so you cannot use it as a cheap and powerful 3-axis airplane gyro anymore.

Our verdict: Skip the i86 Lite, it’s not easier to use, doesn’t offer more stability, but actually has less functionality at the marginal benefit of a more stable CPU clock. Get the regular i86, it’s the simplest and cheapest way to get flying with a multirotor craft today. You set the DIP switches for your craft, dial the pots so it doesn’t wiggle, and you’re good to go. Check our i86 Flight Controller Review for all the details on this board.