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Light weight, low budget and aerodynamic FPV

Under construction..

This is the gear that which I popped my FPV cherry.

All up cost about $70, almost like not resorting to prostitution.

2.8mm Sony SuperHAD 600TVL $48
9v switching UBEC $5
TX5823 TX Module $15
3.3v Linear regulator. $0.50
Other parts were just lying around. Scrap wire, capacitors from an old stereo etc.
Antenna home made, Bruce style.

I also designed this as easy to change as I want to experiment with different power and filtering options. Later versions will have the power, transmitter and camera all integrated into a single removable pod. If your interested in the wiring, google 

Here we can see the camera pod stuck on the top with velcro. I have enough room here to move it back and forth a bit. Note the teardrop shape to minimise drag.

The Sony camera has had the outer part of the pcb cut away to reduce the frontal area as much as possible. Lens cap has velcro so I can stick it on my transmitter before flight.

Another frontal view lens cap off. Also note the black paint.

I soldered the power, gnd and video wires directly to the board. The capacitor stops any dc going between the camera and tx module.

Main compartment is the 1300mAh 3s battery and plugs. I also put a low voltage alarm in the back here but that will be ditched for later flights when I add the wiring resistors to send the battery voltage back via FrSky telemetry with the D4R-II.

Here we have our 9v power for the camera and 3.3v for the TX module. Hot glued in place, flat and in the airflow.  To the left is a 9v UBEC with its heat shrink taken off. These are not particularly accurate but the camera is happy with 9.2v. To the right is the heat sink for the 3.3v linear regulator which is underneath. It is a TO-220 package with the stabilising caps, inputs and outputs soldered directly to the cut down legs. When connected to the 9v UBEC and supplying the TX unit it dissipates about 1.8 watts of heat. If I leave it stationary for a while it will melt the hot glue it is held on with, but once in flight it gets plenty of airflow to cool it.

David at gave me the idea for the inductor. He has a some nice filtering setups here and here (you will have to scroll down) in a couple of his projects. But finding the inductor he used for cheap proved to be a pain. So I decided to make my own and it turned out pretty well, smaller and lighter too.

I made it from a ferrite core and about a meter of wire taken from a 12v brushed motor out of a popcorn maker. The ferrite core came off the lead of an F series ESC. I doubled the wire over, twisted it together and threaded it through over a bus ride to town. Sand the enamel off the ends, some solder and heat shrink and you are done. It is connected in series between the 3S lipo and 9v UBEC. Without it there was loads of noise on the video signal throughout the ESC's speed range. With it the video is crystal clear except for a little noise at 3/4 throttle. Another cap or two should eliminate this.

And here is our 5.8Ghz 200mW TX module with clover leaf antenna. It broke off after the first crash landing, the revised edition will have a strengthening paddle pop stick glued to the module and coax. I will sharpen one end, stab it into the foam and add just a tiny bit of glue so it can easily come out when I land in the trees.

What about the ground station? Experimental also, but it involves diversity and some new features not ever seen before in the FPV world. Am I teasing?, doing a Bruce? wait and see.