Tuesday, 28 October 2014


FPV, or first person view or video as some call it. The idea behind it is really simple. Either using Goggles or a screen you can see through the eyes. so to speak, of your robot. A camera mounted in the robot or model transmits a video signal back to a receiver and monitor for the operator to view.
Using an FPV system does take some getting used to especially with land based models. Flying a Drone is relatively easy compared to manoeuvring a large Droid though a crowd of people using an FPV.

I have used and built many systems over the years but the one I find the best for Robots like Daleks and Droids at public events is a screen mounted system on the transmitter.

What kits should you use

Read this if you want to save yourself some money. I wish I could go back in time and be given this advice as I would have saved myself lots of cash.

I used to run my builds on 35mhz. This was the control frequency I would use for the transmitter and receiver, to control and move the robot.
When I used 35mhz for my control frequency I used 2.4ghz for my Video frequency.

WARNING: You can not use the same frequency for your control system and Video otherwise you will have some problems, drop out of video signal and very poor range.

I found the 2.4ghz frequency was good, very stable and offered excellent range in larger events especially through walls.

I now use 2.4ghz as my control frequency so I have moved my video gear to 5.8ghz.

5.8ghz certainly does not offer the same range inside and through walls as 2.4ghz however for the short ranges I need it is fine.


This is really important. There are legal and illegal power levels you can run on your 5.8ghz video system but what really pushes the signal out over distance is a good antenna. The small rubber linear  stick antenna that some with most systems should go straight in the bin and be replaced with some circular polarised( mushroom shaped) antennas. They give a much better range and are so much better for inside events. I use some of these on all my transmitters however I also use directional planar antennas on my receivers, which provide a slightly stronger signal, especially across a crowded room.

I now use these exclusively.


These are the cameras I use on all my Robot builds.
They are 12v and have a single composite out signal. They are very simple to setup, very reliable and all have a good wide angle lens.

A: I love this camera, amazing IR pickup.

B: Bigger camera and good when you want a 170 degree or more field of view. IR are not very good but ok at close range.

C: Good his res camera and tiny, smaller than a pence piece.

I use the type A: camera a lot when I need low light and night vision capability. The camera is fantastic at picking up IR light from torches. Here is a camera mounted on a 20mm weaver rail for an Airsoft night vision system.

My front mounted camera in C.I.D, T3:E1 Robot. Type A:
Most of the cameras I use are 12v car reversing cameras with about a 140 degree field of view. I also use 180 degree field of view cameras as well. 

On C.I.D the antenna mounting is easy as it just sits along the back ones on his head.
On Zoe, Issi and Vic the antenna sit onto of the domes. 

Brilliant 600mw transmitters. They get a bit hot but seem very reliable.

Spektrym DX18 Radio and FPV

This is my main Robot control and FPV system. Radio operates on 2.4hgz and FPV on 5.8ghz with a 32 channel receiver. 5" HD screen and 12v power system.

5" HD screen mounted to mu Spectrum DX18

I made up a bracket which holds the screen but keeps the main 2.4ghz antenna free.

32 channel 5.8ghz receiver which is mounted on the removal back plate on the DX18. 

It is a very easy to use system and I find the weight ok. The battery to power the screen and the receiver is in a remote pack and can either sit in my pocket or be Velcro under the radio although this does add a bit more weight.

Turret Gun Control box and FPV.

This is the control and FPV system I use with the turret and sentry guns I make. It is also a great system to use if you want to use it is a outdoor situation where it might be raining. 

This is the 8 channel control system I use with my sentry guns although it can be used on any FPV system as a video receiver. 
The unit is housed in an impact and dust proof case making it idea to take out into a tough Airsoft skirmish environment. 
As well as offering FPV monitoring of the camera mounted on the gun it provides full 2.4ghz control of the guns functions. Again the video system is 5.8ghz using a planar directional antenna mounted in the lid.

Lightweight FPV System

Very simple 7" 2.4ghz FPV system I made for an Airsoft sentry gun and also used with a simple hex Drone.

5.8ghz frequencies and channels

Different FPV systems I have used.

5.8ghz. Very good range even inside. I find these very stable and work with other systems. Good price as well, cheap.

I used these for a while but found them to be not very good. The digital signal was very clear but would lag a great deal and not be very good, even line of sight.

Best 5.8ghz transmitter /receiver out there in my opinion.

Love these, great fun.

2.4ghz camera an 7" monitor. I used these on my first Airsoft sentry guns and Dalek system. It is very good and even works together with a 2.4ghz control system as long as the antennas are kept as far aways as possible for each other. 

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