Create an FPV-system: Part 1 - The Transmitter

Create an FPV-system: Part 1 - The Transmitter

While looking in to the possibility of adding a dedicated FPV system to my Phantom 2, I found out that most of these systems require some soldering. I wasn't feeling too confident about my technical know-how and soldering skills, so I figured out an easier way, no soldering required!

When I set out on my mission to create an FPV system without any soldering, I didn't have any experience with FPV-systems whatsoever. My knowledge of such a system was mainly based on watching a lot of YouTube movies, and combining parts in my head. When I ordered the parts I thought I needed for a working FPV-system, I wasn't at all sure if these were actually the right parts, and if it would work at all...

When the parts finally arrived, they did function as such, but reception was very very bad. When the craft was more than 10 meters away from me, all I got was static. Later I learned that this was not so much due to the transmitter-setup I had created, but much more due to the monitor's built-in receiver and antennas. In this article, I'll detail my final set-up, which works great.

This article assumes that you already installed the Zenmuse gimbal with a GoPro. If you haven't, take a look at this tutorial from Mic Bergsma (who, by the way, has lots of excellent tutorials on the Phantom and the GoPro).

The Transmitter

Parts you'll need:

While DJI has a full transmitter/receiver system (DJI AVL58), It's bulky, expensive and comes with a receiver that we won't need in this set-up. Then I found out that DJI recently silently released a much smaller version of the transmitter (DJI AVL85 Lite) at one fourth of the price, and without the unneccessary receiver. Because the receiver was so new, I couldn't find any examples of people actually using the set-up, so that was a gamble. But it worked and paid off in savings, and really helps keeping the whole system small.

Once you have these two parts, the set-up is fairly simple, as I've outlined in the image below:

My transmitter set-up, conveniently built into an old paperclip box ;)

In this set-up the transmitter and gimbal are both powered by the Phantom and the video signal from the Zenmuse is sent to the transmitter. Clean and simple :) The wires that come with the FPV-hub are quite self-explanatory: if it doesn't fit, it's not the right cable ;) If you use the Zenmuse anti-interference board, connect it in between the gimbal-port on the hub, and the Zenmuse itself.

Here's a closer look at the connections:

In part 2 of this tutorial I'll take a closer look at the receiver-size of this set-up, and dive deeper into an important subject: antennas. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

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