A few weeks ago I sold my 1st generation Phantom quadcopter to a friend and bought the newest version which has several very significant upgrades over the older.
- a 2D brushless gimbal – videos are now smooth regardless of the quad’s motion (see video below)
- a higher capacity “smart” battery which increases flight time from 10 to 25 minutes
- a pre-wired harness for FPV installation (FPV = first-person video)
- the ability to tilt the camera remotely
I’ve gotta say, it’s pretty fun to fly this thing and the videos are fun to watch after the fact – much higher resolution than is evident in the YouTube uploads. But I can’t see what I’m capturing on video until I land, download the video to the computer and then watch it.
FPV to the rescue…
Lots of browsing, lurking and question-asking in the appropriate forums led me to settle on a 5 GHz 600mw transmitter and helical antenna on the quadcopter end and a 5 GHz integrated diversity receiver/monitor on the ground.
As a ham, I’m impressed with the fact that such tiny and lightweight equipment is available at all, let alone at consumer prices.
It ought to be here in a week or so.
In the meantime, here’s a video of my second flight with the gimbal stabilized Phantom. A heavy gust of wind occurred at 1:57 and blows the quad around quite a bit as can be seen when the quad’s arms come into view – but the gimbal compensated instantaneously and held the camera on target.
I’d love to overfly a big Field Day operation in June and make a video of the antennas and set-up from above.