Soon to be active on the 5cm band

v2A 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.

These include:

  • 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.



  6 comments for “Soon to be active on the 5cm band

  1. Hank
    April 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Amazing and beautiful video. Also beautiful was the banjo instrumental played as background. Please, who were the music artists?

    • April 13, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      The Kruger Brothers playing Up 18 North. Believe it or not they are from Switzerland but fell in love with American Appalachian music as kids and now play concerts all over that part of the States. I love their music.

  2. Rick NJ5W
    April 13, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Loved the video…where did you find the best price on the quadcopter? We have been looking and want to get one soon!!

    73’s Rick NJ5W

    • April 13, 2014 at 5:53 pm

      I bought it through Amazon but the current price is $320 more than I paid at the time:

      I don’t know why they went up in price so much and so quickly.

      • Rick
        April 13, 2014 at 8:06 pm

        Boy I’ll say…at those prices I’ll be waiting or looking at the gen 1…

        • April 14, 2014 at 7:29 am

          I suggest you wait – you won’t be happy with the gen 1 for long as the video is choppy without a gimbal to stabilize the camera. Also, the gen 2 will come down in price and more capabilities are on the horizon.

          For example, you will soon be able to connect the Phantom 2 (and 3 later) to your computer, open a mapping program and tell the Phantom where to fly, at what altitude, how long to hover and when to return from where it took off. The range is about 10 miles for all this. It will be flying well out of sight via GPS – you won’t even use the transmitter at all for this type of flight.

          Amazing things are coming – just wait a bit.

          Of course it remains to be seen as to where the FAA will stand on all this. It is going to become an Issue ;-)

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