You’ve been looking for a short and concise guide to understand the fpv drone components? We made a guide and straight to the point. The objective to be a source for any pilot who wants to start with FPV Drone. In this guide, you will learn the foundational FPV components as well as practical tools, TIPS.
What is a FPV Drone？
FPV is the first person view. When you finish building and put on FPV goggles, you can get realistic and live flight footage. It provides you a entire new and also awe motivating sight of the globe around you that just those that fly FPV drone reach experience. For a more detailed description you can check out the other thread posted: What is a fpv drone?
Types of FPV Flying
FPV flight form is also more diverse: freestyle, fpv race, drone racing, aerial photography
As a beginner in FPV, freestyle is probably the best kind of play for you. This is because freestyle is an expression of fpv flying that focuses more on acrobatics and exploring your surroundings.
Think of flying around abandoned buildings (FPV term: abandoned buildings are called bando), flying around trees in a park (FPV term: flying around an object with a circular flight path. This is called an orbit), dodging branches, and exploring cool new locations.
You can also do basic exercises to learn to control your drone: roll, pitch, yaw, and thrust. I know you’re going to get excited when you start doing this. That’s the beauty of it.
The pilot races the fpv drone through a series of obstacles, flags and gates. This form of flying competes for speed and therefore requires more than a lot of practice and reflexes on the part of the pilot, and in some cases some luck. As with all competitions, the goal is to finish first.
This is actually racing, only with the addition of professional race agencies to make the race more standardized and more ornamental. According to available information, drone racing began in Germany in 2011, with amateur pilots gathering and organizing their own races.
Nowadays, some host have set up FPV as solo battles, team races, junior categories, adult categories and so on. The pilots who participate in the races are called professional player.
There are more and more movies that require stunt shots to complete the picture are done by FPV. You can also see the power contributed by FPV in the advertising of car Brandeis is also still useful for shooting promotional videos in tight spaces.
FPV is not only fun to fly, it is also fun to custom build FPV. Let’s get to know the components of FPV quad today.
FPV Drone Components
FPV quad components can be divided into three different categories：
-The flight system: the motors, propellers, electronic speed controllers (ESC’s), flight controller(FC’s), and the radio receiver.
-The power system：the battery and the power distribution board.
-The FPV system：the fpv camera, the video transmitter (VTx), and the antenna.
The frame is the core of your fpv build, just like building a house, you need to build the base. Any subsequent builds are done on this base.
There are several important builds to the framework that you need to know ahead of time.
- Frame Shape
- Mounting Holes
About the shape of the frame
-True X & Stretch X
About the wheelbase of the frame
The whole frame is usually measured by the diagonal (the longest distance from motor to motor) in millimeters. The wheelbase of the frame is also related to the size of the propeller.
A table of frame sizes is available here.
|Micro Drone(2 inch)
About the mounting holes of the frame
When you want to build your own FPV drone, you need to fully consider whether the hole position is compatible with the mounting of other accessories (motors, flight control & ESC, vtx, camera).
Common types of frame builds are divided into: freestyle and racing, long range, and cinematic.
Many pilots create their own custom frames that fit their individual flying styles. More on how to choose an fpv frames, I’ll roll it out later.
FLIGHT SYSTEM COMPONENTS
The flight controller is equivalent to the brain of the FPV drone, controlling the direction of your drone. All flight controllers have basic sensors, such as gyroscopes, accelerometers. Some flight controllers also have more advanced sensors, such as barometers and magnetometers.
They even come with GPS, LED sensors, etc. These sensors on the flight controller are able to precisely control the flight attitude of the drone. Most pilots use the F4 and F7 flight controls.(P.S.: it is used to call the flight control by the type of MCU)
Full name: Electronic Speed Controller. ESC’s are responding to commands from the flight controls to control the speed of the motors. It tells them how fast to spin, which direction to spin, and when to stop. In the old days of fpv, each motor had a separate ESC to drive it. And now 4-in-1 ESC’s are becoming the mainstream.
The choice of ESC depends mainly on the amount of current it can supply to the motor and the way it communicates with the flight control.
It powers the flight of the your fpv drone. most of the motors used in FPV are brushless motors. Usually motors only look at two values.
For example: 2306 1750KV
The 23 stands for the diameter of the motor , The 06 stands for the height of the motor housing.
The kv rating is how much the motor’s speed per minute increases for every 1v increase in voltage.So 1750kv is every increase of 1v voltage, the motor speed per minute increased by 1750 rpm.
It provides the thrust needed to fly the drone and is mounted on the motor shaft column.
Propellers(Props) are rated in terms of size, blade number, and blade pitch. Let’s take another example: you have a propeller with the name 5146, then you have a 5.1″ propeller with 4.6” pitch and a total of 3 blades. The pitch is defined as how far forward the propeller will move in one revolution. In the case of our example prop, it would move forward 4.6”.
Also, there is a difference between clockwise and counterclockwise when installing a propeller to the motor. Why do that? Because the setting-up of the two is corresponding will create lift in order to make the drone fly.
You can see this picture：
Another factor of the propeller will also affect your flight: the material. Because a more durable propeller, itself, will weigh more. But a heavier propeller will also consume more power from the drone, and you have to find the right balance.
However, propellers are consumables for FPV drones, and I don’t think you have to care too much about whether the propeller is durable or not. Instead, it’s the feel of the flight that comes from the right propeller that is key.
Radio & Receiver
Is the component that takes the commands from the pilot’s radio controller and feeds that information into the flight controller. The receivers are mainly divided into pwm receivers, ppm receivers and s bus receivers. The ppm/s bus receivers are mainly used for fpv drone.
The language spoken between the remote control and the receiver is called the transmission protocol. Different brands of remote control and receiver speak different transmission protocols between them, so the receiver and remote control are recommended for the same brand.
FPV SYSTEM COMPONENTS
With the camera you can see the world in the eyes of FPV. Note that the FPV camera needs to have an elevation angle.Because in FPV takeoff, not parallel takeoff. Rather, the aircraft needs to be tilted forward at an angle so that the two propellers behind the FPV are higher than the two propellers in front. If the camera is mounted horizontally, the picture seen is the ground. Let the camera be installed at an angle of elevation so that it can always look ahead during the flight forward.
In the quest for higher definition video quality, most pilots will install another action camera.
The VTX module, which is responsible for converting what the camera captures into a 5.8G digital/analog signal, transmits it. The signal from one VTX is able to be received by multiple devices (goggles or ground station..) at the same time.
FPV goggles are composed of four parts: the main unit of the glasses, the signal receiving module, the vtx & antenna, and the battery.
Goggles are the display vehicle through which your FPV drone’s flight footage is finally rendered. There are many brands of fpv goggles out there, and this is often up to a pilot’s preference.
POWER SYSTEM COMPONENTS
As the name says, the battery is the power source for the drone to start. The battery will affect the flight time of the drone and the power of the whole drone. fpv drones are generally powered by a battery technology call lithium polymer batteries, and are made up of individual cells. Each cell have a voltage rating of 3.7 volts.
Normally freestyle uses 4S battery and racing uses 6S battery.
Power Distribution Boards
It is used to connect the battery, ESC circuit board, the electricity into 4-ways. The Power Distribution Board is a circuit board, and the four motors get their operating voltage by connecting to the power Distribution board. Few people would use a Power Distribution Board anymore. Because many 4-in-1 flight controls now have an integrated power distribution board, they save space.
FPV Drone Parts List & Tools
TIPS For FPV Assembly
①For beginners who are new to FPV and just want to try it out and save money. Like cameras, FPV goggles, receivers, 5.8G VTX & antennas, don’t need to buy for now. When you do, you can’t immerse yourself in the experience of the view while flying.
②Beginners should choose a frame that is simple to install and has a clear structure.
There are 2 reasons:
-Open the top plate inside the internal structure can be seen clearly.
-Convenient for later maintenance.
③Just for beginners can start from FPV monitor and then advanced to the goggles, you can also start with the third perspective flight practice.
④If you have never touched this fpv drone, it is recommended to buy RTF Kits（Ready to fly）, and then buy parts to assemble afterwards. if you have strong assembly skills and other pilots can guide you, you can directly buy parts to assemble.
In The End
Building a custom fpv is a lower-cost solution for creating a unique fpv drone, and there are a wide variety of resources on the internet, making it easier than ever to source parts, consult experts, and you can check out Joshua Bardwell’s post on Freestyle FPV Drone Build for beginners. To build a fpv isn’t always an easy project for beginner, but it can be both enjoyable and satisfying.
For many pilot, it evolves into a lifelong hobby.