FPV with your smartphone

luca 05/08/2017 0

One of the most fun (and hard! ;) ) way to drive a quadcopter (or drone, as it’s often called) is FPV (first-person view): thanks to a camera on the front of your quadcopter and a receiver that displays the video signal in realtime, you can drive the quadcopter as you were sitting on it.

If you like to build your own quadcopter, you can follow two of my tutorials: 4LD quadricottero o QC250 quadricottero.

If you’re new to the FPV world, here’s for example a video about the final race of the World Drone Prix 2016 in Dubai:

The driver usually wears glasses (the most famous are for sure fatshark ones) or a dedicated monitor to see the video signal:

fpv-01

An alternative to dedicated equipments is to use the screen of your smartphone, thanks to a device recently on sale on different webstores (I got mine from Banggood). It’s an USB receiver for Android smartphones.

The product, branded Eachine, is shipped in a metal box which contains the receiver, its antenna and a micro USB cable:

fpv-04 fpv-05

It’s detected by the Android OS (but it works very well also on PCs and tablets) as a webcam:

fpv-02

To be able to use it with your smartphone, this must support the USB OTG (On-The-Go) mode and include the driver for UVC (USB Video class) peripherals. You can test if your smartphone is compatible using one of the free apps available on Google Play; personally I used USB OTG Checker.

After having connected the receiver to the smartphone, you need to run an app that can display the video stream… the manufacturer suggests Go FPV but if you search for “uvc” on Google Play you can find several alternatives.

Using the receiver is very simple; the actual frequency is displayed over the image:

fpv-03

with a short click on the button you can change the channel (150 are the available channels in the range 5645~5945GHz).

If you don’t know the frequency of your transmitter, you can use the scan mode of the receiver, with a long click on the button. The receiver scans all the channels looking for a video signal and displays on a chart the signal power for each channel:

fpv-08

When the scan ends, the receiver automatically tunes on the channel with the strongest signal.

I could test the receiver with my FPVized version of my Eachine H8 mini (soon a post about it) and I was surprised by the good video quality!

fpv-06 fpv-07 

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