After getting a fair amount of quadcopter flying experience under my belt, I wanted to put together an FPV setup to try out. Budget is always a concern so I went with a fairly inexpensive kit from HobbyKing that has everything needed to get started. I can upgrade parts later on as the need arises, but this should be good enough to get the basics down.
Here’s the kit I got: 900MHZ 200mW Tx/Rx & 1/3-inch CCD Camera NTSC
To power it I also ordered a Turnigy nano-tech 850mah 3S 25~40C Lipo Pack. I had a small LCD screen with RCA inputs lying around from a previous project so I didn’t need to purchase anything extra to view the video feed. Eventually I’ll probably upgrade to a pair of FPV goggles.
Aside from the new FPV gear, most of the parts are re-used from my previous quadcopter build. Adding in the FPV equipment, the entire cost is under $500.
Adding the FPV gear to the existing quad is pretty straightforward. The DJI Flame Wheel F450 frame (or a clone) has a great design that allows for easily adding payloads such as a camera and video transmitter. First, I fashioned a bracket out of a small piece of 1″ wide aluminum I picked up at Lowe’s. I cut it to size with a hacksaw, drilled a hole near one end, and bent it over the edge of a table.
I attached the video transmitter and antenna to the top plate of the frame using a ziptie.
I attached my bracket to the frame with some double-sided tape and added a couple of zipties looped through the hole in the aluminum and around the built in mounting holes on the frame. The camera is attached to the bracket with Velcro (in case I want to take it off of this quad and put it on another aircraft) and I added a ziptie for backup.
Finally I used some Velcro and a small battery strap to make a place for the 850mAh Lipo to sit. It all fits together nicely, and the camera’s location protects it from coming into contact with the ground.
The finished product: