2022 FPV Contest: A Poor Man’s Journey Into FPV

FPV can be a daunting hobby to get into. Screens, cameras, and other equipment can be expensive, and there’s a huge range of hardware to choose from. [JP Gleyzes] has been involved with RC vehicles for many years, and decided to leverage that experience to do FPV on a budget.

Early experiments involved building a headset on the cheap by using a smartphone combined with a set of simple headset magnifiers. With some simple modifications to off-the-shelf hardware, [JP] was able to build a serviceable headset with  a smartphone serving as the display. Further work relied upon 3D printed blinds added on to a augmented-reality setup for even better results. [JP] also developed methods to use a joystick to fly a real RC aircraft. This was achieved by using an Android phone or ESP32 to interface with a joystick, and then spit out data to a board that produces PPM signals for broadcast by regular RC hardware.

[JP] put the rig to good use, using it to pilot a Parrot Disco flying wing drone. The result is a cheap method of flying FPV with added realism. The first-person view and realistic controls create a more authentic feeling of being “inside” the RC aircraft.

It goes to show that FPV rigs don’t have to break the bank if you’re willing to get creative. We’ve seen some great FPV cockpit builds before, too.

4 thoughts on “2022 FPV Contest: A Poor Man’s Journey Into FPV

  1. Unless you use a proper system like DJI then having digital video isn’t a good idea. The common video receivers that plug into phones and laptops convert the analogue video signal that is transmitted into a digital signal to send to the device via usb. This analogue to digital conversion generally adds quite a bit of latency and the video quality is not anywhere near as good as just using an analogue receiver. If you are going to do cheap FPV you are best to get a proper receiver like the kind built into FPV goggles rather than cheap usb receiver’s. I don’t know how good expensive receivers are but you might as well just buy a pair of goggles at that point.

    The difference for me between using a cheap usb receiver and using a pair of goggles was massive. With the cheap receiver you could barely make out the OSD and everything was quite blurry, then when I switched to a cheap pair of goggles the quality was so much better, everything was clear, the signal was better and the OSD was sharp. There are some things it makes sense to skimp on but video equipment isn’t one of them.

  2. I actually did not read the article because of this and went straight to comments, hoping someone would say something about it and maybe even reveal what FPV means in this context.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.