FPV Ground Station

Step by Step Guide to Setup FPV Ground Station

You can make your FPV setup unique by configuring an FPV ground station. If your quadcopter is equipped with a decent antenna and receiver, the FPV receiver integrated in the goggles is good enough to fulfill most of your flying needs. However, if you still desire to get enhanced video reception, you can also set up a ground-based FPV station to get better reception.

You will also have to ensure that your FPV goggles take the video-in signal through a cable. If that is not the case, there is a way to resolve this issue but believe me, it is not the prettiest around.

An FPV ground station may also be set up if:

    • The goggle’s integrated receiver has a limited number of channels
    • You want to carry out a long-range FPV flight

 

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FPV Ground Station Definition

An FPV ground station is a dedicated configuration for receiving enhanced video signals. Typically, such a station comprises a First Person View receiver. Apart from that, it could be a diverse receiver with its own power supply that is mounted on top of a tripod to attain the optimum height possible. There can be a display screen attached to the setup as well.

If you are looking to purchase the Connex Pro HD System, you will have to build the ground station since the large-sized receiving module will not fit anywhere on your face.

Diversity Receivers and Antennae

There will be a few guys out there who might oppose my idea but I strongly believe that it is futile to spend money on an FPV ground station if you are not going to use a diversity receiver, especially if you are planning to use the 5.8GHz frequency band.

A diversity receiver contains two receivers in the place of one. Two disparate antennae are connected to the two connectors and the receiver automatically switches to the stronger video signal in a seamless manner.

You may use the omnidirectional (circular polarized) antenna on one connector and a directional (helical or patch) antenna on the other one.

The helical and patch antennae are directional which implies that they receive the video signal in a cone shape extending in the direction in which the antenna is facing. If you are looking to fly farther in a single direction, a patch or helical antenna should do the job for you. In such a case, you will get the video feed from the patch or helical antenna instead of from the omnidirectional antenna.

On the contrary, if you are planning to fly behind yourself or sideways, the helical or patch antennae will receive a weak video signal and so the system will switch seamlessly to the omnidirectional antenna.

The AOMWAY antennae are low priced and offer great features. ImmersionRC antennae and IBCrazy antennae are some of the expensive antennae out there.

How to Set Up the FPV Ground Station?

Setting up the ground-based terminal is quite simple. The diversity receiver needs to be powered via your battery and mounted on a tripod. That’s it! Whenever you are on your way for your flight adventure, plug the video out from the diversity receiver into the video-in port of your goggles and off you go.

You can also add a simple display monitor to the FPV ground station and bifurcate the video out wire from the receiver so that one wire goes into the receiver and the other one goes into the goggles.

The nearby onlookers can enjoy your real time video streaming and the display screen also serves as a backup monitor in case something goes wrong with your goggles during the flight.

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Stew from UAVFeatures built a decent little box for his diversity antennae which he can transport with ease.

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Ground Station for Other Frequency Bands

You can also use the ground-based terminal if you are planning to fly at lower FPV frequencies such as 2.4 or 1.3GHz. The lower the frequency, the larger the antenna required. So, a frequency band lower than 5.8GHz will definitely need an antenna too big to fit on your face.

In such a case, you will replace the diversity antenna of 5.8GHz frequency with a receiver of your frequency. The rest of the setup will remain the same.

Some people feed the video-out from the low-frequency receiver into a very short range (25mW) 5.8GHz transmitter. The video feed is then received in their goggles with an integrated 5.8GHz receiver.

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Theoretically, if it was not possible for you to use the video-in on your goggles for a 5.8GHz FPV ground station, you can try the 25mW configuration from the 5.8GHz receiver to the goggles. Having said that, this will require you to transmit from a different frequency band from the quadcopter and transmitting on the farthest band from the FPV ground station. Otherwise, there could be interference among the signals. This will not be the case if the quadcopter is transmitting at 200mW, but for a higher power, you will need a different frequency band to avoid interference.

This is pretty much it! These simple techniques will help you get enhanced video signal reception from your FPV ground station.

 

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