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RC airplane guy needs purchasing advice

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by Tesla1856, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. Tesla1856

    Jun 4, 2014
    Likes Received:
    I would like to make the transition from glow-fuel RC airplanes (I have electrics also) to electric QuadCopters. I don’t have much money, so my base platform purchase needs to be inexpensive, yet flexible. Comparing DJI, Walkera, and Blade (350-sized craft) … I like the DJI gear best. My main draw is the NAZA flight-controller (and the GPS Base-Station software that runs on iOS and Windows).

    I originally thought the new Phantom 2 Vision Plus was the answer. Features listed below are ones that I desire
    - Small, light gimbal Gimbal that can point directly down
    - Small, light camera (I know it’s not H3 quality, but likely good enough for real-time FPV and raw footage is adequate)
    - iPhone telemetry (and limited FPV) display, mounted to radio
    - iPad Ground-Station GPS flight-plan plotting

    - iPhone realtime FPV footage is low quality (I’ve heard)
    - No way to easily upgrade to Goggle-FPV (ie FatShark 5.8ghz or similar)
    - Using 5.8 ghz for everything
    - Spare parts availability

    So, while the Phantom2-Vision-Plus is definitely an appealing turn-key package, it seems there has been some deep-cutting compromises. Mainly with the radios and possibly with other on-board aircraft electronics. Moving everything to 5.8ghz is ambitious, but it doesn’t seem to have ample bandwidth for control, telemetry, and real-time Goggle-FPV. The accepted way to control RC Aircraft (other than 72Mhz) is 2.4ghz. Just look at what Futaba and Spectrum are doing … not to mention 2.4ghz has better range. I think I would feel better sticking with Industry Standard 2.4ghz manual flight control. As far as I can tell, 5.8ghz is the accepted way to do FPV. They are separate and they can co-exist. So, if my concerns about 5.8ghz flight-control radio are founded, and I don’t want it, I guess that excludes the value-proposition of the Phantom2-Vision-Plus. Right?

    Then the question becomes …
    Can I take a 2.4ghz Phantom-2 base package and turn it into a comparable system afford-ably? Would this work?
    - Phantom-2 base system (with 2.4ghz control radio & Naza-M-v2)
    - Can Hub (4 Port)
    - AVL58 5.8ghz Video Link
    - iOSDmini (Pilot’s Telemetry Display ?)
    - 2.4G Bluetooth Datalink
    - Entry-level (small-light) brushless gimbal (that can also point directly down?)
    - Entry-level (small-light) HD camera for FPV and raw footage archive

    Other Equipment Available for use:
    - iPhone-5
    - iPad
    - Windows-7 laptop
    - FatShark 5.8ghz FPV Goggles (likely a last purchase)

    Required Features:
    - 2.4ghz control, 5.8ghz FPV
    - FatShark 5.8ghz FPV Goggles compatibility
    - Radio mounted iPhone for Telemetry display (and FPV when FatShark is NOT connected)
    - iPad GroundStation and GPS WayPoint functionality

    I wish this chart was more complete is regards to included electronics. I get the feeling the Vision-2-Plus includes a IOSD-Mark-II or similar “black box” that single-handedly handles FPV functions .

    In summary, I would like to build a flexible and expandable version of a 2.4ghz controlled Phantom 2. Buy base package and then buy the proper expansion parts as I go forward. Is my plan accurate?
  2. riblit

    Mar 9, 2014
    Likes Received:
    NSW, Australia.
    Another way to go is have a look at the Nova that hobbyking is selling. It's a rebadged CX - 20 from memory.
    APM FC rather than NAZA, which means it hasn't got the problems that beset Phantom owners.
    If you have your own TX its supposed to be available without TX and RX so you can add your own and save some money.
    You can add any FPV you want and there is a companion gimbal for a GoPro.
  3. Tesla1856

    Jun 4, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Thanks for the heads-up on Nova/APM. So, the software magic IS all tied to choice of Flight Controller. Sonar and collision avoidance would be really nice. Closed vs Open Source. DJI is using Apple devices while APM looks to be using Android. While I'm still leaning towards DJI (due to the maturity of the software and hardware) I think I see a Nova-APM in my future because I'm also into robotics.

    What problems (specifically) with Phantom-2? You mean Fly-Aways ?

    Do you agree with my idea to build FPV-Goggles capable Phantom-2 using separate radios? Is my parts list pretty accurate?

    Due to cost (I get $2500 with extra battery and FatShark Goggles) ... I was thinking of building it in Phases. I was thinking even first Phase-1 flights will include Pilot Telemetry display and Ground-Station. But no camera, so just line-of-sight flying like conventional RC aircraft. I figure, I have to learn to fly in manual for emergencies anyway, right?
  4. Tesla1856

    Jun 4, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Looks like a good way to get 350 airframe and APM 2.x .

    Seen anything like this with PixHawk ? (Retail, RTF)
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