Another pair of DIY FPV Goggles

by sneaky | September 26, 2013 | (20) Posted in Projects

Here is a description of my version of the DIY FPV goggles. I have been using these for about a year with good results. For about $25 I built these video goggles out of Dollar Tree foam, a rearview LCD display, a cheap fresnel lens, and of course duct tape. Are they as good as a pair of Fatsharks? I have never used Fatsharks, so I have no idea. But they are definitely better than using a laptop with a sunshade, which is what I used to use.

I learned about the concept for DIY video goggles from this thread:

Here are some photos and a description of my goggles. I pretty much followed what others had done/recommended. It took me two attempts to get the goggles right so maybe this will save others some time.

For the basic enclosure I used dollar tree (readi-board) foam board and constructed it using Ed's (Experimental Airlines) fuselage tube technique:

You get nice rounded edges and only one seam, which is covered by a foam joining strip.

The outer dimensions of the box are: 140mm x 68mm x 185mm. The 3.5" lcd screen is just duct taped on. And the whole box is covered with black duct tape.

After cutting the front to fit my face, I stuck on 1/2" black weatherstripping foam.

The straps are from an old pair of ski goggles. I simply cut slits in the sides of the box and pushed the straps through. There is enough material at the end of the strap that it will not pull back out.

The lens is a piece from a PVC page-sized Fresnel. Thickness: 0.4mm, Groove pitch: 0.3mm, Focal length: 300mm. I cut the lens to the following dimensions: 140mm x 50mm. Be sure to cut from the middle of the page-sized sheet or the lcd image will appear to be slightly above, below, etc. The lens is larger than the box so that you get a nice curve to reduce distortion. The lens is flexible enough that you can just wedge it inside the box and it will stay put. Although I added a couple straight pin through the side of the box to be sure. I tried using a U-shaped foam lens holder, but the dollar-tree foam would not cooperate with the curved lens.

Power for the lcd also comes from the video receiver. I run both on a single 2s battery. Here is a photo of where to solder to the RC305. I tried mounting the receiver directly to the goggles, but found it too heavy. It feels a lot better mounted to the strap.

The goggles are not too heavy and I can wear them for an hour or so without a problem. Also they are pretty easy to perch on top of your head so I can take them on and off while flying.

I was worried about blue (or in this case black) screen on the lcd. But so far it is not a problem. The video breaks up and gets pretty bad before it cuts out entirely. When it does go entirely black it comes back in about a second. For that second, your heart rate will roughly double, which I think is good for it. Like doing Jazzercise.

Here are some ebay links for the LCD screen and Fresnel lens that I used.

Thanks for reading. Much love to the FT brotherhood.


iPeel on October 1, 2013
Flyingwings in the UK sells a kit (less screen / receiver):

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sneaky on October 2, 2013
That kit looks pretty nice. I was about to start making a second pair of goggles, and I think I will try the kit instead. For the price, even including shipping to the US. it is harder to justify a scratch-build. Well except for the sheer joy of playing for with foam-board and hot glue - which I find very relaxing.
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Kvapil Vladislav on October 3, 2013
zajimave ale nejsou zbytecne velke??
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sneaky on October 4, 2013
Máte pravdu. Tyto brýle by pravděpodobně být menší a lehčí, když jsem rozebrat LCD obrazovky. I když z důvodu jednoduché optiky pro zvětšení nemůžete najít obrazovku mnohem blíže k vašim očím.

You are correct. These goggles could probably be made smaller and lighter if I dismantle the lcd screen. Although because of the simple optics for magnification you cannot locate the screen much closer to your eyes.
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rcjoseb on September 28, 2013
Brilliant idea and inexpensive when compared to fatsharks. Thanks for the article!
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dammuozz on September 26, 2013
beautiful description!!! I ordered a screen very much like yours but looking at the descriptions yours is 640x480 an mine is 480x234, I hope is a typo. However is the resolution of your googles pleasant to the eye??
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sneaky on September 27, 2013
Thanks! Yes, I find the resolution to be more than adequate with 640x480. If the screen you ordered looks like the one that I used, it is probably the same - just a typo in the description. The one thing that I would improve would be that the cheap Fresnel that I use is obviously not the best quality. You might experiment with different optics for magnification - like reading glasses or magnifying lenses. The advantage of the thin Fresnel is that it is easy to position front-to-back to get the "sweet spot" of magnification and you can give it a curve to reduce distortion at the edges.
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darrylc on June 10, 2014
Is that really 640x480 resolution? Although that item has ended on eBay the description only says its 320x240.
I cant find a monitor with that resolution. The best I can find is 420x32.

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kah00na on September 27, 2013
There has to be some way to keep a video signal flowing to the TV so it stays on even when there is static so that it doesn't shut off. I'm not sure how that can be accomplished but I'm sure it can.
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Mr. Cholmondely on October 16, 2013
Possibly with the use of some smoke and a few mirrors, the unit could be made more compact by mounting the display above the viewing area/eye hole. Something I may experiment with when I get chance to play with this idea.
Great to see people finding ways to produce their own equipment, it's what makes our hobby great!
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helidog12 on October 21, 2013
Can smaller lcd's be used to make the unit smaller (closer to your eyes)?
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Another pair of DIY FPV Goggles