Welcome to my first article! a few months back i stared looking into getting into FPV. I watched loads of videos, and was stuck as to what to get. i could go through the hassle of soldering up a fpv rig from loads of cheap chinese components, but i cant solder. i could spend a bit more moeny and get the Predator V2 or Teleporter V3 sets, or go the whole way and get the Attitude V2s.
I debated over what to do for a while, and then settled on the Predators. As i said, i cant solder, and i didnt want to spent £260+ on the Attitudes, as i wasnt sure i would like FPV. also, the reviews for the Teleporters werent great. they were too low resolution, and my freind had had some and he had hated them. i got the Predators for christmas, but it wasnt until fairly recently that i got a proper chance to try them out beacsue of the English winter weather. last week, i tried the FPV out on my Parkzone T28, in a scale cockpit, but as i had very little experience with FPV i got lost and ended up ditching the trojan about 500m away due to the video going after i went behind a treeline. finally, i managed to get a good FPV flight in on my Delta ray a few days ago, and it was great! Although the goggles werent amazingly immersive, i really enjoyed it! i have now got a few flights in on the Predators, and so thought i would do a review as there werent many out there:
Although the video covers most of my thoughts on the goggles, i wanted to add a few more things. As i said the goggles are not amazingly immersive, but you get used to them fast. depite the LCDs being small and far away, you end up focussing on them so much you kinda block out the black areas around the screens:
The goggles have a built in receiver, which is 7 channel, and only works with ImmersionRC video transmitters, but is fairly sensitive and gives good signal:
On the top of the goggles there are buttons to adjust the volume of the audio, and to change channel:
Power is connected up to the goggles through this port on the right hand side of the goggles:
This is the video transmitter included in the set:
It is a 25mw VTX, which transmits on 5.8ghz. this gives about 600m of range on average, but in ideal conditions you can get up to 1KM on circularly polarized antenna. it uses a SMA conenctor, meaning the pin is in the antenna:
NEVER power up the transmitter without the antenna on, as this will void the wattenty and burn out the transmitter!
The camera is a 700tvl camera. it is CMOS, so doesnt do well in bright or overcast conditions. however, it has good resolution, although the FOV isnt great. However, for the cost of the set it is pretty good, and is lightweight. to change between NTSC and PAL you simply remove a small plastic jumper from the back of the camera:
To get power to the camera and VTX, you connect the balance port of your lipo to this power filter:
This can operate on lipos from 2S to 4S (7.4v-14.8v), and connects up easily to the VTX, allowing you to get up and running without any soldering, as well as powering the FPV of the same battery as the aircraft.
Now, some tips for first time FPVers. Something i noticed is that when flying FPV you end up unintentionally leing over of looking at the floor! i am lucky as the goggles fitted my IPD perfectly, and i dont get motion sickness, but by the end of my first good fpv flight i was looking straight down, and had almost fallen over! it is a very weird experience as for the first time your vision is moving without your eyes moving, and it takes a bit of getting used to.
Another note, ad this time a tip for first time FPVers. after wearing the goggles for more than 1 minute, i found that when you remove them everyting goes very bright and blinding, so if you are going to land without goggles on, take the goggles of whilst cruising slowly upwind, as ou will be blind for 1 second. it just so happened that my first proper fpv flight was on the only day so far this year when it has been sunny and warm here in the UK, so my litte CMOS camera overexposed when i was trying to land and i had to remove the goggles. i was already landing when this happened, and i was blinded long enough for me to almost completely miss the landing! fortunately i was flying a trainer so this wasnt a huge issue.
All in all, these goggles make a great first pair of FPV goggles, and are definately worth the £160-£180 from Hobbyking. they do everything most people will need from them, and also include everything else you need,which all clips together very simply with no soldering for a great, easy fpv experience. The goggles are comfortable, and work well as well as being lightweight and slim, and transmitter connects easily to the power filter and camera and the antenna, the antenna gives good signal, and the camera is light and not to expensive to replace if it gets smashed to peices!