Winter FPV tips

by RCsean | February 21, 2019 | (0) Posted in Tips

Think the arrival of cold and snow means packing your FPV plane away? Think again. Sure, winter has its challenges, from frozen fingers to the fact that water and electronics don’t mix. But take it from a Minnesota transplant: the snowy season offers benefits, too. The scenery is different, and beautiful in its own right. The local sports fields are likely deserted. And if you’ve been blessed with enough of the white stuff you’ll have a nature-made cushion for any accidental landings.

After two winters as an RC plane hobbyist, my number one recommendation is that you learn to take off from and land on landing gear. Tossing a plane and immediately getting your hands back on the controls is hard enough under perfect conditions. Now try tossing the plane, slipping on and adjusting your FPV goggles, and avoiding tangling with a hat or hood--all while your hands are chilled. Proper landing gear eliminates all of this hassle. For snow-covered fields and lakes, I’ve 3D-printed skis for use with my 3D-printed chassis. Come spring, I’ll swap out the skis for wheels.

I have also become a big fan of transmitter muffs. I use a muff to keep my hands warm (and thus extend my flying time) whenever it’s about 45 F or colder. Below freezing, I add a couple of chemical hand warmers. By adding full finger gloves, I can stay reasonably warm on a "nice" 0 F (-15 C) day.

It is not just your fingers: you need need to keep your plane's electronics warm as well. When the outdoor temperature is below freezing, cover all vent holes that you might have punched out in summer for cooling. If the FPV transmitter is exposed, consider covering it with tape.

Sure, I could go old school: toss the plane, then hold my breath while I fight frostbite and struggle to adjust my FPV goggles and find the radio buttons before gravity gets the best of my creation. But I prefer to take it easy, even during the frigid months. I simply set my plane on the ground, then move at my own pace, getting the goggles just right before slipping my digits into the pre-warmed muff. Then it’s up, up, and away until the hot cocoa calls.

FPV video above from my dual prop plane (40" wing, 3D printed landing)


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Winter FPV tips