I am in the process of building my first FPV plane. I'm going to attempt to build an FPV plane using the Swift II. The following is what I have on order so far:
I would like to get some advice and suggestions on what components are good and the best way to assemble the Swift II for FPV.
Awesome! Many thanks...I will look into them!
You're going to want more than 4 channels, since you need 4 just for flight control. I use the 9X system that hobbyking sells for around $55. Some say the pots on it aren't very durable, and you'll want to load the latest PPM encoder firmware. But the price is right and it's worked just fine for me so far.
You might also want to get a better video setup. Lower frequency = better IME. I noticed in one of your links that they're trying to call the standard def. camera "720p". I don't think this dishonesty bodes well for any of their stuff.
Your type of reply is exactly what I'm after. You are saying that I want more channels if I want to add the 2 servo camera right? I also noticed that you commented on my video setup. I figured 5.8Ghz would be sufficient and would eliminate interference that I might get with a 2.4Ghz system. J. Stew do you have any online stores, other than HobbyKing, that you suggest I get the other things I need to create my FPV system from? Also is everything else I have good to go for what I'm trying to accomplish?
Many thanks J.Stew!
Hobbyking is the price leader by far. If hobbyking sells it then 85% chance that's the cheapest you can get it anywhere. They also supposedly price match, although I haven't tried that. I've gotten burned a few times by ordering things from ebay thinking it's the cheapest, only to later find that it's 1/3 the price at hobby king.
I use ebay a lot, but always check hobbyking before buying. I'd start with a kit, like it seems you're doing. Once you put one together you'll be able to start making your own planes. Hit youtube and check out some of the hotwire and homebuilt styrofoam (EPS) planes. People are building some pretty cool stuff for literally nothing. I think the biggest one (16 feet!) on there was built from scrap refrigerator box foam.
Ebay has some decent video transmitters and receivers. People tend to argue over this a lot, but I think it's all the same stuff from China and you can spend as much as you want for the same gear.
For video I have one of these systems...
Quality is OK and I haven't really used it enough to say much about it. Reasonable for the price I guess is my impression so far. What I like about it is that the 12-15 channels go from the upper 800's to 1.2g. I forget the exact frequencies but it's something like 880-1200mhz. So I have a very wide range of frequencies to choose from, which is good for avoiding interference problems.
One cool thing I also got...
It's pretty small and I plan to put servos on the gimbal to get the thing moving. I thought it would be perfect for the nose or a belly mount.
Man! Good Info...So you've been messin' with this stuff for long?
I've been playing around with this stuff for a couple years now. I always wanted to do this when I was a kid. Then awhile back I suddenly notice that batteries were 10X as good and China was making really cheap plane kits.
So I took the plunge and got this plane...
55" (4' 7") wingspan, flaps, brushless motor, 11.1v Lipo battery, etc.. $110
I got the RTF version for about $160, but I don't see it anymore. You're better off adding a 8ch 9X system for $55 from hobbyking anyways.
When I got the thing I was pretty happy with the quality, but the main thing I thought was "Those Chinamen probably made this for under twenty bucks!" The whole thing is injection molded styrofoam and a carbon fiber wing spar.
Since then I've watched a lot of youtube vids of people making things for literally nothing out of scrap. So I ordered some servos, clevis, etc. and it's super fun to make RC stuff out of random styrofoam. I was inspired by these vids and some of the really simple designs out there like PBFs.
You just can't go wrong if you're flying with almost no investment...
3-4 servos @ $3 each
Motor @ $8-30
Battery @ $5-20
ESC @ $5-8
The TX/RX is just a one time investment that you can use on all your experiments and only $55!
So once you have some basic gear you can fly all sorts of things for almost nothing! I really think this is a golden age for aerospace engineering. Any kid can save a few months of allowance and put whatever crazy stuff he wants in the air.
Once you've got the basics you can do almost anything your mind can imagine!
I think kits and RTF are a great way to go, they really teach you a lot of the basics. From there on out it's really pretty cheap to make all kinds of crazy stuff. When you crash it's usually just some cheap styrofoam that breaks and you can glue or make a new piece.
I was working on getting a good hotwire setup going and one of my construction buddies told me that they just hook piano wire to a car battery to cut up their pieces of insulation. So there really is no limit to how cheap you can do something.
You can literally put a 16 foot plane in the air for around $20. That just blows my mind.
Anyways, things can be as cheap as you want or OTOH you can spend as much as you can afford, much like a bad coke habit.
I like traditional, proven designs because they work well and are reliable.
But it took seeing some things like this...
To get me to take the plunge. Guys like these just decided screw expensive stuff, screw aerodynamics, screw common sense, and just do something crazy. They didn't bother with making an airfoil or even rounding off the leading edge.
All my preconceived thoughts of being expensive and difficult to understand/engineer just flew right out the window. These guys are literally the same kind of guys I drink a 6-pack with while we try to tune up a POS lawnmower engine. I figured if these guys can have this much fun doing such stupid stuff for almost no money, I have to get in on the action!
Another cool one for the Kids (Sponge Bob!)
See I would say the same thing... "Screw it!" I just wanna fly, but I know that if you don't follow some of the principles of aerodynamics, you may pay for it on way or another (ie. time, money). I want to meet people that have the "tune a POS Lawmower engine" know how because those guys do have genuine fun doing stuff like that for nothin'!
By the way, thank you, J.Stew for hooking my page up with all of the cool videos. As I get settled into this site I'll be adding more pics and video as well.