Tag Archives: fpv

Digital Video is going to Change the World of Drone Racing

This evening I powered up my new Connex ProSight Digital HD video system for the first time. Even though this was just a bench test, it cemented my feeling that this system signalsl significant changes in FPV Racing are coming.

Virtually all hobbyist and semi-pro racers use a video system not far removed from old ‘broadcast’ television. Analog signals broadcast from a drone in the 5.8 megahertz band. These transmissions must be on their own frequency, and if another pilot turns on their transmitter nearby, and it’s on the same frequency, a pilot can lose the video signal to the drone, and thus lose control of it. At races, a significant amount of time and energy is put into making sure only pilots in their designated timeslots power on their video transmitters. Turning on a transmitter on a frequency at the wrong time is a serious breach of etiquette, and can get you removed from an event.

Even with perfect frequency management, video using the 5.8gig analog transmitters and receivers can be staticy, low resolution, and finicky.

Digital video systems have been around for a while, but they’ve been tremendously expensive, power hungry, and requiring a complex infrastructure to work. Now, it looks like the Connex folks have perfected their system to bring digital video to the hobbyist pilot.

Connex digital video FPV system
Connex digital video FPV system

The system, dubbed the Connex ProSight, consists of a high resolution camera, transmitter, flight controller interconnect, antenna, HD receiver, and all the appropriate cables. In our bench tests, the configuration was straightforward and the system came up already paired and ready to go.

Because the signals are digital (the same way remote control transmitters have gone all digital), it’s possible to run multiple video signals in the same space, without having them ‘step on’ each other. For events with over 5-6 pilots, this means more time can be spent flying, testing, and tinkering, and less time wrangling frequencies.

We’ll be doing a more in depth review of the Connex ProSight system soon, but our initial tests look very very promising.

The Connex ProSight system is $499, and available at ConnexHD.com

(This article originally appeared on DroneRacingLife)

NH Techfest Drone Race a Success!

At NH Techfest
At NH Techfest

Yesterday 10 pilots and tons of spectators turned out at the New Hampshire Techfest to have a race and show off the drones to kids and families attending the event. The morning was full of practice runs and course adjustments, with races happening in the afternoon. 3 full 5 lap races were held, with 3, 4, and 4 participants in each race. A great time was had by all!

Yvonne, the event coordinator for the Techfest, sent along a thanks:

I really want to Thank you and the USDRA for coming to do his demo. SO many folks were talking about your event and that included my good friend – an 80 year old MIT emeritus professor- who honestly said- I want one of those! Your group was very professional and put a good face on responsible drone usage!

Jim Moore from AOPA talks to the USDRA at NAFPV2015…

Jim Moore, associate editor at AOPA, came out to NAFPV2015 and chatted with the specwing and drone pilots there, including a nice long chat with the USDRA…

Pilots who stick to manned aircraft need not worry much about this crowd. With hundreds of hours and hundreds or thousands of dollars invested in their flying machines, the FPV race pilots were well-briefed and careful to avoid exceeding the 400-foot altitude limit (most stay very close to the ground), or allow their drones to stray out of sight. Drones operated carelessly or in ignorance of airspace regulations, or by those who just don’t care, have drawn the ire of the FAA, and conflict prevention remains a major concern of AOPA and other organizations.

Read the entire article on AOPA.org

NAFPV 2015 recap. Awesome fun!

Last week the USDRA was happy to attend the North American FPV Meet in Stephentown, New York. I have to tip my hat to the NEFPV team for putting on a great event. The timeslots were managed well, the tag system for making sure FPV video channels were not being trodden upon, and the wonderful site and course made those days in the hills enjoyable, nighttime and day.

Did we have rain? Sure! But that just upped the silliness. Were there some destroyed rigs? Absolutely (including one dramatic LiPo fire!). Was there great racing? Definitely!

2015-08-16 NAFPV2015

Looking forward to flying with these guys more in the months ahead!