It’s the end of the decade, and if you look back fpv was basically non existent 10 years ago (apart from a few geekiest of rich geeks) and look is where we are today accessable for under £100. 2019 has seen some big changes such as digital FPV, and regulation clampdowns as the main things. But I am curious to see what other highlights and lowlights there have been in this hobby. Here is my take:
- It always has to be the community for me. This year we all really seemed to connect much more, particularly on our discord (thanks to @DoomedFPV for starting this at the end of 2018). We have had loads of hilarious chats there and even had a bunch of fpv meetups with Each year more people get the fpv bug and we grow our close nit community, learning together, and pushing eachothers skills.
Digital FPV - be it DJI or fatshark, digital FPV has arrived and it makes the entire experience so much better for the lucky few who have a set. I expect we will see a bunch more of this in 2020 as cost adore it’s vastly superior to analogue. I know DJI have some partnerships with fpv companies caddx to make a mini air unit and other compatible parts. It will also be interesting to see how bytefrost shapes up.
Toothpick class quad - so maybe not a new thing in 2019 necessarily. But I built my first toothpick in 2019 and have basicly been hooked ever since.
- More regulation. I am not against promoting safe FPV flying and giving authorities power to take action. But the fact that we have to pay and put a registration number (that can easily be copied/stolen) on quads is abit silly to me. If you want to do something bad with a quad, don’t put a registration number on it?
- Bytefrost - apart from almost no-one being able to get their hands on a set, the fact that it isn’t really HD and the relatively high price is what puts me off. The constant latency is nice, but with some decent antennas on the DJI system, variable latency isn’t an issue as it only gets bad when you would of lost an analogue signal anyway. (A 100ms latency with an image is better than just static). I hope that the price of this system comes down drasticallly but I doubt it will given the main processor chip on bytefrost is over $100 already.
What will 2020 bring
I think 2020 will be the year of digital FPV. Making the flight experience what we all wanted since the start (crisp high Def low latency video feed). As more companies lisence DJI or fatshark digital systems prices should come down and units will get smaller so maybe we will even see digital FPV toothpicks/whoops.
Anyway the one thing that will not change is the sense of community in FPV and he constant discussions and things to constantly learn and fly. I would love to hear what your highlights/lowlights and things you are looking forward to in 2020. Either way have a good one!