In this guide we will discuss when its better to use an FPV receiver, FPV monitor, or FPV goggles.
If you want to get into FPV the first thing to consider is if you want to use a FPV monitor or FPV goggles.
FPV Monitors are just small portable TV screens and are more commonly used for photography applications so that you can easily see what your done camera is seeing so you can frame your shot properly. It also has the added benefit that you can easily look between your quadcopter and down as the screen giving you an overall better situational awareness. You can video pilot your drone via an FPV monitor but most FPV pilots prefer to use goggles.
FPV Goggles give you total immersion when video piloting. Thee consist of some sort of head mounted goggle system with little screens and lenses built in. Most FPV racing pilots will use FPV goggles as they block out any sunlight, and are like having a huge TV screen in-front of you. However if you wear glasses like myself you will need to wear contact lenses in order to use most FPV goggles. There are a few headsets such as the Headplay HD units that are possible to use while wearing your glasses (depending on the size of the frame). Apart from the glasses issue it can also be a little disorientating at first, but give it some time and before you know it you will be eagerly looking forward to get back to the field and do some more FPV flying.
Now that you have some ideas about when an FPV monitor is better and when FPV goggles are better here are a few suggestions on what we think are the best options.
Some Good FPV Monitors
- Black Pearl RC801 - has HDMI input and diversity receivers built in
- Mini Black Pearl F408 - Nice and cheap 4" fully integrated FPV monitor
To learn more check out our buying guide on choosing the best FPV monitors
Some Good FPV Goggles
- Fatshark Dominator v3 - a great modular headset that allows you too swap out receiver and add head tracking if you need to
- HeadPlay HD - very affordable all in one headset with an HD LCD pannel.
To learn more check our our buying guide on choosing the best FPV goggles
Today most FPV equipment has a built in receiver so its rather uncommon to find individual FPV receivers, but there are still a few reasons to use a separate dedicated receiver unit. The main advantage of using a dedicated receiver is that you can mount it high on a tall tripod or mast to get the best possible reception. You can then connect your FPV monitor or goggles via a video cable lower down. Two examples of FPV ground stations are shown below where you can see the FPV receive rmounted on the top.
Diversity receivers are actually two (or more) receivers and the system constantly monitors all of the receivers in the system to see which receiver is getting the best signal. If one receiver suddenly gets some interference, and the other its still perfect the system will switch to the best receiver instantly without you even noticing. Apart from the more reliable signal that you can receive, the main advantage is that you can use more than one type of antenna with these receivers.
As discussed in our FPV Antenna guide, antennas that have long range, have a narrow coverage beam, while antennas with a very wide beam coverage, have lower range. By putting a high gain antenna on once receiver, and a omnidirectional antenna on the other, you get the best of both worlds, allowing you to get a solid signal when flying out to a distance in the direction of the high gain directional antenna, but when flying close by, or behind your receiver you will still pick up signal thanks to the omnidirectional antenna.
We already discussed how to match your FPV equipment to some detail in our FPV transmitter guide, but as a summary the most important factor is make sure that both your FPV transmitter and Receiver are able to tune to the same frequency channel.
In our FPV transmitter guide we cover some fundamentals of FPV such as what frequency to use (short answer 5.8Ghz). And our FPV antenna guide tells you how to find the best antenna for your FPV setup to get maximum range. If you have any questions or comments please let me know and I will do my best to answer them