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Ground stations

Groundstation is an important piece of equipment for the FPV pilot.  The safety and the life of your expensive airborne equipment depends sometimes on the reliability of the recetion of the video images.  This is less true for Flight controllers equipped with GPS Return to Home (RTH) feature.

 

I developped the concept of light groundstation, this is specially usefull for multirotors as the goal here is not to fly very far away but to get beautiful video images. In the case of multirotors, beside the purpose, the battery is also the limiting step (About 3 km max range with 8 minutes flight time).  Many airplane FPV pilots who want to fly far away (over 10 km) are using diversity systems, selecting the best signal from 2 different receivers connected with 2 types of antenna such as patch or Yagi and omni directionnal antennas. 

 

I also developped a conventionnal groundstation including diversity. I will start again to use this diversity groundstation for legal compliance reasons: In France, FPV video transmission is limitted to either 2.4Ghz or 5.8Ghz with a max power of 10 mW... I obviously need big antennas and diversity to make sure I have a reliable transmission!

Light Groundstation version 1

This is the light version of my ground station.  It comes as a hat.  The advantage is that the pilot can be mobile easily.  I have used this setup when I visited the Iguaçu falls in Brazil. It could fir together with the Radio and the Quad Reconn in my backpack.  

 

As described it the picture below, you can see that this hat contains everything including the ground DVR to record transmitted data.  In the latest version, after the picture was taken, I have added a Lipo alarm and a BEC to supply the 5 volts to supply both the googles and the DVR, therefore I never had to worry about charging these, just had to plug a charged lipo for more than 2 hours of autonomy. 

 

You can appreciate how fashion it is to wear this high tech accessory ! 

Light Groundstation Version 2

The video glasses I use are the Zeiss Cinemizer plus version, not the latest OLED ones. The reason for selecting these googles is the ability to dial directly the user optical correction. For eye glasses wearers like me this is a must.

 

The version 1 of the light groundstation had the black "curtain" to prevent light to enter into the googles, a specially interesting feature for sunny days. This curtain was not 100% satisfactory and I found the so-called google-ski-mod, in fpvmanuals, here.

 

I did it but then figured out that I di dnot need the "curtain" anymore but the hat did not fit my head when I wear the googles.  The hat also prevented a cool feature of the google, the ability to take in off or on during flight.  For multirotors it is not really needed as I take off and land through the googles, but if I fly a wing like my Multiplex Xeno, I like to launch it or catch it without FPV.

 

So, I removed everything from the hat and fit it on a carbon plate like this:

Then I selected this cool Tumi T-Tech tote bag:

And inserted the new light groundstation version 2 in it like this:

And again, you can appreciate how trendy it is to wear this:

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