How to set up your multicopter for FPV

I have been flying my FPV Manuals Tricopter for a while now, and broke its legs multiple times either losing control or because of the old "dumb thumb" syndrome.

Nonetheless my aim for the critter is still to use it as an FPV platform, so I have been slowly acquiring components to transform it as I wanted.

What I have added / modified from the original configuration:

  • KK 2.0 board - This is not necessary, but I like the improved stability features and the fact I can program and update it with my computer. Also, with a bit of modding you can install a battery voltage sensor. Done and done!
The KK2.0 board installed with all the wires

The battery alarm, hard wired to the board
  • 5.8GHz video TX - Many will argue that 5.8GHz is not the optimal frequency, but for what I want to do (no long range flights, no flying behind the trees) it will do just fine
The Boscam 5.8 GHz video tx
  • L-C Power Filter for the video feed - This inexpensive little thing cleans up the video feed from DC power interferences reducing lines on the wireless screen

    The L-C filter
  • Aluminium legs - I just broke all the timber ones I had and decided to go the tougher route
  • Afro ESCs - I found that the Plush I originally mounted did not work in cold weather, who knows why, so I decided to swap them over for something more performing, which I can program with my computer
Afro 20A ESC
High visibility LEDs
  • Super Simple Camera Gimbal - Originally I thought it was uber cool, but as I am using the GoPro both for piloting and for recording, it is quite hard to know how the tricopter is flying f all I see is a levelled horizon!
The Super Simple Gimbal (SSG) mounted at the front of the tricopter

Let's start with the connections to the KK 2.0 board: there is a menu in the board setup which tells you which motor is which, so connecting the correct ESC cable to the proper slot on the board is a piece of cake.
Slot 4 is for the tail servo. Easy as.
On the other side of the board you will plug in the wires going to the receiver. The pins on the board are all marked to know which channel they correspond to. Again, pretty easy.

Connection diagram for KK2.0 and KK2.1 on a tricopter

Remember that the signal wire goes toward the internal side of the board.

The video TX was a bit more of a challenge because I needed to power it up somehow. Luckily it works at 12V as the rest of the tricopter, so a simple harness coming out of the battery plug will work perfectly fine.
Just watch out your flight time because now there are 3 motors and a video TX sucking up power.

From the TX there is also a cable going to the GoPro, transmitting the video signal.

NOTE: I isolated the red wire because I prefer to use the GoPro battery instead of feeding it using power from the flight pack.

The video feed is sent to the matching 5.8 GHz RX in my ground station, which is connected to a 7" display. In the future I will probably get a pair of goggles, but for the moment my $50 screen is just fine.

I am using these antennas, which, even if they are sold as circular polarised (look up IBCrazy for more on this subject) they are not. Still they perform a lot better than the stock ones.

Last thing I did in this department was to get a L-C filter to clean up the video feed from all the interferences coming from the battery.

I have been trying to use this configuration for a while, but definitely flying FPV is not so easy as it looks in all the videos on youtube!
The major difficulty I find is to understand how high I am from the ground, therefore the next purchase will be an OSD system to add, but in the meantime...

happy landings!
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