DIY Micro 5.8Ghz FPV

by FliteTest | November 10, 2014 | (36 Ratings) Posted in How To

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Peter and Josh build a micro FPV 5.8Ghz Camera and Video Transmitter using relatively cheap components purchased online.

This cool little project isn't anything new, tutorials and plans have been available online for years now, but we wanted to share how we put ours together. The full list of components are available below.

These DIY 5.8Ghz micro cameras/ transmitter setups allow you to add FPV to just about any sized airplane.

Josh mounted his micro camera on his FT Mini Scout. You can see it used in our Mighty Minis Episode. 

Before starting, you'll want to choose a solder iron that works best for your needs. 

You'll want to tin all of the connections before soldering, you can learn more about best practices on soldering in one of our other episodes linked below.

Here's the final soldering setup on our specific kit. (full list of details linked below)

Focus your camera lens to the focal length that you prefer and you're ready to glue it all together.

We decided to glue our camera to the transmitter so it's a self-contained micro camera setup.

Testing out our camera setup, we were excited to see how well it transmitted!

Josh was able to fly about 2,000 feet away and still got great reception.

These little cameras can be put on just about anything! Build one and share how you put it to use! 

If you're still interested in a micro FPV setup but don't want to build one yourself, you can check out the Horizon Hobby's Ultra Micro FPV Camera and Video Transmitter. Available at: www.horizonhobby.com  

Electronics used in this build:

M5802 5.8GHz 200mW 3V transmitter module (prefered)
Available at: www.rangevideo.com

TX5200M 5.8GHz 200mW 5V transmitter module
Available at: www.rangevideo.com

1 GRAM NTSC CAMERA
Available at: www.fpvhobby.com

WIDE ANGLE LENS FOR NANO CAMERA
Available at: www.fpvhobby.com

3 Way DIP Switch
Available at: www.tandyonline.co.uk

 

Comments

CrazyLittle on November 10, 2014
Jameco in the USA has individual components for circuitry for sale (mail-order). Here's a 3-position DIP switch for this project: http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_202472_-1
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gremlin88 on November 10, 2014
that is a sparkfun iron, isn't it?
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Paulshort on November 11, 2014
would this work? http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__35009__1_2GHz_100mW_Video_Transmitter_and_Receiver_Combo.html

if i order it will hk order one?
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grether2000 on November 11, 2014
I don't know why it wouldn't if you goggles have a video in plug.
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gremlin88 on November 10, 2014
You can find DIP switches at sparkfun.com, mouser.com, jameco.com, digikey.com, etc.
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gremlin88 on November 10, 2014
I also highly recommend these soldering irons.
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12724
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10707
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Rylando on February 7, 2015
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thenated0g on November 10, 2014
Awesome build, thanks for the parts list. Peter, have you considered using a balance cable adapter to pull the 3v off of it? Just wire up 1s from it?
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thenated0g on November 10, 2014
Also, newegg.com has a bunch of 3 way dip switches if you dont want to order from the UK. I have used them for a lot of pc parts and never had any issues.
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thenated0g on November 10, 2014
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fozzy555 on November 10, 2014
First off all you guys are doing a great job at FT! This was a great episode, FPV is my new favorite way to fly! I'm interested in long range FPV too. I wonder what you guys think about doing an episode about that. Maybe get ibCrazy to help out. I'm interested in antenna trackers.
There are a lot of planes out there for long range FPV maybe you guys could review some of those type of planes too (Volantex Ranger EX or maybe a wing)! Thanks again for all your hard work!
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Damage on November 10, 2014
Just curious, why is the 3V module preferred over the 5V? Is it to be native compatible with 1S lipos? or is there another reason?
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grether2000 on November 10, 2014
It is because it works directly with a 1s lipo.
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RCpilotwantabe on November 10, 2014
I believe it is to be natively compatable with 1s lipos.
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evilchopper on December 5, 2014
I chose the 3v for the lighter weight,each of the 3v and 5v will work off a 1s.
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movilla on November 11, 2014
I don't think the 3.3v module is 1s compatible with the expected lifetime... the manufacturer says NOT to exceed 3.3v on it's input, so putting 4.2v on a fully loaded lipo or 3.7 on average will deffinetly kill your video module, I'd go with the 5v one and use the receiver to power it up, or the 3.3v one with a voltage regulator to 3.3 so you can input whatever you have at hand (5v if the receiver or 3.7/4.2 if you power from a 1s lipo)

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evilchopper on December 5, 2014
Remember the 1s powers both the camera and vtx and the voltage for the combo won't go as high as you suggest above. Both the camera and vtx should operate within specs even with a freshly charged 1s lipo.
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Yogenh on November 10, 2014
this is great you all do so much and help a lot really get into thing and make it so easy.
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RMW16 on November 10, 2014
Any module's for 1.3ghz?
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Anirudhya Hait on November 10, 2014
which frequency is better for fpv 900 MHz or 5.8 GHz
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grether2000 on November 10, 2014
Found a pretty good deal for Canadians http://dtfpv.com/en/camera/1gr-camera-and-58ghz-200mw-1s-emitter for an assembled camera and transmitter (A band).
Shipping cost to USA makes it a less attractive here. This still needs the wide angle lens.

Search Amazon.com ebay.com or aliexpress.com for "TX5823" (band E) and "MC900" camera
"M7 1.8mm lens" for a wide angle lens
The "MC900-V9" camera has 90 deg lens instead of 55

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RCBernDog on November 11, 2014
How long does that 1s battery last?
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RaviMedida on November 11, 2014
I am using 5.8GHz boscam FPV receiver... the same receiver will work with this camera to receive the video feed? or I have to go for any other receiver? How much range this camera can support practically?
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Deric.Knight on November 12, 2014
http://www.securitycamera2000.com/products/32CH-5.8G-200mW-Micro-Wireless-Video-Audio-Transmitter-For-FPV.html
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AeGiS on November 15, 2014
Camera DX.com SKU: 234280 CMOS 600 Lines 170 Degree Wide Angle. Input voltage 5V-12V
Transmission module 32 channels Dx.com SKU: 342286 US$24,16. Input voltage 7v-12v.
The transmission IC on the transmitter is 5V version -> GOPRO.
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ludodg on November 11, 2014
Could you get better performance, maybe to prevent the signal loss when banking, if you used a DIY cloverleaf-antenna on the transmitter/plane?
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reggy on November 11, 2014
Hi!
I think it ist a really great idea!
But here in germany you are allowed to use 25mw max with 5.8ghz.
Does anybody know a 25mw (or less) transmitter module?
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fatsgw on November 11, 2014
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Boscam-FPV-5-8Ghz-10mw-8-Channel-Wireless-AV-Transmitter/1802617734.html
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gowen on December 1, 2014
Alternatively, buy the 6g FT951 25mW Transmitter from HobbyKing. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__72570__FT951_5_8GHz_Video_Transmitter_25mW_Full_FCC_and_CE_Certification_EU_Warehouse_.html
Removing the SMA connector and solder the antenna directly to the board will save you 2-3g.
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Nightshriek on November 11, 2014
Does anyone have a link to buy all the required parts from one store? I live in SA so don't want to pay for shipping twice. Also I use Fatshark goggles so the transmitter would have to be compatible with those. Thanks!
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kgv on November 11, 2014
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eagle4 on November 11, 2014
Just letting you all know, these aren't actually on the FatShark/IRC frequencies. They are close, which means you wont get the full range out of them. I fly on 5860, and the closest frequency these produce is 5865. ImmersionRC and FatShark use Airwave and NextWave transmitter modules. if you want them you can get them from a place like www.nghobbies.com This way you're going to get a much better signal and reliability
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dditzler on November 11, 2014
I agree with you. I have this transmitter in the video (5v version) and I can't get a signal on my Immersion system due to the different frequencies. Peter do you know what frequency you were synced up on?
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mattk0 on November 12, 2014
Interested to see the reply on this, I'm interested in building this but also notice that the frequencies of this transmitter are off by 5.
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eagle4 on November 12, 2014
There is a 3 gram vtx from AltitudeRC on sale at places like readymadeRC that is right on the button for fatshark frequencies. I have one on order and I hope to get a review up pretty soon after I receive it. here is the link if you're interested. http://www.readymaderc.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11_30_33&products_id=2284
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mattk0 on November 14, 2014
Was looking at this but this is 25mw, not 200mw which the one from rangevideo is.
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dditzler on November 11, 2014
I built the same thing a few weeks ago but I used a voltage regulator so I could run it off of a flight battery. The voltage regulator is adjustable and only costs $1.

http://www.valuehobby.com/multicopters/gimbals/mpu6050.html

photo of 5.8Ghz 5v tx with voltage regulator installed.
https://www.evernote.com/shard/s6/sh/a1acfbe4-9824-470e-9664-d304a2cd82e3/69120673b5da6d1a3f12eaccb72e2e07/deep/0/FPVtx-with-voltage-regulator-141111-003.jpg

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Heath on November 11, 2014
If I went with this build for the camera and transmitter, what do I need to look for in a receiver to work with it?
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dditzler on November 11, 2014
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Marwin on November 11, 2014
maybe also a good and cheaper alternative for a nice small FPV cam is this one:
http://www.banggood.com/600TVL-Pinhole-CCTV-Mini-Camera-for-Security-Surveillance-FPV-p-926406.html

cheers,



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SynergyHub on November 12, 2014
I'd recommend this supplier and part for US.
http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_206359_-1
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mipi on November 13, 2014
Are those TX-modules available anywhere else (Ebay?) Shipping from Rangevideo to EU is a bit too much.
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AeGiS on November 15, 2014
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AeGiS on November 15, 2014
Camera DX.com SKU: 234280 CMOS 600 Lines 170 Degree Wide Angle.
Transmission module 32 channels Dx.com SKU: 342286 US$24,16 f.
Make extra pins on top of the transmission board or just solder it like in this article the camera on top of the transmission chip.
The camera works on the 5V on this transmission board.
I did choose for 5 normal header pins on top that i can use my OSD system and connect a GOPRO(5V).
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Deric.Knight on November 12, 2014
http://www.securitycamera2000.com/products/32CH-5.8G-200mW-Micro-Wireless-Video-Audio-Transmitter-For-FPV.html

That's a link for a micro board that has pre installed dip switches for 32 channels for A B & E frequencies. So it'll work with the boscam(RC305/806) immersion & other brands.
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sdf_beanhead on November 12, 2014
What quad is the black and red one in the third picture from the bottom?

Need to get the weights all added up and compare it to one of the 32 channel micro 200mW transmitters on ebay. Not sure what the lower limit of the voltage input is on those since they have a voltage regulator on board... gets me to thinking.
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Deric.Knight on November 12, 2014
I believe that's the RcTimer micro quad.
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Brendan00 on November 12, 2014
So Does the 5v version work with a 1s lipo? If it doesn't where else can i get a 3v version? The website that they give us out of stock.
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_Byron_ on November 12, 2014
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fatsgw on November 11, 2014
I wouldn't recommend using a 3.3v version of the transmitter. I bought one of these a few months ago (3.3v ones) and hooked it up to a 1s lipo. It ran fine .. for 5-10mins.

then it overheated and puff~

I bought another one and ran it on 5v using a 3.3v voltage regulator. Works fine since then..
Anyone have the same experience?
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evilchopper on December 5, 2014
Did you run just the vtx off a 1s or did u run the vtx/camera combo off a 1s?
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Meradin on November 12, 2014
Can you explain this a bit more? You mean you still run it from a 1s battery but use something to boost the voltage?
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x0054 on November 14, 2014
So, guys on the show mention ImmersionRC several times, but from what I can see, these modules are not compatible with ImmersionRC frequencies. These modules look to be on a different band. Am I missing something? Is there a way to change the frequency band?
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sp3cialk on November 15, 2014
So I picked up a 3v one.. man this thing is hot. I'm not sure how you mount it on anything. I'm guessing you'd need some epoxy or something. Hot glue just softens back up once the vTx has been on for a min or 2.
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RickPeck on November 15, 2014
Disappointed in this episode promoting hardware that is not fully compatible. The frequencies are not the same as FatShark. It should be revised or taken down.
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AeGiS on November 15, 2014
Camera DX.com SKU: 234280 CMOS 600 Lines 170 Degree Wide Angle. Input voltage 5V-12V
Transmission module 32 channels Dx.com SKU: 342286 US$24,16. Input voltage 7v-12v.
The transmission IC on the transmitter is 5V version -> GOPRO.
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sp3cialk on November 15, 2014
I have the 3v one linked above and it works with my predators and attitude sds
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RickPeck on November 15, 2014
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mlutze on November 11, 2014
I have noticed that there are both PAL and NTSC cameras available on fpvhobby.com. Does the transmitter care which video format is used? Or do you just need to match the camera to the monitor/goggles?
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AeGiS on November 15, 2014
Transmitter does not care ... most of the displays dont care and work with both.
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vilums on December 1, 2014
How is it different from Walkera TX5805?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Walkera-TX5805-5-8G-HD-All-In-One-FPV-Camera-Suitable-for-Devo-F4-F7-Transmitter-/201209012810?pt=UK_ToysGames_RadioControlled_JN&hash=item2ed8fde24a
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kkuenzel on December 5, 2014
Are there any Transmitter modules like this available for Boscam frequencies?
Also, just saw this on Hobby King's "New products" page. not as small and light as the one here but very inexpensive.
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__64499__Mini_CMOS_FPV_Camera_520TVL_90deg_Field_Of_Vision_0_008LUX_11_5_x_11_5_x_21mm_NTSC_.html

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jm81 on January 6, 2015
http://www.banggood.com/FPV-5_8G-200mW-Wireless-Audio-Video-Transmitter-Module-TX5823-p-84780.html
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KenK on December 9, 2014
Can you offer the measurements and detail description of the antenna please.
Thanks
Ken
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tbeers on December 21, 2014
you might want to consider a Low Drop Out voltage regulator with this. If you have a few batteries in parallel to get 6-9 Volts, you can use a MCP1702-3302e with two small ceramic caps to get a stable 3.3V rail. They are reasonably cheap at Mouser or Digikey
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Gal 2:20 on December 25, 2014
Merry Christmas all you out in RC/FT land! Been a great day but now I'm confused too, and a bit ticked off. I got the transmitter and camera as Christmas gifts and came back here to watch how to put it all together again. Now I read about the frequency issue with the Tx and Fatshark stuff. Obviously Peter's worked, but he had it hooked up to his own setup. I asked for this stuff as gifts because of all the mentions of the compatibility with Immersion gear. Wish I had read these comments earlier and hope it all works out or I'll have to get another Tx. Anybody had any issues with the 5 Mghz difference?
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Ghost-Dog on January 1, 2015
Hi Hi

I'm just building a Hubsan X4 FPV Quad Copter with this TX and a small Cam from HK.
I wouldn't use the 3V version with a 1S Set up, the 5v works from 3,3-5v, so its perfect.

Do your TX get that damn hot as well???

THX
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jm81 on January 6, 2015
Hi,
you can find a 32ch 600mW module at banggood:
http://www.banggood.com/FPV-5_8G-600mw-DIY-TX-Telemetry-Module-For-Multirotor-p-957748.html

The 32 channels should provide compatibility to immersionrc and fatshark.
International shipping is for free if you don't mind to wait...

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alexwhowhat on January 7, 2015
Anyone seen a UK stocker for the TX modules (or any of it for that matter)
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mike101 on January 14, 2015
can you somehow set it up to have a cloverleaf antenna
thanks
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jm81 on January 17, 2015
solder a antenna connector (female sma or rp-sma) to the module or solder a cloverleaf antenna (cut the plug) directly to the module...
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blejdaq on January 12, 2015
hey guys, which available receiver can cope with that micro transmitter TX5200M ?
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jm81 on January 17, 2015
immersionrc duo5800 v4 works fine...
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Gal 2:20 on January 24, 2015
Well finally got my camera in and all my parts. Put them all together today and was hoping to leave off the dip switch (i don't have anyone here to fly fpv with so wasnt worried about changing channels) but my Teleporter goggles would not tune in to that channel. Put the switch in and viola, everything works great! Will charge up my mini quad (200QX with the PFG frame) battery later and take it for a spin. Was scepticle about the 5mghz channel difference but looks like it doesn't matter. Fun project, thanks FT.
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cap.jack on January 27, 2015
if you go to http://www.getfpv.com/lumenier-sm-600-super-mini-600tvl-wide-angle-camera.html you can get a camera for about $30
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cap.jack on January 27, 2015
this one is even cheaper http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__64503__Mini_CMOS_FPV_Camera_520TVL_120deg_Field_Of_Vision_0_008LUX_14_x_14_x_29mm_NTSC_.html it is about $24
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cap.jack on January 27, 2015
$16
http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__72580__Aomway_Mini_600TVL_FPV_Tuned_CMOS_Camera_with_Microphone_and_shielded_cable_PAL_.html
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Doomboy on December 7, 2014
What kind of coax is used as an antenna there? I need to buy som
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Bridracer on January 30, 2015
Not sure if you are in US or UK but this is what I'm thinking might be OK.
http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/miniature-coax-cable-priced-per-metre-xr88v
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Bridracer on January 30, 2015
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Sybergato on February 28, 2015
Just chiming in my lostness here. Just to clarify, this will NOT work with fatshark goggles?
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MicroFPV on March 20, 2015
Sad to say that after 22 emails with China direct I finally got confirmation from the manufacturer that these vtx modules are no longer available. It's like pulling teeth to get a straight and sensible answer from China (Range Video could tell me nothing) but finally they (Flysight) did say they would not be making them.

Time to find an alternate which is a shame if you already have a machine that was designed for the TX5200 and a 5V regulator.

We are looking at the 600mw 32ch versions now which might not fit well with the "micro" class machines due to the power consumption.
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naru95 on April 13, 2015
Any chance you could sell these on your store?
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apexflyer on April 26, 2015
FPV Hobby has been out of stock on the wide angle lens for months it seems. Does anyone have a good alternate source?
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dh3d2 on April 27, 2015
Ok, I'm a total NEWBE to all of this FPV. I followed the parts list and purchased most of the parts but: 1. can't find a female battery connector. 2. There is no mention of the other items needed to use this great little FPV camera with transmitter. What about a "receiver"? What about a "monitor"? Please help!!!!!
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chaotrope on June 5, 2015
For those who had this thing heat up -- did it ultimately fail, or did it just get hot but keep working? Mine's getting super hot. Running it off of a 1s, so perhaps that makes sense. Have people had luck using a pot to get the voltage down, or are there more preferable solutions?
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davereap on October 10, 2015
try this build..its using a diode to keep the tx voltage down...
http://en.eurny-rc.fr/diy-micro-fpv-tutorial/
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Robindmc on June 6, 2015
hello , i have make this one , using same board 5,8 ghz , i want to ask is really heat ?? when we plug the batteray ? i use 3,7 lipo battera 350 mah .
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Muscleflex on June 18, 2015
What's the difference between this M5802 and a TS5823?
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Muscleflex on June 18, 2015
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marklandry on July 6, 2015
Hey guys
I'm new to building things like this - I have a syma x5c quadcopter running an 808#18 camera (ie the camera is running of the copter's power - I think it's 3.5v) - Can I also run the 3v transmitter off the copter's power as well, or should I get the 5v transmitter?
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kennyptho on July 24, 2015
My Question is (?): What are you using for your Antanna; In the video there is no mentioning what or where you get the antanna from or how long it should be ... lol and I have watched the video countless times think i have missed it but thats the one thing you missed to tell us....

50 Pcs Electronic Component 3 Ways Slide Type DIP Switches

Price:
US $8.07 / piece
Bulk Price
Shipping:
Free Shipping

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/50-Pcs-Electronic-Component-3-Ways-Slide-Type-DIP-Switches/32298896558.html
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joshuaparker on August 9, 2015
ok I got everything connected up but its doesnt want to work. It will show up static and almost the video but it will not clear up. Help plz!!!
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davereap on October 10, 2015
alternative low cost parts... banggood... total on all parts about £19.. that's the dip switches and battery socket
tutorial here.. http://en.eurny-rc.fr/diy-micro-fpv-tutorial/
3 way dip switches on ebay
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learn2turn on November 10, 2015
I hooked up a rig like that with parts from banggood, about $9 each for the Tx and camera.

It worked fine until I spooled up my quad and then all I got is noise noise noise.

I can't find any of my old 1S lipos to try it on a different pack.

Maybe filtering will help if I keep running it off the main pack. I can try a cap on the power but I don't have a coil light enough.

I also noticed on the spec sheet for the camera that they recommend a cap on the video signal. Maybe that's just to AC couple or maybe that will help with filtering. Maybe I'll try it if I get a chance.

The quad runs on four brushed motors so I'm sure they make a ton of noise. Without a separate back and/or some filtering, it's not going to work. I have a quad that flies fine and video that is fine but not both at the same time.
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learn2turn on November 10, 2015
For antenna length--
5.8ghz has a wavelength of 0.052m. You can go with a 1/4 wave monopole. A 1/4 wave is 0.0130m. Typically, because electrons bounce around in a wire and don't travel exactly at C, you want the antenna to be about 10% longer so a 1/4wave antenna would be 0.01430, or 1.43cm which is 0.563in.

In others words, a thin piece of wire a bit over a 1/2 inch long.

In the picture there's some coax shielding so the antenna length is the UNshielded portion at the end.

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johanjonker on November 19, 2015
I cant find a module that shows its compatible with fat sharks??

the items in the list are all boscam versions.
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rdibley on April 10, 2016
What's the nominal operating temperature of the VTx module? I'm running the 200mW module with a 3.3V regulator and it gets up to around 160F when running for several minutes at room temperature.
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rdibley on April 10, 2016
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DarkFire on July 5, 2016
How would a person obtain a license to fly FPV?

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coreyfro on August 20, 2016
Hey friends!!! This needs a refresh! Lots of parts have been discontinued, and now there are even smaller cameras! I'd love to lay down the clams for this. I have so many uses, not just RC. Check out http://outerbodylabs.com/
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