Fatshark Dominator V3 Video Goggles Review

CONVERTER

Why FPV ?

Flying a drone First Person View (FPV) or from the pilot’s perspective is an amazing experience. By strapping a camera to the front of the drone and transmitting this video feed as a live stream to a screen or video goggles, you can control the drone as though you were in it. Although the technology is relatively simple, there is quite a bit of cost involved with switching from line of sight to FPV flying. A large proportion of this cost goes towards the goggles or screen used to view the feed. Today we are looking at the Fatshark Dominator V3 Video Goggles, which are a very good option for those who want a compact lightweight mobile solution.

If you have recently started out flying FPV, it is likely that you went with a system comprising a separate receiver and screen or a set of goggles that utilise a single large screen and a lense to help you focus. These are both great value for money and allow you to get a feel for the hobby without spending too much money. The sacrifice for the low budget is often a system that is bulky or low specification.

The Fatshark Dominator V3 Video Goggles provide a very compact solution, incorporating a built in/swappable receiver, DVR and a screen for each eye. The goggles sit comfortably on your face thanks to the foam padded faceplate, which also blocks out external light, providing a really immersive feel. This is one of the biggest upgrades for users swapping from a screen or the large style goggles, which are heavy and allow light in. Extended flying sessions are now possible with no discomfort. In addition, the padded faceplate has a built in fan to keep the lenses free from any misting. We have found this particularly useful when flying in cooler weather when the goggles would otherwise have fogged up.

Onto the most important thing, video quality! The Fatshark Dominator V3 utilise a 16:9 aspect ratio and an 800x480 resolution. There is a 35-degree field of view and IPD adjustment, so you can line up each screen to each eye perfectly. The image is clear and reasonably crisp even at the corners. The perceived screen size is large, but not huge, we would compare it to having a laptop or tablet at arm’s length. If you are moving from a single screen with lense like we did (Quanum V2) then the screen size may actually be a step down for you, but the screen quality itself is very good and allows you to see even fine details clearly. When using the HDMI port to connect to a computer, the image appears even clearer.

Fatshark Dominator V3 Video Goggles

For us the HDMI port was a very attractive feature, as not only does it allow the goggles to be used with FPV drone simulators for a more realistic and immersive feel, but there are now HD FPV systems available like the Connex Prosight. Having HD ready goggles, with the connectivity required to be able to make the most of the new HD systems was important for us.

The DVR is a feature which we had always missed on the Quanum V2 DIY large screen type goggles. The DVR allows you to record the analogue feed viewed on the goggles and also play back this footage. This is very handy if you ever lose a model and either don’t have a buzzer or the battery disconnects, as you can watch the footage back to see where you crash landed. Being analoge, the goggles can tune into and record your friend's video feed too! A great feature on the Fatshark Dominator V3 DVR is that if you disconnect the battery without stopping the recording, it will still save. This is something that was missing from earlier versions. One thing we would like to see is an auto-pause when there is no signal, as we regularly forget to stop recording between batteries and now have hours of static recorded…

The battery that comes with the goggles is reasonably sized (both physical and capacity) at 1,800 mAh. The battery generally lasts us a whole session of flying, which could be 10-15 packs. It fits nicely into the side of the headband, where it sits comfortably on your head and doesn’t seem to add much to the weight/feel of the goggles when wearing them. If you are planning on dosing a longer flying session it is worth picking up a spare battery; when the battery voltage gets low the goggles make a few beeps before turning off shortly after!

The final piece that makes the whole system work is the changeable receiver module. This is compact and has a cover which seals it into the goggles nicely. The standard module utilises the 5.8Ghz band and supports a single antenna. There are now a number of alternative receivers available, which offer increased functionality such as diversity and favourite channel lists and these slot right into the existing module bay.

PROS:


  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Built in DVR
  • Mini HDMI port
  • External video feed in - you can use your old receiver
  • Screen for each eye - can view 3D content

CONS:


  • Price
  • 720p, not full HD
  • Small screen size compared to cheaper options
  • Not much time between low battery warning and video loss

Verdict:

We recently made the switch from the Quanum V2 DIY goggles to the Fatshark Dominator V3 and are very happy with the Dominator V3. The perceived screen size is smaller than the Quanum V2 and there are other options out there that have larger images (such as the Dominator HD2), but we feel that the Dominator V3 provide a good compromise between screen size and blurred edges (experienced when the screen size is too big). The small form factor is fantastic for long flying sessions without getting uncomfortable and the ability to record each and every flight without adding a heavy and expensive camera to the drone is a great feature. We will admit that the price tag is large, but we think it is justified and would definitely recommend the Fatshark Dominator V3 to anyone looking for a set of FPV goggles.

Got a Freerider / Liftoff?

How to use Fatsharks Dominator V3 Goggles with Liftoff or FPV FreeRider

You may all know the famous quadcopter FPV simulators Liftoff and FPV FreeRider which allows you to use your transmitter while being in the virtual quadcopter world. I have seen many people complaining how they want to use these simulators with their Fatshark goggles. Unlike the Headplays HD, where you can simply video out the display through a digital HDMI cable. Fatsharks can only be fed with an analog signal. As you may already know, most computers only have digital display ports.

The trick to convert digital video signal to analog video for your FatShark Goggles :

What you need is a simple module that converts the HDMI signal into the old style yellow composite. eBay sells these “HDMI to composite converter” for surprisingly cheap, only around 15USD. It runs off a 5V USB battery supply which can be connected to the computer while you are using it.

fatshark

First connect the USB power supply into the little converter. Then unplug the HDMI cable from your monitor into the little converter. If you have a laptop, you will need to plug in an HDMI cable and allow the computer to mirror out through the cable. Once that’s completed, connect the male auxiliary to composite cable provided by Fatshark into the female composite port on the converter. Turn off the video transceiver and you should then only be getting the video from the computer. Voila!Your Fatshark Goggles are now ready!

 

 

Easycap Setup And Review

Introduction:

When I first purchased Easycap from Banggood.com, I was very skeptical. In my mind, I thought about every possible negative thing that can come up when purchasing a cheap fpv setup. This by far has surpassed my expectations!This article will deal about easycap setup and will also offer essential driver links. I am throwing in a small easycap review as well!

Easycap

The Easycap I purchased from Banggood was less than 10USD and comes with not only the analog video connector but also S-Video, left and right audio channels. The quality build feels really nice, comes with durable wires, and a USB cover. The DVR software comes in a small CD and the license code on the face of it. The license code however, did not work for me and I needed to search online for another registration code which then worked. When I first tested out on my 14-inch laptop screen, it was absolutely amazing, the latency was super low! It was so low that, I honestly could fly my QAV250 with the video. Easycap setup is fairly simple too.All you need is a couple of drivers and you good to go!

The DVR software is pretty simple to use. It allowed me to record the DVR footage in decent analog quality however, I felt that the live stream video quality is much better than the saved video. A really neat feature about the Easycap is that, it does not blue screen or shut off, it instead snowflakes the video. I would not even consider it snowflakes since the software replaces the black and white static with colorful pixels. This is less distracting when flying as most of the time the colored static is kind of blended with the rest of the video when the connection is weak.

Now the main question is; would I recommend this for FPV?

I would certainly recommend this for a beginner or someone who wishes to have a cheap DVR. I know that the most popular route currently for beginners is to purchase a TFT monitor as their first fpv setup. Many of these monitors cost in the range $50-$60, whereas if you already have a laptop you can use it. In addition, you get the DVR feature which is a big plus. As for me, you know that I am all about the goggles, for the “cockpit feeling”, but sometimes I like to bring this around if I know I am going to fly with my friends around so they could spectate on a larger screen, instead of viewing it on the 7 inch TFT Color Monitor.

How to Setup up Easycap?

  1. Connect the Easycap to you PC or laptop
  2. Allow the computer to search and install the driver by itself.
  3. Install Honestech TVR from the CD or through Google.
  4. Now open up the software and it will require you to enter the license code. Use the Serial code: TVR25-NMBGG-HGGGH-362DC-6BMG6 you will need to type in each section individually.
  5. Once the software has opened, you may see your webcam if you have a camera connected. You will need to tell the computer to choose the other camera. To do this, press composite on the media bar. You now have live video stream!
  6. To record the video, press the red circle to allow it to record
  7. To stop the recording, press the red circle again
  8. Here is the important part, in order to save the video, you will see a drop down list underneath the media bar, right-click it and press “Save as...”

The video is saved in “.mpg” If you have problems viewing it, use a video converter or the DVR itself to play it back.

Easycap Setup drivers:

All of the following EasyCap drivers are hosted in our Dropbox account .It is to be noted that easycap driver won't usually work on 64 bit systems. To disable driver enforcement int Win 8 and up . check this link .

Vista and Windows 7 EasyCap Setup drivers :

Try your luck with these if the above doesn't work :

If you have trouble

How to Clean Quadcopter Motors – RC Cleaning

Motor covered in mud

Introduction:

Here are some ways to clean your motors to keeps them at their peak performance. Dirt and mud may get into the motors after a nasty crash and causes performance to drop especially if sand gets into the magnets. Let’s get started with some quick RC cleaning tips!

clean_motors_quadcopter

It's is very important to have your motors clean before every flight. I tend to clean them immediately after I get back from the field, so the next day I can immediately be back in the air.

*It may be obvious but please make sure the battery is unplugged during the cleaning process!

Things you will need:


  1. Toothbrush
  2. Compressed air
  3. Isopropyl alcohol or distilled water
  4. C-clip remover or thin flat head
  5. Toothpick or some sort of picking tool
  6. OPTIONAL: Brushless motor oil

Basic RC Cleaning:

This is for motors with dirt that is mostly on the outside of the motor bell.

  1. What I usually like to do first is clean the dirt underneath the base of the motors which gets trapped in the ventilation holes. I use something sharp like a toothpick to pick the dirt out.
  2. I then use a toothbrush to scrub the excessive dirt out. Make sure the motor is pointed downwards so the dirt does not get back into the motor bell.
  3. Some loose dirt around the base can be removed with a blast of compressed air.

Super Dirty RC Cleaning:

This is for motors with mud around motor the bell and in the copper windings

  1. Complete the basic cleaning above
  2. To get the dirt that's trapped in the motor pretty deep, you will need to take the motor apart by removing the c clip holding the motor together. Simply use a c-clip remover or use a thin flat head screwdriver to flick the clip off. Make sure not to lose it. I recommend doing this process in a clear plastic bag.
  3. Pull the base and bell apart. You should see mud stuck onto the copper windings and gravel attached to the magnets.
  4. To clean the mud off the windings, I like to dip the whole stator in isopropyl alcohol and scrub with a toothbrush. If isopropyl alcohol is not available, distilled water will also work. You can place the bell in the solvent as well. This process will not damage the motor.
  5. To remove the gravel that are magnetically attached to the magnets, you can use a blast of 120psi of air. If you don't have a compressor you can only try to flick the gravel off with a toothbrush.
  6. We then need to dry the excess solvent off, with compressed air or just letting it dry over time.
  7. Install everything back including the c-clip

(OPTIONAL STEP):

I would recommend purchasing a bottle of brushless bearing oil motor from Banggood. The product is called, "Tarot High-Speed Bearing Oil Lubricants TL2781". Apply a drop of the solution with the needle syringe that is included, directly to the bearings and spin the bell a few times.

Do not use WD-40 as the bearing oil!