In my FPV setup for IRIS article, I left out details about my FPV ground station part. The reason is that gound station and air segment should be separate of each other. In other words you should be able to use the air segment of a good FPV setup with e.g. goggles or a monitor as ground station. At the same time you should be able to use the same ground station with multiple aircraft.
In this article I will show you the ground station that I’ve been using with IRIS. While I’ve tried Fatshark Predator goggles with IRIS, I prefer a 7″ screen to frame video shots and still images.
Required materials and tools
The following materials are required. Below are direct purchasing links for Amazon.com:
- FlySight 32 Ch Black Pearl 5.8Ghz 7″ Diversity Monitor with Integrated Battery (RC801)
- Davis & Sanford EXPLORERV Vista Explorer 60″ Tripod with Tripod Bag
- Travelchair Slacker Chair
- Collapsible Bag or Market Basket
- XT60 Male to JST Adapter
- IBCrazy 5.8 GHz Bluebeam Ultra Antenna Set
(While other – cheaper – antennas, such as the included dipole, would also work, the quality of the antenna is more crucial than the wattage of the transmitter. Therefore don’t be cheap on the antenna!)
- ImmersionRC Fatshark SpiroNET 5.8GHz 13dBi CP Patch Antenna
- Right Angle 90 Degree SMA Male / Female Adapter (2x)
- MultiStar 3S 5200mAh High Capacity Multi-Rotor FPV Lipo
The following tools are required:
Follow these steps to use your FPV Ground station:
- Mount the Black Pearl 7″ screen via the included quick-release plate onto the Tripod.
- Use the two right-angle SMA Male / Female adapters to mount the ImmersionRC Patch antenna to the Black Pearl 7″ screen.
This will allow you to adapt the antenna, without moving the screen. I keep this antenna mounted during transport.
- Mount the IBCrazy Bluebeam Ultra antenna (ground segment) to the Black Pearl 7″ screen.
I remove this antenna during transport and store it in a small plastic container, in order to not damage it.
- Connect the MultiStar 3S lipo via the XT60 adapter to the Black Pearl 7″ screen. You can place the battery into the Tripod’s bag and hang it around the Tripod.
While the Black Pearl’s build-in battery pack will allow you to use the screen for about 1 hour, using this external battery pack will allow you to use the screen for multiple hours.
- Place the Travelchair in front of your setup.
The final FPV ground station setup will look like this:
With the MinimOSD provided OSD information, I have all important information right in front of me while flying (See Figure 2). This way I neither need the Telemetry information on the R/C transmitter nor the tablet using DroidPlanner. I solely use DroidPlanner in this case to announce remaining battery percantages.
Transporting all equipment is very easy and straight forward. I use a “Market Basket” to carry the Lipos, R/C conroller and FPV ground station from the car to the launch site (See Figure 3). This way I can carry IRIS in one hand and all other equipment in the other hand.
Setting up the equipment at the flying field only takes 2-3 minutes.