Comprehensive FPV Guide

What is First Person View?

Commonly referred to as "FPV," First Person View is a method that allows pilots, drivers, and photographers to see the world around them in a new and exciting way—from the viewpoint of their vehicle or equipment. From this unique perspective, radio-controlled (RC) vehicles can be maneuvered with precision, and stunning videos and photos can be captured from astonishing angles.

Most of today's FPV set-ups take advantage of the latest advancements in gyro stabilization to help create rock-solid, crystal-clear images that are thrilling and memorable. This guide will explain the components that are needed and the steps to follow to convert an RC model to FPV.

How can I use FPV?

FPV set-ups can be used on radio-control vehicles including drones, fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and cars or trucks. For the adventurous, FPV offers a fun way to experience the thrill of speed or heights. For racers, it offers a clear view of the course and the competition—especially on far-away, hard to see turns. And photographers will be able to capture images they never thought possible.

But FPV is also being used in other diverse applications such as science, medicine, rescue, and farming. The ability to see from a different perspective can be invaluable, serving as an essential tool for investigating terrain or monitoring agricultural conditions that would be difficult to navigate or see otherwise. When it comes to FPV applications, the possibilities are endless!

How does FPV work?

A basic FPV set-up consists of an on-board camera, mounted on the vehicle, which is then connected to a small, mounted transmitter. Typically run on a 5.8GHz frequency, the transmitter sends a signal to a receiver that is linked to a viewing device, such as a portable monitor or FPV goggles. The maximum possible range between the transmitter and the receiver varies, depending on the power output of the transmitter and any potential obstructions that may interfere with the signal. In some cases, you may also add accessories such as sophisticated antennas to help achieve greater range and clarity.

An alternative FPV set-up may utilize Wi-Fi, rather than sending signals via a traditional 5.8GHz transmitter. The range using Wi-Fi components is much more limited, but typically offers the convenience of using a smartphone or tablet that is already owned as a viewing device.

What equipment do I need so that I get full First Person View experience?

To get the full First Person View experience, you'll need:

How do I convert my model to FPV?

Tactic FPV equipment takes the guesswork out of converting to First Person View. First, use this checklist to make sure you have all the needed components. You will find this checklist on each of the Tactic FPV equipment pages to easily identify the components.

Then, follow these three easy steps:

  1. Install a small, light 5.8GHz transmitter in your model.
  2. Mount your favorite FPV camera to your model, and connect it to the transmitter.
  3. Sync the transmitter to the receiver and enjoy FPV through the viewing device.

Are there any regulations or safety concerns of which I should be aware?

FPV provides the opportunity to experience a new perspective by flying or driving RC vehicles beyond visual range. Before operating any RC vehicle, be sure the area is clear of any potential hazards, including other vehicles or people in the area. For more information, visit knowbeforeyoufly.org. Also, please be aware that a HAM license is required in the United States for video transmitters which exceed 25mW power.