This is a review of FuriousFPV’s True-D 2.4GHz Module, and . While we were testing this system, we also ran some tests against the 1.3GHz FPV setup to see how they compare in terms of performance in the same condition.
A big thanks to FuriousFPV for sending us their True-D 2.4GHz Diversity FPV module for the review. This post is written by guest writer, Greg McKean.
New to FPV? Check out this FPV beginner’s guide.
Where To Buy
- VRX Module (Amazon): https://amzn.to/2TSu0hp
- VRX Module & VTX Bundle (Banggood): http://bit.ly/2CS9xUh
- 2.4GHz VTX (Banggood): http://bit.ly/2FTDW6g
- 2.4GHz FPV Antenna (Banggood): http://bit.ly/2K3whGO
- 2.4GHz FPV Antenna (Amazon): https://amzn.to/2TSuO5V
Why Considering 2.4GHz for FPV?
2.4GHz cannot be more familiar, it’s probably the first frequency you ever used in RC. This frequency tends to be the “norm” when it comes to our RC control frequency, but in fact, it has been used for transmitting their video feed as well for years now by the FPV community.
It was made very popular back in the “old” days by companies like Lawmate and Team Black Sheep. However this technology seemed to be forgotten about and put on the back-burner when the mini quad (racing drone) craze kicked in, then all attention was on 5.8GHz.
There are currently 3 options an FPV pilot has with regards to video feed:
The most common being 5.8GHz. This is now the most refined solution, it’s easy to find, relatively cheap and performs well for most short range flying (usually within 1Km). Using 5.8GHz as FPV frequency also plays nicely with 2.4GHz radio equipment thus making it the most common choice for an FPV pilot.
The other option is 1.3GHz. This is currently what I use on my planes and wings for long range. 1.3GHz excels in range and signal penetration due to the physical wave being larger. I mainly fly fixed wing aircraft over 1km or fly low behind treelines and valleys, making 1.3GHz an excellent choice for this type of flying.
We have an article on how to get started with 1.3GHz FPV system.
However equipment using 1.3GHz is definitely harder to find and in most cases you will be waiting on a slow boat from overseas to be able to get your hands on them. The demand for 1.3GHz is very low in comparison to 5.8GHz, for this reason you will find very basic looking equipment built usually for CCTV purposes.
And this can’t be used with 2.4GHz radio equipment as they can cause each other some serious interference. In most cases, FPV pilots using 1.3GHz for FPV, will opt for UHF frequencies like 433KHz or 900MHz for the RC control to avoid this problem.
This leave 2.4GHz. I have been intrigued to try 2.4GHz for a while now as company’s like FuriousFPV have started taking this frequency band a bit more seriously for FPV video purposes. They have demonstrated what they can do with the 5.8GHz True-D, It’s great that they created a 2.4GHz module on the same platform.
With that said, I hope this is the start of more refined 2.4GHz equipment (built for FPV purpose) coming to the market, as well as it being more readily available than 1.3GHz equipment.
There are other advantages and disadvantages with all of these different frequencies, you can learn more in this article.
FuriousFPV 2.4GHz FPV System Overview
You can buy the FuriousFPV 2.4GHz video transmitter (VTX) and 2.4GHz True-D receiver (VRX) as a bundle, or separately.
Both the VRX and VTX units come in the standard plastic boxes we are used to seeing from FuriousFPV, with nice protective foam padding ensuring they are well protected during transit.
True-D 2.4GHz Module
The receiver is the standard Fatshark module and can fit a range of FPV goggles, such as the HD3 and HDO, as well as FuriousFPV’s DOCK-KING ground station. There is also a version for the Fatshark Attitude goggles.
It is super simple to install securely on your goggles. It comes with handy angled SMA adapters to allow the correct positioning of antennas. It is really simple to use and intuitive, it didn’t take me long to get very familiar with the OSD menu and its features and settings.
Here is a quick overview video of the OSD menu.
Stealth 2.4GHz Long Range VTX
The video transmitter is their Stealth Long Range VTX, which they claim is the “ultimate long range FPV solution”.
Coming from big chunky 1.3GHz video transmitters, this little VTX looks ideal and more in line with modern 5.8GHz transmitters. The transmitter offers selectable output powers ranging from a race ready 10mW all the up to a massive 800mW to cover some serious ground!
I will be using FuriousFPV’s 2.4GHz 1.3dBi RHCP omni-directional antennas on both the video transmitter and receiver.
To help with the range and penetration, there is also a 8.6dBi high gain “Moulin Rouge” RHCP patch antenna, but I will not be using this in my testing. I believe at the time of writing this antenna has now been re-branded as the “Two Slices” antenna.
My Current 1.3GHz System
My current 1.3GHz system consists of a ReadymadeRC video receiver and a Patron 800mw video transmitter (typical found in all good overseas warehouses) On both the ground and air I will be using a TrueRC Singularity 1.3GHz omni antenna.
Initial Flight Test Using On 10mW VTX Power!
When buying this equipment within the UK, it is shipped “out the box” with its default power levels set at 10mW in order to comply the the UK transmission laws. I thought this would be a great opportunity to test this video transmitter at this level to see how it performs at this level.
I installed the VTX on my ZOHD Dart XL, this plane would provide the perfect test platform to make sure everything was working as it should. The initial test went without any issues and as you can tell by the video below, the picture was of good quality with very little break up at only 10mW, and if I’m honest, nothing seemed too much different from my 1.3GHz system at this stage.
The only issue I had was the Furious FPV OSD sometimes disappeared (watch the video RSSI icon in the video) but later found this was happening because I had selected auto video format in the settings. It states in the manual that you are best setting this up to the known video format you are using. I set this to PAL (I live in the UK) and this fixed the problem.
Comparison Flight Test
Once I was happy everything was working, I decided to crank up the power levels and install the video system on my E-Wings Vortigaunt.
Both 2.4GHz and 1.3GHz transmitters were set to their max 800mW and both systems were only using omni-directional antennas. Here are the results.
Both 1.3GHz and 2.4GHz systems worked great for this style of flying. Long range and video penetration seemed to work well on both with very little difference between them in my opinion.
You can see both systems delivered flyable video when I was 700m from home, 5m below my feet and behind a treeline! (0:23 to 0:28 in the above video). I believe I would have lost all video if I were using 5.8GHz in this instance. Where I felt 2.4GHz had the edge was on video quality. The video quality from this 2.4GHz system is more in line with modern 5.8GHz systems. The 1.3GHz video quality seems to be slightly more degraded and not as sharp despite it being a very stable and consistent feed.
Will I be moving over to 2.4GHz?…….The answer is yes.
The FuriousFPV 2.4GHz FPV system is pretty damn close to my 1.3GHz setup performance wise. With the slight edge on video quality, this has just tipped the scales for me to move all my video gear to 2.4GHz. Not to mention this has now eradicated the need for me to carry a big clumsy ground station to the flying field and I can now buy directly from local suppliers (no more slow boats from China!) which can offer me great support on their products.
Hopefully companies like FuriousFPV will force other companies to think outside the “5.8GHz box” and refine other frequencies. I believe there is a great opportunity for someone to further develop 1.3GHz technology and modernise it the same way FuriousFPV have done with 2.4GHz. We will wait and see!