The Aomway Commander V2 FPV goggles is a long-awaited successor to the V1 released back in 2017. Improvements including better optics and a revised OSD menu. These goggles have similar spec and price to the Dominator HD3 and Skyzone SKY03, is it going to be a competitive choice? Let’s find out.
Wanna know other options? Check out our FPV Goggles Buyer’s guide. This review was written by Andrey Mironov.
Where to Buy?
- Banggood: http://bit.ly/2qx7RJC
- Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ynrKG6
- GetFPV: http://bit.ly/2QvXTTk
- RDQ: http://bit.ly/2E8T80w
Specifications of the Aomway Commander V2
Here are the spec of the Aomway Commander V2 FPV Goggles:
- Optical: FOV: 45° (a huge bump from V1)
- 800×600 LCD displays (16:9 is no longer the main mode of operation)
- Built-in 64Ch 5G8 diversity receiver with OSD and auto-search function
- Built-in DVR powered by HMDVR
- Diopter lens slots
- Anti-fogging fan
- HDMI 720p and 1080p input
- AV input/output
- Side by Side 3D support for AV-input and HDMI
- Interpupillary Distance (IPD): 59~72mm
- Power Supply: DC 7V – 18V (2S-4S)
- Weight: roughly 200 g
The Commander V2 Goggles come in literally the same cardboard box as the V1. But this time they’re packed in a brand new carrying case, which is big enough to fit some other accessories as well as the goggles. However the smell is horrible, I had to let it sit in the fresh air for a while until it went away. You’ve been warned :D
Besides the usual stickers and manual, inside the box you can find:
- The Commander V2 goggles
- Aomway RHCP 5G8 Cloverleaf Antenna (a known solid performer)
- Aomway 5G8 Linear Patch antenna (I have reservations about its performance)
- AV to 3.5mm jack cable
- 2-4S Power cable (balance lead to 5.5mm barrel connector)
- Spare face plate foam
The Goggles are no longer made of rubberized plastic like in the V1, but rather a dark, metallic, glossy plastic. I still prefer the case material from the V1, it was a lot nicer to touch.
A Closer Look at the Aomway Commander V2
Table of Contents
Goggles from Aomway have matured considerably since last year, no one will dare to mock its small field of view (like what happened with Eachine EV100, almost every reviewer made fun of that :).
It now sports a whopping 45º diagonal field of view in 4:3 ratio, and that’s even wider than the Dominator HD3, HDO and others. Only the HD2 Terminator (https://amzn.to/2IKigcL) can compete in terms of FOV, thought you’re very unlikely to spot the difference. 45º in my opinion is the point where the edges of the screen start going into peripheral sight and you have to roll your eyeballs more to see the sides.
I get Blurry Edges :(
Alas, such large FoV doesn’t come without drawbacks. The infamous “blurry edges” issue didn’t pass me by, and the issue is even worse than my favorite Dominator HD2.
As usual, your mileage may vary, as blurry edges depend on a set of factors:
- The shape of your face and how well it fits the goggle’s faceplate. In my case, my head isn’t pushed far enough into the goggles, which resulted in less than optimal relief. Maybe I just need a stronger headstrap or a thinner foam on the faceplate
- Your corneal features and curvature radius, people with more curved eyes tend to have less issues getting the eye closer to the lens
- How well the optical axis of goggles lens aligns with the optical axis of your eyes, hence IPD adjustment and general alignment of goggles on your head are important! Try wiggling IPD controls, moving the goggles up and down until you find a perfect fit and clear image. i do this every time I put on the goggles :)
These issues tend to manifest themselves more as FoV increases because the image extends into more of a peripheral region. You’re likely to have the same issue with smaller FoV, but since the image is smaller you won’t notice the blur.
All FPV goggles manufacturers should make these improvements
For the ideal image, your pupils should be perfectly aligned with the optical axis of goggles, and the so-called “Eye Relief” should be within specific distance depending on particular lens. All these combined make me think that goggle manufacturers should start making not only IPD adjustable, but also “Eye Relief”.
Another direction of improvement could be usage of some memory-foam for improved alignment.
To get the idea of what Eye Relief actually is, put the powered on goggles on your head so that the image is clearly visible, and start moving the goggles away from yourself. You’ll notice how the edges of the image becoming blurry and eventually fully disappear. that’s your eye getting out of working relief region, and that’s why pushing goggles against your face seems to help.
The increased FoV isn’t the only improvement brought by Commander V2. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the new OSD menu, which appears when holding down the MODE button for 3-4 seconds:
My main disappointment with the V1 was the difficulty to select a spot-on band and channel. Well, finally Aomway listened to the community and now there’s a menu where you can do the following things:
- Select Band and Channel
- Select display mode (4:3, 16:9, AV, HDMI, 3D)
- Adjust brightness and contrast
- Select RF mode (off, auto, left, right)
- Adjust some mumbo-jumbo for Aomway HeadTracker (has anyone actually seen these modules out in the wild?)
- Adjust idle alarm (10, 20, 30, 40 minutes)
- Change language to Chinese (I know you’ve only ever dreamt of it)
- Adjust beeper volume
- Change Diversity RF Mode: Race vs Long Range. These are presumably two presets for aggressiveness of switching between the two modules, but for further info we should reach out to Aomway
This video shows the new OSD menu in action:
Let’s take a closer look at the included patch antenna. I was really intrigued by the design and words they used in the adverts like “double layer planar system”, so I took it apart to see what’s in there.
The antenna turned out to be just two planes – ground and signal, sandwiched together with a specific distance in between them. I have strong reservations that this design can actually do any good in real-life scenarios. So I tested it and it didn’t work very well for me just like I thought, similar to the patch antenna in the V1, which I replaced with a Helical.
Another issue is the lack of 45º SMA adapter in the bundle, hence the antenna will be oriented sideways from your line of sight rather than forward.
The DVR module didn’t change from the last version, it’s still powered by HMDVR and has the same performance, with occasional dropped frames and skewed time clock.
There are reports of “bricked” DVR modules with continuous auto-recording enabled, so proceed with caution.
As far as I know, you can’t update firmware on these goggles, so it’s nice to see Aomway extend the receiver capability to 64 channels. It covers most 5.8GHz bands, including the illegal ones.
Further Reading: Review of the Skyzone SKY03
My review sample had a couple of unfortunately flaws, so I had to disassemble them to try and fix these issues.
First of all, I’m using the lowest IPD setting, but the sliders kept refusing to stay there. Also, left slider was really rough and hard to adjust finely.
Also, both lens assemblies had some noticeable dust speckles. Fortunately, the goggles were rather easy to take apart.
First remove the screw holding the faceplate.
Then gently pull the faceplate starting from the lateral sides, there are two clips which should separately, allowing to take the faceplate off.
Remove the two remaining screws from bottom side of the goggles and pull the halves apart from the sides. Be careful to not pull too hard, as there are delicate ribbon cables inside.
The internals seems to be of high quality, good soldering, without flux residue.
Main PCB has the most basic STM8S003 chip, which makes it possible for enthusiasts to write custom firmware for it, although I’m unsure about the viability of such approach.
HDMI and power board look somewhat similar to FatShark. Receiver modules connected via ribbon cables are identical for left and right sides, but with SMA connectors soldered 180º apart. I guess one could mod the goggles to accept FatShark modules with disabled built-in diversity switching.
Optical assembly is strongly reminiscent of FatShark’s, especially the PCB which is totally identical to Dominator HD2. My guess is that most manufacturers purchase these modules from an OEM.
This is the part I took the goggles apart for. Although I wasn’t able to fix the issue with jumping IPD sliders, which seems to be caused by excessively long LCD ribbon cables, I was able to clean the dust and grease marks off the lens. That concluded my investigation of the internal.
All in all, the Aomway Commander V2 seems like a solid performer to me. Available from $389, they give you the build quality comparable to the high-end FatShark goggles. The advantages are a large FoV, built-in Diversity receiver setup, handy OSD menu and wide voltage input.
If you don’t fancy spending extra for one of those external FatShark modules, which can set you back some additional $50 to 150, I strongly recommend looking at Commander V2 as a buying option.
Anyway, I do hope that Aomway will find a way to provide built-in modules as well as a FatShark-compatible module bay in future revision. The main FPV competition now happens in the aftermarket receiver modules, and this trend is likely to become even stronger as companies are looking for securing a niche.
- Large, “juicy” 45º FoV :p
- New OSD menu for band/channel selection
- Larger IPD adjustment compared to the V1
- 64-channel diversity receiver out of the box
- Priced at only $389
- No direct external receiver modules support, at this point people may start looking into DIY mods. Not an issue if you only use the built-in receiver
- Some people might get blurry edges due to the wider FOV
- Aomway needs a bit better quality control, as there are some minor flaws in the unit I reviewed
Commander V1 & V2 Comparison
The Commander V1 has been a solid pair of goggles at an affordable price. It wasn’t the best in terms of features and performance, but it’s definitely one of the best in terms of value. Now Aomway is finally stepping up their game with the V2.
The most exciting improvement in the Commander V2 goggle is definitely the 45° FOV! This is probably one of the biggest FOV in “slimline style” Goggles right now.
Resolution hasn’t changed that much, the Commander V2 has an 800×600 screen while the V1 had 854×480, but the larger screen will definitely help you see better.
They’ve also switched from a 16:9 screen to 4:3. I love 4:3 ratio because all my FPV cameras are 4:3. However you can switch to 16:9 in the goggles if you want, it will simply leave black bars on the top and bottom of the 4:3 screens.
|16:9 / 4:3
|Diopter Lens Insert
Aomway Commander V2 vs. Dominator HD3
When comparing the specs of the Commander V2 and Dominator HD3, it sort of gives me a feeling that Aomway has made this goggle to compete specifically with the Fatshark’s “second best goggles”.
On paper, the Aomway Commander V2 has slightly better FOV and IPD range. There are some other advantages listed in the table below too.
While the price of the Commander V2 is still higher than the HD3 Core, you have to consider the built-in video receiver, and it also comes with two FPV antennas.
With the Dominator HD3 you have to spend extra on the VRX and antennas. Although this weakness can also be its strength because you can choose whatever receiver module you want.
|Fatshark Dominator HD3 Core
|Aomway Commander V2
|Modular, Not Included
|Diopter Lens Insert
I hope this review was useful, please let me know which goggles you prefer, and why :) Happy flying.
Credit: Andrey Mironov