Review: Caddx VISTA VTX for DJI Digital FPV System

by Oscar
Published: Last Updated on

We complained about how big the DJI Air Unit is, and they listened! The new Caddx Vista VTX is a much smaller Air Unit for the DJI Digital FPV system, making it easier to install, and compatible with even smaller drones.

Learn more about the DJI Digital FPV System here.

Where to Buy?

Closer Look at the VISTA VTX

The VISTA VTX is a collaboration between Caddx and DJI, and fully compatible with DJI’s HD FPV System. It’s much smaller, lighter, and $30 cheaper, and yet the maximum power output matches the the full size Air Unit.

You can tell the new VISTA VTX is made for smaller FPV drones, the mounting holes are 20x20mm which means it can be installed directly in your FC stack. There are also 17x17mm mounting holes, so it’s might be compatible with whoops and toothpick class in the future when frames are designed for it.

caddx vista air unit

To reduce weight, the VISTA uses only a single antenna, but claim to have maximum 4KM of range at 700mW, which is the same as the full size Air Unit. Not bad at all for smaller drones! However we expect the full size Air Unit to have more reliable signal for having an extra antenna, especially when dealing with interference in noisy environments.

Frequencies are exactly the same as the full size Air Unit, it still uses the same 8 channels (in FCC mode). It also supports the DJI remote for radio control if you don’t want additional radio receiver in your drone.

The Vista is almost the same as the full size air unit in many areas: runs the same firmware, identical image quality, supports focus mode, low latency/high quality modes, has built-in radio receiver…

However, one big improvement is the input voltage range. The Vista now supports up to 6S while the DJI Air Unit only supports up to 4S. When DJI was first developing the digital FPV system, nobody was running 6S back then, and it was too late for them to change the design when they release Air Unit. It’s great they fixed that in their latest product.

You have to solder your own wires to the Air Unit. The solder pads are pretty large for easy soldering.

caddx vista pinout wiring

It uses IPEX (U.FL) connectors for the antenna, and they provided a holder to secure the antenna connector.

caddx vista install antenna clip holder

Vista Specification

  • Dimension:
    • VISTA VTX 30.45 x 29 x 13mm (20x20mm + 25.5×25.5 mounting holes)
    • Camera 27.4 x 21.1 x 20.1mm
    • Antenna 80mm
  • Weight:
    • VISTA VTX 19g
    • Camera 10g
    • Antenna 3.5g
  • Antenna Connector: U.FL
  • 200mW, 500mW, 700mW selectable output power (the VISTA supports 1200mW hack too)
  • Maximum Range: FCC 4Km, CE 0.7Km
  • Takes 2S to 6S Input Voltage (7.4V – 26.4V)
  • Operation frequency: 5.725-5.850GHz
  • Latency:
  • High quality mode 30-40ms
    Low latency mode 21-28ms
  • Compatible with DJI HD camera (from full size air unit)
    Compatible with DJI HD goggles
  • Interface: USB-C, IPEX, 3in1 Port

No SD Card Slot / 1080p Recording?!

One of the biggest downsides with the new VISTA air unit would be the lack of recording capability. It doesn’t have an SD card slot, and therefore you can’t record 1080p HD footage inside the air unit, you can only record footage in your DJI Goggles.

That means the best footage you could get with the VISTA is only 720p 60FPS or 120FPS?

Another concern with the lack of SD card slot is that you cannot change FCC/CE mode, which means if you are from Europe, your VISTA VTX will be locked to CE mode. With CE mode the max output power is limited to 25mW. In order to use 700mW you have to change it to FCC mode and so far with the full size Air Unit, it requires an SD card to do so. Not sure if there will be an work around for the VISTA, I hope so.

FCC Unlock & 1200mW Power Hack

Yes, you can switch between CE and FCC mode in the VISTA by accessing the internal storage, same as the DJI Air Unit. You can also perform the 1200mW power hack too.

How to Setup Caddx VISTA?

I have a full tutorial on how to connect and setup your Caddx VISTA.

OSD Disappear Fix

If Betaflight OSD stops working (no longer appear) in DJI Goggles, chances are the UART connection is no longer working on the Vista.

Voltage spikes can damage the diodes on the TX and RX connection on the Vista, especially if you are powering the Vista directly from 6S.

You can remove these diodes (RX and TX), and your OSD should work again, however if you have another voltage spikes, it’s going to kill more than just the diodes so make sure you understand the risk before doing so. That’s why we recommend powering the Vista with 9V BEC to lower the chance of damaging them.

Same thing if your SBUS doesn’t work anymore, just remove the diode on the SBUS output.

To remove the diodes, you can desolder them, or even easier, just  a gentle push with a small screwdriver should be enough for a clean removal.

caddx vista sbus uart tx rx diode

Leave a Comment

By using this form, you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. Note that all comments are held for moderation before appearing.

27 comments

mike mason 30th August 2021 - 7:09 pm

This is a dumb question. I ordered the crown hd, with the FRSky receiver in it. But I want to use it with my DJI TX.

I can bind the TX, but I get no functionality with the drone.

Is it possible to have two receivers (Its a F22) connected to the FC?

I havent pulled it apart to see if I need to take out the receiver and solder the VTX to the FC to make it work until someone knowledgeable tells me that is what is likely wrong. Which is where you come in:)

Any help would be sooooo appreciated.

Reply
Nathan 16th May 2021 - 4:32 pm

Hello Oscar, I have problem with my caddx nebula pro, it only showing solid red light and can’t connect to computer. Do you know how to fix this issue? Thank you.

Reply
Oscar 16th May 2021 - 6:04 pm

Can you use a different USB cable? make sure it’s a data capable cable?
Use a fan to avoid overheat during update as well.
Try restarting your computer just in case.

Reply
tomasz 4th March 2021 - 1:39 pm

I have spent few evenings to make it work. Any PC couldn’t see caddx as a drive. any procedure even with USA VPN wasn’t working. Finally I have booted up PC with Hirens USB tool and it worked from a shot!

Reply
Marco Lomiller 31st January 2021 - 9:44 pm

Hello. Iam not finding the FCC ID Documentation from caddx.
I need this informations to get my quad legal in my country.
COuld i consider this bar code adesive as a serial number?

Reply
Oscar 7th February 2021 - 9:27 pm

Please contact/email Caddx regarding FCC ID documents.

Reply
Drone Pilot 16th November 2020 - 11:16 pm

Turn off the temperature mode option from the goggles connected to the vista, this will stop it from dropping power down when it thinks it is hot, by doing this you need to make sure you dont leave the unit plugged in and motors NOT spinning as it WILL damage the vista especially at 1000mW setting.
Every person I have spoken to turns off this over temperature feature that simply ramps down the power and it has worked for me too, I now get 1km range from my Vista without loss of signal or loss of bitrate and when you think about it Vista claim 0.7km range max, I have tested mine with the TrueRC Singularity antenna on the Vista and the TrueRC X-Air dual patch on both sides of my DJI goggles and I have pushed the 2km range with some loss of signal and bitrate and I am sure I could go further if I fly higher.

Reply
Günter Hildebrandt 25th October 2020 - 8:07 pm

I have used the Caddix Vista system to replace my analoge video system in my Matek F405 powered drone. After arming the drone the video transmission has stopped. Than I have mounted the camera and the processing unit electrically isolated against the carbon frame. With the isolation the system works as expected during flight operation. I have found that other pilots have the same problem.
Is there a requirement to mount the video unit isolated? What is the reason for tis sensitivity?
Thanks?

Reply
Josh 16th September 2020 - 4:46 pm

Does the Vista use the same camera as the Air Unit? It looks the same, and the dimensions read to be the same…

Reply
Elias - Drone-Pilot 3rd September 2020 - 1:14 pm

The process to enable 50MB/s and 1200mW on Caddx Vista when not in the USA regardless of what phase you are in any process of the hack. One thing to note the if you do not see an accessible drive in your system (example drive is greyed out) for the caddx when plugged into USB then you must follow the steps.

1. download a VPN app and connect to USA
2. create a file called naco_pwr.txt (with simply pwr_2 on one line and nothing else) and naco.txt (with simply a number 1 on one line nothing else)
3. copy to sd card for your goggles
4. power on your goggles
5. power on vista
(at this stage you should have the ability to select 1200mW power)
6. refresh the firmware on the Caddx Vista by pluggin in the USB-C lead
7. after a complete restart of the Caddx Vista after the firmware refresh you will now see an accessible drive
8. copy naco.txt and naco_pwr.txt to the drive presented by the Caddx Vista
9. restart the vista
10. Pair your goggles to the Caddx Vista
(at this stage you can now select 50MB/s and the 1200mW power)

Enjoy

Reply
catch 20th August 2020 - 9:50 am

Hello Oscar, do you know if there is a low power mechanism that prevents Vista using more than 25mW. I test Vista (FCC) on 2S, 700mW, PowerLimit off and have a poor range like on 25 mW. I started the flight at about 8.1V.

But the good news is I could flew it down to 6.5V so far without a problem (official voltage range Vista: 7.4V to 26.4V).

Cheers

Reply
lewis hart 20th July 2020 - 9:48 am

Picking up a set of CE DJI bits, but the 25mw is of zero interest to warrant that much spend on the AirUnit and goggles.

Can anyone confirm if we are able to do the FCC mod still in mid 2020?

Someone mentioned a VPN above to change to the US IP – does that work?

Thanks
Lewis

Reply
Oscar 21st July 2020 - 1:53 pm

Yes it still works, just follow this guide

Reply
Paul Bergetz 20th June 2020 - 10:02 pm

I was planning on using either the Caddx Vista or DJI AIR as a replacement FPV on a Parrot disco and had a few questions:
1-If you are not interested in getting telemetry data to FPV why would you need a flight controller?
2-Can either of these units transmit to a tablet, PC or smart phone or only DJI goggles?
3-The power seems minimal do you really need a 4S battery to run these seems overkill I would think something a lot smaller would work and you can use a voltage regulator if need be.

Again in this case the FPV would only transmit video no telemetry data we already have that and I do not want to tap into the Disco battery and FC.

Thanks for help very informative reviews

Reply
Oscar 22nd June 2020 - 1:48 pm

1. You can actually change flight controller settings via OSD menu (Betaflight only) if you connect it to the FC
2. No, just DJI FPV Goggles
3. The Vista supports 2S to 6S, so use whatever you see fit

And yes you can run the Vista as a standalone system on your drone, without connecting it to its FC.

Reply
Joe Borris 31st May 2020 - 4:03 am

HI, do you know if this will fit the Armattan SCX200 frame?

Reply
Thomas Brooks 1st March 2020 - 12:23 pm

I really want the caddx vista on my emax buzz to get high quality footage and low latency, but I dont want to buy the expensive DJI goggles. Is there a way to stream the footage to a tablet/phone, some kind of receiver?

Reply
Oscar 11th March 2020 - 8:55 pm

No.

Reply
Peter Schreiber 11th February 2020 - 10:34 am

Did Cadxx also work with ocusync Race Edition Goggles ?

Reply
defillo 16th January 2020 - 2:21 pm

to set unit in FCC mode even in Europe, just spoof your position in the PC with assistant using a VPN. set the PC like it is in north america or canada, check with whatismyip.com, then connect the unit (s) to the assistant. both air units and googles. works perfectly. at least with my units in Italy. spoofed position with VPN and it goes like a charme

Reply
Null 14th January 2020 - 3:23 am

And The cable of camera is the week point, if it broken, where to get the replacement?

Reply
Itaal’h 10th January 2020 - 9:34 pm

Also. Beware for european user, the SD card trick to change the power to 200/500/700 will not work here. Hello glitches with 25mw

Reply
JIm Tapp (Protonus) 10th January 2020 - 6:37 pm

@Oscar – what you’re thinking is an SD Card is the side of one of the heat spreaders on a chipset. There’s no SD Card slot on this unit.

Reply
Jim Tapp (Protonus) 10th January 2020 - 6:16 pm

There’s no MicroSD Slot on the Vista, so there is no on board recording. Recording will be goggle DVR only, which is 720p 60fps.

An important note is that the camera cable is now 2cm shorter and lacks the insulation over it, that the stock air unit camera cable had. The back of the camera is changed out for a black one as well likely due to this cable change. Why they did this I’m not sure but I suspect an OEM or racing circuit approached them with these asks.

The power output is listed as being the same as the normal Air Unit, not sure why you noted diminished power output. We assume that there will be less penetration / bandwidth behind obstacles, since there is single antenna now.

Max range should be identical. The air unit has a technical limitation of 4 mi / 6.4 km – the system won’t work farther than that. If you have good enough antennas on both ends, I see no reason the Vista won’t go the same distance.

Reply
Oscar 10th January 2020 - 10:25 pm

Thanks for the info I was misled by the image as there is no mention of the lack of SD card slot.
The full size Air unit can now do 1200mW, so far we can only assume the VISTA can do up to 700mW due to the lack of SD card slot.
Having two antennas we should expect better signal reliability.

Reply
Tim Green 10th January 2020 - 5:40 pm

There is no video recording on the air unit.

Reply
Oscar 10th January 2020 - 5:49 pm

really? but there seems to be an SD card in the images…

Reply