There are over 100 channels in the 5.8GHz frequency spectrum between analog and digital FPV systems (DJI FPV & Shark Byte). I made a table and diagram so you can easily look them up and choose the best channels for FPV.
5.8GHz FPV Channels Chart
By knowing where the channels are located in the 5.8GHz frequency spectrum, the channel bandwidth, and how much separation there is between channels can help avoid video interference.
- 5.8GHz analog – 30MHz
- DJI FPV 25mbps – 20MHz
- DJI FPV 50mbps – 40Mhz
- Shark Byte – 27MHz
All FPV Channels in a Table
The commonly used 5.8GHz analog bands are A, B, E, F and R. The other bands are rarely used but they do exist. Each band has a unique set of frequencies, though some frequencies may be repeated on other bands.
Analog FPV System
|Band||CH 1||CH 2||CH 3||CH 4||CH 5||CH 6||CH 7||CH 8|
Back in the days, the majority of video transmitter only supported 8 channels (one band), and different brands would use different bands on their VTX’s. However modern VTX’s are now compatible with multiple bands, so that’s not something to be concerned about anymore.
- Band A: Team BlackSheep (TBS), RangeVideo, SpyHawk, FlyCamOne USA
- Band B: FlyCamOne Europe
- Band R: Raceband
- Band E: HobbyKing, Foxtech
- Band F: ImmersionRC, Iftron
- Band D: Diatone
Digital FPV System
|Band||CH 1||CH 2||CH 3||CH 4||CH 5||CH 6||CH 7||CH 8|
|Shark Byte (FCC)||5660||5695||5735||5770||5805||5839||5878||5914|
|Shark Byte (CE)||5735||5770||5805||5839||-||-||-||-|
Choosing a Channel in Analog
Best VTX Channel for Flying Alone
If you fly solo, you can basically use any channel you want. However there are still some considerations in selecting the best channel.
In certain VTX, some channels output more power than others. You can find out with testing equipment, like the ImmersionRC RF Power Meter. I always test output power when I review VTX so you might be able to find the answers there. As a tendency from my past testing, lower frequency channels often output higher power for some reason. For example Raceband, R1 usually has higher output power than R8.
Another thing to take into account is the tuning of your antennas (on VTX and VRX). Assuming they are both tuned to 5800MHz, then the performance is going to be the best on channel F4 (Fatshark 4) or R5 (Raceband 5). If they are tuned to 5700MHz, then the best channels would be E1 or R2.
It’s hard to know the exact tuning of an antenna, unless you have the equipment to test them, so I wouldn’t worry about that too much. If you have the time, perhaps go through all the channels and find the one that works the best for you. Otherwise just pick the first channel in a band, like R1 or F1 which is easy to access and remember :)
If you fly near WiFi networks, then you probably want to move the channel up to a higher frequency to avoid interference. I will explain more about this later in this post.
Best FPV Channel for Flying in a Group
Although channels in a band generally have decent separations, the neighbouring channels could still be overlapping with each other and cause interference.
Raceband has the widest separations at 37MHz between channels and does not have any overlap, but this does not mean that Raceband can support all 8 pilots flying at the same time. We have to take “IMD frequencies” into account.
Basically, if you want multiple people flying at the same time, we cannot just rely on a single band, you should wisely choose from all available channels to achieve the best result.
You may also need to flexible and change your channel on the go, in order to avoid interference from one another. Remember to be considerate, find out what VTX channels are being used before you power on your FPV drone. It can be hard to make friends at a flying field when people lost their best racing drone because you jumped on their video channel!
These are some of the best FPV channels when flying in groups (taking separation and IMD frequencies into consideration), they allows up to 6 pilots flying at the same time:
- 5645 (E4)
- 5685 (E2)
- 5760 (F2)
- 5805 (A4)
- 5905 (E6)
- 5945 (E8)
Beware that some of these frequencies may be illegal in some countries. Check your local regulations before transmitting.
For places that are limited to frequencies between 5725MHz to 5866MHz due to regulations, you can use these channels instead, however because the smaller frequency range, only 4 pilots can fly at the same time:
- 5732 (R3)
- 5769 (R4)
- 5828 (B6)
- 5865 (A1)
The selection of these frequencies is based on the assumption that everyone is using a decent VTX and doesn’t bleed into other channels.
For DJI pilots though, it’s possible that all 8 pilots can fly at the same time, though it’s not always reliable, that’s why many races usually only run 4 to 6 DJI pilots at once. However when you have 8 DJI pilots, make sure the pilot who uses D8 plug in last, as this is the public channel that everyone transmits on when they power up.
FPV Channel Management
When flying with a group, the first thing you should do when you arrive is to ask what frequency everyone is using, so you know what channels are free to use. Pick a channel that is as far away as possible from the occupied channels following the above rules to minimize interference.
Also make sure everyone sets the output power to 200mW or lower. If you are flying indoor, this has to be 25mW or lower.
It would also help if one person is using RHCP antennas, and the neighbouring channel pilot uses LHCP. This is because opposite polarization will result in as much as 20dB signal reduction, reducing interference between these pilots. We discussed how to calculate range with dB in this post.
When choosing FPV antennas, pay attention to Axial Ratio. It’s a measurement of how good an antenna is to reject signal from opposite polarized antenna. This property is not only important for flying with others, it’s also useful for rejecting multi-path interference, because a bounced signal has reversed polarity.
We have an article on how to manage channels and VTX when flying as a group, it’s a bit old but some of the advice is still valid.
What’s IMD Frequency
IMD stands for inter-modulation distortion, it basically means that two different frequencies can form a harmonic frequency.
For example, if we have one pilot using F2 (5760MHz), a second pilot using F4 (5800MHz), and a third pilot using F6 (5840MHz), although these frequencies have good enough separation at 40MHz, Pilot 3 might still get interference because of IMD. F2 and F4 together can form a harmonic signal that appears on F6. Although this harmonics signal is weaker, it could be enough to cause interference to the 3rd pilot who is on F6.
You can calculate the IMD frequency with this equation: F1 x 2 – F2 (5760×2-5800=5720)
And you will get a second value by swapping F1 and F2: F2 x 2 – F1 (5800×2-5760=5840)
And 5840 is exactly F6.
Tips and Best Practice for Analog
Setting VTX and VRX to the same channel
You must ensure your 5.8GHz Video Transmitter (VTX) and the video receiver are set to the same channel in order to establish a reliable video link. Some channels from different bands are very close to each other, just enough to getting a picture, but that doesn’t mean you are on the right channel.
This might sound silly, but even the most experienced pilots get this wrong sometimes if they only rely on the “auto search” feature on their goggles. The receiver will find a “close enough” channel, but not always the correct channel. Therefore it’s best if you set the channel manually.
Antenna and Placement
It is good practice to test your FPV setup before installing it in your craft, not only to confirm everything is working, but also because it can be difficult to access the buttons on the VTX once it is in the stack. We strongly advise you however, to structure your build so you CAN access the button and change your VTX settings. However this may not be so crucial if you are using Smart Audio or TRAMP – a way to change VTX settings through Betaflight OSD. Find out more about Smart VTX Control here.
Do not under power VTX
Be aware that VTX have different operating voltages, a small VTX for TinyWhoop for example, will likely take 3V to 5V, where some have a wider operating voltage ranging from 7V to 24V. You might be able to power a 7V VTX with 5V, but performance (range) could be hugely impacted.
Bad Video Troubleshoot
It is uncommon, but you may occasionally experience atmospheric interference, to combat this try using remote channels like E4 and E8, or another combination that offers a wide gap between frequencies. Some interference might be power related, see here for a more detailed article on fixing FPV video issues
DJI and Analog Flying Together
DJI FPV goggles can receive and transmit signal at the same time, therefore it can cause video interference for analog pilots when they stand too close to each other.
Keep DJI pilots from other DJI and Analog pilots at least 3 to 5 meters apart should help.
Move analog and DJI channels as far apart as possible to minimize interference. Typically it works well to put analog on R1 and R2 and DJI on D6 and D7.
DJI Pilots: Don’t Use 50Mbps
When flying with others, it’s best to set your video bitrate to 25Mbps.
50Mbps takes up double the bandwidth, therefore more likely to cause interference for analog pilots. Stick with 25Mbps and you will have more channel selection as well (8 vs 4).
Analog Pilots: Don’t Use R6
When flying with DJI, analog pilot should avoid R6 because it gets interference from DJI’s public channel (D8). The DJI FPV system boots up on the public channel (D8) which is very close to R6, whenever the quad is plugged in.
Lower Power Output
Both DJI and Analogue should be put on 200mW or even 25mW when flying together to minimize interference.
When there are only DJI pilots flying though, you should be able to all fly on 700mW without any problems.
Conflicts with WiFi
5.8GHz WiFi signal uses frequency between 5170MHz – 5835MHz, this could interfere with our FPV signal. You might experience noisy or loss of signal when flying near populated residential and business areas, where there is WiFi signal around.
It’s best to use a channel as far away from this band as possible, for example Raceband 8 (5917MHz) would be a good option.
In fact, your VTX can affect WiFi signal too, and your 1W VTX’s can act as a WiFi jammer :) If your home WiFi drops out while you are working on your quad, it’s likely to be caused by the VTX. If this happens, simply move your channel to a higher frequency.
Not All 5.8Ghz Channels are Legal!
Although there are many channels and power levels available on VTX these days, you should always find out what is allowed in your country before transmitting. Many places restrict 5.8GHz output power up to 25mW unless licensed.
5.8GHz FPV bands like “L”, “U” and “O” fall entirely outside the legal frequency allocation in the US and Europe, making them illegal to use (and possibly many other countries too). That’s why you won’t see VTX with these channels when you buy from legit RC shops.
Not to mention these bands are much lower than the standard 5.8Ghz bands, and your antennas are probably not precisely tuned for those low frequencies. My advice is to stay away from VTX’s that offer these illegal frequencies, honestly a VTX that has 40 or 48 channels is more than enough.
- Jan 2015 – Article created
- Dec 2019 – Updated, added “best practice”
- Mar 2021 – Updated info, created channel diagram, changed URL
- May 2021 – Added some more info about DJI FPV, merged with “Best 5.8GHz Channel” article as a lot of info overlaps