The FuriousFPV Smart Power Cable is basically a voltage regulator that takes any 3S, 4S, 5S or 6S LiPo, and convert it to 8V. It’s primarily designed for powering Fatshark goggles, but of course it can power just about anything that requires 2S LiPo input, such as your Taranis radio.
Where to Buy?
The cable I am reviewing is the v1.2.
A Close Look at the FuriousFPV Smart Cable
In the box, we have the Smart Cable, and a manual, that’s it. The silicone cable is about 1.2m long.
The input is an XT60 connector, next to it is a push button, and a small OLED screen that shows battery voltage and current, temperature, the time it’s been on etc.
It has two connectors at the other end of the cable: a barrel connector for powering the goggles (7cm long) , and a 2S balance connector for powering the cooling fan (12cm long, no middle wire). There is an extra push button near the connectors for easy access.
You can power your goggles with a battery that you can put inside your pocket, taking a lot of pressure off your head!
Should You Buy the FuriousFPV Smart Cable?
I really like the idea that you can power your goggles and radio transmitter with any 3S, 4S, 5S or 6S LiPo you normally use for your quad. Personally, I would still use my 2S battery as the primary power source for the goggles, but this cable would make a good backup system when my goggles battery or TX battery runs out. It might save you from a bad day, who knows!
Some might consider adding a voltage regulator between the device (e.g. your FPV goggles) and battery an extra failing point. It’s true, but these things are generally quite robust given the little current required.
It’s certainly not cheap for what it is, you can get a step down voltage regulator for under $5. But if that’s what you want, a cheap DIY voltage regulator, that’s fine! Just remember the Smart Cable is a nicely made device with a menu that you can change user settings.
The menu is quite simple to use. Despite having effectively only 1 button for navigating the options, the whole experience still feels user friendly. You don’t need to access the menu that often really… once you set it up the first time, you are good to go! All you do with the button after that is just turning it on and off mostly…
How Does It Work?
Here are the most important settings.
You can set low voltage alarm based on cell voltage (2.5V – 3.6V), so no need to change it when using different cell batteries (3S-6S).
You can set a current limit to the output, 0.6A – 2.0A, it beeps when exceeding current limit.
Finally you can set a timer alarm as well, for 30min, 60min, 90min, 120min and None. When the time is up, the cable beeps to warn you. But here is what gets dangerous – for whatever reasons you don’t press the button to respond within a minute, it will just shut down! It’s supposed to be a safety feature designed to save your battery (aka Auto Power Off), but I really don’t think it’s that good of an idea.
I say that because I actually had an accident because of it. I had it set to 30min and I was flying my wing. By the end of the battery the Smart Cable started beeping to notify me that 30 minutes is up. I didn’t want to take my hands off the sticks because it was quite windy, and I was coming back to land anyway. But before I landed, it just turned off the power to my goggles… [insert image of a broken wing]
My advice is setting the Alarm timer to None. I rather ruin the battery than losing control mid air! I know you can just press the button to avoid it, but sometimes you just can’t.
Here is the manual that comes with the FuriousFPV Smart Cable:
Voltage and Current Measurements
Here are the voltage and current measurements from the FuriousFPV Smart Cable against my multimeter:
|Output Voltage (No Load)||8.11V||8V (according to Spec)|
|Input Voltage||14.77V||14.6V (from display)|
As you can see, current reading seems to be off by quite a large margin, voltage reading is a bit off too, but within acceptable range I would say. It’s not a deal breaker since we mostly rely on voltage than current reading to decide when to replace the battery. Current reading mostly only affect accuracy of the current limit feature.
Note that when the smart cable is switched off, it still draws a tiny amount of current – about 1.3mA (@15V). But it’s so little, it’s negligible – it will take around 40 days to fully discharge a 4S 1300mAh LiPo battery. But still, make sure you unplug the battery when you are not using it.