Use GoPro Mobius For FPV Camera and External Power

I have been asked many times the question, “I want to keep my quadcopter as low profile as possible, can I use my Mobius or GoPro camera as the FPV camera for live stream video, through the video transmitter, to my goggle or monitor?”

The answer is certainly yes, both cameras have video out. But I would recommend running a dedicated FPV board camera for your FPV goggle or monitor. In this article I will discuss why a CCD board camera is better for FPV. I will also explain briefly how to setup the GoPro and Mobius for FPV if you insists in doing that, also how to run these cameras with external power source.

Why use a Dedicated Board Camera for FPV?

For me, a few reasons:

  • Better dynamic light range
  • Smaller Latency
  • Extra features: night vision, IR vision, etc

The wider dynamic light range is very important especially flying at places with extreme lighting conditions, e.g. the wood on a sunny day or hills/buildings behind the sun. When the Brightness suddenly changes, some cameras adjust slower than others, and you will lose visibility (“blinded”). I have been using the Sony Super Had CCD board camera, and it seems to do better than the Mobius.

Here is a more detailed explanation on how to choose a good FPV camera.

I made a simple video comparing the performance of dynamic light contrast between the Sony PZ0420 camera and the Mobius.

The latency is also very obviously when you are recording on the Mobius and GoPro, which is not good for FPV. Take a look at this great comparison video.

How to use Mobius or GoPro as a FPV camera?

There is a video out cable you can get for both camera. They go into the USB socket of the camera, and the video end can go straight into a video transmitter just like most FPV board camera.

Many FPV cameras produce interference in the UHF band, and it could affect the range of UHF systems. One possible solution is to keep the cables twisted and wind them round a ferrite ring. Some of these cameras are supplied in a metal casing and it is preferred that this is not removed for this reason.

Mobius Action Camera Video out

For the mobius, you will need to make sure the cable you have is made for video out. That means Pin4 is connected to Pin5. Regular mini USB cables have pin4 floating (not connected to anything) which is only good for battery charging.

Pin4 acts as a hardware switch of video out for the mobius. If you are not sure, try it first. If it doesn’t work for video out, you’ll need to open up the mini USB and bridge pin4 and pin5. (Picture from RC Group)

mobius-video-out-usb-plug-mod-otg-pin4-pin5-shorted

If you are powering the camera with external power, make sure to use the same ground for the video and for the power, from the camera cable, both go to the same ground input on the video transmitter.

Mobius FPV Camera setup video transmitter external power

GoPro Hero3 Camera Video out

It’s much simpler for the GoPro, get the video out cable and it should just work following the connection diagram below.

GoPro-FPV-Camera-setup-video-transmitter-external-power

Power Mobius and GoPro with external power

Not much to explain on this, just follow the previous diagrams. But if you are powering them and using video out at the same time on your quadcopter, make sure you use the same ground connection.

To learn how to edit Mobius footage in GoPro Studio.

Both devices require a 5V power supply. However the GoPro demands more current than the mobius, generally getting a UBEC or voltage regulator that is able to provide 1A current or above should be pretty much enough.

Gopro external power ubec connction

6 thoughts on “Use GoPro Mobius For FPV Camera and External Power

  1. Bello Gbadebo

    Hi oscar
    When using the mobius as an fpv camera, can it record the video in HD on its Sd card and also transmit the video at the same time? video quality reduces after being transmitted so it would be nice to have the video recorded in Hd and still have it being transmitted.

    Reply
  2. Stuart Phelps

    Hi Oscar,

    I’m trying to use a Hardened Power Systems Longshot 3G to power my GoPro 3 Black Edition.

    Plug it into my Polaris RZR 800 “always on” 12V outlet. not having a wiring diagram an hour ago…I get 3.07V DC across the green and white wires. That doesn’t seem right, so I’ll check again.

    My question. When I have the camera powered an in wireless mode, and connected to the wireless remote…and so both are being powered by a 2 USB adapter plug…as soon as I push record on the remote…the camera powers down.

    Do I not have enough voltage coming from the adapter? 3.07V not enough?

    Reply
  3. Will

    Hi Oscar, has anyone tried using a Sony action cam (as100 or as200) for both FPV / Video. I’m wondering if the Sony CCD may be superior.

    Reply
  4. Paul

    Hi Oscar
    Can you explain in a little more detail what you mean when you say
    ‘If you are powering the camera with external power, make sure to use the same ground for the video and for the power, from the camera cable, both go to the same ground input on the video transmitter.

    Mobius FPV Camera setup video transmitter external power’

    I’ve soldered power cables to the main PCB of an F450 clone, this then goes through a 5v ubec to power the möbius. The VTx has also power cables soldered to the main PCB but I’ve solders them onto where one of the ESC’s are solders to the same PCB.

    My möbius did work, however I subsequently removed some Velcro tape that was obscuring the view of the circuit board on the VTx and discovered a burnt electrical component, now I have a limited range of about 100m. I initially had plugged the video out and ground upside down in the VTx, so this may have caused my issue. Also, I bought it 2nd hand, so it is possible the item was damaged previously.

    I’m only using the möbius as FPV to enable me to see what I’m recording through said möbius.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      no i don’t think your problem is related to what i have described. What i said was AKA “common ground”, which should help/fix your FPV live video issue if you are powering camera/VTX from different power source.
      I think your VTX might be damaged before you bought it.

      Reply

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