I’d like to re-introduce something really old, not many people know about but can be very useful and fun – the Hobbyking 3-channel video switcher. I have plans using it on an RC airplane so I bought one to see how it works.
Where to Buy?
How Does It Work?
There are three camera inputs you connect your camera signals to. There is one video output to connect to VTX, or a display. By hooking up your radio receiver to the video switcher, you can toggle through the 3 video feeds using a 3-position switch on your transmitter.
Here I am testing it with 3 cameras.
- Input power: 5V
- Takes up to 3 camera inputs
- Controlled by PWM signal
- Dimensions: 30x18x6mm
- Weight: 4g
Wiring and Notes
Here is the example connection diagram from the manual:
The Hobbyking 3-channel video switcher is powered from the radio receiver’s 5V connection. Note that the power is not shared between the receiver and cameras.
The power for the cameras are all inter-connected, along with video-out power as well. Therefore you can power the cameras through one of the camera power inputs, or video-out power.
You can use any voltage required for the cameras, the switcher won’t care. Make sure the cameras can take the supplied voltage, or you might need a voltage regulator.
The video switcher takes PWM signal, works perfectly on a 3-position switch.
The video feed switching takes about 0.5 to 1 second to happen.
If you don’t connect all 3 cameras, it will still toggle through all 3 inputs with or without signal.
You can mount multiple FPV cameras on your wing/plane – for example, with one facing forward, one facing the the tail and one facing the wing. With a flip of a switch, you can enjoy different views.
You can mount two FPV cameras on a multirotor, one facing forward and the other facing backward, so you can switch between flying forward and backward whenever you want :)
If you have a GoPro or Runcam recording HD footage, you can connect the AV feed to the video switcher, so you can check what they are recording whenever you want.
I am sure there are many other great uses, let me know in the comment.