Review: Holybro Atlatl HV VTX

I have been using the Atlatl HV VTX for months on the Holybro Kopis 1 racing drone with good result. In this review we will take an in-depth look at this video transmitter and find out if this VTX is for you.

Purchase: http://bit.ly/2CpaHUW

What’s special about the Holybro Atlatl HV VTX?

  • VTX Control using Tramp Telemetry
  • High voltage input (supports up to 42V, 10S!)
  • More output power options than most VTX’s out there
  • Pit-mode
  • It can be stacked on top of the FC, makes VTX mounting easier and cleaner

Further Reading:

The Holybro Atlatl HV VTX includes the following accessories:

  • MMCX to SMA pigtail (6cm long)
  • Silicone cable
  • SMA connector mounting rings and nut
  • Heatsink

Excellent choice of accessories by Holybro. The heaksink is probably an overkill for most people because the VTX normally gets cool down by airflow during flight, but I imagine it would be useful for people using 600mW.

Spec & Comparison to the Matek HV VTX

I recently reviewed the Matek HV VTX too and since the features are very similar here is a specification comparison between the two products.

  Holybro Atlatl HV Matek HV
Price $34 $30
Input Voltage 7V – 42V 7V – 27V
Channels 40 40
Output Power (mW) 25, 100, 200, 400, 600 25, 200, 500
VTX Control Yes Yes
LED Display No Yes
Push Button Tedious to use Easy to use
Built-in Mic Yes, but doesn’t work No
BEC No 5V, 1A
Antenna Connector MMCX MMCX
Pit-Mode Yes (0.5mW) No
Connection JST Connector Solder Pads
Stackable? Yes Yes
Dimension 35mm x 35mm x 7mm 18mm x 36mm x 7mm
Weight (w/ SMA pigtail) 10.7g 10.5g

Closer Look at the Atlatl VTX

On the top of the VTX, you can see there is a status LED, External Microphone, connector, and a push button for changing channels.

Connector

There are only four pins in the connector: B+ (input voltage), G (ground), VI (video input), and T (Tramp Telemetry).

I know there are people who prefer JST connector over direct soldering on VTX’s, the Atlatl also comes with wire while the Matek HV doesn’t.

Dimension and Mounting

The Atlatl is designed to be stacked on top of the FC. Here is how it would look like when mounted on top of the Kakute F4 V2 FC and TekkoS 4in1 ESC combo.

Not designed to use with push button?

Holybro could have made the button easier to use.

I know the Atlatl is intended to be configured with VTX Control (Tramp telemetry), and the button on the VTX is only meant to be a fallback method for changing channels in case VTX Control doesn’t work.

The push button on the Atlatl is really not user-friendly. Not only it’s hard to press, pressing the button once takes you to the next channel and you cannot select band separately, the VTX will just simply step through all 40 Channels.

You cannot change power using the button, you will have to use VTX control via Betaflight OSD or Taranis Lua script to make full use of the Atlatl.

No display

The inconvenient push button is partly due to the fact that there is no LED display on the VTX. In my opinion this is one of the biggest downsides of the Atlatl, you have no way of knowing what power and channel you are on unless you have access to VTX telemetry.

Only use 3 screws?

It’s probably not a big deal, but I found only 3 of the 4 screws can be fitted, because the remaining one obstructs the SMA pigtail, and the MMCX connector just wouldn’t go in unless I remove it.

Conclusion – is the Atlatl HV VTX for you?

The Atlatl VTX has been a solid video transmitter for me, however it has hardware and software requirement that limit its user base.

It works perfectly fine when paired with the latest F3 and F4 flight controllers that support VTX Control (SmartAudio or Tramp Telemetry), such as the Kakute F4 FC. You can configure the VTX through Betaflight OSD, or using your Taranis LUA script.

However if you don’t have access to Betaflight OSD, and you are using another transmitter brand such as Spektrum, the Atlatl VTX would be pretty useless.

I have given my suggestion to Holybro, hopefully they will make an even better VTX in the future.

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