5.8Ghz frequency band is getting more and more popular for FPV gear. One of the reasons is because the antennas can be made very small, while lower frequency devices require larger antennas, see here for the other reasons. I have mainly been using Boscam 600mW (TS832) and ImmersionRC 600mW video transmitters, I would like to share my review and some comparison of these two popular VTX.
Difference and Comparison
The two modules are specified at the same power (600mW), however we have heard they perform quite differently. Also the ImmersionRC module operates at a different set of frequency bands (8 channels) than what Boscam usually does, so you need to be careful when buying a matching video receiver.
ImmersionRC Frequencies: 5740, 5760, 5780, 5800, 5820, 5840, 5860
The Boscam 600mW module has four frequencies, each has 8 channels, making it a total of 32 channels available. That’s great because it works on almost all the video receivers on the market.
Frequency range: FR1 5865,5845,5825,5805,5785,5765,5745,5725 FR2 5733,5752,5771,5790,5809,5828,5847,5866 FR3 5707,5685,5665,5645,5885,5905,5925,5945 FR4 5740,5760,5780,5800,5820,5840,5860,5880
Some users choose the ImmersionRC 600mW over the Boscam one, probably because the ImmersionRC transmitter frequency band is compatible with stock video receiver in the Fatshark goggles (since they are the same company).
In terms of range, I didn’t test them any further than 1Km as I don’t normally fly that far out. I was using the Fatshark SpiroNET antenna, and I could get around 800m LoS out of the Boscam video transmitter (nearly lost signal). With the same antenna, I could do 1Km+ with the ImmersionRC one with perfect image, which suggests there is still room for longer range. I think the antenna plays a big part when it comes to range, maybe I could go a lot further with the Boscam module with a more suitable antenna.
The ImmersionRC 600mW also has the advantage of being able to be driven by a wider range of power supply voltage, which can be between 7V and 25V. The Boscam ones only accept input voltage within 7.4 – 16V.
Output Power VS Frequency Channel
Boscam 600mW TS832
There is a quite interesting argument on this forum about the true output power of these video transmitters.
People on this thread basically did some measurements on both transmitters, and discovered the Boscam 600mW is overstated on their output power, while the ImmersionRC 600mW can output more power than specified. Here is the maximum output power they could get from each transmitter.
ImmersionRC 600mW 764 mW
Boscam TS832 247 mW
It’s surprising to see the Boscam 600mW only meets less than a half of what’s specified.
However there are people argued that the claimed “600mW” might mean power consumption, but not output power. If you measure the current going through it you should get ≈40mA at 15V. For a video transmitter such a figure is very misleading and not really standard. Output power is what should be be marked unless otherwise clarified in the specs.
Tests also carried out to find out which channel on the Boscam TS832 output the most power, which could help maximizing the range. But of course you need a tuned antenna to see the benefit.
As for the ImmersionRC 600mw, it appears that all 7 channels are above what is specified. And first 3 channels are the best (5740, 5760, 5780). Data is from this post.
The 600mW transmiiter in theory is more powerful than enough for multirotors, since it’s twice the range of a 200mw. Some users claim they can reach as far as 7Km on helical antenna, and at least 2Km on circular polarized antenna (such as Skew Planer Wheel) flying line of sight. If you are getting short range, first thing to look at would be your antenna.
ImmersionRC has their own circular polarized antenna called Fatshark SpiroNET antenna, the old version are a clover leaf (tx) and skew planar (rx), the new version are two identical skew planar (four leaf) for both receiver and transmitter, which means you can swap them around. I have heard good reviews on these antenna coupled with the transmiiters.
Lastly ImmersionRC also has their own receivers, which has the NexWave feature. This is found in the Fat Shark Attitude SD goggles and their stand alone receiver products, and it has been claimed to help extend the range of their own vTX.
Why Boscam Transmitter Performs Under Power?
What’s more interesting is, while many people are criticizing Boscam for lying about the performance of their products, someone who seemed to represent the company Boscam, stepped up and defended the name of their company, by saying the TS832 is not made by their company, but by Skyzone. From what I understand it, that’s because the CEO of Skyzone was still the CEO of Boscam at the time the device was released to the market, so it continues to use Boscam as its brand, and Boscam does not have quality control over this product. However we cannot verify the reliability of this information.
Despite of this slightly less successful vTX, Boscam did come up with some great products before, like the TS353, which was once one of the most recommended video transmitters for 5.8Ghz. I hope they can continue to release great products in the future.
Update (05/05/2015) – I recently received a new Boscam TS832, comparing the performance with my other two ImmersionRC 600mW VTX, I have to say the range is just as good if not any better. However I don’t have the equipment to measure the output power to confirm this with numbers.
I know this post is old and I have not taken the time to read every comment on the subject, but I will like to post my opinion… Any transmitter will be affected by the performance of the antenna, antennas need to be matched to frequency of transmission in order the send the signal at full power, if the antenna is not matched for the frequency the transmitted signal will loose power and the transmitter itself will generate heat (the more power is loss because mismatched antenna the more heat the electronics generate)
hey is this transmitter and receiver compatible with raspberry pi 3 B module?
i want to make a surveillance robot which is able to send live video streaming and is controllable
I saw your update: ” I recently received a new Boscam TS832, comparing the performance with my other two ImmersionRC 600mW VTX, I have to say the range is just as good if not any better.”
So you’re writing about newer revision? What version was the one being better than ImmersionRC?
Well I got the unit in May 2015, is yours produced the same period? I am not sure if they have made a new revision since.
No, no I actually didn’t got an yet – I’m just doing my research on what to buy, and I love your site as a very valuable source of drone related knowledge. And from this article I understood that TS832 was worse than ImmersionRC, but later on there was an update that you’ve received a new Boscam TS832 and it performed better. I assumed that the second one was a different revision, hence the question. Or is it the case of so uneven quality?
there so many more smaller and lighter VTX nowadays than TS832 and the immersionrc one… if you haven’t got it yet, I suggest to look else where :D
To get a list of more VTX, take a look here, filter the page down by products: VTX
First thank you for all the relevant information you have giving me over the past year helping me to understand this fantastic hobby. Question: Fried my 600mW transmitter. Don’t know why, but it failed when adding an extention wire. Can a let’s say a 200mW transmitter connect to my 600mW receiver or is 600mW Tx only compatible to 600mW Rx? The reason why I ask is that I rather go low on mW in the future. I thought to begin with, that you should go as high in mW as possible.
it doesn’t matter :) as long as your VTX and VRX have matching frequency channels. :)
Idea: Are you absolutely sure that you used the correct extension wire? IF your transmitter uses RP-SMA without a pin, and you screwed to it the plug also without the pin, this would leave your TX without way of dissipating power (trough radiation) and them all goes to heat (frying stuff) basically like powering it on without the antenna.
I have a question on my TS832 Transmitter:
It came with no instructions and for the life of me I can’t understand how to use the two buttons.
• I would expect to see a single digit read out for Channel (1, 2, 3 or 4) but I see double digits.
• I would also expect to see single digit read out Frequency but I see double digits.
So, just for an example only – what would the Frequency and channel digits show if I wanted to select:
FR1(A) & Channel 1(5865)
This way, I might be able to understand the two digit system.
Thanks in advance!
first digit is band, 2nd digit is channel… so if your example, should be 11?
Hi Oscar, very interesting your article… i know that is leaved the version 1.5 of ts832, in varius forum it has best performance of previous version and power output is too high … have you notice of that? sorry but my english is not good… Angelo from Itally
The unit i had was purchased back in early 2014… so they might have made design changes to the unit i am not sure :)
I wonder if the TX TS832 is a boscam product or SkyZone
I can not find in boscam online store
Hi Oscar, i would like to know if it’s possible to fly with the Boscam TS832 powered only with 7,4V, will you get anough power or you need at leats 12V?
the unit’s input voltage is rated 7V to 16V, so 7.4 should be okay.
Obviously enough, but it is not sufficient, it is recommended to 12V so battery 3cell,,
the truth is always in the middle
You say you tested both the Boscam and IRC transmitters with the “SAME” antenna.
Unless you used a SMA / RP-SMA adapter then there is no way you can use the same antenna.
I realise that now (June 2015) you can buy Spironet antennas with both SMA and RP-SMA fittings.
I don’t know when this article was written but a few years ago the Spironets only came with SMA which does NOT fit boscam equipment. I have the TS832 and using the cloud spirit antenna (Boscam version of the Spironet) I have so far gone 4km.
If you only got 800m before losing signal there is either a fault or you are using SMA antennas on a transmitter that needs an RP-SMA. Can you please confirm exactly how you did this test… did you use adapters or an RP-SMA Spironet perhaps?
i used extension lead on both VTX.
one is SMA to RP-SMA.
I had the Boscam flying at 100 ft up and 1 3/4 km out, good video quality reception until 1 3/4km started first signs of static turnaround head back home.
I have this Boscam video transmitter and i can tell you the maximum output power you provided is not correct on mine i have the channel 34 with approximately 500mW…
look at when the post was published. A lot of things can happen in such a long time. And it wasn’t just me but a lot of people had the same findings. check out that forum.
check out the antennas! If I understand it the right way – you may have put it the wrong way aroung:
screw planar (4 blade) antenna should be on receiver.
(3 blade) to be on transmitter.
Maybe that is part of the unsatisfying result !?
I am using the spironet antenna, both TX/RX antenna are the same, 4 blades.
I would like to see anyone who can prove that Skyzones work correctly with the IMRC 5.8ghz, 600mw vtx..
still see no evidence or quick fix to get to be compatible..(if true). Perhaps a rep from any of the 2 brands can state something… ?
I measured the same results on Boscam and immersionRC Tx, my ImmersionRC 600mW Tx have over 1000mW on channel 1. But immersionRC only work best with Fatshark Googles Rx, In my Flight Test with a Flysight Black Pearl diversity Monitor i have more range with the lower powered Boscam TS832 because this Tx fits better the Black Pearl Rx.
Hi. Which Rx do you use in your flight test Tx boscam vs Tx ImmersionRC. Regards, Armin
it’s RC305 with Boscam TX, and ImmersionRC UNO V2 for ImmersionRC TX
What receiver setup are you using with the immersionrc 600? I an using fatshark Goggles and integrated receiver module, but im gearing 70m distance, Then the vid gets choppy..
I recently bought a second hand “combo” consisting of a Skyzone goggle and an Immersion RC 600mW transmitter. I’ve been trying different things, like powering the whole VTX / camera setup by itself, tweaking settings in the camera’s menu but the image quality leaves a lot to be desired.
Then I happened upon this topic fpvlab.com/forums/showthread.php?23530-Skyzone-googles-Problem-with-ImmersionRC-600mW-transmitters which says they aren’t compatible and that’s why I’m getting the subpar quality.
Now, while I wait for a package consisting of a Skyzone VTX, a Boscam VTX as well as a Skyzone DVR LCD with which I’ll be able to do a ton more tests, I’m asking, do you think it is true? Are they (Skyzone vs ImmersionRC) incompatible? The frequencies do match indeed, but I think there’s something else as the image quality continues to disappoint me.
Does the skyzone goggle comes with a build in receiver?
You say you are getting a picture, so it must be compatible. You are just not getting the best performance it offers. I was told that you need to get immersionRC/Fatshark for both VTX and VRX, to achieve the best range/quality.
It’s also best to be consistent with what brand of equipment you use, mixing them sometimes gives unexpected/disappointing results.
I do trust all of the ideas you’ve presentesd for your post.
They are really convincing and will certainly work.
Nonetheless, the posts are too quick for novices.
May you please prolong them a bit from next time?
Thanks for the post.