By making Caddx Vista “naked”, you can shave almost 10 grams off your DJI FPV setup which is a huge flight performance boost to any micro FPV drone. I will talk about what a naked Vista is and the things to be aware of.
What’s a “Naked Vista”?
A naked Vista is basically the Caddx Vista Air Unit with the heatsink removed to make it lighter. The weight difference is actually quite significant as the heatsink takes up half of the original weight (9g vs 18.8g).
It’s useful for micro quads like 2″ and 3″, because every gram can make a noticeably difference to performance. And these small FPV drones are normally short range flyers anyway, so lower power levels are enough.
The Vista is not designed to run without heatsink, without the heatsink the processor will have a shorter lifespan due to overheat, especially if you leave it powered on on the ground for too long.
I don’t really recommend performing this hack, unless if you don’t mind damaging your Vista, and want the lightest possible DJI FPV setup. You will hear people say “oh I have 5 quads running naked Vista for over 6 months now and they are all fine”, and then you will have other people say “mine died within a week”. So don’t just listen to people, understand the risk and decide for yourself.
Or as a trade off, you can keep the heatsink on the processor side of the PCB, I think this might be a safer approach. The processor is the big chip that is labelled P1 on it.
Mine actually got so hot when I was working on it on the bench, it started putting out smoke only 3 minutes after being powered on (somehow it survived and still works). Make sure there’s good airflow to the air unit either when you are flying, or working on a bench. I think most people use 25mW or 200mW power levels only, higher power levels will generate more heat.
Note that by removing the heatsink, the boards also becomes more exposed to physical damaged.
Lightest DJI FPV Setup
The lightest DJi FPV system compatible camera is the Caddx Nebula Nano, at only 4.5g. However the image quality is not great and it only works in 16:9 mode, so you might want to upgrade to the Caddx Nebula Pro which is as good as the original DJI camera, and it’s 6.1g which isn’t too bad.
With Nebula Nano and the Air antenna (with four screws and standoffs between the boards), makes the total weight of my naked Vista setup only 15.5g. The weight is similar to an analog FPV setup :)
Before Making Naked Vista
- Update firmware first
- Clean blue glue off the PCB
- Avoid high power setting
- When flying with naked Vista, take off as soon as you power on, don’t let it sit on ground for too long or it will overheat
How to Strip Down Vista
Here’s a useful video demonstrating how to remove the heatsink and the blue thermal grease. You might also need some hardware for mounting, the stack holes are for M1.5 (1.5mm diameter thread) screws and nuts.