The Lightest DJI FPV Setup with Naked Vista (Only 15.5g)

by Oscar
Published: Last Updated on

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).

naked vista weight difference saving

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.

naked vista pcb boards connection ribbon cable

Disclaimer

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.

naked vista

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.

As for antenna, you could use a dipole which is the lightest, but to get decent range, a CP antenna is preferred. The lightest one I can find is the BetaFPV Air LHCP.

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 :)

lightest naked vista setup antenna camera

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.

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6 comments

Ozan Kilic 30th May 2021 - 7:48 am

Saved parts when doing the naked, can be mounted again? I mean, I have heating issues and that causes the freezing the image when fly. I might consider that to re-case it, I wonder if the blue goo on the heatsinks can be effective as its before if I put it back.

Reply
Oscar 30th May 2021 - 10:37 am

Yes, but you probably want to apply new thermal paste again (the blue goo).

Reply
Niklas 17th May 2021 - 12:27 pm

And how high is the naked variant?

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Niklas 16th May 2021 - 7:56 pm

Hello Oscar!
How high is the naked variant? Do you use the original spacers? Have seen on the internet some use 3D printed.

Greetings!

Reply
Oscar 16th May 2021 - 8:28 pm

Those are 4mm tall standoffs, not the original spacer. Yea you can totally 3D print them.

Reply
Christopher Plancich 21st April 2021 - 6:27 am

I saw someone on RotorBuilds.com do this naked vista hack to his Ummagawd 2-Fiddy sub250 5″ build.
I do believe the vista ended up getting nuked, although OP said it was by his error. But I do honestly think that the Caddix Vista would of had a much longer lifespan if it wasn’t de-cased.

I initially thought of taking of the case off my Caddix Vista for my Catalyst Machineworks Shocker UL. I decided against, primarily because the benefits do not out weight the cost.

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