The Nano Cricket 5.8Ghz VTX by ReadyMadeRC is probably the smallest video transmitter I’ve seen that is capable of 200mW output power. Let’s take a close look at its performance in this review.
If you are new to VTX don’t forget to check out our VTX buyer’s guide.
Where to Buy
The Nano Cricket is available at ReadyMadeRC: http://bit.ly/2rbeIZ8
Nano Cricket VTX Features
The Nano Cricket VTX is even smaller than a micro FPV camera, or the OBVTX !
The spec is similar to the OBVTX created by AKK and me: powered by 5V, and has 5V output to the camera, supports SmartAudio for VTX Control, MMCX antenna connector, selectable 25mW and 200mW power, and solder pads for connection.
However, I do think the Nano Cricket’s LED has more user-friendly interface, which I will explain later how it works.
The only disadvantages are the lack of built-in microphone, and you can’t mount it on the back of a micro FPV camera with screws.
- Channels: 5.8GHz 37 Channel (total 5 bands, but 3 channels have been removed to stay legal)
- Output Power: Selectable Pit mode, 25mW and 200mW
- Input Voltage: 5V DC
- VTX Current Consumption: up to 260mA (excluding 5V output)
- Output Voltage for Camera: 5V, up to 500mA
- MMCX Connector
- Dimensions: 15.2 x 14.3 x 3mm (20 x 14.3 x 3mm with MMCX)
- Weight: 1.4g (3.4g including cables)
I like the accessories that it comes with:
- 5cm MMCX to SMA Female adapter
- 5cm MMCX Dipole Antenna
- Pre Soldered Wire Harness, JST for input power, male servo connector to camera
The antenna and adapter both have right angle MMCX connector, which makes it a lot easier to use in a tight build.
There are wires pre-soldered on the VTX, protected by what seems to be liquid electrical tape.
If you wish to use your own wires, you can find the solder pads on the other side of the VTX.
DO NOT FORGET this VTX only takes 5V! Don’t don’t power it up without attaching an antenna. Heat builds up quickly in a tiny VTX like this.
Interested in the step down power adapter I used below?
How Easy Is It To Use?
Due to the limited space, the Nano Cricket has only 8 tiny LED’s to display all three things at the same time: power, channels and band. They did a good job making it easy to understand, not complicated at all as I expected.
There is only 1 button, for changing power, band and channel:
- Quick press to change channel
- 1.5 seconds press to change band
- 3 seconds press to change power
Changing bands and power are very quick and easy, but changing channel requires a bit mroe patience. Out of the 8 LED’s, only 1 is used to display channel: it’s on when you are on Channel 1 and off for Ch2 – Ch8.
You basically have to cycle through the whole band until you are back on CH1, then count your way up to the channel you want. But that’s not a problem if you are using Smart Audio.
The Nano Cricket saves the last selected power level and channel, it doesn’t default back to pit mode when you power it up.
Note that there are three missing channels because they are on the outside edge of the 5.8G band (5650MHz – 5925MHz). These channels are removed in order to stay legal. You can’t unlock these channel either like you can with some other VTX. It’s not a big deal, only 3 channels. It’s best to follow the rules :)
They recommend the Strix Hoot-R antenna for the Nano Cricket, and they also send me one to test. Will report back once I’ve tried it. The antenna stem is a flexible and skinny, not stiff at all. The plastic housing seems sturdy and should take some beating.
Output Power Testing
So the Spec and build quality are all very good, how accurate is the output power?
I tested the VTX with the ImmersionRC RF power meter V2 using the supplied MMCX pigtail. Every measurement was taken 10 seconds after the VTX was powered on, and the VTX was allowed enough time to cool down before the next measurement.
I tested Raceband only.
Pitmode was very good, measured output power was below 0.5mW.
The results for 25mW is also pretty good for the first 3-4 channels, the power seems to drop noticeably as we go up in frequency. For 25mW power, it’s better to be lower than higher. If you are in a race that requires 25mW, you’ll get disqualified if you’re outputting too much power.
The same happens in 200mW, but it’s not as bad. Apart from channel 7 and 8, the rest of the band are all slightly above 200mW.
I’d say the result is totally acceptable.
- One of the smallest and lightest 200mW VTX’s
- Solder pads for connection
- Easy to understand interface
- Decent build quality
- Comes with MMCX adapter as well as an antenna
- Only takes 5V – requires an FC with beefy 5V BEC
- No mic or audio input
- It can get hot on 200mW very quickly without adequate cooling due to the compact form factor