The Best Way to Power FPV Goggles

by Oscar
Published: Last Updated on

There are many ways to power FPV Goggles for longer battery life. In this article I will show you the different ways and batteries and explain the pro’s and con’s.

The power options described in this tutorial should be suitable for many FPV Goggles out there, including Fatshark, Eachine, Aomway and Skyzone. As long as they take 2S voltage, and use a 5.5mm 2.1mm barrel connector.

Further Reading: How to choose FPV Goggles

Battery life can be estimated by dividing the capacity by the current draw of your FPV Goggles.  For example, the Fatshark Dominator V2 using True-D diversity module consumes around 0.5A, an 2S 1000mAh battery will roughly last 2 hours.

Dedicated 2S LiPo battery

Many FPV Goggles commonly provides 2S LiPo batteries of capacity between 1000mAh to 1800mAh. For example, the Dominator V3 comes with a 2S 1800mAh battery, which should last about 3 and a half hours approximately (with a diversity receiver module).

If you are looking for longer battery life, you can get batteries with larger capacity such as the Tattu 2S 2500mAh. This battery is designed specifically for FPV goggles and comes with a 5.5mm barrel connector.

So far this is my favorite option, I get nearly 5 hours out of it!

Review | Buy: BanggoodAmazonGetFPV

This 2000mAh 2S from Banggood is a really cheap option. It’s actually designed for the Taranis QX7 TX and doesn’t have a barrel connector, but you can still use it for your FPV goggles by making a battery adapter.

Buy: Banggood

18650 Li-Ion Batteries

From my 18650 batteries test, I had good result from Panasonic NCR18650B 3400mAh. These give me a total of 4 hours and 20 minutes battery life on my goggles.

Buy: Amazon

The idea is to connect two of these cells in series to make a 2S pack. 18650 batteries are becoming a popular option to power FPV Goggles due to its high capacity per gram and low cost.

However there are some downsides to 18650 batteries…

First of all, you are NOT getting the advertised capacity. You can’t charge and discharge 18650 batteries to its maximum and minimum voltages (well, you are not recommended to). So you will probably be only using 2/3 of its capacity realistically. For example, for a 3400mAh cell, the effective capacity might only be about 2200mAh.

Another annoying thing is the low voltage alarms will start beeping early in the second half of the battery. Most FPV goggles are designed to be used with LiPo and some of them have a voltage alarm at about 3.6V to avoid over-discharging. However the 18650 batteries can be safely discharged to much lower voltage, i.e. 3.1V.

Some other minor negatives with 18650 batteries:

  • They take longer to charge because you can only charge them with 0.5C or lower
  • They require a dedicated charger, or a good LiPo charger that supports Li-Ion batteries

That’s why I still prefer using my 2S 2500mAh LiPo…

Fatshark 18650 Cell Case

If you are looking for a ready-made case for your 18650 cells, Fatshark made a really handy case for that. It comes with a 4-level battery voltage indicator, and is shaped to fit perfectly in the Fatshark Goggles head strap.

Buy: Banggood | GetFPV | Amazon

However it’s pretty bulky and it’s not meant to be used for charging the cells. The balance lead is missing a middle wire so it cannot be used for balance charging. It’s recommended to take the cells out, and use a dedicated 18650 battery charger to charge them.

DIY Case

Using a 2-cell 18650 battery holder, and some connectors of your choice, you can easily make your own an case. It’s cheaper, more flexible and functional.

The 2S balance lead allows you to balance charge the battery. The voltage indicator is optional, it will allow you to easily check the battery voltage and help prevent over-discharging.

Parts List:

Power FPV Goggles using 18650 batteries and DIY case

Power FPV Goggles using 18650 batteries and DIY case

To overcome the “early voltage alarm beeping” problem caused by the wider working voltage in 18650 cells, some people use a step up voltage regulator to increase the output voltage to 9V.

It’s a clever workaround, but it’s not perfect. The downside is that you can no longer charge your battery with the discharge lead anymore, so we don’t really recommend doing it.

Voltage regulator

You can get a step down voltage regulator to convert higher voltages down to your Goggle’s voltage input level. This is extremely flexible as you will be able to use larger packs such as 3S, 4S… even 6S as long as your regulator supports it.

I might do a tutorial in the future.

Leave a Comment

By using this form, you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. Note that all comments are held for moderation before appearing.

22 comments

Mart 22nd October 2021 - 10:19 pm

could you use the Tattu 2S 2500mAh as an external battery for the flysight black pearl monitor?

Reply
Chris S 26th September 2020 - 11:07 pm

Gaoneng (GNB) makes a 3000mah 2s lipo for googles, too. It has a voltage indicator built-in, and it includes an XT60 connector to make it charger-friendly.

Reply
Troy 20th December 2019 - 8:44 pm

Oscar, Looking at the Tattu 2S 2500mAh looks like the way to go. So far, nobody comes right out to say what type of 18650 is needed for the battery case, plus I really don’t need to get into another battery ecosystem. Looking at one of the links for this Tattu states a 3.5mm plug !!??. OK, how do I charge this battery? What is the required barrel connector? Both O.D. and I.D. 5.5mm plugs can have 2.5mm or 2.1mm center pin which nobody will specify.
Thanks

Reply
Oscar 21st December 2019 - 5:10 am

If you click the link to my review of the Tattu 2S 2500mah, you will find info on how I charge it (using a cheap adapter): https://oscarliang.com/tattu-2s-2500mah-lipo-battery/

The battery I linked has the right sized barrel connector for the FPV goggles. I wouldn’t worry about it maybe a mistaken description.

Reply
Bzou 25th September 2019 - 7:00 am

I’ve just tried it and it worked!
I can now have infinite power while training in the simulator without having to wait for a charge!
Pretty awesome!

Reply
Bzou 25th September 2019 - 6:34 am

hey Oscar, great article! I was wondering if I could powerup my Skyzone using a Power Adapter I use to power a touchscreen display. It outputs DC 12v 3000mA.
Then I could plug it straight into the wall and don’t worry about charging batteries when training in the simulator.

Do you know anyone who’s tried that? I’m not sure if there is anything else I need to be mindful of.
Thanks

Reply
Oscar 26th September 2019 - 3:27 pm

Yea should work.

Reply
Phantom 1 29th August 2019 - 6:57 pm

Why can you only charge at .5 and lower? Most 18650 can be charged at 1 amp on modern chargers.

Reply
Oscar 30th August 2019 - 12:09 am

Bad for battery life. On the other hand LiPo is fine with charging at 1C.

Reply
Dan LYTTLETON 5th February 2019 - 11:34 pm

Hi Oscar, I read someone recommend getting a
regular 10000mah Lion USB charging pack and using a USB to 12v/9v barrel adapter like this one: amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01ID90K4A

I was planning to do this with my aomway commanders when they arrive, as it seems easier to be able to just charge up the USB pack and plug it in and have it in my back pocket. Do you know if this will work OK and is it an option you’d recommend at all? Thanks!!!

Reply
Oscar 10th February 2019 - 9:24 pm

Kind of Unnecessary IMO.
In terms of Watt-hour, that’s 10*3.7=37wh. Taking into account power loss due to voltage step-up conversion, assume you get 90% of that which is 33.3WH.
A 2-cell 3400mAh 18650 gives you 25.16Wh.
So that’s like only around 30% increase in battery life…

Reply
duncan 13th December 2018 - 5:35 am

I was wondering why i get the voltage beeps on 50% thanks Oscar!!

Reply
fate 11th April 2018 - 6:01 pm

Hi Oscar, does this Tattu 2500 have normal balance lead so I could charge it on my normal charger with a DC to XT60 adapter?

Reply
Oscar 17th April 2018 - 8:43 pm

yes it has balance lead.

Reply
pizzy 2nd April 2018 - 5:23 pm

Hey Oscar I am the 4s lipo power everything guy, so yeah I made an awesome goggle power cable, it has a nice step down, volt meter, and a toggle button. You should do a tutorial on it. Also I have a cheap $18 cordless drill I use for props it’s 18v so I just soldered and xt60 female on it takes 4s fine, my clear view take 4s. So everything for my power can take 4s so no more carrying 2s or 3s packs around, or changing settings on chargers do it man!

Reply
rcschim 26th February 2018 - 12:49 pm

I found a mod to add the balance lead cable so I could also charge the 18650 cells inside this fatshark cell cage. Easy mod.

Reply
Egon 16th February 2018 - 11:12 am

Have a read through the specs of your goggles as some will run on a higher voltage battery. Fatshark goggles are rated at higher voltages and I have run 3S batteries on fatshark goggles for many years.

Reply
Glen 15th February 2018 - 11:00 pm

It adds wires, but I swear by powering them from your TX battery – that way you only have one not-quad-lipo thing to charge when you get home, and you can use a much larger capacity without weight issues. If you want to get tricky with disassembly, you can mount a ClearView inside a Taranis and have a single power+video cable to your headset.

Reply
deadmoo 15th February 2018 - 6:51 pm

What about the battery pack that was designed for the Eachine EV100 goggles? Can it be used on other googles? If so, how does is compare to these other options?

Reply
Bruce 16th February 2018 - 1:44 am

I use the ev100 pack with my Aomways, it works great.

Reply
Oscar 6th March 2018 - 4:56 pm

As long as the voltage of the battery meets the requirement of your goggles you would be fine.

Reply
Gene 2nd May 2019 - 10:25 pm

I use the EV100 battery on my Skyzone Sky03’s. Works good so far. However, it does not come with the “balance” connector, so won’t work for the fan connector on a Fatshark.

Reply