Video transmitters (aka VTX) are devices that transmit videos from your drone to your FPV Goggles or ground station. In this edition of “Top 5 Best” we will announce the best 5.8Ghz VTX for mini quad / racing drones.
The 5.8Ghz video transmitters recommended here are chosen based on my experience and consideration on the specs and features. Anyway, please do your own research before deciding which VTX to get. Here is a guide I wrote a while back you might find helpful: How to choose Video Transmitter for FPV Mini Quad.
|I compiled the specifications of all 5.8GHz VTX for mini quad in this spreadsheet so you can compare them more closely.|
For more FPV product recommendations, check out this list: oscarliang.com/tag/top-5-best
Common features we see on these top VTX’s are:
- VTX control – you can change VTX settings using LUA script or Betaflight OSD using your TX
- Adjustable output power down to 25mW
- Support wide input voltage, and can be powered directly from battery
- Using MMCX connectors rather than the heavy SMA, or fragile U.FL (IPEX)
- Becoming smaller and lighter
- Support at least 40 channels or more
Holybro Atlatl HV V2 VTX
- Stackable on top of FC/PDB
- SmartAudio VTX Control
- 4 selectable power: 25mW, 200mW, 500mW, 800mW
- Supports Pitmode
- 7V-28V input voltage
- Supports 48 channels
- Built-in Mic
- MMCX Antenna Connector
This is a very versatile option with nearly all the features one would want in a VTX. It’s designed to be stacked on top of the FC for easy mounting, but make sure your frame has the extra room for that. Maximum output power has been increased to 800mW from the previous version, which allows you to go further in range.
Find out more in my Review.
OBVTX – Oscar’s Backpack VTX
- Tiny and light weight: 2.8g
- It can be mounted on the back of a micro FPV camera!
- Power switchable: 25mW and 200mW
- MMCX connector
- VTX Control using SmartAudio telemetry protocol
The OBVTX is a tiny VTX, yet it packs with unique features that were previously missing in existing products. It’s compact and you can also mount it directly on the back of your micro FPV camera. It’s got SmartAudio, as well as a push button to change settings. It has a maximum power up to 200mW, and supports 25mW and pitmode.
It has a MMCX connector so you don’t have to worry about breaking the fragile U.FL anymore. If all you need is a simple and plain device then take a look at the OBVTX :)
Matek HV VTX
- Form factor: 36mm x 18mm, exactly half of your FC and cable be mounted on top of your FC stack
- Support VTX Control using Tramp Telemetry
- 2S-6S voltage input (7V – 27V)
- Power switchable: 25mW, 200mW and 500mW
- IPEX or MMCX connector
- 5V 1A BEC (for camera)
- Nice LED array for power/channel indication
- Allows wire direct soldering
Very powerful and appealing list of features as we can see above, for only $30!
TBS Unify Pro
- SmartAudio V2 – allows you to connect the VTX to your FC, and change VTX settings with your radio TX and OSD
- Selectable output power between 25mW, 200mW, 500mW and 800mW
- One of the lightest and smallest for an 800mW video transmitter (5g only)
- Supports 40 channels, as well as custom frequency
- PitMode – reduces the power of your VTX to extremely low level while powered up, allowing you to troubleshoot without interfering other racers
- SMA pigtail is attached with U.FL connector allowing easy replacement
The TBS Unify Pro is a tiny yet powerful VTX. It’s a premium quality product packed with advanced features. One of the most important features would probably be “SmartAudio”. It allows the user to change channels and power using OSD and TX, and it truly brings user experience to the next level. (We have a tutorial coming soon)
If you are not using SmartAudio you can still change VTX settings using the button, and there is a tiny little LED indicating your channel, band and frequency. However, trying to judge your settings by counting how many times that LED blinks has been proven a nightmare. The connector is fragile and the VTX can get very hot especially when running at high power
There are different versions of Unify Pro:
- V3 ($40) – Output power 25mW to 800mW, but only accepts 5V input strictly
- HV ($50) – Output power 25mW to 800mW, and accepts 2S-6S LiPo input (up to 25.2V)
- Race ($25) – Output power 25mW to 200mW, and accepts 2S-6S LiPo input (up to 25.2V)
The Race edition is quite a good deal for $25, if you don’t mind the limited power of 200mW.
Tramp HV VTX by ImmersionRC
- Very light weight and compact (4g without SMA connector)
- Allows wide range of input voltage directly from LiPo (2S to 6S 22.2V)
- Supports 48 channels
- Programmable linear output power control from 1mW to 600mW
- OEM Integration (similar to SmartAudio)
- Supports TNR wand (touch and race), a remote that configures your VTX settings without touching the transmitter (purchase separately)
- Resilient against voltage spikes
- SMA pigtail is connected with U.FL connector
Another high end VTX that can match the features on the Unify Pro would be the ImmersionRC Tramp HV. The Tramp VTX is a great alternative and it’s $10 cheaper than the TBS Unify Pro HV.
You can change channel and power with your Taranis via LUA script too on the Tramp. (tutorial coming soon) However on the Unify Pro, you will lose audio capability. On the Tramp, you can still have audio because it doesn’t occupy the audio pin, because it has a dedicated telemetry port for this purpose.
The TNR wand is a great accessory that makes the Tramp more convenient to use. You can change VTX channel, frequency and power without touching the transmitter at all (if you don’t use the Taranis / LUA script hack this is a good solution).
- One of the cheapest in the list
- Switchable power: 25mW, 200mW, 600mW
- 40 channels
- Built-in microphone for audio
This is not the best VTX in terms of quality and performance, but it’s cheap and versatile! If you are looking for an affordable VTX for a low cost build this would be a good choice. However be aware that this VTX comes with a RP-SMA antenna connector.
Top VTX in the past
Here are some of the top VTX we recommended in the past that are still worth considering today.
Runcam TX200U VTX
It can be stacked on the back of a micro FPV camera such as the Micro Swift 2. This makes mounting the VTX super easy especially for a tight and light weight racing drone.
The TX200U comes in “Lock Mode” which limits the power output and channels you can choose to follow regulations in many countries related to FPV. However you can unlock it easily if you wish and I think that’s a great safety feature.
Downsides are you can only power it with filtered 5V (3.5V-5.5V), that’s probably the reason why it’s so tiny and light because it doesn’t have voltage regulator and filtering.
Eachine VTX03 Super Mini VTX
The Eachine VTX03 is a super small, light weight and affordable VTX. It offers decent performance as far as we can see from the video reviews online. It comes with U.FL connector just like the Unify Pro. If you prefer to use antennas with SMA connectors, you can add a SMA pigtail with U.FL connector. The 72 channels support is probably an overkill for most of us :D but why not?
You can only power the VTX03 with filtered 5V (input voltage 3.5V-5.5V).
- Mar 2017 – List created
- Sep 2017 – List updated
- Sep 2018 – Products updated