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Replacing FPV goggles with a small monitor

Discussion in 'AP/FPV' started by Tiger, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. Tiger

    Tiger Registered

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    NOTE: This thread started out as a "For Sale" thread for my FatShark Dominator goggles, but has evolved into a discussion about building a goggle replacement using a small lcd monitor and some optics. The Dominators are gone, but this thread lives on under a new name. Please disregard any of the original comments related to the sale of my goggles.

    ...Tiger
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  2. LEM504

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    Tiger,
    Before you take a loss, the problem may be a simple miss match with your eyes.
    I think some of these have corrective lens. Worth check.
    I have an early set, and they don't fit anyone. With a bit of hacking and a set of swimming goggles
    they are almost useable, I have concluded a screen is a better idea, but then the problem with reflected
    light on the screen is another problem.
    All of this stuff looks great until you buy it --

    Good luck

    Larry
  3. Tiger

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    Thanks for the idea Larry, but I know for certain that the problem is IPD (distance between eyes). I can look with one eye or the other and the image is wonderful. If I adjust them just perfect on my head, I could use them. But then if they move just a tiny bit, I've got a problem. I don't think I can risk that when I'm flying! :) The Attitude's that I bought have adjustable IPD so I can adjust them perfect. I'm sticking with those even though the Dominators have a better picture. BTW... I have a set of those Fat Shark corrective lenses you are talking about. I don't need to use those, but a friend of mine that wears glasses does. I just got them so he could fly with me.

    Thanks! ...Tiger
  4. LEM504

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    Tiger,
    About the video goggles. Quite by accident, I got into these
    Videos. Looked interesting, so I hit several related.
    Wasn’t very interested until I discovered 5 inch, 800 X 480 screens for $20 What the hell? I needed a video screen to see the back of my van anyway- might try it.
    Maybe you will pick up a solution in one of these videos.
    Larry

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H_PvU82o7A
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVQ3OSYJnSw
  5. Tiger

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    I'm not really looking for anything now, because I've already switched to a different model of FatShark goggle. Nevertheless, I have looked at a lot of videos like the ones you offered, because I think it's interesting. I even picked up a fresnel lens at Staples a couple months ago to play with. I already have a couple suitable monitors so it's just a matter of time until I get around to building something. I'm not really interested in flying with it so much as I'm interested in something that spectators can use when I'm flying. As you probably know, the goggles are really easy to damage if the sun ever hits the lens. It just takes an instant to destroy the lcd. Most of the guys at the field have already destroyed their lcd's as a matter of fact. It's a great way to spend a few hundred dollars in a fraction of a second. :) Having seen this happen to almost everyone already, I'm not real keen on passing my goggles around. Actually, I just don't do it for the most part so I'm looking for other ways to share the flying experience. When I ever get around to making something, I'll be sure to post it here and tell you how well it works (or doesn't).

    ...Tiger
  6. LEM504

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    Tiger,
    A bit of update about the monitors.
    Looked like it was worth a shot, so ordered stuff from China.
    Long wait -
    Mobius Camera ( $75 ) ( 1080 )
    Magnifying plastic
    5 inch 800 x 480 monitor. Ordered two. $21 each )
    For the money, the camera was impressive. Happy.
    Will hold the Gopro’s back for just the multi rotors, and use the
    Mobius on planes. Quality quite good, better profile, Cheaper disasters.

    The monitors were a bit of frustration.
    Both arrived dead. Not a Happy Camper. Not up to a long distance fight with China, over $41.
    Suspected the problem was in the wiring connectors, and still believe
    It was something in the RCA Jacks. ( I had to use a gender changer between their plugs and the monitor )
    Keep in mind, I know less about electronics than the average 3 year old kid. Soldering skills about 5 year old.

    One monitor had thee wires cut at the edge of the screen plate.
    It may have happened during assembly, or I did it prying the damned thing apart. Garbage can.

    The second one, looked OK inside, so cut the cord to expose the four wires and replaced connectors with servo plugs - power in - and the two. Video in.
    Bingo! It came to life! Quality fantastic over the older 7 inch Monitors.
    Still a bit upset over the one in the garbage can, but I guess it was
    Worth $20 to see if I can fix one.
    Haven’t tried radio transmission yet, but bench tests look very good.
    By the way - Video out wire harnesses for the Gopro don’t work
    On the Key chain cameras, or the Mobius --
    Larry
  7. Tiger

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    Thanks for the update Larry. Sounds like you're making progress. I'd pull that one out of the trash and save it on the chance you need it later to keep the good one working. I have the Mobius camera and think it's great. Some people like it better than the GoPro. It certainly is a lot more mounting friendly for what we do. As for the camera cable, the mobius requires a mini USB cable, but needs all five lines so you can't use a standard USB cable like we all have laying around. USB only uses four of the five pins so it won't work. ReadymadeRC (I should look that up) has the cables made up and is also the only source I know of for buying the five pin connector and shell to make your own. The connector (89 cents) and rolling your own is the best option. I can lookup the connector link if you want. As far as I know, there is no version of the Keychain camera that has NTSC output so you probably don't need a cable for that. It's a pretty poor camera anyway. The Mobius is great! I assume you have played with your lens over the monitor. How did that look? If you like your lens, where did you get it? I bought one at Staples to play with and I thought it sucked.

    Keep me posted on the project. ...Tiger
  8. LEM504

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    Haven't messed with the lens yet, but doesn't look like it will do much. Got it on ebay from someone in Florida.
    Doubt if it will get used. The higher def screen is really nice..

    About the Progress - Snails move faster. There is always a two bit item missing that can't be found except from a custom shop in Northern China and they drop ship from the middle of Africa. By the time it arrives, you can't remember why you wanted it.
  9. Tiger

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    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  10. GPS

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    @Tiger - It says those replacement lenses are made of glass. If that's the case then $19 - $45 is not a bad deal. If you are going to put one over a screen did you mean you will only use one half of one of those lenses? Just wondering how to cut it if it is glass.
  11. Tiger

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    I guess they are glass, but they are in a frame that holds the two of them. I tried them last night on a 7" screen. After testing, I think Larrys 5" screen is going to be the perfect size. The 7" is really a little to big. I tested two different lenses. The first one I tried was a #10, which is the highest mag they make. I thought it would be good, because the FL was about 4". Turned out to be way to much magnification and blurred really bad in the corners. My other lens was a #4, which turned out to be about right. I thought the FL was going to be to long, but it wasn't. On a 5" monitor like Larry is using, I think you'd want a #5 or maybe even a #6, but no higher. Looks like the average price on these is around $25 (Amazon/Ebay), which isn't so bad for a quality set of lenses. The only thing I see wrong with them is that the two lenses are a little close together for the way we want to use them. They are right for the Optivisor, but not ideally spaced for us. I don't think it would be that hard to separate them if you had to. I think these are a real option for what we're trying to do. The viewing experience seemed nicer than the FatSharks, but then it wasn't really a good test. The trick is going to be in how well you can package everything. Putting everything together without it getting really clunky is going to be a challenge.

    ...Tiger
  12. GPS

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    I misunderstood what you guys are doing. It seems you are making a box, or boxes, like @Pelagic Pilot made to pass around to spectators to view the FPV downlink.
  13. Tiger

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    No not exactly. We're trying to integrate the lcd monitor into goggles that you can wear while flying FPV.

    ...Tiger
  14. Tiger

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    So I just found and ordered what looks like a nice little 5" monitor for this. It's 800x480 resolution and has LED backlighting. Sold by a company out of Los Angeles rather than China. I like that all the controls and cables are on the back. Price was just $27 delivered.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Ship-5-I...r_View_Monitors_Cams_Kits&hash=item3a971fd336

    Should be here in a few days so I'll report back then. I may catch up with you Larry!

    ...Tiger
  15. LEM504

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    Tiger
    Owe you a beer for the link. Ordered a replacement for the dead monitor. Negotiating with China over a credit on the dead one.
    Must have too much junk, found an old Optivisor in the shop,
    Cleaned the dirt off - looks like it will work. Frame marked #5
    If you are only interested in this for a spectator, a simple box to block out the light ( think Tyson uses one).

    Should you have problems with the monitor. I suspected nothing more than bad RCA Jacks. Inside there is only one connection to the mother board. Simple Positive - negative 2 wires. Nothing else serviceable.
    Should you pry it apart. There is a wide ribbon cable from the bottom of the screen to the mother board.
    No sharp objects at the bottom of the screen!!! You will cut the ribbon wires - no way to replace the ribbon.
    There is one latch, center of each end. Two near the corners, top and bottom. Can send photos if you need them. Cell phone wouldn’t focus
    That close. Inside, only the mother board, ribbon cable, and a bar with three switches.
    Stand on the back just slides down and pops off.
  16. Tiger

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    Larry - Are you saying that the monitor I found is the same as the ones you have?

    ...Tiger
  17. LEM504

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  18. GPS

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    @Tiger - You already have some nice goggles, do you think this setup will be better? I wonder if they will be front heavy on the screen end?
  19. Tiger

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    GPS - Yes, I really think the visual experience will be better and I have really good goggles. As for comfort and practicality, that's what I was talking about above when I said the challenge was going to be packaging.

    Larry - So... Why did you tear your monitors apart?

    ...Tiger
  20. LEM504

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    They didn't work! Like I said, I'm not an electrical genious. Can't really tell you what I fixed on the one I salvaged.
    Here are a couple posibilities. Keep in mind, there is no power indication. They don't light up without signal.
    The control switches on the back, did nothing.

    RCA Jacks. To hook them to the camera direct, required a gender changer. No idea where I got the gender changers.
    Could have been Radio Shack, or the web. They worked with the 7 inch screens. I suspected loose tolerance of the center pin.

    The other possibility, There is a two wire connection from the mother board to the bar with the 3 control switches.
    Just hot and negative. Very small plug at the mother board. One of them fit very loose.

    Packaging was nothing more, than a plastic bag one each screen, and a loose power wire.
    Both were then stuck in a simple envolope. No packing. The outer envelope looked like it had made several trips, to and from Hell.
    Contents showed no indication of damage. My other guess, the two wire plug for the control switches was shaken loose and didn't
    make good contact. No doubt it had seen a bit of impact. Once the case was open, I was able to test power to the mother board.
    It was always OK. It is also possible there was a bad connection of the video wires at the "Y" where they split video and power.
    I simply cut it off, soldered my own "Y" with the four wires and used different plugs. Ground and signal to each video plug,
    ground and hot for power. It worked-
    I think I tried just changing the RCA plugs at the ends and it didn't work.
    It was probably the one I damaged the ribbon cable.

    I was probably the one who damaged the ribbon cable, prying the case apart with a knife.
    Even an Idiot gets a free ride occasionaly -

    I think we will have better luck with the ones from Califonia - They may have made the trip from Hell in a box.

    Larry

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