This page is regularly updated as new products come out. This page was last updated December 3, 2019.
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If this will be your first time ordering from Banggood, you should know a few things.
Your goggles may be the single most important piece of FPV equipment you’ll buy. Quadcopters will come and go, but you’ll look through the same goggles every single flight. If you can’t see where you’re going, you can’t fly well. If the goggles are uncomfortable or hard to use, you won’t enjoy flying as much as you could.
If at all possible, it’s recommended to try on a set of goggles before you buy them. Especially if you have very narrow or wide-set eyes, some goggles may not work for you.
Excellent features include an on-screen display that shows battery level, frequency, and signal strength; and a DVR so you can record your flights for later viewing. In addition, the front half of the EV800 splits off from the face-piece so that you can mount the screen on a tripod or use it hand-held if you like. Using the screen this way can be a big benefit when working on your copter, because you can work on your FPV system without having to put the goggles on your face. The EV800 also has a great push-button system for controlling the goggles.
Every goggle at this price point has some compromises. This goggle has the best balance of features, price, and not-too-many compromises. It’s not a great goggle, but it’s an okay goggle at a price you can stomach.
BEST FOR GLASSES
FXT VIPER V2
What makes the FXT Viper better than other box-style goggles? It’s mounted to a head-band, so it “floats” in front of your eyes instead of being squeezed up against your face. This makes it perfect for people who wear glasses, since you can keep your glasses on while you fly. Switching between FPV and line-of-sight is easy. You can even remove the silicone sun-shroud and maintain peripheral awareness while you fly. The FXT Viper also uses a mirror mechanism to increase the focal distance, so you don’t go cross-eyed from staring at a screen 6″ in front of your face like other box goggles.
None of this would matter if the FXT Viper wasn’t a great goggle. Good news: it’s a great goggle! Image quality and resolution are comparable to others in this price range. The user interface makes it easy to find the channel you’re looking for and switch to it quickly. RF performance is impressive. There’s a DVR. It’s even got an HDMI input so you can use it as an auxiliary display when you’re not flying FPV.
If you wear glasses and struggle to use other FPV box-style goggles, I highly recommend the FXT Viper. If you don’t wear glasses, a cheaper goggle like the Eachine EV800D (linked above) would probably make more sense. The Viper is quite good, but it’s hard to justify the price premium unless you really want the unique things it brings to the table.
There are a few FPV goggles that are stupidly cheap and total garbage. There are several goggles that are really good and super expensive. And there are only a very few that manage to be somewhat-reasonably priced and still decent quality. The Eachine EV200D is one of these.
The screens on the EV200D are large, high-resolution, and bright. At a price of $300, it comes with not one, but two diversity modules, which work together to balance the signal from up to four antennas at once. It can also be ordered without modules, letting you use whichever 3rd party module you prefer (but only one of them at a time; quad-versity only works with the factory modules). The DVR on the EV200D is one of the best in any FPV goggle.
For me to recommend a goggle, it has to clear two hurdles. First, it has to be good enough in overall design and quality. Second, it has to be reliable enough that most people who buy it feel they got their money’s worth. The EV200D passes this test. The manufacturing quality and durability is not up to Fat Shark standards, and Eachine doesn’t even come close to matching Fat Shark’s after sale support. But you’ll save between $150 and $300 by buying the EV200D over a Fat Shark and a receiver module, and for many people, that’s a welcome trade.
If you have only $300 to spend on an FPV goggle, the EV200D is my recommendation.
THE ONLY OLED SCREEN AROUND $300
FAT SHARK ATTITUDE V5
The Attitude V5 marks Fat Shark’s re-entry into the battle for the $300 price point. It’s the only goggle in this price range with OLED screens, for superior color, saturation, and contrast. It’s got Fat Shark’s legendary build quality and support. The included RF module now has diversity. And it comes with an 18650 battery case instead of a 2S LiPo.
Compared to the EV200D, the Attitude V5 has much smaller field of view (about 30°, compared to 42° for the EV200D). This means the screens will take up less of your vision and be less immersive. The Attitude has only 640×400 resolution, although this matters less than you might think, since the video is a standard-definition feed. Finally, the Attitude has an unusual 16:10 aspect ratio, which means no matter which camera you choose, the image will be a little distorted (but 16:9 cameras will be least distorted).
If you care most about a large, high-resolution image, the EV200D will pull ahead for you. If you care about image quality, build quality, and after-sale support, the Attitude V5 is the one I recommend.
One more thing: the Attitude V5 is confirmed to work perfectly with the RapidFire module. The EV200D is known to have incompatibility with some high-performance diversity modules. So if you are thinking to buy a RapidFire at some point, the Attitude V5 might be your choice.
TOP OF THE LINE
The HDO is the new flagship goggle from Fatshark. It’s got the highest resolution, 960×720, of any Fatshark goggle to date. The OLED screen gives blacker blacks, better contrast, and richer colors. If you’ve noticed “screen door” effect on other goggles, the high-resolution screen of the HDO may be the answer for you.
The Field Of View (FOV) at 37° is smaller than some would expect from a goggle of this price, but it ensures that the entire screen stays in the “sweet spot” of the optics, which results in perfect edge-to-edge clarity even for people whose face may not be perfectly sized or shaped for the goggles.
If your top priority is a clear, colorful image, the HDO is, without question, the goggle to buy.
Skyzone finally did it. They finally released a goggle that competes with–or even beats!–Fat Shark for image quality. The first time I put these goggles on, I was blown away by the bright, clear, and detailed image. Except for the Orqa FPV.One, this is the best looking analog FPV goggle screen I’ve seen.
In the past, I’ve recommended Skyzone for their all-in-one system (no messing around with receiver modules) and for how well-integrated their user interface is into the goggles. But I’ve always said that Fat Shark wins for image quality. The Sky03O changes that. And at a price of just over $400, you can pick up a Sky03O for about $100 less than a Fat Shark HDO and a receiver module.
But the Fat Shark HDO is still my personal pick. How come? Because high-end FPV modules like ImmersionRC RapidFire still beat the Skyzone goggles for RF reception, and I will take better reception in exchange for a slightly worse looking screen. And many people never going to afford a high-end expensive receiver module like RapidFire anyway, in which case nothing lost by going with the Skyzone.
If you prioritize image quality over everything else, the Skyzone Sky03O is the goggle for you.
TOP OF THE LINE
Orqa set out to make the “perfect” FPV goggle. The one that Fat Shark wouldn’t make. With giant 44 degree FOV, 1280×960 resolution, and big OLED panels for edge to edge clarity and gorgeous colors.
Then Fat Shark fired a shot directly across Orqa’s bow with the HDO2. The HDO2 has the same FOV, resolution, and screens. And it’s $150 less than the Orqa. So the big question you have to ask is, what do you get if you buy the Orqa instead of the Fat Shark?
Orqa comes with a battery pack and a set of antennas; the HDO2 doesn’t. That makes up some of the difference. But here’s the real reason you might choose the Orqas. Fat Shark’s philosophy has been that they release a goggle, and if you want a better goggle, you buy a new one a few years later. Orqa’s philosophy is to release the best screens possible today, and then add features via software updates going forward. The processor in the Orqa is ridiculously over-powered for what it’s being asked to do today, and that’s to leave room for things Orqa plans to add to the goggles in the future. Watch my full review of the Orqa for more details about things Orqa can do that Fat Shark can’t.
Other than price, the main reason some people would hesitate to buy the FPV.One is that Orqa is a new company with an un-proven track record of customer service and support. Fat Shark has service centers on four continents. Orqa’s HQ is in Croatia.
One more thing: by the time you are thinking about spending $500+ on a set of goggles, you have to be thinking about whether the DJI digital FPV system is right for you. Both the FPV.One and the HDO2 are ready for digital systems that might be invented in the future, but the DJI system is ready right now.
Most people prefer Fatshark-style goggles to Box-style goggles. But what if you don’t have perfect vision? You can’t exactly wear glasses underneath your goggles! And contact lenses don’t work for everyone. Here’s the answer!
FOR SIMPLE PRESCRIPTIONS
FATSHARK DIOPTER SET
If you are simply near-sighted, then the Fatshark diopter inserts are perfect for you. They come in a single set, with strengths from -2 to -6 diopter (ask your optician if you’re not sure). They’re made of plastic, so the optical quality is “acceptable” but not “fantastic”, and they scratch easily if you’re not careful with them. But they’re pretty inexpensive and to be honest, I used my original set for more than a year before I upgraded to RHO-Lens.
These lenses are referred to as “Fatshark Diopter Set”, but they fit some other major makes of goggles including Skyzone.
FOR MORE COMPLEX PRESCRIPTIONS
If you’re very near-sighted (more than -6.0 diopter) or if you have any astigmatism or other abnormality, the standard FatShark diopters won’t work well for you.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just get your actual eyeglass prescription made into lens inserts? You can! Simply send your eyeglass prescription to Optik-Fischer and they’ll make a custom corrective insert made exactly for your eyes. If you have any questions about whether they can make your prescription, reach out to them and ask!
I have very bad eyesight (-6.75 diopter with astigmatism). I’ve used corrective lenses in my Fat Sharks since September, 2016 and I love them. Check out my review to see my reaction the first time I try them!
In the past, I have recommended RHO-Lens for this slot. RHO recently switched to shipping their lenses in a 3D-printed carrier which I find to be a little more fragile than I prefer. Optik-Fischer hand-bevels each lens, which I prefer.
FATSHARK RECEIVER MODULES
The Fatshark goggles on this page come with an empty receiver-module bay. The job of the receiver module is to pull the video signal out of the air and put it onto your screen(s). Fat Shark’s OLED receiver module has decent performance; aftermarket modules typically beat the Fat Shark in performance and have convenience features like in-goggle menus.
The modules below can be separated into two categories. Traditional Diversity modules like OwlRC have two receivers and the module switches between them depending on which one has the strongest signal. Advanced modules like RapidFire and True-D X add two main features: sync reconstruction and frame combining. Sync reconstruction prevents the image from rolling or tearing when it is weak. Frame combining means the image from the two antennas is “averaged out” rather than switching from one to the other. This prevents the white flashes that can happen when a diversity module switches between receivers.
CHEAPEST WORTH HAVING
When I first saw this module, I assumed it must be garbage. It’s HALF the price of the Realacc RX5808. But I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and I’m really impressed. The build quality is slightly worse than the Realacc (especially the screen) but put a good cover on it and you won’t notice the difference.
Here’s a link to a good cover for the module.
What makes this module so special is that it’s got a faster, more capable processor than most others. When you combine it with the Achilles Pro firmware, it unlocks features like Ultra-Search and RF Lap Timer.
So it’s cheaper and it has more features than the competition. What’s the catch?
The catch is, it doesn’t have a USB port to let you easily install the Achilles Pro firmware. You need a special adapter, and the electronics skills to hook it up to the module. If you’re looking for a budget module, and you’re not scared of getting your hands a little dirty, the Eachine Pro58 is the one you’ll buy.
BEST “TRADITIONAL DIVERSITY”
The OwlRC module is somewhere in the middle compared to traditional diversity modules like LaForge and Trued, and “signal reconstruction” modules like RapidFire. OwlRC uses traditional diversity, but at a much faster switching speed than other modules in the roundup. This might explain why it beat out almost all other modules in my blind receiver testing.
The big question when considering whether to buy OwlRC is whether you would do better to buy a “signal reconstructing” module like True-D X. In community surveys, True-D X did not consistently beat OwlRC, but True-D X definitely does have sync reconstruction technology, which helps prevent screen rolling and tearing. Prices vary, but if the price of True-D X was close to that of OwlRC, I would probably take True-D X myself.
TOP OF THE LINE
IMMERSIONRC RAPIDFIRE MODULE
RapidFire is fundamentally different from other RF modules in this test. It offers improved sensitivity and range compared to traditional modules. RapidFire has a special technology to prevent screen rolling and tearing when signal gets weak.
RapidFire has an OLED display on the outside, as well as an in-goggle on-screen display (OSD). However, the OSD doesn’t offer full access to all functions, so you’ll be taking your goggles off when you need to change settings or channels.
In blind testing, the RapidFire module beat every other module it went against, usually decisively. This includes the Iftron ClearView module, which is more than twice the price. If price, features, or usability are your concerns, you might consider another module. But if you care about range, penetration, and the ability to pick up a clear signal in challenging environments, RapidFire is the hands-down winner.
Early in its production run, RapidFire had compatibility issues with some cameras and flight controllers. This caused unpredictable and sudden loss of image. This issue has been fixed in the latest firmware.
GREAT PERFORMANCE AND USER INTERFACE
FURIOUS FPV TRUE-D X
True-D X is Furious FPV’s entry into the ultra-high-performance class currently occupied by …. well, basically, RapidFire, and nobody else. Traditional diversity receivers switch between two antennas to try to find the best signal. RapidFire and True-D X lock onto and re-generate video sync pulses to prevent screen rolling even when the signal is weak or corrupted by multipath. They also combine the signal from the two antennas to get the best image, rather than switching from one to the other.
In my testing, True-D X did not perform as well as RapidFire, but it mostly out-performed other diversity modules. The user interface of the True-D X is excellent, including a full in-goggle menu that gives access to all functions without ever removing the goggles. True-D X also has convenience features like a RSSI-based lap timer.
Although the True-D X does not (yet) beat the performance of the RapidFire, its lower price, nicer interface, and convenience features will make it the choice of some pilots. If you want the absolute best RF performance, all else be damned, then RapidFire is the one you’ll buy.
Some people have accused me of being too picky when it comes to FPV cameras. The cheapest cameras are terrible and nobody should use them. They go dark when the sun is in the sky. They take forever to adjust exposure when you fly from a sunny field into a shady forest. If you can’t see where you’re going, you’re going to crash. More than usual.
I won’t steer you wrong. The cameras on this list cost a little bit more, but every one of them will give you a solid picture that you can rely on. Buy one of these cameras, and you’ll have to find something else to blame your crashes on.
One of the main decisions you’ll make when you buy an FPV camera is which focal length of lens to get. Focal lengths range from about 2.8mm to 2.1mm. A 2.8mm lens will have a narrower field of view, like a telephoto lens. A 2.1mm lens will have a wider field of view, like a fisheye lens.
For FPV, I recommend a focal length between 2.1mm and 2.5mm. The wider FOV gives more “peripheral vision” in the goggles and makes it easier to tell how close you are to obstacles. For this reason, I’m not going to include any camera in this lineup that doesn’t come with a 2.5mm lens or wider. You can add a wider lens after purchasing, but that’ll cost about $6-$10 more, so you might as well just buy the right one from the start.
CHEAPEST WORTH HAVING
CADDX TURBO MICRO F2
Caddx has done something unprecedented: they made a cheap CMOS FPV camera that doesn’t stink. In good lighting conditions, the image looks quite nice. The exposure algorithm is challenged when the sky is bright and the ground is dark, but the image generally remains flyable.
The Turbo Micro F2 is not a spectacular camera, but it’s good enough that I’m comfortable recommending it because of its very low price. If you can afford $5 or $10 more on a camera, you should buy something better. But if you’re trying to save every last penny, consider the Turbo Micro F2.
The Turbo Micro F2 is a micro-size camera. This means you might want a 3D printed adapter to install it on your frame. The camera also comes with a U-shaped bracket that can be used to mount the camera. Finally, the F2 comes in a Mini-sized version that can be installed in most frames without modification.
CHEAPEST WORTH HAVING
FOXEER ARROW MICRO PRO
The Arrow Micro Pro is priced around $20, same as the Caddx F2. They’re both excellent cameras for the price. The Arrow uses a CCD sensor, so it’ll have a slightly more contrasty image, and slightly better exposure handling. However, to my eye, the Caddx looks better overall. You won’t go wrong with either, but if you know that you like a “CCD style” or “CMOS style” image better, pick the camera that suits.
THE BEST… OR THE WORST
RUNCAM MICRO EAGLE
The Runcam Micro Eagle is my pick for “best FPV camera, period.” But my ethics as a reviewer force me to tell you that many people disagree. Strongly.
The Micro Eagle has astounding resolution and dynamic range. It can make a flyable image out of challenging lighting conditions that crush other cameras. The Eagle also has improved light sensitivity, so you can keep flying even when the sun is going down.
The flip-side of this is that the image has digital processing artifacts that some people really, really hate. I recommend that you watch my review of the Runcam Eagle 2 and decide for yourself.
MY PERSONAL CHOICE
RUNCAM MICRO EAGLE PRO
If I had to pick one camera to run on all my quads, this would be it. I’ve tweaked the settings of this camera to reduce the digital image noise that affects all Eagle cameras. I’ve also adjusted the WDR and Max Gain to eliminate white-flash and maximize the ability to see scraggle in shadows. That’s why I think this is the best freestyle camera you can buy. However, I must acknowledge that some people STILL hate the Eagle no matter how good I make the image look, so check out my reviews of the Eagle vs. other cameras to be sure it’s right for you.
The RR/JB Edition Micro Eagle Pro comes with two accessories, no additional charge. The first accessory is a bracket that adapts the micro eagle to a full-size frame mount. So you can use this camera on most typical freestyle frames. The second accessory is the runcam camera control adapter board, which lets you access the camera configuration menu from your transmitter sticks, even if your flight controller doesn’t have a CAM_C pad.
The JB/RR Micro Eagle is exactly the same camera as the Micro Eagle beside it. The difference is that the JB/RR camera has some settings customized by me to make the camera look its best. The JB/RR camera also comes with the full-size mounting bracket and the Runcam camera control adapter. The JB/RR version costs exactly the same as the regular Eagle, so you can pick whichever one you like.
There are better cameras than the Swift, and there are cheaper cameras than the Swift. But the Swift stays on the list in large part because it’s widely available and almost always in stock. The Swift wouldn’t be my first choice for a build today, but if you’re having trouble finding a place to buy one of the others, or you can’t find a vendor who will ship to your country, the Swift will probably suit you.
A killer feature of the Swift is that it includes an on-screen display (OSD) that lets you monitor your battery voltage, as well as put your pilot callsign on screen. Some flight controllers include an OSD, but if yours doesn’t, this is the simplest, easiest way to add one.
The Swift 3 is one of the first Runcam cameras to use Runcam’s digital camera control interface. This means that you can wire the Swift up to your flight controller UART and change camera settings using your transmitter sticks. However, this also means that you cannot use a traditional joystick to adjust the camera settings. If this would be a deal-breaker for you, select a different camera from this list. Here’s a video showing how to set up and use Runcam digital camera control. That video is using the camera control adapter board, which is basically built in to this camera. The rest of the setup is the same.
BEST IMAGE QUALITY FOR THE MONEY
Let’s face it: even the best FPV cameras look terrible compared to the HD videos we’re all used to. A great FPV camera must be carefully tuned to pack the necessary image information into the standard-definition video feed. What looks good to a spectator isn’t necessarily what will make the pilot able to fly their best.
The Caddx Ratel is a great FPV camera. It’s got just the right balance between dynamic range and contrast. It’s got a high-resolution CMOS sensor, but without any of the “shimmer” and digital image noise that drives some people away from the Runcam Eagle. This might be the best that I’ve seen a CMOS sensor look. And it’s even reasonably priced!
The Ratel comes with either 1.66mm or 2.1mm lens. The 1.66mm lens is for if you intend to use the camera in 4:3 aspect ratio; the 2.1mm is only usable with 16:9 aspect ratio. The camera itself can switch aspect ratios, but if you have the wrong lens on, you will see the edges of the lens. The 4:3 camera has one of the largest vertical field of views I’ve ever seen in an FPV camera. This gives amazing peripheral vision, but it also results in an exaggerated fisheye effect that gives some pilots vertigo.
The Ratel’s reasonable price comes with a few compromises. Reliability and durability are lower than premium cameras like the Eagle. Caddx cameras sometimes come from the factory with the lens un-focused (easy to fix, but annoying). Caddx cameras don’t have Runcam’s digital camera interface, which allows easy configuration of the camera through a flight controller UART.
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced CMOS camera with some of the best image quality available, the Caddx Ratel is the one you’ll buy.
BALANCED QUALITY AND PRICE
RUNCAM PHOENIX OSCAR LIANG EDITION
I think of this camera as slotting in somewhere between the Ratel and the Eagle. Like the Ratel, the Phoenix has a CMOS sensor, but without the digital sharpening artifacts of the Eagle. The tradeoff is that the Phoenix doesn’t have quite the same dynamic range as the Eagle, and it has much less low-light sensitivity. The Phoenix is less expensive than the Eagle, but more expensive than the Ratel.
So why not just buy the Ratel? Because Runcam’s build quality is typically higher than Caddx’s. In addition, the Phoenix has Runcam’s exclusive digital camera control interface, which lets you connect the camera to the FC and control the camera’s menus remotely with your transmitter sticks. Some may appreciate that the Phoenix is switchable from 4:3 to 16:9 and supports image mirror and flip. It’s also switchable between PAL and NTSC.
This camera is excellent in bright daylight, but its image suffers in low light. If you plan to do a lot of flying close to dusk or in dark areas, you should probably steer away from this camera.
The video transmitter (or “vTX” as it’s usually written) takes the video signal from your camera and transmits it wirelessly to your goggles. The single most important function of the video transmitter, to me, is how easy it is to change channels and transmit power. FPV video transmitters operate like old analog television signals. (That’s an analogy, but it’s also literally true! Your quadcopter is a tiny television station!) If two transmitters are on a channel too close together, they will interfere, and both pilots won’t be able to see to fly. When you fly with other pilots, you’ll have to organize who is on what channel. If you can’t quickly and easily change channels, that becomes a hassle. You’ll be “that guy” who everybody else has to make room for.
CHEAPEST WORTH HAVING
Let’s run down the good stuff. Push-button channel changing with LCD display so you’ll always know what channel you’re on. Adjustable output power: 25 mW for less interference when you’re racing with friends; 200 to 600 mW for more range when you’re blasting freestyle by yourself.
The other transmitters on this page are better than the Eachine, but they’re also a lot more expensive. And the ways in which the others are better may be lost on a beginner. If you’re looking for a place to save a little money on your first build, the vTX is the right place to do it, and the Eachine TX526 is the one you’ll buy.
RACEDAYQUADS MACH 3
The Mach 3 has got transmit power up to 1000 mW (1 watt) and down to a proper, real pit mode. It supports SmartAudio for changing channel and power using your Betaflight OSD or Taranis. It can be ordered either with a UFL or (my favorite) MMCX connector. You can direct-solder the wires to it instead of using some oddball connector. It’s a little bigger than the Unify, but it doesn’t overheat and shut down if you leave it powered on too long without moving air. It has a built-in microphone, so you and your DVR will have sound. There’s a button to let you change channel and power if you don’t use SmartAudio for some reason. And it’s $25.
As good as this is, why isn’t it the best hands-down? The main reason you might pass up this vTX is its size. For ultra-tight builds, you will want a thin vTX with no LCD screen, such as the TBS Unify. The Mach 3’s power output is also not as consistent as higher-quality vTX. I found that it puts out significantly less power on some channels, and significantly more on others.
TOP-TIER PERFORMANCE; MID-TIER PRICE
What makes the Rush Tank stand out is its incredibly robust hardware design–hence its name. The Tank’s output power is calibrated at the factory, meaning you get consistent output power no matter what channel you’re on. It can run at full power without additional cooling, without shutting down. If you leave the Tank plugged in without an antenna for a few seconds, it won’t self-destruct like cheaper vTX.
The Tank has all the features you’d want from a vTX today: up to 800 mW output power; smartaudio support; pit mode. It indicates band, channel, and power with LEDs, and you can change parameters using push-buttons if SmartAudio isn’t working for some reason.
The main down-side of the Tank is that it comes in a 36mm form-factor, for stacking on top of your flight controller. This is fantastic…. if your frame has enough room for it. Especially if you are using a 4-in-1 ESC, this might not be possible.
TOP OF THE LINE
TBS UNIFY 5G8 PRO32 HV
The Unify Pro32 is the latest edition of what many people consider to be the best FPV video transmitter made. It keeps all the standard features that the Unify is known for: clean power transmission, honest output power rating, bulletproof reliability, and support for pit mode and SmartAudio. The Pro32 HV is not quite as thin as the original Unify, but it’s still pretty trim and will easily fit into even tight builds.
The Pro32 ups the output power to 1000 mW “or more”. This is a refreshingly honest approach. Most vTX advertise a nominal output power then output somewhat less. The Pro32 also supports remote control by Crossfire interface. This is useful for fixed-wing pilots flying without a flight controller. You can connect the vTX directly to your Crossfire receiver and adjust channel and output power via the Crossfire system. This is great because the Unify’s button-press / LED-flash interface is awful to use in the field.
Another feature of the Pro32 is that it has built in USB interface which allows firmware update and configuration via the TBS Agent X software on PC.
PS: If you only need 200 mW output power or less, you can save about $20 by buying the Unify Race instead.
Here’s what’s confusing: the Tramp HV is as good as the Unify in almost every way, and it’s $10 cheaper than the Unify HV. So why is the Unify much more well-known?
How good is the Tramp? It’s got all of the killer features of the Unify. Plus it can be configured wirelessly with a wand or, if your phone has NFC, a smart-phone app). And It’s got a metal cover to help with heat dissipation. Did I mention it’s cheaper???
My personal theory is that Unify got more popular because there was a long time where nobody could get stock of Tramps. But the flood gates have opened now, and there’s nothing stopping you from saving a few dollars and buying a Tramp.
OMNIDIRECTONAL VIDEO ANTENNAS
There are three important things to know about video antennas. First, they come in left-handed (LHCP) and right-handed (RHCP) varieties, and you must put the same variety on your quadcopter and your goggles. Most pilots fly RHCP, and that’s what I recommend you start with too. There isn’t any performance difference, but having the same type as everyone else will let you watch them in your goggles.
Second, they come with different connectors: SMA and RP-SMA. Whatever kind of connector came on your video transmitter and your goggles, you have to buy the same kind on the antenna, or they won’t screw together. Don’t assume that the goggles and the vTX will have the same connector either.
Third, you should never power up your video transmitter without an antenna attached. This can damage or destroy the video transmitter.
CHEAPEST WORTH HAVING
This antenna is durable, cheap, and it’s available in all major connectors: SMA, RP-SMA, MMCX, and UFL. It’s even available in different colors if you like to coordinate! Its RF performance isn’t up to the level of more expensive ones, but it’ll get the job done. At this price, you won’t feel shy about picking up some spares.
The Axii has everything you could ask for from an FPV antenna. It’s got an even coverage pattern so there are no surprise dead zones when you fly behind yourself or overhead. Its axial ratio is nearly perfect, which means it’s good at rejecting multipath and interference from reverse-polarized antennas. It’s not too big. It’s nearly indestructible. And it’s available in a variety of sizes and connectors, for any application.
When you buy the Axii, make sure you’re getting the right one. It comes in a standard length, with SMA or RP-SMA connector. It also comes with thin coaxial cable and U.FL or MMCX connector, for direct-connection to your vTX. Finally, it comes in “stubby” and “long distance” varieties. My personal favorite is the “stubby”. Placing the antenna very close to the quadcopter’s frame reduces range, but significantly increases durability. If you plan to use the UFL or MMCX version, make sure you’ve got a 3D printed mount to hold it, as the coax itself is too floppy to use for mounting (these are also sold at GetFPV). Finally, remember that you must have matching LH (left-hand) or RH (right-hand) antennas on your quad and goggles. Lumenier colors LH antennas white and RH antennas black to help you remember.
DIRECTIONAL VIDEO ANTENNAS
If your goggles have only one antenna connector, then you only need an omni antenna. If your goggles have two antenna connectors, then they support diversity and you need both an omni and a directional antenna.
CHEAPEST WORTH HAVING
MENACE RC INVADER
Directional antennas are usually big, long, and bulky. Exactly the opposite of what you want hanging off of your goggles. A patch antenna is the answer. It’s directional, and it’s also small and light. But nothing comes for free: good patch antennas are expensive, and cheap ones aren’t usually good. The MenaceRC Invader is a decent patch antenna at a low price. If that’s what you’re looking for, this is the one you’ll buy.
Not only do I use this antenna on my personal goggles, it was the directional I chose for my Ultimate FPV Receiver Shootout. It’s got 10 dB of gain and a 120 degree beamwidth, which is perfect for providing enhanced coverage in front of you without being so narrow that you lose coverage every time you move your head.
TOP OF THE LINE
LUMENIER AXII PATCH
This is a great patch antenna for head-worn goggles. Compared to the X-Air, the Axii has slightly lower gain. Lower is worse, right? That’s like saying a smaller shoe is better. The Axii has a wider coverage pattern that gives slightly less penetration directly in front, but more range to the sides. The X-Air has a more focused coverage pattern that gives more penetration in front and less to the sides. The big benefit of the Axii is that it’s smaller so it keeps your goggles less bulky.