Now that I got my ham license and some FPV equipment, I needed a way to set it up so that it’s usable at the flying field. Also, don’t let the title fool you – most of the money ($75) was spent on the FPV system itself, (including camera!). Other parts I was able to borrow or steal…

I started with the two-monitor portable DVD system that my kids use to watch movies on road trips. The 1st monitor is the “brain” that has the DVD player. The 2nd monitor simply accepts power and an A/V signal from the 1st. I stole this monitor for use with my ground station. I tested it by powering it on through the cigarette lighter jack and then hooking it up to the FPV receiver. With the FPV transmitter off I saw static instead of the dreaded “blue screen” – which is good!

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I finally jumped into FPV by purchasing my first kit, a Quanum Tx/Rx/Camera package I got for around $60 from HobbyKing while it was on sale.

With it’s 600mW transmit power, it should be more than enough for some field flying, even with trees in the way. But before I fire it up, I needed to get legal. The FCC has a rule called Part 15 about “unlicensed equipment” which states what sort of emissions a device can have to be operated without a radio license. It’s rather complex and the only FCC Part 15 certified FPV systems I’ve seen are 20-25mW. So it was time for me to ante up and get my amateur radio license so I can be a legal, card-carrying operator.

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While this isn’t about anything R/C, it’s somewhat related… I recently converted a lead-acid battery powered mower to lithium-ion batteries. Anyone that is in R/C and has a lawn to mow should follow this course.

For the record, I hate mowing the lawn. It’s a useless pursuit. We’ve all got better things to do with both our time and our resources like water and land. This Washington Post article “Lawns are a soul-crushing timesuck and most of us would be better off without them” pretty much sums up my opinion.

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The purpose of upgrading to an electric mower is to get the job done faster, and without smelling like a snowblower repairman when I’m done.

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My Assault 100 helicopter came with a transmitter module that allows you to use it with any transmitter. This module is also used with HobbyKing’s Q-BOT Micro quad and FBL100 helicopter. It’s actually just a rebranded HiSky HT8 module which is used for many HiSky helicopters. Rather than have to charge this module separately and hang it off of my Turnigy 9x, I decided to build a module specifically for my 9x which would power it up and keep it safely in place.

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