What are Video Transmitters (VTx) ?

If I say that the component that we will be discussing about, in this particular blog, is the one that always keeps its nose to grindstone, the pivotal armory of the drone arsenal. What exactly is pictured by your mind?? Well, yeah we are talking about the FPV Video Transmitters, something without which FPV drones can’t deliver an immersive experience to its users.

image credits : getfpv

Last few decades have been really important for this component as it has witnessed huge advancements with respect to their power output capability. Being mounted on the multicopter side, they should fit into the space provided, be able to be connected easily into both the power distribution board and to the camera, and be lasting enough to sustain the impacts of many, many crashes because every pilot starts off as a rookie.

Let’s first understand the whole working of the FPV video transmitter. The video transmitter is connected to the camera. The camera captures the videos and sends it to the video transmitter. The primary functionality of the video transmitter is to convert these video signals into their radio equivalents. The radio signals are then relayed to the attached antenna which then broadcasts it only to be received by the video receivers attached to the goggles of the pilot.

image credits : oscarliang

The power output of a VTx is one of the most prominent factors of the unit, and is generally the very first thing a pilot considers while choosing a video transmitters.  Most video transmitters at our disposal makes use of miniquads that are rated between 25mW and 800mW.  Also keep in mind that the higher the power output, the more heat that will be generated by the video transmitters, as well as more power consumed from your battery. When flying at higher outputs, one must make sure to get their multirotor in the air as quickly as possible so as to get air moving over the unit to cool it down, otherwise the VTx may overheat and eventually get damaged. Also one must keep in mind whether he/she will be flying alone or in a group while looking at the power output as selecting one with higher power output might cause a signal bleed leading to intrusion in video signals eventually causing a complete loss of control.

image credits : best online drones

VTx’s function by sending the received video feed over the air at a certain frequencies. Hence the VTx and VRx must be tuned to the same frequency. Both have to be set to the same channel in order to receive the frequency in its most stable form. VTx’s are classified into bands and channels.  A band is a group of  8 channels that one can choose from, spread out across the spectrum that an individual has already selected. Many pilots opt to select a VTx with a large amount of bands and channels available, to give them the most flexibility.  There are many options out there with up to five different bands and a total of up to 40 channels.

image credits : getfpv

HD video transmission is a new technology when it comes to multirotors, and can definitely add to the overall FPV immersive experience.  HD video transmission operate on a 1080p or 720p resolution, bringing a lot more life into your FPV feed. This brings your overall venture even closer to the actual virtual reality experience.

image credits : getfpv

FPV video transmitters also come along with a number of additional features such as the mounted microphones or the provision for smart audio, power filtering to clean up the dirty power and even features like the thermal protection to prevent it from damages due to overheating.

That was pretty much about this sensitive component. Would like to end this writeup by proving my two cents on how one must be cautious while handling this component. One must not power on the video transmitter while it is not attached to the antenna. This will just heat up your video transmitter resulting into smoke. Better safe than sorry.

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