The video transmitter (also known as a VTX) relays video footage from the FPV camera to the video receiver. This allows the footage to be displayed on FPV goggles. Although FPV signal quality and range can be impacted by a variety of factors, the more accurate the VTX is at transmitting the intended frequency, the better FPV signal quality and range you will get. With numerous VTX's on the market, we narrow down your search by outlining features to look for and our top picks.
Pit Mode is an important feature if you are going to be racing your quadcopter or flying in groups and is a great feature to have if you are flying solo. It allows you to reduce mW's (essentially 0mW) to a nominal level, providing the option to move to frequencies not used by other fliers so that you do not interrupt active channels causing other pilots to crash.
If you are going to be racing your quadcopter, a small and light VTX will be ideal to keep net weight to a minimum. If you are going to be doing trick flying, you may prefer something with a bit more weight so that it feels stable in the air. An ideal form factor is important if you are limited and also frees up space for other extras you may want to add to your build.
The thought that more output power will give you additional range is not the case. This is because using a higher mW uses more power resulting in increased heat that essentially gets "wasted". Most users find that 25 mW is ideal for indoor flying or small races with many pilots and that 600 mW is the best option for long range solo flying. A conservative option that provides the best of both worlds would be 200 mW.
A video transmitter can be set to broadcast on a specific frequency or channel. It is common to find 32 or 40 channels on a VTX. Having a larger number of available channels is handy if you will be flying with other pilots as each pilot will fly on a different frequency to avoid interference. Although the general consensus is that 32 or 40 channels are suitable for most pilots, we are starting to see products with more channels such as the Eachine VTX03 Super Mini which boasts a whopping 72. It is important to note that not all channel frequencies are legal to use and regulations vary depending on country.
There are several VTX's on the market that come with pre-tinned solder pads. Although there is a bit of setup work involved, you will no longer have to discard your VTX just because a connector is broken.
While the most popular connector is SMA, VTX antenna connectors are available in SMA and RP-SMA. Ensure you purchase a VTX that is compatible with the connectors on your antennas. Although adapters are an option, be aware that there may be power loss.
Last updated on December 21, 2017