Judging Altitude when Flying FPV
I have just recently started to do my initial first person video(FPV) flights and found that judging altitude is one of the biggest challenges. I can take my quadcopter out a few hundred feet, turn it around, then bring it back and land it. However, I am constantly confused about my altitude.
OSDs and Gimbals
My rig doesn’t include an on-screen display(OSD) or a camera gimbal. OSDs are used to see graphical and numerical displays of various data including altitude. My display has no data displayed. I also, don’t have a camera gimbal that can adjust easily to different angles. My camera is fixed. I find that if I angle it straight out, I can see the horizon, but when I get high I can’t see the ground. If I angle it down, that helps me see the ground from up high, but I can’t see the horizon when I am low.
A gimbal, a new camera, or an OSD are all ways that I might fix this problem. Instead, since I am not an expert pilot, I decided to fix my problem by buying a controller with good altitude hold. Altitude hold will keep my quadcopter locked at a specific height so I can concentrate on maneuvering around. To accomplish altitude hold a flight control board must have either a barometer or sonar or both.
There are lots of inexpensive boards that have barometers, but the board’s firmware must be well written to take advantage of them. My research has led me to the DJI Naza Flight Control Board. Though not inexpensive at around $230, I think it is the best value for FPV flying with excellent altitude hold. It also appears to be very easy to use and configure.
I haven’t received mine yet, but ordered it today and will report back on whether it improves my FPVing.