Apr 202012
 April 20, 2012  Posted by  Add comments

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.

Altitude Hold

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.

DJI Naza

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.


  6 Responses to “DJI Naza Flight Control Board with Altitude Hold for FPV”

  1. That is a cool video! Glad you got your DJI going!

  2. I’m not beginner rc pilot. I’ve recently started flying a Naza quad and I love it. It’s so stable, so easy to fly, so smooth I doubt you’ll regret spending 230 dollars on it. I’ve only flown an Xaircraft 450 before and I think there is just no comparison. I don’t know to what extent the on board barometer is what makes the difference but I’m sure you’ll love the way the Naza flies.

  3. F.Y.I. With Multiwii 2.0 release I am finally getting good altitude with my Crius board, within +-1 feet. $200+ is a little steep for the Naza controller. The all in one Multiwii Crius board cost me $55. I am quite happy with it.

    • I hear ya Mo! It was hard for me to shell out the bucks. I actually sold a Crius SE to help fund the Naza. I am all about plug and play and I seem to be somewhat MultiWii impaired when it comes to tuning and configuration. I am not knocking them, they are just not for me. I have had a lot of luck with CopterControl and the TMF Pro board. Unfortunately, they don’t have altitude hold. TMF Pro is really my favorite so far. I think you can plug just about anything in to it and it flies great. I am not much of a pilot, but I have seen videos where Warthox makes the TMF board do amazing things.

      • Hmm…The TMF Pro board looks interesting. I am looking for a solution for my new build of a FPV T-Copter that is possibly better than the Multiwii platform. Naza does not support tri-copters I think. The only thing missing in the multirotor market though is an economical GPS solution with RTH. The DJI solution cost $1300+.

        Hope to get your feedback on the Naza controller regardless. Great job on your website Brit.

        • Feiyu makes a GPS controller priced at around 400 dollars but it does not support tri copters. No idea how it flies…

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