Radio Video Transmission

Hi. I am trying to make an FPV camera drone. I wanted it to be something unique like adding a camera to every side of the drone. It will make the experience better and lessens the risk of hitting it on something.

However, using multiple fpv cameras would be a drain in my budget, so I am planning to use an arduino since it cheap and effective😀.

My plan is to take an ov7670 camera then stream that footage using a radio module like hc12 or nrf24lo1. I just wanted to know if that is possible and some suggestion to my project. Thanks​:grinning::grinning::grinning:

Define "video"

Multiple frames per second

Define "frame"

And define 'Multiple'

You really do need to specify how much data you need to send in bits per second.

You probably need a Pi, see here;

Methinks we have heard that meme before. :yawning_face:

Speaking of budgets, what is your budget for flight package weight and power consumption?

How many cameras? Each with a transmitter or switched or, e.g., composed as quarter frames?

Will there need to be any remote control input to the multi camera system?

Will you be relying on the integrity of the video for FPV flying?

What does your ground station look like? Have you budgeted $$$ for that?

Last and and by no means least, do you know how to fly? What experience do you have with multirotor either LOS or FPV?


Use ESP32-Cam. It's got a 2MP camera and integrated 2.4GHz wireless. It can send decent resolutions at decent frame rates. Using a camera module and a transmitter module means you have to do more data handling to transmit it.

Wow, just woke up and there is a lot of replies hehe.

So what I mean by frame is an image data that the ov7670 can give. Multiple means using that data a lot of times in a second. For example, the video is 10fps, so every 100 milliseconds it will transmit that data to be received by the receiver.

The receiver, which is also an arduino, will then use that data to display that using an LCD.

My first plan was to actually use esp32 camboard and raspberry to view the esp32 ip address video stream. But I am travelling to long distances using nrf24lo1 or hc12. Esp32 relies on wifi, no wifi, no ip address, no ip adress then nothing to view. I am not sure if boarding a pocket wifi on the vehicle an connecting the esp32 to that wifi will work cause they are not connected to the same wifi with the raspberry pi.

And Yes I know how to fly. I had 4 drones, crashed 2 but the other 2 survived with me.

Well, I presume you know what 'long distances' means ?

Yes. According to my research nrf24lo1 can go an average of 100m or longer in open spaces. Hc12 can go around 1km or more in open spaces

Maybe it can manage 1km at 5000bps, is that enough for streaming video ?

In general UHF devices (such as HC12) are a very poor if not completly impractical choice for continuous high data rate transmissions. Duty cycle in the bands is often limted to 10%, sometimes only 1%. So you cannot stream video for more than 6 minutes in every hour.

2.4GHz devices dont have the same duty cycle restrions and of course this band is widly used for streaming applications such as with the ESP32CAM.

Ok so if I use esp32 cam, i would board a pocket wifi with the esp 32. I am not sure if raspberry pi can access its ip adress when they are connected to different networks. Can it?

I think you will find a Raspberry Pi can access whatever you program it to. :yawning_face:

No, ESP32s can talk directly to each other without being on a WiFi network. It's called ESP-NOW
The ESP32-CAM module also has an external antenna port that you can enable by moving a 0ohm resistor 90 degrees. I don't have test figures on the range yet, however my 2.4GHz AP on my roof lets me go over a kilometer from the house and get a reliable signal on a laptop with an external antenna.

From behind?

Have you considered the combined weight of four cameras, four transmitters and battery to run them? Calculate the combined weight, then make a dead load of the gross camera weight, and try to lift it. Also, extra weight diminishes your flight time.

Yes they can talk to wach other. But I need something that would show me a live video. Using esp32 can stream video on its ip address, that ip adress can be accessed from another device. But I was thinking can the viewing device access the ip address if they are connected to different wifi networks.

How do you control the drone?

What frame rate do you consider "live video"?

The drone is controlled by nrf24lo1. And there is no much problem with my weight because I am not building a racing drone, just an explorer drone😀. Using the same nrf24lo1 for control, telemetry, live video will also use the same channel if I am not mistaken, which is not good because it will overlap some data.

I don't need 35 fps smooth video. I just need something that won't consume too much data and at the same time my brain can understand. I have played video games on my weak laptop, and I have somewhat developed the ability to visually understand low fps to as low as 7fps. So maybe 11 to 15 fps will do for me.