There are 2 things that your FPV system absolutely won’t work without;
1. FPV Video Receiver (Often abbreviated VRx)
2. FPV Video Transmitter (Often abbreviated VTx)
With so many video transmitter and receiver options, it can be hard to pick the right one. In this article, we’ll be looking exclusively at FPV receivers.
WHAT TYPE OF RECEIVER ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
The first question to ask yourself when looking at Video Receivers is: ‘What do I want the receiver to do?’ Do you want to be involved in FPV Drone Racing? Long range flying? Maybe you’re just interested in flying aimlessly around a field, or flipping through video channels at an FPV event to see if other people are flying. Below we’ll cover a quick rule- of- thumb chart for choosing the right VRx.
|NECESSARY||NOT NECESSARY (But good to have)|
|Drone Racing||Race- Band Capable||Diversity, 40+ Channels, LCD Channel Display|
|Long Range||High Sensitivity||Diversity|
|Fun Flying||Easy To Use (No DIP Switches)||Diversity, 40+ Channels|
|‘Riding Along’||40+ Channels||Diversity, ‘auto scan’|
Before we move on, let’s cover a few of the words we just used in that chart:
RACE BAND: Race Band is a video band that features channels spaced at proper intervals to allow up to 8 pilots to fly at once during a racing event. Many FPV events require all pilots to have Race Band capable equipment.
DIVERSITY: Diversity (Dual Diversity) is a feature that allows you to use two antennas on your Video Receiver to increase your range or penetration through objects.
AUTO- SCAN: Auto- Scan is an increasingly common feature on VRx units that allows the user to scan through available channels to find ones that are in use.
HIGH SENSITIVITY: A Video Receiver is like an ear. The more sensitive it is, the further you can fly while the receiver is still able to ‘hear’ your video signal.
WHAT’S THE WORD ON THE STREET?
After you’ve singled out a few prospect Video Receiver units, you’ll need to do your research. There are some brands and VRx models in particular that may be top of the line, and others that may be widely panned by users. The best way to find out if the Video Receivers on your list are good picks is to look at review videos or visit FPV Forums such as RC Groups to find discussions relating to your choices. Below, we’ll help you out and list a few reputable companies and/or Video Receivers.
|BEST KNOWN VRx||CONS|
|Lumenier||RX5GR||Early batch reliability issues (but good customer support)|
|Boscam||RC305||Spotty Customer Support, Only 8 Channels|
You especially want to make sure that the VRx you’re buying will work with your Video Transmitter. Keep this in mind when doing your research, and keep in mind that often buying from the same company or buying a bundle will guarantee compatibility. If you’re unsure if the VRx you’re looking at will work with the rest of your gear, post a question on an FPV Forum or search for similar questions on the internet to find an answer.
OUR TOP-RATED RECEIVERS FOR EACH USE
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of choosing a good FPV Video Receiver, we’ll talk about our favorite VRx unit for categories like Drone Racing, FPV Flying Events, Goggle Receivers, and Observing.
BEST FPV RECEIVER FOR DRONE RACING
For drone racing, we’re really fond of the ImmersionRC DUO5800 VRx. Offering diversity for better signal penetration, the DUO features the much loved RaceBand and is a standard at many big FPV events. It’s available from Amazon for around $149.99.
- Good sensitivity
- No digital display
BEST FPV RECEIVER FOR FPV FLYING EVENTS
For your run- of- the- mill FPV flying event, we’re recommending the simple, but widely used Eachine RC832 Video Receiver. Featuring a digital channel display, push button channel and band selection, as well as 32 channels (Unfortunately the RC832 does NOT operate on RaceBand frequencies), the RC832 is a favorite of many FPV pilots for its simplicity, ease of use, and low price tag, ringing the bell at an affordable $28.99.
- 32 Channels
- Push- button use
- Digital channel display
- QC and/or overall component quality may be spotty
BEST FPV GOGGLE RECEIVERS
For the Fat Shark Dominator line of video goggles, or the newly- released Attitude V3, we love the NexWave RF 32ch RaceBand receiver module. While not featuring diversity or a digital channel display, these receiver modules offer good sensitivity and they’re easy to ‘plug and play’ with your FPV goggles. Remember- if you’re looking for something beyond the internal VRx module, you can always use an external receiver via the A/V input on your goggles. The NexWave RF 32ch RaceBand receiver module is available for $36.00.
- Simple to use
- ‘Plug and Play’ compatibility with Dominator and Attitude V3 or higher goggles
- No digital channel display
- Must change video bands via DIP switches, requiring removal of antenna and module bay cover
BEST FPV RECEIVERS FOR SPECTATING/ RIDING ALONG
For observing or ‘riding along’ with somebody else, we recommend the FR632 diversity receiver. The FR632 features diversity, a digital channel display, push- button channel changing, as well as raceband, allowing you to watch along no matter what channel the pilot is flying on. The FR632 is available for $47.99.
- Digital channel display
- Push button use
- Poor customer service
- Spotty QC
That wraps up our FPV Video Receiver buying guide! If this guide helped you, be sure to check out our accompanying FPV Video Transmitter Buyer’s Guide. Remember to always research the items on your list before buying them, or ask a question online if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for. Be sure to check out the rest of our articles for more helpful tidbits, buying guides, and reviews of FPV racing drones and FPV equipment.