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2015/12/01 Flying 3D FPV with Skyzone 3D FPV Goggles
π 2015-12-01 00:00 in Rc
This is my review of the Skyzone SKY02 V3 AIO 3D FPV Goggles, which I got to supplement my Skyzone Dual Antenna FPV Goggle V2:

I had the old Skyzone 2D goggles with dual receivers and diversity controller, and I quite like them. However, they are sadly made for smaller faces than mine, and even by putting the lenses as far away as possible, it's barely wide enough and I have to strain a bit to see the whole screen. Bummer.

Summary of Skyzone 2D vs 3D:

  • 3D has 3D (obviously), but with each receiver getting a separate full resolution image (vs fatshark and others that do SBS, i.e. half resolution)
  • Both have the same diversity controller (two receivers, two antennas), and in 3D mode you change diversity for 2 separate receivers. Range of the receivers seemed equivalent in my side by side real world flying test (some reviews said the early versions of the 3D had a bad receiver, mine did not)
  • Nice OSD menus in the 3D (not present in the 2D)
  • Support for recording to microsd card (sadly 2D recording only, I'd have loved 3D recording)
  • As a minus, in PAL, the 3D goggles crop a little bit of the bottom of the picture, I had to move my OSD text up one line (not an issue in NTSC)
  • The IPD is slightly better (see below) for my eyes
  • The 3D comes with a dual VTX and a dual camera (the 2D comes is goggles only). To be honest, I'd have loved to buy the 3D goggles only.
  • The skyzone 3D goggles sadly don't offer much more IPD (interpupillary distance), but the extra 1mm helps a bit and wearing them is a bit better for me than wearing the 2D goggles.
    I have just now tried some fatshark Dominator HDv2 and dominator v3s, and both also make it impossible to see the whole screens from left to right with both eyes on max IPD setting. That's disappointing, but basically means that the IPD on the skyzone 3Ds isn't really much worse for my face. In real life each of my 2 eyes misses a small part of the side of the screen, and the other eye makes up for it, so it's not too bad.

    I was however worried when I saw reviews that were saying that the receivers on the new skyzones, were of poor quality and range. Without knowing for sure, I ordered them and went to test them. To my relief, they gave me the same 5km flying distance I was getting with the original 2D skyzones. In other words, the skyzones 3D are just a positive upgrade from the 2D ones.

    Next, was trying 3D. Most people seem to have tried them on quadcopters to fly between trees at close range. That's all nice and good but my application was a plane, and not flying that close to objects. I was also not very impressed by how heavy and bulky the default camera was, as well as the dual VTX. At the same time, I didn't have high hopes of the dual VTX being any good for long range, having 2 transmitters that close to one another cannot be good. So, I ended up using 2 regular VTXes, with more room between them, and reverse polarized circular polarized antennas.

    This is what the default setup looks like:

    So, this is what I did: I made my own 3D camera, one with the proper IPD (the skyzone cameras are too close), and one with a very elongated point of view, almost like a hammerhead shark. It helps seeing 3D effects at longer distances (more than you would see with normal vision).

    I used the stock camera (but not VTX) for my first test. It was very disappointing because the camera could see the plane, and that ruined the 3D effect. Also, as expected the 3D perception wasn't going to work well with the cameras so close to one another:

    So I made my own 3D camera:



    install before flying
    install before flying

    2 video transmitters, 600mW with LHCP antenna, and 2W with RHCP in the back
    2 video transmitters, 600mW with LHCP antenna, and 2W with RHCP in the back

    I've only done one test flight with that setup, but having the cameras be far apart works great for seeing 3D at a longer distance, and also I'm not seeing the plane, which is good. The only issue is that my servo doesn't have enough torque to deal with that much weight, so when I have the wide camera setup installed, I just unplug the rotation servo.
    Using the 2 VTX with some distance between them, and RHCP + LHCP gave good results, I was able to fly 5km away without problems.

    All in all, it's a pretty cool system, even if I don't like their cameras or the bundled dual transmitter (they should sell the goggles alone for people like me), it's a very cool setup. Now please just make one for faces that are wider and allow more IPD like fatshark does.

    The most unfortunate thing is that the goggles cannot record 3D, they only record one eye in 2D. To get 3D, I'd have to use 2 sets of goggles, each to record one channel, and then synchronize the recordings and make some SBS video out of it. Sounds like a lot work...

    Actually, since I realized that I cannot turn my dual camera setup anymore, I went ahead and put the cameras even farther apart: in the wings. They are a bit hard to line up, but they do give a better 3D effect at even greater distances now:

    I have about 1m between the cameras, and should try to move them even farther apart
    I have about 1m between the cameras, and should try to move them even farther apart

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