FPV Glossar

Analog

Battery

Batteries in a FPV drone are connected to the PDB to power the components. For drones LiPo batteries are used because of their high energy density, which makes them weigh less and therefore improve the flight time.

A battery has two important measures. Its capacity and cell count that specify their voltage level.

Different LiPo battery packs are made up of individual cells with one cell having 3.7V. Typical cell counts are defined as:

Cell count Voltage
2S 7.4 V
3S 11.1 V
4S 14.8 V

BetaFlight

The BetaFlight open source Flight Controller frimware project (found on GitHub) provides frimwares for FCs. To configure and flash a firmware onto a Flight Controller we use the BetaFlight Configurator.

BetaFlight is a fork of the CleanFlight project, which is considered less experimental. However, modern Flight Controllers are supported mostly by BetaFlight.

BetaFlight Configurator

Part of the BetaFlight open source Flight Controllers frimware project. It is a cross platform (runs on most operating systems, Windows, Linux, MacOS) configuration tool for the BetaFlight frimware.

CleanFlight

DFU

DFU stands for “Device Firmware Update” which is a mode of a Flight Controller device that is required to flash a new Firmware onto a FC. It depends on the FC board how to get the device into the DFU mode. Either you need to short the BL or BOOT pads (or press and hold the BOOT tactile button if your FC board has one) while plugging the USB into the Flight Controller board.

EU LBT

EU LBT stands for European Union Listen Before Talk (or Transmit) and is a firmware version for receivers and transmitter modules, which is allowed in the geographical region of the EU. Another firmware version is the FCC version which can be used outside the EU. Reference: Brushless Whoop.

FCC

Stands for Federal Communications Commission which regulates use of radio frequencies within the United States. Reference: Brushless Whoop.

Flash

Flashing means to update a Software, also refered to as Firmware, that runs on a device, such as a Flight Controller board. The term “to flash” comes from the Flash storage component of a device where the Firmware is stored.

ESC

The Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) is conected to the PDB and controls the speed of a motor by adjusting its rpms (rotation per minutes). A quadcopter uses four ESCs which can be part of the Flight Controller. The input signal to an ESC comes from the Flight Controller, which tells the ESC at which speed a motor should run.

Flight Controller

Micro Controller board that contains input and output (I/O) pins and a processing unit (microchrip), which runs a Flight Controller frimware. The Flight Controller acts as the brain of a drone. By processing sensor input signals the Flight Controller is used to compute output signals for external or internal ESCs to keep level flight. Other input signals are used to adjust the pose of the quad in the air such as the receiver and other internal or external sensors. A Flight Controller usually contains multiple internal sensors such as IMUs.

Firmware

In the context of FPV a firmware is the software that runs on the Flight Controller

FPV

Abbreviation for first person view, where the live image from a flying quad is view through an analog video receiving system. This can be either a fpv goggle or monitor.

FrSky

Company that produces radio controlled transmitters and receivers, which are most common in the FPV scene. At their hompage https://www.frsky-rc.com/ you can see all the products and download manuals and firmware updates.

Goggle

Used to view the analog live image captured by the camera on the quad, which is transmitted with the video transmitter that sits also on the quad.

LBT

LBT stands for Listen Before Talk or Listen Before Transmit and describes the version of a firmware for transmitters and receivers. The LBT version also refered to as EU LBT is the allowed version in the European Union. Most of the FrSky receivers and transmitters are sometimes referenced as EU or non EU or EU LBT and FCC.

Reference: Brushless Whoop.

PDB

The Power Distribution Board (PDB) acts as the heart of an FPV quad. It is connected to the Battery and distributes its power to other components of the quad. The main components its is connected to are the ESCs to power the motors. A PDB usually has additional voltage outputs such as 5V and 12V to power sensors or LEDs.

Radio

See Transmitter.

Receiver

The receiver (also refered to as Rx) is installed in the quad or radio controlled (rc) vehicle and communicates with the transmitter

Transmitter

Also known as radio is the radio controlled (rc) part that communicates with a receiver. The term Tx is commonly referred to transmitting unit.

The most common manufacturar for FPV quad transmitters is FrSky

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