Types of FPV Transmitters and Receivers


Assuming the FPV goggles you bought don’t have a built in antenna, you’ll have to purchase a separate antenna to plug into your goggles. A good antenna is important for range and reception, which will make your flying experience the best it can be. There are four main types of antennas:

It is also important to take note on which kind of connector you gear has. It is important that the connector on your FPV goggles is compatible with the connector on your antenna. The good news is that there only two kinds: SMA and RP-SMA. The only different between the two connections is that the SMA connector will have a small pin (much like a coaxial cable), and the RP-SMA is the just the opposite and has a small hole. The image below shows this subtle difference. Again, make sure you know what kind of connection to buy.

FPV connection types

Dipole

This is the most common and recognizable antenna to most people. It is the antenna found on a lot of electronics such as routers and modems. If your FPV goggles happen to come with this type of antenna, you should really get a better one. They can only transmit when they are upright, this makes the range extremely poor compared to other antennas; not to mention if you try to do a flip with your drone you’ll lose connection and crash. These types of antennas can be used on either the transmitter or your FPV goggle receiver. Again, if you want the best experience possible, you’re best off buying a different type of antenna; most antennas usually cost between $10-50.

Dipole FPV antenna

Standard Dipole Antenna

Circular Polarized

This type of antenna often has 3 or 4 smaller clove shaped antennas. The makes this kind of antenna much better than a standard dipole antenna is that it can transmit and receive equally well in all directions. It does not matter the orientation of your FPV goggles or drone, this antenna works however you like to fly. This type of antenna will give you increased range along with better reception around trees, shrubs, or walls.

There are two different kinds of circular polarized antennas: left-hand and right-hand. It is very important to note that a right-hand receiver will not work with a left-hand transmitted. Your transmitter and receiver must be of the same orientation in order to work; either both either left-hand antennas or both right-hand antennas.

These antennas are most common in the FPV world because they are extremely cheap and durable. If you crash and bend the antennas, they are easily bent back into shape. Some companies offer this type of antenna with a plastic covering over the antenna to make them even more durable.

 

 Helical & Patch

Helical and patch antennas are both directional antennas, and there are really only meant to be receivers. A directional antenna means that you would have to aim this antenna in the general direction of your drone in order to get the best reception. You are able to fly to the sides of these antennas but it the quality tends to drop out quickly. These antennas work well if you would be piloting your drone close to yourself.

Helical FPV antenna

Helical Antenna

Patch FPV antenna

Patch Antenna