FPV ground station - TFT display - storage and lots moreFPV ground station - TFT display - storage and lots more
May 12 2012
Click here to view Part 2: FPV ground station update - Sun shade and door locks

First of all a big thanks go out to MyFlyDream.com who supplied my equipment :)

Over the last year or so as my FPV equipment has gotten more advanced I created several new generations of field boxes which semi served as ground stations. By now I wanted a real home for all my items and hate the idea of carrying multiple boxes around for a hobby, yes I love this hobby but even still.

There are many variations on what a ground station should contain but like many things it's down to personal preference. My preference is to fit as much as humanly possible into the available space so I decided to use an aluminium DVD storage case, these are pretty deep cases and offer more room than traditional hobby cases. Also there dirt cheap on Ebay and others places especially compared to proper hobby cases.
You can see it's a decent size case which used to have 3 rails running along the bottom and lid which the DVDs would slide on, I dremeled them off.
The case has a stiff paper trim with a velvet type material which I ripped out but kept knowing I might re-use some of it. I then split the bottom into 3 compartment areas using plastic board and hot glue.
Remember the trim, well I re-used it on the sides to retain as much space as possible and for other more important areas I used egg-cup foam.
A DVD case like this normally has 2 handles, 1 on each side so you always pick it up level, I took them off and relocated 1 to the front of the case just by drilling new holes.
I still like my FatShark video goggles but I really want a proper screen to fly from so this is a 9" TFT screen with many options most important of which is the ability to switch off blue-screen (and it remembers when power is removed).
It can read from USB devices using the supplied lead and also from SD card. I have a SD extension cable on order from China so I can mount and use this also.
On the opposite side is the 12v DV power plug, Headphone jack, AV in 4 pole jack, Antenna Ariel jack!
Now on to giving the lid a fascia to make it look nicer. On the right is a large access panel where the S-video for the monitor runs through, all cables can be stored in here. Also it holds my digital camcorder which goes on the AAT for direct recording.
I mounted the USB, headphone and Ariel plugs on the left of the monitor by cutting aluminium pieces out so they could slot in.
I want the screen removable but also not damage it. I used the supplied sticky pads that came with the monitor on the back, then hot glued velcro to the sticky pad! The whole thing *could be* taken off if really required but it wouldn't be easy!
The opposite velcro patches in place on the top left, under is a lipo retainer area to power the monitor (3S 1800mAh) which also has a spare 12V line ready for future use.
Of course I need to be able to put the lipo in place so a 2nd access panel was created.
To paint the wood I first used 2 coats of black spray paint followed by another 2 coats of clear lacquer. You can see the master power switch, lipo meter on/off switch and the lipo LED display itself.
You can see the lipo slips into place and is held in pretty tight. Leads are fairly easy to access.
Now my FatShark goggles go under my transmitter, below is all my lipos stacked in their own compartment with my balance charger (ECO6). On the right side is my EEE laptop which I can also use to record the video feed.
Under the laptop is my Nano FPV pod, antenna cases, lipo checker, servo tester, ESC programmer, tools, charger leads, tapes, spare parts and more. On the top lid you can see the digital camcorder at the top velcro in place under is all the cables for ground station <> tracker.
Finally this is how it'd normally look when I'm actually flying, S-video cable can run out the side to the MyFlyDream AAT unit. With this is of course the tracker and my tripod but 90% of everything I need fits in this 1 box now. I do have to buy some stoppers for the lid panels to keep them closed but a simple matter I can take care, for the whole it's finished and ready to use.
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