FPV, ESC, FC, BEC, what does it all mean?

 Mode 2 is here to help you understand the basics of quadcopter FPV RC, and also all the nomenclature that comes with it.  It can seem intimidating at first, but we’ll outline what each acronym means, what each part does.

This is just a very simple and quick list of what parts you need and what they do.  If you would like a more in-depth guide, feel free to check out this site with tons of great information:  OscarLiang.com – Share Knowledge and Ideas

Realistically speaking, there isn’t that many components to a quadcopter, the very basics of which are even less to get it in the air.  While FPV gear is not necessary, it definitely increases the experience and enjoyability of flying an aircraft.  Below you will find what the basic requirements are, what extras there are, and what it all stands for.

 

Frame:

This one is pretty self explanatory.  It’s usually made of carbon fiber, sometimes plastic or even wood, and is what all the components mount to for building your quadcopter.

 

Motors:

These are also self explanatory.  Motors vary through a wide variety of sizes and ratings usually defined by “KV”.  To put it simply, KV is the RPM constant of the motor, which is the number of revolutions the motor will turn when one volt is applied to the motor, per minute, with no load attached.  This may be more simply defined as the torque of the motor.  Lower KV’s usually produce more torque and will move bigger propellers.  Higher KV’s will produce higher RPMs and spin smaller propellers at higher revolutions per minute.

 

ESC:

ESC is short for “Electronic Speed Control(ler)”, and one is required per motor, even when using a 4-in-1.  This translates the signal from the RF output into how much power the motor is supposed to receive.  ESCs are rated by how many amps of current they can withstand, as such, a 30A ESC will have more weight to it as opposed to a 12A ESC, as weight is a great consideration when it comes to speed and maneuverability.

 

Flight Controller (FC):

The brains of the organization, the flight controller takes all the pieces and puts them together to make sure they work in unison.  It provides stabilization and other information for the aircraft.  Flight controllers come with a wide range of features and ports for which you can attach data and telemetry items.  Some even support controlling how your LEDs light up.

 

Receiver (Rx):

This receives the signal from your transmitter and tells the flight controller what operations to perform next.  This is not to be confused with a video receiver (VRx), which usually is found within your flight goggles, monitor, ground station, etc.

 

Transmitter (Tx):

This is the “remote control” you hold in your hands and tell the quadcopter what to do, how fast to fly, where to turn and everything else you can think of, even starting up and shutting down the motors.  Don’t confuse it with a video transmitter (VTx), which is an optional FPV (First Person View) component.

 

Camera:

Cameras allow you to see what the aircraft sees as you fly through the skies.  Camera “resolution” is measured in TVL (Television Lines) and the higher the TVL, the better the “resolution” will be.

 

Video Transmitter (VTx):

This takes the video from your camera and transmits it to your video receiver (VRx).

 

Video Receiver (VRx):

This receives the video from your video transmitter and allows you to remotely view the quadcopter as it flies through the skies.  They are usually found within video goggles, fpv monitors, groundstations and elsewhere.