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Product Reviews

Fat Shark Teleporter V4

An affordable way to get the FPV experience

May 24, 2016

Highlights
  • Nice introductory price
  • Digital head tracking
  • Plug-and-play with Spektrum cameras and transmitters
  • Comfortable fit
  • Immersive experience
We have had a blast at the office flying while wearing Fat Shark's new Teleporter V4 FPV goggles. Developed specifically for Horizon Hobby as a way into the world of first-person view (FPV), the Teleporter V4 makes a great entry-level headset, with plenty of features that won't leave an enormous hole in your wallet.

But first things first! With the goggles, you also get a compact carrying case, a 7.4V 760mAh LiPo battery with discharge adapter, 5.8GHz antenna, a charger with four outlet adapters, AV cable, and a cleaning cloth. There's also a user manual with instructions in English, German, French, and Italian.
Fat Shark FPV Accessories
Left to right, top to bottom: Cleaning cloth, 7.4 760MAH LiPo battery, discharge adapter, data cable, spironet RHCP antenna, AV cable, and manual.
Bill Zuback
Before you fly

When used in conjunction with a Spektrum camera or other Horizon Hobby brand (like the Blade Inductrix 200 FPV), the Teleporter V4 is about as plug-and-play as you can get. Basically, turn on the camera and then plug the battery into the headset. If you’re seeing snow, change the channel on the headset until you see the image from the camera. (If you have multiple people using FPV, make sure you’re seeing the image from the camera on your drone and not one of your friends’.)

The adjustable headband lets you wear the headset snugly, and the soft rubber eye cups are quite comfortable.

The Teleporter’s digital head-tracking feature is very cool. With head tracker turned off, basically you’re looking at a TV screen. No matter your head’s orientation, you’re always going to see the angle of the camera on the drone. With head tracking on, the image zooms in and will digitally tilt and pan depending upon how you turn your head.

Now, this isn’t a 360-degree virtual-reality experience. Looking over your shoulder won’t let you see what’s behind the drone. However, it does give you the illusion of a better field of view and somewhat alleviates the feeling of tunnel vision that can come with wearing FPV goggles.

You can turn digital head tracking on and off by pressing the black display button on top of the goggles and waiting for a two-second count before releasing. This button also controls contrast and brightness. For me, because the button is right above the nose, using the button to adjust these settings was a bit of a pain, but it’s nothing you can’t get used to. Left of the display button are the channel buttons; on the right, volume for headphones if your camera is equipped with a microphone.
Drone360's Assistant Editor, Leah Froats, had a blast the first time she tried FPV. It's hard not to!
Bill Zuback
The goggles also have analog head tracking, which is always active. To use it, plug in the data cable to the trainer port on the back of compatible Spektrum transmitters. Analog head tracking allows you to control the pan and tilt of a gimbal-mounted camera simply by moving your head. When using analog head tracking, make sure to turn off digital head tracking. If you don’t, both will be operating simultaneously and will create a pretty wacky flight experience.

The headset houses a pair of QVGA 320x240 screens. The displays allow you a narrow 25-degree field of view, and the image is about what you'd expect from an older cellphone. But I also understand that it's an entry-level device

Initially, the battery placement in the headband felt a bit weird. The first time I flew with the headset on, the battery popped loose and dangled from the goggles. That made for an interesting few moments as I landed and got everything put back where it should be. After that single incident, I haven't had any other problems. Just make sure the battery is secure before flying.

And don’t worry about a depleted battery. The Teleporter V4 starts beeping to let you know you're low on juice and need to land and recharge.
Into the blue

Depending upon how much interference you have between you and your drone, the display can get a little jumpy, but you get used to it. Until you’re familiar with the FPV experience, fly high and in open spaces, just like you did when you were first learning to fly. It leaves you room to recover if you make a mistake and keeps friends, property, and your drone safe.
System Specs

Fat Shark Teleporter V4 FPV Video Headset
  • Available: Horizon Hobby
  • Display: QVGA 320x240 LCD screens
  • Receiver: 7 channels, 5.8GHz
  • Weight: 5.74 ounces
  • Price: $199.99
Final thoughts

Fat Shark’s Teleporter V4 FPV goggles are an excellent way to get into the first-person view experience. The affordable headset has plenty to offer for the price point. It also wouldn’t make a bad backup should something go haywire with your primo goggles.

Something else to keep in mind: If you wear glasses, your experience will be blurry without them. Wear contacts when flying FPV, or buy a corrective diopter lens kit for the goggles from Horizon Hobby.


Note: A version of this review appears in the Drone360 May/June 2016 issue.
Featured image: Bill Zuback