Parrot Mambo Minidrone - Custom FPV Setup

Overall Design

The Parrot Mambo makes an excellent platform due to its stability and brick-style connector on top which gives electrical power to attachments. The basis of the First-Person-View (FPV) setup was a tiny 200mW 5.8GHz Digital Camera and transmitter. I chose the 200mW version for the increased power. You will also need a video receiver which can attach to your TV via composite (old Yellow-Red-White) cables. Remember to sync up the channel between the receiver and the camera! Also, I would recommend the Flypad controller for increased range when flying the Mambo.

 
Photo May 20, 22 25 35.jpg

Photo May 20, 22 25 44.jpg

Connection to the Drone

The camera was held in place by a modified grabber arm (a stock attachment for the Parrot.) I dissected the grabber, removed the motor, and used the camera wiring soldered onto the power connection on the circuit board inside the brick. Since the camera came with a micro JST connector, I was able to neatly route the wires around the ultrasonic sensor on the bottom of the Mambo.

Once the grabber arm and brick are snapped in place, I used a combination of rubber bands and a twist-tie to hold the camera with the grabber arms. While this connection isn't 100% secure, it allows the camera to break free in the event of a bad crash or running into an object.

Lastly, by using the grabber arm to hold the camera in front of the Mambo, I was able to get a much clearer video picture since the two front propellers were not in the line of sight of the camera.


Flight Performance & Video Quality

The Mambo is already a superb flyer and despite the extra weight of the camera and grabber arm, I noticed no adverse flight characteristics. The video feed was also very clear even when the drone was over 300ft away from the receiver (line of sight.) Lastly, I did notice a slightly reduced flight time, perhaps around 5-6min versus the regular 7-9min I usually get without the camera. I'd also recommend flying without the "bumpers" to save weight. The video on the right is a short compilation of some of the video I recorded of my flying. Enjoy!