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.

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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!