I finally got around to fitting my large(ish) Fox Glider with an FPV system comprised of a nice little camera from FoxtechFPV, a Dianmu OSD flight controller, and a 600mW FoxtechFPV TS832 Video transmitter. The attractive feature of the TS832 VTx is that they have a couple of buttons that allow you to quickly and easily change channels. If you are experiencing a bad signal on one frequency, it is easy just to switch across to another one with a clear signal. In that respect they are nice little units….but.
Upon landing after one of the short first flights with the new system I observed that the video transmitter was running quite hot. Certainly a lot hotter than I had experienced with the other video transmitters I have used. I had not realised quite how hot it had got until I had reason to take the transmitter off and found a neat melted hole in the plastic sheath around the device. It still works so I removed the sheath to try to get as much airflow around it as possible. I bought it a couple of years ago along with a receiver and two other TS832s. One of the TS832s failed very early and FoxtechFPV replaced it with a new one. I figured it was just that I had been unlucky and received a one-off dud. Now that I am finally putting the TS832 video transmitters into use I have been very disappointed to find just how crappy they are.
Know your enemy - the front face of the TS832 video transmitter
I have a friend who is developing some kit to go on one of his fixed wing planes. He had purchased a TS832 video transmitter and was having problems getting a signal from it. I set up my video receiving station and agreed that there was nothing there to receive. We pulled out the video transmitter and it had a cooked patch on it. Seeing as I had several of the same video transmitters ready to go, I grabbed one from home and we installed it. Based on my growing distrust of the TS832s I suspected this was going to be a sacrifice to the gods of smoke and mishap. I was not wrong. We had a good signal and got the plane into the air. After about half a minute of flying the signal suddenly stopped. When we looked at the video transmitter we found that it had failed spectacularly (as shown below). It was well and truly toasted, and had even had a go at charring the plywood mounting on the plane.
So my advice on the TS832 video transmitters in all their guises and different brands is avoid them like the plague. They are rubbish. There is a diode (or something resembling a diode) that is inadequately sized for the voltages and currents it carries. Two out of three transmitters that are completely fried and one that could go at any moment is a pretty poor record. All of them were operated with good airflow around them and good aerials. It is possible the only reason the one from the Fox glider has not failed is because it was not suppling electricity to the camera. There are plenty of reviews on the web that suggest these things are pretty crappy and badly under-perform, it’s just a shame there were none of these reviews around at the time I bought mine.
Because I don’t trust my remaining TS832, I have replaced it with a 600mW ImmersionRC video transmitter. I have used one of the ImmersionRC units on another of my planes for quite a few years and not had any problems with it.