This review is about, The Beginner’s Guide to FPV – Alex Protogerellis, published in March, 2013.
It’s available as an eBook for $6.99 or as a paperback for $10.79. You can buy it on Amazon, iTunes, or Lulu. I bought the Kindle edition for this review, ISBN-13: 978-1300820000.
Purpose and Writing Style
The author states that this book was written for the absolute beginner in FPV, and the content stays true to that purpose.
Alex Greve, otherwise known by his online alias IBCrazy, reviewed the book prior to publication. Being an electrical engineer, he is known for his helpful advice and knowledge of antennas and FPV system design. Alex Protogerellis is an active member of the FPV community and experienced FPV pilot.
The writing is easy to understand and the message is clearly helpful and friendly.
If you don’t have a formal background in engineering or haven’t spent many hours in self-study already, you’ll be fine starting your FPV research with this book.
The book doesn’t cover the basics of RC airplane control or how to make RC airplanes in general, and assumes the reader already has this knowledge and experience.
If you don’t know how to fly a plane or if you’re new to RC airplanes, you might want to start with this article.
I noticed a few grammatical errors, but if you’re not an English major, it’s not a big deal, and you’ll be able to understand the gist of the content.
The font on many of the diagrams is difficult to read even when viewed in full-screen mode on a 27″ iMac. I’m not sure how much of this was the author’s doing, though. An auto-formatting application may have degraded the image quality during publishing. At any rate, it would be helpful if the images and diagrams had a larger size and font.
Footnotes are included. While they do provide more detail, the text might flow more smoothly if the additional information had been included in the main body.
Things I Especially Liked
The section on improving signal quality, both video and RC, has helpful advice on upgrading from linearly polarized antennas to the circularly polarized type.
The author also provides a useful walk-through of his own experiences and FPV setups, including a Twinstar 2 and HobbyKing 168 Eagle. I really enjoy reading about the setups used by others in achieving excellent results.
I would have liked to have seen more detail on almost all of the topics, but maybe that’s coming in the second edition.
It’s difficult writing about FPV and UAV regulations because they change so often, and they’re usually not written clearly to begin with.
There was no reference to the amateur radio licensing process. But given the author is not from the US, this is understandable.
I really dislike reading books or articles that are stuffy and condescending to the reader, but I’m happy to report that’s not the case with this book. The author made a sincere effort in his research and presentation of material.
I think it’s great that someone finally developed an eBook on the basics of FPV.
Sometimes I find myself getting irritated reading personal rants on message boards. I’ve also seen them get downright hostile to newcomers. Even highly moderated message boards allow groupthink to thrive and can quickly turn off a newcomer to the hobby.
I personally like learning from books, as I’m able to go at my own pace. I also like the personal connection to a single author and the less cluttered format compared to a message board.
The message boards do have their place, some of the more technical and recent information can only be found there, but for the core knowledge required to get you on your way in the FPV hobby, The Beginner’s Guide to FPV – Alex Protogerellis could be a good way to start your journey in FPV RC.
I’m looking forward to a second edition with better proof-reading and more detailed content. With some added material, this could be the go-to eBook for the FPV beginner.