RunCam Split Review For FPV Racing Drone

So as my first post I'd like to write about a recent project that I completed. I am a professional drone racer some would say, but really I consider myself just to be obsessed with the hobby of FPV drone racing. I am involved with most of the racing leagues in South Florida and I participate in many races. Staying up to date with the latest and greatest in technology for these race drones has taught me a lot about building custom drones. Recently I decided to upgrade from traditional electronic speed controllers for my drone to a 4 in 1 electronic speed controller for my quad-copter (aka drone). I also bought a new flight camera which transmits standard def video via the video transmitter and also records in 1080 p (hence the name Runcam Split). The extra board that comes with the camera is used to record and process the 1080 p video onto the memory card. It's a new innovation for drone racers that previously had to mount a go-pro or similar action cam in order to get HD footage of their flights. This new camera called the Runcam Split lets you record in HD and transmit in standard def using one single camera. Saving the pilot at least 100 grams of weight and preventing the loss of a go pro or other expensive camera, this new product is causing a big commotion in the community. People want to know how it work and if it's too good to be true.

First off, the camera is basically the same as the previously released Runcam Swift Mini which is pretty small in size compared to the first version of the Runcam Swift. The new camera also includes a processing board which handles the HD recording data and the Mini SD card. An image of the camera before I started the install is found below along with the size diagram from the MFG's website.

Personally, I feel that this is the best thing to happen for FPV racers that want to get race footage in HD because before you would have to mount a heavy Gopro and it really slowed you down. Pilots would choose to just record in standard definition from their FPV goggles which is really low quality, similar to a cheap security camera feed.

Now that it's installed on my Kraken x5 quad, the entire quad weighs 324.6 grams with props on. Which is about 80 grams lighter than it was before I had the go pro mounted on the same quad. when I race, I can actually keep up with people that are running ultra light weight rigs and record in HD which is awesome.

The entire camera system only needs a 3 pin connector that most pilots will already have coming from the VTX with a video, power (5v) and ground wire. Most cameras require the same exact type of connection point, if you're building quads, you probably have a ton of these laying around. Below is a video showing the installed unit and how the 3 pin wire connects to the board to power up the Split. In the video you'll also see the DVR footage vs the HD footage. As far as latency goes, I did not notice any compared to the other top notch cameras being used by the FPV community and I have tried just about all of the well-known ones including the Foxeer line, Runcam line, Spektrum Cams etc...

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Sergio Aicardi
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