Acquiring Video with a FPV camera on RPi

Now my Quad is flying I can start my “real” project which is to acquire video and sound in FPV through the Raspberry.
I know about the solution using gstreamer and the RPi standard Camera. This solution is for me not 100% satisfactory due to the relatively low resolution and image quality of the RPi camera.
And buying a GoPro is very expensive and risky in case of Quad failure…

Quite simple to do is to plug my HD Camera module to a dedicated Video Link in 5.8 GHZ for receiving and displaying video onto my GCS HUD trough USB Video Grabber acquisition. This disadvantage of this solution is clearly that video quality is variable depending on video link potential interférences… Therefore I would like to acquire the video directly on the raspberry in parallel during flight, just like a GoPro would do.

Does somebody know how to acquire a video signal on raspberry and to encode it on the fly?
Specific questions are :

  • is the Raspberry sufficiently powerful to do this?
  • what interface should I use between video signal cable and Raspberry? I have a USB Video Grabber that works well on Windows, but I don’t find drivers on Linux and even less on Raspbian…

Thanks for your very kind help

Check this out. I’m currently using it to stream live video to a raspberry pi on the ground hooked up to a monitor and recording to a USB stick. There is also a way to stream telemetry over the link.

I am currently setting up this system on the bench before moving to the quad.

I am interested in getting a bidirectional MavLink connection - I can see how you can downlink the MavLink data by piggybacking onto the video broadcast, but I am not sure how to proceed with the uplink. I am guessing that I could run a parallel RX process on the quad and TX process on the ground and use MavProxy at both ends to corral the data and feed it into Navio on the quad and a GCS on the ground, but not sure how to do that.

Has anybody managed to get this sort of arrangement working - if so how, and what impact does it have on the video stream?


Very interesting topic to avoid the expensive dedicated video link TX and RX + USB Video Grabber !
Some questions however :

  • what range do you get from a conventional Wifi dongle on a raspberry pi?
  • how is the signal quality behaving? Do you have stable video quality? why not directly recording on the TX raspberry with start and stop record command sent via telemetry from GCS to have perfect quality
  • are you using raspberry pi camera or Something else? I would like to adapt another camera with higher quality and broader vision angle

Thanks for your interesting post