New competitor ready
Red Cat, owner of the hobby-famous FPV goggle manufacturer FatShark, has announced the Fat Shark Dominator HD Digital FPV System, a digital FPV ecosystem that includes the Fat Shark Dominator FPV goggles and the Fat Shark Dominator HD VTX digital video transmitter, as previously promised. Thus, a new long-awaited player enters the market, which will be able to oppose in the niche of FPV devices, such competitors as DJI with their Digital FPV System and Divimath with their HDZero series system.
Despite the announcement, the developer is in no hurry to disclose technical information about the new digital FPV system. Therefore, today we basically have for the most part only a list of the key features of the FPV headset:
- Field of View (FOV): 46°
- Adjustable Interpupillary Distance (IPD): 57~70mm
- Adjustable focus range: +2 to -6 diopters
- 2 × Full HD 1080P OLED displays
- Input voltage: 7-21V (2S-5S)
- Ability to output HD-video via USB-C connector
- Support for Betaflight Canvas Mode
- Built-in HD DVR
- Adjustable anti-fog ventilation system
- Customizable fit with optional bezel accessories
- Power on/off button
How new is the technology?
A well-known hobbyist in the field of FPV drones, Joshua Bardwell, one of the first to get the opportunity to try out Fat Shark’s new Dominator FPV goggles at the Rotor Riot Rampage 2022 event in the USA, and also had the opportunity to chat with Fat Shark CEO Greg French and ask him a few questions ( see video below). Specifically, he asked him how new technology their digital FPV ecosystem is and who their technology partners are. Answering Joshua’s question, the head of Fat Shark did not give a definite answer, the only thing he could answer was that the “Fat Shark Dominator HD Digital FPV System” does not belong to either Divimath or DJI.
However, many who have already had time to get acquainted with the available information could notice that the FPV menu of the Dominator headset is very similar to the menu of DJI FPV goggles! For example, we can notice the presence of such modes as “Focus Mode”, “Audience mode”, “Low Power Mode”, bitrate of 25 or 50 Mbps, adjustable power of 25, 200 and 700 mW, etc. If this is not an updated version of DJI’s Digital FPV System, it is still very similar – so much so that it can be considered another iteration.
The Fat Shark system works on the same principle as the DJI system, with a point-to-point broadcast and latency that decreases as the signal gets weaker, while Divimath’s HDZero is a fixed-delay multipoint broadcast even as the signal deteriorates. We also note the presence of two buttons and a joystick on the Fat Shark goggles, as well as 4 antennas … like on DJI headsets.
So, who are those. partner?
Greg French is unwilling to reveal the name of his technology partner and assures us that the Fat Shark digital system does not belong to DJI. However, all signs point to the opposite – an obvious imitation of the DJI system. We decided to dig deeper into the information coming from various sources and found out that the mysterious company is most likely Walksnail, closely or distantly connected with the manufacturer Caddx. Caddx, which we all know offers Vista components, Digital FPV System hardware under license from DJI. See what the online store has to offer “Flywoo”: Walksnail FPV goggles/Walksnail VTX, doesn’t it look like anything? By the way, recently to go to the site Walksnail requires a password: “walksnail”. In general, there are more questions than answers.
Price and availability
The Dominator Goggles (Digital) are now available for pre-order for $600 directly from the Rotor Riot website (excluding shipping and taxes), and the Fat Shark Dominator HD VTX Video Transmitter is also available for pre-order for $160. At the same time, at the moment, the developer does not disclose any accompanying information about the product. There is no specification, no word on the FPV camera that should accompany the kit, and no word on a release date, as you can see. In general, to be continued!