DIY module for Fatshark goggles | 5.8G or 2.4G Boscam

DIY Module for Fatshark Dominator, 5.8G for $15

DISCLAIMER
I disclaim all responsibility if you break or damage your equipment when following this tutorial. You’ll follow this tutorial at your own risks

NOTE: The 2.4G version is still under testing.

My 2.4G version is working with the diagram shown below but the module seems to be defective since there is continuity between ANT and ANT GND which causes the module to have a terrible range. Thus, for now I won’t be able to make sure that the 2.4G version is fully working. Then, information concerning the 2.4G is only provided for beta testing.


German version translated by Christoph Bimmer here

Hi everyone,

Since I finally have my HD’s, I’m going to explain you how make a module for Fatshark Dominator goggles (or other Fatshark goggles, but this will require more work).

Before getting started with the making, we’re going to see how Fatshark’s modules work.

I. How do Fatshark’s Modules work?

Fatshark’s modules are basically made of :

  • A PCB plate
  • An RF module
  • Headers (pins)
  • Female SMA Connector

Fatshark Dominator Module

 

Of course, all put together, ready to use!

But, we are lucky, Boscam sells (like Airwave, the company that makes Fatshark’s RF modules) the RF module only.

There are two versions : for 2.4G (RX2188) and 5.8G (RX5808).

After reviewing the two datasheets, we can see that basically, the two RF modules (Fatshark’s and Boscam’s RX5808) work exactly the same way. Despite the fact that the pins aren’t in the same spots :

FS RX VS BOSCAM RX

Now that we know how these modules work, we’ll be able to make one ourselves!

II. Making your Fatshark goggles’ Module :

What we’ll need :

Nécessaire

> Cutting the PCB plate :

Take your PCB plate and cut it out to get it 42.1×24.81mm big.

before cutting

30x70mm PCB plate before cutting | Much bigger than the stock Fatshark Module

After some cutting, there you go!

Après découpage, nous avons la même taille que le module Fatshark

Now, they’re are the same size

> Soldering the headers (pins) :

Be careful, usually the headers are a little bit short. push them a little bit forward with a plier.

Ils doivent dépasser d'environ 6,5mm

When pushed, they should be 6,5mm long

Once they’re are 6.5mm long, you can solder them like this :

pins soldered

With the headers soldered | The second pin can be cut, it’s useless

> SMA connector soldering :

Surely one of the toughest parts, soldering it correctly. The SMA needs to be straight and shouldn’t obstruct the door closing.

SMA Bulkhead

I soldered a servo wire on ANT GND (see the diagram below) on one side and on the SMA on the other side. I then soldered the SMA’s inner pin on ANT (see the diagram below). I highly recommend you to add some hot glue in order to strengthen it.

Before gluing the module on the PCB, I added some tape on the PCB to avoid short-circuit. Then I glued it in order to have the SMA connector matching the door’s hole. The SMA connector must be in the PCB’s upper left corner.

> Connecting the module to the pins :

We’re now going to cut the servo wires and bare them a little bit on both ends. The wire’s length depending on which pins you’re going to solder. The length being different for each pin.

And then we can start soldering the wires on the RF module and the pins following this pin-out :

RX2188 wiring Dominator's
And for the 2.4G Module :

RX2188 wiring for Dominator's
Here is what you get :

Pratiquement terminé!

Almost done!

Il est très dur de faire de belles soudures vu la taille des pins ;)

Pretty hard to get nice soldered joints because of the wires’ size ;)

Don’t forget to check that all of your soldered joints are independent from each other before hot gluing.

Une peu de colle chaude et les voilà installées dans les Dominator HD!

Some hot glue later, ready to use in my HD’s!

You can switch channels exactly like the stock module 😉

And you’re done, you can now use very cheap VTXs for only $15!

Posted in Tutorials.

18 Comments

  1. Hey there,
    Thanks for the tutorial, it is a couple of years that I am using the RX5808 module in my Dominator goggles without a single issue, but there is no way I can make the RX2188 work!

    When you say “the 2.4G version is still under testing” what do you mean?
    In my case I solder everything up but the goggles do not recognize a module is plugged in and all I see is a dark gray screen.

    I also have an RX2189 module, but same story: gray screen.

    did you encounter the same problem? Why do you think nobody does the same thing and everyone buys the premade modules (only for 2.4G, because for 5.8G the DIY way is pretty common..)

    Thanks!

    Gio

    • Hi gio,

      I have tried to reach you on the phone today and I missed out when you had called me back.

      I’ll update the article concerning the 2.4G version. Mine is working but I have continuity between ANT and ANT GND whereas there should not be one. This caused the module to have a terrible range despite working correctly.

      I don’t understand why there is no post about it since it’s not that hard to make. However, since my current RX2188 is apparently defective, perhaps I’ll end up buying a Fatshark 2.4G module…

  2. Pingback: Nieuwe Fatshark Dominator lijn ( v2 en HD ) - Pagina 66 - Modelbouwforum.nl

    • Hi Christoph,
      Sure, as long as there is the copyright backlink 😉
      Don’t forget to give the link to your translation when it’s done, I’ll add the link at the beginning of this tutorial for german speakers 😉

    • Have you wired correctly the three wires going on CH1, CH2 and CH3?
      If they’re not wired correctly you won’t be able to change channels =S
      Otherwise your module might be defective

  3. Hi Eurny,

    found this site today because I am waiting for the Dominator V2. I fly with video in 2.4G in all my miniquads and other FPV stuff, using the small 200mW TX24200 modules.
    I now need a RX 2.4G module for the Dom’s, if it could be DIY…great.

    I see people having some trouble with the RX2188/89, in the end did you manage to solve the problem? Do you know if the Dom’s use the SPI interface or the binary logic to change channels? Does anybody already test the CH3-1 output logic to see what going on there when you change channels, that could help troubleshooting why there is no display on the googles.

    I already use the RX6788 on a DIY diversity, works well, I will try with a spare I have at home. Only problem with this module is that it uses CH3-1 and BX.

    BR, Luis

    • Hi Luis,

      Thank your for your comment! First of all, my 2.4Ghz version with RX2188 worked fine in my Fatshark dominator goggles. I could change channels just like my Fatshark’s RF module. However, due to a manufacturing defect on the RX2188, there was a short between the ANT pin and GND. Thus, no matter what antenna I’d use, the range was very short. So the DIY module was working flawlessly, the only issue was the manufacturing defect of the RX2188.

      Since, I have read many people had manufacturing defects on RX2188 modules, I haven’t bought one to try again but as long as you get a well working RX2188, you can use the schematics above and it should work like a charm ^^

      PS: Sorry for the long delay, I have been extremly busy recently and didn’t take a look at my website.

  4. Hi Eurny,

    I have post my module pictures in RCGroups, is working fine with the RX6788, but only did two field tests, I now fly mini quads most of the time, but I went to at least 200m and the picture was fine. My module also shows a short on the antenna while disconnected from power, probably is the way it is to protect the circuit while not transmitting, but this is only a guess.

    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2369969#post33207220 .

    • Hi Luis,

      Nice knowing that it works! I might give it a shot too once I’m more available!

      As for the RFin continuity, that’s pretty awkward but since you get a correct range I guess you’re lucky!

  5. Hi,

    Thanks for the tutorial, its a great project which I’m going to start making next week.

    I’m just wanting to find out how you know what channel the module is on when you are switching channels?
    Also do you have to do the SPI mod to the Boscam module to get the channel switching to work via the goggles?

    Many thanks,

    Matt

    • Hi Matt,

      Since the module used is 8 channels, you can switch between channels like you’d do on any other Module. There are no switches to change bands because you’re limited with the Boscam band.
      No need to do the SPI mod, the switching process works “out of the box” 😉

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