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My New Favorite FPV app for cheap FPV! [And favorite VR goggles update]

vindibona1

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I don't know how I could have missed it, and how it doesn't get more traction on the forum, but I found a gem that deserves to get more attention: MAVEN

Until a week or so ago I'd been going back and forth between Litchi and DroneVR to use with a $20-$30 VR goggle set. And while both work(ed) there were some issues with both that didn't thrill me. I especially had difficulty with Litchi because of my vision. But Litchi is terrific at autonomous missions and very good just using it like you would Go4 or DJI Fly. DroneVR had a different feature set, but I found the text (fonts) a little thin and a bit difficult to read. However DroneVR has adjustments for pupillary distance (how wide are your eyes) that make up for minimal adjustments of the goggles themselves. However you have to go to the phone's screen to make those adjustments. Annoying, but functional.

And then there is Maven. I think I paid $18 for the download not really knowing much about the app. This app seems to be pretty well thought out. It doesn't have all the programmable settings that can be done with the controller (more on controllers that have C1/C2 and 5D button) that DroneVR has. But you can adjust the pupillary distance while you wear the headset with the sticks. Push left stick left and you're in the edit mode. The right stick make the split screens closer or further apart and up or down placement for ease of viewing. A right push on the left stick confirms and sets the settings and you're ready to go.

Mavin also has a feature they abbreviate as "AR" (not related to the rifle) or short for Augmented Reality. Switched on it can identify where your homepoint is on the map and/or where you are on the map and also show points of interest should you have chosen one (or more?). Photo below illustrates the options. I like to use the homepoint option because within the screen, without having to go to a separate map I can identify where the homepoint is and point my drone toward it while still viewing what the drone's camera sees. It's actually pretty cool. What I haven't been able to find or determine that it exists in the VR mode is a grid. Perhaps they left it off intentionally, but in the standard view the grid is available. And btw... the head-tilt function is the smoothest of all three programs. I've only used it for gimbal tilt, but it can pan as well (as can the other two apps). All I can say is that if you're interested in seeing more download the PDF manual and graze through it. I've tested Maven with both my Mavic 2 and Mini 2 and am pretty happy with it. Enough of me gushing about Maven.

GOGGLES:
I've tested a few and found my favorite one (and have a runner up, but different). I've written this up, but the best goggles I've found are the Shinecon brand (without the ear phones) and can be had for $17 if you're lucky. Smallest, lightest, most comfortable, easy to use cheap VR goggles out there. Other than comfort, they are the easiest for mounting your phone and manipulating the phone's screen once you get going. The second best pair are not cheap, but the DroneMask, aka MovieMask and MagiMask. These don't need a split screen view so you can use them with DJI Fly, Go4 or any other standard app (or watch movies). You don't have to wait for the SDK for the Mini 3. The only thing is that you don't have any of the head tilt/yaw functions of the other programs. Here is a link to the set that I have...
Shinecon VR goggles

If you're interested in flying FPV on the cheap, check this stuff out.

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Update on my (almost) experience with Maven...

I've been watching some of the video Maven tutorials and am blown away by some of the features. It not only has active track, but can circle the moving point of interest while tracking it. I believe some of this stuff is in what they call the "virtual co-pilot" section of the app. I've always been a little slow catching on to new apps and programs and this one is no different FOR ME. I hadn't heard of Maven before a few weeks ago and blown it off as just another "me too" app trying to be Litchi. What I really like about Litchi and use the most often is the feature where I can program autonomous missions on my computer and pre-fly them virtually. Maven doesn't have that, but has other worthwhile features that Litchi doesn't have.

I mentioned it in my original post, but I think worthwhile to mention/describe one feature. In the "Augmented Reality" (AR) section having the homepoint locator turned on is really cool. Without a map, it shows me on my screen where my homepoint is so if I get disoriented (mostly in goggles) I can easily find where it is and head for home. In other programs if I'm sort of lost I either have to go to a map or hit RTH, which then changes the altitude as it points me in the home direction. I can still use RTH with Maven, but will use it a lot less for the disorientation part.

As far as goggles go, I fly with a VO or if occasionally alone regularly pop out of the goggles to spot my drone (flying at much closer distances in wide open areas just above any potential nearby obstacles), not unlike watching your phone or iPad where you are in the screen and occasionally look up. Being able to get the goggles on and off and phone in and out quickly and spot the drone quickly is the reason why I recommended the goggles I use.
 
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