This DIY Fatshark Battery Alternative guide will show you how you can use any standard 2-6S LiPo pack (tested on 3S and 4S) to power your Fatshark goggles/other FPV Drone video goggles.
If like me you are frustrated with the cost and quality of the batteries available for your Fatshark goggles, then you’ll love this Fatshark Battery Alternative. The current popular alternative involves making your own battery pack using 18650 lithium ion cells. In Chad’s words “this is dangerous, don’t do it” as you are soldering directly to the batteries. It also means you are buying even more specialised packs, which just adds cost to an already expensive hobby. (The video from Rotor Riot is here). With that said, skip down to the next section to see my DIY Fatshark Battery Alternative guide, which allows you to use your existing flight batteries with your Fatshark goggles.
This current method involves soldering directly to the lithium cells to produce a custom battery pack. It uses the following parts:
As mentioned before, it is popular, but dangerous and expensive.
DIY Fatshark Battery Alternative – Parts
The Fatshark Battery Alternative that I will be showing you today will let you use any of your flight batteries (especially useful for your old 3S packs you don’t use any more) to power your goggles. This means that you don’t have to buy additional battery packs, you can use the ones you already have. If you have built a drone, you will already have most of these parts lying around, but the full list is below.
The parts and tools required are:
- Adjustable voltage regulator (where the magic happens)
- Barrel connector
- 2S Balance plug (if you want to run your goggle fan)
- Battery connector (Female, to plug in your batteries)
- Soldering iron
- Multimeter (crucial!)
- Wire (if you’d like to have the battery in your pocket instead of on your head)
- Side cutters
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Lighter or Hot Air Gun
- Self-healing cutting mat (recommended whenever soldering)
DIY Fatshark Battery Alternative – Guide
Once you have all the parts the assembly is fairly straight forward, but my step-by-step instructions will make sure you get it right first time. This worked perfectly for me but if you follow this guide, you do so entirely at your own risk.
- Solder your battery connector to the IN side of the regulator, I used an XT-60 connector.
- Heatshrink your power leads.
- Plug in a battery and test the OUT voltage using a multimeter.
- Adjust the OUT voltage while reading with a multimeter, I used a voltage of 8V.
- Test the OUT voltage with any different packs you may want to use. I tested with 3S and 4S flight packs and the voltage remained stable at 8V.
- Remove the centre pin of your balance plug and solder the leads to the OUT side of the regulator.
- Solder the barrel connector to the OUT side of the regulator.
- Important – don’t plug in your goggles yet!
- Plug your LiPo into the regulator.
- Use the multimeter to check the voltage and polarity of the balance and barrel connectors.
- With +ve/red in the centre of the connector, your multimeter should read 8V. If you reverse the the leads, your screen should display a negative voltage. Don’t plug into your goggles until this is correct.
You can now plug your LiPo into the regulator and the barrel connector into your goggles and they should power up as normal.
If like me, you land with a little juice left in the packs, you could even use a used flight pack that is resting above 3.5V per cell, just attach a battery buzzer to the pack to stop it going too low!
I hope this helps you, but if you have any questions, just leave a comment! Subscribe for more useful content coming on YouTube!
If you would like to see more DIY projects, head over to AllMyDIY.com
That kind of thinking shows you’re an expert
James-In your step-by-step instructions in your DIY Fatshark Battery Alternative – Guide, you said “Adjust the OUT voltage while reading with a multimeter, I used a voltage of 8V.” –pertaining to the voltage OUT of the regulator. QUESTION: Why did you choose 8V? I am doing this mod for my Aomway Commander V1s and their working voltage range is 7V-18V. I know 8V falls in that range, however, why not 7.5V or 10 v? Why, specifically did you choose 8V? Thank you.
Hi Tom, the Fatsharks work on 2S, so 8V sits nicely in this range, without being low enough to trigger the low voltage alarm. As long as you’re setting the voltage within your operating range you should be fine. In my case plugging 4S in directly would smoke the goggles.
What if I use 2S and the voltage drops below 8V ? Will the buck still power the goggles or will it cut off because of low input voltage.
You do risk running the battery level low. So it’s worth having a low voltage beeper connected to your battery’s balance port.