The OwlRC receiver was, while overshadowed by ImmersionRC’s RapidFire, one of the more anticipated releases of 2018. After a video by Joshua Bardwell showing it’s impressive multi-pathing handling, in part due to the 16KHz switching speed, people couldn’t wait to get their hands on one, me included. Apparently, however, some people after having received their module have been having issues with white lines in the video, and low brigntness… Well, OwlRC came out today with a hardware modification that will fix that, so read on to find out how to improve your video in under a minute!
So, the following mod is fairly simple, and with a bit of a steady hand, could be done in seconds. Let’s take a quick moment to discuss what the mod does, and how exactly we can expect it to improve the OwlRX’s performance…
The mod involves removing a small, easily accessible surface mount component on the front side of the module (near the screen). Doing so, according to OwlRC: “increases [the] level of [the] video signal”, which results in a brighter image. A brighter image is easier to process, which should result in some minor performance increase of the module. Finally, the RSSI OSD that the module injects into the image was too bright, contrasting to the original pre-mod image. This would result in small black lines for some users at the top of the image, and white lines in the middle or lower portions. Apparently, all of this can be improved or completely fixed simply by getting rid of one tiny component.
So, how do you do this mod, then?
It’s very simple – you need to (carefully – proceed at your own risk!) remove the component outlined in red here:
To do so, you can very carefully cut the component away – though I would not recommend this. Alternatively, those of you with hot-air kit already know what to do. For the rest of us stuck with soldering irons, I found it easiest to remove the component by adding a tiny amount of solder to the iron tip, holding it gently against the component to allow the solder to flow and then carefully brushing upwards. It took a couple of attempts, but now it’s gone, and my video is better for it!
Here are a couple of useful videos from another OwlRX user that I think show the improvement quite well:
In my opinion, the improvement is rather apparent. The video is clearly brighter and contains fewer non-noise related lines after the mod. That being said, if you’re not comfortable with how fiddly the mod is and the potential risk, I don’t think it’s enough of an improvement to justify risking your module. I can imagine OwlRC will not be including the problem component in future releases, but that is yet to be seen…
Happy Flying all!
- UnmannedCam <3