HobbyKing FPV Camera Fix

Recently, I purchased a 1/3-inch SONY CCD Video Camera from Hobby King for an FPV backpack so that I can fly FPV on all my planes. When it finally came in the mail, I took the camera out and its corresponding cable.

I cut it apart and soldered my own connectors on it, since the ones it came with didn’t match up with my gear. I didn’t shrink the heat shrink just so I could fix something if it wasn’t right. I plugged everything in, made sure no wires were touching and turned it on.

Nothing. I checked all my connections while it was on and they all looked fine.

I turned everything off and checked all my connections and voltages with my Fluke 28 II. Everything was connected just fine. But, while I was checking the voltages on the camera board, I felt it getting extremely hot. I quickly unplugged everything an carefully looked at the board.

I noticed that the top of the board had all the circuitry for converting the 12v input into something usable for the camera.

And it’s pretty obvious that the bottom of the camera is used to proses what the camera sees and send it out on a single wire. After seeing this, I traced the traces from the connector, and I found the power was going to the bottom of the board and the signal wire was going to the top. Since, the camera didn’t work, and to return it, it would cost the same amount I spent for it, I decided to switch the signal and voltage wires on the connector.

I used my x-acto knife to get under the small tabs on the connector.

Then I carefully removed the contacts. After I did that, I carefully pushed them back in, in their opposite slots.

Here is the new connector, the red wire is on the left, black in the middle, and signal out on the right. I plugged everything in and turned it on, and sure enough…


Finally, I cleaned up the cable.

Now I have a working FPV system! I find it incredible on how terrible HobbyKing quality control is with making their cable harness for this camera. Also, the specs for the Camera and FPV transmitter requirer a 3s lipo pack. With this the camera still gets very hot, the whole system however does run off of a 2s, I don’t think the camera shouldn’t be getting this high of a voltage from a 3s. But, once you get past all that, the camera is very nice and I think it will work very well for FPV. More to come!

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7 thoughts on “HobbyKing FPV Camera Fix

  1. I experienced the same problem (more than 6 month ago).
    HK should take notice!!!!
    However I blew up my camera, ordered a new one, and found this problem on the net.
    To everyone: always check the wires……… white = vid, red = +, black = –
    Greeting from Holland.

  2. Thanks for troubleshooting – mine was incorrectly wired as well. After reading your fix, I noticed the board is marked +, – and video which confirmed that the wiring was wrong.

  3. Hi, I have the same camera and same problem, I don’t get any signal like if there was no camera at all when I plug it to my fpv system.
    mine was plugged correctly though, but it would cost me more to send ot back to HK then just buy another one.
    Do you have any idea of what the problem could be ?

  4. interesting subject 🙂
    taking a subscription ^^

  5. Nice. I have recently bought same camera in used condition. It has wire same as you showed in correct sequence. and picture is transmitting. But problem is the SONY chip behind lens heats up, not burning though but somewhat touchable. Is this heating normal? Thank you.

  6. Thank you so much, spent a couple of days messing around baffled (new to fpv) and would never figured this out. Good little system, shame on you Hobbyking for such a disregard of quality checks and disrespect of what must be a known problem by now.

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