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Lightbridge Review

Product Review

Lightbridge is actually the eyes of the pilot when flying drones. It's the essense of first person view (FPV), by allowing pilots to see exactly what the aircraft transmits in high quality 1080p digital video.

Recent improvements in camera and filming technology allows drone flight videos to approach the quality of professional cinematography. Even new unexperienced pilots using basic equipment can capture stunning video, if they can only see what the drone sees in real time.

Many FPV configurations rely on outdated analog video feeds that produce low resolution video full of interference and are limited in their transmission range. It can be extremely difficult to fly a drone when forced to rely on such low quality video for piloting. Lightbridge revolutionizes this problem!

With Lightbridge, drone pilots can now experience full 1080p 30fps video streaming in real time and at distances that exceed by far the common outdated analog video streaming technologies. Lightbridge not only streams HD video to the pilot, but also provides live flight data including horizontal speed, vertical speed, altitude, gps heading, signal strength and battery status.

The ground unit of the Lightbridge includes a built-in battery that operates for many hours on a single charge. It also includes a USB port capable of charging a smartphone or tablet and the unit can be powered by an external power supply.

What makes Lightbridge even more exciting is its ability to stream HD video directly to a smartphone, tablet, or any other HDMI compatible device at distances of up to 3.1 miles.

Lightbridge has both HDMI and USB outputs, dual remote inputs for both the drone and the gimbal, full HD FPV flying capability, master-slave mode and encrypted 2.4 GHz signals for improved security during flight.

For aerial photos and videos, Lightbridge works seamlessly with S800 and S1000 EVO flying platforms, Zenmuse Z15-BMPCC, Z15-GH3, and Z15-5D gimbal systems, WooKong-M and A2 flight control systems. In FPV mode, the Lightbridge is compatible with Phantom 2 and Flame Wheel F450/F550 flying platforms, Zenmuse H3-3D and H3-2D gimbal systems and Naza-M V2 flight control system.

Lightbridge Master-Slave mode allows one system to control signals and receive video, while another slave system only receives video. What this means is that one drone can send a signal to multiple ground control systems while simultaneously transmitting video to multiple screens.

Lightbridge has five connection ports: HDMI, which connects directly to GoPro, AV input which enables to connect a camera, USB which upgrades firmware by connecting to a computer or mobile device, BUS which connects to drone flight controls and Gimbal which connects gimbals and accessories.

The ground unit includes a control port, a USB upgrade port, HDMI output, and another USB port for connecting to a mobile device.

The Lightbridge transmitter features an aluminum alloy case with both internal and external shielding to prevent interference. Combined with 2.4 GHz wireless technology, the shielding is what allows the unit to transmit continuous HD video. Supporting both PAL25 and NTSC30 AV formats, the Lightbridge can be used anywhere in the world.

The battery included with the ground unit is rated at 4,000 mAh and provides up to 4.5 hours of use on a single charge and recharging only takes approximately 1 ½ hours. If you use a spare battery you'll be able to use the system for an entire day.

Using the included 5db antenna, the initial range of the device is just over one mile. the optional 14db antenna can increase the range of the Lightbridge system to an impressive 3.1 miles. By coupling the ground unit with the pilot’s radio control equipment, the range of compatible drones can be increased to this same distance while still enjoying the benefits of a real-time HD FPV.

To cope with the security challenge, Lightbridge has the option to encrypt transmissions. When the encryption is enabled, only authorized devices can receive data from the system. The encryption feature can be turned off and on easily from within the Lightbridge iOS or Android app.

Lightbridge's app delivers lots of information during flight: flight mode, battery power of both the drone and the Lightbridge ground unit, signal strength, altitude, lateral distance, horizontal speed and vertical speed.

There is no doubt that Lightbridge is the next great technological advancement in FPV. Pilots do not have to settle anymore on interference-prone analog signals and low resolution video feeds when using drones. The improved security and reliability of the 2.4 GHz transmission technology ensures the integrity of the flight control and camera systems even when flying miles from the ground station while providing an interference-free flying experience.

Today you can choose to add Lightbridge to an existing drone, or purchase a DJI Inspire 1 with integrated Lightbridge technology.


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