I’m now going to do a bit of coverage on Video Splitters. I’m going to start with the basics to give you an idea of what is required to get the best results.
A video splitter or booster is a box that takes your video output from your ground station receiver and splits the signal to multiple outputs. Why would I need one of these I hear you ask! Well, if you decide to use multiple screens or would like to use a recorder of some type you’re going to need to pick up a splitter. Bear in mind that some equipment such as the recorder may not function correctly with the video level that it receives from a basic splitter so if this is the case then you will have to fine tune each output to get the best picture quality for each display/recorder. With me? Good!
Help! I Can’t Use A Splitter Lead!
The more the video signal is split the more that it degrades. The picture quality will diminish and when it comes to checking out your recorded flight views your footage would be unusable. You can split your audio this way but you won’t be able to with the video.
You can pick up a perfectly good video splitter or the like of Ebay for less than 10 pounds that do the job just fine. They are normally of the 12 volt supply voltage range so can be powered off your ground station battery. They use very little power to operate and normally provide 4 or 5 outputs. It is super light if your wanting to keep weight to an absolute minimum. The downside to this type of splitter is making the wires tidy or keeping them from being pulled and damaged. But apart from that its really good.
A more professional and proven unit is this one, priced at under £20 typically, 12v operation, solid RCA 8 way outputs and housed in a strong ABS plastic case it is ideal for mounting on tripods and all manors of GS. It has a LED indicator for power “on” Fused DC connection wire. But no adjustment for video levels for outputs. The dots you can see on the box are not LED`s by the way. I have used this unit and still do to this day with a variety of recorders with no problems.
Variable Gain Output Splitter
An example of a variable output video splitter would be this one.It has 4 outputs all with adjustable gain pots so each one can be fine tuned to suit your equipment the best. At only £10 it is a handy piece of kit at a good price. Because it only has 4 outputs it keeps its size down to a minimum, lending itself to tripod ground stations which some of the other gain adjustable units don`t because they have 8 or more outputs and come in at some size. In reality you would be hard pressed to need 8 outputs. 4 should be just fine, 1 for your goggles, 1 for passenger goggles, 1 for an extra screen on ground station and the 4th for your flight recorder.