TEST: Eachine EV100 FPV binocular goggles

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INTRODUCTION

The Eachine EV100 is announced/advertized to be a Fatshark FPV goggles killer at least in term of price. This binocular goggle is sold close three more cheaper than Fatshark models. To obtain such low prices the main trick for Eachine is to use builtin screens with smaller FOV: 28 degrees only where competitors offers a minimum of 30-32 degrees. No DVR as well but the EV100 is announced to have IPD and focus ajustements available for each eye. Builtin screens offer a resolution of 720×540. The 5.8G receiver welcomes two antennas and can trigger 72 different channels. I received a pre-release version with very little difference with the final product. I will highlight them of course. Let’s discover ths new model

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x Eachine EV100
+ 1 x 1000mAh 2S LiPo
+ 2 x 5.8G linear antenna
+ 1 x Velcro band
+ 1 x USB to microUSB cable
+ 1 x cleaning tissus
+ 1 x Instruction manual (Chinese/English)

As you can see, not a lof of accessories …. Since the EV100 is able to display an HDMI source via the 3.5mm jack port, I regret the absence of such specialized cable in the bundle. More the instruction manual is printed on a super small paper’s size …..

OVERVIEW

The Eachine EV100 is on the paper a potential competitor of Fatshark, skyzone, aomway goggles in the sens we have here some features usually only available for 350+USD model. Here is the complet list of the technical paremeters. Impressive to find some 720×540 screens here …. but the real question is how large/big they are ? and what will be the associated Field Of View (FOV)…. Only 28 degrees. One will say that the Aomway are 32 degrees and even some Fatshark 30 degrees…. so 28 degrees in theory should be not a big deal.

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As screen settings, we can ajust only the brightness and the contrast via the top joystick button but the more important is the ajustement of both the IPD (x-axis) and the focal distance (y-axis) for mypia < 400 degrees and hyperopia < 100degrees... The last degree of freedom ajustement is just impressive for a so "cheap" product. A total of 72CH grouped into 9 different bands is supported by the receiver part. Notice the presence of two RP-SMA antenna connector ... so the presence of diversity seems to be here... Of course, only by disassembling the goggles will answer to this question. No builtin DVR..... so you will need to connect an external module via the AVout located on the right side. The general build quality is good with a good plastic. In hands, the EV100 looks super light, a good point for long FPV flight session, at least for the neck muscles.... (not sure for the eyes 🙂 ) null

Installed on the EV100, a clipsable facial mask covered by a large foam element itself attached via a velcro band to the mask.

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In pratice the foam part is limiting the horizontal opening to 115mm … so it’s narrow and not adapted for large head. The trick is to cut/reduce the height of the facial foam at last with a factor 2.

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Without mask, the general opening is much more wide (> 140mm) and compatible with almost any head. The headstrap is good and can simple installed/removed thanks to the central hole of the latteral clipsing system.

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-FRONT VIEW

Not a ton of buttons/port on the frontal/upper part. As expected for such price, no frontal camera too (as we can find for some Advanced Skyzone model). We can find just a basic Eachine Logo printed front

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-REAR VIEW
Here, no possibility out of the box to install a diopter system since it’s possible to set the focal distance independently. Anyway for astigmatia correction, this possibility would have been a big plus.

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Centrally there is the hole fan

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-SIDE VIEW
The left side welcome the 3.5mm jack earphone port and a microUSB port. This latter is used to power the EV100 via an +5V USB power source, a powerbank for example. The port can be used also to flash a new firmare too.

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The right side shows the main DC input port and another 3.5mm 4 positions jack port used by default as AVout. If long press /click more than 12s the central joystick button, you turn off the RF module and this port is transformed into an AVin to import an CVBS source of course but also, via a special cable, should also import an HDMI source. Unfortunatly this cable is provided.. You can assemble these twi products to input an HDMI source:

i) https://www.banggood.com/1_5M-5Ft-HDMI-Male-to-3-RCA-Video-Audio-AV-Cable-Cord-Adapter-for-TV-DVD-1080P-PS3-Xbox-p-1049322.html
ii) https://www.banggood.com/3_5mm-Mini-AV-Male-To-3-RCA-Female-Audio-Video-Cable-Stereo-Jack-Adapter-Cord-p-1111434.html

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-UPPER VIEW
We can find from left to right: up/down Arrow buttons, the fan vent and the mini-joystick (four directions + central click).

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The up/down arrows buttons are used to increase/decrease the current Vfreq Inside the selected Vband if short pressed. If pressed more than 3s, you can cycle between the 9 supported Vband. If long pressed them togather than short press for example the up Arrow you can turn off/on the OSD informations displayed.

For the joystick, the up & down direction increases/decreases respectively the brightness. The right & left directions are for the contrast settings. Beeps are emitted when you press in one of the four directions but I regret deeply there is no OSD indication of the current brightness/contrast value. The ajustement seems to be divided into 30 intervals.

-BOTTOM VIEW
Probably the most interesting part of the EV100. First of all, the noze section is compatible with large noze 🙂 It’s a good news. But the more interesting is the possibility to ajust independently for each eye the IPD and the focal distance !!!!

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The horizontal slider set the IPD between 58-68mm… On can regret that range of IPD setting is a bit narrow, especially the upper bound. Something around 72mm… would have been great. The other button is a small Wheel tuning the lens distance to your eyes… and in practice the is super efficient to obtain a perfect focusing. My eyes start to be old, and got a small astigmatia… and I was able to obtain a crisp image. A very important point for those we were correction glasses. In general with Goggles Mask, you need to mod them in order to install between the Fresnel lens and your eyes a third party correction glasses. Here with the EV100. for moderate mypia and hyperopia, just use these wheels to set the focus!!! That’s great 🙂

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This tiny button is the on/off for the Fan. With the final EV100 product, is printed “on/off”. Notice than the fan is super quiet !!!! 🙂 Another good point

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-WEIGHT
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222g in total it’s at least 40-50g lighter than other competitors 🙂

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-BATTERY
A basic 1000mAh 2S LiPo with DC connector. So it’s easy to find other battery with larger capacity. With the provided model, you can use it during 30-40min before to hear the LVC alarm buzzer.

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A small button when pressed will show the current emainung charge of the battery with 4 different blue light (25%,50%,75%,100%)

The battery must be recharged via the microUSB port

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Don’t use the incomplete balancer plug. This latter must be use with the upcoming dedicaced DVR module.

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-SCREEN DISPLAY & OSD INFORMATION

As you can see, no Diopter bay available out of the box…. so for correction > – 4…. you will need to mod your EV100

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There is already a video showing such mod (Courtesy Albert King)

A large green OSD shows the current selected Band, the #CH Inside the band, the Vfreq expressed in Mhz. For the final version, the battery level is also displayed in the top right. As written previously,, these OSD information can be turned off….

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If you long click the joystick more than 6S, you run the autoscan procedure where all the 72CH will be visited and the channel with the stronger RSSI will be picked up. During this scanning, only a beep is emitted when going from a channel to another one. I regret the RSSI is not displayed for each channel as RSSI plot vs channels. Maybe it can be added by a future firmware update…

UNBOXING, ANALYSIS AND TESTING

Ok after the first contact where I was impressed by the lightweight of the goggles, I plugged the battery and no sign of activity 🙁 …. In fact the battery is shipped almost “flat” in term of voltage …. So can be partially damaged already even before to use it. It’s a known problem and this fact will be solved in the next EV100 batch according to my BG contact. So after charging the batttery for a while (You need to press on the button to check the current level of charge, no progression bar animation available in the battery), as soon as you plug the DC connector, the screen turn on …. and whaoooahhhhh it’s tiny !!!!! super tiny…. It look almost twicer narrowrer than the aomway in term immersion feeling … A side by side comparaison with the Aomway Commander

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Strange coz the Aomway are only 32 degrees for the FOV so should be just a lot more larger than the EV100. In practice it’s not the case ….. I really not sure we have 28 degrees FOV (even in diagonal)… for me look more closer to 20… 🙁 …. So it’s a potentially problematic for close range low riding FPV when a lot of trees and branches. Small details can’t be seen perfectly…. In another hand, the quality of the screen are good, really not bad at all for a such price model. Better than my former Boscam GS922 in term of precision, color rendition but there are still far of the quality of the Skyzone V02 and the Aomway comannder … especially in term of black intensity…..

In term of RF sensibility …. we have something in the average….. No micracle with these basic RP-SMA linear antennas. You will need to provide some much more efficient.

When disassembling the EV100, we can notice the presence of one unique receiver chip but feed with the two antennas. Can we call this system a real diversity system ? no … why….. A diversity system will pick up the two RSSI values of two independant VRX to send them in a smart demultiplexeur taking the most powerfull/higher RSSI input. Here with the EV100, we have as inputs the two RF signals, not their respective RSSI…. It means that another integration is done. The best would be to “add/sum up” the two analog FM signal to have a stronger one. But it’s not an easy task for HF signals…. In practice, each antenna collects an FM signal… so basically a sinusoid where the instantaneous frequency is modulated by the data signal… If there is a small delay/phase between the two received signal…. the sum not only won’t be stronger than each individual one but can be destructive…. It’s proportional of cos(phi) where phi is the dephasage betwwen both. As you interstood, I really hope the two signal merging is done efficiently…. at least they need to estimate this phi value correctly… In practice, it’s often by a PLL circuit. To resume, the EV100 doesn’t have a real diversirty system but an hybrid circuit offering better results(as soon as phi is well estimated): mono-antenna

and here is the layout I estimated from the EV100 until I can see clearly the four elements. As you can no massive cropping but up and bottom parts are slihgtly cropped for few lines (~10-20 max). Nothing really catastrophic, but you have to be aware, especially for machines where OSD settings are not available.

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The same for the PAL system. The theoric one:

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And the estimated one for the EV100…

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Here seems the level of bottom cropping is more ore less the same than for NTSC but the upper zone is less impacted. To resume… PAL suffers less than NTSC in term of cropping… but the general level is accaptable… In practice, especially for PAL source, there is no big difference between the aomway and the EV100.

Anoter point, I observed at least with my pre-release version about the AVout used with a DVR. All recordings were more dark as we can see Inside the goggles….

Probably an impedance matching problem … at least in the pre-release circuit. According to some reports, the final version don’t suffer of such problem. That’s good 🙂

CONCLUSIONS

A very interesting first Eachine FPV goggles…. with a lot of interesting features already introduced. What I really like are the quality of the screen the distance lens ajustement system. I also approciate the lightweight of the goggles… and the different connectivity included. Are they a Fatshark killer ? Clearly not…… With such small FOV… it’s not as confortable to fly acrostyle FPV like with the Fatshark/skyzone/aomway one. So Is it hard to fly with EV100 ? no … but less confortable. More … If you don’t have any specific problem with your eyes, a good FPV mask with larger FOV can be maybe more interesting. For example the EV800D with an excellent builtin DVR. If you more problem with eye correction, the EV100 will probably fit your view without any extra modding required with mask… but your eyes with be more tired with the limited FOV…. No free lunch. I will rank the EV100 with an average of 12/20 ( with 17 for the Skyzone/aomway I own). In a future revision of the EV100, I think larger screen will be introduce, probably a builtin DVR … but the price will be closer to 300USD. The EV100 was a super deal when sold at 100 USD… Now at 150 it’s still ok … but the price is just in the border line between cheaper mask and more expensive efficient goggles ….

PROS

+ Good 720×540 builtin screens
+ IPD ajustement
+ Focus ajustement
+ 5.8G 72CH receiver
+ Lightweight
+ Basic OSD informations (Vfreq, battery)
+ Quiet fog fan remover
+ Can be powered by a +5V source via the microUSB port
+ Competitive price

CONS

– Small FOV: 28 degrees but look even smaller
– Small amount of cropping, especially in NTSC (both up & bottom parts are cropped a bit)
– No real diversity system
– No brightness/contrast OSD info
– Basic band scanning OSD info
– Potential AVout dark DVR recording (fixed in the final version)
– Battery shipped almost flat
– Small horizontal facial opening due to the large foam
– Absence of a HDMI to AVin cable in the bundle
– No diopter tray (for more severe visual correction)

This FPV goggles have been courtesy provided by Banggood in order to make a fair and not biased review. I would like to thank them for this attitude.
You can find it actually for 160USD at https://www.banggood.com/Eachine-EV100-720540-5_8G-72CH-FPV-Goggles-With-Dual-Antennas-Fan-7_4V-1000mAh-Battery-p-1182469.html

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