A Mini Review…
Of the Connex Mini - From Horizon AP
A few months back Horizon AP got their hands on a pre-release version of the new Connex Mini HD link. A smaller, lighter and cheaper version of Amimon’s original Connex system, which is awesome. Here are Horizon APs thoughts…
Opening the box you know straight away that Amimon have put the same thought and quality into the Mini as the original. It comes with every cable you would need, nice flexible HDMI cables, and decent XT60 style power cables. The mini hdmi cable has right angle connectors on each end that bend the opposite way to each other – a handy little touch too! The tx and rx are both about half the size of the full size system, and Amimon have certainly been listening – the transmitter now features full size standard antenna connectors that hopefully will be a lot more durable than the (rather flimsy) ones on the original Connex.
Due to the size and weight of the new Mini, its range is also halved, to 1500ft from 3000ft in the original, however that (roughly 500m) claimed range should still be fine for us here in the UK with a CAA PFAW to consider!
We decided it would be a good test to see how it worked as an HD FPV system on our Freefly Alta, so we mounted it (fits great in place of the standard 5.8 tx) and wired it up to a GoPro. It would allow us to see if an HD FPV link would be of any use, test the range, and test it running alongside our main Connex system on the gimbal.
Mounting the Connex Mini directional Antennas on the Alta without interfering with the booms either folded or unfolded, and yet still provide a good line-of-sight was difficult, and even once done, we were loosing signal directly over-head (much like with the full size system).
Immediately it was awesome to see so much detail in an FPV feed, as pilot I can certainly see it being of use when flying in tight environments like trees and buildings. We found the range to be good, we never managed to get a full 500m, but to be honest didn’t expect that, conditions would have to be perfect (which they never are, much like with the full size systems claimed range) and it certainly wasn’t as good as the full size system. Alongside big brother it did seem to work fine with zero interference between the two, I think antenna placement is key, and powering up one system before the other so that they can choose clean frequencies is sensible.
Overall, its a great little system, 2nd only to the full size Connex in terms of stable HD link and range – they are certainly the best out there for drone hd links at the price-point. The Connex mini does lack some of its bigger brothers features, like stability boost mode, and frequency selection however. I think we’ll continue to use the large system most of the time, as we need the best link possible and it provides that out to 500m easy. As an FPV systems the Connex Mini is cool, but the lack of telemetry support with the Alta means it was more of an interesting test than something we’d use long term. So whilst not a replacement for the full size Connex, with a cheaper price point and smaller size, its perfect for smaller drones, and where signal robustness at 500m+ isn’t too much of an issue, and certainly better/easier to use than other offerings such as the Teradek Clip or Paralinx systems.