Long Range Video Transmitter on RC Car

How Far Can Long-Range Video Transmitter Go On RC Car – Ultimate Guide

We took the liberty to test out long-distance video transmitters that boast higher power output. We thought it would be good for posterity so that we all know the distance this sort of high-power analog transmitter can bring us from an FPV perspective for RC ground vehicles. This guide offers a comprehensive understanding of what is a long-range video transmitter and why we need one plus how to install and set up one on an RC car.

What Is a Long-Distance Video Transmitter

A video transmitter (VTX) is an electronic device that sends video feed from the FPV camera on your RC vehicle to your FPV headset or remote TV monitor. A typical analog video transmitter offers a power output from 25mW to 800mW. Generally, anything that provides 1W transmission power or above can be considered long range. From a drone’s standpoint, 25mW may seem adequate for some to go from hundreds of meters to even 1km (claimed by some) above our heads but when on the ground, the story completely changes. We often get much shorter distances on the ground than in the air due to ground objects that block our line of sight and multipath propagation.

A video transmitter broadcasts its signals on a specific frequency and usually it is 5.8GHz – the free license frequency. This frequency is further divided into multiple bands or channels – sometimes as many as 48 channels. When you use a video transmitter, you should be transmitting on one of these channels with an antenna and your receiver on your FPV goggles or TV monitor should be tuned in to read from the same channel. It works just like your traditional terrestrial TV system.

Compared to a short-distance video transmitter, a long-distance transmitter often comes with a fan to dissipate the significant heat it generates. But not to worry, installing one beneath your RC’s body shell will not cause it to overheat.

Why Do We Need a Long-Range Video Transmitter on RC Car

Referring to our 600mW video transmitter tests with an RC buggy, we could go as far as only 370m without a complete line of sight. But that is more than sufficient for most RC drivers since many of us don’t get to drive in areas wider than that. But since the ground level is filled with obstacles that can block our video signal such as trees, bushes, cars and buildings, there’s no harm getting a higher wattage output to obtain better quality video feed.

What Types Of Long-Distance Video Transmitter to Buy

We’d recommend two types of long-range transmitters – a budget and a premium version.

In this guide, we shall discuss more about the budget version to focus on lowering the cost of entry into FPV.

How Do We Install a Long-Range Video Transmitter on RC Car

Here are the items you need to run a long-range video transmission system on your RC car.

The diagram below depicts a wiring diagram to connect the FPV camera to the video transmitter on an RC vehicle. Some video transmitters such as the EWRF 2W transmitter provide a 5V voltage output that you can connect to the camera’s power input. But for simplicity’s sake, we shall just tap the power from the RC car’s LiPo battery, particularly from the balance leads.

Video transmitter wiring diagram

The image below shows the cabling for the EWRF video transmitter. The power cables are terminated with a JST RCY connector while the video out (yellow wire) is terminated with a 3-pin JST 1.0mm pitch connector together with the 5V BEC ( battery eliminating circuit) power output. The white wire is for audio input.

Long-distance 2W video transmitter wiring
EWRF 2W video transmitter cables

FPV cameras and video transmitters often come in a variety of connectors but most use JST connectors. However, these JSTs are often further divided into different subtypes. Please consider doing your own rewiring when the need arises.

You can attach the video transmitter to an RC car simply by securing it with a cable tie, as shown below. The video transmitter in the picture illustrates an example of placing the transmitter behind the LiPo battery where it is secured with a cable tied to the battery tray.

Long range video transmitter in RC car
The EWRF 2W long-range video transmitter is installed in an RC car with a circular antenna. A section of the side guard has been removed to provide more room for the transmitter

Before you power up the transmitter, ensure you connect the antenna to prevent any backfire of the transmission energy to the transmitter. Once you power up the system, switch on your FVP headset or video receiver and perform an auto search. It should be able to pick up the video signal from the transmitter.

Long-Range Test Results

We took the EWRF video transmitter for a test drive and the video below demonstrated the results. We were able to reach as far as 500m before our DumboRC X6 radio transmitter gave up and brought our car down a ditch.


It seems like this video transmitter can push further than the radio controller. We could probably go farther if the radio transmitter didn’t give up. We also tested this VTX at different RC tracks with distances beyond 400m without a complete line of sight and it did perform adequately.

Conclusion – Always Strive to Maximize Your Video Range

We find this long-distance video transmitter performed up to our expectations, specifically due to its affordable cost and performance. Some might expect it to go double or triple the distance but radio frequency (RF) doesn’t work that way. The strength of the signal quickly gets attenuated the farther you go – it’s not directly proportionate. This means you need to somewhat double the power output to get a quarter of extra distance.

If you feel like going further, you can always upgrade to a better long-ranger. Having said that, it’s always recommended to have a setup that could go as far as it is built to go is essential for RC ground vehicles. You’d never know when an object can crop up right between you and your RC.

Finally, here’s a speedy lap video around a 670m street track with the long-range VTX we tested.


This article includes affiliate links to help us pay our website bills