Home / Electronics / AKK X1P Switchable Video Transmitter – Review

AKK X1P Switchable Video Transmitter – Review

Thanks to AKK Technology for providing the X1P for review, you can purchase the video transmitter here.

Now, you may be thinking after clicking on this review, that we have already reviewed this product. And yes, in the most part you are correct. A month or so ago, AKK sent us their X1 switchable video transmitter. We almost couldn’t fault this product, and now with the X1P switchable video transmitter, they have kept the quality up.

First Impressions

The first impressions were great. The product feels like a premium product from the moment you open the cardboard box. The glossy white finish on the box made the product feel like a much more expensive product. You open the box, and the video transmitter is fit snuggly into a piece of foam, with the wires just above. And, once again, the wires were silicone. At drone insider, we cannot express how much we like silicone wires. When a camera or a video transmitter, especially these days comes with plastic coated wires, we feel slightly let down. The difference between the X1 and the X1P, is the X1P came with a pigtail soldered to it, and it didn’t come with a dipole ‘rubber ducky’ antenna, but no quad pilot is going to be disappointed about that. The soldering was extremely good, and would have been as good as any job you could do at home. The Coax cable used is thick, and the Coax has a right angled SMA connector which was also attached well, and the SMA connector had a washer and bolt to hold the connector into a hole which was also a nice touch. Overall, the first impressions made us very hopefull for the performance.

Installation

The installation of this product has its high points and its low points. We love the fact that the video transmitter can be powered off of V-Bat from 7 – 24v, so no chance of blowing up a video transmitter from putting to many volts through it. We can forgive the fact that there is no BEC to power a camera due to the small form factor. There are a couple of things that we didn’t really like. Firstly, the Coax is extremely long. We installed this video transmitter into our Martian 220 frame, and after putting the right angled SMA connector through the hole in the frame, the video transmitter ended up being over half way down the frame. This isn’t a problem for a frame as large as the Martian 220, but with a frames such as the Helix and RDQ 182, and even our SCX 200 that we have, we would have had to shorten the coax considerably which in our opinion is a bit of a shame. The Coax could be half the length it is, if not more. Our other problem is the way round it is. The right angle SMA connector is soldered in a way that the 7 segment display and push button to change channel, band and power output are up against the top of the top plate. You could try and fix the video transmitter in another place in the frame, but due to the thick Coax, this could be difficult, as the Coax is quite stiff.

On the other hand, this was not a problem in our Martian, as the button and the 7 segment display, once installed nicely on the Martian, lined up perfectly with cutouts in the frame which was extremely lucky. However, it does still mean that you cannot access the video transmitter if the battery is installed. The last thing is the X1 VTX from AKK that we received came with an RP-SMA connector, and the X1P video transmitter we used came with an SMA connector. This is slightly irritating, as it means that if you stick with the AKK brand, like we like to do, due to the quality of the products, you need to have SMA and RP-SMA antennas, or SMA to RP-SMA converters, or vice versa. Maybe this is something that AKK could change in the future, or add a U.FL connector, or other such connector so that you can switch out pigtails more easily. Overall though, despite all of these things about the pigtail, we do like pigtails if you are able to fit them on your drone build, as they do massively elongate the life of your video transmitter, as there is a much slimmer chance of ripping the connector off the board. The other thing about the pigtail, is that you could trim off the connector, and convert the pigtail into a dipole antenna, as it is directly soldered to the board, and use this video transmitter on a super light build.

Specs

As for specs, they are identical to the X1, just a pigtail and an SMA right angle connector rather than the direct soldered RP-SMA connector that you find on the X1 that we have reviewed already.

Performance

Once again, this AKK product performed flawlessly. The video transmission was very clean, and had perfectly adequate range on 25mw. You do have the versatility of 200mw and 600mw, but these are very rarely needed, and often not allowed in a racing situation. There was very little break up, despite the polluted RF environments that we sometimes fly in. Using it is very intuitive. Quick press for a channel change, 2 second long press and then short presses for band change, and then a 5 second long press to change the power output. Again, just like the X1, it doesn’t have the functionality of a higher end VTX such as the TBS Unify Pro HV, and the Immersion RC Tramp, but then again, it’s a video transmitter. Things like smart audio are great, but in reality, changing the settings on this VTX takes around 10 seconds of fiddling with a button.

Conclusion

Overall, this is a reliable piece of kit. Despite all of the things the have been said about the pigtail, if you don’t want a pigtail, then you just buy the X1. It is easy to use, and simple to install, as long as your drone has lots of space. If you are looking for something small, then definitely go for the X1. But if you want something with a pigtail, this is great. We really like the SMA connectors, as at drone insider, we have more antennas for SMA, and we would maybe like to see the X1 get the SMA connector rather than the X1P receiving an RP-SMA connector. In conclusion, this is an amazing product, but in our opinion not as versatile as the X1 due to the lengthy, quite stiff Coax, with the right angled connector. However, that does not take away from the fact that this is a reliable, well performing video transmitter, and we would definitely recommend this product to anyone with a slightly larger build with the form factor of a QAV-R, or other such products.

Thanks to AKK Technology for providing the X1P for review, you can purchase the video transmitter here.

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