SJ RG01 - Dual Screen Goggle for under $100 Review & Teardown

By Whiffles on Apr 05, 2018

0  1,096  3

The SJ RG01 is a unique entry into the FPV space. It's unlike any other headset. What makes it stand out is its compact size and budget price. Traditionally budget headsets feature a single display requiring more physical distance between the lens and display. More expensive FatShark-style goggles use two small displays to create a much more compact unit while compromising the field-of-view (FOV). The RG01 also uses two displays, but offers a far greater FOV at the cost of resolution. These were developed by Shijie Wireless who is also responsible for the higher end, more well known, Skyzone goggles. The older Skyzone SJ H01 appears to be their earlier attempt at a budget headset, so let's see how the RG01 stacks up.

Features

  • DVR
  • Diversity receivers
  • Large 55 degree FOV
  • Internal battery
  • 320x240 dual displays
  • Channel scan

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Build Quality

The build quality is pretty decent for the price. The shell has a slick pearl finish and seems durable. The face foam has a breathable mesh which I prefer. The strap is stretchy and strong, but uses velcro rather than strap adjusters like most headsets. The strap hooks are plastic and feel fragile, so that's a slight weak point. The buttons have a satisfying click, but the IPD adjustments don't move as smoothly as I'd like. All-in-all it's really not a badly made headset.

Video Resolution

The big question is whether or not the resolution is a show stopper? No other headset on the market offers such a low resolution (320x240). You can see each and every pixel. It's almost like looking through a screen door. On the other hand these are some of the most immersive goggles out there. They're closer to a VR headset than a traditional FPV goggle. The lenses bring the displays right up to your eyes creating a huge FOV. The EV800D strains my aging eyes, but these are quite comfortable to view. The level of immersion rivals the FatShark HD2s with their 50 degree FOV. The resolution is bad, but it's not a show stopper. I rather enjoy flying with these.

Battery & Power

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The RG01 includes an internal 1S 1500mah battery, but it can only be charged via the DC IN port. Unfortunately the USB port does not charge the battery. Instead, it's used to access the contents of the microSD card. A barrel to JST cable is included for external power, but an XT60 connector would have made more sense. What's nice is you can power it with any FatShark-compatible battery with or without the internal battery. You can leave it in there for backup power or remove it.

The battery life is quite bad, so you'll definitely want to invest in an external pack. Fortunately this accepts up to 28v, so you can power it with just about any battery you've got lying around. Just be careful not to over-discharge. The OSD only reports on the internal battery level. It would have been nicer to simply indicate the battery voltage. Instead a battery icon is used.

User Interface (OSD)

The interface is great! It's more functional than most high end goggles. In fact, only Skyzone's higher end models offer a better interface. All of the functions are cohesive and easy to use. What really makes the interface stand out is the DVR integration. Typically the DVR interface looks nothing like the normal menu system, but here it's fully integrated. It's very easy to browse your flights, fast forward, reverse, and pause. This really helps when looking for a downed rig. The buttons are intuitive and navigating the interface is straightforward.

Features

  • Channel scan
  • Low battery warning (internal battery only)
  • microSD remaining storage space
  • DVR fast forward, reverse and pause
  • Displays remaining space on microSD

DVR and Diversity

These are two features you really want in any FPV headset. Particularly important is the DVR. This can be a life saver when searching for a crashed rig. It allows you to replay the last moments of flight to track it down. Diversity is handy when used correctly. Ideally you want to use two different types of antennas such as a patch and an omni-directional. The range is perfectly acceptable and I had no problem flying my normal spot. I just wish this accepted SMA antennas rather than RP-SMA.

VS Eachine EV800D

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The Eachine EV800D is the flagship budget goggle. It has a rich, crisp display, DVR and diversity. It also separates into a stand-alone 5" monitor, and switches between 16:9 and 4:3. For the price you really can't go wrong. Feature for feature it's a really close match to the RG01. The original EV800 was one of my first FPV headsets and an early favorite. I still pull it out from time to time to give to passengers, but some aspects of the design bugged me. First, it's very front-heavy. If you nod your head you'll feel it bounce. Also, the nose opening lets in a great deal of light. In fact you can look through the opening and see your surroundings quite clearly. All of this is also true for the EV800D. The RG01 can let a little light in around the sides if your face isn't wide enough, but it's not as bad as the EV800D.

RG01 Pros

  • Comfort and compact size
  • Immersion and FOV
  • User Interface
  • Less light leakage
  • Lighter
  • No eye strain

EV800D Pros

  • Higher resolution display
  • 16:9 and 4:3 switchable
  • Converts to a 5" display
  • Easier to adjust head straps

RG01 on the left & EV800D on the right

SJ RG01 ScreenEV800D Screen

You can see the detail loss on the RG01, but the color and brightness are pretty good. The EV800D has a much sharper image, and after some adjustments the color and brightness can look just fine as well. All things considered, between the EV800D and the RG01 I'd say it's a tossup. They're both good headsets for the price, but the experience is quite different. The EV800D is bulky both to carry and to wear, but has a crisp, high-resolution display. The RG01 is compact and offers a low-resolution, yet immersive experience. Neither are perfect, but both will get you flying.

VS Eachine EV100

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You might also consider the Eachine EV100. It's an even more compact goggle, but the FOV is substantially smaller. Put your face about 1ft away from your computer monitor and you've got the RG01, then move about 3ft away and you've got the EV100. The EV100 does not offer diversity, nor does it include a DVR. The displays have a high pixel density and are very crisp, but they just aren't as bright as the RG01. Personally, between these two I prefer the RG01. Both goggles hinder your vision either with a small FOV or pixelated displays, but the immersion of the RG01 is more enjoyable to me.

RG01 Pros

  • Considerably better FOV
  • Brighter displays
  • Internal battery
  • Diversity
  • DVR

EV100 Pros

  • Compact
  • High resolution displays
  • Better IPD adjustments

Teardown

The teardown went quite smooth. I did have to uncover a couple hidden screws under the battery bay sticker. I also found a couple stripped screws, so that tells me they may have done some modifications after initial assembly. The faceplate is held in place by a rubber lip and feels nice and weighty. The displays are mounted within a couple cylindrical enclosures with caps holding the lenses in place. A ribbon adapter was used to convert the signal from a thinner cable to the wider cable required by both displays. The displays are slotted into the enclosure and measure 1.5" from corner to corner and 2mm thick.

The main board feels weighty and features two receivers proving this is a true diversity headset, unlike the EV100. The DVR is a separate board which connects to the main board via a ribbon cable. The power, audio and AVIN board mounts on the other side and is connected to the main board via a ribbon cable as well.

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Final Thoughts

This headset took a little while to grow on me. At first the resolution really turned me off. I didn't touch it for a couple weeks. Now that I've put several packs through it I'm quite pleased with the overall experience. It's well designed and enjoyable to use. The immersion is great, and the displays are bright. Yes, the resolution does make it more difficult to see some obstacles, but if you're familiar with your surroundings you'll be fine. There is no perfect goggle and these are no exception. It really comes down to what you want and what you're comfortable with.

Pros

  • Great fit and compact size
  • Immersive FOV
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Accepts FatShark batteries
  • Light weight

Cons

  • Low resolution displays
  • Weak strap loops
  • Poor internal battery life
  • RP-SMA rather than SMA
  • No fan

Disclaimer: This headset was provided courtesy of Banggood.com in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. This article utilizes affiliate links and purchasing any product mentioned here will help support RotorBuilds.com

Photos

Discussion

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FissionBomb   16 days ago  
1

As an owner of the SJ-RG01 and the original EV800 with a DVR mod I would go with the SJ-RG01 as a first goggle. Although the resolution is pretty low, you get used to it very quickly after a few flights. It's got incredible range and the acceptance of Fatshark packs is a stellar feature. The DVR clarity is pretty amazing and comes through even clearer than the original FPV experience. Considering the form factor and portability, I feel like the SJ-RG01 is a clear winner. No more bulky box goggles!

thegreen4me   16 days ago  

I think the biggest problem with the resolution is that overhead power lines will now be invisible until its too late.

Whiffles   16 days ago 

Yep, probably not the best idea to explore a new area with these, but once you know where everything is then they're acceptable.