HDZero Freestyle VTX Unlock Guide

Click to watch the accompanying video guide.

You can unlock the HDZero Freestyle VTX to gain access to the highest output power settings, which gives you maximum range and obstacle penetration. Although the VTX is capable of up to 1 watt of output power, you can only use up to 200mW until you unlock the VTX. So if you’re in an area where you are permitted to use the higher output power, you should definitely unlock the VTX.

I released a short walkthrough video of the unlock process for the Freestyle VTX, but if you prefer a written guide, I’ve included one here as well. Whether you use the guide below or watch the video, make sure you follow this process exactly. Each of the steps is extremely important, and you must do them in the correct order.

Unlocking the HDZero Freestyle VTX

Unlocking the Freestyle VTX is simple: You will basically need to flash the unlock firmware, power up the VTX normally one time (this is very important!), and then flash normal firmware to the VTX. I will describe these steps in detail below.

  1. Install the VTX and connect the camera and antenna.
    1. During this process, you will need to be able to power up the VTX normally, so you will need to have it soldered to your drone or have a way to power it from a bench power supply.
    2. Be sure to connect the camera and antenna to the VTX. It is particularly important to connect the antenna, because you can damage the VTX if you power it up without an antenna connected.
  2. Download and flash the unlock firmware.
    1. Download the unlock firmware from the HDZero website. You can download the firmware directly from the site by clicking here.
    2. Use the normal HDZero firmware update process to flash this firmware to the VTX. If you are unsure of how to flash the firmware, please see this video guide.
    3. This is a special firmware file which only unlocks the VTX. This firmware does not function normally, so be sure to complete the rest of the steps in this guide.
  3. Power up the VTX normally, such as by connecting a battery or using a bench power supply.
    1. Be sure to provide the correct voltage input to the VTX. The first batch of the HDZero Freestyle VTX supported 2-4S input (6V-16.8V), but newer units support 2-6S (6-25.2V). Your VTX will be marked with its supported voltage range.
    2. When the VTX powers up, you will see the red LED turn on, and the blue LED will flash three times, but will not stay lit.
    3. The VTX should not transmit video in this mode, so you will be unable to see the live video in your goggles. This is expected.
    4. Turn off power to the VTX or unplug the battery.
  4. Download and flash the latest normal firmware.
    1. Download the latest firmware from the HDZero website.
    2. Unzip the firmware download and then unzip the FreestyleVTX firmware package.
    3. Use the normal HDZero firmware update process to flash this firmware to the VTX. If you are unsure of how to flash the firmware, please see this video guide.
    4. Ensure you have matching, or similar, firmware between your HDZero VRX/goggles and the Freestyle VTX. Firmware versions must be close or identical for video transmission to work properly.

Once you have completed this process, you should be able to open the VTX menu (by bringing your radio sticks down and toward each other) and change the output power of the VTX between all of the available options, including the 500mW and MAX (up to 1 watt) options.

Where to Buy

If you don\’t already own the HDZero Freestyle VTX, you can buy it from the following sites.

Note: The product links on this page are affiliate links. I earn a small commission if you purchase products through these links. For more information, see my affiliate link policy.

Need Help?

If you run into trouble with the process of unlocking the HDZero Freestyle VTX, I recommend the following places for assistance.