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5.8 Transmitter Assembly and Antenna Mod to Increase Range

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by BenDronePilot, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. BenDronePilot

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    Hi, I made a video showing how to assemble and disassembly the DJI Phantom 2 Vision 5.8 Ghz controller. How to assemble the controller and Disassemble it. Change to FCC mode, and how to change the antenna to use any screw in. The Video link is here.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gcl-hT5iznY

    Once this mod is done you can add additional range by using something like a 5.8ghz power amplifier but that's not something I get into in the video and not really needed unless you want crazy long range beyond your FPV capabilities.

    In Summary. The first thing you need to do to extend range is make sure you're in FCC mode. You do this by using the flat head portion of the included screw driver, and turn the bottom screw on the back of the controller fully clockwise. When you power on you will hear two beeps to confirm you are now in FCC mode.

    The stock controller should give you anywhere between 1 and 2 miles range in distance. Though it lacks in terms of height capability, which is where modding the antenna may come in handy. You can use anything from a standard 2.4 / 5ghz omni directional antenna to a directional patch antenna and so forth.

    To perform the mod you need to buy a U.FL to RP-SMA connector cable. Take apart your controller. Remove the silicon covering the U.FL connector attached to the circuit board. Remove the stock antenna, cut the upper lip off the top of the controller the plastic ring went around so you will have enough clearance to screw on your antenna.

    Links to things you can use for the mod.

    2X U.FL Mini PCI to RP-SMA Pigtail Antenna WiFi Cable

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005UW ... UTF8&psc=1

    Antenna Options.

    This includes two of the U.FL Connectors along with two 6dbi antennas.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DP6 ... UTF8&psc=1

    TP-LINK TL-ANT2405CL 2.4GHz 5dBi Indoor Omni-directional Antenna, 802.11n/b/g, 1.3m/4ft in extension cable (This same link also shows you an 8dbi version)

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004PF ... UTF8&psc=1

    Here's a link with free shipping for just the 5db antenna from newegg.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833997208

    And the 8dbi version
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833997226

    NEEWER® 5.8GHz Circular Polarized Antenna TX/RX RP-SMA Female

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GLG ... UTF8&psc=1

    RP-SMA 5.8G 11db aerial FPV high gain panel antenna for FPV 5.8Ghz TX RX
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HM0 ... UTF8&psc=1
     
  2. storm_333

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    Re: 5.8 Transmitter Assembly and Antenna Mod to Increase Ran

    So just to clarify - are you saying that antennas that are described as being 2.4Ghz should work equally well on the 5.8Ghz transmitter?
     
  3. BenDronePilot

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    Re: 5.8 Transmitter Assembly and Antenna Mod to Increase Ran

    Yes that's exactly what I'm saying. Tho great part about this mod is you can easily screw any antenna in for testing if not satisfied with any particular size or type.
     
  4. ChesterT

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    Re: 5.8 Transmitter Assembly and Antenna Mod to Increase Ran

    :eek: Great info BDP!!

    One thing that needs to be mentioned about antennas is that an antenna is a passive device and therefore CAN NOT PROVIDE A POWER GAIN! A plain vertical antenna distributes it's input power equally in all directions (in theory). When you start buying antennas with 'gain', what that means is the antenna is designed to re-distribute it's input power in specific directions. For instance (since I can't include a drawing), a simple vertical antenna as supplied on the DJI RC, crudely, distributes power in the shape similar to a donut and covers 360 degrees area. When a vertical antenna is designed to provide GAIN, the antenna is designed to produce a 'different shape' or radiation pattern, such as most of the input power will be redirected into a directional pattern and this pattern can, say, take the shape of a Frisbee. That is, the donut shape radiation pattern is squashed down flatter and you do not have the same 'coverage' as you would have with a non-gain vertical.

    I just get nervous when I hear about antennas that have 8db gain or 12 db gain because that means in some directions, you will get better or longer range coverage and in other directions you will LOSE coverage and the user should be aware of that. Unfortunately most vendors are in the business of SELLING antennas by making claims of GAIN but obviously not showing the actual radiation pattern of the 'high gain' antenna so the user will not know exactly what they are getting!

    I am only mentioning this because most RC enthusiast are not ex-microwave engineers such as I am and we all should be somewhat aware of what we are getting with 'high gain' antennas.

    ;) ChesterT
     
    papamitsos likes this.
  5. OI Photography

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    Re: 5.8 Transmitter Assembly and Antenna Mod to Increase Ran

    Excellent point, and a great explanation.
     
  6. ClimbrJohn

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    Re: 5.8 Transmitter Assembly and Antenna Mod to Increase Ran

    I notice in your video you mention rechargeable AA batteries don't decrease range. I also use Eneloop batteries, but I would think using 6v versus 4.8v would make a difference. How do you know for certain it doesn't?
     
  7. Warninger

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    Re: 5.8 Transmitter Assembly and Antenna Mod to Increase Ran

    Nice video...any idea what added distance just the antenna mod will do?? Looks to be an easy fix.
     
  8. CapnBob

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    Re: 5.8 Transmitter Assembly and Antenna Mod to Increase Ran

    Chester, good info for the novice. I, too am a retired microwave engineer, and I would like to add possibly a clarification to your statements. It is certainly possible to design an 8 or 12 dBi omnidirectional antenna. A stacked dipole array will do this and you could achieve 12 dBi gain with 360° coverage. However, this comes at the expense of vertical beamwidth, which would be reduced to reduced to about 12° (in the case of the 12 dBi antenna). In essence, the doughnut pattern is squashed, with a bigger circumference, but shorter, with an oval versus a round cross-section. Great for long distances at the horizon, but you wouldn't get much signal overhead. In this case, an array could be designed to fill the overhead null as well.
     
  9. dastagg

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    Re: 5.8 Transmitter Assembly and Antenna Mod to Increase Ran

    So would a simple 6db or 9db wifi antenna work better than the built in antenna on the wifi extender, or would the internal out perform the simple wifi antenna installed on the 2.4 wifi extender? Want a little more range on the video feed already using a Horizon antenna on the transmitter and works great, but now want more video range to closer match.
     
  10. dastagg

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    Re: 5.8 Transmitter Assembly and Antenna Mod to Increase Ran

    I too switched to the Re700, however any improvement in range is minimal if any, thus reason I ask about antenna on the RE700 extender.
     
  11. volt5015

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    So if I was to purchase 2 circular polarized 5.8ghz antennas and put one on the wi-fi extender and the other on my DJI P2+ can i also add another 2 antenna for the rc controller and the bird as well? I don't know if i can just buy the same antenna or if they have to be different. there is so many options out there i don't know what to buy help!!!



    5.8GHz Circular Polarized Antenna TX/RX RP-SMA
     
  12. volt5015

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    So if I was to purchase 2 circular polarized 5.8ghz antennas and put one on the wi-fi extender and the other on my DJI P2+ can i also add another 2 antenna for the rc controller and the bird as well? I don't know if i can just buy the same antenna or if they have to be different. there is so many options out there i don't know what to buy help!!!