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any one know why my range up is not as far??

Discussion in 'Phantom FC40 Discussion' started by J.James, May 19, 2014.

  1. J.James

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    Does any one know why my FC40 only has about half the range straight up as far as altitude with nothing at all between me and the phantom except for just air. It always seemed to not be going up as far as it should before losing signal. And today when trying out my flytrecks flight tracker I was able to confirm that my range straight up was only 1420 Feet

    Yet on distance flights I'm able to get about 3200 feet away when flying about 200 feet up and thats with buildings and trees in my way. and even yesterday out in the open country side with nothing blocking my signal from the transmitter I was only able to get her out a tad over 3200 feet away.

    But From all I know my range of my transmitter should be as far if not farther when trying to go up and when keeping the side of the antenna facing up. But this has me stumped as to why I can only get 1420 over head.

    So wondering if any one may know whats up with that or has any tips
     
  2. Madwak

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    It's because you havnt tilted the aerials on the phantom too :)
     
  3. J.James

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    By "the aerials" do you mean the 2 small antennas on the phantom?????

    If so It did dawn on me to try it with one of them going horizontal. and it seemed like it may have gone a bit higher. But the flytrecks site is not letting me in right now so I have to wait a bit to see the mission states to really be able to know just how high she went
    .
     
  4. J.James

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    Well that helped a lil to put one antenna on the phantom out horizontally and swapped out the antenna on the transmitter from the 3dbi I used earlier to a 6 was able to get her up to 1659 feet. But still not far as my radius range away. Which I also did a test on to see if it would have as far of a range away with on antenna sideways. and I got just over .5 miles which is a tiny tiny bit less then my best distance but only by a few 100 feet with the 6dbi.

    What was weird tho is when she didnt seem like she was going up any more it was still responding to any of my right stick movements and could fly forward backwards and side to side. So i'm going to try again in case maybe she was still able to climb higher and maybe it just didnt look like it was. I'm thinking that high up it may also be harder to climb as fast if the air is less dense and may of just needed another minute or so longer on the stick to be sure it was not going to go any higher.
     
  5. darwin-t

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    I suppose you could tilt your controller so the front of it is facing it. If it is above the antenna, that is the weakest direction for the antenna to transmit/receive.

    I don't know why you want to go that high, though. Heaven help you if it malfunctions at that altitude,freefalls and hits someone.
     
  6. Mandrake

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    I'm surprised that you could actually see it at that height !! I certainly couldn't - Hope you didn't ping a radar anywhere close by ..
     
  7. J.James

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    definitely not any thing I want to normally do or high i want to fly at. Other then testing out how high it can go. and trying to figure out why its range is not as far going up as it is going away from me. Even with the antennas orientated the right directions on the phantom and the transmitter.. Tho as far as it falling from that far up and hitting someone or some thing. Its maximum volatility I'm sure would still be hit at even almost 400 feet up. So the danger would still be the same. Either way that would not be good.

    Tho I don't thing it would ever ping on radar or look like any thing other then a bird. if it did Tho speaking of radar i do always check flight radar.com to make sure there are not any planes flying any were near by when ever I fly. Even just flying under 400 feet. I also normally have the naza limits set so it don't go higher then 120m which is just shy of 400 feet. Which is about as high up as I can usually even see it if its moving and I don't take my eye off it.
     
  8. J.James

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    Forgot to say ya i have done it that way with the antenna at 90 degrees and holding the tx so the antenna is horizontal to the ground. and also with the antenna sticking straight out and holding the tx horizontally. and even trying it horizontally but off the to side. and all the same difference/ Tho pointing the tip of the antenna i do know is the weakest signal esp with a higher gain antenna.
     
  9. darwin-t

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    But the antennas on your FC40 are pointing more or less straight down, as least one of them. Maybe you could put a higher gain antenna on your transmitter and/or quad.
     
  10. IIVII

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  11. darwin-t

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    I wonder if one of these would help, and if you could use the transmitting one with the stock antenna on the FC40. It would be more omnidirectional.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/SMA-FPV-5-8...d=100009&prg=9826&rk=3&rkt=10&sd=380777493061

    I have yet to reach my 500 yard limit - at 400 yards, it looks pretty tiny and I have had no need to go that fay any way. I mainly go straight up, take photos and come back down.
     
  12. J.James

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    I have one of the 5.8Ghz 11dBi High-gain Panel Antennas already on the way. which should give me more range then the 6 dbi omi directional hi gain I have been using. But the radiance is going to be more narrow. and I also intent to put better antennas on the phantom its self. The guy that did the ar 2 drone fpv mod was able to get 4800+ feet with a 3dbi antenna on his fc40 and I don't even think he even has any modes to the stock tx antenna either.


    But over all range is not so much what has me puzzled as much as just why I can get 3200 feet away with buildings and trees in my way of my signal yet with the same antenna am only getting just over half that. Even with the receivers antenna orientated the same as my antenna on the tx. I kind of always thought range up and over head was usually about the same if not better then distance outward. I know I can get it higher or farther with different antennas. But some thing is telling me now that it still will go farther then it will go up with either antenna I use if I compair distance away to distance straight up. Even if It will go up higher then it is with the ones I have been using. But for testing I want to still compare same antenna for same antenna regardless of over all height or distance.
     
  13. J.James

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    Just for the hell of it just t see how far away I could get with a directional antenna I tried a 16dbi directional panel antenna last night just for snitz and giggles to see if I could get much farther then I could with the 9bi and my wind surfer reflector can get.
    I flew my normal test course and had the panel up in the air aimed in a line with my course. And sent her out till she lost signal and returned home twice and both times it only went 960m compared to the 975m meters I can get with my 9dbi and the wind surfer. and it was sort of a pain in the butt to use a big panel that has a cord running from it in to the transmitter. I had to lay the transmitter down on my carrying case in the bed of my truck with the antenna on the roof and flew it like I was standing at the controls in a dash board. It also had a very narrow radiance and had to be pointed right at the phantom. So it was interesting to do once for the heck of it but not practical at all. But being that no matter what antennas I'm using and the range maxing out around the same point I think the antennas on the fc40 and the transmitters output power at that point become the real limiting factors. and I think its mostly the receiving antenna's
     
  14. J.James

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    With the stock antennas and fresh battery's in the tx the fc40 will go way father then 500 yards out. I've got it out 700 meters or 765 yards. I actually like to fly in a straight line up about 200-300 feet heading in to the wind. So that it will have the wind helping it get back home. and let her rip till I know shes as far as she will go and never more then 1/3 of my flight time then wait for it to come back. The return flight always seems to also get the best videos. Nice and still esp now that I have an anti jello mount. Up shots I like to just send her straight up and hover for a bit then do a slow easy yaw to get a panoramic view of the entire town and surrounding towns and the country side for miles around. Do a lil tight circle then bring her back down. and then look at the video and see what I got. The other day I got some awesome video over head at my friends house out in the country by just sending her up as high as she would go and flying a few nice slow smooth circles. I would of had some better videos when I flew it out from the top of the mountain they live on top of and over the valley accost the next mountain and river valley on to the next valley and the mighty hossic river. and back but each of 3 times my camera fell out of the holder and just spun around in the wind dangling from its safety tether I made for it in case that ever happened. So glad i didnt lose it out in the open country side ware it would of never ever been able to be found. But the videos make me dizzy tho I was able to pause them at a few spots and take screen captures and still got some nice stills and also see were it went.

    Oh and about the clover leafs Ya thats going to be my next thing to play around with. Tho I want to try some 2.4ghz ones for my fpv. Which is the bigger nut to crack for me then even flight range. right now even with a Menagerie of stuff to get about 500meters the fpv needs improving still just to even be able to match my flight range I'm already getting.
     
  15. KG4MXV

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    If you are talking about the 5.8ghz antennas that are taped to the landing skids.

    DO NOT BEND THE WIRE AT THE TIP!!!

    This wire is very fragile and will break if you move it too much.
    And to make matters worse the way this antenna is made if the blade that strips the coax cuts too deep and scores the center conductor of the coax (the actual antenna or radiating element) it will fall off!!

    This antenna is nothing more that an a small brass tube that is soldered onto the shield of the coax cable(the ground plane) that has been stripped back and the center conductor is trimmed to the proper length to act as a 5/8 wave resonate on 5.8ghz
    then a pice of heat shrink tubing is placed over the brass tube for esthetics and some protection.

    These types of antennas radiate the RF energy from the sides of the antenna not the tip. In kind of a doughnut pattern with the antenna in the middle of the doughnut.
    If you damage the antenna you will have to buy a complete receiver kit as they don't just sell the stock antennas by them selves.
    and in actuality I wouldn't buy stock again I would upgrade to to the higher gain clover leaf antenna that is enclosed (mushroom shaped) this way the loops of wire are protected and can't get caught on branches of trees in case of a crash into a tree.

    There are a lot of you tub vids on how to do the upgrade.
     

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  16. J.James

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    Ah 5/8th wave. That explains why it was seeming to not be exactly the right length to be exactly 1/2 wave. But I was thinking to that it might of also been if it was tuned not be exactly 5.8ghz. They still seem to be better constructed then the stock antenna on the transmitter. I actually got around to dissecting that last night. And was surprised to see it was not the same type as the ones on the receiver

    It seems to be some kind of a hollow dipole made with 2 tubes. Picture the the stock ones on the receiver but with a shorter wire sticking out the end of the one tube and anther tube with a closed off end soldered on to the end of the center wire that goes threw the first tube then a pcs of shrink wrap over the ends of the tubes and the gap. But one tube was 1mm longer then the other. and they were both also about 2x longer then the receivers tube and wire. (what ever that works out to be for fraction of the wave) But it would seem the 2 sides out of balance would make it not be perfectly tuned with the other side and its also very! very! delicate being the solder joint on the tip of that tiny center conductor is all thats holding it on. and being inside the white plastic protection tube.


    Ya I noticed also when i seen a replacement receiver kit when looking for some other parts that the replacements also had the antennas directly soldered to the board and intill I seen inside mine the other day when Installing my flytrex that the ones in my fc40 are connected with mini pci connectors. So they are swappable. I also noticed one of them was put in. in such a way that if the antenna is pulled all the way out that it wraps around one of the wires running to the motor which i would assume could cause some noise.
     
  17. jerrymac12000

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    Just wondering, what is the total take off weight of your FC40, and all of the assessories it carries in the flight ---- IN GRAMS?
     
  18. J.James

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    Funny you should ask I just weighed it this afternoon.

    If I'm flying with the
    fc40 camera and holder.
    and 2700Mah battery
    my home made landing skids
    the flytrex and battery alarm buzzer
    anti jello mount
    puts me at 959 Grams. 901g if i take the cam and holder off.
    and another 100 grams off if I were to fly with just a 2200mah


    I got some wicked results tonight testing out the tiny 11dbi directional flat panel antenna from ebay. tonight's Distance at 364 feet high I got 1450 meters 4757 feet. just a tad over .9 miles. and never lost signal and just brought her back because of time and was hard to see the lights. Till I fliped the switch to fail safe and could see the led blink a second after flipping the switch then see it disappear as it turned its self to start heading back. So It had more to go if I had pushed it out a few more seconds. I even hit 52.01 mph on the return flight after I retook control and flipped it in atti mode when it was in view. :D :D

    Then I decided to swap out the battery and try one last height test. and sent her up till it looked like a green and red twinkling star for 3 mins straight up and a lil forward or back every 30 seconds. Just to made sure it was still in range and then I chickened out and out worried it was going to take to long to get her down and so I flew her back towards me and started my decent back to earth. and boy was that never racking cause it almost didnt even seem like it was coming down for the first 3 minutes till it got low enoguth I could see it was coming down and it still too 3 more mins. and the battery alarm went off just as I was bringing her down the last few feet and hit the throttle to keep her from having a hard landing. Tho when Iet off it stopped. Glad I did start bringing her down when I did because I only had about a minute more. max height I hit 3,036 feet or 925 meters. and that was with the phantoms antennas also both pointed down. But because of the time it took to go up and come back down. I think I'm not going to try and push the max height any more and will just be satisfied to know that if I wanted to I could of broke 1000 meters. Maybe if I ever get some upgraded props or t motors maybe I'll try it if I could get faster climb and more battery time to get back down with some cushion on time.
     
  19. darwin-t

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    Do you have any video or photos from up there?
     
  20. J.James

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    Unfortunately I dint even have the camera on it last night. For them two flights being it was night time and was just relying on the Flytrex's data to know were she went.


    Tho the video would of only captured lights on the ground I probably would of still been neat to of gotten a few shots from that high cause the wide angle is so wide even at way less height that It probably would of gotten the entire city as well as all the surrounding towns and city's to.