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AVL58 Only Good For About 20 Yards - Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Mods' started by JLou04, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. JLou04

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    Hi folks!

    First, yes, I am a newbie to FPV. I've had my P2 for a couple months now and am quite confident in flight, so I decided to add FPV. I did a lot of research, and I understand that there are a million individual opinions on what's "best" and two million combinations of gear. Being new to FPV, I went with what seemed like the most user friendly solution - a "plug & play" kit with the FPV Hub, AVL58, iOSD Mini, and Black Pearl monitor.

    This was added to my existing H3-3D and GoPro.

    Easy installation - Check.

    Nice, clear picture and iOSD overlay from P2 to monitor while both are on the ground - Check.

    Performance in flight - Meh.

    I was able to only get about 20 yards out before the picture started breaking up. Beyond that, I lost it completely.

    Through searching and reading a lot of discussions, I have checked the obvious - antenna tightness, correct channels on TX and RX, etc.

    One obvious question that I didn't easily find an existing answer to - does the placement of the AVL58 matter? At the moment, I have it mounted underneath the battery compartment with the antenna sticking out the back of the P2 like a little tail. So my first thought - is the proximity to the battery causing interference? (I do have photos that I can add if it would help).

    If that is the problem though, with the H3-3D, Hub, and iOSD already taking up real estate on the underbelly, there really aren't any better options for the TX placement.

    I'm hoping I didn't get duds on either the TX or RX end and that there's something really obvious that I can try.

    Please be kind to a newbie!

    Thanks!
     
  2. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    I mounted my iOSD inside (stripped from case) and my TX is where yours is. What type of antennas are you using? What is the orientation of the antennas? Photos would help. ;)
     
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  3. JLou04

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    Thanks for the quick reply, I appreciate it! I'm using the "mushroom antennas" that many seem to use. Here are some pix (the wire going inside is for the anti-interference board to the H3-3D):

    FPV 2.jpg FPV 1.jpg
     
    #3 JLou04, Oct 5, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015
  4. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    Typically that antenna (planar) is facing down or vertical, yours is horizontal.

    Take a look at this video as he does a great job explaining...



    PS - please scale your photos back to 600-800 in size. ;)
     
    #4 LuvMyTJ, Oct 5, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015
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  5. JLou04

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    Thanks, I'll check the video out. Re-attached the pix as thumbnails...sorry!
     
  6. jason

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    I presently use a immersion 600mw TX but in the beginning like you i chose the AVL58 system and hard wire mine instead of using the hub but then changed the system trying to reduce weight. TJ is correct about your antenna on the TX it should be pointed down of course we haven't seen the antennas on the receiving end which could also be a problem. Following photos are before and after the change in transmitters. My iOSD is also mounted inside the shell along with the dji interference board. All the antennas are stock.
    [ IMG_4643.jpg IMG_9144.jpg IMG_1113.jpg
     
    #6 jason, Oct 5, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2015
  7. JLou04

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    Thanks for your input! I have the RX cloverleaf antenna that came with the AVL58 on the Black Pearl on one RX and one of the stick antennas that came with the monitor on the other RX.

    Is the right angle socket that you have on the AVL58 just an aftermarket piece that you attached to have it point down? Something I could just find at Home Depot? (I was going to say Radio Shack until I realized that they're pretty much all closed!).
     
  8. jason

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    #8 jason, Oct 5, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
    JLou04 likes this.
  9. Michael11219

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    You need a better tx, look into an immersion rc or fat shark. I have the same setup as you just with an immersion rc tx and I can get a good 300 yards on an average day.
     
  10. jason

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    The only difference between the AVL58 and the immersion is the weight. The weight of the immersion is 18g while AVL58 is 37 grams other then that both work as well as far as the distance.I have both transmitters and prefered to use the lighter unit
     
  11. JLou04

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    I'm working with the retailer right now to test the one that they sold with the kit to figure out what the problem is. There is a problem, the question is, was it my fault, their fault, or just a wonky transmitter?
     
  12. johnbig

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    You will probably find you are one channel off in your tuning.
    Johnbig
     
  13. JLou04

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    So it looks like I'm to the point of throwing in the towel on this. I sent it back to the company I bought it from, who told me that they tested it and it worked perfectly, only to have it go back to barely working on its return to me. Whether it's burned out or faulty, it's become pretty clear that they're not going to replace it. In the end, I've decided to swallow the $60 and upgrade to an ImmersionRC. The big test will be to see what happens when I get that. Obviously, if it works perfectly out of the box, it'll be clear that the AVL58 itself was the problem the whole time.

    Would I swear on a stand, under oath that I never turned it on without an antenna attached? I'm PRETTY sure I didm't, but I can't swear to it. So i'll chalk it up to a beginner's mistake and upgrade to the unit with the better word of mouth.

    Thanks for all of your advice, everyone!
     
  14. jason

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    I have used the AVL58 and didn't have any problems with it and the only reason for switching to the immersion TX was 1) weight 2) plug n play cable. I didn't like the HUB so I hard wired the system which wasn't the cleanest way to go either. I also used the same antennas that came with AVL58 on the black pearl monitor plus the one stock. Again no problem with the system.

    Your complaint was poor reception after 20 yards. Is it possible you were turning on the wifi on the GoPro? If so that's not a good idea. Other problems could be antenna placement mainly on the TX but also on the RX. I see you are using a H3-3D gimbal. Have you installed the anti-interference board inside the shell?

    If you intend to use the AVL58 clover leaf antenna on the immersion Tx you will need a 90° elbow connector like this.
    1pce Adapter 90° RP.SMA female plug to SMA male plug connector right angle M/F
     
    #14 jason, Nov 10, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
  15. JLou04

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    Hi Jason,

    I do have the WiFi on the GoPro turned off. It sounds like I'm using a system very similar to yours - the FPV hub with a Black Pearl diversity monitor. A clover-leaf TX antenna on the craft, as well as a clover-leaf RX antenna on one side and one of the stock RX antennas on the other side of the monitor. I do have the anti-interference board installed and hooked up.

    What's perplexed me from day one has been that I get decent reception when I'm starting to fly, but once I start to venture out the picture breaks up badly and eventually goes out altogether. In trying to figure it out, I've gone through all of the channel combinations between the TX and RX.

    I informed the company that I bought the FPV kit from, and they said that they can't exchange it since it's now "open box", but they'll take a look at it. So I sent it in to them. They said that they tested it and it worked flawlessly.

    I'd like to think the best of the company, but it does perplex me that they said that it worked flawlessly for them, but on return to me I had the same problem that I've always had. I have a pretty standard, basic FPV setup, and I've done almost no fiddling around inside the body of the 'copter itself, aside from the required video cable from the hub to the inside port.

    The first question that I always get is if I've turned the TX on without an antenna attached. I did an awful lot of reading and research before buying and installing, so I knew better than to do that. But of course now I'm second guessing myself as to whether I ever did or not. But, again, it does leave the head scratcher of the retailer saying that it worked flawlessly for them.

    I've flown it in both suburban areas as well as rural. So, to me, that rules out outside interference. The GoPro WiFi isn't turned on, and I'm not using my cell phone at the same time.

    So, as much as I'd rather not, I'm going to go with the unit that gets better reviews and seems to have a better track record, with the Immersion.

    If anyone wants to buy a hinky AVL58 and play with it, I'll sell it cheap lol.
     
  16. jason

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    This is the way the antenna was mounted with both the AVL58 and immersion 600mw units. Each TX required a different 90° elbow as the immersion output terminal is female and the AVL58 is male.
    IMG_4644.jpg IMG_9144.jpg
    The reason for pointing it straight down is that you 360° coverage from the sides of the antenna as opposed to straight out which very little signal.
     
  17. JLou04

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    I did end up getting one of those based on your previous recommendation. Unfortunately, it didn't help my reception issue (although it is much tidier and easier to store now).
     
  18. jason

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    I put a immersionRC patch antenna for a better video at a greater distance still have some dropout when the P2 is facing me on the return flight. IMG_1138.jpg
     
  19. JLou04

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    So I went ahead and got the ImmersionRC transmitter, which showed up yesterday. In-home, it seems to be working just fine (although I did have to google how to change the band on my Black Pearl monitor). Unfortunately, it's way too windy here today to try for an outside test. But I do have one question before I do...

    The antenna jack on the TX is a "female" style plug and the dipole antenna that is comes with has a "male" plug.

    I do still have the cloverleaf antenna that came with the AVL58. However, that plug is also "female".

    So, the question is, when it comes to antennas and transmitters, does it matter between male and female? Can I only use the dipole that came with the Immersion, or can I also use the cloverleaf? Obviously, I don't want to burn this one out because I used the wrong antenna.

    Here are pix of all three

    Cloverleaf Plug.jpg Immersion Plug.jpg Immersion Antenna.jpg
     
  20. noiseboy72

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    You will need to use a male antenna. There will be virtually no connection on a female antenna and you risk burning out the TX.