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DIY Antenna Booster for Phantom 3

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by PVFlyer, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. PVFlyer

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    I'm proud as the pioneer of introducing this DIY parabolic antenna booster to Phantom 3 or Inspire 1.

    The beauty of this DIY booster (9 dBi) is no antenna nor RC mods required without worrying to void warranty. You can install or remove the booster within seconds on Phantom 3 remote controller, while most of P3 cases/backpacks are designed for stock RC/antennas.. It is cheap (cost almost nothing) and easier than any antenna mod without the hassles and risks of adding/replacing 2.4G antenna, pigtail cable and drilling holes on RC. It's widely used in RC hobby and Wi-Fi router for years.

    Video shows how it works improving both RC and HD video signal


    We pick 9 dBi is mainly due to the size fitting well on Phantom 3 remote controller and with reasonable beamwidth for easy aiming the Phantom. We prefer slight "V" (<20 degrees vs. vertical) antenna setup to keep them apart for lowering interference and improving diversity gain.
    [​IMG]

    A modified PDF template for Phantom 3 antenna available for download https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6EvPgvmsFJlcVZ3QU5BZlFkVkk/view?usp=sharing

    RC signal dropping to "53" and HD video signal to "11" at 2.5km range
    [​IMG]

    RC signal improving to "93" and HD video signal to "56" after antenna booster installed
    [​IMG]

    • Material required: cardboard, aluminum foil (or aluminum/copper tape)

    • Tools required: printer, scissors, utility knife, glue, double tape (I use double tape to stick aluminium foil onto cardboard)

    • DIY steps:
    1. Print 2 copies of the PDF template on A4/Letter size paper (or direct on cardboard if your printer support) from the above download link
    2. Use common sense and follow the steps below
    3. https://rchelimenace.wordpress.com/how-to-build-your-own-windsurfer-antenna/
    4.

    Some of you might be wondering why the booster is parabolic with precise focal point at the antenna (shown below) or can it be some other shapes? Why some pilots report working very well but some don't? This simple DIY booster involves certain physics and RF knowledge https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parabolic_antenna. At 2.4GHz frequency, precision is important while 1/4" discrepancy is unacceptable.

    With proper parabolic curve and focal point, RF reaches to (sends from) antenna at the same time in same phase to maximize the booster effect. Otherwise, some RF might be shifted/cancelled between each others to lower the performance.

    [​IMG]

    After the introduction of this parabolic antenna booster to Phantom 3 or Inspire 1, there are so many members interested in this simple mod to extend FPV video and control range. There are various eBay sellers listing their 3D printed antenna boosters with similar design, and I have listed them below for easy reference.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/DJI-Phantom...-Video-Range-Booster-Windsurfer-/261966558715
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/311405462696?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/281759452169?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

    If any of you found similar antenna boosters and are willing to share, please let me know and I can list them in the OP.
     
    #1 PVFlyer, Jul 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
    Mmmope, reboot81, dnszero and 12 others like this.
  2. NorPilot

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    This is now my project for the weekend! Thanks :)
     
  3. funkdoobies

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    Fantastic, thanks for sharing the designs. i'll be giving this a go!
     
  4. Wizaerd

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    If you do make these, please report your experience with them for others who may wish to do it, but...
     
    shazstar and ScottyT like this.
  5. Alex Kiritsis

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    Nice! I'm going to give this a try. Thanks for sharing!
     
  6. danjordrone

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    Im going to give this a try to
     
  7. F6Rider

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    OK, looks good, I have a spot 6000' out in one area I always get low signal warning so I am going to build this and see if there is any improvement.

    If your printer can use it just print the templates on card stock, which you can cut out and glue directly to the foil.
     
    #7 F6Rider, Jul 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
  8. wotblake

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    Can't wait to read a few results...
     
  9. Hovtech

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    On the 1 video the aluminum is on the inside of the curve and on the other video, the aluminum is on the outside of the curve. I wonder, does it make a difference?
     
  10. jlo

    jlo

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    No offense 'FPV Brazil'...but I made a vanilla version of the design. :)
     

    Attached Files:

  11. PVFlyer

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    Thanks for the vanilla version, and it looks neat. Do you mind I share your vanilla version to others?

    As I modified the template from "FPV Brazil" version, thus I leave it there to let others know the origin.
     
  12. NorPilot

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    Can someone make a Phantompilots version? :)
     
  13. DiluxEdition

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    Def gotta try this.
     
  14. vincey2kr1

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    Anyone else try? Would copper foil work even better?
     
  15. tcope

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    Made a couple up this afternoon and took them out for a spin. I flew out to 4000' where I start to drop signal and I still got the same drop at that same location. As long as I was out there I thought I'd spin the drone around. I got better reception with the front end of the drone facing me (from 1-2 bars and a red warning to full 5 bars). I flew out further and made it to 8000'. I started to come back and lost video signal. App asked if I wanted to RTH. I accepted and the map showed it flying to me. Around 5000' I clicked on the screen and video came back. I pressed the X on the screen and accepted control again. I flew back and landed.

    So far I did not notice any difference using these. I will do some more testing this weekend and see what I come up with.
     
    JBJO likes this.
  16. DaGunn

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    Instead of foil glued to paper, why not use a soda/beer can for the dish? Trace and cut the support pattern from a heavier material like the side of a plastic milk container.
     
  17. jlo

    jlo

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    Not at all.
     
  18. jlo

    jlo

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    Sure. It would be better with a vector of the logo though.
     
  19. FlamingToast

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    Here are a few with the Phantom Pilots logo.
     

    Attached Files:

    Gary E likes this.
  20. PVFlyer

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    It shouldn't matter whether to glue/tape the foil inside or outside of the curve. I taped the foil inside the curve because I prefer to tape those 6 legs outside the curve right on the card instead of the foil. I know how fragile of the foil.
     
    Popek.415 likes this.