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External RC antenna setup

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Waylander, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. Waylander

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    Hi Guys

    Sorry about this, I know I have posted this request before, but unfortunately I did not get the answers I need, if anyone knows how to do this I would be very grateful.

    I would like to be able to pilot my Phantom 3 Pro with me positioned behind the open rear TailGate of a 4 x 4 and using a large Hi Res Video monitor in the rear of the vehicle as my FPV screen.

    The problem is that with me seated behind the vehicle, it's metal body and tailgate will attenuate my RC signal considerably, so I would like to be able to modify my RC to include a "Ground Station", ie an antenna array that I can mount on the roof of the 4 x 4 to give me an omnidirectional signal, clear of interference from my vehicle.

    I have no problem with engineering something to fit, but it would help greatly if someone who has already done this sort of thing, could recommend an "Off the Shelf" solution.

    Thanks in advance
    waylander
     
  2. flyNfrank

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    You should 1st actually attempt to fly it from the rear of the 4x4 as you described, but go ahead and use your R/C as you normally would. I do not think you will get the obstruction you think you will as long as you fly with the aircraft in your line of sight. My buddy sits in the cab of his box truck and flies 5000ft away on a regular basis.
     
  3. Waylander

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    Hi flyNfrank

    Thanks for your reply, I have already tried to fly as you suggested, and I found that I did loose signal, especially when the Bird was in front of the vehicle, or when it passed overhead.

    Now when I say I lost signal, I did not wait to see if I got it back from the position I was in, I got out of my chair and went around the side of the vehicle and got the signal back, so no problem.

    But I want to avoid that, I would like to erect an antenna array on top of the vehicle or on a post and then run cables to the Phantoms RC.

    I know that the fixed wing boys do set up this kind of "Ground Station", but I would like a bit of advice on how to do it, and what works best, because there are the two frequencies to consider the 2.4 Ghz command signals and the 5.8 Ghz video.

    I'm not looking for extended range necessarily, but just to be inside the vehicle.

    Regards
    Waylander
     
  4. WetDog

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    Not too hard. First off, I'd try a Windsurfer of one form or another. Cheap, simple, might work as FNF points out that some people manage to get enough range inside vehicles (have you tried opening the windows, they often have some coating that kills RF?).

    If that doesn't work you will need to mod the RC so it can take an external antenna. You can buy entire kits on eBay or whatever (look at msigner's site). You can also just buy the requisite cables off of ebay.

    Then you can make/ buy an extension cable from the RC to the top of your vehicle and put either a flat panel antenna (like the MaxxUV or FPVLR) or any 2.4GHz omni directional antenna (probably a better idea).

    You will lose some power with a longish cable but probably less than trying to punch through the steel of your truck. Be advised that 1) it voids your warranty 2) it's not legal in the US unless you are technician class or above radio amateur 3) professional driver on a closed course and 4) do not taunt happy fun ball.

    Alternatively you can buy a fiberglass cap. You've just created a radome.....

    And for P3 pros and advanced, all you need is 2.4 GHz. That does simplify life.

    And the tailgate will likely not attenuate the signal. It will move it (act as a passive element and probably push the bulk of the signal UP rather than OUT). Depending on your course and plans this can be a feature or a bug.
     
  5. flyNfrank

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    There is a vendor I saw here on the forum that has a setup that attaches to the roof of the vehicle. I think it might be the same guy that just posted a thread during the last day that has to do with making something for tri-pods and holding the Remote Controller. If you click on any link you see in his signature it might go to his site where the rooftop setups can be seen. If I get a chance I might see if I can locate it unless you find it before I do.
     
  6. WetDog

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    MaxxUAV Canada??
     
  7. flyNfrank

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    That sounds like that's it....I do believe. Thanks!
     
  8. flyNfrank

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  9. flyNfrank

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    Edit: I took a quick look around the link I posted here and did not see much on that site for rooftop setups. You will have much better success doing a google search. I ended up on a thread over in the P4 forum that had decent info for what you're after.
     
  10. Waylander

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    Hi WetDog

    Many thanks, I'm glad I posted again, sometimes it is the luck of the draw if the right people with the know-how see your post, on this occasion they did.

    I was under the impression that the RC functions were 2.4 Ghz and that the "Lightbridge" or video component was 5.8 Ghz, glad you put me straight on that score.

    I'm not over concerned regarding warranty infingement, it will run out fairly soon, also I'm in the UK, and Big Brother (UK) has not caught up with the US yet.

    My focus is on what you guys refer to as "Real Estate", we refer to such vendors as "Estate Agents", well thats my end goal, but before lashing out the UK equivalent
    + $2000.00 on a pilots training course and license, I want my Kit and Skills up to scratch.

    So thanks again for your help, much appreciated, ( also I'm going to thank FNF in a separate post ).
    Waylander
     
    #10 Waylander, Sep 1, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
  11. Waylander

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    Hi flyNfrank

    You may see my response to WetDog, but equal thanks for your post, it's just that I saw his first, I will look to the pointers you have both given, and try and workout a solution from there, but if you do find more info please post it, I'll be most gratefull and it might give another OP an answer to thier problem.

    Many Thanks
    Waylander
     
  12. flyNfrank

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    Thanks for the props...much appreciated.

    I actually had left the browser windows open for a while for products and such. But I thought about it and figured it would be best for you to search and find everything you are in need of. And this is due to the fact that I personally have not stepped into the upgraded antenna's, amp's and the other related stuff. I really only like speaking out about things I have actual experience with. So I didn't want to cloud your decisions in any way if you know what I mean.
     
  13. WetDog

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    Any time. It's what's fun about this place.

    Before you get into the modding, you might talk to local RC's and radio ops. I can't imagine the Brit's being any less compulsive ** than the US about stuff like that.

    Really, GHz level radio comms are interesting. From an amateur radio point of view I've found the community there extraordinarily helpful. There are guys with impressive engineering chops in radio working as amateurs and I'm sure that's true in the UK. Or pretty much anywhere else.

    Not that adding a slightly bigger antenna is going to start frying the local avian life, but it is important to realize that people use the same level of power to transmit stuff to satellites. Those electromagnetic waves can go far under the right conditions. It's important not to mess things up for anyone else.

    ** had a slightly more descriptive term here but the filters stomped on it.
     
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  14. RadRich

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    #14 RadRich, Dec 10, 2016 at 1:10 PM
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016 at 1:22 PM