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Foil mod?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by SteveMann, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. SteveMann

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    Has anyone done the foil mod on the non-vision and gotten better satellite response? Every thread about the foil mod seem to be for the Vision, but I sometimes have to wait a few minutes just to get six, and airborne I rarely see 10 or more.

    Thanks
     
  2. kirk2579

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    not the foil as it was for wifi etc
    however yes on the 4mm antenna , and my p2 is still on 3.08 and I get sat lock like right now! quick on both sets of green
     
  3. 2nd2non

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    I have on my FC40. See my signature for all the devices. I needed copper plus aluminum in order to get and not drop satellites. Of course I've got Bluetooth module and 2.4ghzFPV transmitter to contend with. But it works like a charm!
     
  4. Colorado4130

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    Monitor.jpg
    I put the foil in about a year ago in my P2 and it made a HUGE difference for me. I HAVE NOT swapped out the GPS antenna patch yet (curious to as if it would make any difference for me) but I get Nose Lock at 30 secs (religiously) and Home about 35 - 40 at the latest. I was having a problem with my bird locking in sats before I did this mod but I have never had ANY problem locking in over 10 (usually 12 - 14) sats during EVERY flight after this mod. I have flown at sea-level to close to 13,000 ' A.S.L. with the same results. One thing I also did was I wrapped the puck wire with foil and clear packing tape all the way to the plug. Not sure if that makes a difference since I haven't tested it without it. I did this mod WAY before the whole GPS Antenna talk swap era and would laugh every time someone suggested that it wouldn't work. It did for me and I'd say apples to oranges as far as sat lock time and number of sats locked. I ran the straight aluminum foil OVER the DJI copper only to the 4 arm ribs in the shell and then covered it with clear packing tape to prevent any shorts or grounding on the "Central Circuit Board". A simple mod that doesn't cost me anything other than time. Let me know your experience if you do.
     
    #4 Colorado4130, May 1, 2015
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
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  5. N017RW

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    SM,

    I did it about 4 mos. ago and don't notice any difference with regards to the time for acquisition.
    I get CL at about 35 sec. and 'all greens' at about 45 sec. No change. Don't know the total # cause I have no OSD.
    Sometimes I get the rapid greens back-to-back.
     
    #5 N017RW, May 1, 2015
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  6. Hughie

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    One problem with doing GPS mods is having a solid benchmark to compare against. Satellite availability varies like hell with time and place. I have done the foil mod & the GPS antenna mod and use this site (http://www.uavforecast.com/) as a reference to see if I am reaching maximum available sats in a reasonable amount of time

    Very useful as it gives hour by hour satellite availability together with Estimated Satellites likely to be able to lock.

    Pretty happy with my setup - I never see more than 12, but it is always very close or as good as what is predicted.
     
  7. SteveMann

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    Aye, there's the rub. Only anecdotal evidence that the foil mod actually helps. But, the next time I have the shell open I'll try it since I have a couple of dozen flights logged from my location and I have never seen more than 7 sats at takeoff and 11 in the air. If I average +1 over time, then I will declare it a "fix". I suspect that it's of more advantage to the Vision models because of interference from the 2.4 GHz WiFi module.
     
  8. N017RW

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    Yes anecdotal for sure and mostly a V or V+ issue. However many, many (not all), operators have reported the sat. losses from turning on the camera are lessened or eliminated along with reduced acq. times.
    DJI then copied it either for its benefits or perceived benefits (PR).
     
  9. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Foil mod works and is recommended for the non-Vision P2. As is the antenna upgrade. The best way to test is to use a sat predictor and test at times when available sats are the same. Note, you have to have at least 1 day where the Phantom isn't powered up in order to have a complete GPS cold start. Under 1 day, GPS should take less time using the information it cached from the previous use.
     
  10. Colorado4130

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    The GPS antenna patch interference issue is obviously not exclusive to the Vision series. Call it anecdotal or what you want, the proof is in the pudding for me. I never have high satellite lock issues and lock in sats (7 or more) at about 30 secs unless performing to what Ianwood is referring to as a Cold Start, and that takes only a few seconds longer. Some who have tried this noticed little or no improvement. Many, like myself, noticed a great improvement. Kind of like treating cancer right? What might work for some, might not work for others. My suggestion is for people with GPS lock problems to try it and then they can decide for themselves wether this mod works or if it doesn't. If it works then you have a faster, cheap, easy fix without the need to solder anything done with household materials. If it doesn't then they can move onto the GPS Antenna fix or a newer copper shield. I agree with NO17RW that his method of testing is anecdotal. You wouldn't be able to tell much if you do not have any form telemetry sending that info back to you other than going off your lock in times and lights. I do. How accurate it all is is another argument. :D Steve said it takes him MINUTES just to acquire 6 satellites and rarely sees 10. I had that exact problem. If I remove the foil then it goes right back to the way to was before. I personally wouldn't want to fly like that. Maybe it would benefit someone like himself and maybe it wouldn't. One way to find out. Definitely not through guessing, theories, or hearsay.
     
  11. N017RW

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    For the record, Mr. Mann first raised the anecdotal aspect of all of this.
     
  12. Colorado4130

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    By no means negative. Using your example of someone not having a o.s.d. to tell how many sats they would have locked in. Nothing negative. ;)
     
  13. N017RW

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    No, no.
    Not what I was thinking.

    Just making sure proper credit given.

    All Good!!!
     
  14. Colorado4130

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    Bahahahaha!!! Internet misinterpretations are comical.
    A guy walks into a bar and says ouch. What kind of bar did he walk into? Alcohol or steel?:D
     
  15. Fyod

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    Is that a friggin tornado on the right or am I seeing things?!
     
  16. Colorado4130

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    So funny! I noticed that after I posted that pic and was like, "WTF is that?!!!". Then I forgot about it and your comment got me looking at it again and made me laugh. It's my son's Hair blowing into the pic mixed in with the storm clouds. Hilarious!
     
  17. GerryBerry

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    I did this mod to my Phantom 2 (non-Vision) a few weeks ago, and the results were well worth it. I was having great difficulty picking up more that four or five satellites in my garden (lots of trees around).

    Prior to performing the mod, I placed the Phantom on a table in the garden and it was receiving four satellites. My Garmin eTrex was displaying nine satellites at the same time. Less than thirty minutes later, having performed the mod and before closing up the shell, the Phantom locked onto eight satellites almost immediately. The eTrex was still showing nine satellites.

    I now get at least seven (normally more) satellites in the same place where I used to get four or five. For the mod I used a single layer of kitchen foil, with double sided adhesive tape and covered it with clear 'contact' film - the stuff we used to cover school books with.

    Gerry
     
  18. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    I actually did a side by side comparison. I upgraded the backup P2 first (foil and antenna) and the compared to the main P2 (stock antenna, no foil). Definitely an improvement. It doesn't make it perfect but if you find yourself waiting a long time for sats, it can't hurt.
     
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  19. IflyinWY

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    Dude, are you serious? Trust me, I am in no way questioning you, but ****. Does this apply to my FC40 as well? The P1? I didn't think anything in any of these was cached, period. I've heard of folks making battery swaps and saying "it got greens really fast" but that's the extent of what I've heard.

    Funny how no one noticed what you said and wandered into oblivion. :confused:
     
  20. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    That's why there's a tiny little battery like cell on the GPS board. It preserves almanac and ephemeris between flights so you don't have to download it every time. The data is only good for about a day though.

    Your phone gets this data from the network and it's always fresh which is why it's almost always faster.
     
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