Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

getting beyond 1550 meters

Discussion in 'FPV (First Person View)' started by knuckles, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. knuckles

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Arizona
    I have a phantom 2 with this FPV setup:
    Immersion rc 600mw video tx
    2 ibcrazy blue beam ultra antennas
    1 ibcrazy 5 turn helical antenna
    black pearl monitor, 7 channel sma version

    I'd like to get 1600+ meters if I could without risk of exceeding range of my controler and entering in to RTH mode.

    Is anyone out there with a P2 getting beyond 1600 meters and if so what's your setup including antennas?

    Thanks for the info. :cool:
     
  2. QYV

    QYV

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,814
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    NYC
    you're just talking about RC control signal, not FPV right? with a helix receiver antenna, as long as your transmit antenna isn't terrible you should be able to go past 1.5km.

    You DO always wait for a good home-lock before flying right? so even if you did fly too far and the P2 triggered RTH, as soon as it comes a few meters back towards you you can flip the toggle switch and resume control... it's not like you have to wait for it to fully RTH and land.

    anyway it is possible to upgrade the transmit antenna on your RC since those stock antennas aren't that great... I've done this myself several times now the equipment involved is VERY sensitive it's super super easy to damage the antenna connector on the RC transmit board so you have to be extremely careful.
    You have to be careful because the tiny little antenna connector is covered in sealant gunk which you have to remove without damaging the connector. This video will show you the process of opening the RC and getting the gunk off the connector... you don't necessarily need to watch every second of the video because he sure takes his time... the gunk cleaning part starts around the 7:20 mark

    Once you've got a clean antenna connector on the RC transmit board, THEN it's easy to put on a new cable which gives you a female antenna connector into which you can plug anything.
    I personally put on this cable and then this half-sphere helix antenna from FPVLR, which I mounted to the top of my display.... so I've got that half-sphere transmit helix taped to one side, and I plug in (to my display) the FPVLR helix receiver antenna on the other side. both are directional antennas so I need to face the Phantom at all times.
     
  3. knuckles

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Arizona
    Thanks for the reply with that info. I wasn't thinking of upgrading the RC just getting the max FPV range before hitting my RC limit and I'm not sure what my RC limit out of the box even is.
    For extending my FPV range beyond 1550 meters I was thinking of changing my 5 turn helical to a 12 turn helical. The one I looked at was from FPVLR but I'd like to see if others had experience getting past the one mile mark and what recommendations were
     
  4. QYV

    QYV

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,814
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    NYC
    ahh ok. the answer depends very much on what kind of environment you're in.... you will get much more range in a rural, low-interference environment than in urban, high-interference.

    I only have a 4.25 turn helix (the one from FPVLR) and I've been out over 1700m in a rural environment, I've personally been out to right at 1100m over the city, and I've seen the same equipment go past 1400. I have a TS353 (400mW) and I'm running the FPVLR pentalobe transmit antenna (slight upgrade over the pinwheel)

    My point is, with the IRC600 transmitter and a 5 turn helical you should easily exceed the operational distance of the Phantom itself. Guys pushing the absolute limits of the Phantom 2 battery are going out around 3km and coming back and landing with no battery left... if you don't want to push that envelope, saying you want about 2km distance (so you have more than a few seconds on station before you have to turn around and head home because of battery) is a good target, and I think you should easily be able to hit that with the equipment you have*

    * - there are 2 factors which imo may affect your ability to get that distance: transmit antenna and it's orientation.
    I don't use them personally so I can't speak to the quality of that blue beam antenna. you MAY need to upgrade your transmit antenna, but imo just as important is it's orientation. Do you have any pictures of your current setup on the Phantom? I personally prefer my vTx antenna to hang down below the legs of the Phantom so there are no obstructions in the signal path. the closer your transmit antenna lobe is to the Phantom body, zenmuse gimbal, gopro etc the more dead zones and things blocking the signal you may have.

    So... get some pics of your setup and let's focus on the orientation first because that's free. If you get an optimal orientation and you still aren't getting good distance, then we consider upgrading that transmit antenna but a 5-turn helix receiver antenna should be more than adequate for 2km if all the other equipment is set up properly
     
  5. knuckles

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Arizona
    I've never had an issue getting out of range with my RC it starts getting flicker and video breakup on FPV at about 1500 meters. I only have been flying in open areas not in cities.

    Here's some pictures. Notice that I have a SMA extension cable for my video TX antenna which I haven't added yet. My plan was to point it straight down cable tied to one of the legs. It would extend lower than landing gear but it would be ok since I would hand catch.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. QYV

    QYV

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,814
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    NYC
    sounds like you're on the right track... even it's current orientation as long as the Phantom is facing "away" from you you should get decent signal. Are you sure you're keeping the helix pointed straight at the phantom? it looks like it's sort of.. tilted to the side a few degrees... the farther you get away the more exact the helix will need to be pointed at the Phantom and I feel like with your current helix setup it may get awkward trying to, you know, twist the screen and whatever you need to do to keep the helix pointed straight at the phantom.

    then again it may come down to quality, I just don't know that equipment you have well enough.... but like I said with 200mW less than your transmitter (400 vs 600) I'm rock solid out past 1700m I feel very confident I could go farther. FPVLR says that helix is a "10k antenna" in fixed wing application, Phantoms don't do anywhere near that far :). If you have $100 to throw at antennas, I can suggest some really good ones... I'm running the FPVLR pentalobe on my transmitter ($40)
    and the FPVLR helix on my receiver that I previously linked ($60)... I don't even bother hooking in any other receiver antenna
     
  7. knuckles

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Arizona
    do you think if I used the SMA extension cable and zip tied my BlueBeam antenna to the left leg of the landing gear it would cause any problems with the RC antenna in the phantom? This is the leg opposite the one with the compass.

    I'll try that first and try to be more aware of trying to point the helical exactly in the direction of the Phantom and see if it makes any difference before I buy anything else. Both the Blue Beam antennas and the 5 turn helical have good reviews from others. I think they are good antennas that aren't cheap either. I'm just trying to figure out how to get a bit more range out of my setup with a specific purpose of wanting to fly over an island when I go overseas near the end of the year.

    Thanks for your comments :cool:
     
  8. QYV

    QYV

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,814
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    NYC
    happy to help :) it shouldn't cause a problem since the "broadcast" from the antenna is really happening down on the lobe, not the cable itself.
    the worst thing that could happen would be the Phantom will lose signal and RTH... as soon as it turns towards you, you'll get the front antenna and can flip the switch to resume control... my point being try it out and test short range then farther and farther, don't just fire it up the first time and go blazing off for 1.5km :)

    orientation is the easiest thing to try first since it's free. you may want to reconsider where you mounted the helix, maybe get an extension cable or something so you can mount it more on the top of the display, so that you can always see the helix and know exactly where it's pointed.
    This is how I have mine, I know it looks like it's pointing "up" in this pic, but when I'm holding the RC in my hands watching the screen it's tilted more forwards so it makes it really easy to keep the helix pointed exactly where I want. I can also adjust the cable a little if I need
    [​IMG]
     
  9. mendezl

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2014
    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Mandeville (New Orleans) Louisiana, USA
    The radio control signal is 2.4ghz on the NonVision P2.... 2.4ghz is "stronger" than 5.8ghz so you get solid control far away. 2.4ghz also penetrates better through trees etc than 5.8ghz so your control signal is more reliable than your FPV signal.

    Your Stock Phantoms control signal can reach at least 3.5 kilometers reliably in opnen areas so you should not need to worry about reaching RTH. I do not see a need at this time to upgrade control signal antennas.

    I would not use the 12 turn antenna because it has a very narrow reception area, you would have to be pointing straight at the phantom. The 4 - 5 turn ones work perfectly.

    pictures of set up http://imgur.com/a/XQkF5

    QYV... your antenna looks cool with the light from the camera flash
     
  10. knuckles

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Arizona
    Thanks for the suggestions. So after I lowered my antenna below the landing gear I did a test earlier today and I got to 1611 meters that's a mile out. I could have pushed it further I think. What I did notice is when it started the image started to get grainy if I paid attention to point the helical directly at the phantom it got clearer.

    Thanks for the tips. You guys saved me some money as I think my current setup is good enough for what I need. Now I know I can hit 1600 meters or further out as long as I pay attention to my helical aiming. :cool:
    [​IMG]