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GPS MOD: 3M 1181 COPPER SHIELDING TAPE

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by CapnBob, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. CapnBob

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    I have read a lot of concerns about the GPS shielding mod, worries about shorting, etc.
    I am a retired Microwave Engineer, and have used 3M Copper Tape (1181) for over 20 years.

    I can tell you this, I have never seen it lose adhesion. It was designed specifically for use in Electronic systems,
    and obviously adhesion loss of conductive copper foil would be disastrous.
    In fact, after it has had a while to set, it's a real PITA to remove.
    Do not worry along those lines.

    As far as "shorting" goes, it is a non-issue. Look at the wifi module. No insulating paint or tape.
    Everything metal in the bird has a ground potential on the outside, if it doesn't, it has an insulating layer,
    The obvious exceptions are solder points on the ESCs, etc. It would take a catastrophic failure to bring those points in contact with the tape.
    At that point, the short would be an afterthought.

    If the tape touches anything else, it will just achieve system ground potential, which might or might not effect the GPS Sat signals.
    The "shielding" mod may also be offering convex Ground Plane functionality.
    I may try an experiment and actually make a jumper from the GPS shield to system ground and see if there is any difference in performance.

    The other point I would make, is do not use aluminum duct-sealing tape. The adhesive on the 1181 contains conductive copper particles, and, if the joints are overlapped and burnished down properly, will appear as a contiguous conductive surface to RF. Aluminum tape has no such thing, and the non-conductive adhesive will act to insulate one piece from another and create a capacitor or slot radiator at RF frequencies.

    Also, and very important, copper tape should never be re-used. It will never achieve the same contact again. Use solvent to remove all adhesive, and apply fresh tape.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. paulajayne

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    Good post. Thanks
     
  3. MapMaker53

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    If you find that a jumper makes a difference in performance, would you please let us know where exactly to attach such a ground? I'm using a solid piece of thin copper flashing which is very pliable for forming to the top and has the extra benefit of having a plastic coating on one side. I just adhered it in place with double-sided foam poster tape.
     
  4. RichWest

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    Looking forward to this test if you do. Next opening of mine was to perform the same test on the stock shield. Have had no GPS issues to date, so not on my priority list of to do's.

    Curious, what width of tape are you using?
     
  5. rbhamilton

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    I used that tape and foil-modded mine. Initially I had some issues because I also ...ahem... ventilated my WiFi module. Turns out that wasn't a good idea and produced a lot more RF. After I foil taped the WiFi module back up I've been good ever since. I used to fly with 6 - 8 sats. Now it's always 10 - 12 or more. Love it.
     
  6. rstekeur

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    Where do you get that tape? I might do it in the future. So far I haven't had any problems with satellites. I usually get 9 - 11 and I don't see a drop when I start recording
     
  7. windexh8er

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    I'll tell you a secret about this little place called Amazon... ;)

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_ ... ds=3m+1181
     
  8. msinger

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  9. CapnBob

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    I use the 5cm/2" wide tape.

     
  10. CapnBob

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    If you don't want to buy a whole roll, ebay is a good place. It's where I buy it.

    You can buy a couple of meters of the 5cm/2" for $4-$6 w/ free shipping.

    Musicians use this to shield their electric guitars, etc, and you know how monetarily challenged they (we) are.. ;-)

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R4 ... e&_sacat=0