Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

Horizon FPV Antennas

Discussion in 'Classifieds' started by Duke131, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. Duke131

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NY, USA
    I just received my new upgrade antennas from Horizon FPV. They look well made and were not that difficult to install. Although I did have a mishap with an U.FL connector on the P2V receiver board, and need to replace the receiver before I can test out the extended range. I'm also not sure how mounting the camera's upgraded antenna on the camera itself will affect gimbal performance, especially if it's pointing straight down on a Rotorpixel gimbal... I'll post results of a range test after I replace the P2V receiver. Here's a short slideshow of the setup:

    https://vimeo.com/87879364
     
  2. Pull_Up

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    South Oxfordshire, UK
    Thanks for that, my box of tricks from Horizon arrived this afternoon too. The fact the 5.8 antenna fits exactly in one of the cable run holes by the skids is great news.

    I'm going to do the 5.8 mod first as I lose control signal before WiFi quite often, plus I want to wait until I have my Rotorpixel gimbal installed to have an idea of what mounting options there are and how flexible the supplied cables are.

    The receiver pigtails being glued is a pain, I was hoping for a solder-free setup since I don't know how to solder! Any suggestions on a way to deal with the glued receiver pigtails without resorting to burning things (probably myself, mainly)?!

    I had a slight issue in that I was one pigtail short in the kit, and one had a bit of manufacturing damage. HorizonFPV sorted it out straight away after a quick email by sending the missing one and a replacement for the damaged one straight away by first class post. Errors occur, it's hire you deal with them that counts and so far, so good!
     
  3. Duke131

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NY, USA
    Good luck, Pull_Up! The glued pigtail in the controller was actually one of the few connections I didn't destroy! Yes, just take an utility or hobby knife to the rubber glue a few times and occasionally jiggle it, it should come loose. Or you may cut/strip/splice the wire using electrical tape. I didn't dremel or do any cutting on the controller's antenna hole, I just shoved the RP-SMA connector into the little slot without any washers and clamped the 2 sides together with pliers. It doesn't move at all when screwing on the antenna. Good luck! :)
     
  4. Pull_Up

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    South Oxfordshire, UK
    Yep, I'm not worried about the silicone (or whatever) in the tx it's those tricky rx ones... Any 20/20 hindsight you can employ to say how it might be done on the receiver board? Is it glued glued or might it come off with a little exacto-knife work and patience? If it's completely stuck on tight then I'm going to have to learn how to splice and solder, because the replacement receivers look like they come with the antenna pigtails in situ and presumably glued! :)
     
  5. pault

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Liverpool UK
    Hope it is going to become another 'kitchen table' production .....
     
  6. Pull_Up

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    South Oxfordshire, UK
    If I can do it without resorting to burny things it will be. No way am I showing the world my first soldering experience on camera, and on my expensive Vision at that! (Besides, I'd have to buy a soldering iron first...)
     
  7. nhoover

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    851
    Likes Received:
    182
    Location:
    Los Gatos, California
    Very interested in this setup! Good luck on the installs.
     
  8. Duke131

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NY, USA
    Well, I just tried to remove the other pigtail from my now defective receiver, and it's Me: 0, P2V: 2 I'm curious if anyone else has had success removing that bad boy. The glue on that connection is industrial strength! Not like the silicone on the tx. I tried to knife it off, but it's pretty stuck to the board and pigtail. Since the replacement receiver already has the antenna pigtailed and glued, I think I should just cut the wire. :?:
     
  9. Pull_Up

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    South Oxfordshire, UK
    Hmm. I have just completed modding the tx and range extender and fitting the Horizon antennas as appropriate. I'm not going to take the receiver yet partly due to your difficulties. No time to test fly today, but a quick deck from the bottom of the garden shows I haven't fried anything!

    The guy from Horizon said to me that if the rx pigtail really is that difficult to get off then it could be a splicing job - not sure I fancy that!

    On the long range thread someone said just go at it with an exacto and tweezers and that it takes time to shave it all out...

    Sounds like you found it more difficult than that though. Please let us know if you come across a good technique!
     
  10. pault

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Liverpool UK
    Does anyone know what the gunk is likely to be that is used to stick the wires on the receiver ? I ask because it is possible to buy some stuff which can be used to dissolve silicon based mastics. It would have to be applied very carefully obviously but might just soften it enough to make it easier to remove.
    http://marinestore.co.uk/DeBond_Marine_ ... r_4oz.html
     
  11. NEILS

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2014
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    DELETED
     
  12. Pull_Up

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    South Oxfordshire, UK
    Hmm, well I'm an electronics rookie so splicing and soldering are above my pay-grade for the minute...

    I'll try and get a vid up tonight about the actual mods to tx and range extender to accept these antennas (or indeed any antennas you want to experiment with) for those who were as clueless as me before I decided to be all brave and go for it. Soon as I can get a flight range test done I'll report results with just the ground side added and stock antennas on the aircraft...
     
  13. Pull_Up

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    South Oxfordshire, UK
    Ok, so I went out and did a range test today in a location where my previous best range has been 999ft (or 300m) for control, with intermittent video - but often RTH kicked in while video feed was fine.

    Having modified the tx and range extender to accept the Horizon FPV "Blackhawk" antennas for 5.8 and 2.4 respectively the test today was conducted with a fully charged range extender, and Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries in the Tx that have done about 7 or 8 previous flights. I was flying such that the antennas were always line of sight with the aircraft, but did fly over trees at one point when heading east towards the river, as you'll see from the Flytrex map below.

    Here's a Flytrex mission profile: http://www.flytrex.com/mission/quadcopt ... ton-16378/ If you look through my previous missions you can find ones in this same area and the max distances I was able to fly.

    Here's a screen shot showing perfectly clear video and the range with the aircraft facing fully away from me, i.e. not yawing to present max antenna profile: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9VWpq ... sp=sharing

    I found that the antennas were not massively directional, and you didn't have to be too careful to point directly at the aircraft. The tx didn't feel too top heavy and I'm particularly impressed by the difference such a tiny 5.8 antenna can make. This thing is no bigger than a 35mm film canister.

    So in summary, just adding the Horizon FPC antennas to tx and range extender and doing absolutely nothing to the aircraft I have doubled my effective control range, and increased FPV range by 50%. By yawing the aircraft somewhat to present one wifi antenna cleanly I was able to get FPV out to 1800ft. By adding the reciprocal Horizon antennas onto the airframe I would imagine you would be looking at effective ranges for both that are going to push out further towards 3k?!

    If I get chance later I'm going to edit together a video on how I did the mods to accept the Horizon antennas (or any, really) for those who might want to do something like this but are as inexperienced at the hands-on modding side of things as I am!
     
  14. Duke131

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NY, USA
    Wow, that's fantastic! I may think twice about modding the camera antenna now. I'll see what kind of range I get with just the stock 2.4 GHz on the camera and a Blackhawk 2.4 GHz on the extender. It's good to hear about the directional tolerance you experienced in your tests. I know when I get to about 900 ft, unless I've had my eye focused on the P2V, it's easy to lose that guy in the sky. Glad to hear you got such great results with minimal mods (and no damage)! I'll do tests with both the craft mods and without (just the controller mods).
     
  15. Pull_Up

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    South Oxfordshire, UK
    Yep, I had my son there as a spotter to keep eyes on the aircraft while I looked at the app readouts. Flat grey overcast here today so I wasn't going to do any altitude tests as neither of us could keep it in sight above about 600ft.

    By mounting the Blackhawks so they point parallel then as you line up the big range extender one with the aircraft you naturally keep the control antenna pointing in the appropriate direction, too - rather than tilting the extender I just tilted the whole tx slightly.

    So far, so good - but if someone does do the camera-side antenna as well then the FPV should more than keep up with the control side of things assuming an un-modded receiver on the aircraft.
     
  16. Pcdeveloper2014

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2014
    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    United Kingdom

    Glad to see you did a test and did not TRASH anything ! , yes as expected it will give a BIG LIFT to the signals from the Pilot end.

    When putting the antennas on the extender put the 5.8 GHz in parallel with the 2.4 GHz so they point in the same direction and tilt angle. this way you just tilt the whole lot NOT each antenna .... The weight is nothing guys designed to be light for this Model.
    On using the single output on the Extender , Backmount the BH 2.4 gh z on the rear edge with velcro sp the existing extender antenna is not screened off . When using the both outputs in the extender the whole of the front face is then used for mounting the antennas with Velco ( pair if you like ) .
    the 5.8 GHz Micro is small and only 1 ounce but BIG on performance , guys we have had these working at 5k ...

    the pointing ANGLE BEAM is also designed to be quite broad and not to critical for track the model .

    Happy days guys ....
     
  17. Pcdeveloper2014

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2014
    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    United Kingdom

    Actually the one on the UAV worth doing is the 5.8 GHz link as this has the highest path loss, putting the BH Micro 5.8 o the RC transmitter will lift the range , but this is still LHCP being transmitted and the antenna on the UAV is actually a quarter wave antenna which is linear . We we get a cross polarization path loss of like -20dB or a factor of a HUNDRED !!!
    so fitting the SP antenna on will make a BIG difference.....

    you can then if you like use higher gain antennas on the pilot end like the 12 dB pair.,,..just watch the battery levels guys..
     
  18. Pull_Up

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    South Oxfordshire, UK
  19. Pull_Up

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    South Oxfordshire, UK
    Correct, just the one.
     
  20. mem_ny

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    5
    pull-up,

    thanks for the video. I too have purchased the Horizon set but have too busy at work to set up and venture out. You've saved me significant time and effort. Will at Horizon has been a pleasure to deal with even though I ordered white and received black.

    I seem to recall that you also tried the Circular Wireless SPW24 and TX HELIAXIAL24 antenna (RHCP). I have purchased this set as well and have yet to get out.

    Any comparison thoughts?