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New flyer looking for some help increasing range

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Mods' started by dchay, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. dchay

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    Hi Guys,

    I recently purchased a new Phantom 2 Vision and I'm having a great time with it. One thing I'd really love to do is extend my range a bit--primarily my fpv range since I think I'll get more mileage there then boosting my remote signal. Sound right?

    Anyway, I'm not looking to do anything crazy (like fly 4 thousand feet vertical or 3 miles away). However, I'd love to exceed my current range to get a little more freedom. I've been trying to read up on options and, to be honest, I'm getting a little lost.

    What I'm hoping is that someone (or a few of you) could point me in the direction of some specific parts along with some instructions (youtube?) that can walk me through this. If possible, my first choice would be something that doesn't require additional power supplies or hanging antennas from my copter. My newb sense is that I should plan on modifying my wifi booster and potentially the antenna. Other than that, I'm a blank slate and open to ideas.

    I appreciate your help and I'm excited to have some fun with this thing.
     
  2. terrylowe

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    Location:
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    Welcome to the board!! :D

    The best way to increase FPV range is to improve your antennas on your transmitter and on your LCD monitor.
    Your transmitter on your quad should have one antenna port, you'd need a better antenna there to help transmit video. Your monitor has either one or two antennas attachments. If your monitor has two ports, then this is what I used: FPVLR antenna kit. If your monitor has only one port, then get one pinwheel for the quad and one 4-1/4 helix for your monitor.
     
  3. RudydG

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    I fly a Phantom 2 vision +

    Also the range was limited, i upgraded with the FPVLR stage 3 kit.
    This means:
    new antenna's on the transmitter (2 for the video, 1 for the transmitter), and 4 on the bird (2 video and 2 receiver)
    My experience with this upgrade is that the range is about doubled in good situations, and more stable.
    Downside is the price, size of the antenna's (getting it in and out of the case becomes ...), and the directionality of the transmitter. You really need to point the antenna exactly to the bird on long range flights.
    My max with this setup is about 3000-3600 feet, and the sometimes i lose video before control, sometimes control before video.

    Happy flying, but don't forget to master the bird before flying far away, things can happen! (like you can panic in case of an emergency), know what switches to pull when you lose fpv or control, or both!!. Watch the battery, and the wind. Mount a Gps tracker.
     
  4. Kev the Frog

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    I can not emphasise the above 3 points enough.
    Especially the last one...... saved my Bacon only last week from a GPS Antenna failure on the bird - resulting in a full on uncontrollable flyaway and the bird auto landing in a field, some distance beyond LOS.
    The battery still had power and the "Flytrex Live" kept reporting it's position for about an hour after landing.
    Kev
     
  5. dchay

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    Thanks for all the great ideas. I just found a thread with details on the antennae kits and I was leaning toward the "stage 2" kit. Do you think that is worthwhile our is the stage 3 more worthwhile?

    Regarding the GPS tracker, can you tell me more about this? First I've heard.
     
  6. Kev the Frog

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    Location:
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    I have Stage 3 mods (better antenna on both pilot and bird), and it does what it says on the tin.
    More range - yes, but for me it is far more important to have rock solid connections of both 2.4 & 5.8 frequency during flight.
    The tracker I referenced is a "Flytrex Live" module, not difficult to find using google..... but here is a link http://www.flytrex.com/ Seriously, worth every penny.
    Kev
     
  7. RudydG

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    Stage 3 is better than stage 2, stage 2 gave me more problems with rotating the drone, the signals dropped sometimes, stage 3 has more room for turning at longer distances.
    My tracker is a tk102, but remember, you need cellphone coverage, not always present.
    I know there are other location devices, google is you friend.
     
  8. vico36

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    How does stage 2/3 compare to the stock antennas with regards to aiming?
    I'm aware that with stage 2 you need to aim at the phantom, but doesnt that also apply to the stock antenna?
     
  9. dchay

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    Thanks for explaining it, Tony. That helps.

    If I were to go with stage 3, is it pretty straightforward of an installation? Opening the bird up and swapping out wires vs soldering, etc? Is it a better value to buy everything in one kit from you vs piece by piece or is it more a matter of the convenience of getting it all at once.

    Thanks again.
     
  10. RudydG

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    Installation on the bird side has just 1 difficulty, removing the "black glue of death". Read a lot about it, and do it very carefully.
    But don't panic if it goes wrong, an new receiver board cost about 30$.
    Because of the difficulty of this i think FPVLR should also sell a receiver board with the old antenna's removed.
     
  11. RudydG

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    Hit the 2.3 km today, (about 7000ft), still strong signals, 2.4 and 5.8 very good. Stopped there, because of the battery.
    I use stage 3, but have the 4 bird antennas all pointing horizontal.
    Fpv booster 3.1 is also used, and the wifi wand is extremely usefull.
     
  12. jasonnelson007

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    1.7km so far got me and still pushing it. Critical to aim properly but I'm sure I'm going to be able to get 2.5km out of these. I love this.... I already know I'll be going stage 3 when I tap out my stage2. The fun is always out doing your last flight.
     
  13. RudydG

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    last days couln't get further the 1.7km... has to do with external factors i guess?
     
  14. crash1sttime

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    Might be a bit cheaper and easier to buy the RE700 range extender, yours is the RE500, the RE700 is the one that comes with the Vision Plus model and gives better FPV range.

    As for longer control distance, switch your transmitter to FCC mode, it gives about 300m more control.
     
  15. dchay

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    Thanks for both those ideas. I think I'm in FCC mode already but had wondered about the RE700 upgrade. It looks like it runs for about $130 so how would this compare to the stage 2 or stage 3 options in terms of bang for the buck?
     
  16. RudydG

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    Did 2.6km with stage 3 yesterday ;-)
    It's all about good antenna's
    Read somewhere, if you want to do range extending with tx power, for double range, you need quadruple power....(but i do not know if the RE700 has more power that it's precedor)
    Maybey just try (fase 2) it on your extender, it will be on no use anyway, if you buy the RE700.
     
  17. jasonnelson007

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    5700' today. Having a hard time getting past the 1.7km range. Is this getting to the limit of the stage 2 or is it just my aiming? What's the farthest you guys have gone with just strait stage 2's?
     
  18. dchay

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    So I ordered the RE700 upgrade as well as the upgraded transmitter but then reconsidered the value vs buying the + version outright. Amazon dropped the price for a day or so and after doing the math I realized that buying those two extras was only $120 less then buying the plus version outright. So, I decided to return my non-plus version and replace it with the + instead. I figure the camera gimbal upgrade is worth it at that price.

    So now I'll be seeing if the range is increased enough or if I'll find myself unavoidably back here looking to still boost it with something like the stage 2 or 3. To be honest, I've already spent more than I anticipated so I need to slow down the bleeding a little :)

    For those who know, what is the range difference I might experience between the plus and non-plus versions? Is it negligible or noticeable?
     
  19. RudydG

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    Can be both, or can be a "congested" area, i do not get this 2.6km range everywhere, and i use pfv booster v3, and aiming is critical (really!) I use the wifi wand to point exactly at the bird.
    And, my height is 150mtrs, lower is worse range. (higher is unacceptable for me due to safety)
     
  20. jasonnelson007

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    That's the height I fly at too and it was way out in the middle of nowhere. No wifi interference. I'll keep practicing but u can see stage 3 coming soon.