Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

Orientation of Antenna on Remote Control

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by houstonpilot, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. houstonpilot

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    In the latest Phantom 2 Vision Plus User Manual, it states, "Keep the antenna pointing skyward, perpendicular to the ground for maximum remote control range during flight".

    However, the consensus among guides and videos I've seen online suggest the optimal orientation is to have the antenna pointed sideways and parallel to the ground like a fallen log (instead of perpendicular to the ground like a tree ).

    I usually fly well within the limits of the 5.8 ghz radio's range, so I haven't been able to reach a verdict for myself, but i'm curious about the discrepancy between the manual and others' suggestions.

    Have any of you personally tested various orientations out in the field and noticed a difference with one orientation vs. another?
     
  2. Monte55

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,196
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Raymore Missouri
    Antennas radiant best from the side and less at the tip. The antenna on the quad is vertical and should be the tx antenna on the transmitter providing the quad is out in front of you. If the quad is overhead the transmitter tip is facing the quad....not the best. Solution...tilt the tx back to try and keep both the quad antenna and the transmitter antenna parallel to each other. This is assuming stock antennas are being used.
     
  3. N017RW

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,236
    Likes Received:
    1,609
    Location:
    Palm Beach Co.- FL
    Follow the manual's instructions.

    If you wish to know more, research vertical (RF) polarization and omnidirectional dipole radiation pattern(s).
     
  4. Monte55

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,196
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Raymore Missouri
    It appears he got the info from the manual. Do you have a link that can help or just tell him to search.
     
  5. N017RW

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,236
    Likes Received:
    1,609
    Location:
    Palm Beach Co.- FL
    But he doubts it and refers to a WWW consensus.

    Google it.
     
  6. houstonpilot

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    So if I understand correctly, the signal radiates laterally from the antenna, so maximum range can be attained by maintaining an unobstructed lateral space between the antenna and the phantom, and the antenna should generally never point directly at the phantom in order to avoid dead spots in the signal. Therefore, there really isn't a single optimal orientation for all situations, and it will depend on the location of the controller relative to the phantom, and potential obstructions between them. Does that sound about right?
     
  7. N017RW

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,236
    Likes Received:
    1,609
    Location:
    Palm Beach Co.- FL
    Yes.

    The Tx dipole radiates along the length end to end. Vertically if vertical, horizontally if the like.

    At the tips there is little to no signal propagated that's why you should not point the antenna at the aircraft thus the warning about flying directly overhead.

    Now note the orientation of the receiver antennas, vertically mounted within or on the landing gear.

    Best to keep Tx & Rx antennas parallel for maximum cross section overlap.
     
  8. msinger

    Approved Vendor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    18,797
    Likes Received:
    5,536
    Location:
    US
     

    Attached Files:

  9. houstonpilot

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks... Makes perfect sense now!
     
  10. houstonpilot

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    very helpful illustration...
     
  11. Happyflyer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,805
    Likes Received:
    98
    Location:
    Cold, Cold, Michigan
    N017RW,
    What about polarization with changing this antenna direction? I know it makes a BIG difference with satellite TV reception.(another hobby)
     
  12. N017RW

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,236
    Likes Received:
    1,609
    Location:
    Palm Beach Co.- FL
    That's the second and often overlooked point, polarization.

    Given the scattering of these signals with surrounding conditions in some cases this may be all academic in practice.

    The Rx antennas a vertically oriented by the nature of their mounting thus they offer the greatest cross section to a vertically polarized signal. thus placing the Tx horizontally reduces the cross section between the Tx and Rx systems.

    This is why the Tx antenna is mounted the way it is too.
     
  13. johncanfield

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    In free space, a vertical antenna will basically have a radiation pattern that looks like a doughnut dropped over the shaft however the radiation pattern can be dramatically affected by proximity of anything metallic. It would be interesting to tear one of those antennas apart to see exactly how it's constructed. My guess is they made it a dipole due to the short wavelength (actually the basis of any antenna is a dipole.)