Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

Parabolic antenna carrying a shorter distance than stock antenna?

Discussion in 'Standard/4k Discussion' started by Walnawk, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Walnawk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    US
    I have tested many times. Under same conditions flying my p3s with a clear line of sight, parabolic antenna went shorter than stock antenna. How can that be? Parabolic antenna went out for 3200 ft., while stock antenna went 3500 ft? Flights all done on 150 or 180 ft. altitude. In short the use of Parabolic antenna is shorter by about 300 ft.

    I have two parabolic antennas (copper and aluminum) made by Skyreat (copper), and the other was a $5.00 cheapo (aluminum). Both yielded identical results. I have also pointed directly to the drone (or tried real hard to accomplish that). I appreciate all responses in advance.


    K
     
    #1 Walnawk, Sep 7, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
  2. N017RW

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,239
    Likes Received:
    1,613
    Location:
    Palm Beach Co.- FL
    The reflector must be a true/proper parabola for the given size.
    It also has a focal point.

    It is possible that one or both of these may be incorrect or the antenna cannot be properly located due to manufacture.

    I unfortunately cannot provide you with any specific dimensions to measure as there are many type of these sold.
     
  3. Walnawk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    US
    I just added more facts to OP. My antenna was made by Skyreat, also second one was a cheapo. Thought about manufacturer issues when I got weird results, and went to buy a second antenna to verify. Both ways yielded shorter distance with Parabolic extender.
     
  4. Jrods

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2016
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    12
    I can confirm you findings, there are a couple of things you need to look at.
    1. The Focal length of the Parabolic makes them directional, that is how they get their gain. The positioning of the Emitter (or driven element, your stock antennas) determines the beam width. I have checked a couple and they are all about the same around 160 degrees to 180 degrees. Having said that I doubt if this is the problem. Your transmitter can only put out so much power. With the stock antennas the power is spread in 360 degree pattern that looks about like a doughnut. The windsurfers cut the donut in half and and points the power away from the transmitter. Not always toward the aircraft, depending on how you are holding the controller.
    2. Because of one above the direction you point the antenna is critical. Unless you tilt your controller and aim the antenna at the drone you will experience the reduced range. This is one of the reasons that the flat panel antennas work so well, they typically have a mount that allows them tilt up when the controller is in normal operating position.
    3. I have tried both copper and aluminum both work fine. I prefer the copper ones that have a copper sheet about .010" or better just because of looks and it holds up better then one that us adhesive tape.
     
  5. WilliamM

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    208
    Location:
    Lancaster, Pa.
    What signal are you losing, video downlink or RC control?
     
  6. Walnawk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    US
    I did aimed my parabolic antenna and tilted it to the direction of the bird with line of sight. That's why this is so puzzling.
     
  7. Walnawk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    US
    R/C signal lost at 3,500 expected. what is not expected is the use Parabolic extender only lasted to 3,200 ft.
     
  8. OrlyP

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    Metro Manila, Philippines
    I own something silimar but I don't use it because, although it could be providing gain to the 5.8Ghz antenna, the reflector may be partially blocking the two internal 2.4Ghz antennas.
     
  9. rocketflyer

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2016
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    16
    At that distance a small variance from almost dead on positioning of the antenna would result in a large signal dropoff.
     
  10. WilliamM

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    208
    Location:
    Lancaster, Pa.
    That's the point I was trying to get at. I had the same exact experience.. That's why I ask the question, which signal are you losing, the video or control?
     
    #10 WilliamM, Sep 7, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
  11. Walnawk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    US
    Makes sense, more than 3000 ft. away, it was hard to precisely aim and tilt controller towards the bird.....
     
  12. Walnawk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    US
    The screen says "disconnected" while everything say n/a (such as distance). I assume that means R/C control signal is disconnected. I don't think I have encountered where there is video signal, at the same no control signal....may be I haven't read it technical enough.
     
  13. Walnawk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    US
    i
     
  14. Omokjoe

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    7
    My P3Standard went from 600m to 1300m with cheapo aluminium reflecter same location consistedly . Now leave it on .



    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots
     
  15. myst1cal

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    1
  16. WilliamM

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    208
    Location:
    Lancaster, Pa.
    Don't remember mine every saying "disconnected". (on Android). It's always either "Weak Image Transmission" or "RC signal weak" or "No signal" If it is the Control signal you're dropping, your drone would be going into failsafe mode and start the "return to home".
     
  17. Walnawk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    US
    "no signal" was definitely as a eventually result without any data showing on screen, all parameters (altitude, distance) were "n/a". Followed by "return home" prompt.

    "weak signal", or "weak r/c transmission" was there before "no signal" eventually showed up.
     
  18. OrlyP

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    Metro Manila, Philippines
    If you lose telemetry and/or FPV, that's most certainly the 2.4Ghz downlink that lost connection. If you still get video and/or telemetry but the aircraft went to failsafe RTH, the aircraft has lost the 5.8Ghz uplink/control signal.
     
  19. Walnawk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    US
    I lost the control signal. Affirmative. What does it say about losing the 5.8 ghz link in conjunction w/ my parabolic antenna? Controller aiming wasn't precise enough?