Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

Phantom range with stock remote vs. aftermarket?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by adam12hicks, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. adam12hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Guys,

    It seems like I'm 'only' getting 700-800 ft. elevation with my Phantom before it triggers F/S mode and lowers itself back down, outside of my control. Of course I ATTI/GPS switch and regain control no problem, and I completely trust the GPS F/S (so far so good anyways!) but I've seen people get much better range with their Phantoms, and I'm wondering if that's because they are using an aftermarket remote which may have a more powerful transmitter. Opening up the DJI remote (for firmware upgrade) was a less than impressive look at the internals. Looks quite cheap vs. the decently rugged, solid exterior feel.

    This might just be a 'duh' question, or maybe they all transmit the same power. I don't know. So I'm asking you.

    Adam
     
  2. BruceTS

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Granada Hills CA
    Aftermarket is way better than stock, just depends on how much your willing to spend. One of my systems has a 50km range, but my battery could never allow me to go that far.
     
  3. adam12hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow. That's pretty incredible. They aftermarket remotes are so ridiculously intimidating (and I'm a long time tech nerd working for a major tech company!)

    How can I tell when the transmission power / wattage is of the various remotes? Is this information published and easy to find? I'd like to find a good solid remote in the $200-$300 range that will help with the Phantom's range. I don't really have any other RC vehicles to speak of that I mess with anymore, so I don't need support for 20 different crafts.

    Thanks for the reply, and if you happen to have any recommendations, thanks for those too!
     
  4. Ton4

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    1
    A Turnigy 9xr + frsky DJT module + X8R reciever should give you 1.5 km range, probably more. With some extras you can have some usefull telemetry, such as signal strenght, battery levels, etc. With a 600mw fpv system you should be able to see where you are :)

    I have ordered this to play with. Will probably will never get further away as 200m, but.

    If you want to go even further you can add ezuhf modules to the
    9xr and a ezuhf reciever (with osd, telemetry). And you can stop worrying about wifi interference.

    With ELGuano's batteries 10km should all be possible. Or more. The ezuhf can go much further.
     
  5. castlemaster

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    I'm already managing 2.2km with my stock tx/rx so not sure id see a need for aftermarketesp since my fpv could barely catch up at that distance.
     
  6. Iceman

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire , uk
    Good to hear that so far I have been out 1200m distance at 60m height with full vision but chicken out then turn around
     
  7. ElGuano

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    4
    One thing to keep in mind about the vertical range is how dipole antennas work. As i understand it, a vertical antenna is optimally sending/receiving signals in a radiating horizontal pattern. So if you go straight up, the Rx isn't ideally positioned to receive commands from a source directly below the phantom, and the tx isn't positioned well to send those commands directly up. You can reposition the tx antenna so it is perpendicular to the position of the phantom (antenna parallel to the ground), which helps a bit.

    I also tend to hit fail safe more when the quad is directly high overhead, whereas it almost never happens short of 1km laterally.
     
  8. adam12hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    VERY interesting. My experience exactly. Thanks for sharing.

    I have a habit of pointing the antenna up at the craft which is probably hurting more than it helps! Will experiment with this.
     
  9. OI Photography

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Messages:
    5,542
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    Yep ElGuano is 100% correct, antennae like the one on the stock DJI transmitter emit a MUCH weaker signal directly out of the tip than "horizontally" (perpendicular to the pole, in a radial pattern). I feel confident this is behind many reports of limited control range, especially those related to vertical distance.

    Btw that Turnigy9X/DJY/X8R combo Ton4 referenced is a great (and inexpensive) entry to the world of aftermarket controllers. Firmware upgrades can unlock a ton of functionality, and the package can be had for well under $200.
     
  10. FlyingFanta

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry I don't understand the orientation you're describing.

    Do you mean the the radio should be coplanar to the ground (like a flag pole) or not? Thanks
     
  11. OI Photography

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Messages:
    5,542
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    It doesn't have to do with the ground at all, but rather the aircraft's position in relation to the transmitter. In short, don't point the tip of the antenna at the aircraft, have the sides facing it.

    The emission pattern of an antenna like that looks kind of apple-shaped, with the antenna being the core...the pattern extends out much farther at the sides than at the top (or bottom)
     
  12. adam12hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks OI Photography for the explanation and seconding the remote setup. I'll look into ordering the kit / combo now.
     
  13. OI Photography

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Messages:
    5,542
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    No problem!

    You can get the Turnigy 9x without its stock Tx module, makes it a bit easier to install the DJT: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... ouse_.html

    DJT: http://www.alofthobbies.com/jr-transmit ... odule.html

    X8R: http://www.alofthobbies.com/frsky-x8r.html

    Also, it's easy to add a backlight to the 9x: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... ouse_.html (green and blue also available)
     
  14. adam12hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Awesome! On it.
     
  15. Ton4

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    1
    Don't forget the self centering throttle stick mod for it.
     
  16. adam12hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's been one of my concerns - how a non-self centering stick can hover. I didn't realize there was a mid for that. Cool. Looks like the controller + Tx + Rx is only around $125. Crazy cheap!

    I'm unclear how the receiver connects into the NAZA v2 though. I guess with the same connections as the stock reciever? Mine has 2x connections since it's a dual antenna setup. Easy as that?

    Thanks again!
     
  17. OI Photography

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Messages:
    5,542
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    You have 2 options for connecting the X8R to the NAZA:

    -Single S-Bus (aka D-Bus) connection

    -7 direct channel connections (A/E/T/R/U/X1/X2)

    Sounds like an obvious choice, but to be honest I wasn't immediately able to map the 3-position switch on the 9x to the U channel in the NAZA when using the S-Bus connection (using the stock 9x firmware anyway), so I used the traditional 7 individual channel connections and was able to use it until I take the time to figure out if there's a way to do it on S-bus or not (I'm sure someone here can probably answer that easily).

    Ton, thanks for reminding me I need to order the throttle mod :cool:
     
  18. Ton4

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    1
    I did not order the 9x, but the 9xr mode 2. In addition I ordered a mode 1 left stick replacement.

    And a FLD-02 Telemetry Display Screen. Saves some soldering in the tx for just 20 $, and is supposed to give nice alarms, RSSI.
     
  19. Ton4

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    1
    Now still wondering about those fat antennas of the X8R. Drill holes, just leave them in the body at 90 degrees, or get another X8R with normal wire antennas?
     
  20. OI Photography

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Messages:
    5,542
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    The latest model of the X8R is supposed to have removable antennae, you can swap for the whisker version, or just feed the PCB leads through the hole in the Phantom body.

    Yeah I have the FLD-02 and I love it, I use the optional mount (which won't work on the 9xr) and it tucks in real nice just below my FPV monitor when I have it on the Tx.

    BTW, @adam12hicks and Ton4, I have a spare FrSky 40A current sensor (which will work with the X8R), with the XT60 leads on it: http://www.alofthobbies.com/sp-40a.html

    Either of you are welcome to it for $10 if you want it, only tested once.