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Phantom Vision Plus radio antenna mod

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by darrellkh, Jun 15, 2014.

  1. darrellkh

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    Finally got my phantom plus quad copter. Fun, fun, fun.
    I'd like to extend the radio range a bit further with out going all out crazy. There seems to be a lot of information on the internet do this. I saw on a youtube video where the guy opens up the radio and installs a (IPX U.FL female RG178 8inch RF pigtail RP*SMA female bulkhead straight Cable). He then uses a (TP-LINK TL-ANT2408CL 2.4GHz 8dBi Indoor Omni-directional Antenna, 802.11n/b/g, RP-SMA Female connector)
    I can do this install no problem,
    Do you think it's worth the trouble?

    For FPV I use the dji ap on my iPhone. I also bought the Vision Plus WiFi Booster ap for 8.99. Has anyone had any positive experience with this ap?

    Thanks all
    Darrell
     
  2. Dirty Bird

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    What kind of range are you getting with the stock setup, and what do you want to accomplish? I have all the parts for my upgrade here and ready, EXCEPT, I want to pickup a spare controller & extender to do the mods. Haven't had any luck with that yet, and have actually been considering ordering a extra Vision+ just for the parts! That way I have my nice, clean, stock controller for everyday flying, and my modded setup for long range. Once modded, you'll always be needing to install the extra equipment. If you have a case, you'll also need a way to transport the additional equipment.

    My goal: 3 miles FVP flight with clear LOS. This is at the limit for a round trip given the battery capacity of the Phantom.

    What I have: FVPLR X3 system with 4.5 Helix for the control antenna. FVPLR 2.4 & 5.8 Ghz pinwheels for the Phantom. Sunhans 2.4 Ghz 1 watt Dual-Mimo amp, Sunhans 5.8 Ghz 1 watt amp, RavPower 23000 power supply. Waiting on an extra controller & extender. As you might imagine, all this extra stuff is going to make the stock controller/extender setup a whole lot bulkier & heavier. Also, it won't just be popping the Phantom and controller out of the case. All this stuff will need to be attached every time I fly. Again, that's why I want to keep my stock controller/extender and do the mods t na spare.
     
  3. darrellkh

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    Hi, not looking to go all steroid crazy. Just want to add a few hundred metres that's all. Clean and simple antenna. Is this anything that you began with?
    Thanks
    Darrell
     
  4. darrellkh

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    And that's a great idea to pick up another radio. I'll purchase one this week to modify. Shipping included is about 200.00
     
  5. Dirty Bird

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    You can order a controller for a Vision (NOT a Vision+). The Vision+ spares are not yet available. The controller shouldn't be an issue though. In fact, you might get a little better range from a Vision controller as it outputs 125mw vs. 100mw for a Vision+ controller. The real problem is you can not yet order a Vision+ Wi-Fi Extender (unless you want to get raped on ebay). The Vision extender is an RE500, while the Vision+ is an RE700. The RE700 is substantially more powerful. Not sure when these will be available at a reasonable price. I've been contemplating purchasing a second Vision+ just to get the controller, and having the Vision+ as a spare.

    "Dirty Bird" & "Poop Chute" :cool:
     
  6. Tails_Up

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    I am so lucky ! I happen to have an almost brand new Phantom controller! Plus a Phantom with a busted gimbal.

    Seriously, you've brought up something I've considered too -- A spare controller.
    While having a tricked out control box is great, it limits you by having a box full of extra stuff to bring along. I might just keep one standard to take on trips without too much hassle.

    I'm not sure how to bind a different controller though. Does this have something to do with the Reset BTU Info button in the Assistant? I've been afraid to hit it and have never see anyone mention it's function. Even the online how-to videos skip over it.
     
  7. Dirty Bird

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    Yes, that is precisely why I want to keep my stock controller stock. For convenience and everyday use. I just want to use the modded one for my long range escapades. :cool:

    The reset button in the Assistant resets the MTU gyro information to defaults. If you hit that, you'll need to run an Advanced calibration. Binding the controller to the Phantom is pretty simple. There is a little button & LED on the bottom, recessed into one of the holes on the undercarriage. right next to the rear right gimbal mount. You normally won't see the light, because you always power on your transmitter first. To use it, you power on the Phantom (leave controller off), and you will see a blinking red light illuminate within the hole. That is the receiver's bind light. The blinking LED means it is not connected to the transmitter. You press the button with a thin object, then power on the transmitter. When the light goes off, the receiver has bound to the controller. You would have to do this every time you want to switch controllers.

    Note that this is ONLY for the linking the Phantom's receiver to the transmitter. Binding the Phantom to the Extender is a separate matter. You can probably get around having to rebind your Extender, by naming your extenders identically.
     
  8. SilentAV8R

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    I'll just add a reminder that at least in the US it is not legal to modify the antennas on the Phantom. Yes, I know lots of people do it, but it violates FCC regulations in case anyone cares about that.

    http://transition.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engin ... t63rev.pdf

    And


    yes, I know I am a broken record, but it amuses me the seemingly endless angst people show over the potential FAA regulations while so many blithely ignore the actual FCC regulations.

    Now, will you get caught? Probably not. But if you have an accident or incident that ends up in court I can guarantee you that it will be noted that you were operating an illegal radio.
     
  9. darrellkh

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    Gawd,
    I just want to add a few reliable feet to my radio distance. Not interested in the WiFi. I'm going to use my $8.99 booster app for the WiFi.

    Does anyone have any thoughts to this video?

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Gcl-hT5iznY
     
  10. phantomguy

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    its always interesting to see mankind become pseudo-paranoid whenever anything new is introduced. :)

    Just to note, it's against the rules in many states to have an air freshener tree hanging from a rear view mirror, to have even a clear cover over your license plate, to have window tint on driver and passenger side windows.

    I also recall the panic when cell phones started to all come with cameras...many courthouses initially went heavyhanded and banned cell phones from courthouses, most concerts would ban them as well..

    cut to years later. Many of those same courthouses have reversed policy re smartphones, and most concert security found it useless to even think about banning cell phones from a venue.

    Phantoms and other drones will be no different..initial panic, followed by "oh, ok" after they become commonplace
     
  11. dannytroy

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    Funny you should ask, since I just did this upgrade last night. I had already done the wifi upgrade, and had an extra cable, so I finally got around to it. The hardest part is getting the silicone off the tiny connector, without damaging the jack. I used a Dremel to hack off some of the part where the antenna sits. Came out nice, and I don't have to worry about it spinning when installing the antenna, since it's epoxied in good and tight. I only need to put a dab of silicone on the jack to complete the installation.

    I also added a charge jack on the side of the transmitter. That's a micro Deans connector, in case you're not familiar.
     

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  12. Crank3d

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    Just what I was looking for, wanted to increase the range a little bit as darrellkh described.

    So how did this upgrade work out for u dannytroy ?

    Are the upgrade worth the trouble and have u done a range test ?
     
  13. dannytroy

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    I haven't tested the wifi at any great range, but I am getting less dropouts and freezing of the screen. I also started using the Booser App about the same time, so I really can't say that it just isn't the booster app. I'm too lazy to do the testing, but I'm sure it's definitley better. How much better I don't know. I use a 7db antenna for the range extender, so that alone is a big improvement over the built-in stock antenna.

    The haven't tested the 5.8 transmitter mod yet, since I just put the back cover on, after using some silicone on the antenna connector.

    I think if you're at all handy these are good mods to do, with little downside. Of course, do a range check on the 5.8 before flying. With the 2.4 it's not a big deal if you get it up to altitude and find there's a problem.

    If you buy the antenna leads on eBay, I bought two that didn't work well. Try to get the ones that look similar to what I have in the photo. The first one I got was a solid black lead, and very thin. I got worse than stock performance on the 2.4 repeater with that wire.
     
  14. Flyer91

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    Location:
    In the Sierras, 17 miles outside Yosemite N. P.
    If anyone is interested, I have a new Plus Tx that I bought as a spare, and installed a true 5.8Ghz single band 5dbi antenna on it (not a dual band 2.5/5Ghz).
    I'm an FCC licensed Ham, and it was installed properly.
    As indicted ..... it was purchased new so it will come in it's original DJI Tx box.
    I'll take $115 for it delivered to Conus, via PayPal.
    PM me if interested.
     
  15. Crank3d

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    Tnx for answear dannytroy, ive ordered connectors and antennas from ebay. looked like a good quality so hope it works out :)
     
  16. PhantomRock

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    I am curious exactly what is a modification of an existing transmitter, and what exactly is considered building a new one which you can build a few pieces for personal use using existing boards,etc. For Ham Radio operators, the first 6 channels of 2.4Ghz overlap the Ham band, and should therefore not be a problem. Likely, I feel that modification of FPV would not be considered such an issue like modification of control, if you lose control. I am speaking outside of my expertise, so if there is an attorney aboard, please correct me.

    2390-2450 MHz
    5650-5925 MHz
    http://www.arrl.org/frequency-allocations

    On a lighter note, my flyaway theory is that when the translators at DJI translated Part 15 rules from English, they understood that the Phantom "must accept interference" and removed shielding etc, to be "in compliance". Just a joke...
     
  17. SilentAV8R

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    I think this is fairly clear:

    In other words, the user simply cannot change the antenna on a Part 15 device. Seems pretty simple. Ham is a gray area, and like you said might be OK as long as the device is within the band privilege of the licensee.
     
  18. phantomguy

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    my interpretation is that a manufacturer of a transmitter must design the transmitter in that manner. I'd certainly be interested in the statistics of how many arrests were made in transmitter antenna mod crimes
     
  19. SilentAV8R

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    The FCC makes it very clear:

    Probably none, at least in our small world. I know they have prosecuted cases in other uses. But the point remains, operating an illegally modified transmitter or WiFi unit opens you up to possible liability in the event of an accident/incident. For instance, you modify the radios to allow extended BLOS flying and cause an accident. Do you think that fact might weigh against you in the trial (lawsuit)??.

    I'll also bet the the coming FAA sUAS NPRM will stipulate that all operations must also comply with all applicable FCC Rules. But we are always free to ignore them, speed limits have not stopped speeders. I raise the point not to chastise people but simply to inform those who may not be aware of the FCC Rules.

    Some folks will comply with a rule/law simply because it is there, others will only comply if they are afraid they will be caught. Still others could care less regardless. We all still have the ability to make a choice, but I think we should be making informed choices and not assuming something is OK simply because lots of people do it.