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Taranis Range Issues

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Help' started by Mike, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Mike

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    I recently purchased a Taranis X9D with an X8R for my P2. So far, it's the best upgrade I've made. However, I'm having some range issues. I purchased a set of 40cm antennas along with it. I have one going straight down one of the legs, similar to the original placement and the other going along the bottom (90˚ from the other). With these, I'm only getting about 400 to 500m before I start getting RSSI warnings. At 600m + I usually lose signal and RTH kicks in. With the original stock tx/rx, I've gone to 1600m without issue. I opened everything back up to check my connections and everything is snug. I tried to keep the leads as much away from other wiring as possible. I also installed the included antennas as a test and experienced the same result. Can anyone offer any suggestions or point me to a past thread perhaps? My searches haven't yielded anything of value yet. I love this radio, but I don't love the 600m tether I currently have.
    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Mike

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    Anybody?
     
  3. OI Photography

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    Are you sure you scraped away ALL of the yellow glue-substance from the antenna ports in the X8R, so each antenna connector has a clean connection all the way around the little gold collar?

    Also, I was able to route 25cm antenna leads the same way you described, so I'm guessing you have a good bit of extra lead for each one? If so, be sure they don't place any tension on their connections to the X8R
     
  4. Mike

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    Thanks for your suggestions, OI. Yes, the glue is all gone. It peeled off pretty easily. Unfortunately, I ordered my stuff from HK and the next size up from 15cm was 40cm. I should have shopped around more for the 25s. They would have been the perfect length. There is definitely a lot of excess on the one pointing down. The extra is looped and laying along side the battery compartment. The weird thing is that even with the stock antennas, which weren't really long enough to mount properly at 90 degree angles, I was still getting the same range as I am with the 40cm. I wish I had extra components to swap out to trouble shoot. I don't know if maybe the transmitter or receiver could have a problem. I know FrSkys are known for their great range and I'm just bummed that I'm currently getting less than half the range I got with the stock P2 tx/rx.
     
  5. OI Photography

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    If you're in the US, I highly recommend Aloft Hobbies as the best source for all things FrSky, they carry all the parts, have the best prices, and have been selling FrSky longer than anybody in the US (well before the Phantom appeared). Here's the 250mm leads: http://www.alofthobbies.com/25cm-receiver-antenna.html

    It's possible the source of the issue is the Taranis. Just to be sure, you're not pointing the tip of the antenna at the Phantom are you? That orientation will give you the least amount of range, always best to have the side(s) pointing towards the receiver.

    If you know anybody else with a Taranis or even just an XJT or DJT in their controller, it might be wise to have them bind and test with your X8R.
     
  6. Mike

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    Thanks. I've become aware of Aloft recently, but not before I had already ordered from HK. Oh well. Antenna is pointing straight up. I just took it up for another test flight. I took it just a few meters up and a few away. I noticed that if I turned off the FPV receiver the RSSI value would increase by 2 or 3 (not that big a deal?). I went out to about 450m and 140m up. I got the first RSSI warning and stopped there in a hover. I watched as the RSSI readout on the Taranis went from 27 up to 43 and then back down and then back and forth. I turned off the FPV again and didn't notice any change. The weird thing was the value varying back and forth by 20 points with the P2 relatively stationary. Is that normal? I'd love to try out another radio, but unfortunately I haven't met anyone in my area yet.
     
  7. OI Photography

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    RSSI values jumping that much when the Tx and Rx aren't moving probably isn't a good sign, although when you're at or near the edge of your current effective range the dropoff can be fairly sudden.

    Since you're getting these results with both sets of antennae, unless they're both just mounted in really poor locations (unlikely) then I'd say the issue lies in the Taranis, possibly with the antenna's connection to the backboard inside or a break in the lead elsewhere. I managed to snap my stock antenna off at the hinge the first week I had it (turned it past the stop), and even though it didn't move far it still severed the antenna lead inside. I doubt you have a fully broken lead but it may be compromised somewhere.

    One way to troubleshoot this would be to pop an XJT or DJT in the bay on the back, and switch the Taranis to transmit on that instead of the internal Tx, then see if you have the same issue...that will eliminate the Taranis' internal transmitter and antenna from the equation. Are you in the US? If so I have a DJT in my spares box I could probably let you use for that.
     
  8. Mike

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    Thanks OI. Yes, I'm in the US in the Atlanta area. Someone in another forum said he's had several bad X8Rs recently. They seemed to all have range issues. I'm going to try swapping that first. I'm out of town for another week but I'll post the results when I get it swapped out.
     
  9. OI Photography

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    Cool, I hadn't heard of that issue so I hope the solution is that simple! Do you have an X8R not from a recent production batch? I believe they all have the manufacture date stamped on them.

    Also, if you end up having to replace the X8R, you might want to consider the new X4R instead (smaller, fits better in a Phantom). Don't know if the place you bought it would work with you on that or not.
     
  10. Mike

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    I picked up an x4r and installed it today. I didn't do any extensive testing but I went out to 800m and 150m up before I got a warning. There were trees between tx and phantom so that's about what I would get with the stock controller in those conditions. It's definitely performing better than the x8r did. Hopefully I'll have some time next week to take it out and do some better testing.