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What is the max range people have taken stock radio?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by martcerv, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. martcerv

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    Simple question ;) I have been dong some line of sight testing since getting the phantom as I have a golf course that I have permission to fly over as long as I dont piss people off late afternoons. I am still yet to loose radio reception but always maintain direct LOS to the phantom at all times, last flight measured on google earth was 925m away from me with altitude 50-75m I would guess so that would be very close to 1km from a stock radio. I need a bit higher altitude as there are a few big trees on my flight path I have to clear and the further I go the higher I need to get to maintain LOS above those trees.

    I think thats pretty decent as the rated range of the stock radio is only 300m, I am getting a FPV setup in the next few days and will be interested to see the range I can get out of that. I am using a screen rather then goggles to help try and maintain LOS as much as possible and I will be interested to see what range I get out of the DJI avl 5.8 500mw setup with DJI antennas. This setup should be able to easily match the DJI radio and I really dont need much more range then that anyway I think mostly using the phantom and FPV to improve video framing and do some more fun flying at closer range.

    As a part 2 of my question what sort of range are people getting from other radio's? distance and model of radio would be good to see what would be a good upgrade choice if I ever felt I needed more range.
     
  2. DeweyAXD

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    Thats pretty interesting to hear. I was going to do some range tests (on the ground) using a mile long stretch of road I have near me sometime. Will let you know if/when i do it (just need to rope someone into holding it without the props for a while!).

    Max I've done is about 500m (according to the Garmin GTU10 onboard) but that was where i bottled it as much further would have been over a busy road.

    A handy (and lazy) tool here that will help you (not that you can accuratley know height i guess):

    http://www.miniwebtool.com/hypotenuse-calculator/

    928meters you would have been getting on your test there which is pretty staggering on the stock '300m max' TX! Not sure stock Fatshark setup will do much better but I've not tested mine yet.
     
  3. martcerv

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    Thanks for the basic math refresh, seeing I was just adding length plus altitude which is only just slightly completely wrong. :lol:

    It seems that altitude really doesn't effect the total range as much as I thought well not within these distances at legal altitudes. I will also be getting OSD as it will be really good to actually be sure your under the 400ft limit and to get a good visual idea of how high this actually is. I am basing my altitude on some high tension power lines that are 1.5km away from my launch site and these are 70m high my friend told me that has a job climbing them, on range tests I head right side of the course to make sure I cant come too close to these as they could easily effect the radio and bye bye phantom.

    900m is a long way line of sight and much easier late afternoon when the lights stand out very easily at that distance still. I remember my first range tests that felt like I went many miles away but ended up not even 400m then second attempt went to just under 600m and by the look of it from the clubhouse of the golf course I could reach any part well within range. As the furthest border from where I start is 1.3km but at 900m the boundary takes a 90 degree right turn. FPV would be better here as I can avoid flying over houses completely, much better place to have a crash landing in the worst case scenario over an empty golf course then a full estate. I just need to avoid the lakes but I am confident enough in rth to do a full flight range test having tested regaining control already. So I can easily enough get control back as long as it comes back in the general direction as it should.
     
  4. Buk

    Buk

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    Holy moly, I'm getting old and losing my sight. 900 meters is about 2,952 feet which is equal to about 8 american length football fields and end zones and you can still see the lights on your Phantom. I'm not sure I could even see a Phantom at two football fields !!
     
  5. lesdit

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    Remember that with FPV it's not going to be
    Line of sight anymore, and the range will be drastically reduced for instance if you go behind a building.
    That's what makes me nervous, with FPV you are going into nooks and crannies that will affect your range. Line of sight is the easiest to do!

    Looking at the size of the receiver inside the aircraft it makes me nervous that it works at all because it's so tiny.
     
  6. martcerv

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    I know once any objects are in the way this will cut range on both pretty drastically, and why any more agressive or adventurous fpv flying will be flown at pretty close range. I wonder how much more actual range another radio would get? not that I need it but if I stay inside 1km its better to be there safely with something that could do 2km rather then stock that may be on its limit and possibly cut out in the next meter or so. Finding out the max range is a great way to then be able to fly safely well within this range assuming all things are equal on next flights. Also all my range flights have been using fresh batteries in the radio as I dont know long these will actually last and even though I am willing to take risks I do my best to minimize them as best as I can. I wonder if others have taken it much further or if they lost reception much closer with direct los.

    There are places I can fly that are quite open such as this particular golf course which is a links so not many trees only on the fence line. I did tell the manager there I will do an earial course preview for them once i have sorted out all my gear. They were pretty interested in one of my earlier test videos from there. Im not doing it as a commercial thing as its just a hobby of mine and its not even worth this risk trying to get money for such things, penalties wouod be much higher then any money you wouod make on the shoot so simply not worth the risk . They are pretty cool with permission as long as I ask and dont piss people off so I will trade my access for some footage for them which is a good enough deal for me.

    With fpv and good range this is helpful for such videos with length of holes up to 500m thats pretty much the min range I wanted. I will wait til I get the gimbal before doing this for real but want to do a test flight once I get my fpv setup. With battery length I think I should be able to cover 4 holes or so per flight and finding a high central location between them will let me shoot this type of video easily. If just flying directly over holes maybe I could do 6 per flight if within range so maybe cover the course with 3 batteries.

    Here is one video I shot there, not a range test but just showing the location and how open it is. Also I think it shows you can get pretty good video out of the phantom after some tweaking and practice.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkjNGQ04Q8c[/youtube]