Extending Movi Controller range

Discussion in 'MōVI Controller' started by Andrew Griffiths, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. Bo Kostelac

    Bo Kostelac New Member

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    I hope this isn't a stupid question but ....how come my phantom 3 can go about 1.6 miles and still have full RC and gimbal control while the Movi setup is 300m? Seems very counter intuitive. Joe Shmoe can travel over a mile and do whatever he wants while professionals paying top dollar who are likely much more responsible with their equipment (not wanting to destroy tens of thousands of dollars) get limited to 300m? How can DJI get around this but not Freefly?

    Don't get me wrong, I put in a pre-order for the Alta and already own a M15 and Wedge. I love Freefly's quality and products. But that 300m is horrible. I do documentary work and often need to get further than that, not to mention a stronger signal helps in the event there's interference at closer range as well. In a remote area where its hard to travel range is king. I have no issue paying an additional $1000 for a mod to allow extended range. Anyone have any experience with this?
     
  2. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Bo: This is not a stupid question.

    But this one might be: Are you using a Spektrum controller for the MōVI or the MōVI Controller? (The thread is MōVI Controller, but just checking....)

    Also, in which country are you located?

    Andy.
     
  3. Bo Kostelac

    Bo Kostelac New Member

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    The plan is to have the Futaba 14sg for RC control of the Alta. I already own the Movi Controller to control the Movi M15. Does the Spektrum controller have better range? I guess a further complication is the WEDGE?

    I am located in Canada. I appreciate the feedback! =)
     
  4. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    If you have the MōVI Controller, please go to the Radio Config menu (the last on the list) and verify that the Power Level is set to 4.
    You will need to have the MōVI connected to the Controller.

    Andy
     
  5. Bo Kostelac

    Bo Kostelac New Member

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    Hi Andy, everything is properly setup as you suggested. What kind of range should I be getting? I already get around 300 meters (1000 feet). The amimon connex I have is approximately 1km, I assume the Futaba 14sg will be beyond that, I want the Movi controller to also be 1km+. Freefly was mentioning that it was a regulatory law not allowing for a further transmission distance via the power of the transmission signal from the Movi Controller. If that is the case though, how does dji get over 1.6 miles? And is there a way to boost the signal past the 300 meters to over 1km.

    I just don't want the Movi Controller to be the weakest link because it is an amazing professional tool. I also don't understand why it has to be considering there are plenty of other transmitters getting much greater distances.
     
  6. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    My understanding is that you should be getting more than that -- but it seems that each setup is different.
    You might want to consider emailing to support@freeflysystems.com, open up a support ticket, and see if they can help.

    Andy.
     
  7. Michael Elsegood

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    I have very similar results to you, Bo - Totally concur with the comments re this being a fantastic, professional controller. Unfortunately the range makes it basically unusable.. I'm invested in 4 x MoVI gimbals, Wedge and Cinestars (soon to be ALTA) and struggle to accept that this is 'just the way it is'

    The controller is just begging to be used professional for UAV work - especially since the wedge is now in full operation. I have all my lenses calibrated in the library, ready to go - yet I'm forced to operate with Futaba and No FIZ control..
     
  8. Tyler Smock

    Tyler Smock New Member

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    Alright guys, These are my thoughts on your situation. The Movi Controller operates on the 2.4GHz network and it has a cheap 3dbi antenna. Saying that, I don't own any freefly equipment. I just don't have the money. But that is besides the point. Since most of you will not be flying circles around yourself this will most likely work for you. This antenna is a 7dbi rubber duckie antenna that will extend your all around range, including behind you. This next antenna, is a 14dbi patch. It has a 45 degree beamwidth, so perfect for most of you guys aiming to fly mostly away from yourself and not in a 360 degree circle around you. And yes all of these antennas are linearly polarized so they should have no issues with the compatibly of your wedge and other receivers. The only issue you would have is if you point the rubber duckie type antennas at your receiver. that is the null of the antenna and it will decrease your range to almost nothing. About the wedge, it looks like it has a removable antenna. If that is the case, I would move the antenna on the controller to the wedge, and use the patch antenna I listed above for the remote. this should give you more than enough range for your needs. Now Saying all of this, if you do decide to buy one of these antennas, good! it should work well! if it doesn't it is not my fault. Those antennas are what would try if I had the movi controller. If you do buy these, DO NOT power on your remote with the antenna removed. It can fry the transmitter inside and render it useless. That is all i have to say. Happy flying :)
     
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  9. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    A suggestion if your controller is still under warranty. Check with support@freeflysystems.com to ensure that if you do change antennas you will not adversely affect your warranty.
     
  10. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    And, as Tyler points out: NEVER EVER fire up the transmitter without an antenna -- all the power that should be flowing out to the antenna comes flooding back into the final stage of the transmitter -- which turns to toast in less time than you care to think about.

    Andy.
     
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  11. Chris Jordan

    Chris Jordan Member

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    "verify that the Power Level is set to 4."


    Andy[/quote]

    "Ours goes to 11."

    :)
     
  12. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Nice. Not sure how you get it to 11, but nice nevertheless. :)

    Andy.
     
  13. Jason Toth

    Jason Toth Active Member

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    Anyone have luck with mods to get more range (besides just an antenna switch out)?
     
  14. Derek Cooper

    Derek Cooper Active Member

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    I echo Jason - solutions?

    We are done flying jobs for the day so we are going to test a few ideas but don't think we have the solution.
     
  15. Derek Cooper

    Derek Cooper Active Member

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  16. Derek Cooper

    Derek Cooper Active Member

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    Thanks for the tip Chris. We bought a couple 3W boosters and got around to testing them today - raining here. We ran a number of different tests and concluded we get roughly twice the distance out of our Movi Controller to Movi and WEDGE. Tops our around 900' which is 200' past our pilot's comfort level (line of sight for drone), so we are in business. When we power up our Paralinx Tomahawk system, we only get a 50' drop in distance. This all in a heavy urban setting so we will likely see much better numbers in the clear.

    Here are some pretty photos...

    IMG_0001.JPG IMG_0002.JPG
     
  17. Mateusz Hajdziony

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    Derek, do you mean 900ft with the signal booster? Isn't the Movi controller supposed to work up to 1200ft out of the box? 1200ft is far to short a distance to comfortably control the gimbal, let alone 900ft AFTER boosting the signal. There were numerous occasions where I was flying 700-800 meters LOS, but we use Graupner to control the Movi. Anything less than that is a bummer. :(
     
  18. Derek Cooper

    Derek Cooper Active Member

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    Yup.

    I'd love to see that! I know the website says:

    Control your MōVI reliably from up to 1200 ft (line of sight) with our long range wireless link.

    but we have never seen anything close to that from either of our Movi Controller units. Has anyone??!!


    Nice. Do you just replace the Spektrum receiver with the Graupner satellite on the Movi? We've never flown our drone close to a kilometre away - Transport Canada would have some serious questions for us if we did that!
     
  19. Paul Christopher Greene

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    Great news Derek. Do you think this would work with Mimic as well? Also, you might try moving the controller antenna away from the Tomahawk RX - even several inches to some feet as close proximity will likely reduce range as well.

    Many thanks for your help with this. It's a rather severe issue and preventing many of us from doing great things with Freefly's wonderful tools.


    Thank you,

     

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