Flip Down/Retractable Downlink Antenna!

Discussion in 'Camera Mount Misc' started by Josh Lambeth, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    Decided to try it out... it's a micro servo from HiTec which I mounted to the bottom of the front right leg. I used a servo "Y" splitter to split the mode control to the pan servo which is set on the gear switch on our transmitter. When the pan servo is disabled the antenna is retracted up for takeoff and landing. When you flip the switch to enable to pan servo the antenna flips down to hang out under the copter. It hangs down about 1 1/2 inches from under the wheel. I finished it up late last night so I haven't had a chance to fly with it yet but I am hoping to today after work.

    Let me know your thoughts!

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    Josh
     
  2. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    Quick cell phone video:
     
  3. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    We did our first test flight with this yesterday and it works great having the antenna under the gimbal! We didn't have any loss of signal issues at all during 3, 5minute flights! We will be doing more testing this weekend! I now have to re-tune the gimbal though since the weight/COG has changed and it is over-reacting now again... Grrr... Oh well more fun to come!

    Josh
     
  4. Marc BRACELET

    Marc BRACELET Active Member

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    Cinestar is a fun toy no...?:p
    Excellent work for this retractable antenna...as well a very good idea...!!!
    Thanks for sharing.:cool:
     
  5. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! We will have some gopro footage from a boom on the copter watching it so you can see how it all looks/works in the air.

    Josh
     
  6. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    Here a little video of it working in flight.



    We have noticed a HUGE improvement in the loss of video signal. We just got done flying around a park this morning and didn't have any video dropouts during the entire flight! THis has never happened before! We have more flights planned this afternoon.

    Josh
     
  7. Dave Halton

    Dave Halton Member

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    Quality idea! Thanks for posting the tip
     
  8. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    Thought I would give a little followup to this.

    We have done multiple flights in many different locations with this dropdown antenna mod and it's so much better reception wise then what we have experienced in the past!

    Our only issue we have noticed is that when our camera is looking straight down and the copter flys sideways at a quick enough pace we will see the antenna creep into the shot. This has only been an issue on 2 flights out of the 50+ we have done with this setup and we were using a 20mm lens on our 5D. On our 50mm lens we haven't been able to get it in the shot (we tried).

    Josh
     
  9. Tim Joy

    Tim Joy Active Member

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    Why not mount it on the outside of the leg instead?
    Nice work.
     
  10. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    We will be doing that soon. :D

    Josh
     
  11. Jim Swanson

    Jim Swanson Member

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    Hey Josh,
    I tried hanging the servo and transmitter off the back leg and it seemed to work fine, but the difference was marginal. I need to play with this more. The big challenge was balance. Have you guys ever noticed that the Hexa flies better without all this crap hanging from it? I've started to rethink the balance of gimbal, camera, converter, lipos, downlink, props, etc. and how it affect flying with a camera. The only way to get the hexa to balance with the downlink on the back leg was to put weight on the nose of the red boom. Did you do that?

    jim
     

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