Transmitter antennae augmentation

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by Steve Maller, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    I’m a couple days away from heading off on a 10 day road trip filming adventure, and it occurred to me that we might want to do some flying from inside the RV as its heading down the road, for example.

    I’ll have my ALTA and MōVI with me. The ALTA has the Futaba 14SG with the two receiver setup. The MōVI has the Spektrum DX8 with the standard satellite receiver from Freefly.

    My first thought was that I could just pinch the two TX’s antennae off and get a SMA extension cable for each and mount their antennae outside the body of the RV. But upon further investigation, unfortunately neither of these fine radios has an SMA connector on their antenna. Both require some surgery, and it looks like more trouble than it’s worth.

    So, my question is what kind of signal attenuation can I expect through the body of a motor home with those two 2.4ghz transmitters? Is it a fool’s mission to even try to run the TXs from inside the vehicle? I’m not looking for much range (probably 100 meters) but given that the point of this is to be mobile, I’d hate to have a RTH triggered and have the ALTA zoom back a mile or so to where we took off from.

    And apropos, I don’t seem to have any visibility into radio signal strength with the Futaba. Is that visible somewhere in any of the system?

    Thanks, amigos!
     
  2. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Steve: What is the RV made of? If it's an Airstream, you'll have major problems unless you get get the Tx close to a window -- they're not radio-opaque, but the body of an Airstream is.

    If it's some other brand, they are usually not made with metal walls -- they'll be something lighter-weight and unlikely to be radio-opaque.

    On the 14SG I thought there was a telemetry screen that shows the Tx/Rx signal. Check page 91 of the 14SG Manual. Top right corner of the telemetry display. I don't thing you need any additional telemetry modules installed.

    Andy
     
  3. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Thank you, Andy. I'd like to do a range check, but I need data, as opposed to just waiting for a receiver failure.
     
  4. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Right. See page 39 of the 14SG manual -- that may help.

    Andy.
     

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