Air quality vs. range/penetration

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I was at the field yesterday, where I normally fly, and I wanted to take a few shots of the smoke that's rolling through Seattle from the fires up in Canada. While I knew that fog has a severe impact on RC signals, I was not aware that similar things can happen from smoke.

Instead of being able to go my normal distance of about a mile, I could only get around 700-1000 feet before I started to notice a loss of signal. I was really surprised when it had reception issues directly above me, maybe 75ft up, where I normally have no issues. Orienting the remote so that the antennas were focused in its direction also made no improvement.

So, if you ever notice a drop in range, it could be the air quality that's to blame.

Here's a pic of the conditions when I experienced this. Normally you can clearly see the city (right side of pic) which is 10 miles away and barely even visible in the pic.


 
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Hi- Well, the smoke is the minor player here. It's the water that the smoke is carrying. No doubt, smoke increases the air's capacity for carrying moisture. It's something to cling onto. Might be that they are also fighting the fires and there is abundant water vapor. It's always the water! In Winter, all microwave paths seem to pick up quality by several DB. Mostly this is due to the lack of leaves (which are wet inside). Bob
 

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