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Altitude and Distance

Discussion in 'Standard' started by Phazgas, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. Phazgas

    Jun 22, 2016
    Likes Received:
    New to the quad copter scene and have question for the distance chasers out there. Is there an optimal altitude for getting the most distance? Thanks in advance.
  2. KennyJr

    May 7, 2016
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    Johnstown, PA
    The optimal altitude to get the most distance would have the quad copter at the same altitude as the controller assuming you have access to a nice level open area. If your quad is 400 feet up and 400 feet out the actual distance between the quad and controller is 564 feet. (Assuming I did my math right. Been out of school nearly 40 years.)

    Where there are obstructions then the lowest altitude that gives you line of sight to the quad.
  3. Richard-NH

    Jul 1, 2016
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    Yes, open area, line of sight are important. But, I'm betting that for max range, in most settings, it helps to be up high.

    Over a body of water, would it be different? Does the water actually help range, maybe by reflecting off the water plane? Or does it absorb? I don't know. I fly high for range.
  4. WilliamM

    May 30, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Lancaster, Pa.
    Agree with that, higher is normally better for range. While what Kenny said is technically correct, in the reality unless your in a open field there's something in the distance that blocks LOS (like trees). Also if your near any power lines, cell towers or homes (wifi) then the higher above any of those the better for the RC signal.
  5. Mark The Droner

    Aug 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I saw this thread yesterday morning and left it open - hoping our distance champion DB would respond...

    What he does is aim his directional antenna from a tripod at or slighly above the horizon and then he flies fairly low at his target until he loses a bar of signal strength. Then he goes up 50 feet or so and continues the flight, flying further away and repeats raising 50 feet as needed. He repeats this until he flies as far as he can.

    This doesn't necessarily mean you want to fly low. It means the most important thing is to aim your antenna with as much precision as possible.

    For example, study the blue line on this flight: Quadcopter Flight Mission in Des Moines, United States

    You can see the altitude is graduated, but it's also in line with how he is aiming his antenna, both going out and coming in.

    In summary, it's not the altitude that's important. It's the precise aiming of the directional antenna.
    #5 Mark The Droner, Jul 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  6. N017RW

    May 2, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Palm Beach Co.- FL
    Generally speaking broadcast antennas are raised to counteract the Earth's curvature. The farther the radius desired the higher the antenna.
    For quads it's more about maintaining LOS and will vary based on local terrain, structures, etc.
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