Argtek Range Extender Car Kit Atop a Mast ?

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I recently ordered an ArgTek Range Extender Antenna Kit for my Phantom 3 Standard, along with a car-mount kit that allows the antenna to be affixed atop a vehicle roof, whereby one can pilot the drone from the comfort of inside a car, via three short lengths of coax cable, linking the Phantom-3S controller, to the roof-mounted Argtek antenna trident.



With this tried and tested gear inbound as I type these musings, I couldn't help wondering whether that ArgTek antenna, rather than being placed on the vehicle roof, could instead be mounted say twenty feet above the vehicle, atop a lightweight collapsible aluminium pole that can easily be rigged up to deploy from the bed of my pickup truck, as a means of dramatically improving the reach of both the outgoing 5.8GHz control signal, as well as the incoming 2.4 GHz video and telemetry feed being broadcast by the drone as it follows a Litchi flight path a couple of miles afield.

The ArkTek car mount kit is supplied with three coax cables of less than 3-feet in length, as its impedance-matched connection between the ArgTek car-mount antenna, and the Phantom 3s controller inside the vehicle. To compensate for the signal attenuation that would result when Increasing the coax cable length from the stock ArgTek car-kit 3 feet cables, to say 20-feet of cabling, I looked up 2.4 and 5.8 GHz line amplifiers to compensate for the signal loss that would occur over those increased lengths of coax cable.




The purpose of my mad quest is to acquire greater control authority than would be offered by a stock vehicle roof-mount ArgTek antenna, by way of maintaining continuous 2.4GHz video feedback from the drone , along with an uninterrupted 5.8GHz control signal up-link, during 10-minute Litchi flights over a remote rural area of our planet where destruction of tropical rain forests is a major concern that lends itself to monitoring by aerial drone patrols. I must mention that the location of these proposed autonomous drone patrols is a few time-zones removed from the nearest FAA-controlled airspace, meaning that flying beyond visual range is perfectly legal in this particular instance and jurisdiction.

I would imagine that the readership of this forum does include a few RF electronics engineers or techs, and it is for their scrutiny and critique that I have detailed this intended conversion of the ArgTek car-mount antenna kit, into a DIY mast-mount of the same ArgTek antenna, whose signals would be boosted by the RF line amplifiers shown in the links above. I do agree that this is a hare-brained idea, but that said, the main challenge to its implementation would likely relate to the impedance matching challenges associated with greatly extending those coax-cables, while installing line amplifiers in the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz cables respectively to compensate for the greater cable lengths.

Feels like I've been typing forever, so I'll clam up and await any thoughts on this DIY vehicular ground station concept for my lowly Phantom 3 Standard quad-copter.
 
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Sure, any gain in altitude helps in getting over signal obstacle. Years ago on this forum, a guy had a setup like you are talking about. He didn’t worry about elevation for the antennas. He showed some good video of him flying through the forest while setting in his car. He penetrated the forest quiet well. He showed an overall map for distance and the layout of his flight. Very impressive. There was a lot of discussion on that post. I think his investment was around $500US. He explained the whole layout and the products he used.
 
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Sir, I am just elated to learn that this concept has already been tested with notable success. I still remain uncertain about how the necessary impedance matching will be accomplished with those line amplifiers installed, but knowing this idea has been implemented is music to my ears, for sure.

I'm going to run a thread search right now, to see if I can locate this project in the forum archives. Thank you so much for this much needed confidence boost. I expected to see an assortment of projects like this on Youtube, but could not find a single mention of anything along these lines. Good thing I circled back to this forum in my quest for insight.

Adding up the prices of the line amplifiers, the coax cable and the collapsible aluminium mast, the parts cost estimate of $500 USD that you recall, is not far off from my approximate total parts price tally. Since the Argtek antenna probably weighs less than a pound at most, I would expect a lightweight telescoping aluminium pole such as this one, would fit the bill.

 
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Sir, I am just elated to learn that this concept has already been tested with notable success. I still remain uncertain about how the necessary impedance matching will be accomplished with those line amplifiers installed, but knowing this idea has been implemented is music to my ears, for sure.

I'm going to run a thread search right now, to see if I can locate this project in the forum archives. Thank you so much for this much needed confidence boost. I expected to see an assortment of projects like this on Youtube, but could not find a single mention of anything along these lines. Good thing I circled back to this forum in my quest for insight.

Adding up the prices of the line amplifiers, the coax cable and the collapsible aluminium mast, the parts cost estimate of $500 USD that you recall, is not far off from my approximate total parts price tally. Since the Argtek antenna probably weighs less than a pound at most, I would expect a lightweight telescoping aluminium pole such as this one, would fit the bill.

This guy just used stick on magnetic antenna. I'm not sure, but I think he used 2 antennas.
 
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Mr. Rootman, I agree with your reminder that it might not be necessary to spend a lot, and get overly complicated in terms of gear required to create a functional ground station suitable for my trusty of Land Rover pickup truck.

My delving into that 120 page discussion on this subject made for a very sobering read, during which it dawned on me how easily I could spend myself into the poorhouse with such a project, depending on the level of complexity entailed in assembling all the gear.

Now, with a fresh cup of coffee in hand, I am now prepared to bravely dive back down that 120 page rabbit hole, where the sheer volume of data has left me alternately dazzled and baffled in equal measure.
 
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ianzone

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120 pages,that's a book lol,,I do have the argtec 6 antennas but that's all,I gave the gain panels away cause they were poor,just kept the triple rabbit ears on me remote but all the mods and things that can be done we've seen a lot on here over time and still stumps my brain bad.
Even with the extra cost of bits and Bob's adds up to a few $$$$ and sometimes no real gain,,I run itelite range extender panel on the p4 and works so good when I'm rich the p3s will get one too,,I am far not a specialist in this but this is what I've see over time,,I dont fly into the sunset but like to have transmission and trouble free flights and they seem very stable,,cant even remember when the last RTH was triggered because loss of signal and that's awsome,,
So much stuff out there to choose ;)
 
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ianzone

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Here's my p3s and p4 remote with panel,,,,its non boosted but works fine,,argtec for me was bad run.
Screenshot_20200823-203359_Chrome.jpg
 
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Wow this is some complex looking gear in the right of the picture. Reminds me of the transmitter from the movie Back to the Future he he. With hindsight being 20-20, I wish I'd known about this website before I ordered the ArgTek antenna mod, because far better signal reach is possible using a pole-mounted rig without question.

Regarding amplifiers, I'll be using them to compensate for the signal loss I expect to see when my antenna sits atop a 15 or 20 foot pole in the bed of my truck, but frankly all I know about this type of setup, has come from reading up in this forum, and sometimes I feel that the more diverse opinions I read, the less certain I become about what specific gear will work for my pole mounted antenna installation.

For example, I am not too worried about placing a power amplifier atop the pole in line with the 5.8GHz antenna to boost the outgoing control signal, but I am a lot less confident about amplifying the inbound video/telemetry signal, since going above the video input signal power rating of my Phantom 3S remote controller, could potentially over-drive and damage the 2.4GHz receiver module inside the controller.

I am hoping to eventually distill a general consensus about power ratings applicable to antennae for pole mounted installations, that carry the 2.4GHz video input from the drone to the controller, and the 5.8GHz antenna that broadcasts the control signal from the controller to the drone. Right now, I am completely in the dark, about what will work, as opposed to what might reduce my controller to a smoking ruin as I look on in horror.
 
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I also have and use the same ArgTek antenna set for my P3S and have to admit, that I cannot say with certainty, whether it has extended my signal range and if so, by how much. I plan to map (mapsmadeeasy) a residential estate of 32 hectares and fly at a hight of 70-80 meters and I am concerned that I may loose contact with my AC. I therefore look forward to watching the outcome of this discussion.
 
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120 pages,that's a book lol,,I do have the argtec 6 antennas but that's all,I gave the gain panels away cause they were poor,just kept the triple rabbit ears on me remote but all the mods and things that can be done we've seen a lot on here over time and still stumps my brain bad.
Even with the extra cost of bits and Bob's adds up to a few $$$$ and sometimes no real gain,,I run itelite range extender panel on the p4 and works so good when I'm rich the p3s will get one too,,I am far not a specialist in this but this is what I've see over time,,I dont fly into the sunset but like to have transmission and trouble free flights and they seem very stable,,cant even remember when the last RTH was triggered because loss of signal and that's awsome,,
So much stuff out there to choose ;)
I use a itelite on my Inspire1 i can get 3 miles away . I just need bigger battery's, they are just about dead by the time i get back home
 
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