HOW-TO: Antenna Modifications - Improve Your Distance

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Hi All,

When I started looking into antenna modification I found it all a bit bewildering and I just didn't know what I wanted or where, or indeed how to actually do the mods. However, now that I've fully modded my Phantom 2 Vision+ with a Stage 4 kit, I wanted to write a quick guide to help others thinking of doing the same thing, along with links to the various tutorials out there.

This is unashamedly an http://fpvlr.com/ biased post, but that's only because I've got nothing but praise for both the quality of the antennas and Tony's (the owner) commitment to helping you out with post and pre-sales support. I've seen many posts from other users who say they've visited him personally at his antenna factory and said what a really nice and very hard working guy he is, and it was those types of posts that gave me the confidence and trust in spending a lot of money for the antennas. :)

FPVLR offer different stage kits, each designed to include everything you need for your desired price point/distance.

Some people have mentioned that their transmitter and quadcopter need to be relinked after the Stage 3/4 mod

Desired Outcome: Do you want to avoid loosing video feed before control signal?
Contents: 2.4Ghz Half-sphere helix for distance, plus a 2.4Ghz pinwheel for close range operation.
Tutorial: http://youtu.be/OO-_btIbYtA
Improvements: Expect 2 to 3 times range compared to stock
Modification: Range extender only
Kit Required: Stage 1 - http://fpvlr.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=76&product_id=102


Desired Outcome: Improve both the video and control signal distance.
Contents: Stage 1 plus 5.8Ghz 4-1/4 turn helix
Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BfMFmRiWM4 (a bit long but you can skip to see the useful bits)
Improvements: Around 5000-8000ft (wifi congestion dependant)
Modification: Range extender and transmitter
Kit Required: Stage 2 - http://fpvlr.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=76&product_id=103


Outcome: Great 360 degree control at long distances
Contents: Stage 2 plus 2 x 2.4Ghz pinwheels and 2 x 5.8Ghz pinwheels for the Phantom
Tutorial (my own 5.8Ghz mod): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMEsdj2SaMw
Tutorial (2.4Ghz mod - end of video, except replace both 2.4Ghz antennas): http://youtu.be/ZFltb2f08l8
Improvements: Increase in distance and a reliable control and video feeds at those distances
Modification: Range extender, transmitter, and Phantom
Kit Required: Stage 3 - http://fpvlr.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=76&product_id=112


Outcome: Massive distances (3.1 miles, 16469ft, 5km) documented, other users have gone further
Contents: Stage 3 plus Sunhans 2.4Ghz and 5.8Ghz boosters with battery pack
Tutorial: As Stage 3 plus stick the boosters on with velcro (or 3M Lock Tape) as seen in the pic below.
Improvements: Really great distances! I did 3.1 miles as seen here viewtopic.php?f=54&t=26776
Modification: Range extender, transmitter, Phantom, and additional attachments to transmitter
Kit Required: Stage 4 - http://fpvlr.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=76&product_id=114
Antenna Mounts: Sold by Tony at FPVLR: http://fpvlr.com/shop/index.php?route=p ... uct_id=117
 

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Re: How-to Antenna Modifications - Improve Your Distance

Stage 3 Photos


Please note, antenna mounting kits are no longer available from sidebox, you can by them from Tony at FPVLR.com
 

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One thing that I've never been quite clear on is the procedure for powering on the boosters. Having had a conversation with Tony, I can confirm that the following is as per his advice:

  • 1. Ensure all cables are connected to the antennas, transmitter, and range extender
    2. Power on the boosters
    3. Switch on the transmitter, then Phantom, then range extender as per usual power-on procedure
    4. Both boosters should have a green power light and be flashing blue to indicate detected signal

One issue that could cause a problem is that on some units the Range Extender emits a signal higher than the 20dBm specified maximum input value of the 2.4Ghz booster during it's boot process. This post here http://www.phantompilots.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=12712&hilit=measure+power&start=1630#p230281 shows glennaxl measuring the output resulting in a 25dBm surge during boot which could easily start to fry the booster, so there are two options:

A. Buy a 6db attenuator. Tony says here http://www.phantompilots.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=12712&hilit=measure+power&start=1690#p231601 that they don't make p-sma male to rp-sma female attenuators, so you'd need an adapter as well. From what I could see prices were quite high for attenuators, so this led me to option B:

B. Plug in the 2.4Ghz booster after the range extender has booted. As a result the following procedure should work:

  • 1. Ensure all cables are connected to the antennas, transmitter and range extender (RE), EXCEPT the cable from RE to booster - leave this unplugged
    2. Disconnect the power cable from the 2.4Ghz booster, but leave it plugged into the 5.8Ghz booster
    3. Switch the battery on so that the 5.8Ghz booster turns on
    4. Switch on the transmitter, then Phantom, then RE
    5. Connect your phone to the RE's wifi
    6. Plug in the cable from RE to booster
    7. Plug in the 2.4Ghz booster power cable

This should hopefully avoid a burn out, but I can't accept any responsibility if problems arise (though I would see problems first as this is the procedure I use!).

Hope this helps, and please do feed back on any of these posts if my information isn't quite right as I'll happily update as required.
 
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I remember Tony once posting a picture of what goes where regarding the antennas, so I've dug it out to include on here (and added which antennas are 2.4/5.8Ghz) seeing as it's a useful picture to have:
 

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Ermm maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me.. I'm looking at the stage 2 kit on FPVLR and it looks like it has all the antennas as shown in the pic here... but what is the bit white thing they seem to be connected to ??

http://fpvlr.com/shop/index.php?route=p ... uct_id=103

Does it all come apart or something... one of the antenna's on the white thing looks like its for the R/C and the other is for the RE ?? Bit confused now as to what the big white looking thing is :p ??
 
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justin00 said:
Ermm maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me.. I'm looking at the stage 2 kit on FPVLR and it looks like it has all the antennas as shown in the pic here... but what is the bit white thing they seem to be connected to ??

http://fpvlr.com/shop/index.php?route=p ... uct_id=103

Does it all come apart or something... one of the antenna's on the white thing looks like its for the R/C and the other is for the RE ?? Bit confused now as to what the big white looking thing is :p ??
Oh yes, it's the new and improved Stage 2! Tony mentioned this was due somewhere else and it'll be so that the control and video antennas are at optimum distance apart and is easier to mount on the transmitter. I've updated the pics on the first post.
 

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Hi Tony,

Is there a reason why the control antenna is on the right (when looking from behind) instead of on the left? As seen in the photos it now means a hole has to be drilled in the top of the transmitter for the cable to reach. If it was on the left the existing antenna hole could be used making it look neater?

I suspect part of the reason is because you can get a better, more secure fastening of the connector cable by drilling a new hole rather than using the old position?
 
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allemtura said:
Hi Tony,

Is there a reason why the control antenna is on the right (when looking from behind) instead of on the left? As seen in the photos it now means a hole has to be drilled in the top of the transmitter for the cable to reach. If it was on the left the existing antenna hole could be used making it look neater?

I suspect part of the reason is because you can get a better, more secure fastening of the connector cable by drilling a new hole rather than using the old position?
Yes. you are correct, you can get a much better connection if a new hole is drilled in the top right side of the transmitter shell.
No question about that.
TOny.
 
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Does the phone holder and phone still fit with the new stage 2 mod? None of the pics show the holder. Thanks!
 
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May I ask how you open the holes on the range extender and the transmitter? Simply by filing or is there any other non-destructive way of doing it? I've ordered a Stage 2 kit and would like to be prepared when the package arrives. Looking forward to installing it. Thanks in advance for the reply.
 
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barissara said:
May I ask how you open the holes on the range extender and the transmitter? Simply by filing or is there any other non-destructive way of doing it? I've ordered a Stage 2 kit and would like to be prepared when the package arrives. Looking forward to installing it. Thanks in advance for the reply.
You can remove the internals of the wifi extender and make holes with a small drill. I like battery powered vertical drills where you can control the speed and they are light and easy to handle.
You can make a smaller pilot hole and then enlarge it to 6mm or 1/4 "
 
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Great for the vision +. Has anyone done a similar write up for a normal p2?

My setup is in my description. I start to get video breakup around 1500 meters or so.
 
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knuckles said:
Great for the vision +. Has anyone done a similar write up for a normal p2?

My setup is in my description. I start to get video breakup around 1500 meters or so.
I am also looking for a used P2 and then want to mod the long range capabilities with FPVLR antennas.

If anyone has 2 Phantom 2s let me know.
 

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