HOW TO: Install copper foil shield (fix low satellite count)

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Re: HOW TO: Install copper foil shield (fix low satellite co

I know DJI added extra shielding to the V3 but has anyone tried this mod with one? It always take me ages to get enough satellites on both my V3s
 

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msinger

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Re: HOW TO: Install copper foil shield (fix low satellite co

I would assume it would void parts of your warranty -- but not all. For example, DJI batteries have a 3-month warranty. Swapping out the GPS antenna would have no effect on the performance of the battery.

You should contact DJI if you have any questions though. They of course have the final say.
 
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Re: HOW TO: Install copper foil shield (fix low satellite co

I dunno.. mine only has literally an inch or two sticking out and its fine... Obviously th
So many diff ways people have done this... Another thing I and a few others have done is put the aluminum or copper tape up the arms a little bit.. like up to the midway point where the screws go, just before basically.. obviously still covering the initial middle part.... So my GPS module is covered by the stock shield, extra aluminum shield and then even more which goes up each arm half way. Not sure why it makes a diff, or if it even does..My theory was maybe its escaping out sides lol... so I put some up the arms.. Just don't cover the vent holes, cut a bit out so you don't cover them.. Some of the tutorial video's also go up the arms abit.
I literally tried 5 or 6 diff variations till I had a good result (more satts and no recording issues) and then settled on that... Was frustrating at times. Like it was good then I'd "make it better" which make it worse.. etc etc... then finally had a good stable result. When its "fixed" and you click record you should not loose a single satt.. The fact you don't get as many satts could be based on your location. I always tell people to try a few diff spots... but yeah you have a little work to do if you are losing satts when clicking record, so fix that up then worry about the amount you get.

Sounds like you are definitely on the right track and making good progress.. Try cover the arms as I have described and I guess cover the cable if you like.. I don't like doing to much at once because then you don't know what actually fixed it, but in the grand scheme of things, who cares as long as its fixed :)

Good work though :) And to think... 24 hours ago you told us you weren't the type who mods there own equipment!

BTW - Are you using aluminium foil, like the kitchen stuff ??? Not sure if thats the best to use.. or if it makes any diff ?? Can anyone chime in here on if they are using aluminium foil, and if it works as well ?? I used this weatherproof aluminium tape stuff.. one side was aluminium.. then there was 1 or 2mm of squishy bit then the other side was the tape. It was originally intended for fixing leaks in outdoor metal pipes or something like that ? Some also swear copper is better, but from what I'd seen people had just as good results with either alumin and copper.. but yeah. maybe not foil if that's what your using ?
I had a look at the usb cable, it goes directly to the NAZA. It is very close to the video cable and is pinched tightly together where it goes though the shell/body join. It could be acting like an aerial as the usb end is open circuit.
 
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Overview

This tutorial explains how to install extra shielding over top of the original GPS shield. Additional shielding will prevent (or at least reduce) the loss of satellites while capturing video with your Phantom.

Note: If you have version 3 of the Phantom 2 Vision+, then this mod should not be necessary since DJI added additional shielding in version 3.

Materials Needed:

Note: Copper foil tape works better than aluminum since it has conductive adhesive (more details).
Note: The Kapton tape is optional and only needed if you want to insulate the copper foil tape.

Tools Needed:

Step 1: Prepare the shield pattern

Print out the shield pattern and cut it out. If you'd like your shield to cover more area than the finished product below (see the photo at the end of this tutorial), then just cut a little bit to the outside of the pattern lines.

When printing the shield pattern, make sure you print it at 100% zoom level. Otherwise, the printed pattern could be smaller than the intended size.

Print_Window.jpg


Step 2: Remove the Phantom arm bands

If you have arm bands (stickers) on your Phantom arms, then peel them up just past the point where the top and bottom shell meet -OR- completely remove them. Optionally, you could use an X-ACTO knife to cut the arm band along the shell seal so you do not have to remove them.

Remove_Arm_Bands.jpg


Step 3: Remove the top of the Phantom shell

It's very important that you use a 2mm Hex Screwdriver and 00 Phillips Screwdriver to remove the screws from the Phantom shell. If you don't have the proper tools, then stop now and go purchase them. Otherwise, you may end up stripping the screws.

Note: If you strip any screws, you can replace them with the DJI screw pack. This is a good item to keep on hand since you'll never know when you need it. And, when you do need it, you don't want to wait days for it to be delivered :)

Remove the screws from the Phantom shell in the order they are marked below. Remove #1 from all arms (these screws strip easily!), #2 from all arms, and #3 from all arms. You'll find the shell is easier to open if you remove the screws in this order.

Remove_Screws.jpg


Step 4: Disconnect the GPS cable

Once all screws have been removed, flip the Phantom over (so it's upright with the battery compartment facing you) and carefully lift the shell top a couple of inches. Reach inside and lift the black connector on the GPS cable straight up to disconnect the cable (it's not clipped in).

Once this cable has been disconnected, you'll be able to lift the shell top off to remove it from the shell base. Set the shell top aside for now.

Unplug_Gps_Cable.jpg


Step 5: Layer the copper strips onto the shield pattern

Cut a strip of copper foil tape and lay it across the middle of the shield pattern (the strip needs to be longer than the width of the shield pattern). Use a few small pieces of Scotch tape to adhere the bottom side of the copper foil tape to the shield pattern.

Continue cutting strips of copper foil tape to cover both side of the shield pattern. Each strip should overlap the previous strip a little bit.

Half_Strips_On.jpg


Half_Strips_On_Back.jpg


All_Strips_On.jpg


All_Strips_On_Back.jpg


Step 6: Remove the excess copper foil tape

Flip the shield pattern over (copper foil tape side facing down) and cut off the excess copper foil tape.

Cut_Excess_Strips.jpg


Step 7: Reroute the GPS cable

Peel up the original GPS shield and reroute the GPS cable beneath the shield and to the opposite side of the shell top.

Reroute_Gps_Cable.jpg


Step 8: Apply the copper foil tape strips to the shell top

Apply the middle copper foil tape first to ensure the new shield is centered. Then, apply the other strips on either side of the center strip. Each strip should overlap the previous strip.

Run your finger down the edge of each copper foil tape strip to ensure they are applied tightly against the strip that is overlapped.

First_Strip.jpg


Overlap_Strips.jpg


Half_Done.jpg


Note: If you fold the copper foil tape strip and slightly crease it in the center, it's easier to line it up in the center of the shell top when applying it.

Fold_Strips.jpg


Step 9: Patch the new shield as needed

When all copper foil tape strips have been applied, cut a few smaller strips to patch any areas that need a little more coverage. Run your finger along all edges of the patches to ensure they are completely sealed.

The final product should look something like this:

All_Done.jpg


Step 10: Insulate the copper foil tape

Cover the copper foil tape with Kapton tape to insulate it. (This is an optional step.)

Step 11: Reinstall the shell top

Position the shell top back onto the shell base. Lift the edge of the shell top up a few inches and reattach the GPS cable.

Flip the Phantom over and insert the screws in the reverse order. Insert #3 into all of the arms, #2 into all of the arms, and #1 into all of the arms. Before inserting the screws, wrap your hand around the arm (near the screw hole) and use a little pressure to clamp the top and bottom of the shell together.

Note: Make sure you do not over-tighten the screws. Stop as soon as they start to resist.
I also covered the Compass leg with copper. Reason being it attaches to the Motherboard next to the GPS plug.
 

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Thank you for very nice presentation. I did this procedure with fender guitar copper EMI sheet tape, last October. Solved problem. Except I had to do one additional thing. The GPS cable was oriented on the other side of the cover. This meant the cable had to traverse the video module. I even covered the cable with copper. Not Good, too much EMI. I rotated the top cover of the drone 90 degrees to make the plug line up with a closer connection. This totally solved the problem. Have not lost a single satellite since the change. I notice from your pictures that your plug was already very close to the female connector.
 
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Great Mod! Just ordered my 4mm GPS And Copper sheet Groceries from Amazon!

Thanks ~Duke
 

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