P4 Pro Range Extender Solution! Tx/Rx Antenna?

Joined
Sep 8, 2018
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#1
Hey guys!
I'm newbie. Cheers.
I am working on boosting the effective RF range for P4 pro v1.0 and v2.0. (Guess the method should be the same despite Lighbridge for P4P 1.0 while Ocusync for P4P 2.0). Here are my questions concerning the range extending solution and hope you guys can help me out.

1. Antenna Function
1) There are four antennas on the RC and four anttenas on the aircraft (correct me if I was wrong)----confirmed
2) The left antenna on the RC is for transmitting control signal to the drone only(Tx) while the right one is for receiving FPV streaming from the drone only(Rx)/Both the two antennas can work as a transmitter or receiver simultaneously----to be confirmed
[/url][/IMG]
antenna.png

3) Two front legs (#1 & 2) are for FPV transmitting while two back legs (#3 & 4) are for control signal receiving----to be confirmed

2. Modification Solution
My trial is to add both booster(power amplifier) and antenna (more gain) to the RC/drone (or both)
1) Here is my current setup:
I removed the stock antennas from the RC and mounted two SMA jacks. I used one 2.4/5.8 auto-switch and bi-directional AMP from Sunhans on the left jack. I wired both SMA jack to two panel antenna and drive them with a tracking gimbal. Any problem?
1.png

2) or I should do the following:
2.png

3) I did see some 3rd party solutions that use 2 AMPs on the RC. Does it really make sense?
Also, AMPs have one input port(to radio) and one output port(to antenna), I found the setup in the picture below shows that the 2 RF cables from the RC always go to the input port of the AMP first and then to the atenna. Does it confirms both antennas on the RC have transmitting functions besides possible receiving funtions? a bit confused.......
90b0708627c5c4bac9de937424c9b44.png


3. Modification Solution in the future
I am designing further. See the picture below. Any suggestions? For example: Long trace of RF cable brings with more signal loss and thus may even exhibit poorer performance than stock antennas?
3.png

Thanks for your interest guys!!!!!!
 
Likes: heliozinhow
Joined
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#3
Would love to have some sort of extender mounted to a vehicle, mounted on the roof to extend signal. Maybe connections mounted inside that you could plug your remote in?

Think of a mobile drone command vehicle that has monitors, etc. Need a better way to move signal (tree environment) tethered drone that is a repeater? Maybe another option.
 
Likes: kyawko
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#6
Someday the FCC may get involved too.
These type mods require licensure since they would no longer be Part-15 compliant.
Thanks for reminding. But this project will be tested outside US. Any technical suggestions will be really appreciated!
 
Likes: kyawko
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#7
My Evolite uses the “B” configuration, my unamped panel antenna does just fine but if I use it amped I can drop down to 50’ three miles away with solid bars
 
Likes: kyawko
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#8
Apart regulatory questions, looks really cool!

The directional antenna makes sense if the drone moves in a tight pattern but also risky, if the drone gets out of the lobe.

Do this things make sense if the FCC mode is active? I mean, is there enough battery life to get out of range at all?
 
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#9
With my simple parabolic reflectors on my controller antennas I can outfly my battery and VLOS! Without more battery life anything further is overkill is it not? Sure it’s fun to experiment but I doubt drones were intended for such. However there are parabolic dish antennas available on eBay that require only an adapter cable to mate with the dish’s “N” type cable to get some 24dbi gain at 2.4 GHz and even more on 5.8 GHz! I learned years ago from being a long time Ham (56 years) to put my attention in the antenna system, not simply more power. Antenna improvements help transmit and receive almost equally.
Good luck
Jim
WA5TEF
 
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#10
We ham radio operators sometimes bounce signals to each other using the surface of the moon as a reflector. It takes a huge antenna system on both the transmitting and receiving stations, as well as lots of power to transmit those signals. While LG's experiment does not compare to that feat, it's always interesting to see what technical devices one comes up with to enhance operation of a sUAS, even when staying VLOS.

Living in a forested area doing commercial real estate work, some of this may in fact be useful and not merely a experiment as to how far you can launch a stone with a slingshot. So, here's my suggestion for further technical experimenting... build a small directional antenna system for the ground station such as a corner reflector, far more directional than the dual band flat antenna depicted. Hopefully, keep the bird in direct sight, and when it approaches the horizon, bring it back. Signal wise, this should work, all frequencies being line of sight, even if out of VLOS as LonelyGod appears to be wanting to do outside of the U.S., where VLOS is still the FCC requirement with or without visual observers.

Good luck LG, perhaps this will actually lead to something useful for all of us.

Dave W6PS
 
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#11
We ham radio operators sometimes bounce signals to each other using the surface of the moon as a reflector. It takes a huge antenna system on both the transmitting and receiving stations, as well as lots of power to transmit those signals. While LG's experiment does not compare to that feat, it's always interesting to see what technical devices one comes up with to enhance operation of a sUAS, even when staying VLOS.

Living in a forested area doing commercial real estate work, some of this may in fact be useful and not merely a experiment as to how far you can launch a stone with a slingshot. So, here's my suggestion for further technical experimenting... build a small directional antenna system for the ground station such as a corner reflector, far more directional than the dual band flat antenna depicted. Hopefully, keep the bird in direct sight, and when it approaches the horizon, bring it back. Signal wise, this should work, all frequencies being line of sight, even if out of VLOS as LonelyGod appears to be wanting to do outside of the U.S., where VLOS is still the FCC requirement with or without visual observers.

Good luck LG, perhaps this will actually lead to something useful for all of us.

Dave W6PS
I am afraid if you go BVLOS, the very short wave DJI frequencies won't serve you much, regardless how strong amplifiers and antenna arrays you connect to your RC.
 
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#12
FlyingUser, thanks for your response, but I respectfully disagree.

At the frequencies used by the sUAS system, line of sight is line of sight, whether you can still visually see the aircraft or not. When my P4P goes to maximum legal AGL, I have to look carefully to see it. People do fly beyond VLOS and count on FPV, which is in itself highly effective, but definitely BVLOS and any improvement of signal would add effective control over the aircraft. Any improvement of signal strength, whether VLOS or BVLOS is an improvement and there are atmospheric conditions that can change the path and reflection of signals.

Using VHF and UHF ham radio frequencies, and those in the bands we legally use near the DJI frequencies per FCC regs, we do experience oddball conditions, including one called "multi-path", where signals that erratically bounce off of nearby or even distance objects can interfere with the signals sent to and arriving directly from the desired signal. For those that seem to lose control of a sUAS at strange times, this may be a contributing factor. If one can achieve a stronger signal directly to and from the bird, this would diminish side effects and provide better control of the aircraft.

Please note that I am no fan of going BVLOS. I am merely commenting on experimentation suggested by the originator of this thread, and appreciate any experimentation that will help all of us fly better and with better control.

Cheers
 
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#14
Seems I used the wrong term, meant without obstruction. Other words, if you see your bird with binoculars, you're good. Multiple trees not to mention buildings in the way: I am skeptical.
I see an advantage of this system where there is a strong interference from domestic wi-fi though.
 
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#15
I've got myself the 4Hawks range extender for the P4p. I recently installed it but am yet to fully test it out in the open. Some good results and not as bulky as you would think..

RoOSTA
 
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#16
I would speak to James Crutchfield at Titan Drones, as what you're attempting to do, he already does. And he does it REALLY WELL too.

I bought the "V2" of his Command Case that allows me to use 14" Omnidirectional Whip antenna's, or the 2 directional panels built into the lid.

Take a lQQk https://www.commandcase.com/copy-of-command
 
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#17
With my simple parabolic reflectors on my controller antennas I can outfly my battery and VLOS! Without more battery life anything further is overkill is it not? Sure it’s fun to experiment but I doubt drones were intended for such. However there are parabolic dish antennas available on eBay that require only an adapter cable to mate with the dish’s “N” type cable to get some 24dbi gain at 2.4 GHz and even more on 5.8 GHz! I learned years ago from being a long time Ham (56 years) to put my attention in the antenna system, not simply more power. Antenna improvements help transmit and receive almost equally.
Good luck
Jim
WA5TEF
I want to get a parabolic range extender for my P4P but there are so many different ones to choose from. I’ve even read reviews that said some not only worked better but also fit better. Which one do you have and are you happy with it?
Thanks in advance.
 
Joined
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Messages
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#18
Hey guys!
I'm newbie. Cheers.
I am working on boosting the effective RF range for P4 pro v1.0 and v2.0. (Guess the method should be the same despite Lighbridge for P4P 1.0 while Ocusync for P4P 2.0). Here are my questions concerning the range extending solution and hope you guys can help me out.

1. Antenna Function
1) There are four antennas on the RC and four anttenas on the aircraft (correct me if I was wrong)----confirmed
2) The left antenna on the RC is for transmitting control signal to the drone only(Tx) while the right one is for receiving FPV streaming from the drone only(Rx)/Both the two antennas can work as a transmitter or receiver simultaneously----to be confirmed
[/url][/IMG]
View attachment 103268

3) Two front legs (#1 & 2) are for FPV transmitting while two back legs (#3 & 4) are for control signal receiving----to be confirmed

2. Modification Solution
My trial is to add both booster(power amplifier) and antenna (more gain) to the RC/drone (or both)
1) Here is my current setup:
I removed the stock antennas from the RC and mounted two SMA jacks. I used one 2.4/5.8 auto-switch and bi-directional AMP from Sunhans on the left jack. I wired both SMA jack to two panel antenna and drive them with a tracking gimbal. Any problem?
View attachment 103271
2) or I should do the following:
View attachment 103272
3) I did see some 3rd party solutions that use 2 AMPs on the RC. Does it really make sense?
Also, AMPs have one input port(to radio) and one output port(to antenna), I found the setup in the picture below shows that the 2 RF cables from the RC always go to the input port of the AMP first and then to the atenna. Does it confirms both antennas on the RC have transmitting functions besides possible receiving funtions? a bit confused.......
View attachment 103273

3. Modification Solution in the future
I am designing further. See the picture below. Any suggestions? For example: Long trace of RF cable brings with more signal loss and thus may even exhibit poorer performance than stock antennas?
View attachment 103274
Thanks for your interest guys!!!!!!
You don't state what country you intend to use this in, nor what range you are currently getting that you wish to exceed, nor how you intend to deal with exceeding the battery capacity, nor whether these are only one way flights. The answers will determine the best method. A completely stock P4P, set to Auto 5.8 Ghz, in the U.S., with clear LOS, will easily reach 5 miles away, which is at the very edge of the battery capacity to return home under ideal conditions. No setup will solve LOS obstructions at long distance.
 

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