Standard Rapid sporadic signal drop after installing ARGtek extender

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Let me preface by saying I am still a novice pilot. The phantom 3 Standard is my first drone and I've been flying it for a little over a month. Living in West Virginia I noticed a pretty limited range with the stock antenna. I can only assume this is due to the mountainous region. I bought and installed the ARGtek WiFi and Signal range extender kit and installed it with no issues. At first I noticed a slight increase in range. Then I started to notice going from full signal to no signal instantly, then back to full, this process repeated. I was using two of the square antenna and one of the long ones in the middle. I tried multiple antenna positions with the same results and it didn't seem to matter where the drone was while this was happening. It was happening with the drone barley out in front of me at 200ish feet, directly above me, to my right and left. There didn't seem to be a pattern to when it was dropping signal. I made sure I was always directly facing the drone, I've doubled checked all the connections inside the remote, they're all fine. I have yet to try all three long antennas (no square ones). I did read where the square antenna were extremely directional but it seems like it shouldn't be dropping signal if they are directly facing your drone at short range.
I feel like I'm missing something. Hoping some of you more experienced pilots can help. Thank you for your time.
 
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Update. I've now tried it with only the three longer antenna, none of the panel antenna. Still having the same issues. At 200 feet I'm getting rapid signal loss around 600-900 feet away. Even when the drone is directly above me, it will drop signal.
 
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Update. I've now tried it with only the three longer antenna, none of the panel antenna. Still having the same issues. At 200 feet I'm getting rapid signal loss around 600-900 feet away. Even when the drone is directly above me, it will drop signal.
I know this only addresses part of your issue, but my understanding is that flying directly above you is not good and could adversely affect signal.
 
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I know this only addresses part of your issue, but my understanding is that flying directly above you is not good and could adversely affect signal.
I actually did notice that I got instant signal drop when it was directly over head. I'm beginning to think that while the ARGtek extender might give you a little extra distance, it's just not worth it due to the extreme directional limits. If you are not pointing directly at your drone, and I mean DIRECTLY at it, your signal drops. I'm still going to do a bit more testing so we'll see. Thank you for your response.
 
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Check your wires in the remote. Ensure that you connected the 5.8 middle wire to the right connector. I have seen several people mix up a few of the wires because they just connected the longest wire to the 5.8 connection.
 
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Check your wires in the remote. Ensure that you connected the 5.8 middle wire to the right connector. I have seen several people mix up a few of the wires because they just connected the longest wire to the 5.8 connection.

This is the video I followed to install, it can also be found on the ARGtek website. I connected white on the bottom, black in the middle and gray on the top.
 
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This is the video I followed to install, it can also be found on the ARGtek website. I connected white on the bottom, black in the middle and gray on the top.
Then that is most likely correct, mine was the same however the black was the longest wire by far.

When you connected the wires to the RC did you ensure they were able to spin on the connector without disconnection? I removed the 2.4 panels inside the remote as well but I don't think that should make a difference. I don't seem to have any issue in mine.

By understanding is that directly above you should see signal loss. You would see that with the stock antenna as well as you need the largest surface area of the antenna facing the drone. When the drone is above the surface area of the antenna is not facing the drone and will result in rapid signal loss. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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Update: Okay, so I tried multiple combinations of panels and long antenna, multiple locations and my results were fairly similar. After a bit more reading and seeing it for myself, I'm pretty sure I understand what's going on. First, I won't 100% condemn this product because I think you will actually get some extra distance under very strict circumstances. Although it's nowhere near 4x the distance, closer to 1.5x. If you can keep your drone directly, and I mean DIRECTLY with in a few degrees, of your remote, you get a bit more distance. What this thing doesn't do is help with is blockage from trees, mountains, buildings etc. If you happen to move out of that few degree range or go behind a tree or any other obstruction, even for a split second, you drop signal completely and the return to home feature kicks on. I reattached the stock antenna and these total signal drops stopped so I'm fairly certain that nothing was wrong with the remote. I don't believe the ARGtek is actually extending any kind of signal, I believe it is only redirecting it into a more narrow line making it stronger as long as you are pointed directly at your drone. While the stock antenna broadcasts a much more cone signal but doesn't extend as far.

So, while you can get more distance with this product, the direction and obstruction requirements totally out weigh any extra distance you may get. Now if you live somewhere with no buildings, no trees, totally flat, you may have better results than I did. I won't return it because I travel a lot and it could come in handy when I'm in the midwest or south but here at home in West Virginia, I'll be sticking with the stock antenna.

TL - DR If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
 
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It's really weird that I do not see these issues. I get more than double the range now and get solid video. This is in a very congested area as well. Maybe you got a bad antenna in there.


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It's really weird that I do not see these issues. I get more than double the range now and get solid video. This is in a very congested area as well. Maybe you got a bad antenna in there.


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You very well could be right. Maybe it's worth getting in touch with ARGtek and getting it replaced. It wasn't an impulse buy, I did research and saw more positive reviews than negative. Although I did see a handful of negatives so who knows.
 
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Yes, there is no free lunch. The total radiated power is fixed by the RF amplifier on either end of your data link. Replacement antennas can concentrate more gain in a particular direction/pattern, but only by giving you worse gain outside that pattern. Highly directive antennas are great if you can keep them pointed correctly, but most users don't have that much luck or patience, including me.
 
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I just installed the range extender on my ps3 and am experiencing the same problem you described. Very disappointed, especially after watching videos of people going out a mile or more. Seems like $60 wasted.

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Yep, there is no free lunch with antenna mods. When I see a range of 15000 ft with new antennas, I usually find someone flying from high terrain over a wide open valley, or a slightly elevated beach over open water, with very clear radio line of sight between RC and AC. Antennas with higher gain provide a narrower, more focused beam, which has to be pointed more carefully than the wider beams of the stock antennas.

These high performance antennas offer 10 db gain, or even more with booster amps, but they can't even put a dent in the path loss problem if there are dense trees and foliage, not to mention hills. That clutter can attenuate your signal 50 db or more. No antenna can overcome that kind of extra path loss. To get long range performance, we simply must fly well above obstacles, maintain clear radio line of sight, and keep the antennas aligned reasonably well. Given those limitations, the antennas can double your range or even more.

Remember, it takes 6 db of additional signal gain to provide 3 db of additional range (Essentially the same equations as the ratio of surface area of a sphere to it's radius).Ten times the range requires at least 100 times the signal power (20 db). And this is with perfect free space conditions. In the real world, we have to transmit through air and water vapor, which means even more signal attenuation. It's very hard to overcome mother nature.

I don't say all this to discourage the use of high gain antennas. I use them myself, and I do think the extra performance is worth the extra effort to install them. We just need to be aware of the limitations.
 
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