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Airworthy Radios and Installations (a few thoughts)!

L Edge

Well-known member
#61
I wish you would add 2 items in your quest of LOS and the cause.

I hope you would add that in your instructing someone or a pilot that is having a LOS, move the TX to another position to possibly regain signal. (Don't let them point the radio at the plane.) Being a member of 3 clubs, it has worked once or twice and saved big bucks. That's for all radios systems.

Secondly, Spectrum has a flight log that records individual antenna fades, failsafes, frame losses that you can use with over 9 RX's. I have used this in proper positioning a glider Rx where I did have antenna fades (added satellite to resolve) at 1700 ft . Now it comes down and every time I have zero's .
I own a composite 50 cc gasser worth big bucks where the flight log solved my problem of LOS. Ended up moving a satellite rx back 36 inches and now it records zero hits. Can't ask for anything more.

Should get one and explore to see if it can resolve LOS problems on others with Spectrum equipment. Usually it is the positioning and distance.

For your reading.
https://www.horizonhobby.com/spektrum-flight-log-spm9540
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#62
I wish you would add 2 items in your quest of LOS and the cause.

I hope you would add that in your instructing someone or a pilot that is having a LOS, move the TX to another position to possibly regain signal. (Don't let them point the radio at the plane.) Being a member of 3 clubs, it has worked once or twice and saved big bucks. That's for all radios systems.

Secondly, Spectrum has a flight log that records individual antenna fades, failsafes, frame losses that you can use with over 9 RX's. I have used this in proper positioning a glider Rx where I did have antenna fades (added satellite to resolve) at 1700 ft . Now it comes down and every time I have zero's .
I own a composite 50 cc gasser worth big bucks where the flight log solved my problem of LOS. Ended up moving a satellite rx back 36 inches and now it records zero hits. Can't ask for anything more.

Should get one and explore to see if it can resolve LOS problems on others with Spectrum equipment. Usually it is the positioning and distance.

For your reading.
https://www.horizonhobby.com/spektrum-flight-log-spm9540
The moving of the radio to regain communications is the "Dancing" I referred to in an earlier post! Yes it can sometimes work BUT when the Rx antenna is blocked due to poor placement, or even poor equipment choices, twisting and turning the Tx makes no difference!

A flight log should be a requirement for ALL radios but then recording a LOS does not stop it from happening and is only of use IF you manage to get the aircraft back. Knowing that the cause of the aircraft loss was a LOS is not much comfort when the plane is a pile of pieces spread from the tree top to the ground. Black boxes in commercial aircraft perform a similar function BUT they do not stop a plane from crashing just helping in determining what the cause of the crash was!

Spektrum has some VERY good radio equipment at the top end of their price range. NO QUESTION! Sadly the entry level offerings from ALL manufacturers are not really suitable for purpose! Just because a manufacturer makes some good products does not mean that every product they make is equally adequate for the same purpose!

Perhaps a thread from you on what is the MINIMUM radio system you will trust your birds to would be of more assistance. I doubt you would use a single wire antenna buried deep in the fuselage and expect the plane to last for long! This is what is being sold to beginners as entry level equipment on the understanding that it will never have any LOS issues!:rolleyes:. If you try to complain about a LOS to the supplier they refute your claims and often blame your problems on interference at your chosen flying field!

Have fun!
 

Steve Fox

Active member
#64
FlySky deals with the antenna polarisation issue by running duel antennas on both the transmitter and receiver, and although the protocol does favour one antenna over another based on packets recieved back it's not diversity as some think.

Regardless of packets recieved it will still spread a level of data across both antennas and positioning your rx antennas 90 degrees from each other to match the 'L' orientation of the transmitter will greatly improve your results.

I modified my first radio the FlySky I6 to use external sma sockets and sma antennas and then later some cheap amplifiers but my current radio (fkysky i10) has had the same sma socket modification but with much better quality amplifiers on each antenna line and I now have range well beyond the limits of my fpv video range.
I don't actually know how far I have these days, I have been a mile up whilst 2 miles out many times and fly the clouds on my FS-i10 almost every time I go out.

Below are pics of my i10 and also two videos showing the range I get :)

DSC_0416.JPG DSC_0413-1620x2880.JPG DSC_0415 (1).JPG DSC_0414 (1).JPG DSC_0417.JPG


 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#65
Your modifications are quite interesting but render the equipment illegal in most countries! That you found it necessary to modify your equipment shows that you either found the equipment somewhat inadequate to its stated purpose or that you chose to show what could be done to enhance its performance.

The OP was to highlight that most equipment available, (especially entry level equipment), is in one way or another unfit for purpose and can, if used for a purpose for which it is ill-suited, be dangerous or at least expensive in terms of crashed aircraft.

Thank you for your input but getting manufacturers to clean up their act would be better than to encourage people to make their equipment illegal with all of the legal liabilities that go with it.

Have fun!
 

Piotrsko

Well-known member
#66
I agree with @Hai-Lee again. I have a "brick" module that could boost the signal up to 10 watts on my transmitter along with assorted antenna configurations giving me HUUUUGE range. That does not solve the problems a new user has using poor equipment, or help them figure out how to properly install receiver antenna.

Btw, the Brick is illegal for anything not licensed as a radio station.
 

Steve Fox

Active member
#67
Your modifications are quite interesting but render the equipment illegal in most countries! That you found it necessary to modify your equipment shows that you either found the equipment somewhat inadequate to its stated purpose or that you chose to show what could be done to enhance its performance.

The OP was to highlight that most equipment available, (especially entry level equipment), is in one way or another unfit for purpose and can, if used for a purpose for which it is ill-suited, be dangerous or at least expensive in terms of crashed aircraft.

Thank you for your input but getting manufacturers to clean up their act would be better than to encourage people to make their equipment illegal with all of the legal liabilities that go with it.

Have fun!
Are you really going to go down that Argument?
Next to nobody runs legal power on their fpv systems, running extra power on my control is no different!

As for the equipment being illegal, no it's not.
The use of it may not be legal, but buying and owning it is.
Id like to also add that there are no legal long range options available so it's be stuck with the useless range of stock 2.4ghz radios or disregard the regulations that are not policed anyway.
 
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Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#69
Are you really going to go down that Argument?
Next to nobody runs legal power on their fpv systems, running extra power on my control is no different!

As for the equipment being illegal, no it's not.
The use of it may not be legal, but buying and owning it is.
Id like to also add that there are no legal long range options available so it's be stuck with the useless range of stock 2.4ghz radios or disregard the regulations that are not policed anyway.
In the second sentence of my previous post I was careful to use the term "Make their equipment illegal", with respect to adding amplifiers or other such modifications to an approved piece of equipment! Of course the idea of modifying the equipment whilst not an illegal act does, make it illegal to use the equipment in its modified state. The use of the term modify is to imply the use in the altered form, to modify so that you cannot use it is akin to disabling it, Your use of the term modify implies the use of the equipment in the altered state and therefore the use of illegal equipment. Not something this thread was about!

Your statement as to the lack of long range equipment is subjective as I consider adequate range equipment to be equipment that can provide a rock solid connection at 2 miles. Beyond 2 miles I cannot see the plane anyway.

As the original post was in relation to the limitations of entry level radio control systems, what that has to do with the range of FPV video systems baffles me! Persons demonstrating what they have done and what they use that is illegal does not provide me with any real comfort as anyone can peruse these pages, including those tasked with enforcement as well as a number of would be concerned citizens!!

Finally, that the laws in your region are not policed, is your good fortune but not all persons on the forum are in the same region as you and some regions are extremely punitive when the laws are breached especially because Radio Control Aircraft are now under the legislative dominion of the relevant Aviation Authorities in many areas!

If my rejection of your modifications offended you I do apologize but I will never recommend such a path to fixing poor performing entry level radio control equipment!

Have fun!
 

Steve Fox

Active member
#70
In the second sentence of my previous post I was careful to use the term "Make their equipment illegal", with respect to adding amplifiers or other such modifications to an approved piece of equipment! Of course the idea of modifying the equipment whilst not an illegal act does, make it illegal to use the equipment in its modified state. The use of the term modify is to imply the use in the altered form, to modify so that you cannot use it is akin to disabling it, Your use of the term modify implies the use of the equipment in the altered state and therefore the use of illegal equipment. Not something this thread was about!

Your statement as to the lack of long range equipment is subjective as I consider adequate range equipment to be equipment that can provide a rock solid connection at 2 miles. Beyond 2 miles I cannot see the plane anyway.

As the original post was in relation to the limitations of entry level radio control systems, what that has to do with the range of FPV video systems baffles me! Persons demonstrating what they have done and what they use that is illegal does not provide me with any real comfort as anyone can peruse these pages, including those tasked with enforcement as well as a number of would be concerned citizens!!

Finally, that the laws in your region are not policed, is your good fortune but not all persons on the forum are in the same region as you and some regions are extremely punitive when the laws are breached especially because Radio Control Aircraft are now under the legislative dominion of the relevant Aviation Authorities in many areas!

If my rejection of your modifications offended you I do apologize but I will never recommend such a path to fixing poor performing entry level radio control equipment!

Have fun!
Na, you haven't offended me, I disagree with your view but that's my right as is it yours to disagree with mine.

It has everything to to with fpv, you need the range on both, control and video radio systems are part of a overall setup and having a fpv system that can reach several miles is useless if you don't have the control range to go with it!

We both know that the majority of fpv pilots want to fly as far as possible, nobody is running 25mw fpv gear, the lowest 5.8ghz power I use is 800mw and the highest 3.4w, it's pointless having that video range if my control falls over at a mile.

You might disagree with my solution and I respect that but if we are both honest we know that the majority of today's pilots would do the same as me.
it's not like I'm going out robbing houses or committing fraud, I'm flying over farmland and causing no harm to anyone
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#71
Na, you haven't offended me, I disagree with your view but that's my right as is it yours to disagree with mine.

It has everything to to with fpv, you need the range on both, control and video radio systems are part of a overall setup and having a fpv system that can reach several miles is useless if you don't have the control range to go with it!

We both know that the majority of fpv pilots want to fly as far as possible, nobody is running 25mw fpv gear, the lowest 5.8ghz power I use is 800mw and the highest 3.4w, it's pointless having that video range if my control falls over at a mile.

You might disagree with my solution and I respect that but if we are both honest we know that the majority of today's pilots would do the same as me.
it's not like I'm going out robbing houses or committing fraud, I'm flying over farmland and causing no harm to anyone
Currently I am endeavoring to start a business in support, repair, design and manufacture of survey, and reconnaissance drones as well as radio control model aircraft. Yes there are some rather severe range issues with current radio control and FPV systems but our approaches to solving the issues are quite different. As a would be manufacturer I am required to pass all sort of approvals and performance guarantees just to be able to operate. As a result I have been forced to evaluate a number of radio control systems for their suitability and the results are/were rather shocking! A RC systems manufacturers operating manual is effectively of less value than the paper it is printed on!

This thread was raised to point out that not every radio system currently sold is fit for purpose with some newbies being lead to believe that their lack of control and crashes are totally their fault due to their lack of skill whereas I have proven that some of the systems are barely able to effectively control an aircraft beyond 50 metres without issues of possible LOS unless some extreme setup procedures are followed and even then the range to be expected is quite small.

A classic item in a manual is the dreaded "Range test". As it is shown or described in a manual there is no difference in procedure between the range test for a RC car and an RC model aircraft BUT if you dig deep into some of the manufacturers websites you can find that the ideal range test for a RC model aircraft is a rather involved and comprehensive test repeated at different locations around the aircraft and with the aircraft at a number of different attitudes! Is the manual written to be generalist or to give a sense of performance adequacy when none exists?

The manufacturers know of their product limitations, (I have been in communication with a number of them), and they are more set on obtaining sales/money than providing a product that performs to their own stated specifications. Terms like "Up to" have no place in guaranteeing radio communications range and a minimum range of somewhat guaranteed operating range is what is required. Under the current legal requirements a RC pilot must assume responsibility for their aircraft and the performance thereof. How can a pilot who follows and believes what the manufacturers state about their product be held responsible for the manufacturers deceitful specifications and
misleading information as to the adequacy of their products for the assigned task? The law makers have made it so!

As you can see our views and approaches to the adequacy issues of the equipment offered for general usage are quite different but our goals are similar! being trained in radio and communications I could also build/modify equipment to gain my requirements but to do so I would run foul of the law which I can ill afford! So I am trying to have users make better product selections and hopefully the manufacturers will find that their unsuitable products are not selling and then they may improve their game, (or go out of business).

Have fun!
 

Steve Fox

Active member
#72
Unfortunately, no 2.4ghz system however well designed is ever going to achieve the ranges I require on stock power, 433 and 900 mhz systems are not legal here ether and crazy expensive too s amplifiers on 2.4 is the path I took and it also meant that all my many many existing rx units stayed compatible.

I can understand why a business needs to do things by the book but for the individual it's no big deal and what I've done to my radio is very effective and been reliable for two years now.

If I could justify the cost of the still illegal long range 433 systems I would have gone that route as they have significant range advantages over my setup but I still have a range of several miles.
 

Piotrsko

Well-known member
#73
So in effect, you want to do what Aerovironment or the US government does without the paper hassle or rather huge and frequent paychecks?