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Help! Clover Leaf vs. Skew-Planar vs. Helical antennas

#1
I've heard of Clover Leaf, Skew-Planar, and Helical antennas. Are all of these the same and work together or are they all different? I want to get into FPV, but it's stuff like this that is prohibiting me. Thanks.
 
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PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#2
Clover leaf and Skew planar antennas are basically the same they are both circular polarized meaning they radiate out in a circular pattern and form a huge doughnut. the difference is one has 3 blades the other has 4. The helical on the other hand is a beam antenna that focuses out to greater distance but in a cone shape that is extremely directional.

What style of FPV flight are you into? I do racing and freestyle and get by fine on dipole antennas on my Gremlin and one of my other builds and cheapie 12 dollar a pair Aomways on my freestyle.

Choice of antenna depends not only on the type but also where and how you fly. If you fly short range open field like I do most of the time a dipole set up is fine. If you are looking as a little bit of distance with a few obsticles like trees then a CP antenna will be good. If you are going longer range or behind buildings and such a more focused helical or patch is good.

Most headsets and monitors these days have diversity so you can use two types to better optimize your reception. A little more spcifc on how and where you want to fly FPV would help us guide you better.
 
#3
By dipole, you mean whip antenna??

Is Helical antenna is still a CP antenna?? (Yes, I know, I know nothing about antennas!)

I occasionally fly (in my opinion) long range (500-600 yds.) but not often. Around my house are a lot of trees and buildings that I sometimes have to weave through.
I intend to fly mostly aerobatic and scale flight.

From what I understand, it sound like a Cloverleaf on the VTx and a Skew-planar on the VRx would be the best choice for me at the moment.

I did do a little reading on antennas last night from David Windestal's website: RCExplorer.se
 

foamtest

Toothpick glider kid
#4
By dipole he does mean whip antenna.

Helical antennas are a type of circular polarized antenna that is better for long range in one direction, like a patch antenna.
 
#5
By dipole he does mean whip antenna.

Helical antennas are a type of circular polarized antenna that is better for long range in one direction, like a patch antenna.
So any circular polarized antenna will work with any other CP antenna as long as they have the same rotation?
 
#7
It might be good to look up IBCrazy on rcgroups. He has tons of information and helpful posts describing those antennas. He actually invented the cloverleaf I believe, as well as many other antennas used in FPV.
 

lrussi750

Rogue Pilot
Mentor
#9
500/600 yards would not be considered long range or require the use of 900mhz gear. Your talking miles with 900mhz and a Ham License. Also the antennas/transmitters/receivers for 900mhz are really big and clunky. What are you flying, fixed wing or quads, are you using fatshark goggles, or box style goggles? Sounds like all you would need is 200-600mw 5.8ghz gear which is the typical equipment used for FPV. Loss of signal will happen no matter what and you will never find a perfect solution to the trees and house penetration issues. Most hardcore FPV flyers will use a mix of equipment to optimize video. Don't think you need to chase it that far down the rabbit hole. PsyBorg hit it right on the head with his post above. Hit up painless360 on YouTube, he has a lot of good content on FPV equipment.
 
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#10
I plan on using it on my 1.5m Timber and other future fixed wing. Do I need a HAM for 5.8 at say 200 mW? If so, whats the max power I can use without a HAM? I chose 900 because I didn't think 5.8 would have my kind of range. I do plan on getting my HAM at some point, but not exactly soon.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#11
Legally anything that is not F.C.C certified at 25 mw radiated (basically 5 mw true) requires a HAM licence in the US. So yeah pretty much anything FPV for realistic flying will require HAM to be legal. Many people fly without it and have no problems. When you do get into problems is when you are over powered and interfering with local HAM users. They will track you down and report you. I have not heard or read about people having issues but it can happen so fly at your own risk.

5.8 ghz @200 mw will easily cover a ball field size area to fly. 600 mw can give you a mile or so safely. But again do you want to risk your gear and have to go that far to find it let alone risking property damage or worse hitting someone while you have no control of your gear these days?
 
#12
Legally anything that is not F.C.C certified at 25 mw radiated (basically 5 mw true) requires a HAM licence in the US. So yeah pretty much anything FPV for realistic flying will require HAM to be legal. Many people fly without it and have no problems. When you do get into problems is when you are over powered and interfering with local HAM users. They will track you down and report you. I have not heard or read about people having issues but it can happen so fly at your own risk.

5.8 ghz @200 mw will easily cover a ball field size area to fly. 600 mw can give you a mile or so safely. But again do you want to risk your gear and have to go that far to find it let alone risking property damage or worse hitting someone while you have no control of your gear these days?
How much range does a 5.8 25mW unit give me?