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DragonLink RX on Spider Hex

kah00na

Senior Member
#1
I'm trying to put a DragonLink on my hexacopter but I'm wondering about how to best mount the antenna. What do you guys think of attaching it to the under side of the center arms like in the picture? I don't know if it will kill the reception if the antennas are sideways instead of pointing up and down. I'm trying to reach about 1/2 to 3/4 mile through houses/barns. Any thoughts?
dlantenna.jpg
 

kah00na

Senior Member
#4
I think that's a beautiful build. :)
Thanks! I'm just starting this build as I just received all my parts. I'm just getting started and will probably end up shrink wrapping everything to the arms. The tape is just there now to hold stuff in place while I put the rest of it together.

Nice looking Hex!

As to taping the antenna to the CF, I'll just reference a thread from a few months ago.
Thanks! Yeah, I read that post back when you posted it but I kind of forgot about it. I could put one on the top of one arm and one on the bottom of the other... maybe?

Actually, I saw somewhere else that the recommended way is to have one half pointed up in the air and the other just hanging free below the quad. Maybe I'll try it attached to the arms and then the other and see if either one works well enough to get me the range I want.
 

FinalGlideAus

terrorizing squirrels
#5
Get friend to hold the hex and moved about 5m away. Now get him to rotate it on all axis'. Anytime you can't see either antenna you're running the risk of a lockout. This also gets worse with range.

I can't take pics right now as I'm at the airport but what worked well for me was one antenna pointing backwards under the body and another pointing vetical up above the copter at the front. This gives the best coverage for the antenna, keeps the antennas as far away from the vtx as possible and still gives a 90 deg difference between the 2 antenna.
 

kah00na

Senior Member
#6
Get friend to hold the hex and moved about 5m away. Now get him to rotate it on all axis'. Anytime you can't see either antenna you're running the risk of a lockout. This also gets worse with range.

I can't take pics right now as I'm at the airport but what worked well for me was one antenna pointing backwards under the body and another pointing vetical up above the copter at the front. This gives the best coverage for the antenna, keeps the antennas as far away from the vtx as possible and still gives a 90 deg difference between the 2 antenna.
Nice, I like that idea. I'd like to see a picture too. I got some of my soldering done tonight. This is a slow moving project. It is the first mini I've fully built and it is taking me longer than my larger quads and tris. I'm trying to get everything planned out before I just start putting it together. That is why I was looking at the placement of the antenna.
wiring01.jpg
 

FinalGlideAus

terrorizing squirrels
#7
Ok so finished my flight and got out the airport. It's rather nippy in Melbourne tonight.

Have a look at some of the pictures of my mini H quad build here:
http://forum.flitetest.com/showthread.php?9018-Blackout-Mini-H-Quad-Build-Log/page3
There is one picture of it together the right way up and upside down. You can easily see the vertical antenna at the front. It is mounted high to clear the frame, as far forward as practical to get away from VTX antenna and an old pen inner tube (remove the ink first!) is used to keep it vertical and protect it. In a crash it just bends but stays vertical during flight.

You can see the other antenna underneath the fame downthe back. It is held there by some foam rubber strips which are used as landing gear. I should really use another pen inner tube to seperate it from the carbon plate a little more and will do that shortly. This antenna is also using the carbon in a good way by blocking possible interferance from the vtx antenna.

Now do that test with your friend again and you will see there is basically no angle where both antennas are covered plus you have them at 90 deg to each other.
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#8
" pen inner tube"

All my light antenna will now use a "pen inner tube" instead of a paperclip and heatshrink. Nice one FGA. Thanks for the tip.
 

kah00na

Senior Member
#9
You can easily see the vertical antenna at the front. It is mounted high to clear the frame, as far forward as practical to get away from VTX antenna and an old pen inner tube (remove the ink first!) is used to keep it vertical and protect it. In a crash it just bends but stays vertical during flight.

You can see the other antenna underneath the fame downthe back. It is held there by some foam rubber strips which are used as landing gear. I should really use another pen inner tube to seperate it from the carbon plate a little more and will do that shortly. This antenna is also using the carbon in a good way by blocking possible interferance from the vtx antenna.
I think I'm going to try to mount it like you suggested FinalGlideAus because I don't much care for the idea of a dangling antenna underneath. Here are a couple other examples recommended by Mike from DragonLink that he said have had success.
dlantenna01.jpg dlantenna02.jpg
 

FinalGlideAus

terrorizing squirrels
#10
Happy it was helpful guys. Remember to always do proper range tests also.

Using Spektrum I do the following test with my builds.
I hook up my TM1000 telemetry module (where possible) so I can get total number of fades and holds. The aim is get a low number of fades and zero holds. I then put the TX in range test mode and take the RX "clear from the airframe" and see the distance I can get as a baseline. Then I come back a few steps so I know I'm in range with the receiver only test. I then install the rx in the airframe and repeat the test at the same distance with moving the airframe on all axis to check when I get fades and holds. Changing the antenna positions either improves or increases the fades and holds. Over a number of tests I end up with the best antenna position.
 
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