Finally, after almost 2 months from ordering the product I have received it. It got stuck in customs and I had to pay an additional £12 import duty to get it released on top of $269 I paid for the booster itself.
The box contains the booster with the built in antennas, bunch of wires for modifying the controller (which I don’t need as mine is already modified), a set of tools and a battery charger together with 2 x 3.7v batteries.
The initial thoughts on the product are quite mixed. First I have ordered the white version and the plastic that it’s made of looks like it’s dirty. The build quality doesn’t seem to be that great either, as an example the battery lid is very difficult to close and there was some hot glue residue in some places. The design and the layout is quite good and should be convenient to use, plus the booster is much lighter than I expected even with batteries inside.
All of which won’t matter if the product lives or doesn’t live to its expectations. Now, my records with “Cool Making” antennas is just over 3 km in semi-rural area. If I get anything above 5km I will be impressed
The device is essentially 2 x 2.4GHz 4 Watt amplifiers paired with 2 x 7dBi directional antennas.
Hopefully I get to test the device sometime next week. I will post a detailed flight log and map annotated with signal quality plus tons of pictures of the booster and a recording of the video from the controller.
So today I tried the new antenna, gosh it is so convenient to use, very small footprint and very light.
Now to the important things. I managed slightly over 3km (remember we have CE over here in the UK) which is my all-time record!
I could have gone farther but as I predicted the battery let me down. Actually, the winds were also very strong.
I was below the return to home mark few times during the flight, making the flight ever so interesting.
So the final judgement on the antenna: 4/5
Here is the link I bought it from: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/16DBI-2-4-5-8GHz-Extended-Range-Antenna-Wifi-Signal-Booster-For-DJI-Series-Drone/162612783776?_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D49138%26meid%3Db78f97acb53e4ff78db4ba1ce32b3043%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D12%26sd%3D232604156093%26itm%3D162612783776&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851
Hope it helps!
My constant pursuit of finding the best antenna for the drone got me to buy a bunch of these antennas. Initially I did not understand why the drone would lose its signal even before 300 metres.
Well I have decided to disassemble the antenna and the reason why is staring you in the face. Its made from tin foil and a bunch of wires
Bear in mind that I paid around £15 for each. If I remember correctly the antenna is rated as 8 dbi for 2.4ghz and 11 for 5.4ghz.
Stay clear of this junk
Today I have received an antenna under the brand name – “Cool Making”. I have purchased it from eBay a few weeks ago for £38, which is nothing compared to Fpvlr which sell a comparative antenna for £117 with lower dbi rating (which in reality means nothing) .
On eBay, they sell several variants of the antenna in either black or white and for DJI Mavic, Phantom 3 Adv/Pro, Inspire 1 and for Phantom 4 Pro.
The build quality looks quite good and according to my measurements, it should fit perfectly to my modified GL300A controller.
They promise the range of over 7km range unboosted. My previous best distance was 2.6 km using Alpha directional antennas (could have gone more but I chickened out having never flown that far. PS: I’m flying in the UK so the CE limitations apply in my case)
If you’re wondering where the reflector is, it’s embedded within plastic casing and is made from aluminium. Unfortunately I couldn’t open the antenna without breaking it to take the pictures of the internals.
Overall the build quality is surprisingly good for the Chinese clone of the more expensive options.
I will wake up very early tomorrow to perform the same test I did for alpha patch antennas. I will fly the same route and altitude as I did before. If I get close to 4km I will be very happy and I will stop searching for new antennas. I never fly that far, always within VLOS, but I hope that the video quality will improve
On paper, these offer 16 Dbi so they should take my drone much farther and I hope the battery will be the limiting factor.
Finally, I had some time yesterday to perform the mod. Together with all the recording, it took me around one hour and it’s actually quite easy. You just have to take your time when removing the glue around the existing connectors and it’s a bit tricky to connect the new wires.
Here is how the controller looks when open
When hooking up new connectors you have to make sure that they are absolutely parallel to the board, then apply pressure and you would hear a click. I have also used a glue gun, which I picked up for around £7 and I think it’s a must.
I have also removed the old 2.4 GHz antennas, which are actually very small. No surprises here, in my case the video feed would cut out after 100 metres.
The kit comes with two directional 2.4 GHz 7dBi antennas for the video feed and one 10 dBi 5.4 GHz antenna for controlling the drone.
The mod promises significantly longer range – up to x4 times! I’m hoping to have the video feed up to 0.5km and control range of around 1km.
The best thing about the mod is that it allows using any standard WiFi antennas and further extend the range by using WiFi amplifiers.
Here is the recording of the job, compressed into 5 mins