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
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