[TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

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3nslav3
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[TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

Post by 3nslav3 » 30 Jan 2013, 00:50

since there isn't a dedicated topic for this....

step1:
locate the Atheros chip on the drone motherboard

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all the action will happen on the right side of the Atheros chip

step2:
some things that need to be done or it will not work
-remove the inductor (smd coil/filter that connects the signal to the ground) => pliers, toothpicks, dremels have been used with great succes (CAUTION)
-cut the trace => removes/disables the original AR Drone antenna => very sharp scapel / knife (CAUTION)

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Result: a dremel with a diamond cut tip has been used to remove the inductor (my personal preferred method)

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step3:

locate the RF testpoint (antenna connection)

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step4:

use an Ohm meter to check if there isn't a connection between the RF signal and the shield
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solder the antenna / coax / U.FL connector / WIFI AMP / other.... to the RF testpoint (Antenna connection)

Coax example:

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U.FL Example (solder experts only)

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U.FL + plug

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it is highly recommended to visit Garrock his dronemod site for more highly detailed instructions

site: http://www.dronemod.com/

Garrock is the guy who figured out the HOW-TO for external antenna connections on the ARDrone 2.0 so all credit goes to him

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Re: [TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

Post by garrock » 30 Jan 2013, 01:33

Most excellent pictures 3nslav3 !

I am patiently waiting on a shipment of components for a fully connectorized External Antenna Mod Kit.
Last edited by garrock on 30 Jan 2013, 03:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

Post by Maverick107 » 30 Jan 2013, 03:07

Very nice job indeed! :D

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Re: [TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

Post by LMC0731 » 19 Feb 2013, 10:33

Thank you so much !

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Re: [TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

Post by 3nslav3 » 19 Feb 2013, 10:38

glad i could help :-D please feel free to use and edit my pics for your own mod topics etc ;-)

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Re: [TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

Post by DaZa » 19 Feb 2013, 11:01

3nslav3,

Inspired by your work above, here is my mod done now.. and works a treat!

Love your work bro, UL.F works a treat!

Image

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Re: [TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

Post by TheDIYers » 19 Feb 2013, 14:36

3nslav3, can you go from the U.FL to a wifi booster now? Or does the booster plug in elsewhere? I would also like to see someone post a picture of how they power their booster. I suppose you could go directly from the MOBO or use another battery.
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheDIYers/featured" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: [TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

Post by 3nslav3 » 19 Feb 2013, 15:55

I used a cable that already had an UF.L plug onto it ;) (salvaged form an old laptop)

but there is no need for an UF.L tho, you can always solder a coax directly to the mobo

I also removed the connectors on the booster and soldered everything in place

and for power: I soldered the booster power to the drone's mobo (I did install a connector for that)


the antenna is now on top of my drone, not in the bottom plate anymore, installing an antenna in the carbon bottom plate gave me some video feed problems
Image

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Re: [TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

Post by TheDIYers » 19 Feb 2013, 17:37

So now that you have the booster in place, have you experimented with different types of antenna to attach to it? Do you have a favorite?
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheDIYers/featured" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: [TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

Post by 3nslav3 » 19 Feb 2013, 17:54

yeah, the 3dB stick is the best in my opinion, (lightest)

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Re: [TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

Post by garrock » 19 Feb 2013, 18:17

3nslav3 wrote:yeah, the 3dB stick is the best in my opinion, (lightest)
Mast mounted.. a 3dBi dipole antenna is a good choice. The Wheel is useful for bottom flush mount; and mast too.

Overall weight a factor for some. SMA connector types can add 4 or 5 grams.
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Re: [TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

Post by 3nslav3 » 19 Feb 2013, 18:54

indeed garrock! sma's are heavy but can take some serious beating, the wheel commes in second place for me but i think that a wheel looks cooler

will be flying with 1 very soon! (still have to make an sma mast for it ;-) already have the parts for 1

in a few weeks ill also have the official garrock wheel mast kit 8-)

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Re: [TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

Post by armaal » 19 Feb 2013, 21:30

Today I was looking after the ATHEROS chip and I read the datasheet. I tried to find the inductor that we should remove but I don't find it on the diagram. It's just for my cultur indeed I like to know why I have to remove it.

map_overlay:
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I have a question for you slav, do you think it's a really must have a WiFi Booster ? As I can see it's easy to set up. On the other hand ot's difficult to find a light model on internet....
If you have a link with price,etc... on europeen store it will be with pleasure.

EDIT | fonction of the inductor are : filter that connects the signal to the ground ?
EDIT | @slav : I think I find how and do with a wifi Boost (Hawking system) I learn directly from DBS
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Re: [TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

Post by IceFyre13th » 19 Feb 2013, 22:09

L1, off of the T4 pin of the chip....and I want to know why is removed too.

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Re: [TUTORIAL] External Antenna or wifi booster, ARDrone 2.0

Post by armaal » 19 Feb 2013, 22:21

IceFyre13th wrote:L1, off of the T4 pin of the chip....and I want to know why is removed too.
I have a opinion.

It's maybe to cut the "interferance" if you set up a coax on the antenna point_test
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