Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Router, repeater (extender), GPS unit, antenna, tablet, FPV goggle, HD battery, charger, carrying case... etc.
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garrock
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Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by garrock » 07 Dec 2012, 04:32

EDIT: Sunday May 12th, 2013

This on-drone Antenna Modification will significantly increase WiFi performance !

Check out the video and pics here: http://www.DroneMod.com


The Wheel Antenna Mast Mod will do two things:
  • 1) Drastically reduce video jitter and dropouts when rotating the drone at a distance.
    • The stock AR Drone is well known for this problem. When downrange, the camera nose must face directly away or towards you to have the best video downlink.
    2) Increase your flying range. (varies with controller device but should be at least a 33% increase)
    • Using my Nexus 7 Tablet and no WiFi Range Extender or booster, I flew out to nearly 700 feet and was able to fully rotate the drone and maintained a video downlink.
      My Galaxy Nexus Phone; close to 400 feet.
      This was in an open area with no WiFi interference.
This antenna upgrade is for the AR Drone 2 only.

-----------------------------------------------------

If you have a magnifier lamp, decent soldering iron with small tip, and good soldering skills, then you can perform this mod.

External Antenna Mod - Installation Procedures: http://www.dronemod.com/How_to.html

Several Options:
  • 1) Install the Antenna Mod kit yourself
    2) Send in your Main Board (DroneMod will install the mod for you)
    3) Send in your entire drone (DroneMod will take care of it all)
    4) DroneMod can provide a brand new Main Board with the antenna mod
Antenna Mod Kits: http://shop.dronemod.com/Antenna-Mod-Kits_c3.htm
Installation Services: http://shop.dronemod.com/Mod-Services_c4.htm

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Know this about flying the AR Drone with an RC Mod:
  • VLOS = Visual Line Of Sight
    • If you are using an iPhone or iPad "control device", then an RC Mod might help you gain some control distance. Some control device's do not have a good WiFi radio. That is the limitation. Not the fact that the AR Drone is a WiFi controlled flying machine.
    FPV = First Person View (flying via realtime video downlink)
    • An RC Mod does nothing to help you fly via FPV. You are relying on the AR Drones WiFi video downlink anyway so might as well keep WiFi controlled flight too.
Purchase a WiFi Range Extender to be your on-ground repeater between control device and drone. Then you will be able to fly well beyond VLOS. There are other good WiFi control device options too. Such as DBS' Nexus 7 Heli-Pad Mod.

My WiFi Range Extender setup enables me to fly out to One Kilometer (3280 feet) and back.
Check out some of my YouTube videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/garrock55
Last edited by garrock on 12 May 2013, 18:49, edited 1 time in total.
DroneMod.com --- Worlds first two-drone system: Repeater-Helper and Camera-Worker drones ! --- http://www.REDbirdRF.com

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by 3nslav3 » 07 Dec 2012, 10:52

love to see the tutorials popping up :-D great work!

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by DaZa » 07 Dec 2012, 12:50

I need to get me one of these too!

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by lesodell » 07 Dec 2012, 13:45

Same here ,when do you think you will have a kit ? I will take one

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by DaZa » 07 Dec 2012, 14:09

I think he only has a small amount but that begs to the thought perhaps we should pool together to get these made into a proper kit and more made to exact spec.

How could we improve it both signal wise and asthetic wise?

What about a proper mounting kit?

What about a modded mainboard as an option complete with external antenna coupling and trace/inducer mod?

I know most of us will end up replacing a mainboard at some point so if so why not with a modded one available as a kit complete with a wheel antenna?

HighGain I'm sure could help with his wealth of RF experience. HGT would you be willing to work on this with us/me to put something proper together? Could even add an optional HGT booster module which I saw you were looking at complete with mount to bottom plate, we could do something like that?

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by veli » 07 Dec 2012, 16:17

Awesome, need to do one myself! Pardon the noob question, but what about something shaped like this or do these work differently?

Image

I think I saw it on Solaris's post somewhere here - it actually looked quite nice and high-tech with the cloverleaf sticking out from the drone's arse.

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by DBS » 07 Dec 2012, 16:57

That cloverleaf (skew planar) design has it's advantages ... Especially standing directly under the drone going for altitude and stable video... But it doesn't help boost range... In fact it decreases range and gives a better quality signal at shorter distances while rejecting multipath interference for video streaming purposes...

If you want balls out strong signal at insane range with MORE THAN adequate video and link quality for the drone's 720p stream... Garrocks wheel antenna idea is the way to go
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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by DaZa » 08 Dec 2012, 02:05

I can see having a quick fit SMA on the bottom of the drone would be a good idea.

Then you can screw on any antenna you want to.

That cloverleaf looks interesting, I'm going to attempt some altitude flying soon which it would be good for. But I think the wheel antenna would be just as good and multi-purpose anyway.

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by ibewiggin » 08 Dec 2012, 06:33

Don't know if it help but I have a couple cncs and could possibly come up with some nice looking mounts, if that would be of any help and/or interest. I was already thinking of picking up some foam and making a better body with and including a better cavity for the mods I hope to be doing.

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by Rudeboy » 08 Dec 2012, 14:44

Hi Garrick where did you get the wheel antenna?? Tried a few searches but keep drawing a blank!

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by 3nslav3 » 08 Dec 2012, 14:48

I think Garrock will post that soon enough Rudeboy ;)

I think that the wheel antenna's are the best alternative (compact and crash proof)

cloverleaf on the other hand.... 1 bad crash and it's game over

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by Rudeboy » 08 Dec 2012, 14:52

Yep hopefully dude, really keen to see how well this works, just not sure if I've got the confidence or soldering skills to do the mod myself!!

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by veli » 08 Dec 2012, 16:22

Will be waiting for where to get the wheel antenna also. One thing though - can't it fit inside the drone hull (for protection and aesthetis) or does the bottom baseplate interfere with the signal?

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by garrock » 08 Dec 2012, 16:34

Last edited by garrock on 12 May 2013, 18:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by 3nslav3 » 08 Dec 2012, 19:34

veli wrote:Will be waiting for where to get the wheel antenna also. One thing though - can't it fit inside the drone hull (for protection and aesthetis) or does the bottom baseplate interfere with the signal?

it will fit inside just perfect Veli ;)

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