Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Router, repeater (extender), GPS unit, antenna, tablet, FPV goggle, HD battery, charger, carrying case... etc.
3nslav3
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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by 3nslav3 » 25 Jul 2013, 15:50

still have to test the range but i'm confident that a 100meters wont be a problem, lots of wifi here tho

this is where i fly:
Image

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Stone-D
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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by Stone-D » 25 Jul 2013, 16:33

Wow, that's pretty congested! I thought my area was bad. Still, I have overhead power and cable lines/junctions to deal with. Here's to hoping! :)

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by MiamiC70 » 25 Jul 2013, 19:37

What do the guys on iOS use to graph wifi like that?

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by Frenchkiss109 » 25 Jul 2013, 21:39

MiamiC70 wrote:What do the guys on iOS use to graph wifi like that?
I am a guy on iOS (iPhone and iPad) and I use my old galaxy s2 for wifi analyzer :mrgreen:
Parrot and myself are french, but users speak english...

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Stone-D
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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by Stone-D » 25 Jul 2013, 23:27

Wifi Analyzer on iOS is a jailbreak app. It doesn't have a graph view, just a list view.

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by Jayson Hanes » 26 Jul 2013, 03:42

Gary, et al

when using my repeater, with dual dipole antennas, I've tried recently a variety of angles. From parallel vertical bunny ears, to horizontal, to staggered @ 45 degrees.. and honestly, I'm not seeing that it matters. This whole discussion of vertical vs horizontal polarity makes perfect sense from a physics POV (especially since a stock drone IS horizontally polarized and so is the wheel mod).. but in reality.. I'm just not seeing that it matters. I'm not seeing, for example, any improved rejection of neighboring WIFI interference when they're horizontal. It just flat-out doesn't seem to matter at all (thus far). Furthermore, I'm still of the opinion that based on my experience, that the wheel does better below the chassis. When I'm up several hundred feet and the LOS to the antenna is blocked by the body -- I lose connection (I can reproduce this easily)

It honestly does at this point make me think further about "what about having the wheel vertical" question.. I'm not convinced that it would yield inferior results!

The saga of course, continues... but I wanted to share my summary experience thus far.

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by Wicho001 » 26 Jul 2013, 04:54

Like this look of the antenna
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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by SkyKing » 27 Jul 2013, 15:16

Here's my 60Beat Controller mounting bracket for the iPhone 4. It's 3D printed, and the details can be viewed here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:124240" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;"

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by garrock » 27 Jul 2013, 22:53

Jayson,

Are you still flying in your neighborhood ?

I mostly fly in open areas and all the tests I have done shows polarization matters.

Others have reported on this forum too.
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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by Stone-D » 30 Jul 2013, 10:51

Garrock, I just finished installing my antenna with no problems, thanks a bunch.

I took a whole bunch of pictures. Feel free to use any for a future revision to the howto guide.

Also, I think step two needs further clarification, and a soldering checklist might help a lot of people as well:

Code: Select all

Step 2: Pre-solder board area locations
This picture is not the best example. Will update next time I modify a Main Board. Too much solder is shown on the pad. 

SOLDER CHECKLIST:
- Is your solder oxidized, and overly grey in color? If so, either use sandpaper or a knife to scrape off the top layer until it is shiny.
- Don't forget to tin your soldering tip.
- Don't forget to regularly clean the soldering tip.

* Tinning is the process of coating the two items to be soldered with solder, and is done to make it easier to solder to another wire or connector without using excessive heat.
* When soldering, press the solder against the target, NOT the soldering tip. Tinning the tip will help the heat to transfer quicker. When the target is too small to press the solder against it, preheat the target and then apply solder to the tip, before immediately applying it. Not doing it this way risks a cold joint which will break apart easily.
* The flux core of solder wire is there to help remove oxidization on the target. That is what is smoking, not the solder. If it is no longer smoking, there is no more flux as it has burned off, and you will need to use fresh solder.
* Here is a good primer video on YouTube about soldering techniques: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gKzoQ2RtKU

1.  Using a fine tip soldering iron, put a small ball of solder on the center conductor pad of the RF Footprint. Careful! Briefly touch the soldering iron to the center pad while holding the solder in your other hand. If your soldering iron has a high heat toggle, use it now. The lower the heat, the longer the time needed and the higher the risk of heat spreading to vital components and ruining them.
2.  Do not add solder to the ground ring and two rectangular pads yet.
3.  Tin the surface of the exposed copper areas you scratched earlier just enough to coat them. Try to cover the area as flush as possible. Do 
not add too much, and try to keep the surfaces reasonably flat. If you do put too much on, solder is very soft and is easily shaved with a sharp knife. You may find it easier to do it this way in order to more easily position the PCB later on.
Positioning the PCB was quite fiddly. I ended up fashioning a makeshift clamp using a pair of pliers and a rubber band. :p

I also found it safer/easier to pre-tin the connector itself before joining everything up. Like with the PCB, scratching the surface helps a lot before tinning.

Lastly, in the pics you may notice the PCB is not straight. The connector, however, is lined up straight with the edge of the board, which I considered more pleasing aesthetically.

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garrock
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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by garrock » 30 Jul 2013, 14:57

Stone-D Wow... thanks !

I warned people to have good soldering skills and I assumed all the things you listed are part of having those skills.
I have been in the electronics design and manufacturing field decades. Perhaps it was too easy for me to assume too much.

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

I will try to find some time and include your information... thank you.


ALSO, one or two of the first Right Angle MMCX connectors mounted to the tiny PC board did not have their connector pad edge beveled. The board thickness prevents the edge pads for directly touching the main board solder points.

All of them now are pre-sanded and have a beveled edge.
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Stone-D
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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by Stone-D » 30 Jul 2013, 15:08

garrock wrote:Stone-D Wow... thanks !

I warned people to have good soldering skills and I assumed all the things you listed are part of having those skills.
I have been in the electronics design and manufacturing field decades. Perhaps it was too easy for me to assume too much.
Coming from computer/network support, I learned a long time ago to assume nothing and plan for everything! For example - I'm no beginner to soldering, but it was a long, long time before I found out that it was a good idea to leave solder on the iron for storage.

Also, many people equate 'good soldering skills' with finesse, and that's it. There are lots out there that make cold joints and think they did good. :/
garrock wrote:I will try to find some time and include your information... thank you.
No problem. I'm very pleased with this mod and I wanted to give back in some way, so I'm happy to help. :)

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by dragonash » 04 Aug 2013, 18:24

I might send my board out to garrock to get this done. The techy in me always wants "better".
Even my repeater is only getting me about 400ft and I am lucky if my video works past 200.

I do have a question though.
Is the antenna adjustable? Does it always stay up like that? Or can it tilt down on the side for storing away in my case? OR, does it just screw off?

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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by garrock » 04 Aug 2013, 19:26

dragonash wrote:Is the antenna adjustable? Does it always stay up like that? Or can it tilt down on the side for storing away in my case? OR, does it just screw off?
The mast is friction fit into a custom made cable tie. It can be pulled out for storage in a case.
Last edited by garrock on 04 Aug 2013, 19:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wheel Antenna Mod - significant WiFi performance upgrade

Post by garrock » 04 Aug 2013, 19:36

NOTICE:

The Wheel Antenna Mod Kit will be revised again towards the middle/end of August.

Finally, A PC Mount Male RP-SMA Connector of decent quaility is available. (Female versions are common but Male is not.)
  • * Male SP-SMA Connector - solders directly into the Wheel Antenna PCB
    * Mast Antenna Cable is Female RP-SMA Connector.
    * Antenna Mast will be two-piece carbon fiber tube with a small extension spring connecting them to allow over 90 degrees of flexibility. It should accomodate not removing the mast to store in a case.
An upgrade mast system will be offered to existing users for somewhere under $10 plus shipping (components listed above).

The revised mast system will add about 4 to 5 more grams.
However, the MMCX version will still be available; which is a lower weight and better aerodynamic solution.

This will also allow for quick in-the-field change out with other antenna types:
  • * Wheel Antenna - Horizontal RF Polarized (same as stock drone antenna)
    * Dipole Antennas - Vertical RF Polarized
    * Clover Leaf Antenna's - Mixed RF Polarity
All of the above are omni-directional; unlike the stock drone antenna.

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

If you want an Antenna Kit between now and then, I can send you the new replacement mast system when ready.
DroneMod.com --- Worlds first two-drone system: Repeater-Helper and Camera-Worker drones ! --- http://www.REDbirdRF.com

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