Range Extender for Chroma what's best ?

Discussion in 'Blade Chroma Series' started by SKETCHY, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. SKE

    SKETCHY Member

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    Here's a little better angle,you can see the notch in the white part of the cam case,if I had notched the black cover it would have fit back in place tighter.so there's a 1/4 x1/4 inch piece sticking the antenna cable to the black cover and the longer piece is to fully pin it down to the cover.then I made longer skid feet/shoes to get the clearance for the antenna. 1483468425323.jpg 1483468430494.jpg
     
  2. SKE

    SKETCHY Member

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    1483468504638.jpg 1483468513071.jpg
     
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  3. Lawrence

    Lawrence Active Member

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  4. SKE

    SKETCHY Member

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    Yeager,so I see only one external battery pack on your TX are you powering both boosters with it or is there another one ?
     
  5. SKE

    SKETCHY Member

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    I,m looking at these on Ebay,Does the 2.4 have a built in power supply ?If you could send me the links for all the boosters and power it would be much appreciated,Thanks
     
  6. SKE

    SKETCHY Member

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    Yeager I,m hoping you could give me the links to what exact boosters you bought please,I don't want to get the wrong ones,thanks
     
  7. Jagerbomb52

    Jagerbomb52 Well-Known Member

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  8. Eric Child

    Eric Child New Member

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    image.jpg I have been experimenting with several types of antennae on both my Chroma and ST10+ since about this time last year, in addition to boosters (Sunhans) on both the quad and 2.4 & 5.8 bands of the ST10+. I have come to what I find works the best for my situation and flight environments thru trial, error, and a few, "OMG, note to self, NEVER use that configuration again" moments. I gained several nice patches of grey in my hair, some new wrinkles and lines on the mug and probably took a few years off my life, but nobody was injured, no property damaged and no crashes or destructive landings (that is my buddy's way of describing a crash, "destructive landing", nice, huh?) in my quest for superior range and telemetry.

    Final results were as follows:
    ST10+ mods - Sunhans boosters on both sends of the 2.4ghz band using Alpha paddle or patch antennae and both powered by a 12v liOn backpack battery Velcro attached to the back side of the ST10+. Residing next to those two boosters lives another (yes, a third) Sunhans 5.4ghz booster on the video downlink receiver with a Circular Wireless helical antennae. The 5.4ghz Sunhans is powered by yet another 12v LiOn backpacked next to the other additional battery with Velcro. I also drilled a 1/2" hole over the ST10+ GPS receiver to give it a clear and unobstructed view of the sky (when my fat head isn't looming overhead, that is). The ST10+ is quite "frankensteinian" according to my wife, but her opinion isn't relevant to my quest for greatness, er, um, I mean maximum safe and stable flight/camera control distances, of course. It is a tad heavy, but I don't care because I am cool flying distances approaching two miles and returning with just under half a charge remaining (depending on wind, speed and altitude variations during the course of the journey, of course. All that in an urban, RF polluted environment and never exceeding 300-325 ft elevation. Edit: I should clarify I meant distances one way of nearly 2 miles, round trip is about 3.75-3.85 miles without re-writing any software.. Ahem, um, who would do such a thing?

    So, what did I come up with for the Chroma, you ask? First thing was to open the gimbal and remove the LH skewed planar clover leaf, and replace it with the most flexible, tiny, six inch button to SMA cable I could find. I simply notched a small grove in the bezel which covers the camera and antennae much like Yeager and the fellas described above. Except I ran the SMA cable thru the notch and looped it directly aft and the up into the little soffit that surrounds the gimbal panning pivot point where I found plenty of room to drill a small hole for the bulkhead mount of the SMA cable. It doesn't restrict any panning or tilting of the camera whatsoever and allows me to use both and AnBee and Sunhans RH skewed planner antennae mounted in both horizontal and vertical orientations. I will try and upload a couple pictures of the Chroma and the ST10+ here in a few.

    Additionally I have installed a power supply line for piggy backing payloads of other things I have been experimenting with using the small I/O card up inside the RH landing gear mount where it exits the flight frame thru the relief in the moulded landing gear clip. Made it long enough to to reach the huge bare space forward of the GPS mast where a patch of super kickass Velcro hooks lives. Thus far I have flown with additional camera, tracking and lighting gear attached in that position and there hasn't been any negative effect to the camera operation or noticible reduction in flight pack battery life. I did try mounting an additional Sunhans booster there on the 5.4 ghz and 2.4 bands, but found there wasn't a significant benefit doing so. Actually on a couple flights I had reduced the range significantly having the booster running from the Chroma, but I will spare you the gory details and engineeringese chapter that will take to explain the whys and how's of all that.

    Enough of my drivel. Enjoy whatever you end up using as any upgrade will be an improvement over the weak and inconsistent performance of the factory setup. Heck I couldn't even fly around the back of my oak or tall pine trees with complete loss of the video downlink and at a distance of <500 ft and elevation under 150ft. Which pretty much made the machine useless for me, but has also inspired me to fly far and confidently to the maximum distance allowed by the software that originally came on the machine. I think it was around 8126 ft or so before I patched the kernel, well, never mind now. Go on to bed and may you have dreams of flying freely into the future.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
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  9. SKE

    SKETCHY Member

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    Guess I,m going with this setup,lol View attachment 5912 View attachment 5913
     
  10. SKE

    SKETCHY Member

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    To cool Eric,lots of experimenting gains you knowledge and that killer setup you wanted and to fly confidentiality and safer.The 2 boosters and Antenna are working great,did the first boosted flight out to 4000 today furthest yet !! Sat is the next good day,New flying site a mile plus valley perfect line of site spot, we got to get in the mile plus Club.
     
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  11. Eric Child

    Eric Child New Member

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    Yo, man, you sound like you are putting in the effort to do it right. I'm sure you will find success and find that the rewards of being able to confidently fly without worry of signal loss, fly-aways or other control related issue are going to be a thing of the past. It's totally rad. I would be interested in hearing how your progress goes. I will try and dig up some images to post for you over the weekend. Am working on the coast till then (and getting some kick ass Pacific Ocean sunsets captured with Franken-chroma, heh heh). On my breaks of course, ahem, cough, um, yeah, on my breaks...
     
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  12. SKE

    SKETCHY Member

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    Hey Eric do you think the patch antennas are more focussed giving longer range ?
     
  13. Eric Child

    Eric Child New Member

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    I'm not sure if you are asking about the 2.4 ghz or 5.8 ghz. I have found that they are superior to the skewed planar or clover leaf type on the 2.4 ghz frequency, but for 5.8 ghz the helical if vastly better. They are better for receiving signal than transmitting, but they will do both. I have never lost telemetry during a flight, in spite of the video downlink dropping out for one reason or another. And, since my final configuration, I haven't had my video down link drop even once. Hope this gets to what your question was aimed at. 20160317_101754.jpg
     
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  14. SKE

    SKETCHY Member

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    8126 that's sick !! I just did 4000.I,m doing baby steps,lol.I meant the panel Alfa antennas you have on you ST-10 compared to the FPVLR circular polarized ones that I got.
     
  15. Eric Child

    Eric Child New Member

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    image.jpg Hey Sketchy, I tried both polarized and bare (not enclosed by a plastic protective enclosure) and found that the panel type worked better, at least in my environment. Keep in mind that the screen shot was done while standing in my back yard in an urban environment with loads of random RF bouncing around. That was back when the manufacturer's limitation to distance was, um, well set to about that distance. The 2.4 band is much more solid than the 5.8 in terms of being able to withstand physical obstructions to the signal path. It takes much less to disrupt the video than the telemetry. Hope this helps and you figure out what works best for you and your bird. We have a little sun for the first time in days, but the wind is howling at 35-40 with occasional gusts over 55mph. I think the Chroma stays indoors today, lol.
     
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  16. SKE

    SKETCHY Member

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    Good to hear your having somewhat better weather.Hey I,m just having fun flying and filming,I have a circular wireless SPW58 58 skew planer coming to mount on the quad and break into the cameraI still haven't dared go past 4000ft but the next good day we have I,m just gonna go for it.Break a mile will be cool !Yeah don't fly in that wind you're having out there man.
     
  17. Eric Child

    Eric Child New Member

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    1485283600637-1661461989.jpg 1485283468851-1102323303.jpg
    Dude, I am actually seeing the sun for periods of ten to twenty minutes at a time here! Now if the wind would just back it down a Lotta bit more (<25 MPH is my threshold, but that varies based upon terrain, goals of the particular flight, etc) I might consider taking Frankendrone out for a little jaunt around the hood... we look to have some decent weather coming starting Thursday thru next week, so I hope to get some decent shots of the sunsets that are usually pretty sweet this time of year. I meant to ask ya if you have tried any additional flight packs to power your copter yet. I just found this outfit on Amazon that is selling 7200 mah lipo packs for the Chroma at $55 each. I bought two just to see how they behave. So far they have been totally kick asstart and far exceed the factory packs. I do know that you definietly want to avoid the Horizon packs with the black label aledgedly mislabeled as 5400Mah. I got one about a year ago and it didn't even last five months before it puffed up like a damn fish to be sliced into sushi and never could get even into the high teens for flight time out of it. Just thought I would see what your experience has been in that area. 1485283468851-1102323303.jpg
     
  18. SKE

    SKETCHY Member

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    I just have three of the white label 6300 Chroma Horizon batterys,those ultraX sound killer,might get me two of those.Better weather here Thurs to,time to fly !!!
     
  19. SKE

    SKETCHY Member

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    So Eric are both antennas on the Chroma for the 5.8 ?
     
  20. SKE

    SKETCHY Member

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    Thanks for all the great info Eric,I see in the picks you used a splitter to mount two antennas on the drone,I have received my circular wireless SPW58 And splitters yesterday,just waiting for the sunhans antennas.I like how your setup covers all Angeles on the video signal, Happy Flying Man
     
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