Improve Your Drone's Video Signal and Weight – 5 Antenna Tips and Tricks
To improve its flight performance Music, so the first tip i have is to make sure your antenna is oriented correctly. So each antenna has what is called a radiation pattern, which is how the signal travels from the antenna and the omnidirectional circularly polarized antennas that we use have a toroidal radiation pattern, which just means that the signal propagates in the shape of a donut. So if youre familiar with donuts – which i hope you are, then you know that donuts have a hole in the middle and in terms of antennas, this means that there is basically a dead zone above and below the antenna. So if the top or bottom of your antenna is directly facing your goggles, then youre going to get bad signal. If any signal at all – and the same goes for the antenna on your goggles, if the top or bottom of the antenna is directly facing your drone, then youre also going to get bad signal. If any signal at all. So you just want to make sure that your antenna is oriented straight up and down, and since your drone is usually in forward flight and tilted, you actually want to tilt the antenna backwards a little bit so that when youre flying forwards, the antenna is straight up And down likewise on your goggles, if you typically tilt your head down a little bit while youre wearing the goggles, then you may want to angle the antenna upwards a little bit so that the antenna is naturally straight up and down when youre actually flying Music.
The next step i have is to make sure your antenna is in a good location, and mainly that means get it away from your frame. So your drone frame is most likely made out of carbon fiber, which is electrically conductive, and it will block the signal of your antenna and ive seen some 3d printed mounts where it locates the antenna really close to the frame and kind of in between the top And bottom plate – and i think thats really not the best location, because the top and bottom plates could block the signal so just try to get your antenna a few inches away from the frame like i have it here, works fine for me, so make sure your Antenna is in a good location, Music. My next tip goes along the same lines, and that is to make sure that your battery cable is routed away from the antenna like the frame. Your battery cable is electrically conductive and it will block the signal of your antenna, and this is really important, because a trend, ive noticed, is that a lot of four in one escs will have the battery pads at the rear of the board, which encourages you to Have the battery cable come out the back of the drone near where we usually mount our antennas? So if your battery cable is too close to antenna its going to block the signal, so either make sure you get that battery cable, a few inches away from the antenna or you can do what i do, which is either rotate your four in one esc or Buy a four in one esc, where the battery pads are off to the side and then route your battery cable off to the side and that make sure its far away from your antenna.
So those first three tips will help. You improve your video quality and your range now lets talk about how to save some weight Music, so the next tip is to get rid of sma connectors if youre still using them. Now, when i started flying, sma antennas were really the only antennas you could buy, but nowadays you can get ufl antennas and mmcx antennas now theres, nothing wrong with sma connectors in terms of video performance. However, theyre just bulky – and you typically need this little adapter wire that goes between the video transmitter and the antenna which just adds extra cabling and weight that you have to deal with. So nowadays you can buy just ufl or mmcx antennas that will attach directly to your video transmitter. It gets rid of the extra cabling and the build on these tends to be a lot lighter than the equivalent sma antennas so definitely switch to these lighter weight antennas. The performance is the same, but you save weight and that will improve the flight performance of your drone Music. My last tip is to get rid of your 3d printed antenna mount if youre using one. So yes, 3d printing is cool and 3d printed parts. Definitely look cool on your drone. However, they tend to be heavy because the 3d printed plastics that we use have low strength to weight ratios. So you need a lot of material to create a strong part, and this contrasts to other materials were used to using like carbon fiber, which have a much higher strength to weight ratio.
Even injection molded plastics have a higher strength to weight ratio and some things that are made out of injection molded plastics, zip ties. So i would actually recommend just using zip ties to mount your antenna and nine times out of ten. You can just use a zip tie or two and get the same functionality and a good antenna location while saving a bunch of weight compared to a 3d printed antenna mount so thats. What ive done on my drone? I just have a single zip tie holding the antenna against the standoff and that works fine and it saves me weight and improves my flight performance Music. Now i do have one more bonus tip, which is a bit specific. But if you are running a tbs unifi with the ufl connector, then you can actually make a little solder bridge between the ufo on the antenna and the video transmitter itself and that just prevents the ufo from becoming unplugged, which will obviously make your signal bad and Can even overheat the board, so those are my antenna tips and tricks. I hope you found this video helpful or you enjoyed it and let me know in the comments if youd like to see other tips and tricks videos and what topics you would like me to cover in those tips and tricks.