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Parabolic range extenders
10468 27 2016-4-27
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dieselwind
lvl.2

United States
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I ordered a set of copper parabolic range extenders from Amazon last week.  In preparation I did four test flights prior to their arrival with my P3P.  I live in Alabama and am surrounded by dense forrest, rolling hills, and the normal power lines and cell towers.  The constants for the test were antenna position (perpendicular to the ground), 400ft altitude(FAA regs) and due south flight direction paralleling a road.  Each flight I would get to about 3100-3200 feet before getting the weak transmission warning.  My best was 3300 feet.  I know this sounds short, but it's on par for 400ft altitude with the terrain we have here.Today I installed the parabolic extenders and took to the air.  Same parameters as the previous flights.  As I reached the normal landmark where I'd start getting broken signal, nothing happened!  It kept going!  Five bars of strong signal.  I continued out further than I've ever gone here.  At about 5300ft, I started to approach a congested housing neighborhood and decided to turn it around - never losing signal or video.  Bottom line is these things seem to work - primarily in areas that are common for interference and limited range.  I flew one more time and got the same results - never lost and signal or video transmission.



2016-4-27
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G_MEZ_G
lvl.4

United States
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Absolutely, I made some myself, I also had the same initial results with the stock. Once I put on the windsurfers, it almost doubled my range in a suburb and tripled my range in a semi open area! They're great!
2016-4-27
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djiguy001
First Officer

Canada
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where can you buy them? (where did you buy them?) And for the P4?
2016-4-27
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phantom-four.co
lvl.3

China
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djiguy001 Posted at 2016-4-28 06:41
where can you buy them? (where did you buy them?) And for the P4?

You can get them from Amazon and they will work on all models.
2016-4-28
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dieselwind
lvl.2

United States
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Forgot to add that they do kind of narrow the "field of view" of the radio transmission.  The further out you go, the more you really have to be facing the aircraft.  
2016-4-28
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dieselwind
lvl.2

United States
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G_MEZ_G Posted at 2016-4-27 22:27
Absolutely, I made some myself, I also had the same initial results with the stock. Once I put on th ...

I love them so far.  I think I might be limited by battery range now instead of signal.
2016-4-28
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G_MEZ_G
lvl.4

United States
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dieselwind Posted at 2016-4-28 19:56
I love them so far.  I think I might be limited by battery range now instead of signal.

Agreed! I'm working on getting a second battery now. And to top it off, I realize now that I have to get a laptop that can handle the 4K video for edit
2016-4-28
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microcyb
First Officer
Flight distance : 1095955 ft
United States
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Awesome test and result!
2016-4-28
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sek201
lvl.1
Flight distance : 1079 ft
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I fly in nj rigth in frin to ny city and i heve the sane range 3,800 ft whit or whitout the boosters si i thik maybe i get a bad boosters whitch kind of boostes you have?
2016-4-28
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dieselwind
lvl.2

United States
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sek201@gmail.co Posted at 2016-4-28 08:09
I fly in nj rigth in frin to ny city and i heve the sane range 3,800 ft whit or whitout the boosters ...

Skyreat Copper Parabolic Range Antenna
2016-4-28
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fhsmithjr1
New

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Diesel, I'm a newbie to flying (just started 5 days ago ) and ABSOLUTELY love it!  I was looking at range extenders too and was wondering which one you have.  Thanks!
2016-4-28
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fhsmithjr1
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fhsmithjr1 Posted at 2016-4-28 23:17
Diesel, I'm a newbie to flying (just started 5 days ago ) and ABSOLUTELY love it!  I was looking a ...

Never mind...I just saw your post....we must have posted at same time
2016-4-28
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sek201
lvl.1
Flight distance : 1079 ft
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Thanks i have the similar i pay less si i think i have what i pay , and i will oreder the Skyreat cooper thanks again
2016-4-28
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kdcox
lvl.4
Flight distance : 1386588 ft
United States
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dieselwind Posted at 2016-4-28 06:55
Forgot to add that they do kind of narrow the "field of view" of the radio transmission.  The furthe ...

boy thats the truth...about doubled my range (aluminum windsurfers) but DO NOT turn to the side to tell your wife how great they are!  Learned that yesterday.
2016-4-28
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dieselwind
lvl.2

United States
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kdcox Posted at 2016-4-28 08:41
boy thats the truth...about doubled my range (aluminum windsurfers) but DO NOT turn to the side to ...

Yep!  I've learned really quick to use the little compass on the bottom left to keep the "red arrow" at my 12 o'clock at all times.
2016-4-28
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vanjones37
lvl.2
Flight distance : 1652674 ft
United States
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Cool!!! I have a set but have not tried them out yet.
2016-5-29
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PhanFran
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2558212 ft
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Belgium
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In my testing conditions, running a Litchi Waypoint mission twice, once with and once without the ranhge extenders.
Both flights were minutes apart and, due to the pre-defined route from Litchi exactly the same.
Without extenders I got my P4 to 3515 m , same flight with the extenders went only to 2498 m before RTH kicked in. Analysis of the flightrecords on Healthydrones showed that the RC performed worse from the first second with the extenders mounted.
Sorry to rain on your parade.
2016-5-29
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Kneepuck
Captain
Flight distance : 275102 ft
United States
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If you were to remove the plastic shell from the stock antenna, what you would see would be a piece of coax cable that had the insulator and shield removed very close to the end,  leaving a tiny bit of the center conductor exposed.  That is what radiates the signal from the r/c.  Parabolic type range boosters work by taking this omnidirectional signal and reflecting it in more or less one direction.  The copper used in the reflectors is mostly a gimmick.  In this application,  aluminum foil,  aluminumized mylar or similar would do just as well so long as it was wrinkle free.  The reflective qualities of aluminum and copper are quite similar in this respect.   Also,  there is no need to put the reflective surface on the face of the range booster.  It will work just as well if you attach it to the back,  or even embed it into the plastic.  The rf produced by the Phantoms r/c goes right through the plastic.  Otherwise,  the stock antennas plastic housing would prevent any signal from getting out.  For anyone interested in getting the maximum performance from any antenna system,  I recommend the ARRL antenna handbook.  It is THE definitive source of antenna theory,  design and information
2016-5-29
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Not A Speck Of
Second Officer
Flight distance : 666493 ft
United States
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Just want to chip in with a "me too!" on most points, the range I get, and I'm now also just limited by battery power ... which is fine for me. I'm not about breaking distance records, I just don't want to lose signal on long (but well within battery range) shoots.

Chris

2016-5-29
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dieselwind
lvl.2

United States
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Not A Speck Of  Posted at 2016-5-29 18:03
Just want to chip in with a "me too!" on most points, the range I get, and I'm now also just limited ...

Exactly.  Not looking to set world records, just want to be able to fly without losing signal and video.
2016-6-2
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jreynolds5
lvl.4
Flight distance : 535341 ft
United States
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Kneepuck Posted at 2016-5-29 13:50
If you were to remove the plastic shell from the stock antenna, what you would see would be a piece of coax cable that had the insulator and shield removed very close to the end,  leaving a tiny bit of the center conductor exposed.  That is what radiates the signal from the r/c.  Parabolic type range boosters work by taking this omnidirectional signal and reflecting it in more or less one direction.  The copper used in the reflectors is mostly a gimmick.  In this application,  aluminum foil,  aluminumized mylar or similar would do just as well so long as it was wrinkle free.  The reflective qualities of aluminum and copper are quite similar in this respect.   Also,  there is no need to put the reflective surface on the face of the range booster.  It will work just as well if you attach it to the back,  or even embed it into the plastic.  The rf produced by the Phantoms r/c goes right through the plastic.  Otherwise,  the stock antennas plastic housing would prevent any signal from getting out.  For anyone interested in getting the maximum performance from any antenna system,  I recommend the ARRL antenna handbook.  It is THE definitive source of antenna theory,  design and information

what about a chrome vinyl decal material??
2017-3-20
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Kneepuck
Captain
Flight distance : 275102 ft
United States
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jreynolds5 Posted at 2017-3-20 06:08
what about a chrome vinyl decal material??

If it is reflective to rf signal, sure.  One thing that works really well is the silver colored survival blankets.  They are actually aluminized mylar, and easy to work with.  
2017-3-20
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Johnnyv
lvl.4
Flight distance : 2798707 ft
Canada
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Sounds like you have the same range extenders I have. I have flown unobstructed over a lake almost 14000 feet at 300 foot altitude. They are great!
2017-3-20
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fans47691416
lvl.1
United States
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PhanFran Posted at 2016-5-29 13:13
In my testing conditions, running a Litchi Waypoint mission twice, once with and once without the ranhge extenders.
Both flights were minutes apart and, due to the pre-defined route from Litchi exactly the same.
Without extenders I got my P4 to 3515 m , same flight with the extenders went only to 2498 m before RTH kicked in. Analysis of the flightrecords on Healthydrones showed that the RC performed worse from the first second with the extenders mounted.

99-1 so far it works all across the web, and typically when it does not it is user error.
2017-3-25
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RichJ53
Captain
Flight distance : 1788284 ft
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United States
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This subject comes up a lot. I really like the ones listed in my link below. True shape and made from metal. They work perfectly everytime I need to use them.
Link


Rich
2017-3-25
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PhanFran
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2558212 ft
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Belgium
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fans47691416 Posted at 2017-3-25 19:31
99-1 so far it works all across the web, and typically when it does not it is user error.

Just think of this: if a cheap plastic and aluminium or copper  item could REALLY make a difference don't you think DJI would have integrated it in it's design a long time ago ?
And from these 99 so-called 'positive' reviews and messages discard at least 50 % because they are posted by the smart guys who make or sell the useless things.
2017-3-26
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Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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Sorry PhanFran, but you're mistaken.  If the goal is a cheap directional antenna, the "windsurfer" have been around for years and works great.  We're way beyond speculation.  They work great in theory and they work great in practice, and they have been working great for quite a few years now.  Obviously there are better directional antennas in this world, but the windsurfer is a good cheap option.  
2017-3-26
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RicardoGray
Captain
Flight distance : 4356421 ft
United States
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-3-26 10:00
Sorry PhanFran, but you're mistaken.  If the goal is a cheap directional antenna, the "windsurfer" have been around for years and works great.  We're way beyond speculation.  They work great in theory and they work great in practice, and they have been working great for quite a few years now.  Obviously there are better directional antennas in this world, but the windsurfer is a good cheap option.

I am with you MarkTheDroner too! The windsurfers have helped a lot of people out there. Every single experience I have had with them being myself or helping friends...they have always made significant improvements over having nothing. DJI isn't going to produce these. Why would they? What they have does a fair job for most. Sure, other antenna types will also improve signal strength. I'm sure in an effort to satisfy everyone, they came up with a simple antenna that works. They have come a long way with the light-bridge models over the original standard for sure. Not everyone wants to go the long distance, but for those of us that do, we can choose to add additional components. I know there is a lot of stuff out there that is junk for sure, but I don't think people on this forum are agreeing to such claims, to just try and sell stuff as PhanFran suggests.
2017-3-27
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