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Parabolic Reflectors, do they work? Really?
1250 4 2017-3-28
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WA5TEF
lvl.4
Flight distance : 124672 ft
United States
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My set of Skyreat Aluminum Parabolic reflectors came in this afternoon and I just could not wait to try them out.  They simply slide over the stock antennas and you point the set at the drone.  I flew my Phantom 4 out to 1,850 feet and with the array pointed at the drone, the signal registered 100%.  I then turned 180 degrees which had my back towards the drone and the array pointing away and the signal dropped to 68%!  To verify, I landed and again flew to the same spot and the results were almost exactly the same.  Next, I will try them out on a mile waypoint mission I have saved on Litchi and do the same test.  When completed, I'll post the results here.  

Has anyone else tested a similar system and if so, what results did you obtain?

Thanks,
Jim
WA5TEF
2017-3-28
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ibuyufo
Second Officer
Flight distance : 819098 ft
United States
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I'm interested to know whether this works or not.  Yesterday I flew and my max range was 1400 feet before the video feed started getting weak.
2017-3-28
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Punchbuggy
Captain
Flight distance : 395551 ft
Australia
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Jim, your findings aren't surprising, as the reflectors work to maximise the signal strength by bouncing back 'passing' transmission to a focussed point - the antenna. Effectively, they make the antenna a larger collection point. Logically, that makes it great if the craft is in front, but ineffective if its behind you (and the reflector) as the reflector is then acting to bounce the transmission away.
Simple rule is to ensure that the reflector is always facing the craft, and if it flys behind you then turn around...

And this may seem obvious, but just in case:



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2017-3-28
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WA5TEF
lvl.4
Flight distance : 124672 ft
United States
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ibuyufo Posted at 2017-3-28 16:34
I'm interested to know whether this works or not.  Yesterday I flew and my max range was 1400 feet before the video feed started getting weak.

ibufo, yes they do indeed work.  I am a ham radio operator familiar with several types of antennas and have always been interested in dish and parabolic reflectors because of their efficiency and forward gain.  If you review my test again and visualize  what I did and the results I got you can see just how good these were.  But, you do have to keep the array pointed at the drone unless it is relatively close to you.  When I make my next long range test I will make careful notes and post the info here.  Best $16.00 from Amazon I have gotten!  Try a pair, you'll love them.
Jim
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2017-3-28
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WA5TEF
lvl.4
Flight distance : 124672 ft
United States
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Punchbuggy, yes they do indeed act like you said.  It is kinda like a rifle shot, you need to be accurate in pointing to get the posted results.  I did not test the vertical offset of the signal because I did not think about it but I will try to do so tomorrow, weather permitting.  We are in line for severe weather again next couple of days so flying may be out.  However, when I do get to fly, I'll perform the same test again for verification, then leave the drone at that location while I rotate and elevate the RC unit.  I should be able to get some good information this way.  Then I'll do the mile test as soon as I can.  It should be the most definitive of all the tests.  I would also like to keep everything stable and slowly rotate the drone to see how well it radiates the signal from the on board antennas.  Proper design of the internal antennas would be almost omni directional but I doubt that is the case.  Anyway, I'll have a couple of good days of testing this setup.  
Good luck,
Jim
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2017-3-28
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