FPV Equipment Talk about equipment used for First-Peson View Flying.

Range test of a few radio systems

Reply
Old 09-06-2015, 09:32 PM
  #1
neonshocker
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 2
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Range test of a few radio systems

I have been looking at making a large scale range test with the most popular 2.4 GHz systems available in the USA for a long while now.
The reason for this is that all the manufacturer use different transmission and all claim that they make the best system on the market, but I did not see a comparative test of all the modern systems as of now.
So the idea of this test campaign is to quantify the quality of each system in two critical fields: pure range and resistance to jamming.

Trying to characterize the range of a remote control system makes sense since we often get our model far away from us, especially with jets, large pattern competition models and large gliders.
Jamming resistance is getting more and more crucial. There are quite a few giant meetings in the USA. Joe Nall had more than 1600 pilots this year and a few modelers have experienced lockouts and fly-aways. Checking the range of the system in a less-than-optimum situation (i.e. high noise environment that can be considered as a jammed environment) would give us an idea of how the systems perform in such a meeting.

I thought that since all the systems are using the same 2.4 GHz band and rather similar frequency hopping scheme, the pure range test results would be quite similar. However, to my surprise I discovered that the best systems (Weatronic/JR) performed about 90% better than some others (Jeti/Futaba) during my tests.

But let's first talk about the systems used. I wanted to test the most popular brands in the USA (Futaba, JR and Spektrum), and the new rising ones as well (Jeti and Weatronic). The last two both claim outstanding hardware and features with a specific emphasis on RF quality and range for Weatronic and on telemetry for Jeti.

Tested Systems:
Spektrum DX18 and AR 9020 receiver
Futaba 14SG and R7008SB receiver
JR XG14 and RG731BX receiver
Jeti DS14 and Duplex R3L EX receiver
Weatronic DV4 module (on Futaba 8ZAP Transmitter) with micro 10 receiver
Weatronic BAT 60 and Gizmo 22 receiver with patch antenna

The Spektrum, Futaba and JR equipment was borrowed from friends. The Jeti DS 14 is my transmitter. The two Weatronic systems were on loan from the USA distributor.

Each receiver was plugged to its own battery pack with one servo connected to an output that was programmed to reach a travel limit when the failsafe condition would be triggered. The antennas were all placed at the best position for range, at 90 degrees of each other. Each system was placed on plywood board.

Here is a picture showing all 6 systems put together on a table. These would be spread away later on for the range test.



Here are some of the transmitters used:

My DS 14














The JR XG 14 transmitter:















The Spektrum DX18:
















The Futaba transmitter:


The Weatronic DV 4 borrowed from Ultimate Jets














The Weatronic BAT 60 borrowed from them as well:

















I had spotted an overpass going over Hwy 529 which offered a direct line of sight for miles down the road which was perfectly straight. I decided that the best way to test the Rx boards in a manner that most closely matched a model flying in the air would be to put the Rx boards up on that overpass with a direct line of sight down the highway and then drive the Tx's down the road in the back of the truck until each Rx went into failsafe
















The RX boards were positioned on the overpass wall, about 30 feet above the highway. They were resting on a concrete wall and were facing the road in the direction of travel.





The transmitters were put at the back of my truck. I took a special care to make sure that they would be at their best position for transmission. The JR, Futaba and Spektrum transmitters were placed vertically with the antenna oriented vertically. The Weatronic and Jeti transmitters were place horizontally on the table. All were bound and put in servo test mode. The transmitters were placed about 20 inches above the truck deck, on a wooden table. I had a friend of mine driving slowly away at 90 degress from the overpass while I was looking at the frame rate for the transmitters showing it with the servo operations. I was also noting the distance from start recorded on a hand GPS and from the truck odometer as a cross reference.

I did a series of 3 passes and took the average result of the 3. The results were all consistent for each pass within 100 feet.

On the last pass, we placed each transmitter on the ground with me holding it facing the overpass and walking back a few 100 feet that would bring the equipment to failsafe. All 6 equipment behaved the same and entered failsafe within the expected distance found earlier. That confirmed that the metallic apron at the back of the truck did not have any shielding effect on the transmitters placed 20 inches above it.

Note that the distance marked as end of range was the distance at which the equipment first entered a failsafe condition. Some systems kept on binding, acquiring signal again, failsafe and so on. Some did not and got silent after the first failsafe condition. Therefore, since a failsafe condition is a significant event at the end of the range, I considered the very first one and wrote the distance accordingly.

Here are the results I came up with:

Jeti failsafe at 3,100'
Futaba failsafe at 3,800'
Spektrum failsafe at 3,800'
Weatronic DV4 failsafe at 4,360'
JR failsafe at 5,400'
Weatronic BAT 60 failsafe at 6650'

These results are a fraction of the range that would be achieved in a model. The reason is that the overpass and wall are most certainly made of armed concrete that would provide a ground effect not present in a model.
Also the intersection in front of the overpass had a couple of crossing lights and steel poles as well as video cameras that were potentially introducing some masking effects/ EMIs close to the line of sight between the transmitters and the receivers.
However, all were tested simultaneously and at the same location. So the results above will give you a very good idea of the range potential of your system.

I was really surprised that the JR kept binding long after the initial failsafe (the one that was used to record the end of range distance). It was re-binding after failsafe as were the Weatronic Gizmo and Micro, as well as Spektrum. The Jeti and Futaba systems never tried to re-bind after initial failsafe was triggered.

The next step will be to try to find a way to characterize the capacity of these transmitters to keep the RF link connected in a heavily saturated environment, like during a large meeting.

For this purpose, I will try to find some very noisy video transmitters that really throw a lot of EMI around the 2.4 GHz band, and possibly add a few Spektrum DX18, JR and Futaba transmitters in bind mode at the front of the truck, while we test the equipment at the back.

I have a professional telecom spectrum analyzer that I use at work. I will use it to modulate the level of noise by adjusting the power output of the video transmitter to reach a realistic saturation level of the 2.4 GHz band.

Then I will conduct exactly the same test and note every system behavior in this condition.

Disclaimer: This was an experiment conducted by my friends and I to see what the capabilities of the transmitters were in a test scenario. By no means is this a bottom line test as there are many factors that can influence the kind of readings we saw. This was done out of pure curiosity and not meant as a promotion of one system over the other.

neonshocker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2015, 01:30 AM
  #2
oistein
 
oistein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Leinstrand, NORWAY
Posts: 215
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Hi,

Interesting test and a great job you are doing here. I just referred to you post at the jet forum if you don't mind as i know as jet pilot we are also interested in this test.

I guess the results was kind of expected to me except for a few results. I would have thought the jeti to be as good as spektrum and futaba, which is was not. I was also surprised about the extremely good results for the JR. I did expect the weatronic systems to be on those levels due to a better antenna. Specially on the bat60/gizmo test as there is patch antennas on both sides of the link.

Do you know if all these systems broadcast at the same power level?
oistein is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2015, 03:33 AM
  #3
HarryC
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: private, UNITED KINGDOM
Posts: 3,515
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Interesting that it should find such a big difference between Jeti and the Weatronic DV4 module. I have a comparison between the two, in the same model three weeks apart, and the data logs show no discernible difference at all between the two systems.

I have an E.E. Lightning, covered in flite-metal, some patches of carbon-fibre, 160 engine, 1 gallon fuel tank, so it’s a challenging environment for a 2.4GHz signal and I take a lot of interest in the signal data that is logged. The model was flown on Weatronic using their Rx patch aerials that they claim are extra good, then converted to Jeti. Both systems record the radio data differently, Weatronic using RSSI and packets received, Jeti using a reception strength out of 9 at each aerial and an LQI %, but if I overlayed the RSSI and aerial reception strength graphs, or the packet and LQI graphs, you would not be able to tell one system apart from the other. You cannot see that one is performing better or worse than the other at getting the data through to the Rx. Max distance with both systems according to the GPS was around 750 yards, around 2250 feet, at which it was on the point of being impossible to orientate. If it failsafed at 3100 feet I wouldn’t care, I would have lost sight of it and crashed well before then!

I fly in a rural setting with few other 2.4GHz signals, it would be very interesting to see what effect a noisy environment has on each system.

Last edited by HarryC; 09-09-2015 at 03:37 AM.
HarryC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2015, 05:13 AM
  #4
jayman618
 
jayman618's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Mt. Vernon, IL
Posts: 137
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

This is very interesting! Thanks for taking your time to do this. I am looking forward to seeing the results of your next tests.

Jay
jayman618 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2015, 04:16 PM
  #5
SECRET AGENT
 
SECRET AGENT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Bush, LA
Posts: 903
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

You should try Airtronics, the glider folks swear by them and they get way farther away than I would ever get.
SECRET AGENT is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2015, 04:25 PM
  #6
ncrego
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: NOttingham, NH
Posts: 473
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Great test. I'd really like to see Frsky included if you ever repeat it. The Frsky people claim superior range as one of their selling points. They even have a special long range version receiver.
ncrego is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2015, 03:10 AM
  #7
czorzella
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Kissimmee, FL
Posts: 101
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Awesome tests. Thanks for sharing the results of your work. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of your next steps.

Carlos
czorzella is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2015, 05:14 AM
  #8
DougV
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Miramar, FL
Posts: 958
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Interesting test for sure, but this part of receiver re-link with Futaba. We were out 2.1 miles (FPV) with my Futaba 14SG/R7008SB, I lost connection (fail-safe) to my quad when my friend got in front of me, The NAZA system took over with return to home feature, at 1.78 miles (when my buddy moved out of the way lol) I regain full control of the quad.

Just FYI...
Thanks,
Doug

Last edited by DougV; 09-10-2015 at 07:07 AM.
DougV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2015, 02:06 AM
  #9
pwets
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: St-Barthölemy, SWITZERLAND
Posts: 1
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Interesting !

A test in 2013 Rc Sport Flyer (quite the other way around !):

JR XG11 gave range of 2.25mi
Spek DX18 = 3.95mi
Futaba 18mz= 4.0mi
Jeti DC-16= 4.7mi
and the winner (range wise anyway) was the surprising Hitec Aurora 9 at 6.3mi

____________________


I don't know if testing many receivers close each other is a good Idea !

Thanks

Pierre (Switzerland)
pwets is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2015, 02:12 AM
  #10
czorzella
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Kissimmee, FL
Posts: 101
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwets View Post
Interesting !

A test in 2013 Rc Sport Flyer (quite the other way around !):

JR XG11 gave range of 2.25mi
Spek DX18 = 3.95mi
Futaba 18mz= 4.0mi
Jeti DC-16= 4.7mi
and the winner (range wise anyway) was the surprising Hitec Aurora 9 at 6.3mi

____________________


I don't know if testing many receivers close each other is a good Idea !

Thanks

Pierre (Switzerland)
Link to the alleged report, please!
czorzella is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2015, 07:56 AM
  #11
HarryC
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: private, UNITED KINGDOM
Posts: 3,515
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by czorzella View Post
Link to the alleged report, please!
It's a US magazine, remember, those things on paper? Links not available
HarryC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2015, 01:54 PM
  #12
Victory Pete
 
Victory Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: , RI
Posts: 57
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

I am looking forward to doing some RF testing on my own Jeti DS-16 soon. It will be nice to see what the RF performance really is like.
Victory Pete is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2015, 01:50 PM
  #13
allmetal plane
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Tallevast, FL
Posts: 277
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Fellows,


I am happy to see how our modern radios have come along with good systems!!

I think I have given the most demanding and punishable range test a radio can endure..

I Had myJR DMSS receiver/servo system Inside a thick aluminum armor, put together with heavy duty rivets, steel fasteners, chomo-moly, tubing not to mention a running gas engine which I moved it with. The metal armor was near big steel buildings, a Fuel tank fenced farm, T hangars and parked vehicles, In the LOW POWER RANGE mode I was able to maintain SOLID control SEVERAL TIMES the specified ground distance numbers in the JR manual.
If a radio can endure this kind of testing, that is the radio I will use for my complex projects..
allmetal plane is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2015, 02:30 PM
  #14
gooseF22
 
gooseF22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Posts: 2,372
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

cool thanks for doing that.. I think the results of the duplexing/telemetry transmitting receivers could also be problematic being so close to each other..

However, it looks like to me that all the hammers you chose can drive their respective nails, so its a matter of choice. :=)
gooseF22 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2016, 11:13 PM
  #15
Birdman6310
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 118
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Strange that the OP has not posted here for over 5 weeks I would have thought they would have been interested in peoples comments and replied to some of the questions
Birdman6310 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2016, 11:19 AM
  #16
gapellegrini
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: SP, BRAZIL
Posts: 152
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

neonshocker,

have you done any further testing on these radios?
gapellegrini is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2017, 05:48 AM
  #17
orthobird
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: shreveport, LA
Posts: 726
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

hello, thank you so much for doing this test. Question, how does one go around to do a range test with the Jeti??

The manual does not explain at all.

I used to have JR and Spektrum, and it was easy to do. Just walk away x number of feet, and press the button for range test, and move the surfaces. I have no idea how to do it with Jeti.

thank you,


Cam
orthobird is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2017, 05:54 AM
  #18
ncrego
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: NOttingham, NH
Posts: 473
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

Go into the menu, choose system, Servo&Range Test. Page 46 of the manual shows how to get into the range test, page 56 details how to perform it.
ncrego is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2017, 07:15 AM
  #19
orthobird
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: shreveport, LA
Posts: 726
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

ok, will this be appropriate, I am trying to make a write up.

Can you help me with bullet #5

thank you

Cam:



here it is:


Jeti Range Test:

The range test will verify that the transmitter and receiver are
functioning properly.

Before the first flight of each flying session or if have any doubts
about the transmitter or receiver function, you should always check
the range.

During the range test the transmitter’s output power is
decreased to 10%.


When performing a range test, both the model and the transmitter
should be at a minimum height of 80 cm (31.5“) above the ground.

A correctly functioning transmitter and receiver in range test mode
should safely control a model to a minimum distance of 50m (164‘).


If not, check your model’s antenna installation first. If the test is still
not successful, don´t fly the equipment and contact your retail shop
or one of the JETI authorized service centers.

Steps:

1. Go to System from main menu
2. Go to Servo and Range Test
3. 1[SUP]st[/SUP], set up servo test, and on servo no area, check mark the servos to test, then set the servo speed.
4. Click on Start, this will start making the servos that are checked to move cyclically. Then go back up to where it states “range test” highlight it, and press the wheel down, now you will listen to the beeping sound of the decreased signal to 10%.
5. What to look for next? Want to look at the receivers signal strength?
6. Once done, can hit stop on the bottom, this will stop the servos from cycling, and then hit range test again so the x-appears.
orthobird is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2017, 07:40 AM
  #20
orthobird
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: shreveport, LA
Posts: 726
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default How to perform a range test with Jeti transmitter

ok here it is:
Jeti DS 16, DC 24 Range Test:

The range test will verify that the transmitter and receiver are
functioning properly.

Before the first flight of each flying session or if have any doubts
about the transmitter or receiver function, you should always check
the range.

During the range test the transmitter’s output power is
decreased to 10%.


When performing a range test, both the model and the transmitter
should be at a minimum height of 80 cm (31.5“) above the ground.

A correctly functioning transmitter and receiver in range test mode
should safely control a model to a minimum distance of 50m (164‘).


If not, check your model’s antenna installation first. If the test is still
not successful, don´t fly the equipment and contact your retail shop
or one of the JETI authorized service centers.

Steps:

1. Go to System from main menu
2. Go to Servo and Range Test
3. 1st, set up servo test, and on servo no. area, check mark the servos to test, then set the servo speed.
4. Click on Start, this will start making the servos that are checked to move cyclically. Then go back up to where it states “range test” highlight it, and press the wheel down, now you will listen to the beeping sound of the decreased signal to 10%.
5. What to look for next? Want to look at the receivers signal strength:

Usually perform range tests to 246 feet or 328 feet and still get solid antenna values of 6 or 7. I've never tested range until loss of control in low power mode but verifying good signal strength to 246 feet in low power mode has always resulted in flights with strong antenna values and near perfect Q at the ranges I typically fly my aerobatics planes.


6. Once done, can hit stop on the bottom, this will stop the servos from cycling, and then hit range test again so the x-appears.
orthobird is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 09:10 PM
  #21
heraldoboldrin
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Araras, BRAZIL
Posts: 634
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default

I did a test other day.. with my Shockwave with dual 7003 receiver, i put it on ground and do away with my Futaba 18mz in my hands.. (about 80cm from ground).... i could go 400/ 450 meters max.
I try a 7008 receiver on open air.. in a chair.. (50cm from ground), i could go 500/550m meters max
I wil try the plane on 1 meter from ground to check...
can someone do the same test with DX18 and JR to compare?
heraldoboldrin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:25 AM.