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Old 06-18-2014, 01:29 AM
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I've done a little bit of "in flight" testing on this while FPV'ing.

Using a white coloured 1.2m span slow moving model I was able to see it up to about 1.2-1.3km away, but that's only if I watched it all the way out. After about 700-800m it is almost impossible to look away and find it again in any reasonable amount of time. working out which way it's going was pretty much un-achievable either. so that's roughly how far an average person can see a model.

In terms of radio distance, I believe that the 4km figure came from a MAAA (Model Aircraft Association of Australia) requirement as the minimum safe distance between 2 model fields not in contact with each other during the 36mhz days for interference reasons. Your radio would never transmit that far.

I also did some testing with this using the FPV setup for aircraft control range, again because it A: has GPS data live so I can see how far away I am, and B: if I lost signal, it has automatic return to home, so no risk to the model or bystanders etc, and C: you also have a R/X signal strength indicator (RSSI) being displayed as well. There was also a lot of discussion about this very topic on the FPV forums when it started being popular a few years ago.

I found that you would only get solid signal using 2.4g (only tested 2 brands) anywhere in the region of 700m-800m away, before it started having issues, I.e aircraft not responding all the time to inputs, so lots of lost frames at any one time. But the answer is nowhere near as straight forwards as that.

2.4g range is very susceptible to is surroundings. The amount of buildings, trees, other 2.4g xmitters around etc. even the weather can play a factor in the ultimate distance you can achieve. the number of antennas/ satellites and placement also play a major factor. I know you don't want brand names named, but there was variance between the brands from what other people were posting on FPV threads. frequency hopping seemed to do a little bit better distance wise, but not by a massive margin. I think people were getting 1.2km out of large name brands that frequency hopped. My testing was done with only one satellite, in a pretty built up area with plenty of other 2.4g noise around, but even with those factors, it seemed to be roughly the accepted safe distance most people were able to acheive.

Funnily enough it was a cheap, relatively unknown brand that got miles more range than the "big brands", they could bet a solid 2km range day in day out, and people managed well over that in real world testing.. ( some got to 4kms)

These were just my experiences in my own testing... I'm sure more knowledgeable people will chime in.

Hope that helps?



Last edited by ticketec; 06-18-2014 at 01:34 AM.