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Antenna routing

Old 05-17-2005, 08:52 AM
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Flyboy1958
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Default Antenna routing

Just wondering if it makes a difference as to how you route your antenna from your receiver. I didn't want it to dangle 6 or 7 inches from behind the tail so I cut two pieces of fuel tubing and slid the antenna through, then doubled it back on itself. I took up the slack by using a rubberband tied to the tail. Is this method OK?
Old 05-17-2005, 08:58 AM
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RCKen
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Default RE: Antenna routing

Flyboy,
No, this is not ok. When you double back an antenna on itself you are in effect shortening the antenna. This reduces the range of your radio. I understand about you not wanting to have the wire hanging out the back of the plane, but you really need to have the wire extended to it's full length. Sorry that I can't give you better news, but that's the way it should be.
Old 05-17-2005, 09:54 AM
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2slow2matter
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Default RE: Antenna routing

MY EXPERIENCE:

I have a little .15 sized stick that I kit built. I put a full sized rx in it, so the antenna was way too long for the plane. I routed the antenna on the bottom of the fuse--doubling it back and forth (making sure it didn't touch itself anywhere), and locked it into place with packing tape. I've never had an issue with it whatsoever. I did extensive range checks with this one, since I was kind of scared of it. I had the plane in my dad's workshop, and walked 75 feet INTO their house. Dad was at the airplane checking things out--no jitters, and everything worked fine 75 feet away, through brick and wood walls, with the tx antenna down. So, I flew it and have flown it many times--no problems. I do a range check on it often, but I don't see that it has affecte the range at all. Granted, this plane flies a little closer than the average 40 or 60 sized plane due to visual constraints, but I still fly it quite a ways out--well over 1500 feet away, without incident. JMO. Let the flaming begin....
Old 05-17-2005, 10:00 AM
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Default RE: Antenna routing

No flaming.. just advise as RCKen said. The antennas are a specific lenght to match the frequency you are using. Bending it back on itself is like not extending the TX antenna all the way. It will work but will not work as designed. It may be just fine with all normal, fully charged batteries, and so on, but get marginal and you will find out how different it will behave.

Try running the antenna along the fuselage and up the vert stab and along the top and put a small length of tubing to keep it away from the rudder and let it sail.
Old 05-17-2005, 10:12 AM
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MinnFlyer
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Default RE: Antenna routing

What i do in that situation is toextend the antenna as far back into the fuse as possible. Any "Extra" is wound around the sides radio compartment (Sort of like 2Slow said)

I too have never had a problem with this method, but I WOULD discourage you from doubling it back over itself.
Old 05-17-2005, 11:14 AM
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TedShredz
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Default RE: Antenna routing

I have this device that was supplied with my Hitec 555Rx. The message enscribed on the card states that up to 18 inches of Rx antenna can be wound onto this "bobbin" to lessen the amount of antenna wire that sticks out of the model. According to these directions, there is a proper way to do this with the winding done without any cross overs. I hope the picture isn't too large to deal with....

I have also seen loaded coil type antennae offered at the LHS. I found one here: [link=http://www.rcmodels.ca/product_info.php?cPath=27&products_id=66]72MHz Micro Antenna[/link]

I've had some interesting things "happen" while flying that others attributed to interference and the way I had concealed my antenna wire inside my models' wings.

I'm letting it all hang out now, without similar occurances, but I'm interested in these micro antennas as maybe a good solution for the smaller planes or scale planes that stay in close. I have no idea what range we could expect from these, but it might serve the people who aren't interested in big range.

regards, Ted


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Old 05-17-2005, 12:15 PM
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yeffy99
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Default RE: Antenna routing

Does anybody have any info on the whip antennas?
I would like to try one if they are any good.
Old 05-17-2005, 12:23 PM
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Default RE: Antenna routing

Back in the pre-GPS days of boating we used loop antennas (just an antenna doubled back on itself) as radio direction-finders. Strong signal with the antenna sideways to the transmitter (a ground based source), weak signal when end-on. By turning the 360º calibrated dial and taking a reading, then taking a second one a known distance later, you can triangulate the source.

On a R/C aircraft, a looped antenna might allow you to fly very well downrange, but when you made a 90º turn you would find yourself out of contact with your airplane.

If HiTec offers a bobbin I would guess they have tested it. Another solution is using CA to glue a plastic or glass bead on the antenna tip and pulling it in for display, but out for flying. But that is just another thing to have to remember. I lead mine out of a piece of fuel tubing behind the wing or canopy and to an elastic snubber on the rudder tip. It doesn't look too out of place, except on the WWI & early fliers.

God invented quarter-scale so you could run the antenna internally.
Old 05-17-2005, 01:10 PM
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Flyboy1958
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Default RE: Antenna routing

Thanks guys, I think I will just let it hang out the back of the plane.
Old 05-17-2005, 08:28 PM
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Default RE: Antenna routing

Try this outfit. Was sceptical at first but now I have half a dozen in use.
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~antoon/gadgets/gadgets.htm Look for Flywire on the lefthand side.
Old 05-18-2005, 02:08 PM
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Default RE: Antenna routing

2slow2matter... If you check your plane out to failure, I think you will discover you did reduce your range. Your range check was only out to 75 feet without failure. How can you say tyour routing didn't effect the range until you test to failure? Probably not worth the effort to really check if you have been flying with out problems; however, you must test to failure to see if you effected range. For example, if your normal range check fails at 200 feet, but you only test to 100 feet after a antenna change, it is possible you reduced your range by 50%, but you would never know because you only tested to 100 feet. Cheers.
Old 05-18-2005, 02:27 PM
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2slow2matter
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Default RE: Antenna routing

I don't test out to failure. If you I can get 100 feet with no jitters and the tx antenna collapsed, then I feel like I'm fine. I got to 75 feet with all kinds of walls between, so I called that good. Again, I've not had any issues. I'm in no way advocating it for others, just sharing my experience. I know a lot of people (myself included) who tie the end of the antenna in a knot to keep it from slipping back up into the fuse. This has also never affected my range.
Old 05-18-2005, 04:15 PM
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JohnW
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Default RE: Antenna routing

Putting a knot at the very end of the antenna is no big deal. But again, if you never test to failure, you cannot say the knot didn't effect your range. I don't think you understand the logic. It's like you are saying the removal of 5th gear never effected your car's top end becaue you can still go 20MPH. My point was your range check method could not indicate that "alls fine" since you really don't know how you impacted your range. You just checked to 75 feet. I'm not picking on you or anything like that, but in general IMO it is bad advice not to check to failure at least once. This may not be a big deal for the type of models you fly, but it still should be done occasionally. It can give you a good heads up that all is not well. For example, if you normally fail around 200 feet, and then all of a sudden one day you start failing at 100 feet... something's up. A normal 75ft ground check may not pick this up. Now I don't suggest that you test to failure every time you fly, I don't. For daily flying a quick go/no go test out to X number of feet is fine. However, please note that different radios have different minmum ground range procedures and distances. Consult your manual. Cheers!
Old 05-18-2005, 07:57 PM
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2slow2matter
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Default RE: Antenna routing

Trust me, I see your logic. Tell you what, I will rescind my previous statement of not noticing any range decrease. I shall instead state the following--I've never had any problems, and I will keep doing it this way because it seems to work for me. thank you for your concern.
Cheers.
Old 05-19-2005, 06:59 AM
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LSP972
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Default RE: Antenna routing

yeffy99, the base-load whips work fine. I've been using them in helicopters for 14 years, and have used them in several fixed-wing models. While some folks insist there is a range reduction with these, you couldn't prove it by me... AS LONG as common sense antenna procedures are followed.

IOW, keep it away from metal pushrods, don't install it inside a fuselage covered with metallic-backed film, etc., etc.

My LT-40 trainer has an el cheapo Hi-Tec rx with a Dean's base-load whip. I made this up for a Sig Wonder (little bitty airplane- no space inside), and transferred it to the trainer when I got tired of the Wonder and sold it. My grandson has taken this airplane almost out sight while chasing buzzards.

I use the Revolution brand whips on my helicopters, because they are a bit more durable. The Dean's do not like vibration and are prone to crack at the base in certain heli installations. But the Dean's offering is more compact and easier to mount, and works fine in airplanes.
Old 05-19-2005, 07:08 AM
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yeffy99
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Default RE: Antenna routing

Thanks for the info Steve, where is a good place to buy these?
Old 05-19-2005, 07:31 AM
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LSP972
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Default RE: Antenna routing

They're a rather common item. Any decent hobby shop or on-line outlet should have them.

Two sure sources are Heli-Proz and Rick's R/C, which are the two premier mail-order heli shops in the US.

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