2.4GHz Antenna placement

The Airtronics RDS8000 has the receiver antennas placed at the end of extensions. Many people initially asked me why that was done. It was done to make it easier for the user to get proper antenna placement. Every installation is different and with the extensive use of carbon fiber in planes today, antenna placement and flexibility in that placement is important.

Today I ran across a post from RCUniverse that explained the antenna placement, why it’s important, and why the extensions on the antennas are a nice feature. It’s explained perfectly:

Interesting range tests with my new Airtronics 2.4 in a 2 meter pattern plane with lots of carbon fiber parts – Since I love this radio and have had good results in my 120 size balsa test plane I figured it was time to put it in my backup 2 meter pattern plane for testing. This plane has a fiberglass/carbon mat sandwich fuse with a full carbon fiber belly pan which houses the alum pipe. So we have a lot of carbon issues to deal with here and a good test of the 2.4 receiver installation procedures. I installed the receiver antennas as follows for test #1 – one antenna run vertical into the canopy area and one 90 degrees longitudinal along the fuse side. Stepped off 35 paces and in range check mode, plane sitting on the ground, we have solid results while rotated 360 degrees. Next I did a vertical test with the plane resting on the nose and rotated 360 in the vertical plane, everything was solid at 35 paces until the bottom of the plane faced me. At that point everything went gittery and had loss of most control. This was expected since the bottom of the plane is carbon and houses an alum tuned pipe. Next, I reoriented the antenna which was running along the fuse side to a position out horizontal into the foam wing. So now we have one vertical into the canopy and one running out 90 degrees into the foam wing panel. Retested range at 35 paces and could not find a dead spot in the setup !! Everything was solid in all aspects of orientation with the installation.
Conclusion – 2.4 requires more planning and testing before flying. Any plane with carbon fiber or large metal objects like tuned pipes need some close attention to installation and above all test your setup before flying. These are not official tests sanctioned by anyone, just my personal test to see what the actual limitations of antenna orientation are on a 2.4 setup in and around large carbon fiber material objects. Will hopefully test fly this weekend.

This post is Post 792 from this thread at RCU

I hope this helps everyone understand how to easily test for proper antenna placement and why it’s important, especially when the antenna is in a plane that uses carbon and metal in the airframe!



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